American Idol Recap: Women on the Verge of a Righteous Breakthrough [Updated]

idol season 12 womenNever judge a book by its cover. And never judge an American Idol judge by a pre-taped, carefully edited episode. That message was made troublingly clear by the shenanigans that occurred during Season 12’s first live telecast — featuring the Top 10 women squaring off for (presumably, but hopefully not) only five spots in the finale.

Keith thought pretty much everybody — even the excruciating Tenna Torres — was just great. Nicki Minaj lowered the bar by treating contestants as if they were on the menu at KFC, drooling over their breasts and legs. And Randy Jackson pronounced vibrtao as if it rhymed with frittata, one of at least 100 instances of straight-up foolery that had me praying that he’d be snatched up and carried away by a savage band of Dothraki.

Yeah, the judges occasionally gave clear, actionable feedback, too, but the irksomeness-to-awesomeness ratio was off tonight for sure. (Khaleesi would not be pleased.)

But wait! Why am I talking about the judges when five of the Season 12 ladies entered the semifinals with roaringly good performances that backed up the judges’ claim that it’s the year of the female contestant? What hurts is that six, maybe even seven of ’em, made at least a reasonably good case that they deserve spots over most of their male counterparts. And the five-women/five-men gender parity favored by Uncle Nigel means a couple of gals will get the shaft — unless Randy’s hints of a Wild Card turn out to be true.

But enough of my yapping! Let’s cut to the set list and my letter grades and reviews for tonight’s performances, shall we?

Zoanette Johnson: Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” | What happens after the Emperor (or in this case, the Lion Empress?) is exposed as being truly, upsettingly naked — thanks to botched lyrics, lethargic stage presence and a pair of short shorts that should be sent back to the bargain bin from whence they came? Nicki purses her lips, Mariah makes an “Oh dear!” expression, and Keith is forced to praise the “exhibitionism” of it all. In a few weeks, we’ll forget this performance ever happened. It’s the circle…the circle of liiiiiiiife. Grade: D-

Breanna Steer: Beyoncé’s “Flaws & All” | Okay, so maybe I was a little hard on the judges in the intro of this recap, but their lack of enthusiasm for Breanna’s performance had me wondering if they were reading off cue cards written by Nigel Lythgoe himself. (Oh who am I kidding? Nigel wouldn’t write his own cue cards — he’d dictate them to one of his junior minions!) In all seriousness, though, Breanna’s vocal restraint and expressive phrasing had me completely transfixed from beginning to end — even if there might’ve been a flat note or two in that final set of runs — and she’s got a quiet confidence that adds to the believability of every lyric she delivers. I couldn’t believe Nicki said Breanna was “straining throughout the performance” when, in fact, every note that came out of her mouth sounded utterly effortless. I mean, if Idol truly wants to produce a pop star who can knock the Katy Perrys and Rihannas of the world off their perches (without having to take out stock in Auto-Tune), it might be time to invest in a Breanna-as-underdog story arc. (Now here’s hoping it won’t take a Wild Card to get her there.) Grade: A-

Aubrey Cleland: Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” | Aubrey is the grilled chicken sandwich of Season 12. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with her long legs and her pretty (if not particularly distinctive) tone or even her generic “I need to show my personality” answers to Ryan Seacrest’s questions. As Nicki pointed out, she displays genuine humility (even if she occasionally holds the mic a little too close to her mouth). And as a result, I won’t object if she’s one of the last 10 options on the menu. But if we’re keeping it really, really real, I’d rather have the bacon cheeseburger or the loaded nachos or the fried calamari or the Philly cheese streak or even the mini pizza, y’know what I mean? Grade: B

Janelle Arthur: Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream” | Look, I know Uncle Nigel has invested a lot of time and energy over the last two months convincing us that Janelle (along with Angela and Candice) are the three women who can bring back some much-needed girl power to The House That Kelly Clarkson Built. And for a while there, I thought he might be right. But after two straight lackluster showings from Janelle, maybe it’s time for Nigel to simply admit — as the old Meat Loaf song goes — that “two out of three ain’t bad.” While Nicki and Keith and Randy and Mariah were all paid handsomely to utter empty phrases like “best vocal of the night so far” and “you have that America’s sweetheart type of thing,” I couldn’t get past the awkward breaks and copious flat notes that pushed Janelle’s performance to the corner of Desperate and Depressing. At this point, Janelle is sounding less to me like Season 12’s answer to Lauren Alaina than she does the second coming of Kristy Lee Cook or Baylie Brown. Grade: C+

Tenna Torres: Faith Hill’s “Lost” | Tenna seems like a sweet gal, and I kinda dug her slinky navy-and-tangerine minidress with the criss-cross bodice, but…uh…how do I put this tactfully? The bleating, tremulous tone of her voice — at least to my ears — is about as musical as an old attic door being slowwwwwly opened by the Ghosts of Brenna Gethers, Camile Velasco and Carmen Rasmusen. (Memories…) When Tenna hit the line “I’ll scream if this isn’t love,” all I could think was, “But wait — she’s already screaming!” I know, I know…I was trying to be tactful and instead I’ve just hurled a verbal martini into Tenna’s face. But I feel like somehow I need to counteract the uniformly positive feedback this woman got from all four judges — with Randy calling the vocal “so beautiful” and Keith declaring it a “really good job.” I mean, how far can Tenna get based on her attendance at Camp Mariah a decade and a half ago? Sheesh! Grade: D

Angela Angie Miller: Colton Dixon’s “Never Gone” | There are a lot of things I like and appreciate about Angie. The way her voice really comes to life, as Keith noted, when she’s at the piano. Her clarity of purpose and absolute confidence to choose a recent Christian-rock it from a very recent Idol alum that the average home viewer probably hasn’t heard before. And then there’s her undeniable charisma. There are moments where she pushes her vocal a little harder and farther than it needs to go — Angie needs to always treat that instrument of hers like she’s sitting on top of a dressage course, not imploring old Bessie to finish plowing the field before sundown — but she’s a mortal lock to crack the Season 12 Top 10 — and she absolutely deserves to be. Solid vocals and song-choice risks need to be rewarded like that, no? Grade: B+

Amber Holcomb: Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me” | While Amber earns the dubious distinction for the night’s least imaginative song choice — remember, this is the same bit of treacle Randy assigned to Melinda Doolittle the week she was eliminated in Season 6 — and while she delivered it without a great deal of originality, the jaw-dropping breeziness with which she executed incredibly difficult runs and ad-libs should absolutely carry her to the Top 10. (A standing ovation from all four judges won’t hurt, either.) Keith gave excellent advice that it wouldn’t hurt Amber to occasionally hold a note without any embellishment, but what’s exciting is that the kid has a rawness (and what I sense is a lack of experience) that hints she might be weeks — maybe months — away from reaching her peak. How crazy-good could she get? And how much do Idol voters love themselves an improvement arc? [Side note: Can we all agree the less said the better about that awkward moment where Ryan Seacrest confused Amber’s mom and stepmother for the same person? Okay, good, thanks. Now back to your regularly scheduled recap.] Grade: B+

