Last night, the Top 3 battled it out on the American Idol for a chance to be in next week’s finale. This week’s choice theme had Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, and Phillip Phillips sang three songs chosen by the judges, mentor Jimmy Iovine, and themselves.
But who made the best choices for the contestants? Let’s break it down, contestant by contestant, song by song:
Mariah Carey’s “My All”: While we think Jessica could kick butt at virtually any Mariah song, this might not have been the best one for her. Jennifer Lopez wanted to showcase her vulnerability, but what we ended up getting was slightly wobbly vocals and not much room for Jessica’s powerful voice to grow.
Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”: Chosen by Jessica herself, this track took some build-up before we heard the 16-year-old singer really milk the vocal chords she’s known for. Also, we have to commend her for singing this song in front of Steven Tyler himself! Overall, a decent choice, but not one that blew our socks off.
The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There”: We know what you were probably thinking: She sang three ballads in a row! But this song, chosen by Jimmy, was the closest Jessica came to having an Idol moment all night.
Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”: A Randy Jackson choice, this song played well to Joshua’s strengths and garnered the first standing ovation of the show. While we were taken with his soulful rendition, it was similar to other tunes he’s already performed on the show.
John Lennon’s “Imagine”: Joshua hand-picked this song himself, moved by the inspirational tone of the lyrics. And boy did he take this one to church! It was nice to see him put his own spin on a classic tune, and also bold choice considering David Archuleta’s legendary version from Season 7.
Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama”: Jimmy did good with this choice, picking this intense yet slow-burning song for Joshua. Although it didn’t get a standing ovation from the judges, we think this was his best performance of the night. It was the right mix of vocals and showmanship to bring out the Idol moment in Joshua. Plus, we love when he proves he can rock modern songs too.
Madcon’s “Beggin’”: Admittedly, we’re not familiar with this tune. But Steven chose it in order to challenge Phillip to stick more to melodic singing. He does his typical P2 thing, and he does it really well.
Matchbox 20’s “Disease”: Falling back onto old habits, Philip chose this track for himself and it didn’t do much to showcase his vocal range. The judges weren’t bowled over either, calling the performance “good” but not “overwhelming.” We did like the stripped down arrangement of Phil on guitar with just the sax and bongos backing him up.
Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight”: We’re starting to think Jimmy can do no wrong. Again, he picked a song that gave Phillip his best moment of the entire night. Perched on a stool sans guitar (and awkwardly rubbing his thigh), Phil delivered vocals of a caliber we rarely get from him. His vocals can often take a backseat to his guitar playing, or he gets songs slightly out of his range. But he did this Bob Seger tune proud last night.
Overall, we’d have to say that Jimmy hit it out of the park with each song he chose for the contestants. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!