You know things are bad when even the judges can’t think of anything nice to say about a contestant’s final song. When Jessica Sanchez sang “Change Nothing” on American Idol 2012’s finale performance night, she didn’t exactly move them. Literally. They sat in their seats as they critiqued her — or, more accurately, her song.
“I did not love the song,” said Randy Jackson, but he did love what she did with it. “You have to be able to say, ‘This is not me,’” Jennifer Lopez told her; she thought Jessica should’ve sung a song with more soul. “I definitely agree them; I did want to something more urban,” said Jessica. These definitely were not ringing endorsements — but will that hurt her with the voting public?
Maybe, if they compare those comments with how the judges complimented Phillip Phillips after he sang “Home.” Not only did they get out of their seats, Randy “Whoo-ed” for several seconds. “I love the song; I love you… Everything about that was perfect,” he gushed, before adding “brilliant” and “genius.” Right after Randy said the song reminded him of Mumford & Sons, Jennifer claimed there was nothing on the radio like “Home.” Even Steven Tyler said something about “ungodlike creatures,” which we suppose is a compliment.
The Jessica Sanchez fans probably won’t be thrown by a little something like poor song choice, but the swing voters might side with Phillip because his tune was catchy, accessible, and tailor-made. Though Jessica managed to showcase her powerhouse vocals on “Change Nothing,” the performance didn’t compare to either of her previous songs.
All things being equal — both had strong first performances, Jessica with “I Have Nothing” and Phillip with “Stand by Me” — the final song choice could make the difference between who wins Season 11 of American Idol.