Three young women sang their hearts out tonight, but only two will go on to the AI3 finals next week. In what’s become the most contentious and unpredictable season of Fox's singing competition yet, the American public has been treated to some truly fantastic performances. Tonight, we got to see a few more.
The trio of remaining contestants had an hour to fill--an hour, incidentally, that was surprising free of the usual filler and product placements--so each was allotted three songs: one they chose themselves, one that the judges choose for them, and a final one chosen by tonight's guest judge, music mogul Clive Davis.
Jasmine Trias got the night off to an inauspicious start with her uneven rendition of Saving All My Love For You. The performance felt rushed as she stopped short on nearly every line and almost seemed to be two-stepping her way around the stage on nine-inch heels. Her voice was merely adequate, not spectacular, and she had virtually no connection with the audience or the music. About half way through the song, she seemed to regain her footing, finally managing to wrap her voice around the lyrics and ending strong.
Next up was Fantasia Barrino. She chose Chain of Fools for her first song and delivered a slam dunk performance that had the entire studio audience on their feet and clapping along. This is the sort of music Fantasia does best, and she knows it. What made watching her particularly enjoyable was the free and easy approach she took to the song, deviating from the original just enough to make her performance unique. It seems every time Fantasia comes on the AI3 stage, the competition is taken to a new level.
Diana DeGarmo had the unfortunate task of following Fantasia, but with Ain't No Mountain High Enough as her song choice, she was poised to deliver a solid showing. But something went wrong for Diana tonight. She wasn't able to hit the punch of her previous upbeat performances, instead almost shouting out the lyrics rather than singing them. Whether it was the pressure or just a fluke, she fell down on what should have been her strongest song of the night.