American Idol Recap: Divas' Advocates [Updated]

Amber-Holcomb-American-Idol-Barbra-StreisandPay no attention to the man alongside the curtain!

Yes, folks, this week on American Idol, Jimmy Iovine surrendered his “mentoring” role and pre-performance “advisory” sessions and instead put on his Justin Bieber Bigboy Collection (TM) cap to bark like a snake-oil salesman and rally a nation of speed-dialers behind Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb after their Round 1 “Songs From the Year They Were Born” numbers.

Did Jimmy possibly pre-tape his commentary before the live Top 5 telecast? It sure felt that way, considering his effusiveness about Amber’s moderately successful stab at Mariah Carey and Angie’s vocally dubious Pretenders cover that seemed to connect only because she’d started by dedicating it to the bombing victims in her home state of Massachusetts. C’mon, though, if we were judging this competition on sentiment, Lazaro Arbos would be poised to inherit Phillip Phillips’ crown and sash.

If Jimmy’s #TeamAmber t-shirt and #TeamAngie placcard weren’t enough to sway the public, the judges added four exclamation points during Round 2 (a drearily executed “Divas” theme). Keith, Nicki, Mariah and the foolio who’s always yapping “in it to win it!” all got on their feet for Angie and Amber, as well as Candice Glover and Kree Harrison.

Had this been a kindergarten singing lesson, then poor Janelle Arthur was playing the role of the cheese, standing alone, waiting for the Uncle Nigel Great Symbolic Tours Bus to pull up and carry her directly to the summer tour, without passing go, and without upsetting the pre-ordained order of How Things Were Meant to Be*. (*Unless there’s still a “Save.”) (There’s probably still a “Save.”)

To be fair, Janelle had arguably her weakest night in all of Season 12, but her shortcomings weren’t a magic elixir that fixed Angie’s intermittent pitch problems.

Anyhow, let’s get down to reviewing the evening’s set, shall we?

Songs from the Year They Were Born
Candice Glover: Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” | I’m a hardcore conspiracy theorist when it comes to Idol — and tonight I was struck by a bone-chilling realization while suffering through some shoddy camera work that too often focused on the back of Candice’s head. No matter how much the judges praise Candice’s performances, they never mention looking forward to her post-Idol albums or concerts. In their feedback, Candice only exists within the confines of the competition, and it makes me worry that it’s a not-so-subtle campaign to undervalue the most creative, most daring and most vocally spot-on woman in the Top 5. (Hmmm…didn’t Haley Reinhart get the same treatment back in Season 10?) All that aside, “Straight Up” proved to be yet another masterful interpretation of an unexpected number from The Lady Glover: In her hands, Paula Abdul’s chirpily delivered earworm became a swaying jazz ditty, muscled up with upright bass and bongo drums for good measure. As Keith noted, Candice’s expertly placed runs were like slow winks from across the bar, and her “buh-buh bye-byes” were so saucy and expressive, I let out an involuntary whoop of delight in response. Jimmy jumped on to the screen to yap that Candice needed a bigger song with a broader range, but that made no sense. I mean, did he miss the part where Candice lifted Paula’s narrow vocal line like a baby up on her shoulders and took it on the journey of a lifetime? Sheesh! Grade: A-

Janelle Arthur: Vince Gill’s “When I Call Your Name” | There’s not a whole lot to say about Janelle’s performance this week: It was a pretty but somewhat pedestrian rendition of a Vince Gill chestnut about the unexpected end of a love affair. And as Keith pointed out, the central pain and loneliness were absent from the performance, like a juicy hamburger that’s void of even salt and pepper: If you eat it on auto-pilot while reading emails at your desk, it’s perfectly acceptable; but once you close your eyes and pay attention, you can’t help but be a wee bit disappointed. Grade: B

Kree Harrison: The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels” | Kree’s opening number prompted the first live argument between Mariah and Nicki all season, one that ended with Nicki’s madcap plea of, “Simmer down, sir!” But hey, at least the neophyte lady judges are acknowledging each other’s presence again, right? You’ve gotta start somewhere. But I digress… Kree’s vocal was supple and inviting as always — like a nice glass of Pinot Noir that you end up topping off, even if you don’t need to — but Mariah was absolutely right in noting a lack of organic-ness in the actual performance (even if she buried it under more “keep doing what you’re doing” blatherspeak). Kree kept smiling at the most inopportune moments — and then added to the weird vibe with a series of head shimmies that almost made it look like she was dismissing the notes that had just come out of her mouth. Was it the stupid spike-heel boots she wore for Nicki? Come on, Kreedom, boots or barefoot next week! Grade: A- B+ (hate to downgrade this from my original mark, but it’s a televised performance — and visuals count!)

Angie Miller: The Prentenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” | Look, I’m not going to complain at all about Angie’s shout-out to her family and friends near Boston at the start of a ballad that’s all about lining up shoulder to shoulder with your loved ones even/especially in their darkest hours. (Having been in Boston myself this year to watch a friend run the marathon, I still haven’t completely processed the unspeakable events that occurred just as we were heading out of the city.) But ultimately, this is still a competition — not a benefit concert — and therefore the judges had a responsibility not to give a standing ovation (at least Nicki stayed seated), but to give some honest feedback about Angie going shrill on her high notes, going flat in her lower register, flubbing her cues on the lines “when the night falls on you” and “standing at the crossroads,” and using her Xacto-knife diction to blunt the flow of Chrissie Hynde’s original. Jimmy calling this “the performance of the night” makes me wonder if he pre-recorded his commentary after dress rehearsals or if he’s now part of Uncle Nigel’s pre-season storyboarding process. Otherwise, The 50-Year-Old Bieber needs to simmer down. Grade: C+

Amber Holcomb: Mariah Carey’s version of Badfinger’s “Without You” | Is it just me, or did Amber sound just ever so slightly behind the band for the opening verse of the song she was scared to sing in front of Mariah Carey? Perhaps that was part of the emotional flatness that Nicki so astutely noted in the face of a standing ovation from her three fellow judges. To make matters worse, the opening pair of “can’t lives” were pitched too low for Amber, and her approach to a couple of the big honkin’ glory notes made my nose crinkle involuntarily (and not in a good way). The bigger crime, though, was that Amber lacked that desperate break in her voice that makes Mariah’s rendition so haunting. This was more an undertaking to admire than a performance to be felt deeply. And thus, my second downgrade from my first impression. (Ugh, I’m the worst tonight.) Grade: B B-

DIVAS!
Candice Glover: Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe” | I get it, I get it, it was a “DIVAS” theme tonight on Idol, but I wish the Season 12 Fab 5 had dug a little deeper into their selected artists’ catalogs to mine some of their more modern-leaning anthems. I mean, imagine Candice on “Heartbreak Hotel” or “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” or “Heartbreaker” or “We Belong Together” (aka the Best Song Mariah Has Ever Recorded)? (Look at me, so deep in my daydream.) But then again, this…is American Idol. Sometimes you have to give the people Grandma what she (thinks she) wants. And it’s darn near impossible to fault Candice on the technical skill with which she scaled (and then rappelled down) Mt. Mariah and Mt. Whitney — without even breaking a sweat. Candice’s body language was just a tad stiff — those outstretched arms felt a little bit like a crutch — but she ticked the final empty box marked “I can do soundtracks, too” box in the “total package” worksheet. If she’s the lowest vote-getter on Thursday, then I hope that creepy entity who interrupted last week’s “Lovesong” comes back and puts the Idoloonie nation in the naughty corner. Grade: B+

Janelle Arthur: Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde” | I’m pretty sure Jimmy’s rant that Janelle needed to go emotional on her second performance was stuck in her craw before she sang the first word of Dolly’s cutesy but hardly seminal “Dumb Blonde.” Knowing her song choice was never going to arrive in Terminal E(motion), girlfriend figured she might as well stand on the flight attendant’s desk in Terminal F(un) and give everyone a rompin’ stompin’ good time. Yet what began as determination quickly turned to desperation. All that moving around seemed to leave Janelle breathless and occasionally drown out by the amped up guitar and bass: Her voice almost disappeared on a number of the song’s more staccato notes, and veered off pitch in places where she stretched her upper register. Maybe Nicki’s warning that Janelle could be in jeopardy will spur her fan base and put Candice or Kree or Amber at risk, but I suspect this is the number that stamped Janelle’s membership to the Fifth Place Club. Grade: C+

Kree Harrison: Celine Dion’s “Have You Ever Been in Love” | Much like Candice’s second performance, Kree’s was a strongly sung, pitch-perfect (well, except for the opening note) cover of a song that’s as exciting as dryer lint. (Actually, I take that back: Removing lint from the dryer — and marveling at its fabric-esque cohesiveness — is one of my favorite unofficial household responsibilities.) I could go on about how I wish Kree had done “Taking Chances” or “I Drove All Night” or even “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” but they can’t all be “Evidence” or “Up to the Mountain” or “What the World Needs Now,” I suppose. Nicki, neck deep in a pool of hyperbole that she’ll probably be stuck in through mid-May, went on and on about how Kree isn’t country, she’s worldly, she’s iconic, she’s Adele, she’s Celine, she’ll be as viable at 20 as she is at 50 (whoops! she’s already 22!), and that “Have You Ever Been in Love” had just elevated her personal net worth. And then Nicki built a giant, vapor-filled bubble around Kree’s personal performance space, to ensure Kreedom’s highly valuable instrument never gets dehydrated. The end. Grade: B+

Angie Miller: Beyoncé’s “Halo” | Angie definitely wins the award for Best Dressed (was that draped mini made out of metal?). And she also takes home the prize for Most Disconcerting Backdrop (twin images of her face, in black and white, standing sentinel as Uncle Nigel prepared her coronation). But despite all the first-rate production, the judges’ post-performance rapture and Angie’s elbow grease (her desire to win this thing never seems to waver), I thought the arrangement was abysmal, and the vocal more solid than spectacular. Granted, the former was more the fault of the show’s backup singers, who transported me back to the Spyro Gyra concert I’ve never attended, but the latter shortcoming falls squarely on the shoulders of Ms. Miller. The opening two-thirds were pretty solid — aside from a loss of power on those upper register “oohs” — but the real trouble began in the final third, as Angie’s repeated ad-libs (“pray it won’t fade away!” “don’t fade away!”) dissolved into a shouting, not-entirely-musical chant. That mood shift, to my ears, missed the point of Beyoncé’s rapturous anthem: “Halo” is a celebration of those angels who come into our lives and change us forever, not a plea so they won’t abandon us in our time of need. I might be in the minority, but that disconnect scraped up against my ears like a shopping cart against the side of a brand new car. Grade: B-

Amber Holcomb: Barbra Streisand’s “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” | Since Amber got her “Mariah Moment” out of the way in Round 1, it freed her up to return to the jazzy first-impression she made back in Vegas with “My Funny Valentine.” And like a favorite old t-shirt you find crumpled at the back of your drawer, the tone and range of “How Are You Doing…” proved to be a flawless fit for Amber. Girfriend caressed the melody so delicately, it was as if she barely left a fingerprint, and yet at the same time, she drove home the gooey romanticism at the center of the composition. Randy, in his infinite ineloquence, somehow name-checked Rihanna in his critique — as if Riri is capable of running Babs through her goat-bleat processor! — but let’s pretend that didn’t happen. Amber showcased a more classical side of her artistry, and while it didn’t quite provide a “Love Song”-level rafter shaking (and while her diction could still use a little work), it certainly ranked as one of her finest Season 12 moments. Grade: A-

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 5 performance night? Did four of the last five performances earn Standing Os? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? How obvious was it that the show wants Janelle to get gone? 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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546 Comments
  1. Jacob P. says:

    First! I will now do my letter grades BELOW VVVV

    • Jacob P. says:

      My Letter Grades:

      Round 1:

      Candice Glover: A
      (I LOVED the arrangement. I think Jimmy was completely wrong by saying she had to blow it out of the water)

      Janelle Arthur: B+
      (I have to say, I really like Janelle, probably because they aren’t shoving her down my throat. I though this was a solid B+ performance)

      Kree Harrison: B+
      (Kree hasn’t been my favorite, but this was a good performance)

      Angie Miller: C
      (I hated it. I honestly think the only reason why she got the Standing O is because of Boston. I felt like they were trying to manipulate me. I’m sorry)

      Amber Holcomb: C
      (I thought this was rough too. It was another boring Diva Ballad, [the theme wasn’t even divas] It was kinda pitchy, and I almost fell asleep)

      Round 1 Winner: Candice Glover

      Round 2:

      Candice Glover: A
      (What can I say? Candice has never and will never give a below average performance. She did a great job with it, and it moved me to tears)

      Janelle Arthur: C+
      (Poor Janelle. I feel so bad for her ): They are throwing her under the bus. I think she might be safe, but I will talk about that later)

      Kree Harrison: A-
      (This was the first time I really REALLY enjoyed Kree. I thought this was her personal best, and I thought she connected with it)

      Angie Miller: B+
      (I really enjoyed this performance. I appreciated that it was modern, and that it had not been sung previously on the show)

      Amber Holcomb: A-
      (:O WHAT? This is probably my most controversial. I think that the performance was amazing, but there are 2 things I really can’t stand. 1. I don’t think she connected with the song that much, and 2. I really can’t stand the judges shoving her down my throat. It’s stating to get annoying, I’m sorry)

      Round 2 Winner: Candice Glover (:O)

      My overall rankings tonight:

      1. Candice Glover
      2. Kree Harrison
      (small gap)
      3. Amber Holcomb
      4. Angie Miller
      (large gap)
      5. Janelle Arthur

      Should Be Bottom 2: Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur (I believe these 2 belong in the bottom 2. Don’t get me wrong, Angie did good, but so did the 3 above her, too. I think Janelle deserves to go home, even though she is my 2nd favorite D:)

      Will Be Bottom 2: Candice Glover, Janelle Arthur (WHAT?!!! I just have a bad feeling, and think of it this way. 1. Candice performed in the Death Spot, 2. Candice has the same voting block as Amber, and Amber performed in the Pimp Spot, and had a “moment”, and 3. I think people will vote for Angie for the emotional performance, and vote for Kree for stepping it up (IMO).

