The Season 11 “American Idol” Final 3 hit the stage on Wednesday night in their second to last push at winning the title, and after three rounds of performances, it might just end up an all-male final round next week.
Joshua Ledet had three flawless performances that impressed the judges, especially in the middle round when he took on John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Tackling the number by his own choice, Judge Jennifer Lopez said Joshua’s phrasing and restraint on the emotional ballad made the singer so “very special.”
Phillip Phillips too had a great night, and while he didn’t put in a power-punch in his middle round, the singer wowed the panel in his show-closing number.
Mentor Jimmy Iovine picked the contestants’ last song of the night, and for Phillip it was Bob Seger’s “Why Don’t You Stay.”
Adding an orchestra, Phillip brought his emotions to the song and Randy suggested he peaked at the right time.
For Jessica though, she had a rougher night. There was a bum note at the end of her second round number, “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,” and her last song of the night, The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” lacked the passion exhibited by the other contestants.
Here’s a recap of what happened across the three rounds:
Round 1: The Judges’ Choice
Joshua Ledet performed Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”
Steven Tyler said: “Out of 70,000, there’s only one American Idol and you sang like that one tonight.”
Jessica Sanchez performed Mariah Carey’s “My All”
Steven Tyler: “Jessica, when you sing, you make people hang on your every note… I hope you just get used to encores, and in another crazy kind of way, you’ll be the last one standing here, I believe.”
Phillip Phillips tackled “Beggin’” by Madcon
Jennifer Lopez said (above the screams of the crowd, who didn’t stop cheering while she gave her critique): “You catch a groove in a song that is all yours and you just ride that all the way home and it – it was great!”
Round 2: The Contestant’s Choice
Joshua Ledet interpreted “Imagine”
Jennifer said: “[You’re] very special… I really love watching you.”
Jessica Sanchez took on Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”
Steven said: “You just took a great song and made it greater.”
Phillip Phillips tried out “Disease” by Matchbox Twenty
Randy said: “It was just such a subdued moment from you… I wanted a bigger look from you now.”
Round 3: Jimmy Iovine’s pick
Joshua Ledet tackled Mary J. Blige’s hit “No More Drama”
Steven: “I watched you and I felt the last 40 years of the music business.”
Jessica Sanchez performed The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There”
Randy: “I liked it OK, I didn’t love it… We’re at the end here.. [There] was never a moment, moment. It needed like a moment, moment, moment.”
Phillip Philips performed (with an orchestra) Bob Seger’s “Why Don’t You Stay”
Randy: “The perfect song at the perfect time and your best performance on the show ever.”