I suppose it could be said that Phillip was already the winner when he learned how to play guitar, but I can pinpoint the exact moment it was all over — when Ryan asked the contestants, “What was your first impression when you walked down the stairs?” Jessica responded with some pageanty piffle about dreams. Phillip came back with, “blaglaglaglag”.
That underscored the great divide between the two contestants — one is pre-programmed and bland while the other goes for a loosey goosey fun vibe. Ironically, what Jessica said came off as “blaglaglaglag” while Phillip, in not so many words, said, “I’m here to sing, and I reject your stupid pageant question”. This is already in the books.
Urgh — Simon Fuller picked I Who Have Nothing for Jessica? Jebus, how may times are they going to do this song on this show? She was trying so hard to kill the song that she got really screechy. The robotic rendition lacked any killer notes or human emotion.
And wow – there was simply too much dress. It was so voluminous that she had to hand carry it.
Not that Fuller did any better for Phillip. Stand By Me is one of those songs that comes off as snoozy on the show. The lack of range in the song is the only plus for Phillip — trying in vain to hit the high notes in Time of Season a few weeks ago was one of the absolute low points of the season. Phillip tried to do some sort of country-ish arrangement, but I almost fell asleep listening to it.
Jessica went for The Prayer as her redux song. Apparently, she was trying to one up Phillip for eliciting snores. The song sounds like a boring Broadway number, and glory note or not, that was one snoozer of a performance. Even Jessica’s family wasn’t impressed.
Polite clapping from your own family is worse than hearing JLo start her critique with, “you look beautiful tonight”.
At first, I was not really getting Phillip’s decision of picking Movin’ Out as his redux performance. I had forgotten he even sang this song, but I came around to seeing what he was trying to accomplish here — he was showing that he can rearrange a song for artistic cred, and picked one that’s old enough for the Fraus to recognize. And in retrospect, picking your best performance to redo is inherently a diminishing returns proposition — if you don’t top it, it’s kind of a failure. Case in point — when Adam Lambert did Mad World for his finale, it just wasn’t as good as his original performance. So Movin’ Out turned out to be a pretty savvy choice for Phillip.
After an entire season of 2 hour performance shows, this one is zooming by (skipping Jason Derulo made it fly by even faster). Jessica picks Change Nothing as her coronation song. This was a powerhouse performance of an incredible piece of songwriting — the quality of her voice and emotion oozed out of every impeccably crafted lyric. I think Jessica won the night and the competition with one of the greatest vocals in Idol history. Or at least, that’s what I would have written if I lived in Bizarro World.
Unfortunately for Jessica, the song is like something Kara DioGuardi wiped her ass with, and Jessica sounded terrible, swinging from an uneven lower register to a keening upper register sprinkled with some off-key shrieks. The heart of the problem is this — Jessica is a very good copycat singer, but faced with having to create something without a blueprint to work from, it all fell apart. Or in other words, Jessica is a great karaoke singer. You’re not going to get anything more from 16 year old home schooled girl with awkward social skills than karoke. In the biggest moment of the season, Jessica laid and egg.
JLo’s reaction said it all – Jesica’s sole hope was to blow Phillip out of the water vocally to possibly shame viewers to vote for her. But instead, she got completely outclassed on her own turf.
Trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, JLo said that Jessica was going to “make many records”. But the question is, how many of those will be independent iTunes releases after her label drops her?
I realize now that one of the other reasons the show is breezing along is the limited time they gave to the judges. They’re terrible, as always.
Phillip picked a coronation song called Home, another savvy selection. It was a countrified, Paul Simon-esque choice that will have all three demos (girls, fraus, and Southerners) voting like crazy. It’s also not the kind of vomitous dreck Jessica picked, although there was a slight misstep when the falsetto at the end was teetering on the verge of being agonizing to listen to. ASSUMING he wins (giggle snort), Home is the best coronation song since A Moment Like This, with a bare minimum of the of cloying syrup that typically swamps these types of songs, and it was replete with a catchy hook that my wife was humming after the song ended. I can’t remember the last time the best performance of the finale was actually the coronation song.
Oh, and remember the rumor I mentioned about the two hooking up? The show ended with Jessica doing hip bumps against Phillip as he made googly eyes over her.
So is it possible for Jessica to win American Idol? Yes, if she learns to play guitar, gets a sex change, and comes back to the show as “Jesse Manchez”.
But it ain’t gonna be this year. Philip is the WGWG Monster that will take the crown.
And so it will go until the show is cancelled. Or they could just fix the voting. I’m going with cancelled.
WGWG6 is only a year away. Blaglaglaglag everyone!