American Idol Top 8 Recap: This Theme's a Mystery, Every Contestant Must Stand Alone

janelle-wheeler-idol-keep-me-hangin-onTonight’s installment of American Idol kicked off with chyrons promising “a story of innovators, a story of visionaries.” And then we jumped right into a theme that Idol has coughed up roughly 26 times over the course of 12 seasons: “Detroit: The Music of Motor City” (AKA Motown Night Plus a Random Madonna Track).

Randy Jackson shouted “in it to win it!” (the verbal equivalent of a pile of dusty horse bones getting worked over with a cat o’ nine tails). Mariah Carey did her impersonation of a butterfly (much flapping of the wings/gums; very little in the way of pointed critique). One singer used the “I wanted to have fun” card while trying to explain away a catastrophic mess of a performance. And while, thankfully, the majority of contestants chose uptempo tracks — thereby ending a run that gave us ballads for 17 of the last 19 performances — a sense of ennui prevailed for most of the episode, with a few jarring exceptions.

Nicki Minaj poured 100-proof honesty into the watered-down punch — at one point becoming so disgusted with the three remaining male contestants that she demanded they leave the stage immédiatement. (From what Devin and Burnell mumbled to Ryan Seacrest, though, it sounded like they thought the vitriol should’ve been heaped solely on Lazaro — and his failure to participate in choreography/learn his lyrics. Yikes!) Guest mentor Smokey Robinson used his keen ear to give the Top 8 some legitimately sound advice. And Janelle Arthur, who looked no better than a mid-pack player a couple weeks ago, played the David Cook card and changed up her Motown ditty in a way that was downright electrifying. (Three of Janelle’s fellow chicas weren’t too shabby, either.)

With that said, let’s cut to tonight’s set list — and celebrate another Nicki Minaj side eye — while assiging letter grades for every performance!

Nicki Minaj idol side eyeCandice Glover: Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” | I love that Candice took some chances with the tempo and melody of a song we’ve heard six times before on Idol — including renditions in Seasons 9, 10 and 11 (Andrew Garcia, Casey Abrams and Skylar Laine), but there was something a little underbaked about her funk-centric rendition. It didn’t help that the camera shot during Candice’s opening verse was almost entirely obscured by a glaring spotlight, nor that the show’s director spent half of the performance cutting to backup singers, the saxophonist, and pretty much anything other than a closeup of The Lady Glover herself. But I felt like Candice didn’t completely immerse herself in the groove, didn’t display 100 percent of the “I got this!” swagger that’s usually welded to her awesome vocals. That last growling run was fantastic — and yeah, the judges should’ve given Candice some points for creativity — but I couldn’t have disagreed more with Keith that this was her best work to date. Grade: B+

Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” | Speaking of creativity points, can I get a slow clap for Kree and Janelle for choosing the only track this week that took the “Detroit” theme past the Motownville and into less-traversed neighborhood of Madonnaland? Okay, with that praise on the record, let’s be honest: Kree and Janelle’s arrangement of “Like a Prayer” was about as authentically country as the Jersey Shore hottub (no matter what that lady from Duets has to say). I agreed with Nicki that — were this a battle — Kree got the edge over Janelle, but considering that both women got a tad steamrolled by that massive 10-person choir (unnecessary much?), it was a hollow win at best. Grade: B-

Lazaro Arbos: Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” | The judges seemed elated that Lazaro hit a much higher percentage of notes than he did on last week’s “In My Life.” But to put the performance in baking terms, dude went from starting a raging kitchen fire to merely dropping his pie face-down on the floor. “For Once in My Life” wasn’t irreparably damaged, but it still wasn’t very good. Part of the problem is that at this stage in his vocal development, Lazaro is nothing more than a solid karaoke singer: There’s no depth of emotion, there’s little creativity, and when he tries to riff on the melody it often goes awry. Add in details like that odd side-to-side dance step usually reserved for first graders who need to go pee-pee and what seemed to be an almost dismissive response to the judges’ feedback, and I think Lazaro is guaranteed for a Bottom 3 placing come Thursday. Grade: D+

