American Idol 2012 resumed April 18 on FOX and featured the top 7 as they performed songs from both "Then" and "Now." Although some performers faltered, competition dark horse Phillip Phillips wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson with a stellar round-one pick, quite possibly setting the stage for a trip to the top 6.
During his rehearsal segment with show mentor Jimmy Iovine, the producer noted that Phillip hadn't yet served time in the bottom three. Phillip hoped to keep his streak alive with an unusual and "intimate" song choice, Usher's "U Got it Bad." Jimmy copped to being "nervous" about the selection out of the gates, but later praised Phillip's interpretation as "great." In fact, the brutally honest Jimmy liked it enough that he predicted that it may help him "pick up some new fans."
Clothed in his usual grey shirt, Phillip hit the stage with his trusty guitar. Although he has a distinctive vocal quality and style, his songs often sound the same from one to the next, which could well hurt the former pawn shop employee in the long run. This time, however, his voice was fresher and more unique than usual, and the spin on the tune was a good one.
The judges loved it and rewarded the effort with a standing ovation. Steven Tyler said, "you fool us all the way down the line" and "with you I never know what we're gonna get." He loved the melody and the band. Jennifer Lopez called it "so sexy" and appreciated how he could "sing any song." Randy Jackson called him "a true artist" and "da bomb."
To see if Phillip Phillips advances to the next edition of American Idol 2012, tune into tomorrow night's results show on FOX.