Kree Harrison: Faith Hill’s “Stronger” | Listening to Kree’s voice is like going to a cabin in the mountains or a secluded lakehouse after too many months in the big city. She’s got such a pure and refreshing tone that you just want everything to go quiet — except for maybe a handful of birds and a cricket or two — so you can breathe it all in. When she hit that massive high note on the word “cry” — I think that’s the one Keith called “an F-sharp above high C,” but my technical knowledge doesn’t extend that far — I let out a “whoop!” of approval from my living room couch. Like Nicki noted, even when she’s stretching her range to its fullest, she never sounds abrasive, and that’s a rare quality indeed. It can only help Kree, too, that she’s got a sly sense of humor that allowed her to engage in some hilarious banter with The Lady Minaj. After Nicki made several comments about their betrothal, Kree finally grinned to Ryan that she was just trying to do her wife proud. That’s the kind of moxie-to-talent balance we saw once upon a time from a gal named Kelly Clarkson, no? Grade: A

Adriana Latonio: Destiny’s Child’s “Stand Up for Love” | Adriana’s performance was so pageanty, I expected her to end it with a speech about promoting world peace and “education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq.” I know, I’m a nightmare, but I’ve been flying my bitch flag for so many seasons that I don’t know any other way. Grade: C-

Candice Glover: John Legend’s “Ordinary People” | It’s always a good sign when I don’t take any notes on an Idol performance, since that usually means I’m throwing a Gospel hand/hands, chair dancing, or hitting my husband’s arm and yelling nonsense like “GET IT, Candice! You better WORK, lady! [Insert two or three excited expletives!]” And yeah, that pretty much describes my response to Candice’s superb reading of “Ordinary People” — which proved to be the perfect marriage of modern R&B swagger and old-school jazzy inflections. If Candice’s instrument is the expensive sportscar of the competition, then girlfriend is its Helio Castroneves, rounding each bend in the melody with hairpin precision, knowing exactly when to throw in a growl or a run, and when to just hit the note head-on. She understands every word of the songs she chooses, which is why she was able to bring to vivid life Legend’s relationship-situation jam. (Damn that final “maybe we should take it slow” was breathtakingly pretty, wasn’t it?) Nicki’s silent salute and Mariah’s “the goosebumps continue” weren’t effusive enough, but my guess is they’ll have a few more months ahead of them to full board the bandwagon. Grade: A

Ans with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of the American Idol Season 12 Top 10 women? Who absolutely must advance to the finals? Who surprised you? Who’s definitely a goner? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. HTGRWHOM says:

    I guess my top two for the night are Angie and Amber.
    Bottom three are Zoanette, Tenna, Adrianna.
    Sure could have used Juliana’s delicate tones and Melinda’s energy tonight.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Juliana would have offered something different – for sure. I thought about her too…

      • Jake says:

        I don’t care how good any of these people are (and they ARE NOT that talented as a whole, like the show is pretending they are)…Idol is turning into one big boring ballad fest this season…Nigel and co. have really painted themselves into a bad bad corner…they really need to get these theme nights going to drive these contestants to go for something faster or upbeat…I have to imagine tomorrow night the boys will be just as heavy on ballads, affection, glory notes and extended arms…you really reap what you sow Mr Lithgoe

        • Tom22 says:

          I agree with finding a way to push things up a beat. Its not really fair if you let one sing a big ballad and others ditzy fast songs that are always the death knell though. Have them all sing more up beat songs one week “no ballad zone night”.

        • forrest says:

          paraphrasing the judges, “there wasn’t much to show us; there weren’t enough runs; that song didn’t show us anything…” -they are begging for glory notes, run after run, and vocal olympics. ballads may showcase that. Just sayin’ the contestants are being led to sing this way.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            But Breanna stuck to her guns and by golly it worked for her!

          • ado4586 says:

            I personally like Breanna’s understated delivery. It was balanced by her strong stage presence. Although the judges seemed to like Aubrey better because of the number of glory notes in her song, Aubrey is not as memorable. I ask myself…between the two who would I prefer to see perform in concert? And I land on the side of Breanna. Chances are Breanna won’t make the top 5 girls, because the other performances were so strong, but let’s hope she makes the wild card if there is one. (And I’m also hoping for the producers to have two wild card spots, because the gender split is not making the competition fair) Any AI producers read these boards?

          • Deb says:

            …and runs, glory notes and ballads don’t necessary show off a contestant’s best vocal qualities. Let them do what they do best and let the viewers decide. Singing “glory notes” hasn’t had the best results in the last 5 years.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Totally agree. I was bored to tears. It was like each song got slower and slower – with a couple of awful high notes – that a lot of the girls couldn’t reach anyway.

    • Miscellaneopolan says:

      As good as some of these girls are (and Candice, Amber, and Kree all strike me as very good), one thing that’s been pretty apparent about this Season versus the last two is a lack of variety. A lot of the contestants seem predisposed toward big damn ballads, without an Elise Testone-y rock chick, raspy Erica Van Pelt, or high-energy Skylar Lain-type to break them up. Maybe they’ll show more variety as the show goes on, but I agree that we could have used some changes in tone tonight.

      • HTGRWHOM says:

        Yeah it could have sorely used pop energy of Melinda, delicate tones of Juliana and Elise-rock chick.

      • teatime says:

        Yeah, maybe Steven Tyler had more influence than I thought. He never said very much but maybe he did push them toward a more dynamic mix of contestants.

        • Tiff says:

          Yeah, too many big ballad types. Although I think Angie could make a run for a more rocker sound. She doesn’t have to stick with Colton Dixon songs. =p

          My top three are Candice, Angie, and Amber.

          I really thought Tenna did a great job, but I guess I’m in the minority.

          Zoanette, Adriana and Janelle were awful and should be cut immediately.

      • karen says:

        No worries. I’ve searched out Kree on YouTube and she will bring the rocker chick to the Idol stage and rock it.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          Interesting. I hope so. I didn’t like her countrified take this week (although she did sing is well all the same).

      • Ben says:

        This is exactly why they put Zoanette in, and why I think she’ll make the top 5 whether people on here think she deserves it or not. I think we have a clear top 4 though – Amber, Candice, Kree and Angela – and I’m not really surprised to see it. Pretty certain you’ll see those four and one other (probably Zoanette).

        • MC says:

          We’re past the point (finally) where the judges can just push Zoanette through. She actually has to garner votes now and I would be shocked (and mortified) if she makes the top five girls.

          • Ben says:

            Well MC, be shocked away. TVLine represents a minority of Idol viewers, and I’d actually be fairly shocked if Zoanette did not get through. In case you haven’t understood this yet, the reason the judges have ‘pushed’ her through is because they know she is someone who is likely to get votes. You think people vote for the best 5 vocals? They don’t. They vote for the about the best 2 vocals. After that, they vote for people they remember. This is why I keep saying Breanna and Aubrey are doomed, and Zoanette is a likely pick to go in.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            @Ben I don’t think so. On every single poll I see online, Amber and Angie and Candice and Kree are significantly ahead of the other six. That only leaves one guaranteed spot left for women. I have three theories that are closely linked.

            1. Zoanette went first in the lineup. In the “sudden death” semifinal round format, the person who sings first never goes through based on America’s vote.
            Season 10 evidence: Clint Jun Gamboa and Tatynisa Wilson
            Season 11 evidence: Reed Grimm and Chelsea Sorrell

            2. The last three people to perform always make it through in this format. With Kree and Candice already locked in, that gives the last spot to Adriana. And Filipinos love to be represented.
            Season 10 evidence: Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams + Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, Pia Toscano
            Season 11 evidence: Heejun Han, Joshua Ledet, Jermaine Jones + Shannon Magrane, Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone

            3. If there is a Wildcard, they usually put the second, third, and/or fourth people in the lineup for consideration on the girl’s side. That would give the last spot to either Breanna, Aubrey, or Janelle. (It would probably go to Breanna, following the pattern of Naima Adedapo and Erika Van Pelt who performed second and didn’t make the cut but became Wildcards.)

