American Idol Top 7 Performance Night Recap: For Those Who Managed to Rock, We Salute You!

american-idol-top-7-performance-recap-angie-millerI can’t get no satisfaction — not when it comes to American Idol‘s Season 12 theme nights, anyway.

I know, I know: A couple weeks back I put together a gallery of potential alternatives to the usual “Songs That Inspire” and “Songs From the Year You Were Born” — and I’d actually included “’80s Rock” and “No Ballads Allowed” among my 22 suggestions. So you think that Fox’s official announcement of “Classic Rock, No Ballads” for Top 7 night would’ve been cause for nothing but a joyful Headbangers Ball up in Casa Slezak.

Alas, the problem this week wasn’t as much concept as it was execution. First of all, Burnell’s post-performance chat with Ryan Seacrest hinted what most of us know too well: Idol persists in foisting a limited list of pre-cleared songs on its finalists, thereby stifling their creativity and imagination and ensuring we’re doomed to hear the umpteenth version of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” or “You Give Love a Bad Name” or “The Letter.”  Plus, Nigel Lythgoe’s borderline phobic treatment of songs written after the Year 2000 is becoming almost comical in its absurdity.

VIDEO | Idol‘s Devin Velez on Nicki Minaj Feud and That Infamous Trio! Plus: Bieber & Pink Theme Nights?

And don’t even get me started about the fact that Amber essentially sang a ballad. Or the fact that, in the interest of a “redemption edit,” Angie somehow got away with a 2003 Evanescence hit which prompted the producers to drop the modifier “Classic” and turn it into the much more expansive-sounding “Rock Night.” Is it any wonder they had the final two performance slots this week? (Subtlety has never been Nigel’s strong suit.)

VIDEO | Idol‘s Paul Jolley on the Bon Jovi Cover You Never Heard and the Full Story Behind His Beatles Track

Thankfully, a handful of performances managed to cut through the “been here, done this” aura that swept across the stage like so much dry ice. And hey, as my Twitter follower @mjdipaolo pointed out, at least the show seems to have put the SwayBots back in the quarantine barn down on the farm (if you’ll excuse a Walking Dead Season 2 reference). With that said, let’s jump to tonight’s set list and letter grades for every performance.

Candice Glover Ray Chew Idol

Burnell Taylor: Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” | Look, I understand rock ‘n roll isn’t in Burnell’s “wheelhouse,” but he performed his Bon Jovi cover with such an absence of enthusiasm you might’ve mistakenly thought he was on the Martha Stewart show and learning how to correctly fold a fitted sheet. At best, the performance was a kid waving a white flag with embarrassment and begging for a free pass into next week, when he can get back to performing a ballad at the mic stand while moving nothing but his hands. At worst, though, it was an 18-year-old already so stubbornly attached to a narrow idea of who he is (or wants to be) as an artist, that he can’t be bothered to get creative, find a fresh approach to a new song or give us anything other than depressing karaoke. (For my money, the most honest feedback from the judges was Keith’s howl of laughter as the cameras cut away from the performance and to the judges’ table.) Sure, based on overall body of work, Burnell deserves to outlast Lazaro, but with non-efforts like this, it’ll be hard to muster up outrage if he doesn’t. Grade: D+

Angie Miller & Lazaro Arbos: Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” | For the second consecutive week, Lazaro proved his inability to handle learning the lyrics to more than one song per episode. Angie tried gamely to cover her partner’s missed cues and mumbled delivery, but by the midway point, it seemed as though the volume on her mic had been turned down, transforming the number into a showcase for the show’s background singers. That’s when my internal Siri tried to call up a memory of Joshua Ledet and/or Fantasia’s awesome “Crazy Little Thing” covers from prior seasons — heck, I’d have settled for Tim Freakin’ Urban’s — but like Clarice Starling hearing the screaming of the lambs, some horrors can’t be drown out. Grade: D

Kree Harrison: Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” | Let me preface this by saying that I think Kree Harrison has an absolutely beautiful voice. But contrary to Mariah Carey’s critique, I’m really starting to feel like Kree doesn’t always understand which songs are best suited to her instrument. I mean, “Piece of My Heart” is essentially The Giving Tree in human form: It’s about a protagonist who’s offered her man “everything a woman possibly can” — and you can hear that well of desperation in every tremble and croak of Janis Joplin’s raggedly warble. Kree’s version had none of those rough edges, and alas, none of its gut-level emotion, either. I want to give her a pass, considering she was dealing with a pinched nerve (and as Keith reiterated, another absurd pair of heels), but I’m not certain that Kree would’ve ever possessed the wild abandon needed for “Piece of My Heart” — even if she’d been in perfect health (and not saddled with movement-constricting footwear). I don’t want this to be a case of me loving the idea of a contestant more than the contestant’s actual musical output, but it’s starting to feel that way. Grade: B

[Side note: “Piece of My Heart” has now become such a knee-jerk, go-to anthem for rock weeks on reality singing competitions, I’m actually starting to root for somebody to tackle the otherPiece of My Heart” — the one released by Tara Kemp back in the early ’90s! At least it hasn’t been done to death, right?]

Candice Glover & Burnell Taylor: The Box Tops’ “The Letter” | I’m still obsessed with Carly Smithson and Michael Johns’ ’70s-swaggery results-show rendition of this ditty a few seasons back, which is why I was extra stoked that Candice and Burnell took it in a funky-blues direction (look at me refusing to use the term “made it their own”). Keith was right that Burnell was a shining star, while Candice opened up a whole galaxy when she came wailing on the second verse, but their genuine chemistry made the stage-presence chasm a little less pronounced (aside from those moments when Burnell’s super-stiff arm began to spasm — probably because it wasn’t being allowed to “sculpt the head in the “Hello” video). (Also, a random question, but when was the last time “chasm” and “spasm” got to be in a paragraph together?) Grade: A-

Janelle Arthur: Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” | I’d be lying if I didn’t point out that Janelle hit a handful (or two) of wobbly notes on the verses of Billy Joel’s hard-charging pop ditty. But hey, at least girlfriend was fully embracing the uptempo theme and working the stage like we’d all come to her concert (and, dagnabit, she was gonna make sure we all got our money’s worth). Better still, as Nicki noted, she’s managed to stay authentically country — but at the same time, show enough confidence to choose songs that, on paper, are daring enough that they could easily turn into catastrophes. No, she doesn’t quite have an engine in her vocal cords the size of Carrie Underwood’s, but then again, I don’t remember Carrie Underwood ever being this much fun during her Season 4 run. Grade: B+

Lazaro Arbos: Queen’s “We Are The Champions” | If I’m being fair, Lazaro’s performance (with maybe 70 percent of notes hit and a lot of aimless wandering) wasn’t anywhere near as painful as his violet and black-sequined tux shirt (paired with turquoise pants!), but it also didn’t have any more originality or gusto than what you’d hear on an average Thursday night karaoke competition at your local pub, either. Nicki can talk about Lazaro’s “Hispanic tease” and Mariah can lie and say things like “you did a good job,” but that’s only because brutal honesty makes Lazaro cry. And Lazaro’s tears make people vote. And when people vote for Lazaro, that means Kree or Candice or Amber or Janelle wind up in jeopardy. (Uh-oh. Why do I have a sinking feeling one of those ladies is going to wind up in jeopardy?) Lemme wrap this paragraph up before I put any other heinous thoughts into the universe. Grade: C+

Janelle Arthur, Amber Holcomb & Kree Harrison: Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me” | This is a prime example of the whole not being equal to the sum of its parts. Or of a trio being as cheesy as an Applebee’s entree. Or of Amber’s jeans having holes large enough that a full sized adult goat could’ve daintily stepped through ’em. Okay, so every sentence of this paragraph has made less sense than the one that preceded it: Hey, could everybody reading this send me one of these? Grade: C

Candice Glover: The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” | I can’t disagree with Nicki about “Satisfaction” not being Candice’s best song selection of the season — ultimately, it’s one of those ditties that’s very hard to reinvent, or even drag out of its mid-’60s origins. Nevertheless, even with a broken toe, Ms. Glover managed to ugly up her notes with just the right amount of snarl and growl — and more so than any of her competitors, genuinely capture the rock ‘n roll spirit that was supposed to have pervaded the entire evening. Her disdain was palpable for that man on the radio with his useless information, and the high note she selected for the line “fire my imagination” was as flawless as it was unexpected. Plus, as Nicki said, she put her back into it with a physicality that was neither timid nor tame. I worry that Candice got a bit of a “diva” edit in her pre-performance package — which closed with the easily misconstrued quote “sometimes I want to punch [Burnell] in the face” — and is maybe getting set up as this season’s shock boot. But come on America, a Season 12 without Candice would be like Profiler without Ally Walker: Utter blasphemy! Grade: A-

Amber Holcomb: Heart’s “What About Love” | Congratulations to Amber’s incredible gams for scoring a Standing O from the judges! Oh, come on, it had to be the legs (or maybe the legs, plus the gold-and-black brocade jacket) seeing how Amber’s vocal on “What About Love” got a little strained at the very top of her register, and was delivered with the exact same intonations Amber’s used to cook up ballads for the last six or seven weeks. Granted, a lot of it was beautiful — as Randy noted, girlfriend is just effortless when she’s weaving in those little Whitney-isms to her song choices. But this was one of those moments I appreciated more on an intellectual “oh, she has such big talent!” level than from a visceral “damn! I’m feeling this all the way to the gut!” place. Which made it extra weird when Nicki started salivating about being “pulled in emotionally” and Amber believing every lyric she was delivering. Potato, po-tah-to, I guess. Grade: B+

Angie Miller: Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” | Uncle Nigel pulled out so many tricks — special lighting, cool Tetris-y backdrop, a MONSTER wind machine, achingly loving closeups, more smoke! — to drive home the “Angie is back!” edit that I have expected to see a kitchen sink roll past guest guitarist Orianthi’s boots. But all the ridiculous trappings aside, Angie’s actual vocal performance ranked right at/near the top of the pack this week. Evanescence’s massive rock ballad sounds like it could easily pinch-hit as an end-of-Act-One ballad from a modern Broadway musical, and thus, Angie’s crisp enunciation and “I’m looking into your soul!” camera stares didn’t seem out of place. Girlfriend hit every note square on the nose, and while the judges whined a bit (“you should’ve stayed at the piano longer!” “you shouldn’t have worried about your shirt blowing up!”) it all seemed like nitpicking, or maybe Nigel yelling “Don’t go overboard! We’ll start the gushing next week!” into their earpieces. Grade: A-

Nicki-Minaj-No-Me-GustaAnd with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 7 performance night? Did it rock, or was it all a bit too variety show? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? 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. Dan says:

    I have concluded that Randy is still there after 12 seasons of uselessness because of comic relive. There is no other explanation…

    • Sg. Grant says:

      Thanks to the producers amazing choices for judges this year, I can get through a 2 hour episode of Idol in about 20 minutes. I just fast forward through everything the judges say. Nicki Minaj is one of the worst things to ever happen to music.

