NOTES: ‘American Idol’ Season 11, Episode 37

– I was a fan of the three rounds tonight – judges choice, contestant’s choice, Jimmy Iovine’s choice.

– I thought all three singers gave strong first round performances. Steven basically said after each one that they are winners – and let’s face it – they all have record deals waiting for them with Interscope so in a sense they are. I thought Tyler calling Phillip Phillips the next Springsteen though was a bit premature, he gets a speeding ticket on that one.

– I love how each judge has a special connection to each of the final three contestants – Jackson the perfect mentor for the southern, gospel singer; Jennifer Lopez looking after the younger version of her in Jessica; Tyler relating to another free-spirited rocker trying to live in the pop world.

– Ultimately, despite the way he seemed to be making out with the microphone, Joshua won the first round. Great choice on Jackson’s end.

– “I feel like Barack Obama!” screamed Joshua as he received a police escort in his hometown. I think I loved his the most, seemed the most authentic.

– I wasn’t a fan of Joshua’s “Imagine” rendition. Yes it was a departure from the norm and yes he showed great restraint, but that doesn’t mean it sounded good.

– What a gutsy move by Jessica to not only select, but slay “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” in front of Tyler.

– Phillip was good but not great with the Matchbox 20 song… too safe of a move for him.

– Round two goes to Jessica – almost by default – but she did do a good job with the track, especially given the circumstances.

– Jimmy Iovine with the Beats Wireless Dock product placement. This guy is a genius.

– Joshua went for the kill, and if he went last this round, he would’ve had it. Another big moment for this kid and it moved him a step closer to the final round.

– Coming off of Ledet’s moving “No Drama” rendition, Sanchez just lacked that extra oomph. She needed to have a similar moment here, and fell short with her Jackson 5 rendition.

– Phillip Phillips ditched the gray, the guitar, and the freestyle melody and delivered one of the best performances of anyone, all season. He gained a lot of new fans tonight (me included) and punched his ticket for the finals.

– To be honest, I had Phillip in the finals before the night began. My theory is that Jessica and Joshua share more fans with each other than either does with Phillip. I have Joshua and Phillip battling for the “Idol” crown next week, and I’m reserving my final choice until after the performance episode!

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