      Will have the lowest amount of votes: Candice Glover (Honestly, I am seriously thinking I am crazy, but I think Janelle’s fans will vote extra hard for her to ensure her safety)

      Save? HELL YES!

      So, What do you think guys? Am I crazy? How do you guys feel? Sorry for my message being so long, I just wanted to state my opinion and see yours. If you do not agree with me, tell me why and I will hear you out. Thanks so much! :D

      • ETG says:

        Jacob, I think your comments are spot on.

        • Jacob P. says:

          Thanks so much for the feedback! I was hoping I wasn’t crazy, because I did not agree with the judges for the most part. :P

          • marie says:

            I don’t know if you’re crazy (you don’t sound crazy), but I kinda hope you are. :-)

          • LeahKittyS says:

            Nah, he’s not crazy. If anyone on this forum is crazy, it’s me. I write about bloody murder, remember. Speaking of which, all the guys are gone now, but does anybody want me to continue the American Idol Horror Story? I could have the girls seeking revenge or something.

          • Lee says:

            Man, was this ever a boring night of performances. Almost all of them were ballads–and not even interesting ballads. I didn’t care for Amber’s performances because I didn’t think she connected with the songs. Same goes for Kree–especially the second performance which I found really boring. I liked Angie’s second performance. I liked both of Candice’s performances. I liked Janelle’s uptempo song for her second performance. To tell you the truth, my two faves are Candice (talented singer) and Janelle (sings uptempo songs and livens up the boring atmosphere on the Idol stage). To me, this is NOT the best Top 5 in Idol history. Not even close. I will say that it probably is one of the most boring Top 5 in Idol history.

          • Watherly says:

            @ Lee — so, so true.

        • sherab says:

          me, too!

          • TheWiserView says:

            HEY LEE, DO YOU REALLY KNOW MUSIC? I DOUBT. I HAVE A FEELING YOU ARE JUST AN ASIAN GRIPING OVER THE LOSS OF ANY ASIAN IN THE COMPETITION.

      • Danny says:

        I think your logic is pretty good, except I don’t really think there’s any gaps. I think all 5 are pretty close. I 100% agree they’re throwing Janelle under the bus. I have her at #3 overall (for the season). She was #1 coming into this week. I thought she won round 1. Her 2nd song was 5th best though. Candice won the night IMO. So we agree there.
        On the flip side, I think Angela was the worst of round 1, but best of round 2. Halo was the best of the season by anyone for me. And that was enough to move her to #2 overall for the season. So I think this is a really close race w/ no gaps. A good or bad song can move ya quite a few spots.
        As for the save, If I’m not mistaken they’re going to save anyone because if they don’t the season will end a week early. I’d be happy seeing all 5 sing again next week.

        • the real wendy says:

          Too. Much. Standing. by the judges! It was (mostly) so boring – this show!

          • Chris says:

            I agree. Somehow being given the opportunity to sing songs that are more current and more of their own choosing resulted in a night of blah songs. This was especially true for the Divas portion.

          • Gailer says:

            This was the worst night of song choices in 12 seasons.

          • TheWiserView says:

            DISAGREE! WHAT SONG CHOICES DO YOU WANT? TRASH? DON’T WATCH.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Exactly. It is very very close. Can’t wait for the results….

        • Mary says:

          I don’t think they are throwing Janelle under the bus, her performances were not that good compare to the rest. I guess I am in the minority I hated Candice first song but her second was good. I wasn’t impressed with any of the first songs but the top two on the second was Amber and Kree. Any one of the remaining girls deserve to win, but I hope to god next week we get a variety with current music mix in.

      • Lori says:

        last week was the last time they could have used the save so I hope you are wrong because Candice is so good

        • Jacob P. says:

          I think they might extend it because they planned the finale in 4 weeks, so they need a no elimination week.

          • shksprsis says:

            That would not affect the length of the season. The week after the Save is used, two people go home. Since there was no Save, only one person will go home. Nothing changes.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Okay shksprs, we’ve reviewed this before. The finale is May 16th. May 16th fits with the very important end of May sweeps (May 22nd). One week later and the finale is outside of May sweeps. One week earlier and they lose the ratings boost that historically comes with the finale.. Ryan all but confirmed it tonight (We’re 4 weeks away from the finale). Do a Google search and it will confirm that May 16th is The Date.Flight
            By your reasoning the season ends like this:
            April 18th 5 becomes 4
            April 25th 4 becomes 3
            May 2nd 3 becomes 2
            Msy 9th 2 becomes 1 (winner
            What happens on May 16th?
            If the judge’s save had been used it looks like this:
            April 11th 6 becomes 6
            April 18th 6 becomes 5 ( can’t be 4 if we’re going to have a finale on Mat 16th)
            April 25th 5 becomes 4
            May 2nd 4 becomes 3
            May 9th 3 becomes 2
            May 16th 2 becomes 1)
            It’s true in previous years the judges use the save and 2 people go home the next week. But it is clear that wasn’t the plan this year & Fox thought the save would be used before top 5. Didn’t happen. So they have something planned where nobody leaves. It could be this week or it could be next week. Smart planning says you don’t spill the beans until results night or people won’t watch or vote. The logic is there in front of me but I still voted as if tonight counts.

          • Sampson says:

            Hmmmm … as another possibility, why not have the votes be cumulative over two weeks? For example, they could announce tonight that this week’s vote totals will be added to next week’s vote totals, and just send one person home next week….kind of like how (I think) they did when they had an Idol Gives Back benefit show and no one went home. Would using the save this week and only sending one person home next week accomplish the same thing (and perhaps more simply)? Sure. But if so, it’s going to be viewed as somewhat of a cheat as it appears that many viewers took save-available-until-top-5 to mean it had to be used BEFORE Week 5, not during Top 5.

        • Bob says:

          To quote Randy, Candice is one of the best singers in the known world! Lol funniest moment of the show!

        • Amber4Win says:

          Yes Candice is vocally great but she is not marketable. Her personality is low and she can’t move in rha stage. American idol is total performer. And that is Amber. Win or lose Amber will make it big. Mark my word!!

          • Tarc says:

            No one else even counts compared to Candice.

          • lala says:

            Yes Amber is the total package! I like how she manages the intensity of the drama in her singing, be it in her facial expression, hand gestures, body movements, and of course vocally. she’s just mesmerizing to watch. She gives just the right amount of everything, no oversinging and over-acting in front of the camera.

          • Tommyo2000 says:

            Not convinced Amber is the “total package” … her stage presence is average … What I mean by tht is the place doesnt light up when she come on … Actually Candice generates that kind of buzz in the audience, the way Josh ladet did last year … doenst mean she is a star, but you feel it through the TV … Amber is just kind of meh …

          • TheMusician says:

            Tommy, i agree that Amber is the total package compared to Candice. Just look at Candice, she looks a mom who can’t move on stage. Maybe Amber doesn’t connect to you. But to a majority of us plus the judges and Jimmy, she does connect. Candice also lacks personality, you are fat too, so you identify to her. LOL!

        • Mary says:

          No it is top five, so they can use the save tonight, which I think they might unless it is Janelle and they want her out.

          • Hal Lowe says:

            No – the established time limit on the Save was that it had to be used before the Top 5 not up to & including. The first season the Save was instituted it was never really needed but the judges used it for the sake of using it on Matt Giraud rather than sending him home in sixth place & having the introduction of the Save be a non-event. So theoretically it’s too late to Save anyone this season. But there has to be a week where no one goes home for the show to end as scheduled & the simplest way to address that is to extend the shelf life of the Save. If the low vote-getter tonight is anyone other than Janelle that low vote-getter will probably be Saved – more likely Janelle leaves tonight & the Save gets used next week.

      • LeahKittyS says:

        I appreciate that you took the time to write this out, Jacob, and I while I think you under-marked Angie, I’ll side with you on the rest.

      • Chuck says:

        I think it’s a little simplistic to say Candice and Amber have the same voting block. No one who has been voting for Candice for 2 months is going to change their minds because the judges tried to fool us into thinking Amber had a “moment.”

        Best of the night wasn’t obvious like it was a week ago, but I would probably go with Kree’s Celine cover. Worst was probably Janelle’s 1989 song, which was just boring like all Vince Gill’s music.

        I agree Janelle is in deep trouble. Jimmy said a week ago that Janelle needed to make herself “different” again in order to stand out against people with bigger voices, but she was ultra-conventional, and was just OK, not special. The question is if they will save her, since it seems to be unanimous that she’s fifth best of the five left.

        • Lucy27Lucy says:

          With all the great country diva songs for Janelle to choose from and really make a statement, I think her song choice may have sealed her fate. She had such a great opportunity to control a voting block no others approach, and have a truly unique Idol moment – blown opportunity that I felt each judge recognized as well.

          • forrest says:

            Mentioning Dolly Parton I was sure Janell was going to sing “I Will Always Love You”, but no. “dumb blonde’ will forever hang with her as her departure song. Sorry, hate hate hate to agree with randy and jimmy, but song choice did her in this season. IMHO.

          • Jackson says:

            She should have sang “Jolene’! Slowed down and just w/her guitar!

            Either way dont care about her, Candice for the win!

          • Lee says:

            Which makes me wonder how much coaching are these kids getting?

      • Joan says:

        DITTO.On everything you’ve written!! Candice wins the night, for me. :) I love her arrangements on Straight up, and the different choices she made singing When You Believe.. I voted for her, but it is the first time that I voted for a contestant without encountering the busy signal.. I hope its not a sign that your prediction that she will be bottom 2 is coming true.. :(

        • Amber4Win says:

          No matter who wins, it does not represent the real winner. The voters stop supporting the contestants after winning. This is why those who lose a lot of times do better in the charts. The true voters are those who buy the albums after the competition.

          • lala says:

            I agree with you and this is why I’ve decided to pick Amber as the best. I know I would most likely buy Amber’s album if she’ll have one, one day.

        • Jacob P. says:

          I think maybe if she does need the save, It will build up her momentum. But for all we know, Amber and Janelle could still be bottom 2, maybe even Kree.

        • sherab says:

          i had lots of busy signals voting for candice last night!

      • The Beach says:

        Count me in as someone who is getting really tired of the Amber pimping. I like Amber and I think her second song was great (not so much her first) but this subtle as a sledgehammer pimp job is starting to have a reverse affect on me.

        • scooby says:

          If you (and this is a general “You” rant because it keeps coming up with different contestants) are voting for or against a contestant based on how heavy handed Randy Jackson, Jimmy, or whoever is w/pimping and not on the ability of that person and your own personal enjoyment of them, that is incredibly childish and petty. If they deserve it, vote. If they don’t, vote for someone else or for no one. I could see all of the girls putting out successful records with the right producers involved. Of course we’re being manipulated to pick this person or that. It’s a reality tv show. You’re being manipulated about who to like/root for on everything from American Idol to Jersey Shore. We can be fake aghast all we want, but it’s true. To quote the oft gambling Capt. Renault in Casablanca – “I’m shocked–shocked!–to know that gambling is going on in here!”

        • white lancer says:

          Amber has always been a solid fourth to me this season. She’s more consistent and more technically sound than Angie, but I find Angie so much more interesting as an artist. Amber’s basically a singing robot to me–she’s usually right on point vocally, but she sings as a carbon copy of the original almost every time.

          • TheWiserView says:

            TOTALLY DISAGREE. AMBER’S WAY IS THE RESULT OF VARIOUS INFLUENCES, MAINLY BY WHITNEY. LIKEWISE TO OTHERS. BASICALLY NO ONE HAS REALLY SOLID ORIGINALITY. THAT IS THE WAY SINGERS NOWADAYS ARE, A FRUIT OF VARIED INFLUENCES.

      • not says:

        @Jacob P. – I agree with pretty much all of your grades and I’m glad I’m not to only one who disagreed with the judges in a few glaring respects (especially re Amber’s first song on which I agree with crazy Nikki it was a crash and burn). But I think you are wrong about Candace b/c (i) it seems so clear that she is the best singer that she will get the votes, (ii) they were pimping her so hard, notwithstanding her bad placement in the lineup, and (iii) it’s easy to associate her with Jennifer Hudson who got eliminated for the same reasons people say Candace isn’t marketable but who became a superstar even before she got skinny. I fear for Kree, whom I think is clearly #2 in the competition and has a great future but isn’t flashy with the stage presence. Actually, the same can be said for Amber but she is so pretty that they are probably right that — with some clever packaging and some badgering to break out of her shell — she will be incredibly marketable. I don’t think she is in any danger this week though for the reasons you note.

        • not says:

          One more thing about Amber, I have to give her props for her song choices at times. Other than the country girls (whose song choices are almost always obscure to me b/c I wouldn’t know a huge hit from an unknown song), she is the only one who picks mildly obscure songs to sing. She sings too many ballads and sometimes chooses a song she probably loves without sufficient attention to whether it is right for her voice, but she often takes chances and picks songs few voters will be familiar with. Even in Beatles week she chose She’s Leaving Home (about as obscure as a Beatles song can be and certainly unknown to 99% of the below-40 voters) and did interesting things with the melody.