      • Dan says:

        Long live Wigmaster3000!

      • Lunakit says:

        Nicki Minaj is the best thing to ever happen to Idol. I cannot even IMAGINE what the panel would be like without her… she is minty fresh.

        • forrest says:

          I agree. I WAS a hater when she was first announced, but she really has come into her own not afraid to be critical. Finally someone who doesn’t have the attitude “Everyone is fantastic” Bravo!

        • Lee says:

          Although I appreciate Nicki’s honesty, I don’t like how she tries to “pigeon-hole” the contestants. She wants Angie at the piano, she doesn’t want Burnell to sing rock songs like You Give Love A Bad Name, etc.

          • Joy says:

            I was actually really impressed with Randy’s critique of Burnell — for once in his life, he was offering something coherent and substantial that a contestant could actually learn from! — and of course, Nicki had to cut him off with “But Burnell doesn’t need to sing rock songs!” I think she’s right that contestants need to pay some attention to where their strengths are, instead of diving in over their heads with things they can’t handle (like Angie last week), but to survive on this show, they also have to have at least some creative range, and it does seem like Nicki’s discouraging them from even trying to learn anything new. She might be happy watching the exact same performances week after week, but she needs to take into account that a lot of voters won’t feel that way…

          • Lee says:

            Agree! I’m one of those viewers who do NOT want to see the same performances week after week. I don’t know what’s the deal with Nicki. You would think Mariah would be content with something like that and Nicki would want to see experimentation.

        • Jen says:

          Nicki is racist, referring to Janelle as “my little marshmallow”. Can you imagine Keith calling Burnell or Amber “my little chocolate bar”?? No you could not and he would be dismissed immediately. Besides that she is rude and doesn’t even look toward Mariah and Randy though they must have said something to her since she seemed to be a tad less frosty on Wednesday.

          • marie says:

            Oh for goodness sake, that’s really taking the whole “politically correct” thing too far. I’m pretty sure Nicki’s “marshmallow” analogy was prompted by Janelle’s cute chubby cheeks, not her race.

          • Jen says:

            Really Marie? Because Candace has puffy cheeks too. I don’t see her being referred to as a marshmallow. Just sayin’.

          • waterbug says:

            Really? Seriously? You went there? (shakes head).

          • deedee says:

            Hey, Jen. I just want to know how you could say that Nicki “seemed to be a tad less frosty on Wednesday” , when everybody knows that frost is white, and can only describe white people!

          • marcia mello says:

            listen, it is not the same just because there is such a thing as white privilege that has spanned throughout many many years of history, so no, racism does not go both ways, at least not always.

          • JASon says:

            Yeah she wasn’t calling her white. She was calling her fat!!

          • Kp says:

            Umm, yeah, raciscm DOES go both ways. You were being ironic, i hope?

            Having said that, Nicki calls people senseless things all the time. If she valled a native american her little ladybug, do we get up in arms? Sometimes a dumb comment is just a dumb comment.

          • iamraven07 says:

            I seriously raised my hands (and not in a good way) and said, “STOOOOP!” Like seriously??? RACISM? Because of marshmallow? Heck, maybe I’d be call racist if I sit on a white chair instead of the black one right beside it. Oh my goodness. What’s happening to this world?!

      • Jake says:

        I can get through it in about a half hour…it becomes a lot easier to sit through if you just fast forward past Mariah and pretend there are only three judges…Thats what I’ve done and its working so far. :)

        • Petey says:

          Haha I agree! She talks in circles, rambles, and doesnt give any real criticism, constructive or otherwise! I say next year keep Nicki and Keith and get two new judges.

          • Tedatbent says:

            But Nicki and Keith are just doing this for the big paycheck and then they are gone. This is like the movie a serious actor does to maintain their lifestyle. Think DeNiro, Streisand and Hoffman in the Fockers movies!

        • Matt says:

          I kind of agree although I prefer to pretend there are no judges and just watch the performances. There has not been one relevant or worthwhile comment from an AI judge in years so just fast forward through them all.

          • MC says:

            That’s just a silly exaggeration. Keith by himself has made many comments about singing technique that were spot-on and appropriate to the singer. People love to stretch the truth on the internet.

    • The Beach says:

      …or it’s a conspiracy of tv manufacturers that know how many new sets they will sell after people throw something at the screen as soon as Randy starts to speak.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Ha ha! You deserve an honorable mention for that. Seriously, why does this website not have a LIKE button?

      • G-Mom says:

        Awhile back I was watching some YouTube videos of Idol’s first season (mainly Kelly Clarkson’s performances). In Randy’s critiques, he was professional, succinct, and brief. NOTHING like he is now! None of the yo,yo,yo’s or in it to win it BS. Maybe they (Nigel?) have made him into the comic relief? Sorry, but it isn’t very funny. If you want laughing-the-whole-show funny, watch “The Voice”!

        • We come up with Randy-isms at my house to entertain ourselves throughout the proceedings (as he doesn’t seem creative enough this year to make up a new one, and is leaning on “In it to win it” AGAIN). My pick: “She’s paintin’ the house! This girl is. PAINTIN’. The. HOUSE, Ryan!” My son’s: “She’s swimming in the pooooool. It’s a pool party, y’all.” If these don’t make sense — then they are “Randy-ready”, in my opinion. :D

          • AD says:

            LMAO @ you! He is ridiculous with his ‘in it to win it” NO ONE has said….”he/she can sing the phonebook.” ONCE, and for that I’m grateful!

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Yeah, it’s hard to believe, but I actually vaguely recall having been a really big fan of Randy once upon a time.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      That said he’s actually a lot better than the last two seasons! He was really bad at times last season and an irredeemable disgrace on the season prior. He has done a lot better this season. Whether through regaining some of his senses or being let more free by Nigel or demanding it, who knows.

      • marie says:

        Agree. I’m finding Randy a good deal more coherent and even helpful this year.

      • Tom22 says:

        I’m with you too.. Not that I like his critics that much but he is Sooo much better. No stupid name dropping.. minimal “sing the phone book” .. the “in it to win it” does seem to be more connected to times when the singers came out to really embrace the songs they sung which is more of specific point than a broad meaningless statement.

        He even had a few things to add sort-of.. you need to read between the lines a bit and see when he means one thing but doesn’t use the right words (“let them eat cake” lol backwards in meaning for anyone that understands the medium but he was probably trying to say “give the a brownie” not showing an insolent an arrogant and unconnected with their reality of Marie Antoinette).

        Keith was putting the lack of rock far better but at least when Randy echoed the words Keith and him has shared it added something. His “on the beat” was sort of stupid.. that is like pop-disco.. but he was trying to say more about -attacking= the syllables.. the “attitude” that was missing from almost every performance

        …. in Rock.. many words need to be HURLED at the audience and others spit asside with disgust… a 1-2-3-4 with the beat would sound stupid . Certain syllables can be meaningfully behind the beat… a sixteenth not pause before and ironic word etc…. ..and if someone was doing a bluesier rendition, the notes should be more behind the beat and many notes should be sung flat . Did he say ahead of the beat? – if he did he’s right there… if too many notes are ahead of the beat it sounds like a horse trotting….

        But the main thing was the singers were mostly lackadaisical in their flow of words …. which doesn’t work for the rock songs unless the band is with you in totally changing up the rhythm section.

        Burnell and Candices performance was by far my favorite of the night…because the band switched to horns and drums piano and bass were using patterns to support their stylized make it both “owned” and yet still have some push to the beat enough to call it rock.

    • JudyVee says:

      The best part of this show was seeing Joshua Ledet! Is he going to perform on a results show soon? I sure hope so.

      • JudyVee says:

        Hey Everybody! Joshua Ledet performs at The White House on Tuesday…Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul”…on PBS. Lots of others, too, including Al Green.

    • Bruce Wayne says:

      Candice is the one to go home and in a stunner, the save is NOT used on her.

      • Jen says:

        Oh there is NO WAY they won’t use the save on Candace or Kree. No way. And chances are slim that they wouldn’t save Angie Amber or Janelle either. They have the save and they will use it eventually. Ever since the judges save has been an option, they’ve used it on SOMEONE. They’ve never just wasted it.

        • justafan says:

          not sure jen…i can see them not using it this year if burnell and lazaro are the next 2 to go… come on unca nigel…let’s make it happen!!!

      • marie says:

        Oh please. Never going to happen.

      • Tom22 says:

        I do think the save will be used this week.

        I think it will be used on either Burnell , Amber, or possibly Kree. (it would be really easy for them to use the save on Kree or Candice .. .. not certain if they’s use it for Burnell except for the broader dynamics I lay out below

        The sort of NEED to Use the Save…


        – the number of weeks of the season doesn’t work without a save.

        or .. if they’re having a “idol gives back” no-save week (are they?) that would make the season work with the other:

        – if two contestants are eliminated the following week with say only 6 strong contestants left.. that would still send home two of the strongest contestants and basically just make it more of a crap-shot.

        On the other hand.. if they use the save this week to keep the season the right legnth… there will still be at least one of the consistently least popular singers left to be one of the two…and basically what it will likely do is have two of the consistently lower singers go home ….and they’ll go home with fans having more to judge from…for those fans that don’t vote on a given night but based upon the total work of the season.

        That’s my opinion at least.

        If they wait another week, or two..

