Friday, 25 May 2012

American Idol. And The Winner is...

Trying to keep away from announcements of the winner, tweets, news bulletins, Google+ and Facebook has meant that I've had virtually to hibernate for two days! I genuinely still don't know what the result is and am writing this live with the UK showing.

After the seriously odd anti-climax of Part 1, which is usually the exciting and best part when the last two really turn on all that they have to attract as many votes as they can, I have no idea what to expect tonight but it can only improve...

Well, white suits certainly put a smile on my face! I am just trying to imagine what Phillip would ahve said had he come 3rd and been asked to don the white gear and do the sing-a-long and dance bit!! He must be so relieved. And the organisers.

Shannon is so tall.

That was all totally pointless but nice to see the whole gang again.

Ryan tells us that an extraordinary 132 million votes were cast. With numbers like that then it probably doesn't matter who sang what in the first part. If Jessica has managed to get the whole of The Philippines and Mexico dialling then - who knows - she may have got 130 million of them.

My own preference is for Jessica to win. I feel she could be the future star and appeal to the music generation of youngsters out there and transfer from the US too. Phillip is solid and pretty much faultless in terms of notes and stuff but he seldom seems to be challenged or doing anything that special. The single written for him is cool. But that's as far as he goes.

Phillip gets first bash at convincing us he's worth all the effort with a performance with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Now I bought all their albums when they came out so that guy must be getting on for 70 but looks younger than he does on the cover of Cosmo's Factory! Crazy. They do a couple of tracks. All good stuff. I do like Who'll Stop the Rain.

Joshua next. Is he in the Final after all? Everyone's thinking he should be. Fantasia comes on and squawks at him quite a lot. Both of them head for the audience and frighten the pants off the front row. They seem to keep going, squawking ever louder and annoyingly. Eventually the ads appear, presumably while the producers try and shut them up and shove them off the stage.

Jessica must be wondering whether everyone's forgotten her.

Chukka Khan comes next and a string of stars including Rihanna doing great stuff. Well, with all the money from 132 million votes they can afford to splash out.

Finally Jessica gets a chance. A perfect version of I Will Always Love You. Beautiful. Pity there's no more votes to gather. But then she disappears again and we get the Top 12 prancing around and doing cover versions again. How come Phillips gets two shots with the old guy and Jessica gets just one repeat of an earlier track? I'm beginning to think she may have a chance of winning after all and they're saving her for the end.

Neil Diamond!? Good grief! this show certainly pulls in the stars, albeit those from my day more than today. (OK, I know, Rihanna and Fantasia are current but most of the numbers the idols do and a good number of the guests are older than I am and I'm pretty ancient.)

Jennifer Lopez gets to promote her new releases. They're OK but her baggy pants look silly. In fact there was one part with a female backing singer whose voice was really good. No idea who she was.

We then get a couple of old idols on stage and the guy proposes to the girl who does actually look genuinely surprised. Luckily she says 'yes'. Oh boy, this is a strange show tonight.

Hollie comes on and starts You'll Never Walk Alone a bit uncertainly. then introduces Jordin Sparks who is twice as tall and has a far more expensive dress. For a short while Jordin seems to be demonstrating just how the song should sung but then Hollie finds her confidence and blows the big girl out of the water with her performance. Jessica  is still missing and is probably wondering what sort of job she'd have made of that. My guess is that she would have started better than Hollie but not finished as well and would have been tempted to do some runs and wobbly bits that simply wouldn't have suited that classic track. personally, I still prefer Gerry & The Pacemakers' original version. I think it was them, at any rate. Perhaps they'll come on in a moment. they're so old that they probably do have pacemakers now. talking of 'moments', if anything, Jordin and Hollie did provide a bit of a moment there. remembering earlier years, though, we're missing that special Christina Aguilera or Lady Gaga performance. Now they were moments.

