American Idol
Performance Show

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Hometown Heroes

Third round, with the Jimmy picks. While in the limo in Louisiana, Joshua got a text from Jimmy saying he's going to be doing "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige. Back in the studio, Jimmy explains to Ryan that he wanted to give Joshua another chance to go off. Like Josh needs a chance. He starts off surprisingly stripped down, but eventually, you know, goes off. Dramatically, as it happens. His in-ear monitors are flopping all over the place. The top twelve-through-four in the audience look so blown away that the camera can't stay away from them. Randy tells Joshua it doesn't matter what he does, everyone should vote for him. Jennifer says Joshua is somehow always aware of what he's doing and letting go at the same time. Steven says, "I watched you and I felt the last forty years of the music business." He also says it was over the top, which is something he now says so often that I don't transcribe it every time, but I think that from now on you can assume that he says it unless I specifically say he didn't.

At Jessica's house, her family acts out a horribly unconvincing staged moment in which Jessica gets a big box with a phone and a wireless speaker, supposedly sent by Jimmy. The phone already has a message on it, which seems like a pretty inefficient way to deliver a message, and the speaker is not only blatant advertising but also so she can listen to his pick for her third song, "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5. So Jimmy's not kidding about looking for a younger song for her. He explains this to Ryan in the audience, and then we cut to Jessica onstage, singing in front of a projection of a Ferris wheel. Way to keep it young. Jessica sings both parts, doing a great job of coasting. The judges look bored, but Jennifer and Steven gush about it afterward because apparently that's what you do. Randy liked it but didn't love it, saying that there wasn't "a moment moment," or even a "moment moment moment." The judges want sizzle, dammit! If you're not tipping them back in their chairs with every song at this point you're doing it wrong!

At the Phillips residence, Phil gets a similar package from Jimmy, with a similarly ricockulous pantomime, and the news that he's singing "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seeger. Back in the auditorium, Ryan and Jimmy "amusingly" jockey for the high ground on the aisle steps before Jimmy says the song has a melody so great that Phil might actually sing it. Phil does his own version of it in front of a single piano, nervously wiping his sweaty hand on his pants. He manages to actually hit the high notes, but it's pretty thin for him up there. And he did go with the tune, which is enough to get him a standing ovation from the judges.

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American Idol

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