Mario comes to us from a dimmed stage with news that after last night's performances by the final thirteen, they had big plans for tonight. "We were going to give you the results, but we had a graphics problem -- which means some of the voting information given was incorrect." So they're going to have them all perform again. Tonight. In the same order as last night. With new songs. For votes again. Whoa, that is seriously bush league. Is anybody actually running this show?
So this is really going to happen, looks like. As he did last night, Josh Levi starts the show off, but tonight he's doing "Stay," which is at least another song that puts the focus on the vocals. The stage projections don't look as thrown together as one might expect from a performance show that had to be staged in less than 24 hours, but Josh looks, as I expect most singers will, like he's dressed in what he came in off the street wearing. And he sounds pretty well rehearsed, too. After the show, I find out that the finalists sang their "save me" songs, which means they rehearsed them hoping they would never have to sing them. The judges' comments will have to be pretty rushed tonight, but Simon is impressed, saying that was a winning performance and not just a survival song. Josh's mentor Paulina says she nailed it, and Mario gives Josh the bum's rush so we can keep this moving.
Country singer Rachel Potter's do-over song breaks new ground for her in that she's doing an actual country song: "Sing it Anyway" by Martina McBride. It's not all that innovative or radical, but it's nice to see she can still sing even when she isn't countrifying up something from an entirely different genre. Simon thinks she has a twin sister, because she sang horribly last night (disagree) and was fantastic tonight. Kelly says she's proud of her and that everyone needs to vote for Rachel Potter. I don't feel like I need to, actually.
Carlos Guevara is next, and if the song he's singing isn't by Damien Rice, he certainly makes it sound like it is. Let's just Google those lyrics quick…yep, it's "Cannonball." Carlos has taken Simon's criticism from last night to heart, and is actually looking at the audience tonight. It's pretty, too. Paulina calls it "being the most amazing performance that I've ever saw," and then we're moving on already.
Mario introduces Restless Road, who also get to do a country song tonight, namely Jason Aldean's "Don't You Wanna Stay." I know Mario said it was only fair to all the acts to let them all perform again, but given that some of them get to put last night's feedback to work tonight, that others aren't bound by a theme that challenged them last night, and still others are never going to be able to reproduce the highs they may have reached before, it seems more fair to some than to others. Simon is actually harder on the boys than I expected, asking them if there was a problem with the backing track (not that they noticed, which isn't encouraging) and remarking that this was the first time they looked nervous. He still thinks they did great, though he says it in a way that indicates he's clearly pretty pissed off that anyone has to do this at all.