    • Leah Hoffman says:

      I thought he was on point last night. He said a lot of things about the contestants’ performances that NEEDED to be said! And, when a judge gets boo’ed, you know they’re doing something right.

  2. dan says:

    I wonder if they’re all drawing straws to see who gets stuck singing with Lazaro.

    • MB says:

      Poor Angie having to sing with Lazaro. I think she did a great job even though it was a cheesy song.

      • Dan says:

        Yeah, I just heard it and it wasn’t so bad, at least for Angie. But he really needs a cheat sheet. And he’ll probably be back next week.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        She handled it well. Didn’t fall for the trap interview questions of anything either.
        They did both take it a bit less rock-edged than it needed, but that is another matter.

      • Tom22 says:

        It was Hilarious.. Lazaro must have been so bad and un professional during practice that they couldn’t risk having him taken off task by exchanging verses with Angie or even have notes they would sing together as there was no telling what note he’d choose (other than the last note which he could have been trained to remember as it was only one)

    • Lazaro is a liability for sure. Angie did a nice job considering though. Lazaro does need to go. If he is last place I can’t imagine they would save him. He had a nice performance but he is still the 7th best of 7 left in the competition. It’s nice he went out on a high note but I think that’s it.

    • AlyB says:

      Maybe that’s why they gave her the pimp spot.

    • Tommyo2000 says:

      I think the judges essentially made it OK to get lazaro now, by pointing out he is the one f***in up. Now the home viewer know that Lazaro is in it and it will suck so the other person gets a free pass…

  3. Davey says:

    I remember Michael Johns singing Queen and he was great. Lazaro’s version of the same song was dreadful.

    • The Beach says:

      Lazaro singing not one but two songs by one of the greatest voices in Rock is just so wrong on so many levels.

      • dj says:

        The duet was terrible. His single performance vocal wasn’t great, but he did put the feeling into it, and he remembered the words.

        • dan says:

          His performance was Lazaro good, everyone else mediocre.

        • Lee says:

          Lazaro was terrible and I didn’t like how the judges didn’t call him out on it as they did to Burnell. Everything was wrong with it: pitchy all over the place, not singing in synch with the melody, not stressing the correct words, etc. I can’t believe of all the thousands of people AI auditioned, he’s one of the seventh best that they could find?! He has no business being on Idol if he can’t remember his words and sing them correctly.

          • Jen says:

            They won’t call him out because as Michael said, they don’t want to make him cry. Lazaro tears=pity votes.

          • LYJ says:

            They wont call him out because it just makes America vote harder for him.

      • marie says:

        A very valid point.

    • forrest says:

      Back in the day……forgetting your lyrics was death on this show (Jason Castro) now not so much because of a sympathy, vote for him regardless, fan base. Another week when Lazaro should go home, but Burnell will probably get the ax instead. I have to admit this is a popularity contest instead of a singing competition because of this.

      • Will says:

        No it wasn’t. You’re forgetting David Archuleta’s Top 12 performance (along with potentially a few other moments in the season), which was only forgotten because Kristy Lee Cook’s infamous 8 Days A Week also happened that evening, but at least Kristy remembered all of her words. Not to mention Brooke White’s full restart. Both were safe after their screw-ups.

        Forgetting your words has always been a cardinal sin but it doesn’t always and never really has meant you get voted off immediately, even though it does sometimes happen that way.

        • soundscene says:

          To be fair, both Archie and Brooke got resoundingly throttled by one or more of the judges because of their mess ups (Archie, especially). So forgetting the lyrics was a cardinal sin on American Idol back in the day, but not necessarily death. It depended on the circumstance. Archie’s screw-up happened on the heels of three previous weeks of fantastic performances, and Brooke White’s mess-up still wound up being a great performance nonetheless. People forgave them because they had earned a second chance. With Jason Castro, his mess-up happened much later in the season and Simon had already been throwing the poor guy under the bus for weeks. As much as I like Jason, he’s not the strongest singer. But he was interesting and he’s far better than the crop of guys this year. Season 7 was amazingly talented as a whole. Jason was likely to go whether he forgot the lyrics or not.

          With Lazaro, the judges are coddling him. Sure, they’re pointing out his mistakes, but in a “but you’re still so special!” kind of way. It’s dampening the effect his terrible performances would have had on the voting audience and causing people to pity vote. Simon and Randy wouldn’t have played that back in the day. Paula might have, but Paula was never the most influential judge. Season 12 Randy would just ramble incoherent things and pass it along to Mariah to talk about Lazaro’s inner light.

        • Amy says:

          Yeah, but there’s no comparison to those Season 7 Idols and the guy forgetting whole song parts this year.
          When you sing like David Archuleta and have a little lyric slip and cover nicely (as I’ve heard professionals I’ve paid to see do) half the audience didn’t hear it, and the other half, including the judges, didn’t (and shouldn’t) care.

      • Jay says:

        Yeah, back in the day, forgetting lyrics was the KOD. But I don’t blame the American public. They learned from the judges during Hollywood and Vegas weeks that singers could mumble and hum and still advance. If the PTB and the judges have favorites who can do no wrong then why shouldn’t the voters? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t approve of the shenanigans this year, I’m just saying we can’t expect the voters to ‘get it right’ if Nigel and company have been bending the ‘rules’ all along.

      • Faze Craze says:

        I know everyone on this site is obsessed with Haley and I liked her a lot too, but never has a contestant been treated more unfairly by the judges than Jason Castro.

        • soundscene says:

          There was actually quite a bit of unfairness going on in Season 7. The bussing of Jason was probably the most obvious since it happened on screen, but both Archie and Syesha (and likely more) were refused songs (that were already cleared) and arrangements that they wanted. At least one week Syesha asked for violins in her performance, wasn’t allowed, but that same week Cook got violins on his performance. And at least one of Archie’s arrangements was scrapped by producers and he was forced to sing the song karaoke-style because that song was one of the producers wedding songs and he wanted it sung straight. I think Carly and (of course) Jason were refused quite a bit as well. A bunch of contestants, week after week, were forced to sing second, third and fourth choice songs on the small list of cleared songs for the week. There were a ton of weird, manipulative things going on in Season 7. The chosen ones got everything they wanted (Cook admitted as much after the season ended–that he got all the songs and arrangements that he wanted), and the ones the producers wanted to slow down got the shaft.

      • marcia mello says:

        I’m with on that. Burnell will be voted out because he isn’t made to look sympathetic and he isn’t particularly good looking or anything, That’s really sad because I’d rather listen to Burnell singing for 3 hours than 5 minutes of Lazaro.

      • Tom22 says:

        I might have been part of that Fan base that stopped voting for Jason that week but I had a different take.

        I wasn’t “punishing” him for having a bad week as I’ll vote for who I think have put the best performances in to-date at the time.. and I really love to this day.. Jason’s hawaiian “Look upon a star” and his “Hallelujah” as two of my favorite Idol performances ever (guess that might be a list of about 40 performances in no particular order).

        I stopped voting for Jason because… everything he said was telling me that he’d had enough and that the crazy schedule was breaking him down.

        The way he laughed at himself (“i shot the Tamborine man”) was endearing yet the way he said that “learning three songs a week” was testing his limits.. I felt that he was saying that he’d had his run and wasn’t really up to the task of the 90 hours a week they put the idols through including preparation and tons of promotional events.

  4. EVPandHC says:

    Something about Kree and Janelle was off tonight. I don’t know what it was. Lack of energy?
    Angie stepped up her game immensely. And Candice did really well, too. The guys are a lost cause.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yup, Kree was off. It’s still hard not to love her to pieces. It was a weird night in general.

      • Erin says:

        Not only off (and a bit whiny) singing, but was I the only one that thought she was just a tad Kreepy hugging anyone who would glance her way? THAT was a bit off for me.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          It came off as needy to me. Friendly is one thing. But hugging everyone you see is quite another. I Still love her to bits though… LOL. I just caught the Kree-py reference :)

      • Lee says:

        I think Kree and Janelle (and Burnell) were off tonight because they’re probably bored with singing the same songs that they know everyone has heard already. I think both Kree and Janelle would’ve been better off singing either an Eagles (Already Gone, Peaceful Easy Feeling) or Fleetwood Mac (Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop) song. I think AI’s ratings are going down not because of competition but because of the repetitive and boring song choices.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          It’s really too bad AI is somehow refusing to accept that is 2013. I would love to hear Kree sing one of Adele’s less popular songs. There are so many current songs where she could shine.

        • MC says:

          I really thought Janelle would do an Eagles song…it could have been a moment for her. Janelle’s voice, especially on the two songs you mentioned, would have fit like a glove.

    • MariMari says:

      One thing I notice about Kree (and the other girls too) is that she has a very non-movable, bland face. She needs (especially doing Janis tonight) to learn how to let her face get ‘ugly’ when the song requires it. Jessica Sanchez (as one example) doesn’t ever seem to care how ‘ugly’ she gets when she’s singing. It brings the emotion to the song that some of girls are lacking in this season. Candice will get ‘ugly’ a bit more than the others.

      • dj says:

        Good point. Not that they need to make faces, but just be natural with the song. I think Janelle and Candice are better at it than Kree.

      • joy says:

        could not agree more with the lack of expression and movement from kree and of kree..but she sounds on auto all the time..amber is just so so so so boring..I thought burnell did well..something different for hime

        • Joy says:

          Agree about both Kree and Amber — they were early favorites for me, but they’re both missing the element of surprise at this point, and that makes it hard for me to stay interested when they sing. I still think there’s room for Kree to wow me, but I’m completely done with Amber after seeing her refuse to go up-tempo even on “no ballads” night — I was counting on this being the night when we finally got to see something new from her, and instead she just stayed as close as possible to her comfort zone. Not impressed. I didn’t care much for Burnell’s performance, but I will at least give him credit for being willing to experiment with something different.
          Overall, I was disappointed with the execution of the “classic rock” theme, too. No effort to really dig into the genre, just a lot of standard Idol songbook material, and one more creative selection that wasn’t actually classic rock. It’s as if the producers are sick of making this show, and just trying to run it into the ground as fast as possible…

        • Yo says:

          As a vocal performer, Amber will be a great pants model. I have loved her voice, but I threw in the towel last night, thinking she needs to go home and return after she downs a few years worth of energy drinks. And Kree is similar. Few came close to actually rocking last night. The word that most comes to mind for the performances is “languid.” Most disappointing.

