Well, this week Jennifer Lopez herself graces us with her presence. She seems a lot nicer on the show than the primadonna tales I've heard. Maybe her third marriage has brought her down to earth a bit. Anyway, Mrs. Lo brings a little salsa into the mix for this week's theme.
Melinda Doolittle - "Sway"
I agree with Simon that this performance was forgettable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it certainly wasn't bad. It's just that nothing was really memorable about this performance. Plain black dress, calm melody and rhythm, but no mistakes, either.
LaKisha Jones - "Conga"
What in the world made this girl want to do a song she can't pronounce the name of? She admitted to stepping outside her comfort zone, and that certainly seems to be the case. I don't think she's cut out for high tempo pop or Latin music. LaKisha shines on slower songs and ballads, and this night confirmed that.
Chris Richardson - "Smooth"
Jennifer Lopez took the song a whole step up for Chris, and it almost seemed like they could have gone a little more. The song is so low, which worked for Rob Thomas, but not so much for Chris. Looking forward to seeing a little more classic pop out of this guy, if he makes it to next week.
Haley Scarnato - "Turn the Beat Around"
Haley may love to hear percussion, but I don't think I really love to hear Haley. Gloria Estefan does so much better on this song that I really think Haley may have done herself in here. The parts where she's talking about the rhythm and the drums (rat-tat-tat-tat, etc.), she seemed to lose the beat and the key all at the same time. She's beautiful, but it's time for her to go.
Phil Stacey - "Maria, Maria"
Pretty much an exact copy of the original, except not as good, and by a white guy. He wasn't the worst performance of the night, but a weird week like this can send anyone home. This isn't anyone's type of music that is in competition right now.
Jordin Sparks - "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
You could definitely tell Jordin's having fun here. Not a big vocal stretch for her, but she should be safe. She picked an easy song on a night when everyone is learning a new style. Smart girl.
Blake Lewis - "I Need to Know"
I would have been scared to pick a song by the guest mentor's husband, but Blake did it and came through with a pretty good performance. I'm not a big fan of the song, but I think that Blake did the equivalent of what Jordan did. Not a terribly difficult song, but a good night to go that route.
Sanjaya Malakar - "Bésame Mucho"
This was probably my favorite performance from Sanjaya, which means I actually liked it. He was seated, which helped preclude any cheesy hand motions, and his voice came through pretty well. It's a simple, sweet sounding song, which works for his voice, and the only parts I thought he was too quiet were when the chorus kicked in. Not bad.
Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Chris
Going Home: Haley. The other girls completely outshine her, and she doesn't have as much of a niche as the others.