“American Idol” addressed contestant Jermaine Jones’ abrupt exit from the show at the top of Wednesday night’s broadcast. Ryan Seacrest said “Idol” producers worked with law enforcement to discover the information that led to Jones’ elimination.
Jermaine Jones’ Tuesday afternoon meeting with “Idol” producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick was shown later in the show. They listed two separate incidents from last year in which Jones was criminally charged.
In each incident, Jones gave a fake name to police, and he currently has four outstanding warrants for his arrest. The producers told Jones they aren’t allowed to have contestants with outstanding warrants on the show.
When asked why he failed to tell producers about his legal issues, Jones said, “I was just scared and nervous. I didn’t wanna get judged. I didn’t wanna get penalized for anything that happened in the past.” Jones’ performance of “Somewhere Out There” from Tuesday’s rehearsals played as cameras showed him leaving the “Idol” studios.
At the close of that segment, Seacrest said, “We will certainly miss Jermaine’s talent on the show, and we wish him the best of luck for his future.”
The rest of the competition went on as usual with the remaining contestants singing songs from the year they were born. Jennifer Lopez got a little alarmed when Seacrest revealed the youngest contestants would be singing songs from 1995.
Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler joined Lopez at the judges’ tables. Jimmy Iovine brought will.i.am along to help the contestants prepare for their performances. Here’s what happened:
Phillip Phillips kicked the competition off with his take on The Black Crowes’ cover of the Otis Redding classic “Hard to Handle.” During rehearsals, Phillips told Iovine and will.i.am he was in a lot of pain due to kidney stones. His right kidney wasn’t functioning properly and he had surgery last Thursday. Despite his medical condition, Phillips seemed like his normal self during his performance. Jackson and Lopez applauded Phillips for turning in such a great performance so soon after his surgery. Jackson liked the song choice, and Lopez said Phillips has music in every cell. Steven told Phillip to pay attention to the melody a bit more.
Jessica Sanchez chose to sing Gloria Estefan’s cover of the disco hit “Turn the Beat Around.” Will.i.am was impressed with Sanchez’s swagger in rehearsals. The actual performance was just a run-of-the-mill run through of the song until Sanchez raised the key a bit at the end for a big finish. Tyler suggested she stick closer to the big ballads that have become her trademark so far on the show. He also loved her very shiny, silver pants. Lopez and Tyler both noted that Sanchez was a bit off on the rhythm too. Jackson didn’t think the song allowed her to show off her impressive voice.
Heejun Han took on Richard Marx’s romantic hit “Right Here Waiting,” and Iovine helped him overcome some issues caused by his accent. Han seems so serious singing romantic ballads like this even though he’s still on the show mainly for his offbeat sense of humor offstage. Jackson thought it was pitchy and a bad song choice. Lopez loved Han’s tone and thought he really worked it out by the end. Tyler loves Han’s voice, but he agreed that it was a bad song choice.
Elise Testone sang Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” which was an R&B hit for Tina Turner in the year Testone was born — 1983. Coming off her near-elimination last week, Testone delivered a smoky rendition of the song sitting on top of a grand piano at first. At the halfway point, Testone kicked the song up a notch and showed off some more vocal attitude. Steven praised the raspiness in Testone’s voice, and Lopez thought this song was right on every level. Jackson declared the performance to be “like butter.”
DeAndre Brackensick came in singing Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” but will.i.am and Iovine weren’t feeling it. They suggested he switch to another hit from 1994 — Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross’ cover of “Endless Love.” Though it wasn’t a vocal home run, Brackensick’s dreamy looks into the camera while he sang are sure to earn him some votes. Lopez didn’t love the song choice and didn’t feel like Brackensick was into it. Tyler agreed with Lopez, and Jackson thought it was really boring.
Shannon Magrane chose to sing another big ballad, Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” and even worked in some of Carey’s very high whistle tones towards the end. Lopez admitted she was terrified for Magrane taking on this song, but Lopez loved the job she did with it. Tyler thought Magrane did well because she didn’t try too hard. Jackson praised Magrane for being fearless and said she has big potential.
Colton Dixon got some good advice from “Idol” finalist-turned-rock star Chris Daughtry when they met up in L.A. earlier this week. Dixon took on the obscure song “Broken Heart” by White Lion, which caused some concern from will.i.am and Iovine. In the end, they loved that Dixon performed it as a rock song. Lopez got a big love vibe from Dixon on this song and said he looked pretty when he sang. Tyler didn’t like the song for ‘s voice, but Jackson loved the performance.
Erika Van Pelt went with Bryan Adams’ ballad, “Heaven,” and Iovine loved the song choice. The actual execution wasn’t as impressive though. The song didn’t go anywhere, and Van Pelt seemed to run out of breath towards the end. Tyler thought she tried to do too much with the song, but he liked her voice on it. Lopez didn’t love the arrangement either, but she loved Van Pelt’s fashion choices. Jackson liked the performance but told her she didn’t have to change up the song so much.
Sylar Laine sang Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Sneakin’ Up on You,” and will.i.am told her to put some more fire in it for the performance. Laine had to work to show off her upper vocal register, and she got some big notes in towards the end. Tyler praised her heart and soul, and Lopez said she killed it. Jackson called Laine the “rockin’, in house country girl.”
Joshua Ledet got a big bucket of crawfish from his home state of Louisiana onstage before his performance and showed Seacrest how to properly eat them. For his performance, Ledet chose Michael Bolton’s version of Percy Sledge’s classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and his background singing in the church served him very well this time around. The judges even gave Ledet a standing ovation mid-song. Jackson said Ledet blew it out the box, and Lopez said it was the best thing she’d ever seen on “American Idol.” Tyler said it was the most beautiful performance he’d ever seen.
Hollie Cavanagh took on one of Celine Dion’s biggest hits, “The Power of Love,” on Wednesday’s show. It was a really big vocal performance from start to finish with the biggest note saved for the very end. Lopez said it was beautiful, and Tyler said her voice came from heaven above despite a few pitch issues. Jackson said she blew it out the box.
Someone is going home on Thursday’s results show, and the remaining 10 contestants will be going on tour this summer. Daughtry and Demi Lovato are set to perform.
“American Idol” airs at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Fox.