      • America Stinks says:

        I agree a thousand percent. Kree is boring without expressing the emotions of the song in her face. She is niot believable because of that. Funny thing is, all judges don’t care about it. Really miss Simon’s honesty…

        • marcia mello says:

          I don’t think the judges are being dishonest, and that simon was the only honest one. People just see/hear things differently.

        • karen says:

          I disagree 100 percent. Kree is an amazing singer who delivers such soul when she performs.

      • Lee says:

        @MariMari: Agree! Jessica Sanchez really got “ugly” when she sang And I’m Telling You. That’s why I thought she should’ve won last year. And with the exception of Candice, Jessica is better than all of the contestants this season.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Yeah Kree didn’t bring a rock mentality, get hard edged enough and her voice even got a touch shaky on some bits when she sort of tried but I don’t know, something just wasn’t quite all there. Maybe the pinched nerve? I thought she might be the one to truly rock it out fully but it was a bit bland. Not bad, but not maybe what we hoped for.

      • The Beach says:

        That summed it up very well.

      • Tess says:

        I’m sort of thinking that Kree was aiming for the Faith Hill version of the song (she did cover it, right?) which is certainly less rough and rockish than Janis’ original… If we had been able to see their sessions with Jimmy, we might have been given a better understanding of her take on it as to whether that was what they were going for with it or if it was just that she was affected by that pinched nerve.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I’m not familiar with that version, but I’d hope it would’ve still had some more real raw emotion and feeling to it than what we saw.

        • JLC says:

          Faith Hill’s version of Piece of My Heart is tragic, and Faith herself has been quoted in interviews as saying she didn’t really know Janis’ version when she recorded it, and when she heard it later, she was appalled at her own version.

      • rio says:

        No one should ever sing “Piece of My Heart.” Janis Joplin version is permanently etched into the brain of anyone who ever heard it. Kree couldn’t handle it, but no one else could either.

        • Sheila says:

          I like Melissa Etheridge’s version, but she has that Janis gruff tone to her voice. It’s probably my favor cover of Piece of My Heart.

          • Joy says:

            Erma Franklin was the original artist, so technically my favorite cover is Janis Joplin’s. :-) Post-Janis, Etta James’s version gets my vote, but I like the Melissa Etheridge one a lot too.

        • Terry says:

          I disagree, Haley Reinhart did an awesome job with it in season ten, IMHO.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Yeah, just went and watched that again. It all just makes this season seem so karaoke. Karaoke is what it really is even when the vocals are great they still tend to be a bit karaoke in some way. I guess Janelle mixed things up a bit last week and Angie was good on her original but otherwise even the best of Kree, especially, and also Candice are still getting something karaoke about them (although I got a bit of a feeling Candice might be ready to fully break out of that for next week, if she takes some of what she did this week and combines it with something truly in her wheelhouse next week).

  5. Laura says:

    What? Burnell get’s a D+? BOO Slezak, BOO!!

    • sg54 says:

      I know, seriously? Usually i understand his grades, but definitely not this one. Rock is the complete opposite of Burnell’s genre, but I thought he sounded great. just not like him, but that does not warrant a D+. More like a C+ to me, or even a B-, cuz the only flaw was the lack of originality, which we’ve seen before.

      • Ademm says:

        Yes, that was no better than an F.

      • Lee says:

        I agree. Slezak gave Burnell a D+ and Lazaro a C+. Burnell was A LOT better than Lazaro.

      • Sheila says:

        I actually enjoyed Burell’s You Give Love a Bad Name. I was surprised that the judges totally panned his performance. To me he was the only one who really went outside his usual style and ticks. It worked for me. I haven’t been a huge fan of his until now. Hopefully he will outlast Laz.

    • rwfblog says:

      It might have been a C-. Burnell is in real trouble tomorrow. I was pretty sure Lazaro would be the one to go this week, but he managed to out-sing Burnell in their individual songs. Lazaro could still be the one to go, though. His fans may be tired of him forgetting the lylics, as he did in his duet. And Burnell’s duet was pretty darn good.

      • Mary says:

        I hope your right but they give him a pass due to his impairment. I have a feeling Burnell will be the one to go.

    • Erin says:

      I felt bad for Burnell. It’s like Nigel saw the weak baby male limping far behind the pack in rock week and immediately put him out there first. Heartless! But at least all his edits with the other contestants showed him to be funny, endearing and sweet. So there’s that.

      • forrest says:

        Props to Nigel for having this theme week. I’m believing more and more he is responsive to fan input for tweaking the show where he can. Remember ranking the results only lasted one week? The execution of the rock material was not fantastic across the board though. A producer can only do so much.

    • ohreli says:

      No one who sings in tune should get less than a C-. End of story.

  6. Jacob P. says:

    My Grades:

    Burnell: C-
    Angie & Lazaro: D
    Kree: B-
    Candice & Burnell: A-
    Janelle: B-
    Lazaro: C-
    Janelle, Amber, Kree: C
    Candice: A-
    Amber: B+
    Angie: B+

    Should be bottom 3 (Based on all performances, including group): Burnell, Lazaro, Janelle?
    Should go home: Lazaro
    Will go home: Burnell

    How do you guys feel?

    • Timmah says:

      Lower everyone by about two grades and then you’re close.

    • plurabel says:

      I agree. I’m already suffering because I’ll have to hear Lazaro for one more week when I’d much rather hear Burnell. Most importantly, Burnell is more deserving in terms of talent and effort. I think that what I enjoyed the most about this episode was Orianthi’s guitar skills. I’m impressed. I used to think she was kinda just a female Malmsteen but she’s miles more interesting than him. Rock on Orianthi!

      • Tusk says:

        Yngwie Malmsteen reference FTW :D
        IMO he peaked with Marching Out…. at least I was bored by him after that album and went on to Steve Vai and Joe Satriani

  7. The only “great” singer on AI is Candace Glover. She knocks me out everytime I hear her. I swear she is reincarnated. How does a gal from a small island in South Carolina sound like and carry herself like Ella Fitzgerald. I think I am seeing a professional singer on stage when she appears.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yup, that girl can sang, even with a broken toe. She is amazing.

    • AlyB says:

      She’s got an old soul or something. Whatever it is she’s incredibly good. Her vocal styling a make anything she sings interesting. I was joking that the only thing I wouldn’t want to hear her sing was Call Me Maybe and someone told me she actually did a version of it on her YouTube channel. Sure enough, there’s a bit of a jazz flair to it, it’s Candicized and I actually loved it LOL

    • Bruce Wayne says:

      Candice goes home this week when in a stunner, the save is not used when she is eliminated.

      • marie says:

        Well, if you are TRYING to get a rise out of another commenter, congratulations, it worked. Post it as many times as you like, that’s just silly nonsense.

      • marie says:

        Well, congratulations, Batman, if you were TRYING to be provocative, it worked. You can post it as often as you like, but that will NEVER happen.
        (Sorry if this ends up being something of a double post; the board seems to be acting weird again today and I think it may have misplaced my first reply to this.)

    • marie says:

      At this point in their respective singing experience, I would totally agree. I’ve said it right from the first time we saw Candice, at her audition singing Syrup and Honey: she is simply and undeniably in another class than the rest of the contestants, and there are a few more I think are very good and/or have a lot of potential, but Miss Candice is without question the most polished, professional, and complete singer in the pack.

  8. Loni says:

    When Amber started singing, I literally said, “Hey no ballads allowed!” She’s obviously a very talented girl, it’s just all sounding and looking (how many times have they busted out the fog machine for her??) so samey. Come on, go up-tempo Amber!

    My favorite of tonight was Angie–perhaps because her song was just the most recent…

    • Loni says:

      Oh and I love that Keith commented on Kree’s shoes holding her back.

      • Erin says:

        Seriously thought Kree an Amber had a strained, whiny quality this week that was just a bit unpleasant. And how vanilla was Janelle!? Gosh, Candace is ruining everyone for me.

    • Sally says:

      Agree about Amber….she may get her walking papers this week.

    • asniech says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how Amber got away with that song, and despite the standing O from the judges, I don’t know that it’ll serve her well, because as good as her voice is, she’s had boring songs in the past and this was along the same lines.

      • MC says:

        I thinnk there is at least a strong rock undercurrent to the original, but Amber sang it as a straight ballad. It will be interesting to see if the judges save her if necessary. I think they will because there’s only a couple of weeks left to use the save and they seem to love her.

        • AlyB says:

          Angie’s came off as balladry and Janelle sang Billy Joel as her rock choice LOL. All things considered I though Amber had a great vocal tonight. She’s one of my fave. And I really hope she gets through without even being bottom 3.

    • deedee says:

      Angie’s song was just as ballady as Amber’s.
      Boring night overall. No real train-wrecks, but no real gems either. I didn’t hate Angie tonight – which is a first. The song suited her. I just wish she’d stop with the eyes on the camera thing for a change. It’s irritating, and takes her out of the moment.

      • Lunakit says:


      • Tess says:

        Angie’s song, Kree’s song, and Lazaro’s were all closer to ballads than up tempo numbers (“We Are The Champions” is a rock ballad, for crying out loud!) too, so it’s not just Amber that wiggled around the no ballads meme. But the producers approved all those songs on their pre-approved song list, so clearly they don’t know what constitutes a ballad when it comes to rock music.

      • Joy says:

        Am I the only one who actually didn’t think Angie’s voice was a good fit for her song? I will grant that she hit all the notes, which is impressive in itself…but a big part of what makes Evanescence special is that their songs do a great job of bringing out all the texture and nuance in Amy Lee’s voice. Angie is pleasant enough to listen to, and when she’s in a quieter mode she can do some nice things with her voice, but tonight her tone was just kind of straightforwardly pretty, not “hang on every syllable” great. Without that kind of vocal quality to showcase, the song as a whole actually felt kind of generic to me…

        • Ash says:

          Yes you are not alone! I thought angie’s performance was boring and she had a terrible song choice you just don’t cover Evanescence mainly because Amy Lee’s voice is ridiculous so I kept comparing and it just didn’t work for me

    • The Beach says:

      Yep, that may have been a rock ballad but it was still a ballad. I’m getting kinda bored with the same ol’ same ol’ too. The only time I remember Amber going up-tempo was on Top Ten night when she sang the Chaka Khan song and it wasn’t good. But hey, I thought her jacket tonight was killer.

