When American Idol 2012's top 4 performance show aired on May 9, the remaining finalists gave further insight into themselves by delivering songs they wish they'd written. Phillip Phillips started off round two with a stirring rendition of his personal pick, "Volcano".
When host Ryan Seacrest inquired about his health, Phillip said he was feeling "all right". And things during his mentoring session with Jimmy Iovine were more than all right. Phillip shared that he wished he'd written the song "Volcano", which he termed "haunting" and "beautiful". Jimmy called the pick "a bull's eye" and compared his maturation throughout the competition to the emergence of a "butterfly". He said the song choice sent a message that Phillip could finally "record a song... and not sound like anyone else".
Wearing a light brown jacket and strumming his guitar, Phillip finessed his way through the Damien Rice tune. The tune did indeed show off more of Phillip's range, but somehow, he still managed to sound very much like he usually sounds. It wasn't boring, but it also wasn't incredibly exciting, and he still doesn't even approach the range of fellow finalist Joshua Ledet.
The judges, however, responded with near-awe. Steven Tyler said "you just sang like you really dug the way you sung to yourself" and "that was just beautiful". Jennifer Lopez shared "very few people could've pulled that off... on a competition show like this" and called it "a testament to who you are". She called it one of the most "poignant moments" ever for an Idol contestant. Randy Jackson said "this is what it's all about" and deemed it one of his best performances yet.
The American Idol 2012 top 4 results show airs May 10 on FOX.