Oh dear, poor Robin must have been turning in his grave as the guys attempted the first of a medley of Bee Gee numbers. Awful. Colton rescues things but has to cope with the other four coming in at the wrong times and in the wrong key to ruin the next number. Finally, Joshua fixes things with his pretty passionate interpretation of To Love Somebody and just about manages to drwon out the idiots backing him who really should have been left sitting in the audience for this show.

I had thought that this series was going to be a bit special with what appeared to be some real talent. It seems that many got worse over the weeks instead of getting better.

Now we get Jessica, with Jennifer Halliday. Compare that to Phillip and Fogerty. Hmmm. No. No comparison. I'm not particularly fond of the scrunchy vocal performances that the Jennifer woman does but you have to be impressed with Jessica, probably one sixth the age of the other but actually sounding the better of the two. Still don't think that Jessica's best style, though.

Hello. Aerosmith! Steven Tyler has a new record to promote now. All good stuff and he seems to have altered some words to include reference to the idol girls. I heard Jessica, Jennifer and Hollie. Legendary being the not so clever title as it sounds more like Letch In The Dairy or Ledge 'N Hairy. Before he has a chance to get himself in trouble with the Protect Our Youth Brigade they morph into Walk This Way and all is fairly safe after all and the very innocent under 18s are not in any way provided with unsuitable or suggestive material. They still have to wait until their 18 to do what most of Europe is doing at 15 these days. Or 21 if it involves alcohol. I suppose Steven is this year's Lady Gaga.

Phillip must have fallen asleep by now behind the curtain. Someone needs to wake him up during the ad break. There's only 14 minutes left. That's 6 minutes, allowing for ads and him singing the new single and smiling inanely as the bags of glitter burst above him. Well, that's what I think will happen next. I may be wrong.

Piano intro. It's Jessica. And Phillip, now in black. He did look ridiculous in white. Up Where We Belong kinda works but it's like Jessica is the lead singer and he's just one of the backing guys. Pretty bland, to be honest. It's returning to the dire stuff we had in Part 1.

OK. Here we go. Dim the lights...

The audience is so much in favour in Phillip. So just as well he won. The bookies were right all along. And he definitely has the best single.

That's it. Season 11 is over.

American Idol: The Final Pt 1

This is supposed to be the climax of the whole thing but it was strangely lame.


If I Don't Have You
A good start but she is starting to miss one or two notes. She's still amazing for a 16 year old on such a massive stage and I'll forgive some nerves but hope that she gets it together next time.


Stand By Me
This is too good a song to mess up. Who told him to smile? At all the wrong times too. I didn't like that at all.

First Round definitely to Jessica.


The Prayer
Well done. Not amazing but well done and maybe a cool move to get the religious votes in.


Moving Out
Just not much more than a copy of the Billy Joel number. This is boring. He is not doing himself any favours at all but then Jessica hasn't exactly played any trump cards either. Still, I do love that girl with the clarinet. I'd vote for her.

Second Round to the clarinet girl.


Change Nothing
At last, something that should suit her, sounding younger. It's still not the pop song that she needs but this is fairly strong, I suppose. It's just nowhere near as good as she deserves for such a huge opportunity. I mean, this is the last chance she has to get people voting and that average stuff isn't right. Someone has made a big mistake.


This is far, far better. It's a really commercial song and a clear winner for him. A nice arrangement. In fact, despite losing out in the first two rounds he could well win this thing with that. Jessica must be well annoyed. In fact, Phillip could have won Eurovision with that!

So that's that. Quite a frustrating show that didn't live up to all the hype at all. Very disappointing and nothing memorable, no moments at all.

My guess is that Phillip will win after that but for all the wrong reasons.

Friday, 18 May 2012

There are 91 million votes in Bataan (and Westlake and Leesburg pop. 2965)

91 million votes! Boy, that's a lot. To get to the final, contestants needed a third of them.

Watching Joshua perform It's A Man's World as he left the competition, you just have to say that there goes someone who may well rank as one of the best finds by the Series in all its 11 years. I would love to have seen him in the final with Jessica which I believe could have been quite something and, like the X Factor final, of a quality that ought to silence some of those who just think this is just another cheesy reality TV show with a big budget.