    • ThatBob says:

      They were really pimping Amber tonight but she didn’t deserve it. The strain in her voice hitting some of her notes was distinctly unpleasant, yet they stood for her, and they let her drain all the rock from a rock ballad (she shouldn’t have been doing at all on a No Ballads night.) Nigel must think he can make some money off her.

      • Mary says:

        I guess I am the only one who liked Amber tonight. That is one of my favorite Heart songs and I think she did it justice. Out of all the girls I think she is the most marketable. Yes it was a Rock ballad but personally I didn’t care. Nigel won’t make money off her only the producer but Jimmy sees the potential. Amber has stage presence and the voice to back it up.

      • NegraGata says:

        I agree about Amber’s voice tonight, but I can’t speak on the judges, as I have started fast forwarding through them. I only have so much time to watch before I go to sleep.

    • tewence says:

      i thought the same thing about amber! and honestly, while the arrangement to “we are the champions” is not ballad-like in its nature…i would almost consider it some sort of power-rock ballad as well. because lazaro can’t handle anything else.

  9. MB says:

    My favorites were Angie, Amber and Janelle. I really enjoyed tonight’s show better than I have the last few weeks. I listened with my wireless headset so that may have made a difference.

  10. Mel31602 says:

    I think I would have given the second A- (after Angie) to Janelle or Amber, but it was really splitting hairs w the ladies performances. I did think Candice sounded better in her duet than solo, however, and she completely outshined Burnell. Thus while the latter was way better in his duet than his solo, the fact that he paled in comparison to Candice makes him a likely elimination candidate. Especially bc he was first and Lazaro’s solo was just as good if not better than Burnells Lazaro’s duet was worse than Burnells duet, but the former came early on the show so people may not remember him forgetting the words again.

  11. Sally says:

    I thought Janelle is improving more than the others and I liked her stage presence. She reminds me of Carrie, and I think she’s the one to win it all. I wasn’t impressed with anyone, in fact, I was bored. Still have not seen a “wow” Idol moment this season…not like in the past shows – Haley, Joshua, Jessica, Elise, Naima, and it goes on and on. Those past season singers had “energy”….and this group is just too safe. I also notice a lot of “failed” auditioners who on the 2nd and 3rd try of auditions are back, but now I see why they weren’t chosen in the 1st round. They have the voices, but no personality…bad song choices.
    And really, I don’t see where this table of judges (exc. Keith) is better than last seasons – JLO and Steven. I give those two props for choosing really good talent.

    • Rick says:

      I think Janelle is improving but Rock is definitely not her thing. Yeah this is basically the season of past AI rejects, guess the talent pool is running dry.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Randy, JLo and Steven brought in the talent true, but then maddeningly, Randy and Nigel and to a touch lesser extent JLo just tried to snuff it all out and were hook, line and singer into Nigel’s pre-picked favorite MUST win and all others MUST be sacrified no matter what it going on with the show. They went so over the top with the manipulations, they put it all on a downward spiral.

      • MC says:

        Exactly. I’m on the same page with you regarding the two JLo and Steven seasons.

      • MC says:

        Just to follow up on that. Did anyone watching last season truly believe for even one minute that Elise or Skylar or Hollie had a real chance to win? They could have groomed any of them, especially Elise, to be a frontrunner. We all know, of course, those possibilities never came to fruition. I would also argue that Jessica and Joshua, while talented, were always there only to collect the consolation prizes, such as the hollow standing ovations.

      • Danny says:

        Hit- I think JBlow was as much to blame as Randy & Nigel. Her jealousy anytime a female was dynamite came through almost every time. Even on Jessica’s save, she had to take the spotlight. The year before she was even worse. IMO, as bad as Nicki is this year, she’s actually an improvement over who she replaced.

        • tewence says:

          agreed. and honestly, when nicki isn’t being ridiculous, she actually says some smart, accurate things.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Yeah it was weird with JLo. At first she was actually praising Haley when the production and Nigel were already slamming her and then all of a sudden BOOM she does an instant 180 and acts like Randy for the rest of the season, going all stink eye and shedding piles of tears for every single eliminated contestant, but guess who. One can imagine all sorts of reasons even to do with things going on outside of Idol at the time, being manipulated into it, her own thing, who knows. But yeah a few weeks into that season she was just about every bit as bad as Randy and the production (remember when they let everyone have a long cute chat with their families on Skype or whatever it was and then they got to Haley and cut the line on her after like three seconds! WTF and ‘accidentally’ had no back tape ready for and had to scramble when she, mistakenly as far as their plans went, managed to make it through to the next week).

          • JASon says:

            I believe after she did House Of the Rising Sun she was in first or second place in voting and they saw her as a threat to the chosen two finale of Lauren and Scotty!! So the producers had the judges torpedo her!

      • Jake says:

        My favorite season was season 10 because you had James Durbin…if any idol contestant knew how to put on a rock show it was him.

        • Will says:

          I just wish I he could have actually hit his notes so I could have enjoyed his singing. Haley and Pia made that season worthwhile, but when Pia left at 9th (for perspective, Sanjaya made it to 7th), my heart and ability to tolerate the voting public left that season.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          He could rock, although he was more to the heavy metal side of things, he was pretty good at times but they also pimped him up a fair bit, he had a problem sometimes hitting even as many as 10-20% (literally) of his notes on pitch, especially toward the end of the season, which can be OK if you are rocking it out but sometimes it was getting a bit to the painful side of off key. I’d take what Elise did last season by a mile or Haley from James’ very own season. That said, yeah, if those two were not available, I would’ve loved to see James filling in for someone last night, it may have brought things more to life and gotten us one true rock performance.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            He brought the attitude and all but his vocals too often went off track for me. You can’t just praise it for emotional connection and say it was perfect as Randy and JLo did every week when sometimes every single key note in a song was not a painful mile (at the same time they’d slam non pets for missing like two notes in a song even when the song was just as well connected). It’s one thing to miss a little on some notes and so on but if you miss in ways and on notes that make it harsh then it can start getting rough. But hey at the least we would’ve had the full on proper attitude for once last night and, with a bunch of luck, maybe a really good performance all around.

    • The Beach says:

      I guess I’ll have to admit that I’ve probably had two “wow” moments this season: Candace “I Who Have Nothing” and Janelle “You Keep Me Hanging On”.

    • Danny says:

      Sally- almost totally agree. Even Candice, I don’t think she’s as good as Skylar, Hollie, Elise, or Jessica from last year. I thought this was the best night for this season, but I still don’t think the girls this year are all that great. They just look better because they’re next to a bunch of bowling pins for guys.

      If Joshua, Phillip, or Colton were on this season, any of those guys would be running away with it.

      The one place I don’t totally agree w/ ya is I thought last week Janelle had a wow moment. I also thought Angela had one before the live shows. Your point is taken though. Tonight I thought a lot of them had their best performance, yet it’s still not saying much. Last year by top 7 there were already several wow moments.

      • waterbug says:

        To my ears, Candice is definitely better than Skylar, Hollie and Elise.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I definitely put Elise ahead of Candice for sure. I’d definitely put Candice ahead of Skylar though. Vocally, Candice is better than Hollie too, although I sort of like Hollie’s style better and maybe sort of prefer Hollie at her very, very best even though Candice is still technically better if we keep it 100% real.

          • karen says:

            Uh, I’m still trying to erase the memory of Elise singing, “Let’s Get it On.” Cringe. I’ll take Candice over Elise any day.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        Yeah I guess Angie did have a genuine wow moment before the top 10 started.

    • hmr says:

      ITA. I was not moved by anybody last night. The girls have reached a plateau. Where is the growth?

    • karen says:

      You haven’t been watching the same show as me, I guess. I’ve seen plenty of “wow” moments: Angie singing You Set Me Free, Kree singing “Up to the Mountain,” Candice singing “I Who Have Nothing,” Janelle on “Keep Me Hanging On.” I challenge you to re-watch Carrie’s season for example, and tell me how she stacks up some of the girls at this stage in the competition. We are watching a trajectory of diamonds in the rough improving each week. This is American Idol.

      • Nephtalia says:

        Thank you Karen for bringing Carrie! Her time on Idol was not that exciting. They are diamonds in the rough.

  12. Scott says:

    Saddling Lazaro and Angie with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was mean – and putting it in a low key so Lazaro couldn’t sing it – doubly mean. I don’t want Lazaro to stick around, but manipulating things like that so obviously? Bad taste in my mouth and I think it’ll save him. I hated the song when Tim Urban did it. Still hate it. Lazaro and Angie did as much with it as they could. And “The Letter”? Well, I thought Michael Johns and Carly did it way better (although I did like Burnell’s Jamaican twist on his part..very nice!).

    But I think Burnell is going home. His solo performance was so sleepy and he looked so uncomfortable. The other bottom two would be Angie – the blowing hair thing never ever works – and Amber. What was up with the Standing O on that completely Karaoke BALLAD performance? I also thought Kree and Candice gave pretty low-energy, safe performances, but they are on injured reserve apparently, so they’re safe for another week. Loved the start of Janelle’s song, but it kinda went downhill from there for me, for you. Lazaro’s We are the Champions was a nice little FU to the producers. Attitude!

    I really do like the ‘What do the other contestants think of each other’ snippets though.

  13. grace2552 says:

    22 is the number of times tonight’s song choices have collectively been done before on the Idol stage (not even counting auditions, Hollywood and non-performance shows), for those keeping score.

    Disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    • DAG says:

      Ridiculous and boring. Besides Evanescence, nothing new. I think it’s pure laziness on the part of the producers. And, they’re broke after paying these top salaries to the judges. No wonder the ratings are in the toilet!

      • grace2552 says:

        To be fair, “You May Be Right” was also new, though the Billy Joel songbook has been done quite a lot.