            Questions? Comments? Complaints? Compliments? Words of wisdom? Sound off!

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            Hope you are wrong that Adrianna takes the fifth voted in spot over Aubrey and Breanna. Even with a wild card one is left out in favor of someone who hasn’t seemed to do as well the last couple of weeks and if she was supposed to be the pop energy Melinda type Adrianna seems like a weak version of that.

        • Anna says:

          I don’t think so, Ben. Go on twitter, and you’ll see that the majority of people thought Zoanette’s performance tonight was horrible and there’s no way she should make Top 10. She also does not have a big following on any of the social networks, so I don’t think she is all that popular with the viewers.

          • Ben says:

            Social networking and thinking she is BAD are two indicators which are absolutely irrelevant at this point, and this has been proven time and again. Casey Abrams, for instance, was at the top of social networking (with Scotty) both times he went home.

        • Mary says:

          Ben I think this would of been true if she at least attempted to sing a song like last week. This week she was not entertaining to say the least, and her vocals were really bad. The only reason this week people would vote for her is to stick it to idol.

          • Ben says:

            Nah. With someone like Zoanette, singing badly just reinforces the view from people who support her that she will need the votes to get in, so in my view its more likely to get her in.

        • Ann VerWiebe says:

          I think Zoanette will pull through, too. Who else did the anti-Idolies have to vote for last night?

    • J says:

      I was thinking about Julianna too. Sigh. Still don’t get why she was cut. SMH.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Because she needs more work and experience. Believe me, getting cut was the best thing that could have happened to Juliana. Wish they had cut Charlie as well.

      • ado4586 says:

        I loved Julianna as well. But I think another year or two, or even three, will only hone and solidify her artistic sensibility and make her a stronger competitor in the end. Add to the fact that if she returns she will already have a built-in fan base (like Candice has this year) and that will go a long way to help her in the competition. Her time will come.

    • Cheryl says:

      Has anyone checked out “Vote for the Worst” website? I think we are in for a long season with Zoanette and Charley.

    • Jim says:

      Me too – the judges talk about the great diversity this year but they eliminated the one ballad-type singer. And for who, Zoanette???

    • white lancer says:

      I couldn’t even select a top 5 this week–Angela, Amber, Kree, and Candice were so far ahead of the rest of the pack that I have a hard time caring about who gets the fifth slot. I was pretty much falling asleep for the first half of the night (and yes, that includes Breanna) until Angela came on and reminded me of just how good an AI performance could be, and three out of the next four singers reached or exceeded that high bar and made me excited about the season again.

      There’s something that sets the top four apart from everyone else–they sing in different styles. Amber can be pretty by-the-numbers, but what she lacks in subtlety she makes up for in power and precision. Kree sings ballads, but she puts a country twist on them and picks her big-singing moments well. Angela has a style all her own–her runs seem unique to me, somehow, like they have a real ethereal quality. Candice, well, maybe I’m saying this too early, but she strikes me as the Melinda Doolittle type, blending power and control. Outside of those four, you have Janelle, who does country with control (at least in Hollywood) but without Kree’s power, and Zoanette, who…yeah. And then Aubrey, Adriana, Breanna, and Tenna all sing roughly the same style with varying degrees of success. At least Breanna sang a different type of song last week, but this week I found her and Aubrey (who was similar in terms of vocal ability) somewhat indistinguishable.

      • white lancer says:

        Also, I’ve seen Tenna perform 3 times so far (including her Group Round snippet) and all three times I’ve been left wondering if I was watching a different performance than the judges. I agreed with Mariah that she’s pretty good when she belts, but I can’t stand her when she’s not and I don’t understand where all this talk of ‘control’ from the rest of the judges comes from.

    • gregk says:

      Loved Angie too. She could be the next Katherine McPhee whose mother I noticed was one of the vocal coaches.

      • gregk says:

        Also should have said McPhee’s sister Adrianna is also a coach. Hope Angie wins; do not think there is a guy with a first name of Taylor this year.

  2. Globo Hobo says:

    My Nicki-esque entreaty to Nigel and Mike Darnell: Pare down the judging panel! Too much time is spent on Randy’s constant guffaws and Mariah’s neurotic left-looks and word salad. There needs to be one less Judge and The Dawg is better replaced with silence.

    How can they continue to over-produce and clog up this show after 12 seasons on air?

    • flutiefan says:

      i, too, was noticing Mariah’s left-looks. so distracting. what’s up with that???

      • Globo Hobo says:

        She has a neurosis about having only the right side, the “good side”, of her face being her attractive public persona. She only ever wants to appear to a camera or audience with her right-cheek prominently facing them. She’ll twist herself into knots to do it. I’d call her a nutter, but it obviously consumes a ton of her life and her mental-bandwith so its really a sad disorder shes developed under the (however voluntary) Hollywood microscope.

        • Martin says:

          Eh, her ex-husband Tommy Mottola told her when he first signed her that she had a “good side” and preferred her to be pictured that way. Its funny how after all these years it still follows her. But I actually don’t think its because of her “good side” that she looks to the left all the time (if you watch any interview with her she never squirms like she does on Idol) . I think its a combination of the constant drooling from the fans–annoying audience on the left, her being dreadfully bored and whatever gin she has in her cup. And she seems so nervous all the time. So nervous she makes me nervous.

          • Tom54 says:

            I think she looks to her left to keep an eye on Ryan to see if she needs to cut her comments short or make them longer. Just my thought.

      • The Beach says:

        If Randy were on my right I’d be looking left too:)

    • teatime says:


    • Teeny Bikini says:

      LOL. Randy or Mariah can go. I just need honest critiques. I don’t care about “finding something nice to say” to everyone. I appreciate Nikki for just getting to the point – and she’s a nice counterpoint to Keith who. is. awesomeness.

      • Jim says:

        I like NIkki too. Mariah is worthless, though part of that may be that she is always the last to comment. Keith is sometimes too soft, but at least he does offer constructive criticism which most of the others don’t. Randy is just Randy – l like him mainly because he a comfortable holdover from the past, like an old blanket.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I do wonder why they don’t switch up the order of the judges. Maybe if Mariah went first or second sometimes, it would sound like she has something “original” to say.

          • Ky says:

            My theory is that Mariah chooses to go last, because she wouldn’t know what to say if she went first.

    • Do what I do. Hit fast forward as soon as they pass it to Mariah. This season DOES have a 3 judge panel in my house.

      • Tiff says:

        My season has a two judge panel. I can get through 2 hours in about 1 hour =)

        I am so on Team Nicki and Team Keith. Randy and Mariah need to leave. I appreciate Mariah’s OCCASIONAL actual technique critiques, but they’re way too couched in “keep doing what you’re doings” and “it was pretty, but…” Randy offers nothing at this point.

      • waterbug says:

        omg! I fast forward through Mariah’s comments too!!!! Hahaha!

    • TB says:

      I’m actually loving Mariah way more than I anticipated. Yeah, she takes a while to get to the point and she can be a bit awkward, but I always feel like she’s genuine. The cutaways to her tonight just felt so much more supportive and real than anything that we saw from the panel last year. If Nicki is the new and improved Simon, Mariah is the new and improved Paula.

      • Nephtalia says:

        Agree with that!