Janelle Arthur: The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” | Janelle said she came up with her haunting arrangement of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” at the tender age of 14 — which makes me think girlfriend sat at the “dark and brooding kids” table when she was in high school. Seriously, the way she reimagined The Supremes’ upbeat hit as a minor-chord ballad breathed new and heartbreaking life into the lyrics — as Keith noted, she tapped into a well of angst — and yet also allowed her to work in some breathtaking ad libs on the final refrain that, to my ears, represented the most masterful vocal technique of the episode, too. Add that adorable little factoid about how Janelle’s uncle made her oversized guitar and, well, I’m calling 9-1-1 and reporting felony menacing if she’s sent anywhere near the Silver Stools of Doom (TM) on Thursday. Grade: A

Devin Velez: The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears” | Once again, Devin (sporting a red tux jacket with black lapels and a black shirt with white collar that made him look like a waiter on a dining car of an old-timey train) hit all his notes correctly this week, and that would put him at the top of the class — if this were a course in mathematics. Alas, though, great singers need to be able to set moods and conjure up emotions when they sing, and Devin’s “TToMT” was devoid of the central heartbreak and longing of a man who’s wept one too many times over lost love. Yeah, Nicki flipped her lid for it — saying she loved every single choice Devin made — but all that tells me is she’s never heard Adam Lambert’s rendition from Season 8. (Oh yeah, I went there.) Grade: B-

Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb: The Supremes’ “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” | I’m choosing to believe no stylists were consulted in the selection of this trio’s jarringly disparate outfits, and I’m choosing to ignore yet another instance of Mariah Carey trying to make “fetch” “Hashtag: Pow!” happen. That way, I can focus on the way Amber, Angie and especially Candice brought a raw 2013 energy to an arrangement that was comfortably chillaxing in the late ’60s. Make no mistake: These ladies can sang — even if Amber is the only one who really knows how to get her flirt on during a performance. Grade: A-

Burnell Taylor: Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” | What’s tone got to do, got to do with it?/ What’s tone, but one part of the equation?/ What’s tone got to do, got to do with it?/ I can’t get past this kid’s strange pronunciations… It may seem to you like I’m acting confused, but seriously, there were more “mmm” sounds at the end of Burnell’s phrases than in that Crash Test Dummies song from the early ’90s: “My cherie amourmm”? “Pretty little one that I adormm”? I’d have been less distracted if Burnell had been using Mariah’s idiotic wand as a mic. And while, yeah, Burnell did occasionally offer a little twist on the melody to keep things from sounding too totally karaoke, we also had to contend with his flitting hand gestures (half “shoo fly,” half “I’m like a bird”). And worst of all, while Burnell did complete a short walk from the back of the stage to the mic stand, it was essentially another case of the kid standing in one position at the center of the stage for almost the entire performance. I mean, there’s hitting your mark, and then there’s being glued to it.) Grade: B/B- (Burnell receives separate scores for technical merit and artistic impression; and the East German judge wasn’t having the “mm” effect.)

Angie Miller: The Miracles’ “Shop Around” | I knew Angie was in grave danger the second her rehearsal footage rolled and you could hear the inauthentic rock track that Jimmy and/or Smokey should never have allowed to escape the studio. I mean, the arrangement was so tinny and stilted it would’ve made Alice Cooper sound like Josh Grobin, so there really wasn’t much hope for a chipper teen who declared herself ready to show “my fun crazy side — with some attitude.” (Somehow — and maybe it makes me a bad person — but that clip made me think Angie’s idea of “crazy” is grabbing a second tong-full of croutons when she’s at the Ponderosa salad bar.) Deep down, though, I think Angie knew this wasn’t going to work — that it was a week she’d have to survive rather than thrive. She almost immediately seemed to misjudge the rhythm of the song — vocally stumbling about like a three-legged cat — and by the time she strolled over to engage the band’s guitar player, she wound up flubbing a line or two of her lyrics. Plus, as Keith pointed out, the usually technically solid vocalist hit a ton of sharp notes. Faced with a bad performance from an ordained front-runner, Mariah’s internal wiring went all CTRL+ALT+DEL; she tried to compliment Angie’s “risqué” dress, then pointed out how exciting it must’ve been for songwriter Angie to sit with a songwriter of Smokey’s caliber. Yes, folks, never before has a critique looked more like a trout flopping around on a dock. Grade: C-

