TEAM ADAM: JUDITH HILL
The song: "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson
The performance: When Adam tells Judith she'll be doing a Michael song, she immediately gets emotional about paying homage to a man she is so grateful to. She's scared people won't see the difference between exploiting him and celebrating him. But after she gets on stage in her red jumpsuit and delivers a soulful rendition -- complete with backup singers for the MJ backup singer -- of one of my favorite Michael songs, I think it's clear what she wanted to do. The only thing crazier than Judith's hair is her vocals. Apart from her blind audition, this is my favorite Judith performance thus far.
The feedback: After Carson gives a very awkward therapeutic interlude, Blake can find absolutely nothing bad to say about Judith's performance. Usher, as a lover of MJ himself, shares Judith's feelings of missing him, and Adam is confident that America is ready to accept both Judith and her amazing celebration of a pop legend.
You guys know what time it is: Say hello to Christina Milian's red hair! Up in the skybox, she gets Josiah to tell a story about being one of six kids before wholeheartedly creepin' on him, and then she, too, proves that she isn't great at dealing with tragedy, stumbling over her words as she tries to squeeze in a plug for helping those in Oklahoma.
TEAM BLAKE: THE SWON BROTHERS
The song: "How Country Feels" by Randy Houser
The performance: With a crazy backdrop, The Swon Brothers take things back to their country roots, but this time they pick up the tempo. The result is probably a lot of fun for country music fans, and I do like their sound. However, in the end, I'll tell you how country feels for me in this moment -- lackluster and repetitive.
The feedback: After asking the Oklahoma boys to say a few words for their fellow state folk, Shakira tells the brothers once again that they make her feel good. Adam can't get over Zach's crazy Scream face, and Blake thinks the boys are starting to have something happen.
TEAM ADAM: AMBER CARRINGTON
The song: "Break Away" by Kelly Clarkson
The performance: For the record, Adam Carlson and I picked a Kelly Clarkson for Amber when we had to rank the top 12 in last week's print edition of the magazine, so I was very excited when I heard the song selection. And so, with yet another inexplicably over-the-top backdrop, and the assistance of one very powerful fan, Amber is able to pull off another great performance. I really love this girl's voice, but I have to admit I was hoping for a little bit more from this song, though I can't pinpoint what I'm missing. A lot of help I am. Who can help me out?
The feedback: Blake thinks Amber can "wear some wind good" and thinks the Kelly Clarkson song was a good call. Usher is literally blown away by the performance and commends Amber on her incredible talent and personal arrangement of the song. Shakira agrees that Kelly Clarkson is in Amber's wheelhouse, which Adam considers to be high praise. He loves Amber. Period.
NEXT: Sasha Allen finds her groove