      • deedee says:

        I agree. Mariah knows what she’s talking about and is genuine. She does tend to go on a bit, so I do hope she learns to cut to the chase quickly. Generally I don’t mind Randy’s nonsense because of the “comfortable old shoe” factor. but this year he’s annoying the crap out of me. His comment – “this is a girl’s year, Ryan … and we haven’t said that in YEARS!!!, dawg” was 10 orders of magnitude more ridiculous than the bs I usually expect from him. Cut to: montage of Randy saying “this is a girl’s year” every year on every interview in the past 5 years.

      • Sheila says:

        I agree Mariah is an okay judge. I would like to see a 3 panel judge with Keith (great on the eyes and actually offers a good critique), Nicki (usually offers a good critique but tends to be a bit overly mean) and Mariah (the mom of the group who offers the hugs and kisses with a few good critiques). I’m so over Randy. He’s not needed, hasn’t been for years. I’m still pissed that he wouldn’t own up to the fact they made a mistake last year not choosing Candice. Idol has a history of passing up some talented singers who later go on to make it. Ala Glee’s Amber Riley. It happens.

  3. Tom says:

    Yup yup Michael, we have the exact same Top 5 in the exact same order. Great minds think alike!

  4. Kelly says:

    THANK YOU for giving Breanna an A-. I thought that was the most underrated performance of the night. Sadly, I think the judges’ (unfair) poor response is going to doom her. On the down side, is it going to kill these girls to do SOMETHING upbeat. Geesh. I am sooo sick of ballads already. Only Zoanette attempted to do something with a pulse!

    Tenna a D and Aubrey a B? What exactly are you smoking? lol

    • Elizabeth says:

      Amen to that! Breanna was the only one I actually enjoyed tonight. I really like her performance style, so calm and confidant and relaxed. Kree and Candice both have fantastic and arguably better voices than Breanna, but she chose a more interesting and modern song that had a real mood to it. Nicki was completely wrong on Breanna.

      I was just about to fall asleep through most of the performances tonight. So tired of ballads!

      • HTGRWHOM says:

        Yeah I mean Kree was really good and Candice did what she did flawlessly but man Candice just put me to sleeeeeep and I didn’t really dig Kree’s getting deeper into country style tonight either. So I kinda found Aubrey and Breanna keeping me awake more and sorta liking them better although I’m sure I’ll get flack haha, especially compared to Candice. That said I certainly can’t knock the singing of Candice or especially Kree.

      • Bob says:

        Breanna is OK musically, but she definitely needs to work on her enunciation.

      • Tom22 says:

        I’m kind of with you. I can’t knock anything whatsover about Kree or Candice , yet, the for whatever reason I’m feeling like they’re just around the corner from doing something that I’m going to want to download onto my phone and listen to years later. I will say though that Candace was sweeter and warmer this week and that sort of feel come through in the songs. Maybe she can bring it to a younger song. Kree, great as her voice and interpretations are.. just hasn’t made me feel like she’s got that big dreaming attitude I hope for. Cyrstal Bowersox had so much hope in all of her songs.. perhaps the most in her sad songs.

        Its not just hope.. I want someone that can metaphorically sing about how darn delicious that chocolate cake with rasperries is and make my mouth water along with hers… longing for the forbidden pleasure… or a person that can express exasperation, not anger (exasperation is sort of like anger while laughing and bewildered about someone doing something wrong at the same time they are frustrated and angry… I don’t get just angry so I can’t relate or enjoy artist who are simply angry without being bemused at the same time.

        Amber had a terrific voice and I saw a certain playful look in her eyes and a hope in her voice in a way I think that she has a chance of really bringing something home for me. I think she’ll benefit enormously from the vocal coaching if she gets a chance to stay around. She wanders around a little too much without one run making sense to the other (runs aren’t gratuitous but the artist should set them up in a theme and variation thing to my ear… a blues version to themes in a symphony)

        Breana doesn’t have the raw voice but she’s got a story to tell in the songs that comes closer to meeting my way of thinking about things and she does have a real knack for proportion in how she balances parts of the song and verse to refrain etc.

        So I guess thats a really long way to say I’m with you about being more awake/ excited to hear Breanna if she makes it through (and I’m adding amber too)

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Exactly why I said it was a mistake to dump Melinda last week. She would’ve stood out from the rest like crazy, even if just for the energy alone.

    • Laura says:

      I agree that Breanna was really good tonight. Loved her performance! Not sure why I’m hearing poor reviews from others.

      • Ben says:

        Because singing well isn’t what matters to many people. Being interesting is, and Breanna simply isn’t. I could see her making it big time, but I don’t think Idol is her path.

    • Mikko Makitalo says:

      I also think, that Breanna was very good, if not the best, although she is (yet) not my favorite. Another better-than-good performance from her. She is clearly suffering fron not being seen so much and from the weird judge critics. After these deliveries, it would be a shame, if she did not proceed.

  5. Evan says:

    When Nicki is wrong, she’s so, so wrong.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Nicki is like the Little Girl with the Curl in the Middle of her Forehead. ;-)

      • zaza says:

        Ha ha ha…you made me think of a Mae West comment “When I’m good, I’m very, very good and when I’m bad…I’m even better!” Lol!

  6. *The really good separated itself from the middle of the line performers tonight.
    Candice, Kree, Amber, Angela and Janelle were my Top 5 tonight, with Janelle possibly being replaced by Aubrey, but I hope not.
    *Did Ryan and the producers really confuse Amber’s mom to her step-mom?? Not sure if it’s 100% racist or 100% stupid, but it’s definetly really bad if this was the case.

    • Globo Hobo says:

      Yes they did indeed. To be fair however, there are probably a ton of (black) families backstage this season and Seacrest probably never had to interact them at this early point. Seacrest himself has met a trillion singers and their moms, I expect him to get it wrong.

      However, some Jr. Associate producer/intern is going to get chewed out by Nigel’s huge fake teeth tonight.

    • Lo says:

      Ughhh that was so cringe-worthy!

    • CAM says:

      Agreed. Glad I’m not the only one who was not wild about Breanna. I don’t get the love people have for her.

      • zaza says:

        I think she has a nice tone, but her performance style seems a bit affected, the way she waves her hands about. It seems planned rather than genuine.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      100% racist?????? oh yea, EVERYTHING is racist these days. It was a simple mistake on live TV. Good grief.

  7. Kree was fantastic. Loved Candice, Angie and Amber as well.

    • Owen says:

      As long as these four make it I don’t care which of the others do.

    • JT says:

      Loved Kree. The first time since Haley Reinhart S10 I immediately rewound the DVR to watch a second time. I’m hoping for some rock later in the season.

  8. Just My 2 Cents says:

    So….can I have a Top 5 of Candice, Kree, Angela, Breanna, & Amber? Janelle isn’t really doing it, she’s gone the Baylie Brown ‘fodder’ route. If we’re doing wildcards, can we add in Janelle & Aubrey (for the first eliminated eye candy contestant).

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      You can have that five if they expand it and allow Aubrey in as well.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I know. Right?! What happened to Janelle? Her flame is definitely out.

      • Ty says:

        I thought Janelle butchered that song, gutted the melody, and it was made all the worse because I remembered THIS.

        THAT is how you sing if I can dream, by comparison her version was a wreck. Where was the enjoyable melody? ugh.

      • Mikko Makitalo says:

        It must be nerves and some kind of inate uncertainty and lack of self confidence. She kind of makes big “Whoops!” mistakes, and it just continues and continues….I think she could be really great, but then again, she has been given a lot of opportunities…

    • The Beach says:

      I absolutely agree with your Top 5. I thought Janelle was ok but not in the league of the others and while I think Aubrey is stunning, vocally she was just ok too.