Amber Holcomb: Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” | It’s a tricky job on a reality singing competition to find the right mix of power and restraint, but Amber handled it pretty perfectly on a rendition of “Lately” that went right up to the edge of the melisma cliff, peered down at the deathly drop into the canyon, and then backed away to the safety zone at just the right moment. Amber does need to be carefully not to let her tone get shrill when she’s in full on belting mode — on that note, my husband thinks I’ve graded her too generously — but I think her biggest challenge in the weeks ahead will be finding a way to advance beyond “fantastic Idol underdog” and into “viable chart-topper” territory. Amber needs to simultaneously be more daring, more current, and less reliant on ballads — not an easy task given Season 12’s theme nights thus far — but at least she’s crushing it in terms of fashion (that little black-and-white dress was amahhhz) and sound bites (“I really wasn’t gone! I felt like I was here last week, too!” she exclaimed with a giggle after another recitation of the “Amber is back!” theme). Grade: A-

Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” | I’m gonna defer to Nicki on this one: “I’ma act like I ain’t even see it or hear it!” Yep, that was like Hollywood Week Group Rounds — and not the good kind, either. We’ll discuss more on the Idology episode filming Friday and posting Sunday night/Monday morning — because really, this requires some Melinda Doolittle knowledge. But until then, I have to ask: Why did Lazaro think it was okay to forget his lyrics and not even bother with the simple choreographed dance moves? Yeah, Burnell’s “not to throw anyone under the bus…” and Devin’s “I learned my parts. I tried saving a couple people,” may not have been tactful, but it’s not like they could ignore Seacrest’s question — or what had just gone down in their performance just seconds prior. Grade: C- (maybe a D- for Lazaro)

Kree Harrison: Ben E. King’s “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” | Is it sacrilege for me to say that I’m just not a huge fan of Kree’s song choice? “Don’t Play That Song” like one of those giant snakes you see at the Science Center: It’s cool for a second, but then it just sits there and sits there, and nothing about it really changes no matter how long you stare at it. Kree brought her mesmerizing and very distinctive tone to the table, but I felt like a quieter arrangement would’ve been a better showcase for her emotions, which might’ve given me something more to latch onto. As it was, the band got a little overzealous — and those absurd heels of Kree’s seemed to limit her ability to fully engage physically in the week’s goings-on. And same as Candice, I don’t think this was Kree’s personal high water mark, but she’s still in my Top 4 contestants for the week, no matter which way you slice it. Grade: B+

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 8 performance night? What did you think of the judges’ comments? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? And what about the Lazaro-Burnell-Devin catastrophe? 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!

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  1. This is that moment each season when there’s a CLEAR person in the bottom that needs to go home. God help LAZARO if he stays another week. He’s out of his depth. He’s sweating through his makeup, obviously aware that he should have left two weeks ago and certainly after last week’s weak performance. Enough of the sob story and lyric learning excuses.., It’s AMERICAN Idol, and they always sing from the AMERICAN Songbook overwhelmingly.., so why wasn’t he preparing to be here all these prior to this moment? Bored to death by him now.

  2. Sheila says:

    Sorry Michael, but I have to disagree with regarding Don’t Play that Song (You Lied). I’m not familiar with Ben E. King’s version, but for me, for you Aretha Franklin’s version is off the chain. But again to use another Randyism – Ree Ree could sing the phone book and make it sound it good.

