Man, this was a very interesting night. Diana Ross came over to help the contestants sing her songs, and she was a character. My favorite part was when she asked Gina to "pronunciate" her words. Other than that, she gave such unique advice as "find your center" and "come from the heart." For the most part, I don't think her words of wisdom helped much.
Brandon Rogers - "You Can't Hurry Love"
Brandon is starting to sound like a cheesy lounge singer every time he gets up there. I don't particularly look forward to his performances, and he doesn't really impress me. I think it would take some major changes to turn his ship around on this show. Plus, he forgot some of the words. Actually, I think what he did here was try to sing the full version of the song, and then realized that he needed to skip to another part. It was still obvious he wasn't on top of things.
Melinda Doolittle - "Home"
I didn't know this song, because it's from The Wiz, but she performed it beautifully. My guess is that right now it's "her competition to lose," as the judges always say.
Chris Sligh - "Endless Love"
This dude totally changed up the song, and I think it even would have worked, had it not sounded suspiciously like Coldplay's "Clocks." I liked his vocals on the song, and I even think it worked being modernized (I always remember Mariah Carey's version better anyway). The judges hated it. I do agree, he looks better with the glasses. Maybe he's trying to get away from the whole Jack Osbourne comparison (understandably).
Gina Glocksen - "Love Child"
This is one of my favorite of the Diana Ross songs that were chosen tonight. I think Gina did a good enough job, it just didn't wow me. To me, it was more obvious that she was doing a cover of a Diana Ross song than singing it her own way. She seemed to have a lot of fun, it just didn't do much for making her look like the best singer on the show.
Sanjaya Malakar - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Ugh. Sanjaya's voice is so timid, I don't think he could scare a mouse with it. He definitely didn't put enough emotion into this song which is supposed to be about overcoming incredible obstacles for love. He sang it with a plastic smile, and awkward hand motions, and I just couldn't buy into it. This boy is past his time, for sure.
Haley Scarnato - "Missing You"
Haley actually was doing okay on this song until she messed up the words. She has trouble staying on key, but wasn't as bad as she has been. The judges were nice to her, but she's going to need a lot of votes to keep from going home. At least Sanjaya has the "nice boy" thing going for him; Haley is the girl who breaks down after each performance. I don't know how many pity votes she'll get.
Phil Stacey - "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
I thought he did okay this week. I think "okay" is the secondary theme this week. Anyway, he stayed on key most of the time, and it was a pretty good performance. He still scares me a little, but I can get over it if he can sing.
LaKisha Jones - "God Bless the Child"
I love this song, too, and LaKisha rocked it. If you can rock a really old blues song.
Blake Lewis - "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
Okay, so he didn't copycat this week. Personally, I think he destroyed this song, and not in a good way. I think he's kind of like an ex; there are things I like about him, but he can't ever make me totally happy.
Stephanie Edwards - "Love Hangover"
Not the best performance from Stephanie. The judges were disappointed that she cut out their favorite part of the song, and since she falls into the same category as LaKisha and Melinda (and Sabrina, remember her?), she could get the surprise boot if some people vote for another performer instead of her, and some people don't vote because they think she's safe.
Chris Richardson - "The Boss"
Chris gets my "most entertaining" vote. He took Diana's comments to "work the crowd" to heart, and I think it worked for him. Simon may call this a "singing competition," but when someone is boring, he's the first one to speak up. This was definitely not boring, though he could stand to work on his vocals some. There really didn't need to be a run at the end of every line.
Jordin Sparks - "If We Hold on Together"
A+ performance from Jordin. I think this one was actually my favorite of the night. She's kind of like a younger Melinda, except her giddiness and puppy dog eyes come from youth, instead of low self-esteem. I think she's definitely more of a ballad singer, so we'll see what happens when she has to stretch herself in other theme weeks.