American Idol was pretty easy to score this week, for me anyway. Narrowing it down to the final two next week will be a lot tougher.
The Amazing Joshua is still on his thrown at the top of the heap. His gospel-flavored version of You Lift Me Up was everything a song should be. It showed his complete range, low-to-high and soft-to-loud, there was a dramatic moment with the keychange in the middle, he didn't clutter it up with runs and other tricks to show off. He just sang the beautiful melody in that clear, perfect voice and wowed me. During his second song, I do believe he channeled James Brown. Awesome!
The two girls share the middle of the line-up, with Hollie edging forward just slightly. For starters she looked amazing. Either she has the best stylist or she has some style of her own. I totally disagreed with the judges on her second song, Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me. I thought her emotion was obvious and I loved it.
I would like to interject another topic here: the stage productions. Who is coordinating this stuff? The maze of moving canister lights that Hollie had to navigate detracted from her performance. One even shone directly into the camera, momentarily blinding the audience. No wonder the judges didn't think the song connected, she was trying to dodge the Bat Signal the whole time. Same goes for having the ENTIRE freaking orchestra milling around on stage during Joshua's second song. The musicians belong in the background and props like fabric swings are unnecessary and unfair to the singers. Anyway - back to business...
Jessica is near perfection - if you close your eyes while she sings. That voice is big and powerful and incredible, but an Etta James song coming out of that 16-year-old face is just silly, not to mention slightly creepy. The judges knocked Hollie down for not having "gone through enough" in her life to put the proper emotion into her song, yet applauded wildly when Jessica sang the blues, which Randy described as being about "soul, heart and pain". The most pain that girls had was when the head came off her Barbie doll. Someone tell her to pick age-appropriate songs, please.
And lagging sadly behind, we have Phillip. Sorry, but his voice is just not in the same class as the other three. No matter how much praise the judges pile on for being "himself" or being "original" - his voice just isn't "big" enough. He fades into the background. And singing on key would be a good idea, too. I think Phillip is the obvious choice to go home this week, leaving three amazing competitors for the last two shows.
And finally, the biggest question of the night . . . Who told Jennifer Lopez that lavender lipstick was a good idea?