  3. Jessica says:

    Some of my thoughts-Bad 1st. I think a lesson in walking in heels should be mandatory for this show-including for the female judges. Is it just me or does it seem like when Lazaro and Amber sing that they sound muffled/low voice on stage recently? Is that them or AI’s fault? It doesn’t come out good to me. Amber has the talent so I really hate this dulling sound (if that makes sense) when she sings. Lazaro-oh Lazaro… He has actually taught me something watching him-the guys have to know what they are doing even for being rookies b/c he sucks at everything! I liked his jacket and hair but that’s it! On the 3 guy’s trio-Thank you Nicki for saying it! Simon couldn’t have said it better. I loved that Burnell brought it out the way he did-he was right. On the girls trio-they had the look but MoTown really sucks besides Smokey Robinson. Janelle and Kree’s duo I thought was great! I love Janelle in it and thought they both are so different but both so amazing. I didn’t agree with the judges there (Nicki was kinda in an angry mood). I do feel bad for Seacrest b/c I feel he is doing everything he can to work around Mariah. Mariah needs to be cut with her pink magic wand, Lazaro needs to be cut! and Devin should be going home based on vote. Angela-*sigh* she was only good for one song by the piano. I think they made it clear that she is not the next Miley Cyrus (please don’t let there be another one-one is bad enough!!) The great thing is we look a little closer on a Janelle (even if it is a WGirlWG winner), Candice and Kree top 3! I’m personally hoping for Candice to win but will be happy with either 3.

  4. Sylvie says:

    To me, Devin Velez looked like Pee Wee Herman about to enter one of those nasty movie theaters …

  5. lenna says:

    except for season 9 it’s the most boring season ever. def a let down after the past couple of years

    • gailer says:

      IA. Compared to the Voice, it is a mess. They sing out of date songs with out of date arrangements. What happened to at least the cutting edge performances, e.g., Jason Castro, David Cook, Adam Lambert?

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Just like Season 9 was a letdown after the great Seasons 7 and 8, this season is a bit of a letdown after the great Seasons 10 and 11. So the pattern of 3 continues…

  6. ET says:

    I love Amber. I think she has amazing potential. However, I think her voice needs a couple of more years to mature; right now, there is a lack of depth to it, and at times she switches back and forth between a woman’s voice and a girl’s voice. The best analogy I can give is that it’s like a car’s clutch slipping when you push the gas to the floor.

    Without a doubt, this is a contest between Candice, Janelle and Kree. I like them all.

  7. gailer says:

    As my teen daughter said last night, I must leave the room, I cannot stand this show! It is so old-fashioned this season.

  8. Tommyo2000 says:

    Problem with idol is the judging panel… It’s totally inconsistent and frankly the comments are totally in left field most of the time… Simon always talked about the performance, good or bad… Paula was a bit loopy, but Simon would call her out on that… This panel doesn’t mesh and doesn’t judge most of the time… Most people like jimmy the next night cause he says what most people are thinking … Also the over manipulation by the producers is ruining the show too…

    • ET says:

      You are right on all counts. Honestly, the show was ruined when Simon left; he was a perfect fit with the Idol format. However, I personally don’t think he’s right for X-Factor.

      • gailer says:

        Simon needs to come back to save this mess of a show. It is on its last leg! The only thing that is good about this year is I am not watching 13 year olds perform.

    • Mary says:

      I like this panel of judges more than the last couple of years. I am one that does not miss Simon.
      I like when the judges do not agree. I think we have one judge to many but I can tolerate it. Jimmy reads the message board and then they tape is response that is why everyone likes what he is saying, but that is okay because it gets our point across.

      • deedee says:

        One judge too many, and a very bad combo in Nicki and Mariah. Too much animosity and tension between those two and it’s unpleasant to watch the constant cold air around the judges’ table.

  9. Luke says:

    Michael, I’m really surprised you aren’t noticing a sameness in Kree’s week-to-week performances. I liked her in audition weeks I think partly because her personality is very sweet and cool – Yes, she has a good tone but now i am noticing that her interpretation of everything is bland -She hardly plays with any musical line – her face remains like stone during most of a number – I now don’t get why she is so beloved – so far. Anyone else noticing this?

    • CAS says:

      One of the reasons I do love Kree is because she doesn’t play with the musical lines. She respects the notes that the composer put on paper and doesn’t think she can do better with all kinds of riffs and runs. And I DID see her smiling some early in her song last night, which, considering the lyrics, wasn’t completely appropriate.

      • Luke says:

        No – I don’t like a lot of runs and stuff either – I just feel Kree is the opposite – to a fault. Way too simple and straight – line with her phrasing. and I don’t see this emotion that others see in her at all

  10. Rod says:

    @Slezak, I hate to nitpick, but it is Josh Groban (not Grobin) in your comments for Angie Miller.

