Anyway, so I don't run smack dab into the Finale, I'm gonna have to give you my P.S. version of last night's performance show. Dim your computer screens, 'cause here...we...go.
Round 1: Simon Fuller's song choice
Jessica Sanchez took on Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" and tried her best to J-Hud it up, but it mostly fell flat. She hit some great notes, as always, but it was completely boring and passionless. She certainly wasn't singing like a woman (girl) who might never see Kevin Costner again.
Phillip Phillips was given Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," the melody of which he quickly ripped apart and gave the full PP treatment. But hey, it didn't sound like any other version I've ever heard, so I guess he gets points for that. However, like Jessica's performance, it bored me to tears.
Since both songs nearly put me to sleep, I'd have to call Round 1 a tie. When Ryan asked the judges who won, Randy gave it to Jessica, Jennifer agreed, and Steven just stared off into space...probably daydreaming about wrapping his giant lips around some BK Chicken Strips.
That Jason Derulo song ("Undefeated") that Ryan has been yammering about all season long was finally unveiled (along with Jason's neck), and it sounded like exactly what it was: something that a bunch of American Idol fanatics who suck down Coke by the case (probably along with their BK Chicken Strips) helped to write.
Round 2: Contestants' favorite songs from the season
Jessica sang "The Prayer," which I didn't even remember her doing, but apparently it was the song that got her into the Top 24. Thanks to Christina Aguilera, this song now always makes me think of back fat. Ill-fitting garments or no, she and Chris Mann did a much better job with this song on The Voice. Hear that Randy? The Voice does nearly everything better than Idol! THEY HAVE SWIVEL CHAIRS, YO! What?? DUDE!
For some weird reason, Phillip chose Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" as his favorite. Seriously? I swear this season has been one giant Punk'd episode for this kid. Good Lord. The song was about as cheesy and irritatingly DMB-ish as I remember it being the first time around.
Again, Round 2 left me with no preference for either Idolette. Steven mumbled something about good eggs going bad...or hatching...or being made into BK Breakfast Sandwiches...who knows. Then he handed Round 2 to Jessica. After the wall of boos tumbled down upon the judges' table, Randy decided to call it a tie and Jen gave it to PP.
Round 3: The always-terrible Idol singles
Jessica's potential single was called "Change Nothing" and immediately had me contemplating changing the channel. It wasn't offensive enough to rival "No Boundaries" as worst Idol single ever, but it was still a steaming pile of terrible. I mean, there weren't even any dreams or magic rainbows in that song. Just a lot of yelling and double negatives. All the judges pretty much agreed that the song sucked.
Phillip, on the other hand, managed to luck out with one of the better Idol singles I've ever heard. Again, there were no dreams or magic rainbows, but there were demons and some talk of facing your fears, so that had to do. It was a perfect song for PP, and he performed it really well. It was good enough as a generic foot-stomping campfire song, but toward the end it got a bit more rousing when the drumline joined in. It was driving me crazy wondering what the whole vibe reminded me of, and then Randy said it: Mumford and Sons. That's pretty on the nose. Steven also threw in a Paul Simon comparison, which was just as valid. J.Lo said that the song didn't sound like anything else on the radio, but that's probably because she only listens to dance-pop stations. And it was good to see that the judges didn't wear out their leg muscles giving Joshua all those standing Os, as they all managed to get out of their chairs for Phillip.
So...on to tonight's Finale. It seems clear to me that Phillip has this thing in the bag as long as Nigel Lythgoe doesn't rig the results to prevent the 5th WGWG in a row from winning the crown. And honestly, I think he should win if for no other reason than he's the only contestant who's ever been smart enough to get a doctor's note to excuse him from doing the Ford commercials. He's like a prettier, taller, Southern Juan Epstein.
We'll see how it goes after the next two hours of our lives are wasted.
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