American Idol: Finale Performance Night - May 22, 2012

Finale Performance Night (Top 2) - May 22, 2012
Some quick thoughts on American Idol tonight before I head to bed. Will update more tomorrow with my in-depth commentary!

1. Jessica Sanchez - "I Have Nothing" A-
A very pretty performance from Jessica, who gave this one her all. Jessica is a true powerhouse vocalist and will hopefully have a huge career after this show. Sounds like Beyonce covering Whitney. Unfortunately, Jessica's degree of difficulty in the song that Simon Fuller chose for her was much higher than the one Simon selected for Philip. Does anyone else remember Shannon Magrane's cover of this song during Whitney Houston week? Jessica sang circles around Shannon with this version.

2. Philip Philips - "Stand By Me" A+
I actually said out loud "this will be boring" when Ryan announced Philip's song title. I was stunned by the result. My notes: "This was insanely unbelievable. Oh good God, that was unbelievable." Perfect arrangement and staging. This was by far one of his best performances on the Idol stage. He sounded perfect. I loved the way he took his time with the song and really turned a simple song into a huge moment. I didn't want to like it, but I LOVED IT.

3. Jessica Sanchez - "The Prayer" A+
Gorgeous and thoughtful. Jessica made a great song choice in picking her Vegas solo (a song she did not perform on a live show). Seemed fresh in comparison to Philip's choice. It was an achingly beautiful, restrained, yet emotional vocal from Jessica  I loved it and thought she really picked the perfect song for this moment on the show. If any performance could win her the title, it would be this one. I only wish she had been able to close the show with this perfect performance!

4. Philip Philips - "Movin' Out" B
A retread of his original performance. There was really nothing different I could notice about the two performances. I wished he had performed it slightly differently. I liked how in the beginning of the performance, it was dark with the spotlight just on Philip and I wished he had stuck with the acoustic opening to the performance throughout the entire song. Solid but nothing to write home about - good but not great. Like I said with my original review of this song, there is something slightly subversive about his performance which added another layer of depth to it. Oddly, it's still stuck in my head.

5. Jessica Sanchez - "Change Nothing" C+
An odd song choice for Jessica, both lyrically and musically. The pitch was too low on verses. And the lyrics describe a potentially damaging relationship that the singer's friends and family don't approve of - "Should have shut my mouth and kept it all to myself, 'cause now they've got me feeling like I should have been with somebody else". Certainly a bizarre song for a 16 year old girl to sing as her "original song" and "potential coronation song" on American Idol. I think Jessica did the best she could with the song but it wasn't pleasant to the ear and seemed all wrong in every way for Jessica. A lesser vocalist certainly would have tanked with this song and Jessica managed to pull it off, sort of.

I wouldn't really want to hear it again. I want an inspirational song, dammit! When "No Boundaries" seems good in comparison, you know you have a problem. I still tear up watching Kelly Clarkson win Season 1 on my American Idol DVD - confetti shower, fireworks, and "A Moment Like This". Probably the most singularly perfect American Idol moment ever. "Change Nothing" couldn't even come close to that, let alone decent wining anthems like "This Is My Now".

Some lyrics from "Change Nothing" (which have absolutely nothing inspirational in them):
They say we don't fit together
I could do better
There's always something
They don't know the hell we've been through
Cause when you hold me like you do
That's when I wanna change nothing

6. Philip Philips - "Home" D-
OOF. One of the worst performances on American Idol all season, vocally and musically. I think this song reveals the limitations of his voice. It's certainly not the type of song I would ever listen to. Many online reviewers are commenting that this song sounds a lot like Mumford & Sons. Well, that would make sense as to why I have such a strong negative opinion about this song! I HATE Mumford and Sons. It's just not my type of music in the slightest. I thought the staging was interesting with the drumline coming out during the repetitive "ooooooooh" part of the song. I can't find any lyrics to "Home" online - probably because a good portion of the song doesn't contain lyrics. Just inane "folksy" music. UGH.

Best performance of the night: Philip - "Stand By Me" or Jessica - "The Prayer"
Best overall of the night: Jessica
Best overall of the season (of the final 2): Jessica
WHY ON EARTH DID THEY GO HOME?!: Elise, Skylar, Joshua, Colton


Yankee Talk said…
Now that American Idol ended I look forward to some more great posts about topics I am a little more familiar with :)