  11. Mel says:

    Wow Janelle was amaaaaazing! I had the same feeling I had when David Cook did Billie Jean and Hello. She totally took the song in a new direction that was just hypnotizing. I think it was the performance of the season so far. It reminded me of the best of Idol from years past. Plus hearing how she first came up with that when she was 14 and her genuine tears just made me like her even more.

  12. Todd says:

    Burnell did worse than Lazaro, Amber was not nearly good enough for an A B- at best and Angie was awful. Janelle was clearly the best of the night. Kree was her usual solid performance, time for her to have a moment with the right song.

  13. Ok I’ll go there. Every time a contestant picks something Adam Lambert sang the heck out of, I wonder why they go there. Why Devin??? Would’ve loved him to sing “Stay Gold”
    by Stevie Wonder

  14. I thought Janelle and Amber ruled the night.

  15. DZ says:

    Kree reminds me of that actress from Two and a Half Men – you know, the crazy neighbor.

  16. ATL2013 says:

    Once again Lazaro has show what little character and integrity he has. He has proven himself to be a liar who will use every excuse (lie) in the book to try and stay around. “WE DIDN”T KNOW THE WORDS SO WELL”???? Excuse me, no YOU didn’t know the words AT ALL. Had poor Devin and Burnell looking like indentured servants up they working so hard to safe their performance. He should be ashamed of himself.

    • connerc says:

      I pretty much agree. It’s one thing to screw your chances. But, it’s quite another when you hurt other contestants’ chances.

  17. Keikko says:

    “You know what I loved about that performance” Who starts all of his (or her) comments like this? Getting old…

  18. Connor says:

    I think Idol should clean house or go 1 more season and be done with it. I think Randy Kara Paula and Simon should do next season and after that be done with it. I have never really liked Jimmy as he only takes favorites. I think Nicki is trying to hard to have the spotlight on here. As she loves the attention. Mariah if she could would quit. I think this season has been as a mess ever since Nicki choosing people by looks at the Chicago audition. Lazaro is caught in his own hype I think now. If you read some of the things on twitter he actually believes he performed excellent while Brunell, Angie and Amber admit they weren’t on top of their game. I sort of wishes they would tamper with the votes tonight and get Lazaro off. But hey I’m just a spectator.

    • Lola says:

      I have to agree. I’m aware that vote tampering is a huge no-no, as well as an impossibility, (otherwise P2 would not have walked away with the title) … BUT Lazaro seems to have a HUGE fan base. I read a “prediction” site (Dialidol) that is often very flawed, but they have Lazaro this week in THIRD PLACE. Gimme a break. Pleeeeeeeeeeease make him go. Then Burnel, then Devin, then Marie Osmond (Angie).

    • deedee says:

      Randy Paula and Simon, yes. But KARA??? Noooooo!
      Actually, would that be a great way to end the Idol run – by doing one last season with the original judging cast? Simon’s too proud to ever return as a regular judge, but if it was hyped as a “last hurrah” event-of-the-decade, historic final season, I could see him (and Paula) buying into it. Jeez, now I’m getting myself all excited over something that will never in a million years happen. :-/

  19. Lois Benton says:

    THe idol recordings: I just downloaded Candice’s Grapevine. Oh, MY GOD! Breathtaking! Shouldn’t she already be a major star? Why is she even having to be in this competition?

    • deedee says:

      I know. Candice’s voice is stunning. And her phrasing, sense of rhythm, confidence, everything. I’d kill to hear a duet with Candice and Joshua Ledet. Their styles really complement one another. They are friends, so it may happen one day!

    • Name That Tune says:

      Lois, it took me 4 times of listening to her version of Grapevine to adjust to the arrangement. Now I am beginning to feel this is my favorite rendition of this song. I don’t care if I ever hear anyone else sing it again.