      • Cathy says:

        I won’t go into all the detail that you did but I agree with most of what you said. I live a few miles from Janelle so I’ve been rooting for her – but not voting for anyone. ( I last saw her perform when she was about 10.) I felt bad for her last night and I too believe she’s getting thrown under the bus. I think maybe she’s flirted too much with Keith and turned off some judges or producersj, maybe voters too – just my observance – no facts to back it up.
        Her second song choice was bad – Dolly Parton has several moving ballads (since it seemed to be a ballads night) that would have been better. It was almost like she had given up expecting anyone to say anything good and decided just to have fun. She did liven it up a little.I don’t think she’s safe tonight and I know they will not save her – no, they have four others they think are better and they’re going to use it for one of them. Like someone else said, the tour bus is already waiting for her to board and get off the ‘divas-only’ stage. And the judges rushed back to the hotel last night to pack her bags for her!
        I had not liked Amber till last night – the second song, a boring choice, but she sang it very well. I still prefer Candice to win but like someone else mentioned, they do not talk about her album sales or concerts. Amber is younger so maybe they see her appealing to audiences more than Candice? Like one of my favorite reality shows in the summer, So You Think You can Dance, this should be named likewise – it’s always been about personalities and the country girl doesn’t fit in.
        Even though I’m defending the treatment of Janelle, I knew she could not win this year. She’s a ‘white girl with guitar.’ Idol producers were determined another white boy with guitar would not win this year (proof is all the mediocre male singers this year). She never had a chance, even if she’d been outstanding.
        Kree is another one they’re shoving down our throats. I liked her in the beginning but she is so boring and no wardrobe people seem to be in her corner either. LOL.
        I would not pay to see any of the top 10 in a concert.
        Keith’s continued reference to her as a true country artist (dissing Janelle) is annoying, about as much as Randy’s ‘in it to win it.’
        Could he spend a night with a thesaurus and come up with some new lines?.
        Idol is in a downward spiral and i’m ready to get off.

        • seattlejohn449 says:

          I think maybe folks aren’t factoring in how popular and commercial country music is, leading the way for Kree to win and be a huge success (Janelle has her moments but Kree is the much better singer plus she has an incredibly warm personality)…and at the beginning of the season Angie was polling highest on Twitter and since she has her own defining pop niche could edge out the others (plus she appeals to the Christian voting blocks)…so I don’t think its a given either Candice or Amber are the frontrunners

          • Lee says:

            I don’t think Amber is a frontrunner–especially since she was in the Bottom 2 last week. I think that’s why the judges are pimping her this week because they’re afraid she’ll go home. And I’d like to know what beef Nicki has with Janelle. To tell her she may be going home tonight was uncalled for–especially since Janelle was in the Middle 2 last week. I actually think Janelle will be safe this week. She’s the only one with personality both on and off the stage. And that’s another reason why I think she’ll be the most successful singer of the Top 5.

      • JoMarch says:

        I don’t care how well Amber sings; I can’t get past her dead eyes. She shows almost no emotion when she’s singing and I just don’t like her coldness. She may be the warmest, most wonderful person in the world, but I can’t get past her aloofness with a song.

        • TheMusician says:

          Shows that you are not musically inclined. You dwell on eyes, aloofness? Hey this is a singing competition. Listen to her voice.

      • Lola says:

        I’m glad to see someone beside me who doesn’t get why Angie is so great. Her vibrato is hit or miss, and her “big” notes are often shouted. Also, she looks and acts like Marie Osmond. Sorry I can’t get over that. I will say however that when she performed a Christian song last week at the piano she was perfection – that, I believe, is her nitche. Candice and Kree and Amber are my favorites, and I think they take turns at being the best. I hope it’s a Candice/Kree final and I am rooting for Candice.

    • Sg. Grant says:

      This is stupid. Why do you care if your comment is first? You wrote so much that I’m not even going to bother reading it. Hell, the only reason I clicked the comments was to see if someone mentioned Keith’s “Amber Alert” comment, and made a joke about it.

      • Jacob P. says:

        Thanks for the feedback! Sorry if the first thing offended you, I just was excited about this episode, and i had a lot to say :/

        • MyTake says:

          I thought your remarks were spot on Jacob, thanks for sharing!

          • Sg. Grant says:

            I’ve gone back and read his comment, and I don’t disagre regarding the performances. I’m just saying it is stupid to post a comment just so you can have the first comment, then post a follow up reply with your actual comment.

    • Art says:

      Sorry Michael, i usually agree with you but not tonight. I thought Angie had the best performances tonight. She was emotive and more powerful in her vocals than I expected. If I was listening to any of the performances on the radio I would be the least likely to switch off her two.
      I am impressed with the quality of all the top five. Although I though Janelle did not shine through tonight she was still enjoyable to listen to. Usually I’m still hearing songs I can fat forward through even at the top three.

      • Will says:

        While I didn’t find the first one stellar, neither of Angie’s performances were as bad (or bland and flavorless) as what Janelle did tonight. I can’t imagine anyone watching this episode and thinking she deserves to go through to the Top 4.

        And while I’m talking about critiques, Amber was really really unable to measure up to Without You, which isn’t even that hard of a song. She just didn’t land the phrasing right at all, and her notes were really wobbly on her upper and lower register.

        Candice continues to shine at the top of the pack, and I will never deny Kree’s talent, though for some reason she has yet to make me feel anything about her performances, and because of that she is ranked 3 for me personally below Candice and Angie, though I completely understand those who love her. She’s just plain talented.

        • Will says:

          Oh, and even worse, Slezak’s primary critique of Halo is that Angie gave the song new meaning from the original. Sooooo terrible.

          Never mind him giving this massive amount of credit to the three vocalists that sang “I Who Have Nothing” with each one giving it completely different meaning earlier in the season on Idology. Now that suddenly Angie’s the one who is reinventing or reimagining songs in a new and just as valid way, it means she did it wrong?

          Just….man, Slezak was just off tonight in a few major ways.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Exactly and giving what went on this week the way she sang it even made more sense to me, if anything, more of a pleading. And as you say why is it not forbidden when others give new meaning? Heck look at Candice for Straight Up! As I expected he really couldn’t come up with anything at all to justify a B-. Now not everyone has to love everything so he doesn’t have to give it an A+ or A but come one, nearly worst of the night? For daring to supposedly alter some sacred emotional intent of one bar?? it seems like he is going into his hater on cute looking girls with a more pop sort of personality and style. I don’t know. I was just shocked.

          • MC says:

            I don’t want to light a controversy, but there are other reasons besides Angie’s “pop personality and style” that people would dislike her. I won’t say anything more than that. Sometime you may read a movie review and think, “why was that critic so negative?” The answer is not always in the merits of the work. I personally thought this was one of Angie’s best weeks and I noticed the judges (who have been hard on her) were unanimously in her corner this week.

          • DonB says:

            Michael was just doing his best Truman Capote snotty imitation. It’s not pretty when that form of critique takes over.

          • not says:

            I hesitate to agree with MC (because “other reasons” sounds like it could be creepy or bigoted), but I think he’s right otherwise. There is an unpleasant desperation in Angie that I think is offputting and it makes it hard to judge her performances on the merits. She was my favorite during the preliminary roungs but now she seems to be doing that fatal thing contestants do where they are so determined to please everyone that they oversell it (remember Paul Jolley and his “I want to be . . . as long as that’s what you all want.”) She’s beautiful (though her hair desperately needs modernizing) and will get a contract, but her calculated angst turned me off of her weeks ago. Whether i’m being fair to her vocals or not, I just don’t enjoy her performances.

          • MC says:

            I don’t like to make excuses for anybody, but to me it’s understandable if a singer (i.e. Angie)misses cues while singing and playing the piano with 40% hearing loss in her left ear (20% in her right). I would almost expect that to happen. I have also personally met people from all walks of life (especially here in the NE) who take a condescending and dim view of anyone who is connected to organized religion in any way (Angie’s father is a pastor). I still can’t believe some of the hatespeech that was directed at Colton on various message boards throughout last season. Candice is my favorite this season, but it irritates me when people don’t get the credit they deserve.

        • Name That Tune says:

          I’m going to disagree on Halo. I’m not totally in agreement with Michael’s reasoning but that performance was dull. She oversang and was shouting.
          Where Angie missed an opportunity was to pull back on one of her songs. Each of the other girls did that on at least one song. It paid off for each of them. It’s nearly always a mistake to shout at people. They only hear you shouting and not singing.

          • tewence says:

            she pulled back on “anyone who had a heart” and was told she was flat. they’ve unfortunately thrown her all over the place, so she’s now back to trying to get it figured out. one of the most important rule in show business is better to over-do it than not have enough.

          • Name That Tune says:

            The real problem is that she is limited in what she can do. More limited than Candice Amber and Kree. Not as limited as Janelle, though. Which makes her the 4th best singer. Really at this point we’ve seen what all of these girls can do. I am pretty certain who the top 3 should be and it doesn’t include Angie. But I am a realist. Angie will make it over Amber. It probably should not be that way but it is what it is.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Come on more than half of her Halo was all soft and delicate tones! And Beyonce shouted the hell out of parts of that song, even more.

          • Nephtalia says:

            Tewence, thank you for pointing out the judges’ review of ‘Anyone who have a heart’. A competition is like a class. You do your homework like the teacher wants you to do it so you can get the grade. Angie has been doing that all season. With ‘Yesterday’, Jimmy wanted her to pull back and show more emotions. She did that and Jimmy call her theatrical. Then, she did not show as much emotion with ‘Anyone who have a heart’ they want her to be more passionate. Now, she had the passion of her piano performance combined with the vocals. Teachers gave her an A. Guess what, if I was her I would keep on doing the same thing.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Can she win it all just sticking behind the piano and doing inspirational songs though? What if Jimmy thinks she can’t, wants Amber up there at all costs, and is scaring her back to the piano? Before Halo, maybe you could believe his point, after Halo, I wonder just a little. Although that is probably going overboard with the conspiracy nonsense.

      • Matt says:

        Honestly feel as though you could swap the comments about how Nigel is doing to Candice the same thing he did to Haley in Season 10 and say that Michael is doing that with Angie. Slezak clearly decided it was a Kree/Candice battle months ago and how dare Angie threaten his plans.

      • tewence says:

        thank you! …frustrating that angie is getting a bad rap. it’s also annoying when everybody says “janelle, you don’t have a great voice, but you sure can perform.” then angie has an amazing emotional performance that is somehow interpreted as vocally weak, and michael slams her. he certainly has different problems with her. he is holding her to different standards BECAUSE she is vocally strong. anyone else NOT hear the shrillness he speaks of? that was never said about burnell’s thin, uncomfortable upper range.

        • Mary says:

          I did not like Angie first song, I think she took the nuisance out of the song. It sounded like she was shouting and this song would of been perfect if she kept it stripped down and sang with heart. I did think her Halo song was better but thought at times she over sang it.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I’ve heard touches of it in it some other weeks but I sure as heck did not hear even a hint of it last night.

      • white lancer says:

        “I’ll Stand By You” was definitely not a standout performance by Angie (and it was completely outclassed by Pia’s cover a couple of seasons ago), but “Halo” was the best of the night IMO (albeit by a slim margin; I felt both of Candice’s, Kree’s, and Amber’s second performance were all roughly in the same league).

    • Kaba says:

      “Have you Ever Been In Love” was probably the first time this entire season where a song positively registered and resonated in my chest (I love Candice..but idk. She’s phenomenal but it never hits me like Kree just did). On the opposite spectrum, the song that felt like I took a 100mph baseball to the chest was “Halo”.
      I get it, Angie was in the moment because she was definitely painfully struck by the Boston tragedy, but that doesn’t excuse screaming and repeating lyrics to generate a fake effect of power and feeling. I honestly preferred her 1st song more than “Halo”.
      Janelle…I think people think she’s the weakest for all the wrong reasons. I feel Janelle is on par with all the girls…when she sings the suitable songs. We’ve seen her out perform the other girls before. It’s just the songs she picks…idk.

      Oh. My. God. Amber left me in chills. I’m probably still in shock from that last run on “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” but Lord that was just…Lord. I’m speechless.

      I think the bottom 2 will be Janelle and any other girl but Angie because she’ll probably be riding off the momentum of the Boston tragedy (which sounds horrid to say…but I felt like that’s what is going to happen now that we’ve been reminded she’s from Boston).

      Am I the only one starting to see Nicki as a one trick pony? She has the same criticism every week. And while at first it was nice cause she was “honest” now it’s just repetitive mess idc to hear. Can we not remember back in the audition episodes when she had a huge argument with the other judges over the fact that they were trying to urge people to sing in the genre that suits them? Now she’s in the lives urging Angie and Janelle to stick to their same tricks over and other and oh man it’s annoying to me. I find nothing beneficial about them sticking to the piano/guitar like it’s their lifeline. If Angie does I’m certain I’ll become infinitely bored with her by next week and Janelle as well next week too (let’s face it, nobody is going home this week). Going back to Nicki though, she says a lot of “don’t do this/I don’t want this” and “keep on doing that!/I like this” but she can never really tell them to try things that can benefit them as well.

      So overall, I think Nicki’s commentary only caters to the audience.

      I want Jimmy gone. Banished from this world, just gone. He has a bigger God complex than Mariah when he’s giving his own commentary. It just infuriates me how he acts so annoyingly certain that he’s spot on with his commentary when it’s more wrong than right. And I’m sorry, I can’t take him seriously when he’s always dressed like a 12 year old. His pseudo-intellectual music and performance commentary is unbearable. It’s simple Nigel. We either have Simon Cowell, or we don’t.

      And I guess the Nicki and Mariah thing ought to be addressed…something tells me Nicki got scolded after her “simmer down sir” cause then it turned into the Mariah show afterwards.
      Either that, or Mariah went up to Nicki’s ear and blew out an ear drum with her whistle notes (I like this option). One thing I noticed. Didn’t Nicki start off this season saying “Daahling” a LOT? Now Mariah can’t avoid saying it in every sentence. I think that’s her way of throwing shade at Nicki cause once Mariah started using “darling” Nicki promptly stopped. And Mariah has been doing so ever since….

      But yeah…idk I guess I liked last night’s performances

  2. Dan says:

    The meaning of a standing ovation is reduced to nothingness in this kind of episodes.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      LOL. Usually it bugs me. But I think in this show every ovation was valid.

