This week, there's no theme whatsoever, as the final three amateurs get their pick of any duet with their mentors AND a solo song to showcase their talent before next week's live finale. It's been a fairly predictable season thus far, but tonight, there might be a few surprises in store.
The Elimination: The Tables Have Turned
Quddus addresses Bridget Carrington and Jason Farol first--this one is a tough call. But after a moment of suspense, it's announced that Bridget is in the bottom two. Which means, for the first time ever, one of Jennifer Nettles' partners is in the bottom two! Granted, there are only four total, but still--Jennifer's dynamic duo has been compromised. Between J Rome and John Glosson, it's... John in the bottom two (which is sad, but next to J Rome, expected). Now it's down to Bridget or John (I seriously hope John isn't going home, he's too good!)... the amateur eliminated tonight is Bridget
John Legend comes on stage to share some nice sentiments: "It's been so much fun working with Bridget. I'm glad I got the chance to sing with her." But just like that, the sentiment is gone, because the remaining three (the three "J" boys) have to sing twice tonight.
Jennifer Nettles' First Duet: "Breakeven" with J Rome
According to Jennifer, J Rome came into this competition "already ready," so they're just using this time to take his talent to the next level. This week, they're going with a pop-rock song to feature yet another genre J Rome can excel at.
As usual, the first thing I notice is some interesting aspect of Jennifer's outfit choice. This week, it's a fedora-style burgundy hat. Moving on, it's soon clear that these two have such a command of every element of their performance. Also, Jennifer's country twang brings a different feel to the pop song. Robin and Kelly agree that while they wouldn't have thought this song choice well-suited for the R&B crooner, it ended up working perfectly, which Robin calls "a testament to your talent." John has basically decided "just about everything is right for your voice," and compliments J Rome and Jennifer's "infectious" chemistry.
Kelly Clarkson's Duet: "Me & Mrs. Jones" with Jason Farol
Jason has chosen the song he sang a cappella when in the bottom two a previous week, hoping that it will be good luck again for him this time around. Kelly's just happy Jason wasn't in the bottom two last week and feels her mentee is becoming a better performer with each week.
This is the first week I feel like Jason is a true professional on stage, instead of someone being mentored by one. He's calm, he's confident and he holds out those big notes with conviction. When Jason tells Quddus he is in fact single, I'm pretty sure his status as a contender shoots up. Jennifer is all praise for Jason, claiming he has finally found his artistic niche as a young, soulful singer in a "slim Filipino body," which she loves. The male Superstars are not as generous, however. Robin says he was missing a bit of the "naughtiness" that Jason could have shown while engaging with Kelly onstage, and John says Jason's performance last week was better. This feels like "six weeks ago Jason."
Jennifer Nettles' Second Duet: "The Prayer" with John Glosson
This week John is putting everything on the line with this ambitious song choice (in the words of Jennifer, filling the vocal range of Andrea Bocelli and Celin Dion is "ridiiiculous"). But Jennifer believes John is the "only one that can sing it," which is huge.
The foggy stage sets the mood for this soaring, theatrical number. Jennifer and John both masterfully execute the song, and the weaving verses of the two parts creates a beautiful performance. Jennifer even takes on the Italian lyrics, to take Duets
"bilingual," as Quddus says. John Legend applauds John's vocal ability to sound "magnificent" at any range. Robin is delighted John took his "Georgia Bocelli" nickname to heart and Kelly calls John's voice "special," "hypnotic" and "a blessing."
The Solo Performances
Now it's time for the three finalists to sing solo--a first on Duets
. J Rome
sings his "favorite song in the whole world," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)." Again, I am amazed by how professional he is when he performs. J Rome is confident without appearing cocky, charming without going overboard and delivers on his vocals the entire time. Next, John
sings "Bless the Broken Road," which is the perfect song for his voice. Of course, it's expected, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing--he knows what he's good at and shines while doing it. John also balances effort and restraint really well when it comes to his voice. Lastly, Jason
sings "Runaway Baby," and I'm a bit nervous for him, with all the fast-paced lyrics and running around on stage. But he is undoubtedly much more confident now and interacts with the audience well.
With just moments of the show left, Quddus asks the Superstars to give their quick feedback on the solo performances overall. Robin thought J Rome did well, that John's voice was the best, but that Jason "just brought the house down" with his electric performance. John agrees, saying this type of Bruno Mars song choice is "the right vein for him"; but if the Grammy-winner had to sign someone right now, it would be J Rome. Jennifer just felt like "a stage mom" the entire time, rooting for her two boys and Kelly, while acknowledging John and J Rome were amazing, is really proud of her partner tonight and hopes he wins.
Who do you all think performed the best tonight? Did the solo performances show a different side to the remaining three contestants? Tune in next week to watch the live Duets
(Image courtesy of ABC)