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‘American Idol’ Recap: The Final 3 Perform a Trio of Songs

Jessica Sanchez Joshua Ledet
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On tonight’s (May 16) episode of the penultimate week of Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ the final 3 — Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez — sang a trio of songs for three rounds of competition. One was chosen by the judges, one by the contestants themselves and one by series mentor and Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine. It was a whole lot of singing with a lot on the line, as the final two competitors will be determined in 24 hours. Hello, nail biting situation!

Here’s PopCrush’s recap on how the ep shook down.

JOSHUA LEDET:

Everything he did tonight was good and Gospel-flavored. He leaves it all on the stage, with his natural ability to sing and to perform. He adds touches, like ripping off his jacket and his inner ear monitors. He’s a total package. We’d be shocked if he goes home. Seriously.

Judge’s Choice: He slayed Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind,’ nailing every single sweet spot. Out of 70,000 contestants, there is only one ‘Idol’ and he sang like he was the one. Hard to beat, for sure.

Personal Choice: He showed us he can do subdued with his soulful rendition of The Beatles‘ ‘Imagine.’

Jimmy Iovine’s Choice: Mary J. Blige‘s ‘No More Drama’ is the perfect marriage of R&B and church, and since J. Lo is like the male Mary J., the song played to all his strengths. He sang with a Gospel fire and came alive on the stage, ripping off that jacket.

JESSICA SANCHEZ:

She is going to have a long career in music since she has such a money voice. Her youth, though, make us think now is not the right time for her. That said, she continues to rack up flawless performances that are predictable. When she gets a little more life lived in her, that “edge” we desire will manifest itself. Overall, though, Bebe Chez can sing her patoot off and we predict massive things for her.

Judge’s Choice: The belter and last female standing offered up a beautifully refined rendition of Mariah Carey‘s ‘My All.’ She showed restraint and a quiet tenderness. We can’t deny it was pretty, even though it lacked any sort of edge.

Personal Choice: She went the ballad route with Aerosmith‘s ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.’ She hit all the notes but it wasn’t anything particularly moving. She struggles to “connect,” despite performing in flawless fashion.

Jimmy Iovine’s Choice: The Jackson 5′s ‘I’ll Be There’ was her Iovine selection and she once again delivered a quality rendition and showed off a soulful tone. It lacked that “WOW! OMG!” moment.

PHILLIP PHILLIPS:

The girls love him, and he is artistic, yet does his own thing without catering to anyone else. He also goes off the melody of his songs and twists them to create something unique. But tonight, for his final performance, he stuck to the melody and had the moment. If he’s not in the finals, it’ll be criminal.

Judge’s Choice: He owned the melody of Madcon’s ‘Beggin’,’ a song you likely never heard. While the DMB comparisons haunt the double P, he is a true artist and the way he handled the mid-section of the song had us buying what he was selling. Steven Tyler said once he writes his own songs, he’ll be a new age Boss, as in Bruce Springsteen. HUGE compliment.

Personal Choice: He sang Matchbox 20′s ‘Disease,’ giving it a bit of a funky, jazzy feel. Only Phillip Phillips can turn radio rock into something totally fresh and new. However, the judges hated it.

Jimmy Iovine’s Choice: The song has a great melody and an emotional and romantic timbre, but the masculine quality was the reason that Iovine chose Bob Seger‘s ‘We’ve Got Tonight.’ It played to PP’s male and female fanbase. We can sum it up in one simple word: SWOOOOOOOOON! Dressed in black and singing while seated, Phillips showed us a tender, leading man side. His voice changed shape and he ventured into new territory. The ending where he harmonized with the choir? We got goosies, J. Lo

Tune in tomorrow night (May 17) at 8PM on FOX to find who the Top 2 will be. PopCrush has been struggling with our prediction, but we’re going to thinking the final will feature Joshua Ledet vs. Phillip Phillips.

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