      • Mary says:

        I see where you are coming from, but to be honest if they sang current songs everyone compares and nobody ever measures up. What this group is lacking is the ability to change a song and make it their own. Janelle really has been the only one. Candice to a degree but her songs still sound like the original. I think Nigel is trying to listen to us. If I heard correctly now you can text themes suggestions so ask for a current year theme.

    • The Beach says:

      I think for years Nigel lived the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well Nigel, now it’s broke and needs fixin’.

    • gregk says:

      I was also bored by the same old same old. Not a single performance wowed me. Rolling Stones have so many powerhouse songs, why do Satisfaction again? Nigel: please open up more songbooks so someone can do Grace Slick for example.

      • marie says:

        Interesting idea, but I really don’t think there’s anyone this season who could credibly sing Grace Slick – no, not Kree; not even Miss Candice. Grace’s voice was like a very sharp pure steel knife cutting through solid stone, very clean, very little vibrato. One of a kind. I don’t think anyone this year could pull THAT off.

  14. Esaul says:

    All of them were bad.

  15. Elsa says:

    At this point, I’m just fed up with all judges. I started off loving Nicki but I can’t stand her anymore.

    And I’m also frustrated with the contestants. They don’t play like they want to win. Kree is still my favorite, but she never seems to step out of her comfort zone. I just wish everyone would step up argghh.

    • mikey says:

      But I would also blame the judges for that. They discourage any of the contestants from changing things up. Anyone who tries some variety gets blasted. Would be nice to hear them critique what they actually hear and not tell us what they want to hear.

      • tewence says:

        yes! it’s frustrating because there is this whole “artistry” thing they keep trying to push onto the contestants (which i think is necessary, don’t get me wrong), but the problem is, they aren’t allowing for exploration, but instead are pigeon-holing them. not to mention the back and forth critiques they always give them. i actually feel for the contestants sometimes because they are told to do certain things, then when they do them, they are told “you need to be who you are…don’t change bla bla bla.” sometimes i wonder if the current changing of the musical tide to the more singer/songwriter type vibe is what is motivating these weird critiques. if we look back at the first few seasons, other than simon’s superficiality, emphasis was place more on pure vocals and pop-start marketability.

  16. RodMod says:

    I’m just going to mention it, because I’m sure no one else has the “balls” to do so.

    It’s quite obvious Lazaro “pulled out” all the stops tonight, since his overall “package” is limited.

    Anywho, allow me to conclude this post before I come off as too “hung” up on the guy and this show.

    • waterbug says:

      Hahaha…I notice Laz pulled the ole “sock” trick tonight too…Haaahahh!

    • MyTake says:

      Yah it was pretty obvious he’s making sure the “package” getting all his votes was on display front and centre.


      • Owen says:

        Umm…go to You Tube and watch some of his former performances…this is not the first time we have seen the complete package…

        • Pati D says:

          It has but tonight it was way too obvious. It was the star of the performance. There was no ignoring it especially when he was wearing those red pants for his performance with Angie.

      • MB says:

        Ha, ha I noticed that too. I’m glad someone brought it up.

      • Mac says:

        Thank You !! – not since Garth Brooks in the 1990’s have I seen another man use his “natural gift” as a way to distract the public from the fact that he isn’t exactly the world’s best vocalist to the extent that Lazaro is flaunting his “gift”. Garth now admits he used to stuff his size-36-self into a size-29 pair of blue jeans. Makes me wonder how Laz is accomplishing his presentation.

    • WDDB says:

      Somebody’s jus’ jellus! ;-)

    • hahah says:

      OMG, hahahahah

    • Lunakit says:

      Oh, RodMod, so funny….
      BTW, “What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball?…” *cough*cough*

    • Tusk says:

      There is really no way to put the observation in a ‘G-rated’ way…. :/ . I thought I could not be more disgusted with the way Lazaro has played this out…. but then he pulls this stunt. I could not be more embarrassed for Angela to be on the stage with ‘that’. A gentleman, Lazaro is not.

      IMO, possibly the most unlikable, disingenuous and pathetic Top seven contestant in Idol history…ugh :P

    • Jen says:

      OMG I thought I was the only one that noticed that! LOL

  17. waterbug says:

    Amy Lee is one of my favorite singers, so Angie was in my bottom 3 tonight. Sorry, I don’t think wind blowing through her hair makes her sound any better than when she was singing with Lazaro. Although Lazaro was the ball and chain in that duet,,she was a step better. By far Candice, Kree and Amber were the stars tonight.

    • Keith says:

      You don’t compare her to Amy Lee ,you compare her to the other contestants.

      • Ash says:

        In that case…. she still sucked for me this week her vocals were weak and probably the only reason she sang bring me to life was because the judges told her to go back to the piano terrible song choice for her voiceimo of course

  18. Stacey says:

    I felt Candice did her solo song wrong. There was no rock in that performance, or genuine rock. She has a unbelievable voice. But there was no genuine oomph to it. The song wasn’t made for her. And she didn’t sell it well. And she outsang Burnell in the duet. So who knows what will happen tomorrow. Lazaro and Burell should be in trouble. I really liked Kree and Janelle. Both were authentic to their song choice. Probably handhrung not no one could turn their songs into a ballad like Janelle did last week. Sometimes ballads are fine. I am curious who is going to be in trouble among the girls tomorrow… It might be Amber. But then she sang late. Janelle didn’t have a such a clearcut winner like last week. But she sold her trio song… Hmmm…

    • forrest says:

      Burnel went first, so that’s another strike out. Based on this season’s results, he’s next in line to wave bye-bye.

    • Johnny says:

      I been reading wondering if anyone fekt the same as me with Candice. I mean I love her singing but really there was nothing rock in what she sang. And on the duet I kept wondering who made that music arrangement which seemed more Candi style. Then her NOT out shining Borenell but OVER SINGING him I thought was kind of unprofessional because it made her seem super despperate for the attention.

  19. Name That Tune says:

    If you’re looking for the attitude of a rock night, only Candice had the right tone, attitude and grit. I was pretty bored with the rest of them. Bottom 3 should be Lazaro. Burnell, and anyone except Candice and Kree. Judges save will be used if Lazaro doesn’t leave.

    • MC says:

      Candice is of my all-time favorites from this show. I love her voice more than any voice from last season, although Joshua had his moments. I think Candice is so controlled that people don’t appreciate her brilliance. She could just scream, but she actually sings each song with her very strong voice. She interprets songs correctly. What else could anyone want? It seems there are many sour grapes out there because there is no WGWG performing every week.

    • Mary says:

      They will not save Burnell. They might and probably will save a female but they won’t waste it on a male. They do not have to use the save, and if all the guys go first, they won’t unless Candice or Kree end up being 5th then it will give them an extra week on so their fan base will vote like crazy.

  20. waterbug says:

    I would be nice they could pull from songs in the 21st century. Please Uncle Nigel, please!

  21. Ademm says:

    Such a weak, weak field this year. I do believe the producers are trying to tank the show. The contestants are all bad. Women better than the men, of course, but they’re not good.

    • Tom says:

      Yeah producers want to tank a show so they will be out of a job!

      • LeahKittyS says:

        No, Tom, so they can start another project. I agree with Ademm here. They’re rich enough; if they’re bored they can move on to something else. But if they shut down the show while it’s still good, the people will protest. So they do all they can to make it bad. The idea is to put the holes in the boat before the head for the lifeboats, so they don’t look stupid when they abandon ship.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          However, I don’t think the contestants are as bad as you say. I think I’ll enjoy the iTunes recordings and tour show just as much as the last few years.

          • Jake says:

            Out of everybody’s iTunes performances I’ve been enjoying Candice’s and Janelle’s the most. I started out loving Kree, but honestly she’s starting to sound a bit “samey” to me.

  22. Rick says:

    Am I the only one who thought Amber was terribly off pitch? If you’re gonna call something pitchy, that was it. Janelle’s voice did not mesh well at all with the song. Others did ok, Candice and Angie were probably the best. Angie actually did pretty well, she just couldn’t live up to the original but who can?

    • Rick says:

      Oh forgot to mention the duets were all trainwrecks, Lazaro was probably in the best duet and if I’m saying that something is seriously wrong. Very underwhelmed by this episode and rock is my favorite genre. :S

      • Owen says:

        Yes, there is something wrong with an evening where Lazaro wasn’t the worst … he might not even have been second worst…

      • scooby says:

        Lazaro was in the worst duet by far, of course none of them were very good due to song choice so it’s hardly a big accomplishment to be the best there. More word-forgetting from Lazaro and Angie came off super smiley and pageanty to boot–everyone in my family, including my dad who’s got perfect pitch, was cringing big time through the whole thing. Angie was so concerned with carrying him, maybe, that she didn’t do herself justice. She’s much better than that (although she did oversing Yesterday which isn’t meant to turn into anybody’s vocal showcase). Amber’s pitch was fine. If anybody’s was wonky, it was Kree’s at the beginning of her song which hurt because I love her, and I’m assuming it was the fact that it was because it was the beginning and hard for her to hear where she needed to be. I’d switch Angie’s and Amber’s grades. Amy Lee puts Angie’s performance to shame because there was just no real emotional depth, mostly Constantine-level eyeing of the camera and wind machine. If they’d been allowed to do ballads officially, Angie could’ve done My Immortal at the piano and had a true Idol history moment, but I think for a real rock performance she’d have nailed either Crazy On You or Barracuda by Heart. Calling what Amber did a ballad is kinda splitting hairs because that’s not really what people object to when they groan ‘oh no, another ballad.’ When people say “no ballads” what they really mean is no slow songs. It’s not Idol’s fault that America understands that as banning ballads.

    • the real wendy says:

      I thought her pitch was so awkward? The right word? – I kept cringing! Could not believe the judges were so into it!

  23. mikey says:

    And the judges keep getting worse and worse. Fire all of them and bring Simon back.

    • Dan says:

      Have you ever seen X factor? Simon is no longer a good judge.

