Wednesday night saw a burst of excitement and energy from fans and the Idol crew. It seemed like everyone was in good spirits and it showed.
The fans screamed for the judges when they came out. Steven Tyler was receptive and responded with hand gestures that reminded everyone of his rock star status. And, since he is a rock star, the crowd returned the gesture enthusiastically.
Hollie Cavanagh was first up. The camera saw her say a hello to Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer for “American Idol”, before taking the stage to perform
“River Deep- Mountain High”.
Jimmy Iovine and Little Steven were keeping up with each other, trading remarks and keeping everyone else entertained. They even took a couple of shots at Aerosmith, which garnered some head shaking from Tyler.
Phillip Phillips was next up with his rendition of “The Letter”. He took the extra time to fist-bump his back up musicians. They were appreciative of the gesture. The song seemed to be a little stressful for Phillips, garnering a supportive back thump from Ryan Seacrest, who told him it was one more down and only two more to go.
Skylar Laine was next, with her performance of “Fortunate Sun”. J Lo made the observation that she was rearing to go, which seems to be true, since Laine had to take a minute to shake off the excess energy she had before her performance.
The band started practicing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”, which gave away the song choice for the duet to be sung by Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips. Phillips got a surprise from one of his fans. The fan was holding up a big sign that read Phillips #1 Fan, which elicited a big grin from Phillips.
Jessica Sanchez sang “Proud Mary”, and Joshua Ledet performed “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”.
Hollie sang “Bleeding Love”, before singing a trio with Laine and Sanchez. The song choice was “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher“.
On break, Randy took a moment to introduce the special guests that were present in the audience. Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams, Minka Kelly and Nancy Grace were all in attendance. Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams are married. Nancy Grace was a lawyer, but now is recognized as a media personality.
Skylar Laine sang “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”, which impressed all three of the judges, especially Tyler, who mouthed the word “wow”.
The last two performers for the evening where Sanchez, who sang “You Are So Beautiful” and Joshua Ledet, who sang “To Love Somebody“. Sanchez later said she sang it for her mother. The performance was well received. It came complete with mood lighting, since LED candles were quickly passed out right before her performance.
Ledet’s performance was also well-received, garnering a standing ovation by Jennifer Lopez. Lythgoe even showed enthusiasm, playing the orchestra conductor from his seat.
The energy and excitement were certainly there as the show wrapped up one of its last episodes before the close of its eleventh season.