For his last song, he's standing Elvis-like at the top of a lit-up staircase, accompanied only by himself on an acoustic guitar as he sings the song that first got him noticed, "At Last." It's pretty bold to do something this stripped down for a last-chance performance, but he gives it his all and then some. He comes down the stairs for the judges' comments.
L.A. says he's a rock star, Paula says he owns the stage, Simon agrees with me that it was a risk that paid off, and Nicole yammers about him being himself. "Music loves you, Josh," she says, and begs us to vote for him. Now back to Wooster, Ohio for some comments from the mayor and Josh's friend, who may or may not have screamed an s-bomb on live TV while balancing a toddler on one arm. That should help with the voting.
Steve shares some Tweets with us that are the reason lots of people dismiss Twitter in the first place, and L.A. introduces Chris. In his intro reel, he says he's two people away from wining and he can't believe he's here. The narrative arc is all about Chris's addiction, recovery, "Young Homie," and how Chris's continued sobriety is all because of L.A. Reid.
Chris goes the Josh route, singing his original song "Young Homie" that was the first thing he did for the judges, only with updated lyrics and added dancers and backup singers. It's pretty damn joyful and epic, actually.
He gets a standing ovation from all four judges, though not necessarily at the same time. Nicole thanks Chris for the song that she says is his purpose in life. Paula nearly jumps out of her dress in her excitement over how awesome Chris was, and Simon tells him that was his five-million-dollar song. Simon asks for a little credit of his own, saying he also made the deal with Chris to keep clean, and says he hopes America gets behind him. L.A, compliments on how well Chris poured himself into the song, and Paula's chanting, "Vote, vote, vote!" through it all. In Santa Cruz, Chris's friends Mark and Bruce are a little slow on the uptake, but they recover and hold up Chris's first guitar and trot out the mayor as well, who flashes the "love life" sign before Steve cuts him off for the voting instructions. Save it for the local news, your honor.