Hooray! I live for the hometown visits on American Idol. They cry, I cry. Never fails. No more drama! (GIVE ME MORE DRAMA.)
Jessica Sanchez helicoptered in to Chula Vista from L.A., with a quick stop at San Diego's Padres stadium to emotionally relive her audition experience. A tight closeup of Phillip Phillips' private parts as he fastened his seat belt let us know he was on a private plane to Leesburg, Georgia. He would proceed to break down in tears while sandwiched by his adorable parents -- who had both expressed interest, separately and lovingly, in squeezing the life out of their son now that he was home. Phillip's parents are ridiculously cute.
But my favorite "hometown heroes" segment had to be Joshua Ledet's. I thought he really came alive once he landed in Westlake, Louisiana. This place had everything: Crawfish, a parade, a dog in a top hat, a woman with an eye patch. Joshua took us to church (literally this time) and emceed his own stadium concert with none of the reserved shyness we've seen from him on live TV.
I've never loved him more.
First up: Judges' choice -- or should I say sponsor's choice? A Kraft commercial featuring "I'd Rather Go Blind" aired directly after Joshua Ledet's rendition of the Etta James classic. "Why fix what's not broken?" wondered Randy. "Advertiser relations!" Of course, this was a perfectly fine choice for Josh, considering he's excelled at the smooth R & B style in the past. He didn't do anything new with it, but his costume was fabulous. "We just fed you what we knew you would feed back to us," explained J. Lo. (Kraft products.) I'm not sure this warranted the first of two judges' standing Os of the night. Typical Joshua. Good stuff.
NEXT: Steven Tyler calls Phillip the next Bruce Springsteen