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William McDowell opened with “I Give Myself Away.” It was a shaky open. I wasn’t sure if he was nervous, if the Spirit was just strong, if he forgot the words, if he was crying or if he just wanted us to worship. SMH!

Meanwhile, the show kicked off with a good old-fashioned sing-off between the three contestants vying for that 10th spot! The winner was my homegirl from Memphis, Timesha Sampson!

1. Timesha Sampson-(Memphis, TN)-She showed more vocal control than last week. Donnie said they made the right choice of putting her in the 10th spot because she deserved it! Erica encouraged her to take her time and practice more control. Tina called her the “Comeback Girl!”

2. Amber Bullock-(St. Louis, MI)-Her earring fell off last week but she kept it going! Last night she performed “How Great Is Our God.” Personally, the song didn’t seem to fit her vocal gift. Donnie agreed that it wasn’t the best song selection for her but she worked it anyway. Erica and Tina were both blown away by the personal flavor she added to a traditional song, especially the ending! Tina labeled her as having a signature sound.

3. Michael Pugh-(Brooklyn, NY)-He brought down the house last week! Last night he performed “God Great God.” Personally, he didn’t bring the house down or blow it away; he was just “okay.” However, Erica and Tina both loved it and agreed that he was a good and powerful gospel singer!

4. Andrea Helms-(Dallas, TX)-The preacher’s wife rocked it weeks ago with the song “Because Of Who You Are.” Last night she performed Mary Mary’s “Yesterday” which sort of made me cringe. However, Tina and Erica loved what she did with the song by staying true to who she is. Tina also said that she showed her heart, passion, anointing and she was believable! Donnie simply added that she was “perfect.”

5. Isaiah Freeman IV-(Cincinnati, OH)-Last week the judges compared him to Fred Hammond. Last night he performed Brian Courtney Wilson’s “All I Need.” I really wanted to see him take ownership of the song. Donnie said he added finesse to the song but needed to work on how to color a song as well as learn how to drive it. Tina requested to see more presence and suggested he work on a few things. Erica loved his style and encouraged him to exercise more control as well as open up more.

6. Sue Roseberry- (Midland, TX)-Affectionately called “Mama Sue,” Sue brought soul to the show last week and Kirk Franklin had to restrain her. Last night she performed “Jesus Will Work It Out!” She worked it out! Go Mama Sue! Kirk couldn’t restrain her this time! But in the end he wrapped his arm around her arm to help control the praise! Donnie says she sings from the soul, sings like she knows God and reminds him of a good ole church mother! Erica says she feels her anointing when Mama Sue sings. Tina simply said that Mama Sue knows what to do and she’s got it!

7. Monica Smith-(Greensboro, AL) – She came across as being very nervous and shy last week. She loves Shirley Caesar and it showed last night. She performed “Do Not Pass Me By” and came out of her shell and got her praise on! Amen! Shy? NOT! :-) Erica said she loves her “churchy” flavor, Donnie said she gave the backup singers a run for their money. She was fighting them for her spotlight last night and claimed her field. Tina loves her heavy voice and wants her to be more versatile and do more with her voice.

8. Michael Washington-(Los Angeles, CA)-He was labeled last week as the “young Spike Lee.” He performed “Falling in Love with Jesus.” I thought he brought forth a smooth anointing. However, Donnie says his key chains he was wearing did it in for him and he wasn’t really feeling the way he started off. Tina thought differently and felt he started off good, lost it and must learn how to get it back. Erica echoed Tina and said he was good but it wasn’t his best.

9. Felisha Russell-(Dallas,TX)-Last week the judges weren’t sure if she was ready to move on! Last night she performed “I Worship Thee.” It wasn’t a moving performance but it was all bad either. Tina thought it was an improvement from last week, she felt she started out good but she also said she played it too safe this time around. Donnie said she appeared more confident and even though she messed up, she caught it but her climax wasn’t exciting. Erica thanked her and said she did a good job.

10. Carlington Roberts-(McDonough, GA) He’s from Jamaica and last week he introduced us to his reggae flavor. Last night he performed “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” Donnie said that he was always enjoyable to see but he needs to learn how to hit it and quit. Erica said he started up and stayed up too long. Tina loved his energy but agreed that he needs to learn how to hit it and quit it.

As a result of last night’s show the 3 contestants below were let go:

1. Felisha Russell (Dallas, TX)

2. Michael Washington (Los Angeles, CA)

3. Carlington Roberts (McDonough, GA)

Next Sunday Jill Scott will deliver a soulful performance. Also, singer and vocal coach, Kim Burrell, will teach the remaining 7 contestants wedding songs!

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