      • I didn’t think Amber’s first performance was, I didn’t think Angie’s first performance was, and I don’t even know if Amber’s last performance was either. I think Angie’s lower register was way off tonight. I think the emotion behind Angie’s performance, and her wonderful tribute to Boston made the judges believe the performance was better than it was. So I agree with Dan here.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Fair enough. I do agree. Amber’s lower register was off too.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Amber’s first wasn’t since the first half was weak and the second half, while having many really strong parts, still had a few issues, so yeah I don’t see how that got a standing O. The others were legit enough though.

          • Sexy Bikini says:

            Oh come on! This is not just a singing competition. The winner should possess the package. And amber is it. Her moves are perfect and her songs always suit her. I also like Candice but she looks old, she won’t make it in the mainstream, we need young, current, and vocally great. Only Amber fits well.

        • DonB says:

          Angie was emotional. No one sings or speaks with an unconstricted throat when emotional. Of course she was off a little. It actually sounded better than the upper registers. More real.

        • tewence says:

          i was also bothered by amber’s first ovation. (i wonder if mariah felt as if she SHOULD stand as a “thank you” maybe? even though it wasn’t her song originally). it was interesting, though, that they stood for her, then proceeded to point out the flaws in it. in my book, i’m not standing up for a performance unless it is near perfection in every way…therefore standing-o’s should be rare.

          • Joy says:

            Not only was it not Mariah’s song originally, she apparently doesn’t have any idea who the original artist *was*. Harry Nilsson had a great performance of the song, but sorry, dahling, he wasn’t the author — Tom Evans and Pete Ham were. It’s bizarre to me that a singer could have such a giant hit with a song, and never bother to know who wrote it.

      • TheWiserView says:

        SORRY LADY, STANDING O’S IN THIS SHOW IS LIKE A CENT. IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY VALUE..

    • Danny says:

      @ Dan- I agree w/ the ovations Candice & Angela got. I don’t think Kree deserved her 2nd one or Amber deserved one at the end. There were a lot of them though, so point taken.

      • Rebbew says:

        Kree’s first performance didn’t deserve an ovation either. She has absolutely zero stage presence. She just likes to teeter back and forth with her flash-frozen face. Occasionally, if we are lucky, she’ll wave a hand.

        Yes she can sing so very well. But she isn’t an idol and this should have been picked up on during Hollywood week and either corrected or been sent packing for it.

        Its no mystery that she has been a demo singer forever. Her place is rightfully within a recording booth. No need to put her up on stage.

        • Chrles. says:

          I disagree, IMO Kree did amazing in both performances, they were spot-on and her vocals were perfect. I agree that there were a lot of unecessary Standing Ovations. Probably the only performance that completely deserved it was Candice’s tribute to Whitney’s and Mariah’s song. If not also Kree’s second pergormance.

          Angela was really good, I usually have trouble liking her, but tonight I did recognize that she was good, however not as good to deserve a Standing O. Same goes for Amber! Her “Without You” performance was just bad, it kinda got better at the very end, but the beginning was really rough… Can’t believe that got a S.O. and about her Second performance, it was good, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

          • not says:

            Completely agree with all you said Chrles. I knew we were in for a bad judging night when “Without You” won (obviously pre-scripted) raves.

            I thought we were going to have a better year with these judges than the last team, but they have the same problem: They spend the first half of the season pimping the ones they want to see get through to the final five or so and then they don’t know how to stop and start giving real critiques to the remaining contestants. We get nothing more than “That was beautiful” a la Steven Tyler.

            They clearly have decided that Janelle is the weakest link at this point, and as much as the manipulation irritates, I think they are right, so I won’t weep if she goes next.* But she could be doing better if they’d given her constructive criticism the past few weeks rather than “you’re really great but not quite as great as Kree.”

            * I agree with the speculation that they will have a non-elimination week at some point and my guess is that they will use it to ensure that their picks get through. Thus, if Janelle is 5th this week, they’ll let her go but if not, they’ll put them all through and hope the manipulation is more effective next week.

        • Joy says:

          Ooh, I usually love Kree, and I was so excited when I heard she was doing “She Talks to Angels,” but it was an epic disappointment. For all the talk every week about whether Angie, Amber, etc. are “connecting” to their songs, this was maybe the most emotionally dissonant performance I’ve heard on this show since Tim Urban’s “Under My Thumb.” Where the original is pure heartbreaking grit, Kree smoothed over the rough edges and turned it into a cheerful little romp. After that, I was way too turned off even to care about her admittedly excellent second performance. It’ll never happen, but I almost wish she would land in the bottom two tonight just for the wake-up call…

        • MC says:

          Something like this is very subjective, but ITA with you about Kree. You can see that some people are missing star quality (and probably always will be) even more clearly on The Voice. They recruit “professional” singers, but there are almost always very good reasons why they haven’t already made it big in the business (lack of stage presence, lack of range, lack of originality, etc.). I’m not saying The Voice doesn’t have any good singers, but they have plenty who have reached career plateaus and will simply always be stuck there.

      • G-Mom says:

        I’m afraid I disagree that Amber’s second song didn’t deserve a standing O. She and Candice, to me, have the best voices on the show. Kree just doesn’t do it for me. I know a LOT of people really like her, but I don’t so much (her voice, that is). Of course, “What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life?” is one of my fave songs EVER, so that might make a difference, but Amber sang the heck out of it!! I DO agree that Janelle should be going home. They all are very good, so each week will be painful.

        • Amber4Win says:

          Could’nt agree more. No more country singers please, the workd loves RnB. Only America is obseesed wuth country. Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreerie are enough. We need Amber or Candice in the mainstream and Angie in the Contemporary Gospels. So please stop voting gor country singers, they suck!

        • Mary says:

          Listen to her Itune of this song – perfect. Amber is the total package and she would fit main stream quite nicely. She could go far with the right music and producers, by fear is I don’t know if Jimmy is that person.

    • Bob says:

      I agree re the overuse of the standing ovation. That said, I’d argue that this judges’ panel is the best out of any of the talent panels on tv right now. They seem passionate, caring, and hey – awake! Especially Nicki and Mariah were really with it tonight.

      • MB says:

        On one of the entertainment shows tonight. I think Access Hollywood they were discussing the drop in ratings for AI this year and the rise of The Voice. They quoted Nigel saying that the problem is the judging panel this year. They are all great individually but have no chemistry together. They are like a jigsaw puzzle that hasn’t come together. I laughed to myself and said yeah I guess your manipulation this year has nothing to do with it. I think it is a combination of both.

      • Nephtalia says:

        Yes, Mariah has been great since last week. And, I seriously want that whole panel back. And this time no more micro management Idol. I think now that Idol WGWG has been fixed if next guys top 5 is as good as the women top 5. We would be in for a show next year. Now, I realized that while Mariah does not give input live, she does backstage and I don’t mind that at all. One Nicki is good enough.

    • ejones says:

      Absolutely, for apparently the best top 5 ever it was disappointing, very lazy song choices. Slezak’s grades are too high, and the only performance worthy of anything like an A grade, or standing O, was Amber’s at the end, presumably that’s why they gave her the pimp spot.

  3. Teeny Bikini says:

    For a second, I thought Jimmy was right… Candace and Kree had left the door open for the other girls after the first round. Until I heard Amber. The low notes were sleepy and dreadful. The high notes are labored and pitchy. Is not time to send Amber home yet? Please. Janelle was dreckitude on Ms. Parton’s song as well. It really is a toss up between Amber or Janelle who was more outclassed by the other three singers. Anyway, the BEST part of the show was Nicky saying to Mariah during one of her babblations – “Simmer down, SIR.” SIR?! That is priceless…

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Ohi Andre Leon Talley. Lol, used to love ANTM. I don’t know, is it because last week was so good that this week pales in comparison, but overall I found every performance underwhelming, to say the least.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        LOL. I know. Right, Adam? I kinda thought “ugh” to the whole ballad thang too – after rock week. It makes them sing dated, slow songs – not that that’s automatically boring – but it slows the pace of the show considerably… And as much as I love Candace – and she is my waffle – I really never want to hear a jazz version of Paula Abdul again – like ever. Or Milli Vanilli. Or Vanilla Ice. Just j’no.

    • My Alter Ego says:

      No, Teeny Bikini, it most definitely is NOT time to send Amber home. I’m stunned that someone so young would pull out Barbara Streisand as her “diva” ( I’d actually not thought of Streisand as a “diva”), but then to pull off such an incredibly superb performance of song that’s actually quite technically difficult, well … to say the least, I’ve been aboard the Amber train for awhile. The girl is “hugely” good — she does seem to be lacking in the knowledge of what she should sing.
      **
      Or maybe she does know. Think “My Funny Valentine,” this week’s “What Are You Doing..” But she’s on this show that can’t/won’t allow her to showcase what she does best (anymore than it allows Candice, and probably, most especially Kree) because of the stupid themes.

      Remember, because Jimmy’s trying to promote Amber as the next new (fill in the blank), Amber may sometimes end up doing songs that are probably aren’t best for her, but she’s too inexperienced (and, perhaps, too in awe of all that’s going on around her??) to not know that.

      • marie says:

        Very good take on Amber, My Alter Ego. I see immense potential in that young lady but she is not… QUITE… there yet, especially competing against the likes of Candice and Kree. I ALMOST wish she had waited a couple of years… (While you’re listing her wiser song choices, don’t forget that killer take on She’s Leaving Home.)

        • Mary says:

          Her I tunes are lovely. I agree she isn’t quite there yet, but for me, that is the reason for AI. To find the undiscovered talent and hopefully help them prosper. She is the whole package and with guidance and good songs she can go far. I know she won’t win, but out of all the girls I think she has the most potential.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Mary, while I haven’t heard Amber’s iTunes, but, yes, if AI were truly doing what it should be doing, it would be finding the “Amber Holcomb’s” out there (and Candice Glover’s and Kree Harrison’s and, for that matter, Angie Miller’s) and preparing them for lucrative careers in the music business. Amber’s potential is jaw dropping. (While no longer making music, for years I was involved — not on the level of recording, mind you — or always skirting around it, so I don’t approach this from just a listener’s perspective.) Hopefully, she will get the opportunity to do something about that potential.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          Thanks, Marie, and I agree with you about her “killer take” on “She’s Leaving Home.” I guess I’m uncertain about her choosing it — I recall that there had been another song that she was going to sing, and then there was a “last minute” change for her. I’ve never been clear whether “she” chose “Leaving” or whether she was (ahem) “guided” to it. Either way, she did a beautiful job on it.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I was impressed by the Streisand choice. I am no fan, but you have made a great point, in that, the themes are really not that helpful in showcasing the strengths of some. But I have to say, all of the singers have found a way to shine in spite of them. I cannot say that of Amber for the most part, but I’ll give her props for an attempt at Streisand.

        • TheMusician says:

          I wonder if you Teeny Bikini know what you’re saying. All four judges and Jimmy like Amber. I like Amber and she is highly marketable. Ballads are part of being a diva. Amber likewise showed in the past that she can also pull off fun songs. She is truly current. Your Candice looks old, like a mom in fact and her style is so predictable. I can always hear her runs predictably where she’ll insert them. Who will patronize someone who looks like that? Only you. Poor you, oh yes you alone can buy all her debut albums in the store when it comes out after winning .But Amber’s fans would be huge compared to Candice, making her the real winner.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            Um.. okay. Amber’s mom. Music tastes are individual. I believe having an opinion is still allowed. When is the last time a power ballad diva has consistently been on the charts? The rest of what you said is just speculation [that’s a big word you might want to Google it].

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Hmmm, in another post TheMusician, you responded to someone )who doesn’t like Amber because “her eyes seem dead”), that the individual needed to use her ears not her eyes. But then you make comments about Candice that clearly indicate you’re using more than your ears. Hypocritical, no?

      • lemon says:

        Thank you for giving Amber her due on what is essentially a Candice Fan board.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          lemon, you’re welcome. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a Candice fan, as well. But I’m mature enough to realize that I don’t have to dislike Amber to like Candice, and vice versa.

        • Joy says:

          Thank your girl Amber for finally choosing a song with some subtlety and sophistication that actually gave her something to do with her interpretive gifts. Weren’t you the one insisting that she needed to stick to bland, treacly Whitney Houston material to win votes? Let’s hope last night blows that expectation out of the water!

      • rio says:

        Thevword “diva” was invented for Streisand! Amber sang tgat difficult song well enough, but I hated it when it was current–I don’t think it was ever popular–and I still hate all its nickels and dimes of your life. Overwritten nonsense. None of the girls stood out for me tonight. RANDOM THOUGHT: Have they ever had a country night? Would have been fun to hear Lazaro or Burnell attempt a twang.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          Nonsense — the first use of the word “diva” was in 1883. While you may think Barbra Streisand is ancient, she’s not 130 years old.

          • The Beach says:

            Very true. Until recently, when pop culture claimed the term as its own, a Diva was a female opera singer, usually a larger-than-life and often a “difficult” one…a la Kathleen Battle.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Yup — and thank you!

        • Joy says:

          There used to be country themes pretty regularly, but it’s been a few years — maybe not since Shania Twain night in season 9? I don’t know why that’s fallen by the wayside, and I really wish they’d done one this season, but now we’re down to where the competition is tight enough that I’d rather they avoid themes that might skew the playing field. Maybe next year, though…

      • Name That Tune says:

        I am a huge Streisand fan and that isn’t a song I would place at the top of my list from her catalog. That said, I heard the kind of artist Amber wants to be. It is Natalie. Cole. Not Whitney. Not Mariah. Not Beyonce. Natalie.
        Technically, it was nearly perfect. It lacked some of the connection that Babs brings to a song. Chalk that up to Amber’s inexperience.
        Where she won me over is the amount of risk she took in choosing that song. It’s definitely not current. Her rendition didn’t make it current. And I agree with Mariah I don’t think America will get it. But she should be in the top 4. We’ll see if they give her another chance to get there.

        • My Alter Ego says:

          Wow, NTT, great observation! Natalie is who Amber seems to be channeling. She did take a risk with WAYDTROYL — I hope it doesn’t hurt her.

        • TheMusician says:

          Hey NameThatTune, A perfect song needs not to be made current, or else it will make itself imperfect. Amber just did what is right.