By chance one of the other hugely talented finds of the Series was also performing as a guest tonight. Adam Lambert is quite extraordinarily brilliant and, at times, he could almost have been giving Joshua lessons in how to run round notes and elicit lyrics without losing them. If only someone could write Adam some decent tracks. Looking forward to seeing how he fills Freddie Mercury's space on the stage with Queen for the British Jubilee celebration performances.

One surprise tonight was Lisa Marie Presley. She sang You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet which might well have been written by David Lynch. It had that dark, moody feel, emphasised by some very cool guitar work, that I could imagine accompanying a Lynch film. Quite out of place here but interesting for all that.

Another surprise was Ryan bringing our attention to a clip of Phillip's dad packing heat in clear view on the homecoming video. I am just trying to imagine how that would go down on a British show. It is all very strange. Steven gets told off big time for some references about a couple of 16 year olds but we Brits aren't allowed to see Coca Cola and get red blob instead of cups on the judges' bench!

Joshua leaving wasn't a surprise. He didn't deserve to go but it wasn't a surprise with 91 million votes split between them. My bet is that it was Phillip that got the surprise - as he probably has every week since he started! Jessica had better take every bit of Jimmy's advice between now and next week, though. That's all I can say as we approach the end of another American Idol series.

The Top 3 Perform

To all intents and purposes, this is the Finale and this is American Idol! Yes, there'll be a final next week between two of these three to choose the name that appears in the list of Series winners but any of Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips could be that name.


Tonight, they perform three tracks: the first chosen by the judges, then their own choice and, lastly, one chosen for them by Jimmy Iovine. All nine performances can be seen here. Joshua, to my mind, destroys I'd Rather Go Blind and had me rushing to dig out a copy of Christine McVie's version which captures the emotions that Joshua's gnarled vowels simply didn't. He is excellent with the other choices, though, but his last track may not be one that is familiar to many. He is one very talented guy and could well be the one who should win but doesn't. I just don't think America's voters will go for so much of that drama and wish he had stayed cool as he is really very good and will definitely be around and selling albums very soon.

Jessica attempts the Mariah Carey track and almost stretches her amazing talents too far, missing some key notes and even, perhaps, displaying some nerves in her first song. After that, though, it seems as if she has realised that she's going to win, or, at very least, become really famous at 16 whatever happens and for the Aerosmith number and the sheer inspired choice by Jimmy to finish with she manages to hit not only all the right notes but also looks wonderful and the camera absolutely adores her. On its own, I think I'll Be There, could win her this thing. A stroke of genius, not only to bring back the fond memory of Michael Jackson but she has his voice and his range and even wore black and exactly the right shade of red. This was Jessica as the artist I can imagine loads of teenagers buying and following and releasing tracks that will sell and take over the charts, possibly even crossing the pond to UK too as we have no-one quite like her at this time whilst we do have quite a few Joshuas.

She is the star, whatever happens.

Phillip's success each week has always been a surprise to me. I don't think he has ever featured in the lower regions of the voting stats. Yes, he's a nice guy, very liekable and delightfully original and unaffected by all the razzamatazz but I don't know where he fits in to this type of show. I'm glad he's done well and cannot think of anyone who deserves the third place he ought to have (but I suspect won't) any more as all those who have gone before have lacked something too. What he doesn't lack is appeal to all the girls out there who must account for such consistent high figures throughout the live shows. That, indeed, could propel him to take the title but, to my mind, third place is where he belongs. His interpretation of Beggin' was excellent. He then goes pretty wild for his own choice which struck me as neither here nor there. He ends really well, though, (again, thanks to the remarkable Jimmy Iovine,) with We've Got Tonight which his fans will have adored and will have had them reaching for their phones almost before he finished. I couldn't help but notice, as you will now, his left hand movements throughout but someone does finally seem to have given him some strong words about the ridiculous and quite off-putting facial expressions.

