Brooke brings us back from commercial with an introduction for Josh, who this week "chose a tune with a little more rock" than the Black Crowes number he sang last week. And then she tells us he's singing Creed's "With Arms Wide Open." Now, both of those statements can't be true. Josh takes the stage in alt-rocker regalia: jeans, flannel shirt, and questionable jewelry. Unfortunately, this song doesn't come anywhere near showcasing his voice the way last week's did. A chick in the front row is even glaring up at him like, What have you done with my Josh? His voice comes close to being overpowered by the band, especially when he tosses in a bunch of those American Idol note runs they're always doing on that show. Thanks, Josh, but that shit's one of the reasons I don't watch AI any more. If he'd sang this last week, he wouldn't have stood out at all. And Dave agrees with me. He says that Josh is one of the best singers he's heard in a long time, "But that was kinda average." Jason not only agrees with me, but also read last week's recap, as shown by the fact that he drops a Stevie Wonder comparison. Jason tells him to be careful with that. Dave adds that if Josh does it all the time, "we build up a tolerance to it, but when you bust it out at the right moment it just gives people chills." Josh sincerely thanks Dave and everyone else for their feedback. I'm beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that Josh may be a class act. That won't do at all.
After reminding us that Phil was in the bottom three last week, Brooke tells us he's singing "If You Could Only See" by Tonic. It's the electric version, in case your local alternative radio station plays both versions like mine does. Phil's voice still has that slightly sleepy quality, and he still dances like one of those toys where you press the button on the bottom and the figure goes limp, and then you release the button and it stands up straight again. Good song for him, though. It's a "sensitive" song, which means it's meant to be sung by someone you could beat the crap out of, and Phil certainly looks like he fills that bill.
Dave says again that he likes Phil's voice, but also says again that Phil's stage presence needs work. Tommy tells Phil, "I love your swagger." And he also loves the way Phil sings. Also, "You're a good lookin' boy." What a relief that Tommy doesn't just flirt with the women. Jason disagrees with Tommy's first point. He does a little impression of Phil's "almost spineless-feeling thing," which Phil busts out a little of for the people (who love it). "But," Jason says, "I have to close my eyes in order to enjoy your voice." A shocked "Oooooh" goes through the crowd, but Jason doesn't back down; he wants Phil to "plant your feet and CRUSH IT!" Complete with demonstration. Phil promises to do that next week. But not the next night, which is probably wise.
Now it's Storm's turn, and she's apparently decided to go kooky this evening. She's got some kind of '80s look going on, with an off-the -shoulder top and her hair up in two high pigtails. She's singing "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. I dig the arrangement, which is noticeably faster. It starts not with the big wall of sound like the original, but with no intro and a stuttering guitar and high hat on the first verse. She makes a couple of silly faces, and then the band pops full-strength on the first chorus. Which she sings while walking slowly down the runway, dragging the microphone stand between her legs and holding onto the end of it in front of her like...well, since my parents might be reading, let's be polite and say that she's holding it like one of those toy horse heads on sticks that little kids play with. Or possibly an enormous cock. And then the mugging gets out of hand. Wisely, she avoids looking at the Supernovans during the line about "all those geezer losers of the year." She full-on roars the line about the KISS records in the last verse, and vocally she ends strong. By the way, this is Storm's second song in as many weeks that has a big key change in it. Is it too early to call that a pattern? If she picks a Barry Manilow song next week, we'll know for sure. She makes this over-the-top cocky face when she's done, like she's still in character. Jason gives her credit for her energy and compliments her on having the audience in the palm of her hand in two minutes. Dave tells her she has a huge voice, but that moments of her performance were a little Broadway. "Kind of felt a little bit like Cats," Dave says. Which is where we learn that Storm also has a huge laugh. Dave clarifies, "I want you to have character; I don't want you to be a character." Apropos of nothing, which of these two do you suppose spent more time in the makeup chair before the show tonight? Just a thought. Storm thanks them and goes to stand over Brooke. Voting instructions, blah blah blah. Storm is still mugging for the audience while Brooke talks. Maybe she can't help it.