We start off with clips from home visits from Idols past. Always get a little teary when I see Elliott Yamin’s sweet mother in the convertible as part of his parade. But only three will return to their hometowns in triumph, and for one, the dream ends tonight.
Our buddy, Voiceover Man intros the judges. Tonight, J’Lo is wearing a short white halter MuMu. Ryan comes out sans tie. He tells us this is the cut every contestant is desperate to survive. He lets us know David Cook is in the house tonight. Ryan pimps the tour. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 11. Everyone in the audience is getting a ticket to a live show. The crowd goes wild.
The Top 4 sing “California Dreamin’” - what else, right. The girls make a little arm bridge for Joshua who is wearing a rainbow tee shirt. There are a bunch of girls on the stage clapping along. PP looks particularly pained. Word is, he’s having surgery as soon as the season is over.
We go on the set of a Ford video. This week, they’re promoting Ford’s new electric car. Then we get to see the video. PP is not involved. Home sick again. Joshua gets to drive the car, which appears to be an electrified Focus.
Now for some results. First up is PP. I have to say, I really enjoyed “Volcano.” Jimmy says about PP’s first song, he’s beginning to hear his voice. “It was just the beginning of a night where he was beginning to find his identity and his voice.” About the second performance, Jimmy says, “PP finally delivered on the promised we’ve been looking for all year... it all came together... if I had seen him in a club, I’d sign him right there.”
Jimmy is in the audience looking smug. PP says it’s been a long journey and he feels blessed to be there. He wants to go home for the good part.
Dim the lights. “After nearly 70 million votes... the nation has decided... that you will be heading back to the couch to wait for the results.” Boo, they’re not telling now?
Hollie is next. About “Faithfully” Jimmy says, “All the things that concern me about Hollie’s singing... actually aided her in this song... but it was in the wrong direction.” Jummy was not as impressed by “I Can Make You Love Me.” He says during rehearsals he wasn’t going to push anyone in any direction. He assumed Hollie understood the core of the song - she didn’t. He thinks she crashed and burned during the chorus, and lost out to the other three. Hollie goes back to the couch to wait it out.
David Cook, WGWG 1.0, performs “The Last Song I’ll Write for You.” The song is innocuous enough. I like David Cook, he was the worthy winner his season and has done quite well post-’Idol.’ The song has a good hook.
Another ad for ‘The Choice,’ the dating show with spinning chairs. I read today that Taylor Hicks is going to be one of the bachelors.
More results. Ryan calls up Joshua. The staging for “You Raise Me Up” was stupid! Jimmy says, “This song works great in high school graduation... it might have worked if he’d kept it simple, but this didn’t work... you can’t use that trick on every song... ‘You Raise Me Up’ let him down.” On “It’s a Man’s World,” Jimmy says James Brown and Joshua Ledet came together and created a piece of magicd that has never been seen on ‘American Idol.’ “It was so captivating, I want to see it again, and again, and again... how do we find an original song as good as that for his album.” Ryan tells Joshua to “hang tight on the couches,” and brings Jessica up for her critique.
Jimmy says she did a great job on “Steal Away,” but was impersonating a “great, older jazz singer a good idea? No. After a while the trick gets old, the rabbit gets old.” On “And I Am Telling You,” Jimmy says she brought all her artillary in the right proportions. “Everything she chose was flawless... she murdered it.” He says Tommy Motollo emailed him and wants to go to Jessica’s first concert. He says last year he knew Scotty was going to win the whole thing. This year, he hasn’t a clue. He thinks it all depends on the right song choice and performance. Well, hey, that’s kind of the point, right Jimmy?
J’Lo performs her single “Dance Again.” She’s wearing a blue sequinned, low-cut tank bathing suit with black tights and high heels. And she’s lip synching. Lots of men without shirts dance around her and she shimmies and shakes. She solos with one dancer who might just be her boy toy. Album cover pose to end it. She’s totally out of breath as she thanks the audience. The boyfriend fiddles with her hair. “He’s so cute,” she says as she leaves the stage.
Back from the break. The Top 4 are on the stage with Ryan. He asks Steven about PP’s evolution. He says we’ve gone from PP not caring, to showing what he’s got and still not caring. He says PP is not just a one and done.” He asks J’Lo about Hollie’s growth. She remembers the first audition like it was yesterday. She says she has always believed in her voice. She knows Hollie’s first song was a moment when she felt comfortable and found herself. J’Lo is very emotional.
Randy says when they first saw Joshua they knew he had “mad potential.” He’s so happy Joshua and Hollie came back. He feels they’ve seen some of the best performances ever. Again, he says Josh’s “It’s a Man’s World” was one of the best singing on any singing show.
Ryan wonders about Jimmy calling Jessica’s singing a trick. J’Lo says, yeah, right... singing great is a trick!
“The first person heading back to their home town for a heroes welcome is a girl who comes from Chula Vista, California...” Jessica. “The next person to head back to their hometown is the pride of Westlake, Louisiana... Josh.” Yay Josh, busted into the Top3... first black male in the Top 3 since Season 2. Joshua FTW!
Who else gets a seat on the plane. We find out what happens, after the break.
Ryan reminds us of the Top 4 curse. Dim the lights. “After the nationwide vote, the person who takes the last spot in the Top 3 and heads home for a heroes welcome is... Phillip Phillips.” No surprise this year.
We watch Hollie’s funeral video. No tears from Hollie. She says being on the show has given her confidence and she believes so much more in herself. Hollie sings us out with “The Climb.” J’Lo is tearful. Josh is solemn. PP looks like he is praying. Hollie goes over to the couches of safety and hugs the Top 3. Hollie bids the judges farewell, and now, Joshua is weeping openly. The judges hug Hollie, Josh wipes his tears, and we are out... on time!