  9. Mel31602 says:

    Totally disagree w you on the judges Slezak. I thought they gave great commentary and advice, even if neither standing o was deserved. But maybe that’s bc I loved Tenna (don’t get why you all don’t like her tone) and agreed w Nicki that Breanna sounded strained. Agree w the rest of your grades tho. Angela Amber Kree and Candice should be locks w Aubrey or Janelle getting final spot (Im hoping for Terra but not optimistic)

  10. dj says:

    I was about ready to give up after the first few performances, but thankfully a lot of the girls redeemed the night, and then Candice was awesome!

  11. Hanna says:

    The top 4 seem pretty clear to me; Angie, Candace, Amber and Kree. The fifth could be Brianna, Aubree or Janelle. I think Aubree is the most relevant to today’s industry so she gets my vote. Not sure what guys have a shot against them.

  12. Laura says:

    I do not understand the love for Breanna. I found her to be rather boring. I also am impartial to Kree — I understand why people like her, but I don’t really like her myself.

    • MC says:

      I agree. I don’t understood the massive amount for love of Kree. She tries for some glory notes in a mechnical way and seems to be at least somewhat bored with everything she sings. I don’t hear her relating to the songs. God forbid she tucks in her shirt, but that endears her to a large part of the audience and I think she knows that.

    • teatime says:

      Breanna is interesting, unexpected, and current.

    • Mikko Makitalo says:

      I in a way would not like to like Breanna, but…then I listened to her…and she was like the best. Quite unique. And Kree I love, altough I did not enjoy her performance last night so much. Somebody wrote in the YouTube good comparison about Kree: Many performers in today’s music business can be junk food, but Kree is like an apple, so real and kind of familiar.

  13. Lauren says:


  14. analythinker says:

    Kree. Kree. Kree. Please.

  15. Teeny Bikini says:

    Candace, Kree, Angela, Amber. Can’t even remember the others – totally forgettable. And there is ocean between the leaders and everybody else. The show didn’t start until Angela sang. It was starting to get depressing until then…

  16. HTGRWHOM says:

    Kree did very well tonight but she sounded so countrified tonight that it didn’t really excite me all that much and I felt sort of let down. I mean she did sing well though. If you love that style I’m sure you’ll have been excited by it though.
    Candice was very fine but it seemed sooooooo boring, not my thing at all, although I will admit she was technically fine.
    Might have been nice to have had Juliana and delicate tones and Melinda and her pop energy and stage presence (tonight especially) and they could easily have filled in for any two of Zoanette, Tenna, Adrianna and made it a much more exciting night. I think Melinda’s energy would’ve really stood out tonight.
    I have no idea in what fashion the voters will sort this out. I really have no clue who they will pick for the top five. Probably Angie plus 4 of Amber, Aubrey, Breanna, Janelle, Kree and Candice.
    As I said I guess I liked Angie and Amber best. I might add Breanna and Aubrey. Kree did well tonight and earlier on so I guess she has to be in even if it wasn’t quite my style tonight.

  17. Carly says:

    Tenna’s intro package mainly about her freakin hair/wig and not about who she is/where she’s from like everyone else’s so far? (On west coast only at Amber now) Haha nappy tabs—we get it–cannon fodder.

  18. teatime says:

    Idol needs to ban Whitney songs.

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Why? That was one of the top two of the night.

      • teatime says:

        Not for me. There were two Whitney songs tonight. Two. It is so unimaginative. One of the performances was a complete train wreck. The other was really good, so I’m told, but I was bored.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          Two? I know Amber did a great job on one but I don’t even recall the other, maybe it was too much of a train wreck hah??

          • teatime says:

            I believe Adriana’s train wreck was a Whitney song too.

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            No. That wasn’t Whitney at all. That was Destiny’s Child. (although I’ll agree with you that it was one the three performances of the night that definitely seemed far weaker than all the rest)

      • deedee says:

        Yes, Amber won me over last night, despite singing Whitney. At least that particular Whitney song was not on the “done to death on Idol” list (I don’t think).
        I totally agree with Slezak that Amber did some very difficult vocal tricks with such breezy effortlessness. Also agree that she’s not flawless, and seems a bit shy and uncomfortable in the spotlight – which leaves tons of room for growth. She also happens to be very pretty; – dare I say it – a “package artist” [insert Kara’s clanging monkey]. Hoping she steers clear of Whitney-Mariah-Celine, and takes on more edgy and unexpected songs.

        • zaza says:

          I like Amber. She’s sings effortlessly, has a lot of control, has a cute personality and adorable dimples AND she doesn’t dress like a hoochi-mama!

      • soundscene says:

        I thoroughly disliked Amber’s performance. Can she hit the notes? Sure. Can she do runs? Yeah. Does she have any clue about how to phrase a song or convey its meaning? Not in the slightest. She rushed through that song with an overkill of misguided melisma. Every word sounded the same, every note was sung at the same rhythm. Whitney didn’t just hit the notes, she SANG the song. Amber was just hitting the notes.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          OK, she wasn’t Whitney but you can hardly say the others were. Did they all connect better, sound better?

  19. sabina says:

    the girls are better than the guys, they should just eliminate 3 guys ang let eight girls go throug! I thought Amber was the best of the night. better than angela who sang an (ugh) Colton Dixon song…(weirdo fundamentalist christian guy from last season). That being said, Angela def. deserves to make top 5 girls.

    • teatime says:

      I could not even find 5 girls to pick for the poll. I picked 4.

    • Eli says:

      You do know half the contestants every year are “fundamentalist christians” right? Or at least they pretend to be to get votes. Hell, the top 40 this year had like 5 worship leaders in it…

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Weirdo fundamentalist guy from last season”. Hmmm… I love how everyone gets their shorts in a wad over comments that can even remotely be construed as “racist” but it’s perfectly fine to hate on decent Christians. Just stop it. Please. Take your hateful attitude elsewhere.

      • GMom100 says:

        Amen!! These Christian haters make me really sad. I loved Angie’s performance and I love Colton Dixon!

        • MB says:

          Ditto for me. I can understand if they are pointing a finger at you and judging you for not believing in what they believe in. (I’ve had that experience) I don’t see that here and I think in this day and age having young people so devout and loving God is a beautiful thing. It is a whole lot better than some of the things I hear in music today where there is so much hate and vulgarity. I truly believe that this is the problem with the world today. There is so little faith and the kids are looking and searching for something to fill that hole inside of them and instead of doing it with God they do it with, sex, drugs and alcohol.

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            I don’t really buy that latter part. And what about all the times it’s been twisted into excuses for violence/abuse too? And doesn’t the Bible Belt have more teen pregnancy and divorce and, I think, more suburban drug use than any other part of the country? That said yeah I’d that than people worshipping gangster rap by a million miles.

          • Shaun says:

            I think Young People being so devout is Cult like behaviour.The Catholic organization is dying by 1000 cuts!

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          I really don’t care for the whole Christian rock thing but I do like Angie and did like her last night too. I think she will mix it up a lot anyway. SHe’s done more Jesse J so far than anything right?

      • marie says:

        Very good point, DET; this atheist agrees completely.

    • pmcd says:

      I also think they should have 2 or 3 guys and pick 8 or 7 girls. I’d say to get rid of all the guys but then that would leave Zoanette which would be pushing it. It’s a very uninteresting collection of guys.