So, in summary, watch the performances - they're all damn good in their way - and, however the votes go, we'll be watching even more by two of them in the Final. I think Joshua will go although it should be Phillip. Jessica is by a long, long way the stand-out star. She is the idol. She looks and sounds and now even seems to behave the part and she will be there in the Final. Phillip will be there with her in quite an odd assortment of music when, if he repeats the bonfire of the stylishly weird and plays the commercial cards, he may well get his name on the Series Winners roll. If Jessica develops further those camera talents and appealing looks and gets such inspired tracks as Jimmy produced this time - or repeats I Will Always Love You then it is hers for the taking.

You just have to feel a bit sorry for Joshua. It really should be him in the Final.

I'd Rather Go Blind

My All



I Don't Want To Miss A Thing


No More Drama

I'll Be There

We've Got Tonight

Friday, 11 May 2012

Hollie takes 4th Place On American Idol

California Dreaming starts off the results show which is almost like part two of the Finale itself, with the standard this being so high. I still feel Phillip is uncomfortable in these group affairs and both and he and Joshua sound out of place in these harmony affairs. It's not his bag. The girls, however, were spot on and reproduced Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips nicely.

Phillip is first up and Jimmy reckons that he's found his niche at last. the saxophone did it for him, much as for me. You get the impression that he'll be safe - first up, I'd expect him to be in the bottom two but Ryan plays around and we have to wait.

Hollie next for the Jimmy judgement and I expect him to be honest and predict that she's the one to go. He did but we still have to wait. It all sounds very much like she's going to take 4th place. Anything else would be a shock. We've had several so far, two of which she won - a third time would be a bit much to ask.

David Cook interrupts proceedings with his latest number - a good, well-written rock track that I wondered how Phillip might have delivered in comparison. Not as well. David's voice and bearing were what won over the voters that year and Phillip simply doesn't match that.

Joshua gets the honest review and also has to wait. Jessica gets similar treatment. Nice to hear that even Jimmy genuinely can't predict the winner, although I think he was referring to the J v J contest there behind the scenes, including H and P out of fairness in public.

Just one thought does go through my head during the ads: where does Jessica's support actually lie and how much is it with people who vote? Hollie's supporters really could be the mad diallers, just as I would expect Phillip's females who weren't put off by his pretty girlfriend last week. Either could, possibly, knock Jessica into 4th place. It has happened before. Only Phillip has never been at risk so I guess we have to assume that he's made it through again? Then it's between the two girls and just who has brought out the most votes rather than who performed best on the night. If Hollie kept hers on board whilst Jessica's much older-style image appealed to a different audience and left hers behind who were wanting a youngster singing a ballad or pop song then that shock may yet come.

Jennifer had the benefit of a backing track and was able to concentrate on a cool set of moves with some ugly-looking blokes on the stage. A good, commercial track but I was wondering just what Joshua would have made of the lyrics. Then you had to wonder what Hollie and Jessica, both 'under age' in the States, were thinking or, for that matter, the stricter members of the viewing public. Jennifer essentially showed the difference between the ages and it would really only be Phillip who would be 'allowed' to appreciate the words and moves!

Jessica is the first announced as in the Top 3. Next is Joshua. So, it is between Phillip and Hollie. Frustratingly we have to wait through another ad break.

It's Philip who makes the Finale. Farewell Hollie - a good run and very creditable 4th place in an outstanding AI2012.

It's A Man's Man's, Joshua's World

This should be some show. The two rounds are California Dreaming featuring tracks with some relationship to the East Coast city and Music I Wish I'd Written, a nice idea where the four remaining contestants attempt to do tracks that have inspired them most.



Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Another CCR track - they're popular this year. the crowd really do love this guy and, obviously, the voting crowd too, despite Jimmy Iovine's reasonable comments last week.

This is a great song but the growl approach that Phillip seems to adopt every time now I am beginning to find a bit annoying and not like the Fogerty original which did work. However, a very cool-looking grirl with a saxophone topped off this performance and turned it from bland to quite enjoyable. I still can't rate this guy that highly but this won't have done him any harm so it's still for the others to beat him.


