American Idol

Season 11 Episode 16

America Decides The Finalists!

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 01, 2012 on ABC

Episode Recap

Chase Likens, Phillip Phillips, and Jeremy Rosado are called up to the front. Chase calls it beyond belief how nervous they all are. Jeremy says his heart is beating out of his chest.

Producer Jimmy Iovine says Jeremy has a great voice and probably gets the reward for the nicest person he's seen in a long time, but it doesn't cut it on this show, as you need much more than that. He calls Chase a goodlooking guy, but says to win on this show, you have to bring something fresh, original, and exciting, and he saw none of that. Jimmy knows they desperately need originality on the show, and Phil has that. A lot of people try to sing like him, but come out affected. He believes every word he sang and would sign him on the spot.

Looking at Jeremy, Randy Jackson agrees with Jimmy that it takes more than great looks, but thinks he has a great voice as well. Well, that's what he said about Phil, not Jeremy. Jennifer Lopez thinks voices supersede some other things, and they re looking for the whole package, but she thinks Jeremy has that. Phil can't even speak to what Jimmy said about him. Steven Tyler understands what Jimmy is talking about commercially when it comes to Chase, but sometimes the voice can come through, like Chase's.

Jeremy and Chase do not make the top 10, but Phil does. Jeremy and Chase will have to hope for a wildcard shot with the judges. With Phil sitting alone in the chairs, Ryan Seacrest comes over and asks him if he can get him anything, but is only met with nervous laughter.

Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Brielle von Hugel, and Hallie Day are brought down to center stage. Jimmy calls Hollie a little girl with a big voice. She could have been a little more believable, and with the right material, she could do some real damage. He doesn't feel Brielle has a very Staten Island name, and he has family there. He thinks she has a lot of charisma, but doesn't understand her song choice, thinking it will hurt her. Jimmy calls this Hallie's best show so far, with real poise, restraint and a great tone. There's a lot of blondes, and he's not sure who people will vote for. He thinks Jessica has talent from A to Z and would sign her on the the spot tonight. She has the pole position in this race.

Brielle still stands by her song choice, as she loves putting a twist on old classics. She'd just like to tell Jimmy that she's respectful of him and loves him. Jennifer isn't sure whether Hallie was a standout enough over the others to be in the top five. Brielle and Hallie do not make it, while Jessica and Hollie do, as they join Phil on the stools. The others are hoping for a wildcard.

Returning to the guys, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, and Adam Brock are called to center stage. Adam addresses the how the night is go ing backstage, saying they're excited, but thinking everyone did well, and it all neutralizes each other. It's cheesy and corny, but they all love each other.

Jimmy knows Joshua is the real deal. He sang great, and there's no question he'll get through. He's looking forwad to working with him, but it's his job to make sure they don't turn him into Sister Act III. Jimmy talks about Adam's comment that he has a large black woman trapped in a white body, but he doesn't think he's putting them both on right now. He wants him to merge them into one and show up as one person. Jimmy is completely confused by Heejun. He gets the persnality and schtick with sort of a good voice, but this "isn't American Comedian, it's American Idol."

Heejun is asked what he thinks about Jimmy's comments about him, and asks back, "Who's that?" He's of course taking it seriously and knows it's a singing competition, He thinks he has a lot to work with alongside comedy. Growing up singing in the church taught Joshua to sing from his soul and heart and everything he's been through is helped by that. Adam wishes he could take his comments about himself back, but does get it. Joshua and Heejun make it through, whileAdam Brockwill hope for a wildcard.

Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrel, Skylar Laine, and Shannon Magrane approach center stage. Jimmy thinks Skylar did herself a lot of favors this week picking Stay With Me, blending soul with country. She brought a lot of charism and has a lot of stage presence. He would have voted for her and thinks the viewers will as well. He thinks Baylie has all the pieces, beautiful and a nice tone, but they didn't come together. "Out of tune and out of here." Chelsea has a real nice voice, but he doesn't think "Carrie Underwood Karaoke" is original enough and thinks she'll be in trouble. Jimmy really likes Shannon, seeing a really good voice and great poise, but thinks she was dressed more for going to the prom but he thinks she'll do well tonight.

Shannon cries, saying she can't help but do it, as she's so happy, so excited, and she's gone through so much. It's such an amazing opportunity, and she doesn't want it to end. Baylie would have sung on key if she could do anything differently. Skylar's confidence comes from her loving the song and everyone getting into it with her. She knows what type of artist she wants to be and just wants to show that in everything she does.

Shannon makes it through. Randy thinks there's room for a couple of the country girls, and definitely one of them who stood out more than the others. Skylar makes it through. Chelsea and Baylie will have to hope for a wildcard spot later in the night.

Aaron Marcellus, Creighton Fraker, and Reed Grimm take center stage next. Jimmy finds Reed real talented, playing the drums and moving around, and all the judges seem to love him. Maybe he thought he was in a night club, but he was way to kitschy and cabaret for him, and he'll never make it on the show like that. Jimmy was confused by the judges and the audience giving Aaron a standing O, saying it just came off cheesy to him.He thinks Creighton has an interesting voice. It's screechy and annoys him at the top end.

Jennifer thinks Jimmy should come to the show. She respects him and sees what he's saying, but what they hear on the stage could be different than what he hears at home or on the little monitor he's watching. However, there are some things he says that make her want to punch them. Randy understands, and did say Wednesday that they had been too lenient the night before.

