And now we’re down to the wire… the final three… three songs a piece… three rounds… and, if we know anything about the judges, they’ll give one round to each contestant… typically, this week goes off with one song that the producers pick (edit: Jimmy’s picks), one song the judges pick, and one song the contestants pick (if i remember correctly)… should be fun… off we go…

The Heat Is On by Glen Frey

Joshua Ledet… first round songs are picked by the judges and they’ve chosen I’d Rather Be Blind by Etta James… there’s plenty of room for him to lace his new breed of R&B classic into the mix and he takes full advantage… Steven says out of 70,000 there’s only 1 American Idol and he sang like that one tonight… J-Lo says he brought down the house again… Randy says it fit him like a glove…

Jessica Sanchez is handed My All by Mariah Carey which hangs out in the lower register and exposes some significant pitch problems for Jessica… not to mention some rhythm issues as well… it wasn’t horrible, but it’s nothing to hang your hat on… Randy says it was absolutely beautiful and one of the best time’s a Mariah song has been performed on television… J-Lo says it was obviously a tough song, but she did it her own way… Steven says when she sings everyone hangs on her every note and he thinks she’ll be the last one standing…

Phillip Phillips gets assigned Madcon’s Beggin’ which I saw earlier, but still don’t know what it’s supposed to sound like… something about a donkey?… it sounded good… kind of exactly like every other song he sings… J-Lo says he catches a groove in a song and rides it all the way home, it was great… Steven says it’s so beautiful to watch him unfold and he could be the next Bruce Springsteen… Randy says they were just at the Phil Phillips concert… another incredible performance…

winner of round one: TIE – Joshua and Phillip… Randy says Joshua, J-Lo says Phillip, Steven says he’d rather waffle…

Sadie Hawkins Dance by Relient K

Joshua Ledet chose John Lennon’s Imagine, which is quite a stark difference from most of his songs… he has to contain himself for the most part and pick his moments which he does with great emphasis… Steven says it was another “thank you God” moment… J-Lo says it was a pull-back and control song and his performances make him special… Randy says everytime he sings, people feel what he does… brilliant, man, brilliant…

Jessica Sanchez picked Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, an Aerosmith tune… but it sounds nothing like the original and, in fact, it’s almost like she’s throwing the competition… it’s such a blah arrangement and you know it’s just building up for a big closing note… and, there it is and there it went… it’s supposed to make us forget the rest of the song… Steven says she took a great song and made it greater… J-Lo said she sent everyone into the heavens… Randy says this girl is bold and she delivered…

Phillip Phillips takes on Matchbox 20 with a swanky rendition of Disease not many people pick Matchbox 20 tunes on these shows and it’s too bad… I’m not sure I really like the slower tempo – it feels kind of disjointed – but it may simply be a matter of me liking the original so much… J-Lo says it wasn’t a “WOW” performance… Steven says it wasn’t over the top, but it was a Phillip Phillips song… Randy makes no sense then finally admits that he didn’t like it either, it was just okay…

winner of round two: Joshua, hands down…

Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham

Jimmy chose No More Drama by Mary J. Blige for Joshua Ledet, hopoing he’ll bring church to the stage and just go off… well, there’s a lot of drama in the performance here… besides the commanding vocal, Joshua is peacocking across the front of the stage and he strips off his jacket to toss on the floor behind him… Randy says he’s an amazing singer, an amazing performer, and he’s got true star potential… J-Lo says a lot in a short amount of time… Steven says he felt the last 40 years of music in that one performance… over the top…

Jimmy wanted to hear Jessica Sanchez sing I’ll Be There from The Jackson 5… and it starts out just fine… all the way up until she drops it down an octave instead of soaring with the original melody… she sort of recovers on the bridge, but I’m really not sold on this arrangement, period… Steven says it reminded him of “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” but it was beautiful… J-Lo says she sounded like Michael and could’ve used Jermaine, but it was crazy, crazy, good… Randy thought it was okay, lacked a moment, and would’ve preferred the Mariah version…

Jimmy picked We’ve Got Tonight by Bob Seger for Phillip Phillips… he’s gonna force Phillip to do a ballad… and it feels incredibly stiff… and he sounds more like Lionel Ritchie than Bob Seger, but the awkwardness is just overwhelming… that was rough… Randy says it was the perfect song, at the perfect time, and it was his best performance in the competition… J-Lo says there are 20 million girls who wished he was singing it to them and it was sweet… Steven drops a series of naughty words apparently and says it was great…

winner of round three: Joshua…

The Final Countdown by Europe

Well this is a clear choice tonight… Joshua pulled out three phenomenal performances tonight… Phillip gave us one and a half… and Jessica struggled most of the night (despite what the judges said)… So that should mean goodbye to Jessica… more girls vote anyway…

peace… love… bdg…