  20. Daniel says:

    Kree = A-
    Angie = B+
    Candice = B+
    Amber = B+
    Aubrey = B
    Janelle = B
    Adriana = B-
    Tenna = B-
    Breanna = C-
    Zoanette = F

  21. bbb says:



  22. MB says:

    Loved Angela, Amber, Kree and Candice. First time I really liked Candace. I don’t agree with you on the judges. I enjoyed them tonight and thought they had some good things to say. Nikki gets a little weird with her remarks but I guess I am getting use to her antics. The important thing is that she gave some good honest critiques especially with Zoanette who was one of her favorites.
    On a whole all the girls were great and it won’t be easy to lose some of them but I think the cream will rise to the top and the ones who have the chance to win it all will come through.
    Did you hear Nikki tell Andriana to come back next year. Can she? I thought if you are in top 20 you can’t.

    • Chuck says:

      I think you’re right about Adriana. The rule has always been that once America votes on you, that’s your one chance.

    • marie says:

      Yeah, I caught that. Unless they’ve changed the rules, it has always been that once you get to the voting rounds, you can’t come back on subsequent seasons. I’m sure someone will make that clear to Nicki so she doesn’t make that mistake again.

  23. Atlgal says:

    Candice slayed tonight!!!! Also loved Kree, Amber and Angie. Ryan get it together please!!! You never met Amber’s mom as that other black woman was her stepmom! Embarrassing to watch but Ryan is a pro so nothing’s seems to faze him. I just can’t with how verbose Mariah is… Like get to the damn point already! Finally I really wanted to vote for Zoanette today but that performance ( along with some others) was a mess.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I really wanted Zonette to kill it too. But dang. That was the worst performance on Idol – ever. I can’t remember a worse one.. Too bad, I really like her spirit.

    • The Beach says:

      I guess we’ll see if VFTW still holds any sway as Zoanette and Charlie are their choices.

      • Anna says:

        I thought I heard that VFTW was shutting its site down. Pretty much no one pays attention to what WFTW says anymore.

        • ChrissieK says:

          It was announced that THIS is the last season for VFTW and you’re right, they don’t seem to have the influence like they used to…probably cuz not too many guys (as in male) are watching.

  24. Sue says:

    The ladies are sooooo much better than the guys. I don’t know if it was purposely stacked that way or what.

    I totally get what Nicki was saying about Tenna’s boobs. I said to my mom, “I hate that dress. It looks like she has triangle nipples.” Bad choice by Tenna.

    Kree, Angie and Candice are my top three. Janelle is losing momentum and fast.

    • Globo Hobo says:

      You know it was stacked that way. Its ok to admit it. The ladies are playing against a team of odds n’ sods this season. The guys have voices as weak as their wrists. If i were one of the top 5 girls I’d feel a small pang of guilt about it, but the stupid voting system that At&T demands requires it. Crystal Bowersox couldn’t even beat a tuneless schlub like Lee DeWyze thanks to At&T. Its going to look all the worse when the palest of the top 5 men holds a six-string during the LA Liveshows and rockets right to the top.

      • deedee says:

        “The guys have voices as weak as their wrists”

        Haha! That’s funny, though I’m not entirely sure what that even means! So really, any guy who got through this season should actually feel insulted. :D

    • Owen says:

      um…it is purposely stacked that way…

    • teatime says:

      I can think of 4 girls that were not great tonight.

    • The Beach says:

      Gotta agree about Teena’s dress. Where’s Tim Gunn when you need him?

    • ejones says:

      It doesn’t matter if the girls are better in general, its the top 2 of each gender that matter. Season 10 proved that, first five out all girls, but the top 3 had 2 girls and guy. Angie is so over-rated on this board, little variation and little depth in her voice. When you hear Randy giving most of the girls decent feed back you wonder why the jerk gave Haley such a bad time.

      • HTGRWHOM says:

        Either because he’s totally lost it or because TPTB made him do it so their chosen Lauren wouldn’t get knocked off by her. That was the all-time worst travesty on the show and they really shoot their own foot with that. All the more ridiculous when the next singer and he’d say the exact opposite thing about the same thing.
        It was a bit annoying to see them generally so blah-blah about Elise last season too.
        and so on.

  25. Christina says:

    The 5 I would choose would be Kree, Candice, Amber, Angela, and Brenna.

    Janelle pales in comparison in the country department to Kree so I don’t think she will go through. Aubrey is all style no substance. She ran out of breath halfway through her song for geesh sakes. Zoanette was strategically placed in the line up so we would forget about her and by the end of the show and we did. Teena, and Adriana, just no.

  26. Dan says:

    KREE HARRISON!… that is all I need to say.

  27. marie says:

    Great show tonight, but some real judging head-scratchers too.
    First, I’m sad to say my Zoanette love is over. I still think there is a good singer in there somewhere, but that was a mess. Sorry, Zoanette. Hope you had fun while it lasted.
    First judging enigma: what the hell were they saying to Breanna? She was terrific! Great tone, lovely control and restraint, which is what the song called for. I thought she was excellent, and I did the proverbial “voting my fingers off” for her. Will do some more too in a bit. I honestly do not know where their criticism came from, unless it was straight from the producers.
    And WHAT were they saying to the incongruously named Tenna?!?!?!?!!! She was awful! “Great tone”? If you like Minnie Mouse on helium!
    Another puzzler: the judges’ reaction to Janelle. Her voice is really nothing special, and it sounds to me like she tends to run out of breath when she tries for power notes. Pitch problems all over the place too. I don’t get their high praise at all.
    Angie, Kree, and especially Amber turned in knockout performances. Well done, ladies.
    But. Candice – !!!! WOW!!!!! First, that is one gorgeous John Legend song, and THAT, my friends, was a vocal grand slam home run. That’s the Candice I fell in love with during Hollywood Week!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      well marie, as usual I agree with most of what you wrote. I preferred Kree to Candice but that’s personal preference only. They were both great.
      There was another contestant that sounded like “Minnie Mouse on Helium” and she won the whole shooting match a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away – Fantasia, LOL.
      I have NO clue what the judges were hearing on Breanna and Janelle, either and I agree with what you wrote about Breanna, Janelle, and Aubrey to a “t”.
      Not sure what to think about Janelle. Her song choice has been odd. Last week she chooses a duet. This week she chose a song by a male vocalist (Elvis, no less). I think she is better suited for some of Dolly Parton’s songs but that’s just me.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Sorry, not Aubrey, “Amber” – This broadcast of American Idol is brought to you by the letter “A”.

  28. Anna says:

    Tenna doesn’t have a great voice. Actually, it’s pretty awful. But it kind of intrigues me at the same time.

  29. Chuck says:

    Angie, Kree, Candice, and Amber (who I didn’t care for 2 weeks ago) are obvious. Last spot is a tough call between Tenna and Breanna–I’d probably take Breanna because she’s 10 years younger and might develop star quality, but she’s way below those top four.

    Janelle is proving to be overrated, and Zoanette is a complete joke.

  30. Wesley says:

    Ordinary People is one of my all time favorite songs, and once Candice started singing it I was just freaking out. She is amazing, it was amazing. She needs to go all the way in the competition, so damn good!

    On another note, I love Kree, Angie, Amber, and Breanna. If that’s not the top 5 it will be quite a shame.

  31. Julian says:

    Michael, you need to chill. There’s only one show I have watched routinely for the last decade, and it’s been AI. Simon post season 5, Paula post season 7, Kara, jLO, Ellen, Steven and Randy 88% of the time were all AWFUL as people giving reasonable opinions.

    This year’s panel is completely different, they give thoughtful feedback, even if more positive than you like. No need for exaggeration just because you don’t like their opinions on Breanna and Teena.

