American Idol 2012 continued May 2 with two performances each by the top 5 finalists, one from the 1960s and another originating with a British band or artist. Georgia native Phillip Phillips's round one delivery of the 1960s hit "The Letter" spurred a disagreement between the mentors, but scored praise from the judges.
During Phillip's mentoring session with show regular Jimmy Iovine and guest Steven Van Zandt, the former pawn shop employee admitted that he wasn't thrilled with the original version of the song so he changed it up a lot. Jimmy worried about the key changes, but Steven disagreed, praising the degree of artistry. So who was right?
Phillip hit the Idol stage dressed in his usual outfit of choice, a grey tee underneath an open button-down shirt, and delivered yet another distinctively Phillip song. It was solid, but unfortunately, it sounded just like every other songs he's performed on the show. He may be a popular choice among voters, but he verges on being a little boring.
The judges, however, liked the number. Randy Jackson noted that the show was "down to the wire" and praised Phillip for his ability to "vibe it up." He loved it. Jennifer Lopez admitted that she was unfamiliar with the original Box Tops version of the song, but called him "so compelling to watch" that she wanted to applaud him anyway. Steven Tyler said he "missed the melody" but noted that "you get away with it." He praised Phillip for waving his "freak flag."
Will Phillip Phillips once again evade the bottom two? Watch the American Idol 2012 top 5 results show May 3 on FOX to find out.