AMERICAN IDOL FINAL THREE: Since there's only three contestants left and an hour to fill, each of the Idol-wannabes got to sing three songs. One was chosen by the judges, one by the producers and then Melinda, Blake and Jordin got to pick their favorite from earlier in the season. Jordin and Melinda consistently outsang Blake, who played extra safe and turned in three karaoke performances.
Jordin Sparks - Jordin came out swinging with Simon's pick, "Wishing On A Star." She was rough on the high notes in the beginning but recovered and did well. The arrangement, as Simon noted, was horrible. As a matter of fact, the arrangements on all of tonight's songs (Blake and Melinda, too) were over the top. On "She Works Hard for the Money," which was selected by the producers, she did a good job vocally on a tired song. Jordin picked "I Who Have Nothing," which was her best performance of the evening -- lots of emotion, controlled voice. Randy and Paula loved it, Simon chided her -- again -- for picking a 60-year-old song. Like "Wishing On A Star" isn't older than I am.
Blake Lewis - This one trick pony is out of tricks. He played it super safe on "Roxanne" and turned in a copycat performance of The Police. Then he followed up with a copy of Maroon 5's "This Love," although he added his tired ass dance moves and some beatboxing. Yawn. He closed with the musically messy Robin Thicke song "When I Get You Alone." The judges were over-effusive in their praise of the last song. I've got fingers crossed he's going home tomorrow night. Saddle up that pony, baby!
Melinda Doolittle - The Top Three went home this past weekend for some adoration from their local fans. Jordin had tons of screaming fans at a mall parking lot in Arizona, while Blake looked like a straight up fool in Seattle beatboxing to "Baby Got Back" with one-hit wonder/has-been Sir-Mix-A-Lot. While Jordin and Blake had screaming fans in their hometowns, poor Mindy Doo was stuck in some room with the fossilized governor of Tennessee. Anyway, three technically perfect songs. Randy picked Whitney's "I Believe In You and Me" to test her vocal range, and she was superb. The producers finally gave her a Tina Turner song, but I wished they had picked "Better Be Good To Me" or "We Don't Need Another Hero" instead of "Nutbush City Limits." No one can do "Nutbush" like Ms. Turner, but Mindy worked it out. Her personal pick was "I'm A Woman," which she did earlier in the season and brought the house down. It was another good performance, but I didn't need to see it again. I'm still predicting Mindy Doo and Jordin for next week's finale.