Forever Yours, Faithfully
I think that ws the title of the Journey song. Not one I knew well but that is a super song and well-suited to both this stage of the competition and her style. It seemed a little low for her - the word faithfully at the end of several stanzas being almost lost - but she pulled through and raised her game really nicely at the end. I genuinely loved that song and wish her well but still can't be sure just what support she has. With luck she'll have captured more of Skylar's fans than Jessica will have done so the omens are good. The thing about Hollie, though, is that somehow you just can't be sure. Star quality is emerging now and she is being dressed and styled really well but Jessica and Joshua have a big start on her - a lot to make up, so much depends on what Jessica does. Much as I'd like to see both in the Finale, I feel Phillip's fan club will just launch him i there whatever he does. Joshua is a certainty so there's only room for one of the girls.


You Raise Me Up
I was expecting this to be a remarkable performance. It seemed just right for him, anthem-like and lots of choir and church stuff. But, no, this was full of odd notes, tin in the voice and inappropriate squawks and efforts to make it come across better. I thought that was actually pretty poor. Maybe he's nervous. Maybe that squawking and chewing of the words he does is beginning to tire. If he had simply delivered the goods that would have been fine. Trying too hard. He won't have won over extra votes there.


Steal Away
Strange jazz blues number that she seems to enjoy doing. Lots of range in there, from growling to the high notes but I didn't actually like it much. Odd notes here and there to my ears too but maybe I just didn't know the track well enough. All credit to her for not going down the predictable and commercial route but I do feel that maybe she might need to.

Hollie won that round by quite a clear margin in my book. I know I've been backing her all the way but that is genuinely the performance by the person who I feel, from those tracks, at least, most suits being an American Idol in 2012.

Phillips & Joshua

This Love
The Maron 5 number really suited them both. Excellent. As Steven said, whoever picked that (Nigel) did a brilliant job. Particularly, Joshua was relaxed and didn't chew up the words. Interesting to note that Phillip has yet to adopt any designer clothes whilst the other three are looking increasingly impressive.

Hollie & Jessica

Eternal Flame
Not bad. I preferred The Bangles. Jessica tried to 'win' on some notes and, notably, on the last note, hung on just that little bit longer, maybe trying to make up for being given just the low notes throughout which did rather give Hollie the better audience pleasers.

All four then sing-a-long with I've Been Waiting which suited none of them that well. Jessica possibly came over best that time, but not a great deal in it. Basically, all eneded up pretty even after those three joint efforts. Now, back to their individual efforts to kick one of the others out of that imminent Finale.


Missed the title but that was the type of song that this guy should be doing as an artist. It worked, mainly as it wasn't unnatural or forced and mercifully free of the facial contortions. Best performance from him so far. That could see him through if the screaming crowd doesn't.


I Can't Make You Love Me
Very impressive performance. Not easy for her to get the emotion across and just not the 'moment' she needed. After all the praise that Phillip got, and we know Joshua will get and that Jessica will somehow force out of the judges with a far better choice of track, those comments from the judges will have hurt. She has left herself very vulnerable which is a shame as I think she genuinely did try and she did show that she can sing so well and the notes and how she presented everything were otherwise faultless.


It's A Man's Man's World
And every compliment he got for that was deserved indeed. That was excellent. Absolutely perfect for him, that should not only take him through very safely but that remarkable song and the way he presented it, with far less chewing at last, could well be remembered for long enough for voters to be inspired enough to vote for him and give him the title.


I'm Telling You
Wow! That was powerful and full of all the emotion that she needed to show for a second 'moment'. A remarkable performance and, in some ways, it was better than Joshua's in so far as this was a far more difficult one and she put so much in to it. Amazing. Well done. No-one, not even Hollie's fans, would be sad to see Hollie defeated by these two.

All that remains to be seen, with Joshua and Jessica surely sure-fire certainties for the Finale, is just how strong Phillip's votes really are in comparison to Hollie's. On every 'non-idol' criteria, Phillip wins that battle. As someone with potential to make the big time and succeed as a major artist, it would be Hollie but even she loses out at this stage to the two Js.