  20. LeahKittyS says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if this comment section is the right place for me. I don’t know what it is, I just don’t want to be negative towards anyone this season. Yes, Lazaro’s performances haven’t been great (or sometimes, even good). Yes, there may be some unjust eliminations. But as mad as I’ve been about performances and eliminations in seasons past, this year I just want to be happy with everything. The early cuts don’t feel wrong at all. The subpar performances don’t bother me in the slightest. I just enjoy everything, right down to Nicki’s brand of wackiness.
    Maybe it’s the over-manipulation that makes me feel this way. Maybe because of all the producer fixes, I feel like my voice doesn’t matter so I shouldn’t have one. Or maybe after 8 years of following Idol religiously I know that everything will be okay in the end, so I accept whatever comes when it comes. Or maybe it was something Colton said last year that changed my attitude. In his interview for TV Line, he mentioned how he and the other contestants knew they were solely there for television and didn’t take it seriously as a competition. Maybe that’s why Lazaro keeps making excuses; he doesn’t care about how he comes off because he knows he’s little more than a circus monkey. I think every Idol in his or her right mind knew that while they were on the show. If they cried upon elimination, it was because they were leaving their friends behind, not because some great hope was dashed. They know that the show, for all its star-making power, is not a miracle-worker. Lazaro is not there to win. He is there to make little girls scream and give children with speech impediments a hero. And it’s working. So maybe he’s wiser than we think, and all those who actually believe this is a competition are delusional.

    • deedee says:

      Sorry Leah, but Colton is full of it. I doubt Colton was only upset about leaving his friends when he got kicked off for a bad performance. No matter what the contestants tell you, they are there to compete. They may know it’s only television, but they also know that (generally speaking) if they have a great performance, they advance, and if they suck, they get booted off. Nobody wants to get booted off. They also know that if they win, they get to make a record, which is not a guarantee if they don’t win.
      Lazaro is a nice guy and I wish him the best. I also wish he’d tone down the excuses a little bit. Once is fine, but excuses wear thin after awhile. It’s not hero behaviour either — if “hero” is really what he was aiming for by entering a singing competition. Lazaro would gain much more respect if he learned to take criticism with a smile, and promise to do better next time.

  21. Rosemarie says:

    Sugar. Pie. Honey. Bunch. Not much else to the song than those 4 words and he couldn’t remember it. L has to go. He was cocky, rude, sweaty, and always stutters the last word to get the sympathy vote. It all seems so calculated to me. He needs to go home.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Rosemarie, apparently you didn’t read the lyrics I posted. The song has a LOT of non-repetitive lyrics.

  22. Vice says:

    I was NOT feeling it from Burnell last night…Yeah Angie had a bad night but nobody is perfect.

  23. danimal12 says:

    Does anyone else think that Burnell Taylor is agonizingly dull?

  24. Guitar Blue says:

    Some of the regional bands we book in this area -have some very good front men/women as the main vocalist. Others are not so great in the singing category, but are good, dynamic performers that get the crowd worked-up and in a party mood. —————-

    We get more call for the party bands in a larger dance venue and outdoor events, than we do for a band with a better set of vocal fronts. The crowds don’t care much about whether they can do a good rendition of Whitney or McCartney, but just wanna have some fun and “bust a move”.

  25. Adam Fachry says:

    I may be the only one who doesn’t think Janelle did a fantastic job. She did sing it really well, but here’s the thing, part of what makes Motown and 60s r&b/sou/pop tunes so mesmerizing is their ways of creating juxtaposition. The original You Keep Me Hangin’ On is constructed with a uptempo composition and hook-laden sonic trajectory for a reason: it was meant to evoke contrast and provide counterpoint to the angry lyrics.I think this is why I kinda dislike Idol’s version of singer-songwriters (Cook, Allen, DeWyze, Phillips, etc.), they sometimes take the authenticity out of the song’s aesthetic. There are brilliant singer-songwriters who happen to cover songs every now and then as well, but they usually pick ones that suit their own lanes.

    • teatime says:

      I disagree with the examples you give for the point you are making. I think there are other contestants that have rearranged just to rearrange, and they have not gone very far. For instance Todrick was called out for that, Naima was sent home after performaning a Reggae version of an Elton John song, and Andrew Garcia changed everthing to sound the same. The contestants who have gone very far doing this are contestants who paid attention to the lyrics and usually kept the basics of the original song but gave it a new twist and often made it sound more current.

