Despite persistent rumors  that judge
5. Joshua Ledet - "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Commanding shriek, passionate performance, wonderful vocal runs... as far as Joshua's renditions go, this was your run-of-the-mill vocal clinic of a performance. It just seemed too safe, in the sense that we already know Joshua is capable of this -- so why showcase it again? Interestingly enough, he nabbed a standing ovation from the judges, but when it came to them comparing all three singers in that round, Steven and Jennifer couldn't give him the top spot, despite having only given him such an ovation. Finally, evidence that maybe the judges are a bit trigger happy when it comes to giving him standing o's?
6. Jessica Sanchez - "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
If I were ever to participate on a singing competition (spoiler: I won't), one of the first things I'd make sure to avoid is singing one of the judges' songs, because that has to be nerve-wracking, and chances are it's going to be tough to please them. But Jessica had a very solid showing with the Aerosmith  ballad, and even impressed Steven: "You just took a great song and made it greater," he said. Wow! I certainly wouldn't call her singing better than the original by any means, but she didn't crash and burn, either.
7. Joshua Ledet - "Imagine"
Take note, because Joshua doesn't do a song this way often -- he showed restraint! One of the most common criticisms of the singer is that he can go over-the-top too quickly, but he reined it in all song long here, providing just the right amount of 'oomph' to carry the song by the end. But as with "I'd Rather Go Blind," vocally it was more of what we've already heard from him. So why get too excited?
8. Jessica Sanchez - "I'll Be There"
Jimmy picked this song for Jessica so that she could appeal to the show's older audience. Admirable, but it didn't work too well. Really, there's little wrong vocally -- she hit every note and sounded her usual best. But this was her last performance of the night, the one freshest in viewers' minds as they go to cast their votes. The song lacked much of a punch, and it felt like Jessica was kind of going through the motions. I think the only real impact this rendition will have on anyone -- if any at all -- is its nostalgia factor.
9. Phillip Phillips - "Disease"
If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Dave Matthews  covered Matchbox Twenty , here's your answer. The result is... well, fine. But nothing more. It was too subdued a performance to leave its mark, and we've seen Phillip do something similar many times before. A small misstep in what was otherwise a great night for the singer.
The verdict: Phillip won the night -- no question -- and should have an easy ticket into the finale. That leaves Jessica and Joshua, and though I think Joshua had the better night, it'll be Jessica getting into the top two. It pains me to say (type?) this, because Joshua's probably been my favorite overall contestant this season. I just think Jessica still has the overall edge in popularity.
Who was your favorite tonight? Who won the night and who won't be getting into the finale? Let us know in the comments!
- Reality Check