Friday, 4 May 2012

American Idol: the one with Coldplay, Carrie and wind and Phillip's fans send Skylar home

Well we knew Joshua was going to be safe and Ryan gets that out of the way pretty smartly.

Coldplay follow with the first of two performances. Paradise was decidedly dodgy  but at least it confirmed that they were singing live, possibly one of the first for a while. I expected him to say "Sorry" at the end as not only was Chris struggling to hit the notes but his band seemed to be playing in different time zones. If he doesn't make up for that then Gwyneth will give him hell when he gets home.

Hollie Kavenagh -Photo from
Hollie and Phillip are brought centre stage. Now, as Jimmy so lucidly put it, and almost anyone other than a mad Phillip fan would agree, Phillip deserved to go after those lazy and uninspiring performances and, certainly out of the two, it was Hollie who had been the star. What happens? Exactly the opposite! Phillip must have some fan base. Oh dear.

Jessica Sanchez

Carrie Underwood does a track about Oklahoma wind and looks stunning in an expensive white dress that gets nicely blown away from time to time and that brings a few appreciative whistles from the men in the audience. (Strange that they don't do that when Rhianna, Lady Gaga or Christina perform with far more exposed.) This is one expensive show tonight. I kept looking at Carrie, not just because of the dress but also thinking how well Hollie could have performed the same track.

Next up are the remaining pair, Skylar and Jessica. Now that's a difficult choice in some ways. On replay, Skylar sounded the more accomplished, albeit not at her best and Jessica seemed just a little desperate to impress with her first number but still superbly presenting the second. America has shown its uncertainty about Jessica a couple of weeks ago and I was expecting the same to happen again but, no, it was indeed Skylar who joined Hollie in the bottom two.

Coldplay again. That was better. Chris obviously had a word with the boys backstage.

Dim the lights ... it's Skylar who finsihes fifth.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Sopranos Star On American Idol. And then there was Joshua.

So now it's down to Hollie, Jessica, Joshua, Phillip and Skylar. One of these will be American Idol 2012. To help voters cut one more from that list they see them perform tracks from the 60s and BritPop! Now, that's a great combination.

Then we get told that Steven Van Zandt, an East Coast guy, friend of The Boss and Sopranos star is helping Jimmy Iovine do the mentoring bit. Ah! That'll be for the 60s bit, I guess.


River Deep, Mountain High
Jimmy was absolutely right again in saying that it is all about her attitude, how she comes across to the audience and this time she really seems to have taken notice and had a brilliant time with this very difficult song. No faults and one great start to the show. She let go and it showed - and it worked so well. This was a potential star performing at last, not just a talented contestant in a reality TV show. Ryan notices and remarks that "Something's going on for you" with a hint about her next song too which is interesting. For probably the first time she gets genuinely good reviews from all the judges too and this has certainly set the bar high for the other four tonight.

If she can do this well with only bare understanding of the lyrics then what will she be able to do once life and loves have had an impact?


The Letter
I always feel that this guy is chewing the lyrics and this he did in spades this time. The Box Tops' version was a simple song, just a few notes and over in an instant. He mashed it all up and turned it inside out and lost the melody completely. Just a lot of noise. He's good at what he does in a jazz way but I can't see any real reason for him still challenging the other four now. Ryan pointing out Phillip's very attractive girlfriend in the audience might have lost a bunch of girl fan votes too, although, with only Joshua to compete with for them, that weird smile might just get him enough to survive, against all odds.


Fortunate Son
A great song that should get her lots of votes from across the board. Nice. She put a lot into it and you could tell it was not something she knew too well. More of a 'performance' than we've had from her of late. frantic and a bit breathless but enjoyable enough for all that.

Now we see a duet  between Phillip and Joshua. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling sounds like it ought to be a good number for both of them. But, oh dear, this is not an easy song by any stretch of the imagination. Joshua carries Phillip from as soon as he comes in, an inspired performance by one and very poor by the other.


