Just three episodes left! We’re in the homestretch, and tonight, our contestants are headed home to visit their childhood towns and families. This is the episode that makes me cry the most each season, without fail. We have three rounds of songs tonight: round 1, Scott Borchetta’s choice; round 2, the contestants’ hometown dedications; and round 3, the judges’ picks. Ready for a long night?
Rayvon’s up first, and Scott picks Jason Derulo’s “Want to Want Me,” which will for sure challenge Rayvon, but also bums me out because I’m really trying to make this my song of the summer and I don’t want to associate it with Rayvon. (I know, I know, he was fantastic last week.) He’s dancing; he’s having a personality; this is fun! But for real, Rayvon has this killer falsetto, but he loses control with this number. His typically perfect control is shaky. The judges are positive—Harry says it’s the best he’s heard Rayvon sound on an up-tempo song—and I’m chalking our differences of opinion up to that weird watching live versus watching on TV thing.
Clark is up next, and for him, Scott selects U2’s “Beautiful Day.” It should be noted that somebody has styled Clark’s hair. With product. Do I like it? I don’t think so. But Clark’s looking looser on this stage than he normally does, and his voice is on tonight, much better than last week’s fumble. They managed to give him a bit of a rock star moment! But the judges point out that Clark really only got lost in the song (in a good way) for about a quarter of it, and the rest felt measured and calculated. Totally fair, but overall, good choice, Scott.
For Nick, Springsteen’s “Because the Night.” Nick is obviously stoked. (“The Boss!?” he exclaims.) Nick continues his upward climb tonight. He sounds good and has a few moments of looking really nervous but otherwise has command of the stage. Harry’s into it. Keith’s into it. J.Lo wants more connection with the lyrics, but otherwise, was into it!
Jax is up next, and gets “My Generation” by The Who. Jax is so thrilled. Is she the cutest? She’s all decked out like a British rocker (or maybe a fab combo of Baby Spice and Scary Spice) and is wearing a necklace made of actual house keys. The look suits her. This all suits her. She’s all over the damn stage like a performer way more seasoned than she actually is. Her vocal isn’t quite as pretty as usual, but no one wants pretty from this song, anyway. She totally puts the boys to shame, She’s such a badass! The judges are obsessed—her best performance of the season, says Keith.
Who wins the round? Jax, hands down.
NEXT: The contestants head home and the tears start flowing.