      • Danny says:

        Dan- Agree. Simon’s now a pathetic figure trying to push a no talent boy band on us. It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who was trying to tell the country Allison, Siobhan, and others didn’t have what it takes. He’ll still make his $$$, but I think a lot of the country has figured out that he’s not so much into quality music as he is in trying to be on a tv show with big ratings.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          It seemed like he even went so far as to put L.A.Reid up to saying that they looked to become bigger than Beatles or some ridiculous nonsense like that.

  24. LLA says:

    My advice for AI. Don’t pay any judge more than $5 million a yr (preferably less) With the extra cash clear more songs from every era. My biggest beef is hearing the same songs all the time. It’s a mystery to me why they don’t.

    I think all the ladies were good. Angie does get on my nerves with the camera looks. It’s so cheesy. If a girl gets voted off tomorrow–I’m sure they will use the save

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, excellent suggestion! Nigel, take notes. Less money for the judges means more song clearances. We don’t want to hear the same thing over and over again!

    • Erin says:

      Agree! As time goes on and the contestants are born later as the songs age, get ready to hear “I never heard any of these songs” over and over. Also how crap is Mariah?? She is such a waste with her flitting songy passive aggressive blather she barfs out each time she’s up to speak. She can’t even form a cogent sentence and makes me long for the clarity of Steven Tyler. So much money just wasted…

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        It is still a bit shocking that these wannabe SINGERS, even though young, haven’t heard of some of these tunes. I was still on a campus as a grad student as recently as 2010 and I heard plenty of random kids playing some 80s rock and pop and Beatles and yet people aiming to be singers haven’t heard of any of the stuff this season at all?? This is the digital/cable era when people know way more about pop culture from 10,20,30 years before their time than ever before.

    • Lunakit says:

      Let’s see, who could they get with a salary cap like that in place…. well, I suppose Nicole Sherzinger or Paula Abdul could use a job…

    • Danny says:

      LLA- It would also mean they don’t need 4 minutes of commercials between each song. That could give each singer another 30 seconds or more per song.

  25. Flavia says:

    This season is so boooring!! Haley or Elise would have shown them how to rock!

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Elise, Haley, Crystal, Allison, Carly, even Melinda…anyone else?

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Yeah, as I feared this season would be sorely missing the sort of magical performances you could get out of those two. (and some others as well). Nothing tonight made me feel like I had to waste a stupid amount of time doing something as ridiculous as voting like mad for a good chunk of time.

  26. MyTake says:

    Have to hand it to Keith for his subtle wit and intelligence. Loved his comment about Richie Sambora wanting Janelles boots after Janell made the comment about them being “stoned” and Richies very recent departure from his touring for “personal’ reasons.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Hah, I forgot, that was a pretty sneaky witty little one liner from Janelle too, didn’t know she had it in her.

  27. Connor says:

    Lazaro forgetting the words again and judges harassing him more looks like he will be in the top 6

  28. Christina says:

    I called it last week that so called “rock week” would just be more of the same old Queen, Janis Joplin, and Rolling Stones tunes were used to, and I was right. There was nothing original about this theme.

  29. scorpiosue1102 says:

    Soooo, are Nigel and Co. actually going to read what themes viewers want to hear on AI???? Do the contestants even try to get songs cleared that THEY want to sing? I know some former contestants have tried and gotten songs that they wanted to sing. All rhetorical of course ;).

  30. Sarah says:

    Amber and Angela were my favorites tonight. They did manage to skirt the theme, but regardless, they both sounded awesome and totally brought it. Even though Lazaro wasn’t AS bad tonight as he usually is, he should still be going home tomorrow. Though I fear that Burnell will be voted off instead.

    • Guitar Blue says:

      I think Burnell will be the elimination tomorrow.

      However, has Seacrest or the Judges actually stated that the save must be used before the top 5 this year??

      More than one blogger has said the show schedule indicates that they could use a save and still have just one elimination the following week. If that is the case, they have to use a save somewhere, in order to keep the show on schedule.

      • Joy says:

        I think they need to inject some suspense back into the save thing by hurrying up and announcing a backup plan in case it isn’t used. Like, have Ryan announce at the beginning of tomorrow night that if the judges opt not to save anyone this week or next, we’ll have two weeks with the top 5. That actually wouldn’t be that bad … announce a bottom two (but not an elimination) on the first results show, and then add the two weeks’ worth of votes together to determine who actually goes home the following week (meaning the contestants who were weaker the first week would have to try to earn more votes to catch up). Not perfect, but better than just having to use the save in a zero-suspense situation to give a free pass to someone who doesn’t deserve it…

  31. LeahKittyS says:

    Here are my thoughts:
    Amber sounded a little off tonight. I don’t think the song was the best choice for her. And contrary to what people are saying, “What About Love” is a mid-tempo track, not technically a ballad. So it still works.
    Angie is back on the right track. I wish she had stayed at the piano for the whole thing, but she’s getting back up there. I love that song, and she’s my home girl, so I might be biased, but I think she’s safe.
    Candice did well considering her little injury. She’s clearly in another vocal class, the way she nails it every week. I just think her image with be the end of her eventually.
    I loved everything about Janelle: the song choice, the performance, the outfit that everyone wanted a piece of. Right now she’s my favorite to win.
    As much as I love Kree, she is becoming a little too predictable. Pinched nerve and murderous shoes aside, she needs to shake things up if she wants a chance at the title.
    Burnell is the most likely to go home this week, considering that A) he went first, B) his performance was the weakest of the solos and paled in comparison to Blake Lewis’ Season 6 rendition, C) Candice clearly outshone him in their duet, D) the American Idol Horror Story isn’t over yet, and Lazaro is cute enough to be the last man standing, and E) the source I’ve been checking correctly predicted the first three eliminations, and this week they’re calling it for Burnell.
    However, it could be Lazaro’s turn to bite the dust. (He did two Queen songs, who not a Queen pun?) The judges hesitated to criticize him, even in his duet with Angie, probably to lull voters into a false sense of security and discourage the pity vote. Let’s see if it works.
    And of course, if it’s a girl with the lowest number of votes tomorrow night, you can bet the Save is coming out.
    Questions? Comments? Compliments? Complaints? Words of wisdom? Sound off!

    • Owen says:

      Mariah was wrong, Janelle was singing in the wrong key (possibly so she could do that note at the end) and it brought out some unattractive aspects of her voice. Not a great performance.

  32. Owen says:

    Yeah, Randy and Mariah are useless. But at least Nicki, who we might disagree with, is invested. And Keith knows what he’s talking about (and way more than Simon, who was not a musician, EVER did). If you go back and listen to Keith’s critiques, he’s talks AROUND a lot of the performances tonight, he honestly did not like many of them. Including Angie’s, who I seem to be in the minority of disliking. He is a kind man, and masterfully finds a way to let them know how he feels without being hurtful. Even with Amber, one of the few performances he did indeed like, he was the less effusive of the judges (I love Amber, but that was not a standing O performance, but that girl can SANG!) I would go so far as to argue that Keith is one of the best judges American Idol has ever had, possibly the best. Few have LOVED music as much as he, and even fewer have had the talent to be so succinct and helpful in their critiques.

    • LD says:

      Really, Nicki doesn’t even bother to talk to the eliminated contestants. Mariah’s the one that the media has said spends the most time with them. I would say that even if she’s too nice she’s invested

    • SJ says:

      Agree with everything in your comment. Keith is hands-down the best judge the show has ever had.

    • marie says:

      Excellent comment on Keith’s strong performance as a judge, Owen!

    • Annie says:

      Totally agree, Owen. Keith seems to be a really nice guy who really loves music. I like him as a judge.

    • deedee says:

      I totally agree with you about Keith being the best judge the show has ever had. He doesn’t have Simon’s biting snark or Nicki’s huge personality, so he doesn’t get much glory, but he definitely understands music and performance, and usually hits the nail right on the head with his analyses. Plus, he’s articulate and doesn’t leave us wondering what the heck he’s trying to say.

  33. Lourdes says:

    What a difference this season would be if the song choices were better. And you only have to watch Melinda Doolittle’s performance on Bon Jovi week to know that you *can* do justice to a rock song even if it’s not in your comfort zone.

    Overall a very lackluster night for me.

    • Cunegonde says:

      I have to agree here about Melinda’s vocal command and attitude when she sang ‘Have a nice day” during Bon Jovi week in Season 6. I wish there are more choices for contestants to choose from. And like Melinda, elevate the proceedings by singing it one’s way but still idiomatic to the genre.

    • Ademm says:

      Well, it isn’t just song choice — the contestants aren’t very good.

  34. dj says:

    They must want Burnell to go home now, making him go first. I guess Lazaro will be the last man standing. Since Lazaro sang a rousing rally-together type song, his audience will probably be stirred enough to vote him through once again.

    I wanted to love Kree, but I didn’t for some reason. It was good to know about her injury. I was glad Keith spoke up about the boots. I wish she would get rid of those spikey high heels.

    The whole show was kind of meh for me. My favorite parts were the contestants discussing each other.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      yes, thanks for mentioning that. The contestants discussing each other was funny and genuine.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        Yes, I love it when they do that every year. It’s so cute.

        • deedee says:

          Do they always do those “discuss each other” clips on performance nights at the expense of the Jimmy & guest mentoring sessions? I don’t recall.

          • LeahKittyS says:

            I haven’t thought about it before, but I think they do cut Jimmy out when the contestants give feedback on each other. Or maybe he’s just tired of the season and took a break. Or called it quits. Or maybe the sight of Lazaro’s pants made him sick. You’d have to ask him.

    • The Beach says:

      I think the very positive profile of a Mother-Hugger Kree is going to garner her some extra votes.

    • AlyB says:

      I am starting to wonder if Kree keeps wearing towering heels as an excuse to just shuffle around the stage because she’s uncomfortable moving around. Maybe this way she figures we’ll blame the shoes. I would think after she fell last week, shed rethink that. I loved Kree but she’s starting to fall to the middle of the pack for me.

  35. darcy's evil twin says:

    Angie deserved to sing whatever she wanted AND get the pimp slot after having to do a duet with Lazaro.
    Overall I enjoyed the performances, particularly Kree, Candice, and (even though it was kind of a ballad) Amber.

  36. Anna says:

    I think they all failed, at least in terms of trying to come off as convincing rockers. That doesn’t mean some of the vocals weren’t good, it just means that no one in this group is a rock artist. Not even close.

