After visiting their respective hometown, Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips were back on “American Idol” stage Wednesday night, May 16. These Top 3 finalists would sing three songs: judges’ choice, the contestants’ choice and Jimmy Iovine’s choice, before one of them is sent on Thursday night and the others move on to the finals.
Joshua was the lucky number one, performing Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” which was chosen by Randy Jackson. Steven Tyler gushed, “This is another Joshua moment.” Jennifer Lopez also sang praise, “You are such a throwback and I love that about you,” while Randy said, “I hope you can bring your touch to modern times.”
Jennifer chose Mariah Carey’s “My All” for Jessica. Randy said it was the right song for her, while J.Lo admitted it was a hard song, but Jessica did it so beautiful in her own way. Steven chimed in, “When you sing you make people hang on your every note, get used to encores and in a crazy way, you will be the last one standing here.”
Phillip sang “Beggin” by Madcon per Steven’s request. Steven gushed, “I’m hoping that you write your own songs because you could be the new Springsteen.” J.Lo said it was great, while Randy felt he was at the Phil Phillips concert.
Asked by Ryan Seacrest about who won the first round, Randy thought Joshua has a slight edge of winning it. J.Lo disagreed as she thought Phillip won it, with Steven supporting her opinion.
In the second round, footage of the finalists’ hometown visits was played before they sang. “They are really acting like I am Barack Obama,” Joshua quipped as he was welcomed by a bunch of fans in Westlake, Louisiana. Back on “Idol” stage, he sang “Imagine” by John Lennon. All three judges love it, with J.Lo commenting it’s “a pull back moment” for Joshua.
For her hometown visit, Jessica traveled by helicopter to Chula Vista, California where she reprised her rendition of “Dance With My Father” for her dad who is overseas. Later on the live performance show, she sang her own choice “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. Steven said, “You just took a great song and made it greater, beautiful,” while Randy thought, “It was slow in the beginning, but you delivered.”
Before Phillip sang “Disease”, “Idol” showed footage of him visiting Leesburg, Georgia, during which he returned to the pawn shop. His rendition of the Matchbox 20 song was deemed “just okay” by Randy. J.Lo and Steven agreed, with the former saying, “That was an easy performance for you.”
In Round 3, Joshua sang “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige. Jimmy predicted Joshua would have another shining moment like he did with “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. Randy commented, “At this point it doesn’t matter what you do or what you sing, people should just vote for you.”
Jimmy picked Jackson 5′s “I’ll Be There” for Jessica to show how young she is. J.Lo said Jimmy made a good choice and Jessica “killed it at the end.” Steven said it was “over the top,” but Randy said it was just okay.
Wrapping up the night, Phillip sang “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger as requested by Jimmy, who explained that the song would address both Phillip’s male and female fans. Randy said Phillip has “a giant moment” with the song, while J.Lo gushed, “There are about a million girls out there that wish you were singing it to them, it was like a lullaby, perfect.”