        • Name That Tune says:

          Thinking this over, I’m starting to appreciate why Mariah gets irritated with Nikki.I think Nikki has a limited understanding of great female artisrs. All the references to Whitney and Mariah and Beyonce exposes her lack of knowledge. When Mariah talks, she usually is talking about musicality. I think Mariah has a richer understanding of this and she gets annoyed with Nikki’s over the top babbling. Every now and then there is a point in there but it is mostly superficial nonsense. I rarely hear her say anything about the music she hears. It all boils down to you’re it or you’re not. I like you or I don’t. Not really anything of substance.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Another excellent point, NTT (I hope that you don’t mind the acronym), although I would go so far to say that Nicki has a limited understanding of music — period! And her “superficial babble” generally centers around her (the “waffle analogy” was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard!).

    • tewence says:

      i’ll “second” the appreciate of the talley term. “patently gauche” is gonna hafta make an appearance somewhere haha

    • TheMusician says:

      You are overreacting Ms Teeny Bikini. It was not dreadful. Let me hear you sing then maybe you can say that dreadful to yourself. You speak as if you are the best starmaker in America. Tone down Ms Bikini.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        You do realize this is a discussion board. People have opinions that are different than yours. That’s how it works. I wish Amber could summon the kind of passion in her delivery that you do in yours, then she might actually be interesting.

  4. Nicole says:

    I do not understand your Angie hate. She is definitely my favorite. Her Pretenders song was my fav of the night, and it had nothing to do with sentiment, thanks to my cold black heart.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yup, I have a new respect for Angie tonight. Girlfriend was ON tonight. And gotta give her due for it.

    • Danny says:

      @ Nicole- I thought her Pretenders song was a bit off. Maybe she got choked up in emotion? I dunno. On the other hand, I thought her Beyonce was the best of the season. I mean of all singers, not just Angela’s best.

      • Dan says:

        Say what?

      • Nicole says:

        I think it’s the nature of the top 4 (I’m excluding Janelle) being so comparable in talent. Tonight I didn’t think Kree was as great as the judges did. Not that she was bad, by any means. I thought Candice and Angie were amazing, though. Even though I cannot get completely invested in Amber, I think her voice is beautiful and I don’t even roll my eyes when they call her a young Whitney. They are all so close, which is great. But it makes us armchair judges awfully picky about performances that are all actually better than 90% of what you’d pay to hear at a stadium-style concert today.

      • deedee says:

        Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but I will say that Angie did a very good job on Halo. I think it’s just about the only performance of hers all season that I kind of liked. Maybe it’s because she was focused on singing for a change, rather than trying to dazzle us through the camera with her googly eyes.

      • TheGirlsRock says:

        Watched it several times over because I thought she struggled and clearly she losta little to her emotion as she did when she sang her victory song. She’ll need to learn to control that and I think she will.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Indeed and her Halo was even better! How the heck does she get two of the lowest grades of the night??? How does Amber who was way off with dull off low notes and only partially getting it there the second half get the same as Angie on teh first song?? How does Janelle???
      .
      How the freak does Halo get nearly the worst grade of the entire night?? Seriously what the heck, that was one of THE best of the SEASON! What on Earth???

      • MC says:

        I thought Angie’s Halo was right on the money. I doubt this panel would give Angie credit for a good cover of Beyonce unless it was pretty darn good. I’m splitting my votes between Candice and Angie.

      • The Beach says:

        I thought Angie did really well tonight too on both her songs. I may not be quite as effusive as you about Halo but it was darn good. And you are right: Amber’s first song was rough and Janelle’s was blah.

      • Lucy27Lucy says:

        Angie has had some tough performances, and some brilliant ones – and I thought tonight was one of her best nights all season. Halo was brilliant, I think she nailed it and in her own way too. At first I didn’t like her version of the Pretenders song, but thinking it through I found her to add a lot more edge and angst and tried not to compare it too much to Chrissie Hines, and take it for its own merit – which was very good (not great, but very solid). On that, I think Mariah got it spot on recognizing the Hines had one of the most unique abilities in all female rockers of compassion, sultry singing mixed with a hard, edgy rock vibe (yes, one of the only times I have been able to listen to Mariah’s babbling all year).
        On a side note, is it me or did anyone else get the feeling even with such a strong final 5, I thought Jessica Sanchez vocally would have blown them all off the stage tonight given a Diva theme.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Hslo was reminiscent of that tendency Angie has to over sing and be the drama queen. She’s got an underdeveloped sense of when to pull back. Mind you I think Beyonce has made it her thing to do these Drama Queen songs. And that is obviously the point of the song. I am going to guess that is where Michael is getting at and I agree with him.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I don’t know she pulled back on it a lot. And Michael praised, for instance, Jacob to the heavens. So what’s the double standard?

          • Claudia says:

            No double standard. I wasn’t crazy about Jacob but he was completely engaged with everything he sang. Angie is not. You can see her thinking through every song “I’ll smile here” “I’ll flutter my lashes here” “I’ll look over my shoulder”.

            When this competition started, especially when Angie sang her own song at the piano, I thought she had a solid chance to win it all. Her voice is beautiful & I was behind her. But IMO she is the only one who hasn’t grown at all, in fact she is regressing. I hated “Halo” & if anyone thinks it had any relation at all to what Beyoncé can do, they are thinking with bias.

            Amber gets a lot of praise because while she’s not perfect & has some pitch issues she completely immerses herself in her songs. You can see it in her eyes. She doesn’t look like she’s thinking about what impression she is making on voters. Candice also has this ability. Kree is one of my favs & I do vote for her but I do feel that she holds back & is not as dynamic as she could be.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            I didn’t get as much of that over-thinking sense from her tonight though, especially not on Halo.

          • germ says:

            LOL, Michael most certainly did not praise Jacob to the heavens, LOL! If you watched idoloonies for season 10, and I think you did, you would know that.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            agghh I meant Joshua not Jacob!

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Michael praised Jacob — really? When?

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Perhaps HTGR meant Joshua, not Jacob. But those were two very different singers. Jacob and Angie are affectatious, and it’s obvious to the audience — or some segments of the audience.
            **
            Joshua, on the other hand, tends to lose himself in a song, and what emerges is very genuine, even if not all recognize that.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      I loved both of Angie’s songs, too, and not just because I’m a Massachusetts native. She enunciated a little too much, but I’ve gotten used to that from her. Candice and Kree were at their usual levels of greatness, and Amber certainly stepped it up. I would say Janelle’s going home, but since I read in a press release that they absolutely have to use the Save tomorrow night, I’m not bothering to vote.

      • Danny says:

        @Leah- Heya, hope all your friends & family are safe. Thinking about ya. And w/ that note, back to Idol. I thought she had the best of the year for anyone w/ Halo. I didn’t think I’ll Stand By You was that great though. Still, she moved up from #5 to #2 overall in my book.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Thank you, Danny. Thankfully, nobody close to me was running and my college friends were a good distance away.

      • deedee says:

        Oh really? They HAVE to use the save? What they should do is combine both weeks for votes for the elimination because nobody wants to feel like they just wasted 2 hours of their life voting for nothing.

        • deedee says:

          “both weeks *OF* votes.” … can we please get an edit button??!

          • marie says:

            Oh man, I have been craving an “Edit” button forever here!

          • Nephtalia says:

            I have been saying that since forever, deedee. They did that on DWTS at the beginning of the season. It will make so much sense cause pressing that call button 132 with a baby is not easy…lol. I will be so mad if it did not matter.

        • karenb says:

          Agree. I voted a few times and then stopped because I didn’t want to waste 2 hours.

        • deedee says:

          Do you think they should announce who is the bottom vote-getter tonight, or not reveal it? If they intend to use the judges’ save, but do reveal who would have gone home, then it might affect the voting for next week. My preference is for them not to disclose tonight’s results, so that none of the fan bases are manipulated into either power voting to save their in-danger girl, or get complacent about their safe girls in next week’s round.

          • karenb says:

            Yes, but you know that Idol is Manipulation Central haha.

            Last year when they used the save on Jessica, she went on to the finale. Of course, I’m not sure that I buy that she was in the bottom, But I think it got her fans to vote their heads off for her.

      • Cat Lady says:

        There really isn’t such a thing as too much enunciation. After all the years I’ve listened to people slurring their words on this show, it is WONDERFUL to be able to understand the message that is being sung. That’s the purpose of a song: to convey a message. If no one can understand your words, you may as well not bother singing it at all. Ask any trained singer.

        • deedee says:

          There really is such a thing as too much enunciation. When every letter is crisply enunciated in a song, it makes for a pretty stiff delivery. Sometimes prim and proper diction takes away from the naturalness of the performance. I don’t need to hear every “T” sharply pronounced to get the message of a song.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            deedee, Angela/Angie has had really good musical training and it shows in a number of ways, including her enunciation.
            **
            In the few years (3, I think) that I’ve participated on this blog, I’ve come to realize that there seems to be 2 distinct groups (or, maybe 3 or 4 or 5, but I’m not clear about the “fuzzy” middle). Those two groups are: 1) lay listeners, and by that, I mean those who have been avid listeners since they can remember, but have never actually studied music or been musically involved, or, if so, had only minimal training and/or involvement ; and 2.) those who have had musical training and, perhaps, have pursued music as a career. Those with more training, will, likely enunciate better.
            **
            While the march of poor enunciation has been a slow progression (or, perhaps, not so slow), it seems to indicate the steady downward progression of music, in general.
            **
            But, deedee, and I say this with all respect (because I do have a lot of respect for the comments I usually see from you), you have the choice of racheting up your musical knowledge recognizing that, while you may not appreciate Angie’s enunciation, it’s OK, and, in fact, good.

      • My Alter Ego says:

        LeahKitty, glad to know that you and those close to you weren’t near Ground Zero and are safe.

        Back to AI, ironically, the only thing I like about Angie is her excellent enunciation. Don’t get me wrong — I do recognize her talent. But her affected way of performing and the constant “playing to the camera” is so irritating that it puts me off. And, of course, there’s the fact that I haven’t liked a single song she’s performed (or, maybe, I haven’t liked the way she performed them), so while I suspect that it’s Janelle who got the fewest votes last night, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see Angie leave.

    • marie says:

      Please do not mistake “dislike” for “hate.” “Hate” tends to be as overused here as the standing ovations are on Idol. The fact that someone dislikes a performance does not mean that he or she “hates” the singer. And after all, we are here to voice opinions, not distribute universal gold stars.

      • deedee says:

        Ugh, Marie, nothing bugs me more that people crying “hater” for every little criticism. It’s just so … ok I’ll say it … stupid!

      • My Alter Ego says:

        Actually, I have to agree with all of you marie, Nicole, deedee, and JoMarch. However, Ms. (or should that be Miss?) JoMarch, to suggest that deedee’s comment (or was it Nicole’s) was classless places you squarely in the same category, so why don’t you all shake hands and walk away.

    • Lue says:

      YESSSSS!!!! I don’t know why he just doesn’t like her! I thought she did awesome, and something happened for him to form a bias. It really isn’t fair to her and her amazeballs Beyonce cover.

    • Nephtalia says:

      So I gather today that Micheal do not like Angie. How can Jimmy be prerecorded when he said he agree with Nikki that Amber lower register was off? Nikki was prerecorded too. I never get the love for Candice, but I have to agree her second performance was AMAZING. First time, I really really love her. Kree is my girl, but I have to say Janelle beat her hands down. And, Angie, that’s my Angie. The one that take risks and just surprised me, her #1 fan. I was jumping up and down after that second performance. I know she was good behind the piano. I was waiting for a strong vocal/performance that would validate my love for her and that was it. I have to say this episode was one of the best ever. I watch at least 6 performances 3 times. Both Angie and Janelle performance, Candice second one and Amber second one.

      • ChrisK says:

        I guess, different strokes for different folks, but I thought it was one of the most boring shows ever seen on Idol. Yes, they have great singers on Idol this year, BUT, there are no entertainers. I know his vocals are not anything to write home about, but give me a Phillip Phillips over any of these girls. Janelle is likely the worst vocally, but at least she entertains occasionally. An Adam Lambert or Crystal Bowersox would make the show much more watchable, IMO.

    • sdexta says:

      I also love Angie. I didn’t think her Pretenders performance was as good as it could have been, but I thought she nailed “Halo.” I loved her arrangement, using “pray it won’t fade away” as the punctuating line at the end, which differentiated her version from Beyonce. Like Mariah said, her clarity ws excellent.

    • Lunakit says:

      I do not understand your Angie love. She is definitely not my favorite…. she sounds the same on every single song… just insert different words.

  5. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    FIRST ROUND:
    1st round: gotta say Angie took it
    .
    1. Angie was the only one who really got me excited through and through the first round.
    .
    2. Kree pretty good, maybe the second best overall (depending upon whether you focus on the best parts of the second half of Amber or not). Agree with Nicki that it had been the best of the night to that point, after the first three had gone, but also agree with Mariah about the losing yourself in it thing being needed even more. Pretty good, but as Jimmy said it didn’t quite make you go oh my god or anything.
    .
    3. Amber perhaps. The first half seemed pretty low for her and it wasn’t really working although she brough it the second half (other than a few issues). First half was only okish and at or near the bottom of the first round but the second half was much better and it contained some of the stronger moments of the first round although it had a couple issues but at least it felt like she was there during parts of it.
    .
    4. Candice I guess it was cool and she made it her own and ig you love R&B you might bump it up higher but being more of a pop/rock person re-making 80s pop into the R&B portion of the rap/R&B/grunge in the mid-90s that ended 80s music probably sat less than well inside me somewhere haha. It was very well done, but didn’t wow me as Jimmy said it didn’t really showcase anything to make you go wow and totally bring it. The song was nostalgic but the style made it anti-nostalgic since it was done in the style that temporarily killed off the music of that decade. But if you love R&B you may well have loved it. It was good. If you focus on the weak parts of Amber maybe she could swap down here.
    .
    5. Janelle – it did seem a bit boring and bland and very country country which is not my thing and probably makes me a bit biased. Never heard of song before, zero 80s nostalgic for me, but maybe if you are in the country world you’d have a different opinion. Agreed with Keith that it coulda used more feeling or something and maybe the guitar was not even needed.
    .
    Some good stuff but not a true wow round other than Angie.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Angie nailed it and I am not fan. But the girl sang her butt off tonight. And I love it. This is what I love about a Top 5 that is this good – it’s gonna be a horse race. If someone slacks off, then there is a contender right there to kill it. I likey!