    Candice played it too safe with her song choice, although, as always, her vocal was strong. Angie was better than she’s been the last couple weeks. But (1) she’s no Amy Lee and (2) she should have stayed at the piano. And she smiled at a point during her performance — that is not a song where you should be smiling. I have to laugh when she talks about liking edgy stuff, because the last thing she is is edgy. I don’t know why Janelle was doing a Billy Joel song (or why one of the group songs was another Billy Joel song) — in what universe has Billy Joel ever been considered a rock artist? He is a POP artist, not a rock artist. That said, Janelle did a nice job turning the song into a country thing. Amber again sounded great but she choose a song that might not be a true ballad but walks that edge. Kree is starting to lose me a little — I’ve seen people talk about her “dead eyes” aand I’m starting to agree with that a bit. Burnell should have tried to flip that Bon Jovi song on its head. Instead, it seemed like he basically sang it straight — and that was not good. Lazaro? Well I don’t even know what to say about him any more. The judges were much nicer to him this week — maybe to avoid people giving him sympathy votes?

    Lazaro & Angie managed to turn a fun Queen song into a total snoozefest. And did he forget the lyrics again?

    • Joy says:

      As I recall, there were a handful of Billy Joel songs that were common on classic rock stations back when I still listened to radio. “Classic rock” was a pretty broad umbrella, although I also remember at least one classic rock station that billed itself “real rock” and made a particular point of NOT playing the poppier stuff…and that station was pretty popular. :-) The choices tonight didn’t feel out of place to me for a “classic rock” theme, but I certainly know a lot of people who’d agree with you that they *shouldn’t* count as any sort of rock.

  37. DAG says:

    Poor Kree hurt herself last week when she fell on her arse due to those high heels on results night. I hope they get her a good chiropractor! And, listen to Keith, get rid of the skyscraper heels and wear some sensible shoes so you can engage the audience!

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Don’t worry; if she gets a good chiropractor, she should be out of those shoes in no time. My dad is a chiropractor, and he’s always warning his female patients against high heels and flip-flops (no support whatsoever).
      I remember back in Season 9, Siobhan insisted on wearing boots for her spectacular “Paint It Black” performance when her stylist tried to put her in heels. Ladies, please imitate!

    • dj says:

      Yeah, she said she was wearing them because they looked good, but they didn’t look that good, not enough to risk your life/health over. And they weren’t the boots that Nicki stole.

  38. Liz says:

    I know that Kree cannot approach the late, great Janis Joplin, but couldn’t she put at least a little bit of emotion into that song? She’s telling us to take and break not just one piece, but another piece of her heart, for heaven’s sake! When we listened to that song, we could feel Janis’ pain, but Kree gave us no idea that she was suffering. Kree could be such a good singer, but it doesn’t seem like she’s really trying.

    • Tom22 says:

      The only thing I could say to possibly forgive her was that she was trying to find her own take on the song which she very occasionally achieved between falling back into a walk through of it.

      Haley Reinhart slayed the song in a way perhaps very close to Janis, but as always with Haley…giving the notes her own special tone and signature yodel notes and grace notes subtlly to make it entirely a Haley version while still being in form very close to all the emotions and form Janis made it a all time classic with. Sometimes you can’t mess with a classic too much.. just need to bring your own signature tones .. if you have one.

  39. silkrose says:

    NO ONE can do “You give love a bad name” like Blake Lewis did!!! I still go back and watch it on You Tube from time to time.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      True that. Burnell’s performance was a letdown compared to Blake’s (and of course, the original by my favorite 80s rock band). I saw the Season 6 Tour and Blake brought the house down with it.

  40. Kim says:

    When will the contestants realize they shouldn’t cover a past contestant’s signature song? *cough* Burnell singing Blake Lewis’s song. *cough*

    That’s not the way to make an idol moment.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      That’s not always the case. Candice’s “I Who Have Nothing” was one of this season’s shining moments, even after Jordin Sparks and Haley Reinhart totally nailed it. And Elise Testone was fabulous on “Whole Lotta Love” last year despite Adam Lambert killing it in Season 8. But I agree, Burnell should have steered clear of that song.

  41. Guitar Blue says:

    None of this crew are good rockers. Just a matter of trying to choose who survived.

    Top 7 Week is usually the shocker week, but Burnell looks to be teetering out the door from some of the after-show polls around the net. Some pick Lazaro to go, but either way, another guy leaves.

  42. Daniel says:

    Amber = A
    Angie = A
    Amber, Janelle, Kree = A
    Candice, Burnell = A-
    Candice = B+
    Janelle = B+
    Angie, Lazaro = B
    Burnell = B-
    Kree = B-
    Lazaro = B-

  43. Connor says:

    I’ll honestly laugh my head off if Lazaro sings we are the champions for the Save

  44. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    I liked all the bits they did about each other.
    I like the theme, although as even the show admitted they didn’t have a single singer this season who can truly, fully do it 100% justice.
    Amber did perhaps the best although it started off a bit tame and all for a while, in the end it was pretty good, she started getting into a bit of what the night needed.
    Candice next. She finally learned to hit that hard edge and be on it a bit more. if she can bring some of that to stuff that is totally in her wheelhouse then she might finally be magic. Not bad at all. You might argue it was best of the night. But you only have to go as far back as last season with Elise to show how much we were still missing when it comes to rock.
    Then Angie next. Not bad, way back from last week (maybe through the power of her touch more 80s hair again tonight, been reading the story of Sampson and Delilah this week perhaps hah) although she does need to learn how to cut loose just a touch more and just feel, especially for rock and uptempo stuff, and not think and how to unleash so that she can get that raw, dirty, rock out of her. You can just tell she has it in her for sure with the ability and even in her mind, but she just has to train more to let go and not think about projecting raw rock, just feel it girl, let loose, do it. I don’t mean by madly shrieking, just by raw feeling, hitting it on and not lilting in or trying to project it just feel it. Oh and she did look plenty hot again, had to get that in hah.
    I expected more from Kree. I thought she might be the one to truly rock it out. Maybe the pinched nerve. Who knows.

  45. marie says:

    I am SO fed up with this show. Same old same old songs, over and over and over and over…enough!!!!!
    As soon as Ryan announced that Kree would be singing Joplin – heck, as soon as the announcer mentioned Joplin on the opening – I muttered, Ugh please, NOT “Piece of My Heart” AGAIN…
    Really, are the producers stupid? Do they think WE’RE stupid?
    At some point, didn’t Ryan mention that they are actually SOLICITING ideas for theme night from viewers? Did anyone catch the particulars?
    I want to suggest to them the only theme that makes sense to me right now: “Songs that Have Never Been Performed on American Idol.”. That’s all I want.
    As for the performances, I really enjoyed Candice and Amber. But my annoyance with the limited song choices really detracted from my overall enjoyment of tonight’s show.

    • Joy says:

      I’ll second the call for an “Idol Firsts” theme. Better yet, turn the next six weeks into an “Idol Firsts” theme season… I’m a jazz listener, and usually I can listen to half a dozen artists all perform the same standard without feeling like they’ve worn the song out — but it’s been made clear that almost nobody on this show this season has the chops to do anything particularly fresh with a well-worn song, so let’s *please* stop letting them try!

      • marie says:

        Your point about jazz singers (quite possibly my favorite genre) is well taken, and I know just what you mean. Sometimes I do the same, and thoroughly enjoy the variations of a song as interpreted by different singers – or even a single song sung in different ways by a single singer (see Jamie Cullum and numerous live recordings of Frontin’, for example).
        But yes, on Idol, way too often over twelve seasons, it’s the same damn song sung the same old way.
        Oh how I’d love to hear Candice sing some real jazz! She’s said that’s one of her favored genres, and I know she would be excellent. Not likely to happen on Idol, though.

  46. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    Nobody quite brought it to where you like were man I HAVE to vote despite how insanely annoying they make voting on Idol due to the unlimited nature of it all. Nothing was like OMG when Elise did it last season, not close. Nothing like when Haley did it. (Not even like when Alison or Chris, etc. did it. Or going to The Voice like when Amanda rocked it out insanely early last season or nothing like the best of Juliet Simms rocking it out or Vicci Martinez.) Still like the theme though.
    But there were some pretty good performances and nothing was really a train wreck (although I was with Nikki that the duets and trios tended to be kinda talent show-ish and were definitely not rocking, Burnell and Candice pulled that part off the best, although I so totally disagreed with her knocking some of the songs themselves). Lazaro actually made it through surprisingly well (NOT the duo though). What people thought would be his train wreck was probably his personal best performance of the season.

    • Ademm says:

      No, there wasn’t one good performance tonight — go to any bar in any town in America and you will fine better performances than that. The whole night, the whole season is a train wreck. Wishing it was good won’t make it so.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Although actually she was right too in that Crazy Little Thing was a bad choice for those two.

  47. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    Some of the stuff they said in the bits almost made it sound suspiciously like they are actually reading the sites and watching Idology hah. Who knows but…

  48. MB says:

    Wow, Candice is showing the lowest number of votes right now on dial idol’s raw vote.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Don’t worry. Dial Idol isn’t very accurate these days, even the raw numbers. And if (heaven forbid!) she does have the lowest number of votes, the Save is coming out to play for sure.

      • The Beach says:

        Agreed. Candice ain’t goin’ nowhere as long as they got themselves a big ol’ Save.

      • Rick says:

        Isn’t the raw vote just votes put in through the dial idol and have nothing to do with trying to predict. Even if its not dial idol can only measure the land lines and only if they are busy, I’m guessing voting is way down from previous years, even with the automatic 50 they are giving you.

    • ejones says:

      She deserves to be bottom for such a lazy song choice. Her voice is good enough for something a bit more original. For those who remember Rockstar Inxs, they used ‘Start Me Up’ as their Stones classic, a much much better choice, and the great Suzie McNeil hit it out of the park.

  49. SassySis says:

    I really enjoyed Angie’s and then Amber’s performances.

    Lazaro was not terrible…well kinda terrible.

  50. Timmah says:

    This is awful. Let’s pick 7 new contestants and start the season over.