Steven addresses Jimmy with something that is bleeped out, then more seroiusly notes that he's been right on with a lot of it, unfortunately. Jennifer thinks she'd just choose to say things differently. Randy doesn't know whether Aaron's stnading O still stands up, but notes he likes Don Cheadle. Steven thinks Reed is relevant because he shows off everyting he can do. Jennifer thinks there's room for all types of different aritsts, noting that talent is always going to be relevant. It's all for naught, as none of these guys make it through

Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Haley Johnsen, and Jen Hirsh are called up. Jimmy thinks Jen has a really nice voice, but he thinks she should stay miles away from Adele right now. There's a lot of vocal pyrotechics in place of soul and it won't work on this show. He does like Erika, saying music is in her blood. It's natural to her, and she has great restraint. He doesn't' believe she should push it like the judges asked for. Jimmy can get around that Haley sang out of tune the entire song, but can't get around her robotic mimicking. Jimmy agrees with the judges about Erika and would like to see her on some material prepared just for her. While he's normally afraid of Adele songs and the emotion, he felt she brought somethng to it.

J-Lo knows how strong Erika's voice is and what her range is, and her comments to her last night was just because she wanted America to see what she's capable of. Elise admits to being distracted by being sad about some people leaving and wondering if she will. Haley doesn't have any regrets and felt she performed to the best of her ability. She's the first to sit down and wait for a wildcard. Erika joins her, leaving Elise and Jen and just one spot for the ladies. The one joining the group is Elise.

Deandre Brackensick, Eben Franckewitz, Colton Dixon, and Jermaine Jones are the last of the guys to hear their fate. There are just two spots left other than the wildcards. Jennifer hates seeing some of these people go home, but so far, she agrees with America on every single person they put through. Steven wants to give everyone the confidence to see what they'll do next time, but he agrees with America and Jimmy, as the top 10 so far are the people that made his heart stop. Randy calls it an amazing top 10 brewing.

Jimmy is so glad the judges brought Jermaine back, calling it a beautiful voice. He could listen to a whole album of that, and there are very few people he'd say that about. They have to figure out now how to get him through the show, and figures it will take a bit of creativity, variety, and excitement. He thinks Deandre has an enormous bit of potential, but what he needs is a coach. He's just not ready for the Earth Wind and Fire vocals yet. Jimmy finds Eben a really talented kid with a lot of potential, but doesn't think he's ready for primetime. He'd like to see him not make it and come back, and wants the rules changed to accomplish that. He thinks Colton is one of the most talented kids in the show, but does believe he needs to pace himself.

Colton appreciates what Jimmy said about him and doesn't even have words. Eben said right away he wanted to sing the song when he first heard it on the radio. He felt good about the performance and appreciates the judges' advice. If he gets through, he'll definitely step it up a notch. Deandre didn't make it through, and walks off putting his hair up. Colton is not … going to be disappointed. He makes it through. His sister is thrilled. As Eben tries to stand on tiptoe to be as tall as Jermaine, Ryan says he knows the feeling. It's Jermaine that is making it through.

Jennifer is pleased with how it's all gone down, but also says it's one of the most painful moments, as they have to look at the others and only choose six to come out and perform for a shot at the three wildcard spots.

The first pick to perform again is Jen Hirsh. She isn't sure where it went wrong, but just doesn't think she stood out as much, and wants to prove she can. Jen sings Oh Darlin',

Jen gets that soul thing going of hers, which should get her one of the final spots.

Randy explains they like when she sings for her life. She started kind of slowly, then went for the gusto and showed why she's here. Jennifer feels the same and wants to be fair when listening to the others. Steven thought "oh here we go" in the beginning, then she took it home and nailed it.

The next one called up to get a second chance is Jeremy Rosado.

He sings I Know You Won't, and looking at J-Lo's face, it's obvious why he chose this. He could pull out the emotion with it he knows Jennifer is looking for. He starts crying at the end, obviously wanting it just that much. He explains this is his dream and he may not have shown that on Tuesday, but he promises he will if he gets through. He thanks the judges and thanks God.

Ryan goes to Jennifer first who is about to burst into tears, and she says she believes in Jeremy and thinks he has one of the most beautiful voices of all time. Randy mentions how he came out and bared his soul, and is such a cool guy. He loves his voice as well. Steven talks about Jeremy's big heart and passion, and thinks crying like that made America see "the real."

The next pick goes to Brielle. She's going to lay it all out. She does this all day and every day and lives for it. She sings Someone LIke You.

She belts it out there, but belts too much so that she's offkey. Steven tells her she was pitchy in some spots and that he just didn't hear it this time. Randy thinks she might be in a little bit of trouble after that. Jennifer felt her passion with it and thinks she should be proud of her last effort.

Randy brings up Deandre next, and he seems to thank the Lord as he takes the stage. He chooses to sing Georgia On My Mind. Randy tells him it was a nice way to come out and that's how you put it out there to stay in it. Jennifer feels the fire from him and that's exsactly what you have to do, dig down deep. Steven has loved his voice from the very beginning. He has such a dynamic range and goes all over the place.

Jennifer calls up Erika next, She sings Edge of Glory, and like Jeremy, she's having a hard time keeping her emotions in check as she sings. Randy says this girl is singing like she's gotta have it. J-Lo loves someone who can fight through the tears and still deliver. Your emotions get the best of you and you fall apart, but she didn't. Steven tells her she is living on the edge without a doubt, and it was beautiful.

Steven announces the last person, after much deliberation, is Reed. The others are all called up to the front to get one last bit of applause, then are ushered off the stage.

Reed takes his button-down shirt off, leaving him in just a t-shirt. He sings Use Me by Bill Withers. Randy says they just had to see that agian as he has to be one of the most differnet artists they've had try out for the show. He's truly unique and entertainning and it was truly entertaining. J-Lo says they felt people didn't get to see Reed the other night as they have gotten to see him and enjoy him. Steven loves the artist in him and says he nailed it tonight.

Randy, after saying, "Oh what a night, a crazy, emotional night," gives his pick to Erika. Jennifer gives her pick to Jeremy. Steven gives that last position to Deandre.