American Idol (2002– )
Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star Search" clone. After each song that was sung, the judges, Abdul, Jackson and Cowell, then critique that finalist's chosen song. After each show's ending, America must vote for a finalist to whom they really think their performance is good using this AT&T (now Cingular Wireless) or any other cellular phone to cast votes with. Once the votes are locked in, the judges and America decides who has the most and the least amount of votes, and the contestant with the least amount of votes is eliminated, and it goes on each week's show until the winner is crowned as "American Idol," where he/she wins a recording contract worth up to $1,000,000. The rest of the other finalists to whom they have been voted off before (the runner-up) also get recording contracts, too.
- "American Idol" - Season 11 Finale - May 23, 2012
Group Sing: The top 12- save Phillip and Jessica-- clad all in white sing "Runaway Baby" by Bruno Mars. There is a lot of staging and dancing. Joshua does an impressive split but stumbles coming out of it. Then a group of acrobat/dancers do a bunch of flips and tricks during a musical break.
In the audience: Previous winners Scotty McCreery, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks; Dean Cain; Lauren Alaina; Jane Lynch; Ace Young and Diana Degarmo
Ryan, in a tux, tells us a record number of votes came in for Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez: 132 million.
Performance: Phillip performs "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and "Bad Moon Rising" with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Because he's singing with the songwriter, Phillip is more or less forced to sing the melody.
Video Package: It's a blooper reel of the judges, Ryan, and bad/angry/silly contestants during the auditions.
Performance: Joshua sings "Take Me to the Pilot" by Elton John. He's got a choir at his disposal and he takes the song to church. And he gets a hand from his hero Fantasia Barrino who is rocking an insane body suit that hugs her every curve and has cut outs down the legs. It is a hot mess but they're having fun.
Video Package: A tribute to Jimmy Iovine, which actually shows him goofing up: Jimmy keeps calling Jennifer, Jessica. (Jessica is his daughter's name as well as the contestant.)
Performance: The top 6 ladies-- except Jessica-- perform "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus and Chaka Khan and then segue into "Through the Fire" and then "I'm Every Woman"-- at which point Jessica joins them-- and then the lady Chaka herself shows up to help out, sort of. She does a lot of posing and wailing in another unfortunate bodysuit.
Ford Commercial: It's a tribute video clip package to all the conestants.
Video Package: Jessica and Phillip talk about their music mentors and we meet them. In Phillip's case it's his brother-in-law Ben and for Jessica it's a family friend named Robert. They're in the audience and Phillip and Jessica hand them keys to a new Ford. Then Ryan hands Phillip and Jessica keys to their new Fords.
Performance: Rihanna sings her latest single "Where Have You Been." It's an enormous involved spectacle with dancers, set pieces, smoke, drummers, and stilt walkers.
Performance: Skylar Laine sings "Turn on the Radio" by Reba McEntire and, of course the lady herself shows up to give her hand.
Video Package: A peek inside Steven Tyler's dressing room. It's filled with Playboy bunnies and his pet sloth.
Performance: Jessica Sanchez reprises her version of "I Will Always Love You," by Whitney Houston
Performance: The top 6 guys-- save Phillip-- sing a Neil Diamond medley including "America," "Cracklin' Rosie," and "I'm a Believer" and of course the man himself shows up to lend a hand on "Sweet Caroline."
Video Package: A montage of Randy repeating the phrase "you can sing the phone book." Then a montage of the top 12 singing the phone book in choir robes. They actually do a really good job. This may be the best thing "Idol" has ever done. Scotty hands a phone book to Randy and Ryan tells him to get some material.
Performance: Jennifer Lopez sings two of her songs, one with Wisin y Yandel. Lil Jon is her deejay.
Ryan calls Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo up on stage. Ace proposes to her.
Performance: Hollie Cavanagh sings "You'll Never Walk Alone" and Jordin Sparks comes out to help her.
Performance: A tribute to Robin Gibb comes from the top 6 guys-- except Phillip of course. They do "Words," "How Deep Is Your Love," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," and "To Love Somebody."
Performance: Jessica and Jennifer Holliday sing "And I'm Telling You" and Jennifer, unsurprisingly, wipes the floor with her.
Performance: Aerosmith performs it's new single which seems to be called "Legendary Child" (?) before segueing into their classic "Walk This Way."
Performance: Phillip and Jessica sing "Love Lift Us Up Where Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. (Cocker and Warnes do not come out to help them.)
Winner:Phillip Phillips. The Top 12 rush the stage and hug him. Scotty McCreery hands off his trophy and his guitar. Phillip sings his new song "Home."
And that's a wrap on Season 11.
"American Idol" - Top 3 Results Show - May 17, 2012
Group Sing: "Got to Get You Into My Life," The Beatles
Ford Commercial: It's just Jessica and Joshua engaging in silent movie hijinks.
Results: Joshua Ledet. It's not results so much as it's recap and Jimmy's critique since we won't find out until the end who is gone.
