- Candice Glover
Song 1: Paula Abdul's "Straight Up"
Song 2: Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston's "When You Believe"
Candice was once again showing that she's a force to be reckoned with with her 2 performances. We have seen "Straight Up" changed up and made anew on the show before by Andrew Garcia (no not the actor). But Candice did her thing with is and sounded amazing as always. Not sure I agree with Jimmy's "behind the curtain" gut reaction that the song wasn't good enough for her voice. The song has been proven to be open to interpretation and open for lots of nice vocal gymnastics that Candice can do so well. I think she definitely did better than Amber on covering a Mariah Song (and add Whitney for good measure). But, going back to vocal gymnastics, she may have overdone it on that 2nd number. Wasn't so over the top that the song wasn't enjoyable, but she could have toned it down a bit. I would still say she's a lock for the finale at this point unless there's some major mis-step. As Randy said, she's in the zone!
- Janelle Arthur
Song 1: Vince Gill's "When I Call Your Name"
Song 2: Dolly Parton's "Dumb Blonde" (REALLY???)
It was funny to hear that the only thing that could silence baby Janelle was the sound of Vince Gill's voice. My son is almost 16 months old and the soothing sounds of Adele are still doing the job for us. Maybe, if Idol still exists one day he'll figure out how to do a male cover of one of those little ditties! Unfortunately for Janelle, I was once again not feeling her tonight. I've never been a fan of her voice but I tried to get past that. But, then whatever key she chose for the Vince song was too low. She couldn't hit the low notes so she just whispered them. I guess she thought showing off her higher register would be enough. I'm more impressed when these kids can hit the low notes. And there were a lot of them in that song. I'm befuddled (clearly) by her 2nd song choice. There are a slew of Dolly Parton songs to choose from and she picks that one? I was with Keith in thinking that it is not one of her bigger hits. And it was a very silly song that had nothing to it. It just felt like amateur hour, which ironically is what American Idol is. But she just pales in comparison to her other 4 friends on stage. I love how Jimmy said she's in the middle of the pack. Who on earth is behind her!?
- Kree Harrison
Song 1: The Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels"
Song 2: Celine Dion's "Have You Ever Been in Love"
Kree won me over the minute she said she was singing that Black Crowes song. That is my karaoke staple! That said, her rendition left a lot to be desired. I still think Kree is a great singer and has one of the best voices remaining, but this wasn't her strongest performance. She did go for a big "Martina" note at the end and nailed it mostly. The Celine song was good, but it was another one I have never heard. I know the problem you run with singing well known Diva songs is that you get compared to the original, but singing ones that are unknown runs the risk of losing your audience. Fortunately for Kree, she's a wonderful singer so she kept my attention. I'm sure she'll be fine tonight. But, you never know!
- Angie Miller
Song 1: The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You"
Song 2: Beyonce's "Halo"
Angie had a bit of a comeback night going on. After the awful tragedy of what happened in Boston, I guess it shouldn't be frowned upon to dedicate your song to the town. But, the problem with it is that you have to throw all critiquing out the window AND the judges are forced to give a Standing O even if it might not be deserved for the actual performance. It was good, and better than some recent performances. But, there are some quirks of Angie's that still bother me. Have you noticed how she articulates all of her lyrics and enunciates every single syllable of a word? It makes her songs feel very showy. Maybe not even Broadway. She might want to take that show to Vegas! It's a little off-putting, but her voice was on last night. And Halo, I thought was really good. I'm not sure if it's a good thing to sound exactly like who you're covering, but I was shocked when a lot of her performance sounded like Beyonce. By the end of the song, I think the performance got a bit repetitive but she still did her thing with it. I think she's absolutely safe tonight.
- Amber Holcomb
Song 1: Mariah Carey's cover of Harry Nillson's "Without You"
Song 2: Barbara Streisand's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"
And then there was Amber. The girl that nobody "gets" besides the judges (well, and Amber's super fan who was brought up on stage. Awkward!!!). There is no denying that the girl has talent. I think the endless comparisons to "the next Whitney Houston" do her no favors. She sang "Without You" okay, but with that song you need to nail the money notes. Those high notes. And she did not. Instead, they were a little cringeworthy. And of course, not to contradict myself in an earlier critique, there are lots of low notes in this song as well. And, she didn't really handle them all too well either. Obviously, we knew she'd be closing the show so we were to be in store for some amazing performance. And she picks some boring Barbara Streisand song (isn't it universally accepted that we can't stand Barbara anymore regardless of your political affiliation?). You could tell by the camera work, the lighting, that we were witnessing a Standing O judges moment in the making. And she technically hit every note, she appeared to be emoting in all the right places. But, it didn't change the fact that it was some boring Barbara Streisand song. That's not going to win over your demographic watching the show. And yes, judges, I "GET THAT". It really wouldn't surprise me if Amber ended up getting the boot. Why else would the judges be pleading with America to vote for her? But, she probably won't be my pick for the night.
We know who the favorites to win are, right? So then that really narrows down the list of who is probably on the chopping block.
Good but boring with room for improvement
Now that Lazaro is gone, her grace period is over
Bottom 2: Amber, Janelle Wildcard pick: Kree
Elimination Pick: Janelle Arthur - Never really understood her making final judges' cut all those weeks ago, but she was still better than the guys in the competition. Now, it's time to go!
Janelle still has the pulse on the heartland of America, so that could save her which puts Amber in bad shape for the night. But talent-wise, this is how I see it. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!