Randy namedrops Mariah because he can't not, and adds that although he always warns people not to do her songs, this was one of the best times a Mariah song was performed on TV. Jennifer says the difficulty showed a bit in the middle, but it was beautiful. Steven says Jessica makes people hang on her every note. I think he's correct, in that there was a note for every human on earth. He also predicts Jessica as the winner. "Tenderness achieved," Ryan tools before giving the voting numbers. Backstage afterwards, Jessica says she wouldn't have picked such a difficult song for herself, but that she's jumping for joy about how well it went. Then she remembers to jump.
Steven picked "Beggin'" by Madcon, to try and force Phil to perform an actual melody. Maybe he should have picked a melody that people know, then? Phil does a good job with it, though, as far as I can tell. The judges actually seem relieved when he's done, and the audience loses its shit. Jennifer says he messed with the melody anyway (how does she know?), but it was great. Steven Successories about Phil being in the spotlight, "When you're facing the sun, the shadows fall behind you." And then he goes so far as to compare Phil to Bruce Springsteen. Randy says Phil's been in the zone and calls it an incredible performance. "You are who you are and we love it!" Helpful. Ryan comes out and asks Phil if he has a lot on his mind, what with the three songs he has to sing tonight. Is this competition really preparing them to put on entire concerts? Hell, I sang more songs than that this morning.
Ryan dismisses Phil and goes to the judges' table to ask if they think there's a clear winner for the first round. Randy says Josh has a slight edge, but Phil seemed to move everyone, and Steven agrees, but won't commit to a winner. Like he'd remember anyway.
Introducing the hometown segments, Ryan calls Joshua out to the stage. While presenting Ryan a string of beads that makes it look like he went to Mardi Gras and has sunburned boobs, Joshua talks about being the first person to sell out the hometown arena. Cut to him nervously flying in the private jet, landing even more nervously, and greeting his family and what looks like the whole neighborhood on the tarmac. There's a "Sherriff's Crawfish Boil" at 6 PM, and then the next morning, Saturday, he rides in a stretch SUV to his dad's rinky-dink little church. He invites his very young niece Chloe to ride with him in the parade, which takes place at noon through Westlake. Looks like the locals have lain on every float they've ever built. Josh hits the Westlake High School at 3:00 PM and finds the gym pretty full for a Saturday assembly. The next stop is the Burton Coliseum at 7:00 PM, where Josh puts on a little karaoke show for the town. The day ends with literal fireworks, and that's it for Louisiana.