Jimmy Sez: That Joshua had a good night, but perhaps not as good as the overly praise-filled judges thought. He thought the Etta James song was good, that "Imagine" wasn't the best choice and that the Mary J. Blige song he picked for him didn't have enough melody for Joshua to sink into, which was his fault. He thinks he should totally be in the finale.
Performance: Lisa Marie "daughter of Elvis" Presley performs her song "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"
Results: Jessica Sanchez. Jimmy Sez: He disagreed with Steven that the Mariah song could help her clinch a win, thought the Aerosmith cover was good but not enough, and, unbelievably, that he didn't know Jermaine sang part of "I'll Be There" so it was his fault she tripped up on that part. He deems her worthy for the finale.
There is a quick tribute to Donna Summer from Jimmy and for no apparent reason actress Rita Wilson, aka Mrs. Tom Hanks.
Performance: Adam Lambert performs his song "Never Close Our Eyes"
Results: Phillip Phillips. Jimmy sez: His first tune was good, the Matchbox 20 song was a "snoozefest" and the Bob Seger cover was flawless and that won him the night.
Going Home: Joshua Ledet. He sings himself out on James Brown's "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World."
So, your final two is Phillip and Jessica
"American Idol" - Top 3 Performance Show- May 15, 2012
Theme: Three songs: Judges' choice, contestants' choice, Jimmy's choice
We will get a look at their hometown visits throughout the show.
Contestant:Joshua Ledet Randy says he picked an Etta James song because it's the type of song he's excelled at on the show in the past.
Song: "I'd Rather Be Blind"
Performance: It's a slow, bluesy torch song that starts off with a nice restrained swagger and eventually builds into a more forceful shout/growl showcase that draws the judges to their feet.
Judging: Steven calls it so surreal to hear someone sing the old songs and deliver it just right, he says he sounded like the "American Idol" tonight. JLo says he is such a throwback and he brought down the house. Randy says he hopes in the future he can take what he does and bring it to contemporary R&B which is ailing and aching right now.
Contestant: Jessica Sanchez JLo says they chose Mariah Carey's "My All," one of her favorite songs, because it has a tenderness that she thinks Jessica will kill.
Song: "My All"
Performance: She keeps it quiet and gentle to start. The higher notes are a little breathy and sound like they might be just a shade out of the range of her head voice. The low notes are rich and full though. It starts getting rough in spots pitch-wise towards the end but she ends well.
Judging: Randy says it was absolutely beautiful and that it's one of the best versions of Mariah songs ever performed on TV. JLo says it's a hard song to sing and she did it beautifully and her own way. Steven says she makes people hang on her every note. He says she may be the winner.
Contestant: Phillip Phillips Steven says they picked "Beggin'" by MadCon because it's got a melody that they want to see if he can hit it more strongly than usual.
Performance: He starts with a big smile with just voice and guitar. He's singing in the high part of his register and it sounds good. The song picks up momentum and it's a lively acoustic rocker. It doesn't have a ton of vocal range but he is singing the melody and basically sticking with the original locomotive vibe. The crowd and the judges dig it.
Judging: JLo says he's funny to her because Phillip had to mess with the melody but he rode the groove all the way home. Randy says dude, dude, yo, yo and that they were all just at the Phil Phillips concert. Steven says it's beautiful to watch him unfold. He says he hopes he writes his own songs and says he could be a new Springsteen.
Contestant: Joshua Talking about his hometown visit with Ryan he is excited that the arena at which he appeared has never been sold out in the time since it's construction.
Video Package: Joshua is in a private jet on his way home to Louisiana and he's freaking out a bit. He's greeted by his big, happy family. He gets a police escort to a crawfish boil and gets hugged by a lot of folks who are fans. He heads off to church and we see him testify, it's very sweet. He asks his little niece to ride with him in the parade in the car. We then see his very colorful parade. He kisses babies and laughs and sees a lot of waving dogs. He's adorably excited. He heads into his high school gym where a big crowd is waiting for him. He then heads to Burton Coliseum and gives a performance to a sold out crowd whom he engages in a hearty call and response.
Song: "Imagine," John Lennon
Performance: Interesting very restrained choice. He gives the arrangement a little rhythmic swagger but sticks to the classic cadences and sings it very straight and soulfully without overdoing it, too much anyway. As always it's an incredibly natural performance.
Judging: Steven says it was beautiful and another "thank you God" moment. JLo says it was a pulled back and controlled performance and she knows that's hard but that he brings great depth to the lyrics which takes strength. Randy asks why he picked it. He says he heard it and it had a strong message. Randy says he should carry that emotionally connected sensibility into his career.
Contestant: Jessica Says she was surprised to see so many people on her hometown visit because she was homeschooled and didn't have a lot of friends and was happy boys were chasing her car.
Video Package: Jessica got a helicopter ride to her hometown visit in San Diego. She heads to the stadium where she auditioned. She does some radio appearances and pops in on a local radio show concert at the Chula Vista Amphitheatre. She heads home and reunites with her happily tearful family. She alo gots a fun little parade in which she rides with her little brothers. She heads to the local high school and thousands have come out. She heads over to the USS Midway aircraft carrier and is greeted by thousands more and sings to the sailors.