  32. dani says:

    My heart face is Amber..she’s adorable and I dig the low voice.Candice soared.Kree was marvelous. Angie was solid. I dug Breanna. I thought Tenna, Aubrey, and even Z did well. Janelle was a bit in and out.And Adrianna has a good voice.Shot herself in her pageant foot and got drowned out by the band.

  33. marie says:

    Aha, just read Mr. Skezak’s comments. For once I’m entirely in agreement. And seems so far that everyone who has voted agrees with my top 5 too.
    Guess that’s why I like coming here: Slezak and his readers have some good critical ears.:-)

  34. Angela says:

    Kree and Candice were the highlights for me tonight.
    Don’t know what the hell was up with Zoanette’s performance, but…yikes.

  35. hi says:

    agreed with your 5. Breanna and Aubrey are really similar to me, but what sets Breanna apart is she actually shows personality and sass. Aubrey is just boring

  36. Carly says:

    I really hope America does the right thing and puts Breanna through. I see the Rihanna super mega star vibe from her miles over Aubrey in my opinion!! She’s so cool. She didnt even have to do a crazy big ballad. Love her!

  37. LeahKittyS says:

    Okay, ladies and gentleman, it’s crystal ball time!
    Prediction #1: The judges comments about Breanna and Tenna were an attempt at reverse psychology. Either that or Mariah is so in love with her camper that she’s paying the others to praise her.
    Prediction #2: There will be at least one Wildcard girl this year.
    Prediction #3: One way or another, this is who is getting into the finals.
    Kree for sheer awesomeness. Candice for the same reason. Angie for Christian following and piano playing. Adriana for Filipino following and big notes. Other possibilities are Amber for running up behind Kree and Candice, Breanna via Wildcard, and Janelle for old-school country or via Wildcard.

    • Joe Strummer says:

      It is so obvious that they are going to have a couple wildcards. they usually have a top 12 but this year they are only having a top 10?? then Randy says we have to talk with the producers and get some kind of wild card system in place?

      I bet they have one girl and one guy wild card to make it a top 12 again this year. the Judges will pick the wild cards.

  38. So Michael’s top 5 are Kree, Angela, Amber, Candice, and Breanna? The first four I can completely agree with as they were on a different level than anybody else tonight. I find Breanna mind numbingly boring though and her arm waves are distracting. The other sopt in my top 5 could be any of the other 6 and I don’t think I would care. None of them are great and none of them are bad. None of them are also the least bit interesting either. (Save for Zoanette)

    My only thing with Angela is her schtick is going to get old. Why do all of her songs end up sounding exactly the same to me? I’m already getting annoyed with her. But she does have a great voice.

    Kree is Queen though.

  39. HTGRWHOM says:

    So I guess I’m the only one utterly bored to tears by Candice and that song tonight??? Not that she messed it up technically or anything, she was very good in those regards. But man was that boring. I guess I just am not THAT into her style so when it combines with a song I don’t care for.

    • marie says:

      All in the rear of the listener: I LOVE that song, and was completely captivated with Candice’s performance.

    • teatime says:

      She overdid it again. I love Candice’s voice. But I am not a fan of the over singing.

      • The Beach says:

        I would agree with you about last week as I thought she over sang the Aretha song but not tonight. I thought it was the perfect amount of jazz inflection.

      • marie says:

        Wow, no, you heard something very different from what I heard; that was not oversung at all. That was the very definition of class, taste, and intelligence in singing. Candice sang like an adult, SINGS like an adult, and in that, she reminds me of Melinda Doolittle when she was on the show.
        Alas, as Melinda knows, that’s not always a plus in terms of winning the competition.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        agree with marie and beach completely.

    • lemon says:

      She has a great voice, but doesn’t really do much for me. I can see why people are dazzled, but I feel like Amber and Kree are so much better.

    • lemon says:

      P.S. The hype for Candice reminds me of the hype for Pia. I predict Candice will be out sooner than expected.

      • deedee says:

        Candice > Pia by light years. Candice has a quiet, confident “knowingness” about her when she’s onstage. She understands what to do with a song, and how to deliver it to her audience. Pia was all vocal strength, and very little connection to either the song or the audience.

        • marie says:


        • teatime says:

          “Candice has a quiet, confident “knowingness” about her when she’s onstage.”
          I agree with this. This is why I like her as a contestant. She is probably never going to be my favorite due to song choice and diva singing. But I like her persona and I think no matter where she ends up in this competition she will have a future in the industry.

    • Mikko Makitalo says:

      In my lists Candice has all the time been in quite top, but she has not been my favorite. She is a fantastic singer, but something lacks to me, she is technically fabulous, but usually she is not capable of touching my heart., lighting my fire.

    • Luke says:

      Do you really need to keep re-posting about how boring you think Candice was? She was the opposite of boring to me – her phrasing and connection to the song were so strong – I have shared it on Facebook – risking derision from friends because most of them detest Idol-type shows. Candice and Amber were so far in front in my estimation.

  40. Owen says:

    I don’t know why, as good as half of these girls are, the only one that got me excited was Amber. I mean, get-up-from-my-lying-position-on-the-couch-and-sit-up excited. I used to get that way about Jessica Sanchez last year. I’m not sure why, I don’t even BUY that type of music. Maybe along with their talent I get excited by the possibility of thier yourth. I don’t know, but I was so afraid there would be no one this year who would do that for me. I’m so glad Amber is there!

  41. jaime says:

    Based on judges feedback, amber, Angie, Candice and kree are for sure. I hope breaana makes it but I could see Janelle making it… this was the first episode I’d seen since the auditions. Who the heck let zoannette in??

    • Mary says:

      You can’t say they are in for sure because the people are voting not the judges and I have seen
      some talent go due to the vote. If they are not voted in they better have a wild card. Personally I think they should of done the boys and then have America vote for the top ten. I do not think America cares if it is 5 girls and 5 guys we what the most talented.

  42. Billie says:

    Hands down as of now Kree is the best singer of the competition and Miley Cyrus is the most popular in the competiton. I will not be mad if one of them wins as long as they are consistent and keep it exciting week after week. Candice Glover? Well…I JUST WANNA SAY YOU ARE SO FREAKING TALENTED BUT BUT BUT…you are so pimped I’m afraid I can see you as far as third ‘megapimped Joshua Ledet and Melinda Doolittle’ place. I will give an honorable mention to the amazing Amber as well. Poor Adriana she is indeed pageant-y and she was not able to live up the Jessica Sanchez comparisons and her previous solid showing 2 weeks ago but with Nicki honestly brutally bussing her and second to the last performer…a ‘Shannon Magrane’ slot in the ‘Top 10’? OMG I love me some Aubrey she is freaking HUMBLE UNASSUMING CUTE GORGEOUS! She is solid in vocals as well! Janelle is still nervous like she was last week…I wish I could tell her that she should be better strumming her guitar for now while performing to let go of her nerves and deliver an amazing performance (tsk tsk tsk)…it will be fine with me though if she makes it to next round just for her being blonde and country for diversity. Breanna is amazing but she might be a bit too urban on the ‘very large number of viewers in the South US who loves country and folk-y artists’ show so I guess she will not go far (ouch). For their level of performances for two weeks in a row…I guess I’m really really really done with Zoanette and Tenna…as in really really. Uhm…that is all. :)

  43. Sarah says:

    My picks for the top five are Angie, Janelle, Amber, Kree, and Candice.

