American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Finalists Compete"

Season 11, Episode 29
Episode Synopsis: The singers perform a current song and a classic soul tune.
Original Air Date: Apr 18, 2012

American Idol: The Time Hollie Did Adele Justice and J.Lo Hit on Phillip Season 11, Episode 29

You still haven't found closure over the death non-elimination of Jessica Sanchez, and the Idol producers have taken note. We open the show with a proper tribute to Sanchez via morbid montage, complete with heavy T.S. Eliot quotes and everything.

Tonight, the contestants will be doing 2 songs — one contemporary hit, and one soul song from "back in the day."

FIRST ROUND — "NOW"

We start out with Hollie who chooses... ADELE. Who in the hell approved this? Personally, I think Iovine just wants her to go home already, so when she asked to sing "Rolling In The Deep" he was like, "Ehh... screw it." So she sang Adele. And honestly? It was nothing like I expected. She hit her notes beautifully and seemed poised and confident. "You finally did what all of America was waiting for you to do," says Steven. "It was perfect."

Colton makes an unexpected choice with Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" because he's missing a "rock" element that he's had in the past. I applaud his attempt to show variety, but I wouldn't exactly call Gaga "rock." To me, there seemed to be a disconnect between the original song and the Adam Lambert-ish spin he tried to put on it. Way too forced. And those red pleather pants... don't even get me started. "I don't know if this was the greatest performance because you've had so many great performances on the show, but I still loved it," says Randy.

Looking the best we've ever seen her in an ethereal orange dress, Elise takes on Alicia Keys' "No One." I'm a huge Elise fan, so bear with my bias here, but I thought the performance was excellent. Her arrangements were original and poignant, and her smile seemed to indicate she genuinely enjoyed singing every note. "I got my first goosies of the night!" says J. Lo

Phillip Phillips is returning to Usher (he killed "Nice and Slow" earlier in the season) with "You Got It Bad." This means PP will be forced out of his comfort zone, which is exactly what he needs after several weeks of redundancy. I love double P as much as the next girl, but the first half of the performance was really sleepy to me. However, halfway through, something changed and things got sexy. By the end, the judges were swooning. Standing O for Philly. And another O for J. Lo.  "That was sexy baby!" said the newly single and openly horny Lopez. "That was sexy! That was sexy! That was sexy!" And then she took him in the back and had sex with him. Just kidding!

Alicia Keys is dominating tonight. Jessica takes the stage to sing "Fallin'" in an attempt to redeem herself from last week's elimination debacle. Generally speaking, it was a classic Sanchez homerun performance. She sang the song with so much passion — as if to send the message, "F YOU, AMERICA! Nobody puts baby in a corner!" Randy calls her talent "otherworldly" and then tells Alicia Keys to "holler at the dawg." "The girl blew the box outta the song, yo!" Hm.

Skylar's up next, singing Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" but... wait for it... the country version. Are you floored? I'm floored. Anyway, it was a great song choice for her, and since most people presumably have never heard Gaga's country version, it was a refreshing twist. "Skylar, I'm so glad you were born that way," says Steven. "You're giving all the other girls in this competition a run for their money."

Joshua is performing Idol alum Fantasia, which is a surprise to exactly no one, since he often refers to himself as Mantasia. His rendition of "I Believe" was a performance so powerful it brought both J. Lo and Joshua to tears. And even though they both happen to cry a lot, it was still an unbelievably awesome, emotional moment. He's clearly got the singing thing down, so if we could just work on that predictable bright blazer, tight pant situation, we'd be in business. "Every time you come out here you give America all of you... it's amazing to watch. I feel blessed that you're in this competition," says J. Lo.

SECOND ROUND — "THEN"

Hollie's back singing "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield, and despite my (and the judges) hesitations, it wasn't half bad. She definitely showed more soul than we anticipated, and Randy even liked it better than her first performance. "That was crazy, dude! Dude, you worked it out!" he says.

For Colton's second performance, he selected "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire. To be quite honest, I hated it. It seemed off-key and awkward; almost amateur. But teeny-bopper girls will totally forgive him, because they've never heard of that old-farty song anyway. "It's really about finding the perfect songs that fit into who you are... I'm not sure that it was the perfect performance," says J. Lo.

In an attempt to really set the mood, Elise sings "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye. She's even positioned seductively on a white couch. Unfortunately, I think Elise could have picked a more powerful song from that genre — Marvin Gaye's didn't let her unleash her true ability. "That song choice wasn't really right for your voice," says Randy. "To me you kind of oversang that song." He then attributed the song to Al Green and prayed none of the show's 12 million viewers would notice. But everyone noticed. And it was really awkward.

Up next is Phillip Phillips, singing Wilson Pickett's "Midnight Hour." PP is just going crazy tonight isn't he? What a departure. He's peppy, and bouncy and cute (though he's always cute) — so different from what we're used to. I think PP really turned a corner tonight in showing he's more than just a one-note guitar-wielding country boy. J. Lo, who is still flushed from their earlier rendezvous says, "Every once in a while you throw in a surprise moment... it's spontaneous, it's from the soul. It's great."

Jessica is taking on Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" next. It's really hard to critique Jessica at this point, because vocally, she is consistently stellar. The performance was great, but something was missing — a wow factor — that I can't exactly put a finger on. "You can sing like nobody's business... but it's about growing now, with just that emotion," says Randy.

Rocking her signature cowboy boots, Skylar is the evening's penultimate performer singing Marvin Gaye's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." It was a more fun, spunkier version of the original, and definitely had Skylar's country stamp on it. Nothing crazy or standout, but overall a solid performance. "You're like a wild horse who refuses to be tamed!" says Steven, not being creepy at all.

The final performance of the evening comes from Joshua, who chooses Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." And it's another tear-jerker. Should we start calling him Joshua "The Onion" Ledet? No matter what he's singing, Joshua seems more committed than any of the other contestants. "What a perfect song for you," says Randy. "You took your time. You let it marinate. And then you burst it open at the end."

So what is going to happen tomorrow? Will it be as shocking as last week? Whose performances did you love tonight?

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You still haven't found closure over the death non-elimination of Jessica Sanchez, and the Idol producers have taken note. We open the show with a proper tribute to Sanchez via morbid montage, complete with heavy T.S. Eliot quotes and everything.
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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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