A Raging Fire on AI

At the close of American Idol‘s performance show this week, Jennifer Lopez told the contestants that whoever made it through tonight’s elimination would have to up their game and give power to their performances in the way of that special “wow” moment that’s been lacking so far this season. Fireworks, as Ryan Seacrest summarized quickly before signing off for good. Well, AI contestants, take note, because the fire was crackling tonight.

After an impassioned speech by Harry Connick Jr. about why he (and the other judges, surprisingly)has been so “harsh” to the contestants (and ending with a great analogy that referenced Drew Brees and the fact that he wouldn’t be coddled by his coach if he failed to live up to his potential) that I think every single talent show judge should listen and adhere to, the night got off to a shocking start when Emily, one of the top three girls in this man’s humble opinion, took a seat in the bottom three.

From there, Phillip Phillips took the stage to prove why he was crowned a winner. His performance of his brand new single, “Raging Fire,” had everything the judges were looking for in the current crop of performers from the night before — it had passion, heart and soul, and bled power. I have nothing against MK, but as one of the weakest performers this season, she should definitely take notes from Phillips on how to emote and convey the rawness of a performance. His was the first performance this season that I wanted to rewind and watch again right away, and it definitely made me want to run out and buy that album when it’s released.The band that Randy Jackson showcased tonight also had some gravitas that a lot of this year’s crew is missing thus far, and though they didn’t quite pull me in as easily as Phillips, I could still see the attraction to their music and their sound, and it was still a good source of inspiration for the contestants to remember going into next week’s live performance show, which, sadly, Emily will not be attending, as in the final fireworks of the night, Emily was sent packing… removing one of three girls I thought might have had a chance against the unstoppable guys.

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