    • Danny says:

      @Hit- Odd how 2 people can have such different opinions eh? You & I generally have pretty similar views on things. This time though, I’ve got it almost in reverse order as you. I think the top 5 overall is pretty close.

  6. Danny says:

    Writing this as I’m watching the show- Most of the stuff is written after they sing (love the pause feature). Then maybe a quip or 2 about the judges.
    I see that Janelle is between Candice & Kree. Saying this before Candice’s song, but I bet C&K get mad props while Janelle gets hammered. I hope I’m wrong.
    Candice- Really nice performance. She deserves the props she got. IMO this is her best of the season. I disagree w/ Jimmy.
    ===============
    Janelle- WOW!! What are people missing in her? I thought this was great. It’s the 2nd time this season she’s got a song I’m going to replay a lot. She’s got the 2 best performances of the year so far IMO. I don’t like Nikki’s look (haven’t heard the judges yet). I’m guessing NM will tell her she blew chunks. YES!!!!! I’m wrong. I’m totally wrong.
    Oh crapola, Keith is dissing her. Ah well, nuts on him. The proverbial “I didn’t feel it.” The defenseless argument. For what it’s worth, I felt it big time.
    =====================
    Kree- I thought she did a real good job too. Not as good as Janelle, but equal to Candice. Now I’m wondering about Keith. He made an excuse for Kree being a touch less than perfect. I get the feeling he wants Janelle gone. And ok, here’s what hurts Kree the most IMO. NM & MC babbling among themselves. Ugggh. If those 2 would have shut up, Kree’s performance was about an 8.5. I know it’s not Kree’s fault, but now it’s like a 6.
    ======================
    Angela- Oh yea, forgot she was from that area. Nice touch on the tip to the tragedy. Her voice seemed to crack. I don’t think she got off to a good start. She picked it up at the end. I see the judges standing. I wonder if they’ll criticize her any. It’s almost like ya can’t critique in a moment like this. I hate to be a grinch, but this was the worst of the 4.
    =================
    Amber- She did a decent, but not great job. I love that she picked a Mariah song. It’ll be interesting to see if NM says it was better than the original. Oh wow, I was wrong about NM again. She gave some props to Mariah.
    Round 1- Janelle-Candice-Kree-Amber-Angela
    =========================================================
    Candice- WOW!! This is a Standing O I feel she deserved. This one seems more real & not so over the top. She was miles better than Amber on a Mariah song. Ugggh. Nikki needs to shut up though. Maybe that’s what’s been brutalizing so many of the performances this year. Candice was A+, the after babbling was brutal.
    =======================
    Janelle- I liked it. I have a hunch a lot won’t. I’m guessing the judges will blast her. Keith will do it in a not so subtle way. That way he’ll be able to tell Kree “this is where you excel over Janelle” She wasn’t as good as her first song or as good as Candice. I felt it was better than Amber & Angela’s first songs though.
    ==================
    Kree- I thought she was ok. I thought she did better on her first song. The judges will like her better than Janelle. I thought she sang a touch better, but I liked Janelle’s performance better. It was more fun. Kree a touch over Janelle, but not by a wide margin. Neither of the 2 were close to Candice this round. Uggh, judges are standing. I don’t feel this warrants a standing O. But hey, if it throws Janelle out of the competition, why not?
    Kree is good, but listening to Keith & NM blow bubbles up her butt is a bit much. They are WAYYYYY overstating how good she is.
    ========================
    Angela- HOLY SMOKES!!! YESSSSSSSSS!!!! Sorry Candice, this is my new best of the night!! WOW!!!
    =======================
    Amber- I thought she did pretty well, but not as good as Angela or Candice. Better than Kree or Janelle though.
    Round 2- Angela-Candice-Amber-Kree-Janelle

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      The thing about Janelle is she is so inconsistent. On one song she is utterly transcendent and then she devolves completely back to banal in the next performance. It is just such a bizarre juxtaposition….

      • The Beach says:

        I took the words right out of Keith’s mouth tonight. As soon as Janelle said she was singing “Dumb Blond” I just said ..why? why? I love Dolly and she has written and recorded so many really good songs that Janelle could have killed, but not this one.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Exactly. Exactly. Dolly Parton is one heck of a writer and has dozens of songs where she could of had a real Idol “moment” – instead she picks dumb blonde. What?!!

          • Mary says:

            I think she picked it because it is different and nobody would know it to compare. Unfortunately it didn’t come off for her but I give her props for trying.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            Ah Mary, always the voice of reason ;) I really do like Janelle – I wish she could make it work for herself, more often than not… Oh well.

          • beth says:

            It was an unfortunate song choice. Especially after her first song… she’s singing and incredibly sad song and in her intro package she says she hopes it makes people stop crying, huh? Then she sings dumb blonde, oh the irony.

    • ETG says:

      Amber’s Streisand cover left everyone else in the dust tonight. Including Angie.

      If there’s any justice in the voters’ fingers, Janelle will go home. She is totally outclassed by the competition.

      • TT says:

        I’ve never been much of an Amber fan but her performance of the fiendishly difficult Streisand song was like buttah.

        • ETG says:

          Yes. It was elegant and effortless. And, despite what others have said, I could understand perfectly every word she sang….

          • lemon says:

            That Streisand song is notoriously difficult, and she pulled it off like she was born to do it.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            ETG, it is because Amber sings so effortlessly, that she captured me several weeks ago! The girl’s got vocal chops up the ying yang! She just needs to learn better performance skills (and to consistently pick good songs for her – although she may have less control over the last part while on AI.)

      • Owen says:

        Like Kree, it was an unexpected choice (raise your hand if you thought she’d be doing a Whitney for her Diva Song). And of all the girls, it was gutsiest choice, a classic standard on a show with a viewing audience that sometimes doesn’t know classic standards (and only vote what they know).

      • deedee says:

        YAY YAY, thank you! Amber’s Streisand song was hands down the best of the night for me. Everything about that performance was beauty, class, and loveliness. I just enjoyed it so so so much.

        Candice’s Mariah/Whitney song comes in second, and then Kree – although Kree didn’t blow me away with either song, but she’s always consistently good so she lands in my top 3 for of her solid performances and gorgeous voice.

    • Sg. Grant says:

      Who the hell is Angela? I guess you mean Angie.

      • The Beach says:

        During the earlier part of the season she was called Angela (I noticed that her father still called her that). I think Nikki was the one who started calling her Angie and it stuck.

  7. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    SECOND ROUND – WOW:
    Now this was a wow round. I mean Candice starts off and you are like damn. She did way better and you were like that is gonna be tough for anyone to think matching. And yet then we get Kree and it’s man that was good and so close to what Candice did! And you are like OK the others really have their work cut out and then you see that Angie has picked Beyonce and you are like man I don’t man damn that’s gonna be tricky and yet whoaaa. I was worried when she picked Beyonce! But damn Angie hit it outta da park with her second song too damn!!!! Man I think she takes the night overall!! And you are like how can Amber be last, even if she is good and they are putting her last to help save her it’s still gotta pale a bit compared to what we have had and then damn if she doesn’t do a great job too! Right up there with Candice and Kree! Janelle had a nice energy and all sadly I have to say she just couldn’t keep up with this insane round. A different song choice might have at least kept her in the realm.

  8. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    SECOND ROUND:
    1. Angie – I was worried when she picked Beyonce! But damn Angie hit it outta da park with her second song too damn!!!! Man I think she takes the night overall!! Beautiful vocal! So delicate! Such pure tones. So much feeling and works in diversity of tone and man she pulls of Beyonce amazingly! THis really, really served her well and shows that she could totally, totally do straight out heavy vocal pop and not need a piano or be pigeonholed off as many posters are trying to do to her. I think she may have actually taken this second round too and that is really saying something when you Candice start it off with something that seemed like it was going to performance of the night and then you had Kree right up there and then Amber too.
    .
    2. Man hard to even say Candice was amazing and you thought she had it and then Kree was fantastic and then at the end damn if Amber didn’t hit out too.
    .
    3. Janelle – sorry to say, it was fun and had engergy and not bad at all bu the others were just so wicked strong this round that it just wasn’t in the same realm.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      The second round was crazy awesome. Now, that’s what I am talking about! Best Top 5-ish ever [even with Janelle.]

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        I can’t fathom how Slezak rated the second round as one of the poorer of the season! And worse than the first round?!! And THE best performance a B-? I just can’t even fathom it. But OK i will shut up about or at least try to.
        .
        Halo was freaking awesome!!!! And damn if Candice and Kree and Amber didn’t bring it the second round too!

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Word. I can’t wait to hear his explanations… and Idology, for that matter.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            I can only hope and image that Melinda will set him straight and that she didn’t eat dinner with him tonight and ingest the same batch of bad mushrooms! He straight up needs some talking to about this week.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            LOL. It’s gonna be good. ;)

          • deedee says:

            I know! Usually I read Slezak’s recaps and nod along, fist pumping and mmm-hmming with almost everything. But this recap is a shocker! I’m like, ‘did Slezak get into a bad bottle of pinot grigio or something?

          • Danny says:

            LOL!! @Hit- Somehow I hope both MS & MD get a chance to read that post. That mushrooms comment was Halo-esque.

          • Lunakit says:

            …and yet I agreed with his recap completely!! I am so pleased that he was not drinking the Angie Kool Aid….

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            LOL. I didn’t know she has Kool Aid ;) I love Kool Aid…

          • Will says:

            His explanation wound up being that he didn’t like that she sang the song from a different point of view and made it a plea rather than a celebration. And that warrants a B- because…I dunno, not appreciating musical artistry I guess?

            I mean, he appreciated the difference between Jordin’s ingenue vs. Haley’s crazed stalker vs. Candice’s mature woman performances of I Who Have Nothing, but when Angie takes the perspective of a song and switches it, apparently that’s just bad interpretation. Slezak’s seriously lacking in consistency on this one. Like a teacher who reads an A-worthy essay but marks it down because he doesn’t agree with the writer’s position.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            I don’t think Melinda will “set him straight” because he’s already there. Angie’s “Christian” meme will drive a good many people away — including me.
            **
            Bleh– I’ve known a great many “sincere” Christians — they don’t push it down people’s throat like Angie (and Colton) do. How silly — and unfortunate.

    • Nephtalia says:

      I love you, HitTheGroundRunning. I hated how the judges wanted to pigeonhole Angie to the piano. And why am I the only one that loved Janelle today. And I understand this was not Kree lane today, but Celine Dion, showed every flaws on her vocals and she did not have the performance factor to cover those flaws. I listened to Celine Dion on repeat all my life so maybe this is why I am so tough on Kree for that song choice. But, like Keith said once, “How do one critique someone that irons everyone shirts?” So Kree will get a pass from me and get 20 of my votes always.

    • My Alter Ego says:

      Angie is nothing but affectation. If you don’t get that, then a major hit by a 2 by 4 on the head won’t phase you either.

  9. Sam says:

    A B- for Halo? Wow, best performance of the night for me.

    • Danny says:

      @Sam- I thought it was the best of the season. Yea, that B is kinda low IMO.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Exactly, not only best of the night but arguably best of the season!
      .
      B- what the….?!?????

    • Nedsdag says:

      Michael is entitled to his own opinion. It’s his column. Nevertheless, I thought Angie tried to hard to reach Candice’s heights and she over sang the last part of the song. I think B+ is more appropriate. I don’t know, but to me Angie comes across as more Miss America than American Idol. All that she is missing is the sash, the tiara, and the bouquet of roses.

  10. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    OVERALL:
    Gotta give it to Angie. She surely took the first round and I think took the second round as well (although Candice and Kree and Amber were fantastic second round too).

    • Bonnie A. says:

      Angie took the night! But no one had a bad performance. Lots of risky song choices, a great Top 5 night!!

      Not sure why our opinions are so different than Michael’s thus week?

      Loved Round Two!!!

  11. What a night.The worst performances of the night were still some of the best of the season. Janelle had arguably the worst night, compared to the rest of the ladies and probably will go home. I think Amber didn’t have as good a night as the judge’s claim she did, but she still did well. Angie stumbled her first performance but rebounded. Candice and Kree just stayed true to their greatness.

  12. Garret says:

    I totally agree with the judges about Amber’s performance of Without You! I kept comparing every line to Mariah’s version (which is absolutely amazing, if you’ve never heard it, check it out) which isn’t fair to Amber but I couldn’t help it. She lacked the power of MC’s version and she couldn’t match the lower register or higher notes. Bad song choice. I didn’t think Angie’s performance of Halo was all that the judges praised for, maybe I’m biased because I hate the original song? Amber is definitely going home tomorrow and then Janelle.

    • deedee says:

      No way is Amber going home after her second performance.

      • tewence says:

        considering the history of AI, it actually wouldn’t be surprising if she did in fact leave…there is always a “shocker” elimination. amber certainly had her best performance last night, but there is still an emotional disconnect somewhere. maybe she does “feel” her songs, but has trouble getting it across (although her second song showed improvement).

        • deedee says:

          That’s true, many have gone home after one of their better nights, so it’s not impossible. As for Amber’s emotional disconnect – I often feel that way with her performances, but last night I thought her connection came through on the second song. Sure, she still has a ways to go to really convey her soul, but for me she pulled it off pretty well last night.

