American Idol: Final 3
Can you believe that tomorrow one of these three finalists will be leaving American Idol? If nothing else, each of them gave stellar performances tonight proving they deserved to be in the final three. Unfortunately, someone has to go home tomorrow. And I'm not sure who that person will be.
But based on tonight's performances, I have to think that Melinda Doolittle deserves to be safe.
I'll get back to predictions at the end of the recap. But for now let's find out what went down on tonight's show. As I mentioned earlier, the finalists each sang three songs. The first song was chosen for them by one of the judges. The second song was chosen by the Idol producers. For the third song, each finalist chose their "favorite song."
ROUND #1 -- JUDGE'S CHOICE:
JORDIN ("Wishing on a Star" by Rose Royce picked by Simon) -- Jordin's hair looks shorter, and this is the shortest, and sexiest dress we've seen her in. After a couple of "yo's," Randy calls it "a very good vocal" and says that "the run at the end was hot." Paula thinks Simon picked a good song, and it was a "great way to start the show." Simon thinks Jordin "sang it brilliantly." Unfortunately, Simon didn't like the weird jazz arrangement and says it wasn't one of her better performances.
BLAKE ("Roxanne" by The Police picked by Paula) -- Blake is still sporting dark hair, and is one of the few guys in the world cool enough to pull off a sweater vest and tie and not look like a dork. Once again, there's a lot of Reverb (I would say "echo effect" but I've been corrected by a commenter) on Blake's vocals. Randy calls it a "great, great performance." He calls the vocal "pretty good," and gives Blake an "A." Paula says "you did me proud ... it was fresh, I really loved it." Simon doesn't think it's an earth shattering performance. He calls it "good, but not great."
MELINDA ("I Believe in You and Me" by Whitney Houston picked by Randy Johnson, er Jackson) -- Melinda has longer, sexier hair, and a comfy dress, and is definitely going for a younger look. Randy says, "I wanted to throw a little difficulty at you ... that was hot, you rose to the occasion, very well done." Paula says, "one of your best performances this season." Simon says it's a difficult to song to sing, and he declares Melinda as the winner of Round #1.
Then Ryan says that Randy wanted Melinda to accept the challenge and in Randy-speak, Ryan says, "yo, yo, yo, she did, did, did." This prompts Simon to ask Ryan if he is drunk. Ryan claims that he is "totally sober."
ROUND #2 -- PRODUCERS' CHOICE:
JORDIN ("She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer) -- This times Jordin is dressed in a halter top and jeans. Randy says "It doesn't matter what song you sing ... that was hot too." Paula thinks Jordin was fantastic. Simon agrees it was a good performance, but thinks the arrangement was old-fashioned. And then Paula and Simon giggle like two school girls sharing some stupid inside joke.
BLAKE ("This Love" by Maroon 5) -- This time Blake is dressed in white hoodie, white jacket, and gray slacks. He also pulls out the beatboxing for Round #2, which I think is unnecessary because this song suits him really well, and doesn't need anything fancy. Randy says, "when you make a record ... that's the kind of record you should really make ... very nicely done." Paula agrees the song was totally in his element. And she declares this a "good night" for Blake. Simon prefers this song to the first one. He thinks Blake sounded comfortable, and it wasn't a copycat performance.
MELINDA ("Nutbush City Limits" by Ike and Tina Turner) -- This time Melinda is sporting bangs and is wearing a vibrant top and jeans. And she's not only channeling Tina's singing, she's channeling her energy, as well. Randy says, "another great solid performance." Paula declares "we love you," and not much else, prompting Simon to snark, "that's why we hired you for this show, Paula." To Melinda, Simon says he loves "that side of you." He calls it "another brilliant performance."
Randy gives Round #2 to Melinda. But Simon and Paula call it a tie.
When we come back from the commercial, Paula is pretending to make out with Simon. Ewww. Ryan says, "That's not LaKisha. Stop." And I swear Simon continues to look at Paula as if he is completely smitten by her.
ROUND #3 -- FAVORITE SONGS:
JORDIN ("I Who Have Nothing") -- Jordin is definitely dressing better tonight. This time she's wearing a simple, yet elegant pink dress. We've heard Jordin sing this song before during British Invasion week. Randy says, "That's another great performance, your best performance of the night ... very, very hot, nice control." Paula thinks it "sat well" in Jordin's voice and "it sounded really great." Simon says, "there is no disputing that you sang it very well," but he wasn't loving it. He calls it an "incredibly old-fashioned" song and performance.
BLAKE ("When I Get You Alone" by Robin Thicke) -- Blake is wearing the plaid pants I think we've seen a couple times before. He also throws in some beatboxing at the very end of the performance. Randy says, "It was cool ... it was awright." Paula says, "I think you had three great songs." Simon says, "I actually really liked that." Simon also likes that Blake doesn't play it safe, takes risks, and looks like he's having fun."
MELINDA ("I 'm A Woman") -- This time Melinda is wearing a light grey pantsuit, and like Jordin selects a song we've already heard her sing before. Again, Melinda is really playing up the "performance" aspect of her singing tonight. During this song she tosses her suit jacket and interacts with the background singers. Randy says, "I'm seeing the range of Melinda Doolittle ... that was hot again." Paula loves that Melinda stepped out into the spotlight with this performance, as if celebrating her whole Idol journey. Paula calls her "awesome" and fantastic." Simon loved the little striptease (that's what he calls it when she tossed her jacket). He says. "If I'm gonna award a place in the final to the person who has consistently delivered week after week -- it's YOU."
So which two will advance to the finale? Ryan asks the judges for their final predictions.
Randy says: "It's gonna be two girls, if it's based on singing."
Paula says: "I'm not gonna say anything, I think they're all great (which Simon calls a "cop-out").
Simon says: "I want to see my girl Melinda in the finals."
And I have to agree with Simon. After tonight, I too really want to see Melinda in the finals. In Randy's words, Melinda proved that "she's in it to win it." But I actually think this is going to be a really close race. I thought that each of them gave some of their best performances tonight. Blake, whom I never really cared for, especially impressed me. He gains extra points for not repeating a song he's already done (as both Jordin and Melinda chose to do). Jordin has been my favorite, but I too was a little disappointed by her somewhat "old-fashioned" performances. However, I still think Jordin possesses the total package.
No matter who goes home tomorrow, I'll be a little disappointed. And yet, I won't be totally upset by the final two. However it works out in the end -- [MELINDA vs. JORDIN] or [MELINDA vs. BLAKE] or [JORDIN vs. BLAKE] -- we'll have a fair and decent match-up next week.
Besides, I think all three finalists are going to get recording contracts and have successful careers. At this point in the competition there really aren't any losers -- only winners.
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Tomorrow: Live Results Show #12
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