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American-idol

American Idol Review: Who Can It Be Now?

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It's the American Idol performance finale. Finally! Months of preparation, nearly a year's worth for Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, come down to tonight.

As Ryan reminds us, this is the biggest event of the season.

There will be three rounds tonight, and after winning the coin-toss last week, Phillip, like a fan of football, has deferred to go second. Judges' comments will come at the end of each round. Let's get to it and see if we can pick a winner.

Phillip Phillips on American Idol Finale

Round One: Simon Fuller's pick

For Jessica Sanchez, Simon chose Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." This is a strong pick for her. She's got a big voice that needs a big song and Whitney songs certainly deliver. She sounds great, but for a song to open the night with, something about it lacks charisma. Maybe it's the arrangement, but it feels like the music behind the lyrics isn't big enough.

Phillip Phillips will be singing Benny King's "Stand By Me." This is a perfect song for Phillip. He dresses it up a little with a slightly different arrangement, but he sticks to the basic melody of the song. It's really simple and allows him to show off his skills on the guitar. Since he's being promoted as a singer-songwriter, this is smart.

J.Lo says this is tough because it's a battle of opposites. True words, J.Lo. America's job, she says, is to decide who makes you feel something and vote for that person. Randy says Round One went to Jessica. After a commercial break, J.Lo says she agrees with Randy. I now disagree with both of them. I think Round One went to Phillip.

Round Two: Contestant's Favorite From the Season

Jessica Sanchez has chosen to revisit "The Prayer" from her Top 24 journey. I don't remember when she sang this. It's a beautiful song, but I'm not sure it was the best choice. She hits a couple of monster-huge notes and sings the song well, but it was sleepy AND felt rushed at the same time.

Phillip Phillips' favorite number from the season was Billy Joel's "Movin' Out." Again, he's doing a great job of picking songs that showcase his style. His first time through this song was the moment when he first defied the powers that be and said "This is me. This is who I am." This song, again says "Here's who I'll be if you pick me, America."

Steven says Phillip has only hatched a little tonight and Jessica's taken Round Two. Randy called the round even. J.Lo says Phillip. I, again, say Round Two goes to Phillip, and I think it has everything to do with Jessica's arrangements and not her talent. Her talent is good, pure, and present, but the arrangements of these songs tonight are doing nothing to help her. Nor is she being helped by the fact that they have what feels like 60 seconds to sing.

Round Three: Potential First Hits

Jessica Sanchez' song is called "Change Nothing." The song's too low for her, first of all, which makes it so that I can't understand a word she's saying. Second, it's supposed to have some big moments but she's planted on the piano the whole time so the moments fall flat. Third, it's an awful song altogether.

Randy says he didn't love the song, but he loved that she made something out of it. J.Lo says she sang really well, but it was a pop ballad, which wasn't the right kind of song for Jessica. Steven dittos the other two.

Phillip Phillips' song is titled "Home." It's written so that he can play and sing, which is good since that's what he does. It's got a Mumford and Sons quality to it, which is a nice touch. It's not something we've heard from him yet, but it's current and relevant. It's pretty fantastic.

Randy loved the song and Phillip and the stage production and sounds like he's almost lost his voice. J.Lo said what was moving was that it was so different. Steven said Phillip has made the world his home.

Jessica Sanchez is talented, she's pretty, and, as J.Lo said, she'll no doubt make a record. Maybe even a lot of them. But I think Phillip Phillips might become the fifth consecutive male winner of American Idol, solely because he seems to really know who he is and what kind of records he wants to make. He has a level of artistry and confidence that Jessica seems to lack in clutch moments like tonight.

So... who will win, TV Fanatics?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The American Idol has provided several weeks of pretty good entertainment for me. The fillers provided the breaks for necessary chores. Sometimes the judges can get quite irritating. Maybe their opinions mean something to some people but to say that any of the participants have the best voices they have heard in years is insulting to other singers. Just from Glee alone,there are many better singers. The final episode was a yell fest and should be named 'Whatever You Can Shout I Can Shout Louder!' If the programme is still tops, it is because the competition on TV is weak!

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it's okay I know joshua and jessica going to do much better then the winner.
sense both of then were cheated. cause we all know really deep inside that they were much much better.

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Hello? People, Jessica will be THE winner. If she doesn't win she will have an awesome recording contract. I heard Montoya is already recording her! Agree if you agree! JESSICA! JESSICA! JESSICA!