    • not says:

      I agree about Amber’s first performance, but she’s not going home because her second song was great. It’s telling that she admitted she was nervous about singing the first song – she credited that to Mariah’s presence, but I think she was nervous b/c she knew she needed a little luck to pull it off. The second song was a much better choice for her voice even though it was a harder song to sing.

      I also agree re Angie. I don’t get all the Angie-love here. She seemed passable as on all her songs, but I just don’t get any authenticity from her.

  13. Timmah says:

    Welcome to “Everyone Gets a Standing O So We Can Justify the Save Tomorrow” night.

    • Krista says:

      I was thinking they would use the save tomorrow too. But after the judges were so brutal with Janelle’s performances, I get the feeling that they won’t save her.

    • dani n. says:

      LOVED what Candice did w/Straight Up- she improved it by 300%- A. Amber – Streisand song A. Kree- B overall night. Angie underhandedly stole the might-have-been B+. Janelle- B+ for always having a good ole time& a pleasant voice. THOUGH I am loyal to Amber for stealing my heart w/Funny Valentine from the first, mad props to Candice. They have had great Afro American divas and plenty country girl singers o all the seasons of AI. I think they have not had a voice like Kree’s

      • coloredgirl says:

        Afro American? Wtf? And yes my tname was on purpose. Go Candice!

      • Cat Lady says:

        Didn’t like the arrangement of “Straight Up” at all–the energy was sucked right out of it.

        • Joy says:

          Wow, to each their own, I guess — I thought it was magnificent, one of my very favorite performances of the season. She did take the energy down a notch, but doing that let her absolutely caress the melody with her voice… It reminded me of what one of my very favorite jazz singers, Cassandra Wilson, does with the song “Last Train to Clarksville” — also a slowed down version that absolutely savors every note, and turns the song into a showcase for the colors in her voice… At this point, I really desperately hope Candice ends up doing serious jazz music at some point in her career, because I *know* she’d create some of the best music I’ll ever hear.
          .
          That said, even she couldn’t quite rescue “When You Believe,” a song which I truly loathe, mainly for that wimpy-a** chorus that sucks all the drama right out of the pivotal moment of the song. As I recall, the Prince of Egypt producers got flak for the original line “You can make miracles” (because, theologically speaking, “you” don’t make miracles; God does), but they didn’t want to rewrite the line to “God can make miracles” because Heaven forbid they risk sounding too overtly religious *in a song about miracles from a movie based on the Bible*. So instead we get a sweeping musical buildup to focus all our attention in on…a clunky, offend-nobody, passive-voice “There can be miracles” that must have every English teacher in the world weeping and gnashing their teeth. An inspirational ballad written by committee to the specifications of their market research…no thank you.
          .
          But I love you anyway, Candice!

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I wonder why it is OK to suck all the energy out of a song 100% based on 80s pop energy (and maybe it even is) but IT. IS. FORBIDDEN. that Angie dared to change the emotional take on a few bars of Halo (again never mind that given this week the change was for the better anyway). And why it is inventive and creative if anyone else does it, but IT. IS. FORBIDDEN. if Angie does it? It gave me bad flashbacks to Nigel and Haley or even Elise.

    • dani n. says:

      I don’t get it. AMBER stole my heart w/My Funny Valentine. I loved her lower register in that song and her range. It’s a gorgeous song of longing. She needs to find a song that is not only complex but one that Pierce’s your gut. With that said I though she had the capability to handle the lower register in the Neillson song tonight. Don’t know what happened. I will keep voting for her to see if she conjures another such moment as MVF. And yes, I acknowledge the challenge she had with both songs. She did look splendid.

      • Mary says:

        I think the band was to loud and it thru her off. Maybe they need to turn up the mics. I also think she was nervous singing the song if front of Mariah, but that is a risk you take. I agree with Nicki that she was flat in the beginning, but you know what I wasn’t looking for a Mariah cover. I wanted Amber to make it her own.

  14. efe says:

    I usually love Angie. But I gotta say she sucked this wwek. Halo was alright, I guess but I2ll Stand by You was her worst performanc ever. Even worse than Shop Around, imo. I hated they have been sabotaging Janelle these past 2 weeks.

    • efe says:

      Wow my spelling is terrible. But that’s because of the rage.

    • ETG says:

      I’m not sure Angie was any different this week from any other. Still, I don’t care for her voice. She is nowhere near the same league as Candice and Kree.

      • marie says:

        I completely agree.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        nah tonight she came through and proved that she is in fact in the same league after all, this was he best since the hollywood week

        • deedee says:

          Not even a little.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            true, NOT “even a little” because way totally “a LOT” :)

          • My Alter Ego says:

            HTGR, no, Angie’s singing is always “desperate.” While I acknowledge her talent, there is absolutely NOTHING I find likeable about any of her performances. I keep wondering why she’s still there, but then I remember a “not too intelligent” voting block, and it all comes together.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            @My Alter Ego – Wow so what is that supposed to be code for? I think I can make a couple of guesses and I can assure that I am about as far away from either case as you can imagine. If you can’t enjoy any performance from someone because of that well what can I even say.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      This was easily her best week!

  15. Bela says:

    In order for the rest of the season to stay on schedule, they kind of have to use the save this week, don’t they? So tomorrow will probably be a useless results show where they rave about how amazing the Top 5 is and say they want to give everyone another chance.

  16. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    WTHHH?!??? is up with Slezak’s grades?!!! I’ve never, ever, ever, ever had such a radically different set of opinions from him!
    .
    What the heck did he do to Angie’s grades in particular?!!? She had her best night ever and easily took the first round and easily arguably took the second round!
    .
    Halo was one of the best of the season without question??
    .
    I’m stunned beyond words at almost all of his grades for this night. I usualyl largely agree with him, but this is nuts!
    .
    How on earth did he rank the overall so-so first round higher than the stunning second round??
    .
    How did he rank Janelle’s boring bland first bit the same as Angie’s, the only one with any true life the entire first round?
    .
    How does the best song of the entire night, Halo, get one of the lowest ratings??! A B feaking minus???? What the what the what?
    .
    I was so utterly sure I’d see four As for the last round including A+ for Angie, I’m stunned beyond belief!
    .
    Is it April 1st???

    • Nicole says:

      Love Slezak, but he does NOT like Angie. It’s human nature, but it influences his grading system. Sorry, Michael! :(

      • ETG says:

        Huh??? EVERYONE has their personal likes and dislikes. Even you. The fact that you like someone and Slezak doesn’t, does not make your opinion more valid than his.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          True, but even if someone isn’t quite your thing you gotta at least give them props when they knock it out! EVen if you hate her and hate pop and all that hwo can you give Halo nearly the worst of the night?????

          • Owen says:

            THIS. Slezak rarely pops for a singer he’s already decided he doesn’t like. Sometimes he makes a big deal about not liking a performance of a singer (usually a woman) he DOES like as to call attention to his supposed unbiased grades “See! See! I can give Haley Rhineheart a bad mark. See!” But he rarely changes his mind or is even fair to someone he has declared unworthy. Slezak’s the worst.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            For instance part of me deep inside didn’t like Straight Up being taken all R&B, and I know Slezak loved that and it seems ETG loves that style and loved it, but that said, all the same, no way I’d give Candice only a B- for Straight Up. I know it was better than that and it was inventive in the re-mix.

          • MC says:

            @Owen – See Katie Stevens in season nine for another example. Check her out on YouTube for some really great recent covers.

          • Johnny says:

            “Haley Rhineheart” sounds like a stripper name.

          • holt says:

            Oh puh-leeze, she did not “knock it out”, not remotely. You’re the one who’s letting their bias cloud their judgement.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            I haven’t raved about her every week.

        • Nicole says:

          Well, yes and no. There are subjective preferences, and objective observations. Something can just not be ‘your cup of tea’ in terms of style, but if it’s executed with technical skill, that should be considered. I call bias, because Michael was able to separate the two with Devon and Burnell, but not so much with Angie. And seriously, that doesn’t even irritate me – I’m just pointing it out. I’m the first person to say, “Meh, I just don’t like their face” or something equally offensive. (Speaking in terms of celebrities, not people I actually know IRL, lol.)

    • I agree, though for much of the season my grades have been way off from Michael’s. He loves Candice a lot more than I do. I do like Candice, and think she can be spectacular at times, but hers is the only album of the ladies I would probably not buy. Personal taste, I guess. I actually think Janelle is the weakest pure singer, but oddly I’ve bought more of her singles off iTunes than the rest of the ladies combined.

      As for tonight, loved Candice on “Straight Up”, but Amber and Angie rocked the house.

  17. Zach says:

    B+ for Candice’s Whitney/Mariah cover? MICHAEL, ARE YOU ON CRACK? IT WAS THE BEST VOCAL OF THE NIGHT BAR NONE.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Sadly I think someone did slip some crack into his dinner. Candice was awesome, Kree was awesome second round and neither gets into the A’s???? And don’t even get me started on the Angie grade.

  18. Kayk says:

    Amber’s timeless Barbra Streisand song was my favorite of the night!

    And on a VERY unrelated note, it actually takes the 4 judges twice as long (12 or 13 seconds) to walk to their marks at the front of the stage than it takes Ryan to walk down the stairs (6 seconds). Randy and Keith often appear to be holding Nicki’s and Mariah’s hands as they walk primarily so that the ladies don’t trip or topple over on their ginormous heels. It makes for a slow beginning watching them creep over to their spots! Has anyone else noticed this?

  19. Julie Taylor says:

    I was pretty much bored the entire night unless I was replaying Nicki’s argument with Mr. Carey. None were bad, but I wasn’t inspired by any of them.

  20. Dan says:

    Michael, you talk about Jimmy playing favorites and Judges playing favorites, but you have had it in for Angie since Day 1. She was Top 2 tonight, own up to it.

  21. Davey says:

    I really can’t stand Angie. There is nothing genuine about her. I liked the second performances by Candice, Amber and Kree the best. I never thought I would hear a Michel Legrand song on Idol so Amber is getting all my votes tonight.

  22. Cat Lady says:

    Angie was the best of the night–what are you watching, Mr. Slezak? “Halo” was easily the best performance of the evening, followed by “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life”. But everyone was vocally excellent, except for Janelle, who I am sure will be the one leaving us tomorrow night. Sorry to see any of them go, but one has to–unless they have a non-elimination week to fill out the scheduled number of shows. We’ll see.

  23. Ciara says:

    I am so tired of the vacant looks on both Kree and Angie’s faces. They both seems to be on auto-pilot. To me anyway.

    • Cat Lady says:

      Amber is the one who seems like a robot to me. Her vocals on “What Are You Doing” were flawless and effortless, but she seemed to have no connection to the words she was singing.

    • Nicole says:

      Totally agree on Kree, disagree on Angie.

      • ETG says:

        Disagree on both Kree and Angie

      • Alex says:

        Everyone seems to give so much praise to Kree. Can she sing? Absolutely, but I am a bit surprised that Keith doesn’t go after her more about connecting with a song. Kree’s face is lifeless on the stage. The judges talk about things being effortless for Kree, but that doesn’t make for an engaging performance. A liken it to watching Pete Samprass play tennis compared to Andre Agassi. Pete was an amazing tennis player, but I found myself chearing for Agassi every time I saw the 2 compete in a tennis match. If Kree is Samprass, I would liken Candice/Angie/Amber to Agassi.

  24. Miranda says:

    Usually I agree with you but lately your Angie hate has been weird and unfounded. Her first song tonight wasn’t great but Halo was the best of the night!! My mom and I were sitting there in awe of how amazing she was on that song. I’m trying to understand what you dislike about her so much that it makes you quite biased against her.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Exactly and even if you hate her and her style and the song I mean a B-?? Point out a missed note! Point out a bum or unpleasant tone? Point out a mistake? And that is a mad tough song! And she did all sorts of different things with it. Even if you hate her, teh song, teh style, there is no way it can possibly get a B-. He has given off pitch half-train wrecks B- at times!

      • JT says:

        would you calm down, it’s not like he gave her an F. I didn’t personally think Halo was that great either – I thought it was pretty unoriginal (she did it almost exactly like Beyonce) and kind of screamy at the end.

      • holt says:

        um, there were some sounds she made that had me cringing! It wasn’t some perfect masterpiece like you’re trying so hard to make it out to be. You obviously think Angie hung the moon, but I def don’t think she’s all that.

    • deedee says:

      It’s not bias, it’s preference. He doesn’t like her, so what? I don’t like her either and I’m not “biased” against her, I just don’t find her singing pleasant or authentic, or compelling, or interesting.

      • holt says:

        ^^THIS^^

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          When someone gives arguably among the best of the night and gets nearly the lowest scores of anyone I think that is a little bias entering in. Maybe it’s not your thing but at least give a LITTLE credit.

  25. Pat says:

    Amber “Mushmouth” Holcolmb has the worst diction I’ve heard from a singer in a long, long time. I couldn’t understand 50% of her lyrics in her second performance.

    Janelle’s the weakest singer though.

  26. Shaun says:

    Who hates Angela?Yup,it’s Michael Slezak.She had great emotion in her songs and pretty great vocals.

    • ETG says:

      I don’t think Slezak hates anyone. He just doesn’t care for Angie, and neither do I. Her voice has all the warmth of a head of iceberg lettuce.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        Her tones were soft and delicate and beautiful tonight not even a hint of what some people don’t like about her tonight! You gotta get new speakers or headphones or something. Get some Sennheiser HD600/650 and a nice head phone amp and tell me her voice had zero warmth tonight.

        • ETG says:

          No headphones or speakers can insert the harmonics that her voice lacks. For me, listening to her is nearly as painful as the old fingernails on chalkboard trick.