  44. Becca says:

    Meh. Most of the girls are pretty good, but they’re all the SAME. I don’t listen to or enjoy that big diva ballad style of singing, so even though the girls are unarguably better than the guys this year, I’m more excited for the latter, since they’re not all, “I’m gonna belt this note and you are all going to love it and overpraise me!” types. Variety is the spice of life!

    I did love Kree tonight. Still a little upset that Rachel and Juliana were cut.

    The judges are just baffling – I thought so the past two weeks in Vegas as well. I’m liking that they’re mostly literate and get their points across without spending a half hour doing it, and that there’s no doubt where they stand or why, but… what the heck! Nicki acted like she was still upset that David was married, Keith and Mariah turned into Ellen, and Randy was just Randy.

    Speaking of Randy, I was mesmerised by his jacket. Did he seriously have a pocket square /printed/ on it? D:

    • Angela says:

      Can’t disagree on the ballad stuff. Come on, girls, spice it up a little and do something upbeat and bouncy and fun, or rock it out a little, or whatever! I do love a slow song as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t get why the girls so often wind up picking slow ballads on this show.

  45. NikkiQM says:

    I thought this was a pretty entertaining show no real train wrecks but maybe a few fell off the tracks *cough* Zoanette and Tenna. The two best vocals of the night were definitely Kree and Candice. I can’t get into Angela, she’s good and I appreciate her talent but just can’t get into her performances. Breanna was good but isn’t in the same league as Kree and Candice. I thought Amber did a great job but I agreed with Keith she added too many runs I felt like she was trying hard to show what she can do, maybe a little too hard. All and all not a bad night.

    • Lib says:

      Not liking Angela at all. She seems to be a bit over confident. And I think her performances come off as very fake.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Right. Because for someone performing live on stage, in front of an audience, four famous judges, and with millions of viewers in the TV audience “overconfident” is certainly a bad thing.

        • deedee says:

          For me, the overconfidence is hugely annoying because I don’t find Angie particularly genuine or interesting. She comes off as a bit of a Stepford contestant. I know many folks enjoy her a lot, but to me she’s like a SNL skit of a school assembly where the overachieving teacher’s pet gets up to sing, and in the crowd we see her mother weeping and throwing worship-hands in the air, while the rest of the audience is rolling their eyes.
          I couldn’t stand Colton last year either (his 3-song mini concert on tour was my bathroom break), so Angie’s choice of song was a double annoyance for me. Ah well, just my personal taste. She will obviously go far in the competition, so I have many weeks of getting annoyed ahead of me. ;)

          • Daniel says:

            Angie haters are on drugs!!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Well, honestly – I watched the contestants last night the way I often do – with my eyes shut! Colton wasn’t my favorite but I liked the song.

        • HTGRWHOM says:

          It’s generally good in the real world of music but it can be bad in the world of Idol voting if you are not carefully about exactly coming across ‘correctly’ since plenty of Idol voters do seem to be very judgemental and all about things as we’ve seen plenty before. For now she seems relative safe but

          • HTGRWHOM says:

            you just hope at some point something doesn’t happen and the jealous judgmental the show and judges are gods types don’t end up getting on her case.

  46. HTGRWHOM says:

    Anyone else annoyed that the two things they tried to copy from The Voice were like THE two worst things about that show! The 20 split to two groups of ten, not comparing everyone at once thing is like how The Voice doesn’t compare everyone at once in the early stages and it can lead to bad things. At least The Voice added a wild card snatch to that. And the way The Voice is in such a rush to get things cut down.
    It was bad enough when Idol switched the super quick cuts from 40 to 24 to 12 or 13 but now they are doing it even worse 40 to only 20 to only 10. Where is someone with delicate tones of a Juliana or a rocker who do some totally sick things like Elise, remember that one week in particular were she was just magic rocking it out? or someone with more stage energy like Melinda, etc.
    With the rush to cut and with it split tow two uneven groups of ten, by the time it was top 20 we didn’t even have a single person with tons of stage energy left (unless you count Zoanette who wasn’t going to through), not a single rocker, etc.

    • The Beach says:

      I would have loved an Elise or Allison or Carly Smithson tonight. The endless ballad got a little boring for me as well.

      • noa says:

        WORD. +100000

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Well, they all tried to sing “singers songs”. I agree and hope they pick up the pace from here on out. When I think about all the performances so far the one that jumps out at me is Rachel Hale’s “Nothing but the Water”. :-)

  47. Kevin Clark says:

    What’s with all the Nicki Minaj as a Judge love? I think she’s disgusting. The way she rolls her eyes at everything everyone says. The ratings are down and trust me Randy and Mariah or Keith are not the reasons why.

    • dj says:

      What I don’t like about her is the sexual harassment of the contestants. They should not have to put up with her commenting on their boobs, their legs, and her feelings toward them. No one can get away with that in the workplace any more. She shouldn’t either.

      • blip says:

        Agreed! Can you imagine if that was coming from Simon or Randy?!?!? Just.No.

        • Anna says:

          Steven Tyler made comments like that to the female contestants — even to the underaged ones like Lauren — the last 2 seasons. Not that Nicki should be making these comments…she definitely shouldn’t. But she is far from the first Idol judge to make sexual comments to the contestants. Kara was constantly drooling over the guys, and even had Casey James take off his shirt. Ew…just no.

          • Owen says:

            I know. How quickly they forget.

          • deedee says:

            There is a world of difference between an old man (or any man for that matter) leering and making lewd comments about the girls, and a woman making cheeky, flippant comments about another woman’s boobs. Nicki’s saucy comments may not be high class talk, but I wouldn’t put them on the level of “sexual harassment”.

          • dj says:

            You’re right, it has gone on before. I just hate it. I was sexually harassed in front of others in the past, so I know what it feels like, and it’s not good. When it’s someone who has power over you, like the judges do with the contestants, you feel humiliated, but you also feel like you have to play along or you’ll get fired. I don’t think they should have to go through that, especially on TV in front of millions. I think Nicki has upped the game and is doing it more often than anyone before.

    • thesongremainsthesame says:

      The ratings have steadily dropped for a few seasons tho…. Nicki isn’t the reason for that.

    • Mary says:

      Nicki isn’t either. I actually hated the ideal of her being a judge when first announce, but to honest I think she is doing great. The new Simon. Yes she is over the top on things, but I personally think it is better than beautiful and all the judges agreeing. I love her eye rolls, especially at Randy because lets face it, most of his remarks are duh.

  48. Name That Tune says:

    Missed the first hour. The good piece of that is I only missed one good performance. I did see 3 of the best. Here’s the truth. We had 4 performances by good singers and one great performance by an artist. Idol hasn’t seen the likes of a artist as good as Candice since Melinda Doolittle. She is so good that the Idol voters may not appreciate her. But she will have a great post Idol career.

    That said, I’m a Kree fan and want to hear more from Breanna and Amber (who needs a little more seasoning). Angela didn’t get the point about not over singing. I think she peaked 2 weeks ago.

    • HTGRWHOM says:

      Hmm Angie oversings but Candace doesn’t go all over? And if Angie has written some of her own music and Candice hasn’t then how is Candice the one true artist??

      • Name That Tune says:

        Yeah Angie over sings. And it’s not pleasant to listen to. She also could use more seasoning. When she learns to pull back and do a little instead of a lot then she will be a mature artist. Now she’s just a power balladeer

  49. Brandy says:

    Kree, Candice, and Angela were great! I so missed Melinda, Cristabel, and Rachel though.

  50. teatime says:

    I did appreciate Zoanette saying it was her own hair… because she bought it. Hah!