More commonly known as “The Week When They All Go Home”.
Joshua Ledet: This was always going to be an interesting week, elimination-wise, because we’ve known for ages that the decision at Top 3 is not so much “who goes home?” as it is “who gets to join Phillip in the final?” I feel like Joshua really laid it out on the table this week and did all he could – but perhaps that’s exactly where he went wrong, because Joshua’s frequently most impressive when he’s not trying so hard. Let’s get the home visit out of the way first; to begin with, I was quite surprised to discover that there are parts of Louisiana not overrun with vampires and were-cougars and whatnot; does this mean True Blood is not in fact a documentary? I actually found Josh’s home visit quite moving, because a lot of the time when people were screaming his name and he was being shepherded around by minders, he just had this brilliant look of “I can’t believe this is all for my benefit” look on his face. It was almost as good as the look of slight boredom he wore when he had to go and listen to his father’s church congregation sing about him, a look which said “I was mere feet away from Nicki Minaj a few weeks ago; this no longer impresses me.” But yeah, I guess he didn’t do a lot on his home visit aside from making a lot of derp faces about how ridiculous it all was. So, song choices? Well, he started with ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, where I was paying more attention to the fact that he’d been given a black-and-red microphone to go with his black-and-red suit and thinking how awesome that was, but it was vocally decent, and not too over the top. ‘Imagine’ was less successful, and probably what did him in, because not only was it boring, but apparently the red states don’t like being asked to imagine there’s no heaven. That, you see, would mean THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON, or something. Finally, Fraggleface picked ‘No More Drama’ by Mary J Blige for him, which Joshua of course performed with as much drama as possible. God love him. SCORES: I’d Rather Go Blind 8/10; Imagine 5/10; No More Drama 9/10
(I’ll miss you Joshua! Not so much for this week though… I’d Rather Go Blind : 6/10, Imagine : 6/10, No More Drama : 7/10)
Jessica Sanchez: I feel kind of sorry for Steve that I pulled by far the more interesting home-visits to talk about amongst the three finalists (I would talk about who got the more interesting performances to talk about, but we all know that’s a zero-sum game this week, given that they were all HORRIFICALLY BORING). We’ll get to Phillip in a minute, but Jessica was never more endearing to me than during this footage, where she was helicoptered around San Diego, just staring back at all the people blindly screaming for her, not really knowing what’s going on. It all had the slight air of a girl who had been volunteered to be thrown into a volcano to save the Mayan villagers from its impending eruption…except nobody had told her that yet. She looked like she just didn’t understand why all these people LOVED her so much (guess they didn’t cover public relations in whichever home-school she went to) and based on her performances this week, you could probably understand her befuddlement. Whoever gave her Mariah Carey to sing was just mean because not even the hearty little ninja singing robot that is Jessica Sanchez could scale something like “My All” and sound good. The first half was fine (if a little uncomfortably close to Angelica Bell’s Patented Fame Academy Old Chinese Lady voice for comfort), but the second half was a train-wreck. The rest? “I’ll Be There” and (*deep breath*) “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”? Really? The former felt like a performance from American Idol 2002, and even in the name of amazingly calculated playing to the judgery I can’t get behind the latter. I hope whoever’s picking her songs for the finale is a little bit less determined to bring out her pageanty side, because I don’t know if I can deal with another week of this. I’m ratty enough that she was the one chosen to lose to Phillip in the finale over Joshua, she at least better go out entertaining. SCORES : My All 5/10, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing 4/10, I’ll Be There 6/10
(I honestly thought she’d ruined her chance at making the final with those song choices, but all things considered, I’m glad she made it. SCORES: My All 5/10; I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing 5/10; I’ll Be There 4/10)
Phillip Phillips: OK, now here’s where the Home Visits get REALLY GOOD. I know Nigel Lythgoe must hate the teens and the housewives for taking his beloved celebration of the diversity and range of vocal talent that America has to offer, and turning it into some sort of recognition test, as women bash the buttons for white men with guitars like chimpanzees mash the triangle button to get a banana. But really, there was no need to portray them as ravenous she-beasts, caged up and screaming, and possibly tazered and hosed down, as Phillip is led away in an army jeep. It felt like the beginning of Dawn Of The Dead. I fully expected Phillip to have to hole up in a mall as zombie housewives shoveled Adam Lambert CDs into their arms and groped around for Phillip’s BRAAAAAAAAAAAAINS. And other organs. The performances? Apparently this was the week that America finally came to terms with Phillip’s impending victory, and started pretending that he was SUBJECTIVELY GREAT, like when Lee did The Boxer adequately and everybody wet themselves, because it meant there was some sort of “legitimate” reason he could win over Bowersox, who turned it out every week, often into a bong. I’m just a bit depressed that it was over “We Got Tonight” of all songs. Don’t try to sell that shit to me as a “moment”. Phillip also did two other songs this week, one growly, one tedious. I wouldn’t trouble your brain trying to remember which was which – one of them was by Matchbox Twenty or God’s sake. That’s never worthy of your brain-cells. SCORES : Beggin 6/10, Disease 4/10, We’ve Got Tonight 5/10
(Worst winner ever? Unless he really pulls it out of the bag next week, I vote yes. SCORES: Beggin’ 4/10; Disease 6/10; We’ve Got Tonight 5/10)