Song: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," Aerosmith
Performance: A brave song to sing in front of the man who sang it. (It may be one of Aerosmith's worst songs but it's a great vocal.) She does a very straightforward cover without a lot of flourish and it's nice to hear her hold it back a bit and she never goes to the annoying growl and that is indeed a good thing. Steven gives her a standing ovation.
Judging: Steven says she took a great song and made it greater. JLo says she doesn't know how big a deal it is that Steven loved it and she thought it was good too. Randy says she's choosing some tough hills to climb and he says she finally delivered on a big moment.
Contestant: Phillip He says his visit home to Leesburg, VA was amazing. Ryan shows a still shot of a guy with a sign that says Phillip owes him $10.
Video Package: He heads back to Leesburg and there are tons of folks, including screaming girls and the media, waiting for him at the airport. The nex day he heads back to the pawn shop where he works. There are tons of screaming fans there as well. His dad speaks so sweetly of him and how glad he is to see him. They go for a ride on the main drag and there are signs up all over town supporting him. He heads home and reunites with the family. HIs parade looks like t's taking place around a track in a stadium, it is very well-attended and he gets very choked up, it's lovely. He performs for the crowd with his voice and guitar.
Song: "Disease," Matchbox Twenty
Performance: He does it acoustic with sax and congas, it's mellow. It's a good fit for him temperamentally.
Judging: JLo thought it was an easy-flowing performance but didn't think it was the wow performance she says she can't wait for his last one. Steven says he feels the same way. Randy thinks it's weird because he didn't like it either. He says it was too subdued and just okay.
Contestant: Joshua The contestants get their songs via text from Jimmy. Joshua gets "No More Drama." In the audience Jimmy says he picked the song because MJB combines a lot of the things that Joshua does.
Song: "No More Drama," Mary J. Blige
Performance: Again it's a pretty straightforward cover, with Josh singing in measured tones on the verses and breaking out more during the choruses. He bounces almost the entire time which is distracting but he sounds good and breaks out as Jimmy expected.
Judging: Randy says at this point it doesn't matter what he does, he's laid everything on this stage that he can. JLo loves that he knows exactly what he's doing but at the same time he's in the moment. Steven says it was beautiful and he watched him and felt the last 40 years of the music business.
Contestant: Jessica Jimmy picked "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5 because he wanted a record that appealed to an older audience but also highlighted her youth.
Song: "I'll Be There," Jackson 5 Performance: She does a nice job with both the high and low bits and avoids doing the Mariah version of the song.
Judging: Steven says it was a perfect song, and it was delicious. JLo says it was a good choice from Jimmy. Randy liked it okay but didn't love it.
Contestant:Phillip Jimmy picks "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger for him because he felt like it was a song that both men and women coud enjoy and he would have to stick to the melody.
Song: "We've Got Tonight," Bob Seger
Performance: It's a very tender performance, almost a croon and Phillip does indeed stay with the melody. It's very simple and sweet, piano, strings, and voice. The judges give him a standing ovation.
Judging: Randy says Jimmy picked the perfect song at the perfect time and his best performance on the show ever and it gave him a giant moment. He says he's in it to win it and he's ready. JLo says there are 20 million girls out there that wish he was singing it to them. Steven says there's no other word for it then beautiful and he sang like he didn't give a sh--. He says he has great passion.
"American Idol" - Top 5 Results Show - May 3, 2012
Results: Ryan calls up Joshua. Jimmy Sez:His performance from last night is going to be tough to beat. He thinks it was the best performance on the show. He promises JLo that the folks at Interscope won't drop the ball. He is safe.
Ford Commercial: "Dream Life" The "Idols" go through a magical door on a mountain into a fairytale world.
Performance: Coldplay sing their song "Paradise"
Results: Ryan calls up Hollie and Phillip. Jimmy Sez: He thought Hollie's "River Deep" was great but "Bleeding Love" was just competent, not magical. He thinks she's safe for the week. He thought Phillip should be commended because he's unwell. But he thinks he did two very bland songs and has been coasting. He thinks he should be in the bottom two but doesn't think he will be.
Phillip is safe, Hollie is in the bottom two.
Performance: Carrie Underwood sings her new song "Blown Away"
Results: Ryan calls up Jessica and Skylar. Jimmy Sez: Thinks Skylar is a fighter. He thought the staging of the second song was too Vegas/Broadway for him. He thinks for her to get to the finals she need to find the crushing song that wins the night. Thinks Jessica singing "You Are So Beautiful" was perfect. But even though he thinks she's the best singer on the show "Proud Mary" was a disaster and he thought her styling was too mature and racy and that might her. Jessica is safe. Skylar is in the bottom two.
Performance: Coldplay returns and sings "Every Teardop Is a Waterfall"
Bottom Two: Hollie and Skylar
Going Home: Skylar Laine