And then there were three left on American Idol.  By the end of tonight's results show, there will be just two left standing . . . your Idol finalists who will battle it out at the mic next week for the Season 11 title.  Last night, Jessica, Joshua and Phillip each tackled three songs a piece:  a song of their own choosing, a judge's choice, and a song selected by Idol mentor, Jimmy Iovine.  So, who was the star of the night with a choke-hold on the finale?  And who will fill that second spot?  WBKR's Idol expert Steve Thompson shares his predictions!

This morning, Steve and I chatted about the playing field and shared our thoughts about who is safe and who may be bowing of Idol in 3rd place.  LISTEN!

From Idol expert Steve Thompson:

  • Well here we are again boys and girls at the point of the competition where all the good singers we have left are the ones that should've been voted right off at the beginning.  Seriously.  At this point, barring a major miracle of Biblical proportions, I cannot see myself purchasing a CD by any of these three contestants.  I realize that much of what passes for musicallity these days has been trampled on by a buffalo stance not seen since the glory days of Neneh Cherry, but for Pete's sake...
  • A few weeks ago, Randy "Hey, I Used to Know ________ Personally" Jackson said that Joshua Ledet could be the new Terence Trent D'arby.  This is why Idol needs a shakeup at the judges table.  I went to Youtube to remind myself why I was such a big fan of Terence back in the late 80s-- and discovered that I'm still a fan and that he even sang lead for INXS for a while back in 2008.  Joshua tends to hit the volume to 11 every chance he gets-- Terence knew the difference between whispering a lyric and screaming a lyric.  Heck, if Joshua had the stones to cover If You All Get to Heaven we could stop the show and coronate him champ right now. 
  • As for Jessica?  Well, I'm not convinced Jessica was actually thrown under the bus-- but the driver of said bus might have been a little drunk at the time.  I thought her cover of I'll Be There was not only in keeping with Jimmy Iovine's mantra of trying to get the vote from people my age-- it was also a song that was age appropriate when you consider how young MJ was when he originally sang it.  Didn't really care for her Mariah cover (the first song) but I have never been much of a Mariah fan.  (Current odds that Idol will try to broker a deal for Mariah to be a judge if J Lo leaves are probably being posted somewhere in Vegas as I type this.)  I thought her cover of the Armageddon song was suitably mellow-- not the Aerosmith version by a long stretch, but mellow enough to be a  safe choice.
  • Which leaves us with Phil Phillips.  Yes, barring something akin to the Rapture, it looks like we have yet another WGWG (White guy with guitar) as our runaway winner.  The voting the past few weeks has been unusually suspect-- the closeness of our contestants in both sound and quality have caused every vote to be scrutinized as if they were being cast by dead people in Chicago.  (Hey, it worked in 1960.)  I couldn't stand his Matchbox 20 cover-- but I can't stand the real thing either.  The Norweigan rap song?  Clueless.  Not even Alicia Silverstone in her teenage prime could have been more clueless. 
  • Bob Seger?  Now we're talking.  Jimmy Iovine, you evil genius.  You found a way for Phil to sing a song that resonated with every Seger fan on the planet and even a few country fans who recall the Kenny Rogers version.  Perhaps the point is to find a song Phil couldn't put his own (rather erratic) spin on.  We've Got Tonight may have guaranteed a win-- because second place next week will probably get creamed by whatever Phil comes up with in the final.  (Trivia-- for some reason, the 45 I have somewhere in my archives spelled Tonight as Tonite.)
  • I think Phil is in the final by leaps and bounds-- the real trick is figuring out if Jessica will outlast Joshua in the balloting.  Available figures show Joshua with a very slight lead, but this is before the West Coast votes are tallied and Jessica is from the San Diego area.  My best guess is yet another all guy final. 
  • Dear America:  It won't hurt my feelings if you prove me dead wrong.
  • In all the years I've been watching and ruminating on these talent competitions, one thing is paramount.  Talent eventually wins out.  You might finish eighth or fifth or second, but if the public supports you and you get the right backing-- talent eventually wins out.  For every Taylor Hicks bound for Vegas, there's a Katherine McPhee in a hit series.  Even a girl who came in third in that ill-fated karaoke show on ABC last year has a recording contract, so go ahead and win Phil. 
  • We'll see, won't we?

@May 16, 2012  Stephen W Thompson