  26. Larali says:

    Bottom 3 should be: Lazaro (please! it is just time), Angie (fair is fair, she was at the bottom 3 last night), and Burnell. I give Devin a pass only because he showed the most range in his song that ever had. But the bottom will be the 3 boys and Devin will go home. Sadly and unfairly.

  27. Carla says:

    I think it is so condescending that people (Mariah, Nikki, TPTB, etc.) keep talking about Lazaro’s “courage.” Yes, he is courageous and I don’t mean to sound cold, but who cares?! This is a singing comp. You need to be tough. These kids are ALL courageous, and terrified and facing their own struggles and difficulties. But they are treating Lazaro “different” like he’s a moron and he is not. So I find it repulsive they are using his speech impediment to pull him through this process, The coddling!!! Lazaro is as sweet as can be but he CANNOT SING! He is the only person put through who cannot sing. And, he is bringing people down. Poor Burnell and Devin. I would be SO pissed if I had a great voice and was bottomed out because of this guy. Let’s face it, TPTB want a girl to win, and one will, but these two boys (Devin and Burnell) can really sing and should have a chance to hang in longer. What a drag to have to watch this shipwreck every week. Great job Idol. No wonder your ratings are going down like the Titanic.

  28. Adam Fachry says:

    I’m so glad TVLIne exists because some of my friends irl have defended Lazaro since his inception on the Idol stage. Particularly this week in the group performance, they said they felt bad for him because he forgot the words and looked really awkward. I was like, dude, it’s people like you that makes reality singing competition so wrong, you didn’t judge his talent at all. If I were Nigel Lythgoe, I would step on to the stage and eliminate him on the spot. No muss, no fuss. Yes, I’m heartless. So wut?

    • waterbug says:

      Adam, some ppl love the comedic fodder he provides for Nicki–not his voice. I do have to admit, it was hilarious when she called Lazaro Ricky Ricardo, then the Fonz. heheheh.

  29. waterbug says:

    I hope the gopher waters down Mariah’s drinks tonight before the show–the show is only an hour long tonight. But more important, would hate to see her take a spill in her tight dress. This show is live…Yikes!

  30. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    Maybe Jimmy doesn’t read this haha, not even a peep about the “amorm, form, adorm” and he even said he got into the lyrics down perfectly. Or maybe they are desperate to save Burnell from being Lazzoed?

  31. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    Well the voting actually seemed to make perfect sense tonight…. other than the one thing.

  32. Choosyguy says:

    Amber deserves to win. She has what it takes, time for AI to show an RnB marketable singer. Come on America, the world is watching us, show the world we are not dumb.

  33. Anerica stinks says:

    Funny how ignorant america votes. Lazaro safe again? This is becoming a pity contest. America lost her mind. I want Amber to win. She has the talent and looks. Candice lacks personality due to her huge body. Kree is now annoying, sounds the same always. Angie has no recognizable singing voice, just ordinary. Janelle is so generic sounding. The boys except burnell all deserve going home.

  34. America Stinks says:

    Kree is starting to bore me. She looks stiff all the time. Lacks emotions. Voice is there but AI is not voice only.

  35. America Stinks says:

    Really really rudiculous! This Jimmy whoever he is should not rate the performances. Is it prompt that after you mentor them you will also blame them for whatever they did when in the first place you should have told them how to do it the better way? Really ridiculously wrong! Go home Jimmy, you’re ruining the show!

  36. Jessabean says:

    It may be too late but I expect to hear some comment about Angie’s spray-tanned, salad dressing-covered legs. They shone like tinsel on that stage.

  37. patricia nunez says:

    do you know why we can not buy song individual this season?, I have tried to buy a couple of Kerr and Candice, but in the itunestores said that i need to buy the HOLE album!!!

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  40. markosdei says:

    This was shaping up as the guy’s night: Candice coasted while Devin shone, Janelle and Angie bombed while Burnell burnt up the stage and Amber bored while Lazaro brought the energy and improved….
    but then that trio..
    it’s clear whatever stars the shimmer above the Idol stage lined up for the girls and never let up, the guy’s just never had it.

    and yes i know it’s 2 years ago now but i revisit :)