Bon Jovi night? Sure, they sold a ton of records and there are only six contestants so they only need six songs. But limiting them to Bon Jovi rather than say rock n roll in general doesn't seem fair. They only have 11 top 10 hits which is not exactly a ton to choose from. Bon Jovi has also sold 35 million albums in the US, so I assume that reference to 120 million sold worldwide was "records" and included singles. Anyway....
PHIL -- Sang "Blaze of Glory" from "Young Guns," their last #1 hit and a film I have fond memories of seeing in the theater for extra-curricular reasons. Phil had a pretty good rock star style jacket on and was so confident he even gave a fist tap to Randy Jackson as he moved through the crowd. All I could think during his performance was 'what have they done with Phil and who is this guy that replaced him?' He was confident, his vocals were really strong and he had a big finish. No annoying Josh Groban like quiver in his voice. This was by FAR the best Phil has ever been, though it wasn't really in the country vein we were supposed to think for a week was the REAL Phil. I have no idea what Simon was listening to, but since this vote combines two weeks of voting, Phil could still be vulerable. Last week's was so-so.
JORDIN -- Sang "Living On A Prayer." Bon Jovi proved himself a good coach. His comments politely made clear what he thought without being rude ("this is a really hard song to sing" translates into "she's having trouble with this one") and he really orked on the arrangement and changed the melody around to make it easier for her to tackle. She was very rough on the low notes (as always) and showed almost no personality on the verses. The chorus was a little better but not great. The only thing she had going on was the fun hairdo. This was a very weak performance, the worst of the night. Combined with her so-so performance last week, that means Jordin is anything but safe. The producers thought they were cute pretending she was going home last week but maybe in fact she and Chris were the bottom two. She is very vulnerable and if she gets booted it won't be a travesty-- she's been poor two weeks in a row. Her saving grace was a nice bit of honesty when talking to the judges; she was winnningly blunt about not being very good. The judges went on and on about rock not being her genre. But it's not the main genre for any of them -- she just made a bad song choice.
LAKISHA -- Sang "This Ain't A Love Song." Just like Phil, you'd swear someone new has taken over LaKisha. After weeks of looking very unhappy, LaKisha was dressed for fun and had a blast. She belted out the song with verve and total control. She even threw in a little Jennifer Holiday style uh-huh at the very end, just to echo her best performance before this one. Kissing Simon on the lips was very fun. Last week's "I Believe" might have booted her, so it's a combo of a great and a terrible performance.
BLAKE -- Sang "You Give Love A Bad Name." They built up the risk he was taking so much, I thought Blake was going to be singing in Latin or maybe doing a strip in the middle of a song. Instead, he did a cool amount of beatboxing -- not too much, not too little. (In general, I hate it when the musicians are on stage; in this case, it was earned. But normally, they're just distracting. His dyed black hair looked more emo than rock, but it still looked good and better than his normally goofy do. This combined with last week's very safe "Imagine" should keep him fine. Blake is looking more and more like a finalist every week and if it's down to him and Melinda she will win easily.
CHRIS -- Sang "Wanted Dead Or Alive." Chris didn't know all the words when meeting with Bon Jovi, which is never a good sign. But he was funny about saying that someone had to sing this song and if it was gonna be him, then fine. He had a chat with Ryan, who introduced him as Justin Timberlake -- every once in a while the producers or judges or Ryan seem to do something that could only hurt a contestant (like calling Melinda "our resident pro.") I got the same feeling here and Chris sure didn't like it; he didn't even crack a smile. He started off pretty strong and I thought for a moment we'd have another revival a la Phil and LaKisha. No such luck. He did better on the verses than the chorus but he just wasn't very memorable. It sort of faded away right in front of you. Also, Chris seemed to think rocking out meant leaning forward as much as possible while you sing. I feared he might tip over by the finale. And his green t-shirt didn't seem very rocker-ish either. Combined with last week's weak performance, Chris is the most vulnerable of all.
MELINDA -- Sang "Have A Nice Day." She looked cool and young for a change and rocked out with conviction. Heck, she even strutted there for a moment. Inner Tina Turner was definitely unleashed. After last week's terrific Faith Hill number, she is definitely safe and looking very strong indeed.
GEORGE AND LAURA BUSH -- Ugh. $70 million for charity is wonderful, but it's a pittance compared to what's needed. And Bush could help save lives but instead just can't be bothered and lets the feel-good moment of a charity concert substitute for the real work of foreign aid and investment. Who in God's name contacted who to arrange this moment?
THE BOTTOM THREE -- Melinda and Blake are safe. Other than that, it's a crazy quilt of good and bad performances from the last two weeks that make this very tough to call. Phil and LaKisha both had poor and great performances. Chris and Jordin both had two weeks of so-so to bad performances. On straight performances, Chris and Jordin should go home. But I'm gonna get fancy and assume Jordin has enough of a fan base and Phil has been weak enough for weeks that it'll be Phil and Chris going home. But I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see Jordin there too. If we knew who the bottom two were last week, this would be easier. If Jordin really was in the bottom two, then I'd say it's definitely her and Chris. So, Chris going home and Phil will join him, with Jordin in the bottom three as well and counting herself lucky if she's around for the Top 4.