Proud Mary
Another Creedence Clearwater Revival track. Not what I would have suggested she try. Neil Diamond comes to mind as better. However, she was on good raunchy and range form and, as always, she had great rhythm and excellent notes. She looked quite a deal older than her 16 years but not as attractive as Hollie and this didn't match either of her two female rivals.


Ain't Too Proud To Beg
It sould like it should be a good track for this guy. And it sure was. I felt we were watching the winner this time. Boosted by his earlier rescue of the duet, this was assured and excellent. Faultless and Steven calls him one of the top 2 vocalists of all time. That'll please him. I'm still not sure, though, whether he'll get his fair share of the votes as deserved, with the background support in the audience noticeably dimmer than for Phillip.

In the second round, it's tracks from British acts.


Hollie goes first again and gives us her version of a recent hit for one of X Factor's best finds, Leona Lewis's Bleeding Love. This might well have been a number Jessica could have scored heavily with - Hollie gives a different approach to Leona but actually, and this is quite surprising, actually more credible. Now that is interesting. all we need now is a track that we can totally identify her with, or with her. I think it needs to be an anthem. I hope she'll get a chance next week if the three girl vote split goes her way. This was a good performance again and she is looking the best of the three girls at the moment, well on her way to a final that I would have not expected her to make a few weeks ago. Her voice is strong and very clear, and accurate. Add that extra bit of passion and believability that has been absent to date and this is one dark horse.


Phillips's second number is the Zombie's Time Of The Season. This has not been covered to my knowledge, which is an indication of how it is quite a unique track and not something you'd expect to here on American Idol. It kind of suited him. For a change he did just cover a number. He gets huge adulation again from the crowd but this is very forgettable and I just don't see why he is still around other than the fact that he is the sole white male. he may have his talents in a slightly peculiar and jazz-like way but others who have been ejected from this process to date would have been far better at this stage of the competition in my view.

Jessica, Skylar and Hollie do the Jackie Wilson number Higher and Higher. Jessica seems desperate and a bit over-competitive. Skylar is the natural performer, at ease but not very inspiring this time. Hollie seems the winner of the three for this track, in charge and reliable, although, to be honest, this was not a memorable moment on the show.


You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
A good choice. Whilst she is no Dusty Springfrield, I can see her country fans liking this soulful and honest rendition that might have been one of the best of the night. However, she missed a lot of notes and went off track quite badly, really spoiling it for anyone listening at the end. From very cool to worryingly off in one track. This might cost her a lot.


You're So Beautiful
Again, this could be her 'moment' or another one. A brilliant choice. Beautiful start and continuing to a lovely performance that, whilst not as magical as her earlier round YouTube record breaker had been, this was very good and really ought to have bought her ticket for the Top 4.


To Love Somebody
Now this is one of my all time favourite tracks. What will he do with it? It's beauty for me is its simplicity. Joshua didn't destroy it as he might have done at all. In fact, he kept it remarkably restrained whilst letting go near the end but this time letting go in a controlled and very impressive way. It was pretty damn good and that just has to be not only the performance of the night but may be enough to see him through to the final, never mind the Top 4.

The judges were well over the top with comments from Jennifer gushing out that he was the best singer for over 50 years sounding slightly ridiculous. No, very ridiculous and, actually, that won't have helped his chances. He will be getting a record deal, that's for sure and there were plenty of hints from Jimmy and Steven that they'll be doing something with him (as well as being instructed very clearly by Jennifer to choose the right tracks for him to ensure he does stay!)

I think we could have been watching a winner here. We know one of the five will win and, despite Jessica's appeal, I believe Joshua and Hollie won this evening. Phillip ought to be the one going home but a less than popular Jessica or off-form Skylar may lose out to his big fan base. It'll be a close call as even Joshua may not have the volume of votes that his remarkable performances tonight might justify. And Hollie has been in the bottom two or three rather more often than any of the others. All have a reason to be vulnerable.