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Hmmm, surprised that Joshua is out, as he was the best. I like Phillip as he is definitely original but he is no match for Jessica! She is extremely talented!! People vote for the best singer...not for anything else!!

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....(continued)......, and then on Wed night, the top 3 places would be awarded.... I thinking having the top 3 would lend itself to a much more suspenseful finals, and the added element of each contestant performing their own concert would be a very cool addition, as well as showcasing each contestant as a FEATURE ACT.... Just a thought....

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I was thinking about this last night during the final 2 performance show, and I think the finale may be a more exciting, tension filled event if the grande finale was a FINAL THREE instead of FINAL 2 .... Besides winning the whole enchilada, the goal of each of the top 24 contestants is to make the final 3 and get the hometown hero trip etc... What if AI made FINALS a two week event? The following Wed Night would be all three contestant's hometown visits in more detail, Thu night each of the final 3 contestants would have their own 4-6 song mini-concert IN THEIR HOMETOWN, in front of their hometown fans and the AI audience would see each of these "shows" LIVE... After the show Thu, the voting lines would open for 2 hours to determine a concert night winner. These scores would carry over to the following week's Grande Finale. Tue night of Final week, the top 3 would compete in a similar format to last night's show, then open voting lines again, and then on Wed night, the top 3 places would be awarded.... I thinking having the top 3 would lend itself to a much more suspenseful finals, and the added element of each contestant performing their own concert would be a very cool addition, as well as showcasing each contestant as a FEATURE ACT.... Just a thought....

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Phillip's a better crowd-pleaser, because his songs are more current, and he is backed by a ton of wonderful musicians who do a great job of hiding the fact that he can't sing. Jessica's strength lies in her amazing voice, so she chose power ballads that highlight this. When they are both in the studio writing their respective albums, I think Jessica will have the edge (despite the fact that she chose boring songs on Idol). Phillips has a terrible voice and there is nothing original about what he does every week. Prior contestants like David Cook and Kris Allen were far more original and were also good singers. Just because you can strum a guitar and channel Dave Matthews doesn't make you an artist. For starters, Dave Matthews has a much better voice. And just because you pick songs that are more relevant than your opponent does not mean you deserve to win. It just means that you would probably make a better cruise ship act. Jessica should win. She's a very special 16 year old, who will only continue to get better.

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...(continued).....Music, and a song that grabs you, is about feeling, about emotion, about hearing something sung in a way you’ve never heard before!!! It’s certainly NOT about having a cookie cutter voice and simply regurgitating the do, re’s, like they’ve been regurgitated 1000 times before!

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I suppose looking at some of the comments below, it’s easy to see why boring, tired songs, sung the same way over and over again remain “popular� in some circles….There are really people who think this is what good music is… I really feel bad for them because they are missing out on so much, but so many people just don’t “get-it�, and have such precious little understanding of music and what separates the truly good from the REALLY bad or average…. Of course music is and always will be very subjective and people’s tastes will always be different and when it comes down to it people like what they like. But what people must realize is that music, artistry, interpretation, and musical performance is so much more than just hitting the "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do’s� of a song (which btw, Philip hits EXTREMELY well for anyone who ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDS scales, notes, pitch, etc….) Music, and a song that grabs you, is about feeling, about emotion, about hearing something sung in a way you’ve never heard before!!! It’s certainly NOT about having a cookie cutter voice and simply regurgitating the do, re’s, like they’ve been regurgitated 1000 times before!

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Gotta laugh at the people who think Phillip stole or copied the song from Greg Holden. The song was written by Drew Pearson who originally wrote the song for Greg Holden but they decided to submit it to Idol instead for consideration as a finale song. Even though Holden has performed it live, they chose not to record it and to submit it to Idol instead. Google is your friend. Phillip and Jessica had to pick songs from a list of unreleased songs. Phillip did a much better job of picking because he's an artist and a songwriter and understands who he is. Jessica has a fabulous voice but she's not an artist or a songwriter. Last night showed that, no matter how great your voice is, the song plays a huge role in how successful they'll be. She will need to be fed some great songs by someone because she can't just release a bunch of albums with cover songs. Phillip, on the other hand, should do even better after the show when he can perform his own songs. Search Youtube for "Hazel", an original song by Phillip, and tell me that song wouldn't burn up the radio. Jessica's entire career will depend on how well other people write and pick songs for her.

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