The Top 7 finalists embarked on a “new beginning” Wednesday night, with each contestant singing two songs from “Now & Then”: a #1 hit from 2001 to the present and a second soul song from back in the day.
Hollie started the show with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and Jimmy said she seemed “looser,” with “more feeling” in rehearsal. “When you hit the stage you’re slightly robotic,” he warned. The judges thought she pulled it off.
“You finally did what all of America was waiting for you to do — you finally came out of your shell, you ruffled your feathers a little,” Steven said. “I can’t judge you, it was perfect.” Jennifer raved, “I am so happy right now. When we say, ‘no thinking,’ that’s what you did. You forgot about everything, you sang that song, you felt every word, you did it!” Randy was a little more restrained in his praise. “I’m not gonna say it was perfect, but it was close to perfect. A couple of notes were pitchy,” he said, adding, “What I loved, for the first time ever, I felt you had feeling, you had emotion. Hollie, very well done.”
Time for round two! After a message from Liverpool’s “football” team wishing Hollie good luck, the contestants got ready to sing classic songs inspired by “Soul Train.” Hollie kicked things off with “Son of a Preacher Man,” and the judges enjoyed it.
“You dug in for the last note . . . you were like, ‘Yo, I will not be outdone on this show,’” Randy said. “That was crazy … I was little worried you were doing this song, but you worked it out.” Jennifer told Hollie, “This one was better even than the first time, and you did really great then. I think you’re showing a new composure, and it really suits you.” Steven added, “I see it too, I hear it, and I still think you can push it even more. You got the voice, got the vehicle. Take it, push it over the top!”