Thursday, May 02, 2013

American Idol: Season 12 Top 4 Perform (again)

Hello Idol fans!  Another cringe-inducing 2 hour spectacle of American Idol aired last night.  Most of the performances were decent, but everything that happened before and after each performance was a little questionable!  For example, I believe Mariah not so subtlety accused Miss Minaj of being unable to sing.  And then, there's always Randy.  And of course, instead of Fox giving us a half hour of our lives back, they let critiques go on for hours and tortured us with that final girls group performance.  But, that's a day in the life of watching American Idol.  So, let's just stick to what we do best.  Critiquing what's meant to be critiqued and figuring out to the best of our ability who America is sending packing!  This week will be a little tricky since we have to factor in last week's results as well.  But, I'm up for the challenge as always!  The theme was Then (Standards) and Now (2013 Songs), of course based on the order of the performances it probably should have been Now and Then!  Harry Connick Jr. provided very good mentoring as always that was harshly critiqued by the judges.  Good times.  Let's get into the recap!


1.) Angie Miller

Song 1: Rihanna's "Diamonds"
Song 2: "Someone to Watch Over Me"

So, last week Angie finally lived up to her expectations by having a fantastic night on the show.  It propelled her into the top 2 from a voting perspective.  So, that will have to be taken into consideration when thinking about last night's performances.  They weren't wonderful.  They weren't awful either.  I'll go with Keith on his critique of "Diamonds".  It was just missing that punch that Rihanna's track has.  Once Ryan awfully hinted at which Rihanna song Angie would be performing, I knew exactly how she would perform it.  Slow it down on the piano and pretty much try to make it sound like every other piano performance she's done.  And then she just added run after run trying to make up for the fact that there's not much to the melody of the song.  Didn't work too well.  She must have been in all of her glory when she got to do her standard selection.  It's pure broadway spectacle, which is her specialty.  She sang it well, but I'm not going to say it wasn't boring!  I felt like I was on broadway deciding whether this was the key opportunity for a bathroom break.  That said, I still think her popularity and last week's results will bode well for her.

2.) Amber Holcomb

Song 1: Pink & Nate Ruess' "Just Give Me a Reason" 

Song 2: "My Funny Valentine" 

Ahh Amber.  I will continue to say that she is the least liked of the final 4.  The judges would have you think by her tears after the 2nd performance that she knows this too.  The 1st performance was a disaster.  There's no redeeming that one.  It was similar to her 2nd performance last week.  She was singing the melody but all of the words were just a jumbled mumbled mess.  Harry says he doesn't mind if people forget words, what about if you can't understand the words they're singing!?  The song wasn't very good either.  I can imagine Pink adding a bit of an edge to it to make it listenable, but the band was doing Amber no favors last night either.  It just seemed corny.   I forgot that she had already performed "Valentine" to rave reviews.  And the fact that Harry picked apart every lyric and had Amber question what she is singing about (to comical and cringe-inducing effect) had ME listening to Amber even closer in her performance.   I don't know if she took Harry's advice to really get into the lyrics or just acted like she did, but I thought she did a really great job with the performance.  I thought she did so well that it started making me question if she would NOT be eliminated this week.  Then, Candice performed.  And well, there's just no comparing them.  So, it'll be interesting to see how things go down (stating the obvious, I know).

3.) Candice Glover

Song 1: Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" 

Song 2: "You've Changed"

Whew, what is there to say about Candice that hasn't been said a zillion times?  I feel like Mariah and just want to ramble 1000 words that equate to nothing in the end!  But, I'll keep this shorter than that.  Candice has been the most consistent contestant of the competition and of this top 4.  She landed herself in the bottom 2 last week, but surely she made up for it this week.  Her bold decision to sing the male version of a male song was interesting, but I agree with everyone that it worked out.  I even laughed this time when Randy said "If you're a good singer, it doesn't matter what you sing!" because it actually applied this time.  I got chills on both of these performances.  I didn't think she overdid any runs on "You've Changed".  She jazzed it up just enough to make us go "WOW!  HOT DAMN!  That girl can SANG!"  Unbelievable that this girl didn't make the top 12 last year.  But, that's where the producers come in on gearing the season towards a particular sound/appearance.  She should DEFINITELY be here next week.

4.) Kree Harrison

Song 1: Carrie Underwood's "See You Again"
Song 2: "Stormy Weather" 

Poor Kree, she really gets beat up by the judges but it's hard to deny that her voice is 2nd only to Candice this season.  And, it's really tough to compare country vocal stylings to R&B vocal stylings.  So, you could say they're equally great.  She's had a few rough performances over the weeks, but her voice has never been questioned.   She was in the zone when she took on Carrie's latest single.  Brave, since Carrie sang it herself on a results show a few weeks ago.  Really good performance, changed it up enough to distinguish herself form Carrie.  She even got approval from Carrie Underwood herself on Facebook last night who thanked her for doing a rendition of a song she personally wrote.  Awww. "Stormy Weather" was not as good of a performance, but her voice still shone through.  I was thinking to myself, if I was back stage and was listening to Harry and Nicki and anyone else debate whether to do runs or not do runs, what on earth would I sing when I got out there?  It could not have helped ease her into a good performance to be listening to all of those critiques.  The stuff they were discussing even contradicted the mentoring that Harry gave Kree on the pre-performance clip.  So, as a result, we got that performance of "Stormy Weather".  Nicely sung, but a little ho hum.

Elimination Pick

Okay, this is going to come down to basic math and popularity, right? Here goes.

Bottom 2 last week? Candice, Amber
Least popular we guess?  Amber
Most popular we guess? Angie
Best this week? Candice's 2 performances
3rd Best? Tie between Kree's "See you Again" and Amber's "Funny Valentine"
Worst?  Amber's "Just Give me a Reason"
Middle of the pack: Angie's bland performances

Bottom 2: Amber, Kree

Elimination Pick: Amber Holcomb - Let's be honest, she was going home last week if they were able to eliminate someone.  Based on the rest of the results and performances last night, I don't think "Valentine" will be enough to save her.

Based on this season the final 3 really should be Kree, Candice and Angie.  Things don't always work out the way they're supposed to on American Idol.  We can look all the way back to season 1 when Nicki McKibbin beat out Tamyra Grey.  Or even Chris Daughtry not making the final 3.  Anything can happen, but this is what should happen!  That's all I have for today.  I'll be out of town next week, so not sure if I'll get to do a recap or not.  But, I'll try to add some kind of thoughts to the blog, even if it's just my picks.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and hopefully, I'll see you next week!

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