          • marie says:

            Yes, that’s part of it. Thanks for helping me put my finger on it: no harmonics, just flat and colorless.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Actually speakers/headhones can put in or mask various harmonics.
            .
            And if you said it was painful or like fingers on a chalkboard then your speakers/headphones/amp are 100% absolutely putting in some nasty false resonances and harmonic distortion. It’s one thing to even say you thought it sounded plain but painful and chalkboard harmonics tonight? Something is wrong with your equipment then.
            .
            And speaking of distinctive timbres since when does your favorite (and she is really good, in my top two) Candice have interesting timbre? One thing her voice lacks is something distinctive. On some nights her voice has been warmer than Angie’s overall but Angie’s voice had no hint of harsh or cold tonight at all.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            (and I say that abotu Candice being really good and in my top two even though R&B styling really isn’t even my thing)

    • deedee says:

      He doesn’t “HATE” her, jeez. So when someone’s taste is different than yours they’re automatically “haters”? Good grief.

      • Shaun says:

        when he basically scores her at bottom in both rounds then yes.Candace and Kree were not so good in the first round.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          As far as I can tell he downgraded Angie like 1.5 grades just for doing one transition with what he decided was the wrong emotion that somehow altered the emotions of the song in some forbidden way and yet Candice altered every last emotion in Straight Up and that was pure praise. Even though I didn’t entirely go for the new spin Straight Up at all I still can give it credit so why does he tear a complex and perhaps even brilliant Halo to shreds over basically nothing???

  27. Marlex says:

    1. Candice: She had the two best combined performances. Round 1 was great and Round 2 was superb. She is really, really good and should be in the final two.
    2. Kree: This is mostly based on Round 2, in which I thought she killed that Celine song. I though vocally she was great in Round 1, but her facial expressions did not match the song.
    3. Angie: I loved her Beyonce cover and I liked her Pretenders cover as well. I loved that she finally got some praise from the judges when she wasn’t behind the piano. I’m not going to hold Jimmy’s inane comments about Candice and Kree against her like Michael seems to be doing.
    4. Amber: I thought her Streisand cover was the one of the best songs of the night. Wow, and I’m not even a Streisand fan. Hands down her best performance in weeks, if not the season. Her first song wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. The production team didn’t help with that godawful background that had me thinking dirty things.
    5. Janelle: I appreciate she did the night’s only uptempo song with her Dolly cover, but to channel my inner Simon, that song just didn’t have the power to be considered a Top 5 performance week song. I thought she did the first song well, although I’m not a country fan and when she does straight country like that, I really can’t follow her there.

  28. Karrah says:

    I’m turned off by Amber at this point but I think it might just be because she was mean to Slezak. Ready for a Kree/Candice finale!

    • jaime says:

      Amber was mean to slezak??

      • Karrah says:

        She replied to him on Twitter when he said something negative about her outfit. I think she said, “I love all the outfits I’ve worn on the show! Who are you agin? Exactly.” Michael brushed it off obviously but I gotta sick up for my favorite idoloonie!

  29. jen says:

    Slezak -you better call Kree out on her cluelessness of what She Talks to Angels is all about. Smiling during that song is just wrong.

    • Marlex says:

      I like Kree, but I have to agree totally. I couldn’t believe nobody at least mentioned it.

    • NJ idoloonie says:

      Agreed! The song is about a troubled girl, not about angels. This isnt a song meant to be sung prettily – its datk. Kree is too shy. She is not, unfortunately, dynamic. That is what is missing. I don’t think she reallly wants to win, tho i wouldnt mind seeing her in the finale.

  30. Danny says:

    I know a lot of people don’t think much of Janelle. I had her #1 coming into the week
    Before this week I had it Janelle/Candice/Kree/Amber/Angela.
    After today I have it Candice/Angela/Janelle/Kree/Amber.
    I just don’t see the big gap. A great song or a snoozer can move ya quite a ways in either direction. I think it should be a real close top 5 w/ no real frontrunner, but no one lagging far behind either.

  31. John says:

    Angie did the same over-enunciation tonight that she’s been criticized for in the past, but the judges gave her a big ol’ pass because of the Boston shout out. Bah.

  32. Leticia Prado says:

    I just wonder…. If Lazaro was not sent home last week, would they still have had diva’s night?

  33. I agree with the others who are wondering where your continual bias against Angie is coming from? She is absolutely incredible! I loved her version of “Halo” especially. And Candice’s version of “When You Believe” was my other favorite of the night! I love Kree’s voice, but her song choices bore me. Those three have a battle for the title!

    • marie says:

      It’s not a “bias” just because you don’t agree with him, it’s his opinion, and he writes the column to express his opinions. And it’s not “hate,” either, so don’t even start with that. If you don’t like something, do you consider that you have a “bias” against it or that you “hate” it, or do you think you simply don’t like it?
      It happens that I don’t care for Angie’s singing, either, but it’s not because I’m “biased” against her, and I certainly don’t HATE her: how could I, I don’t even know her!

      • ETG says:

        Good point, Marie. The word “hate” is SO over-used in our society!!

      • Nicole says:

        But you are biased — you just said so. “I don’t like Angie’s singing.” So if you enter every week with that preconceived notion in your head, you are exhibiting bias (As, honestly, we all do). I don’t think that really matters, it’s part of the reality tv viewing experience, and human nature. But it’s also okay for others to point out, at least in Michael’s case, considering his job and the forum.

        • holt says:

          I could say you’re biased for liking Angie’s singing. but I won’t. cuz that would be as silly as what you just said.

          • Sean says:

            Here’s the difference…you are commenting on a blog whereas he writes a blog about AI…so while you are entitled to your opinion (as is he), he should try to at least not let his bias not shine through so much or he loses his credibility.

          • holt says:

            You like Angie, you think Michael is being biased.
            I don’t like Angie, I think Michael is being objective.
            LOL!

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            I didn’t really care for Scotty, he was boring and terribly limited IMO, but he had nice tone and hit his notes and didn’t have messes. I didn’t dump him at the bottom of the pack if he handled the song fine, which he almost always did.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        There are some folks on this message board that need to break out their Funk and Wagnall and look up some definitions.
        Anyone these days that voices an opinion, or even states a fact, is a “hater” (and I DO hate that word) – or a racist of some sort.
        cassidyrobinson – please look up the definition of “bias”.

        • Bias (Noun)- Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

          I would say that’s about right. Slezak is biased against Angie. Personally, I think it has more to do with her outspoken Christian beliefs than her singing.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Bias suggests that you are predisposed not to like some one based on an irrational emotional stance. I don’t get that from Michael. He has loved some of Angie’s performances. Ones that left me cold.
            OTH, has given Candice some lower grades on performances that I loved.He was a much bigger Haley supporter than I ever was. When his opinion is different than mine, I don’t jump to the conclusion that he is a hater or he is biased. As mature adults, we are allowed to have a difference of opinions. This is after all a TV show. It isn’t that important.
            And I am hoping that some of you aren’t like those irrational Tim Tebow I fans.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            Don’t forget that Tebow also had a ton of haters solely because of that too. Is that any more rational?

    • deedee says:

      So, if you loved her version of Halo then everybody must also love it or else we’re “biased”? The word “bias” has lost all meaning.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        No you don’t have to be all crazy about it, but come on giving it nearly tied for the worst of the night and in line with many performances that have had all sorts of major flaws or every sort that have gotten B- other times?? I don’t care for country country so much but when Janelle did a few cool things some of those weeks I was still able to bring myself to give her a lot better than B-, heck I think I even called one tied for best once. I mean everyone will have some biases and it’s hard to ever get around them all or even recognize them all, but you can at least try a little bit.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        I don’t even care for Streisand much at all, but I can still say that Amber was awesome on that last song.

  34. Miscellaneopolan says:

    My favorite song of the night was Candice’s first choice: inventive, jazzy, vocally perfect (of course), and full of attitude. There were a lot of good performances tonight, but that one stuck out as fun and different. I couldn’t disagree more with Jimmy that Candice needs to do something rangey to make an impact, especially when everyone else is doing exactly that.

    • marie says:

      You hit it right on the head, Miscellaneopolan. Jimmy must have had rocks in his ears; that was a very fresh, jazzy take on that song. Rather than the song keeping Candice down as he suggested, Candice actually managed to elevate the song! (That’s two showstopper performances on Idol to date of a song that was no more than mediocre pop in its Paula Abdul original recording. Interesting. I can’t wait to buy Candice’s recording!)

      • deedee says:

        Disagree. I love the original Paula Abdul version. Candice did a great job, of course, but I found myself getting bored of it midway. It was lacking some dynamics for my taste. Her second song was killer, though! The song itself is a bit of groaner, but Candice somehow managed to elevate that one for me.

      • Sexy Bikini says:

        Disagree too! Candice made it diffrent, it wont sell that way. Contestants must stick with the original melody/arrangements, just sing it with your voice. This is a singing competition not an rearrange the song contest..

    • not says:

      I agree. Nicki would beat me up for this but I actually dislike the original Paula Abdul song and groaned when the song was announced but I loved this.

  35. karenb says:

    I thought it was very refreshing to have Amber do a Striesand song. All of those other divas are soooo over done on Idol. Amber nailed it too. Great performance.

  36. Connor says:

    I thought Angie was #1 tonight and she had a lot if bright moments but no one is going home.

  37. MB says:

    They all did well but I totally disagree with Michael on his low grades for Angie. She by far won the night. I liked Amber’s second song and Candice’s second song also. I was totally not impressed by Kree tonight. She was good but for some reason I forget her performances as soon as they are done. I really love her too but she is just always the same to me. She never seems to have a moment.

  38. Robin says:

    To answer Michael’s questions-as far as the night goes…I loved the song choices for the first round better than the 2nd round…I must not be a Diva! Standing ovations are overrated and they have been for many seasons. My favorites for the night are in a three way tie…Candice, Kree and Angie. 1st round ranking…Candice, Kree, Janelle, Angie and Amber. 2nd round…Angie, Amber, Kree, Candice and Janelle. Angie would have been on top for the night for me but her Pretenders song fell a little flat for me…hard to equal emotion singing a song when you compare it to the great Chrissy Hines from the Pretenders…but it was good and such a terrible thing for the city of Boston and that amazing race. I think Janelle is in trouble. I really think Janelle could have hit it out of the park with a better Dolly song choice. My mind is taking me back to season 7 when David Cook sang Little Sparrow…omg that was my favorite of the week and one of his best that season as far as originality. Was it obvious that TPTB want Janelle gone…only yes because of the over praise that is given to Amber…she is NOT Whitney, nor Rhianna and Beyonce.

  39. mamamitzvah says:

    bs’d
    Amber and Janelle bored me. I am in America so it’s kind of fun being able to listen realtime and vote. I am voting for Candice and Kree.

    • Sexy Bikini says:

      Amber bored you? You are insane, obviously you are not into music. Keep yourself in the kitchen and cook, don’t engage in musicians talking!

  40. marie says:

    I’ll keep it simple for now: I agree with Slezak that the three best performances of the night were the three he graded A- above. Brava, Candice, Kree, and Amber. Candice, I can’t wait to buy your album. I hope no idiot producer mutes your jazz or buries your glorious voice in a substandard pop crap mix.

  41. dj says:

    Watching tonight, I wondered who Lazaro was referring to when he said one of the remaining contestants thought she was in the hunger games rather than American Idol. I decided it was Angie. I thought everyone was pretty good tonight. My favorite performances were Candice’s version of “Straight Up” and Amber’s version of “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life.” I wish Janelle would have picked a different Dolly Parton song, because that one didn’t really go anywhere vocally. I do have to give her props for not doing the done-to-death ones like “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You,” though.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      DJ, I agree with this entire post.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Well better someone treats it like the Hunger Games than doesn’t bother to learn half their songs no? (I had given him a break on that before, I know it is tricky under the time constraights, pressure, etc. but now he makes it sound like maybe he just didn’t care enough)

      • Cathy says:

        He didn’t have to care or have a need to learn the songs. He was getting the sympathy votes from some and the Latino votes for the rest. The judges passed on some good Latino singers so the lackluster talent this year is their fault.

        • Joy says:

          If Lazaro was counting on the Latino community to rally around him, he was definitely overconfident, considering that he was up against another guy who actually used Spanish in his performances, sang a Latin music standard, and referenced his heritage in interview segments as more than just an excuse for not knowing any American music. And even if Lazaro was just hoping to be a second choice for Devin’s Latino supporters, the fact that Devin went home so early should have warned Lazaro that it wasn’t all that large a voting bloc.
          .
          However, I expect Lazaro did know he had a lock on the teenybopper vote — I made the mistake of following the Idol hashtag on Twitter during the top 7 (I think) results show, and it was flooded with girls angsting over his fate…but if Lazaro knew his history, he should also have known that the cute-boy teen magnets never make it that far if they can’t also deliver *something* musically (see Tim Urban, Sanjaya Malakar, etc…), so slacking off on the performance front, if that’s what he was doing, was still a pretty foolish move — and talking smack about someone who was actually trying to perform well just comes across as a weak post hoc attempt to valorize his own lack of comparable effort.

    • MB says:

      You know everyone is saying it is Angie bit I think it could be Candice. She and Burnell tried to play that cruel joke on him that the house was on fire and Burnell clearly does not like Lazaro. Plus she came across not as lovable in the idol package. She rooms by herself and prefers it that way. Plus Angie covered for Lazaro when they did the duet. She could have thrown him under the bus but she didn’t. I wouldn’t be so fast to listen to Lazaro anyway, he is always trying to blame someone else for his short comings. It sucked that he even said anything anyway. Shows his lack of class.

      • dj says:

        You could be right.

        • LeahKittyS says:

          Nah, I don’t think it’s Candice. Someone tweeted her the link to the story on MJ’s Big Blog, suggesting it might be about her, and she replied “lol I bet it’s not.” I think she knows who he was referring to, or that he made it up. But if it’s true, I bet he’s talking about Angie. Amber is his best friend and Janelle and Kree are way too low-key. I’m from Angie’s neck of the woods; we Northern ladies can be rough and tough and downright mean sometimes.

          • Adam Fachry says:

            The fact that he still tries to make himself relevant even after he was eliminated bothers me. Keep your mouth shut or your hands glued to your pocket (so he doesn’t have the chance to tweet), Lazaro.

    • Timmah says:

      Lazaro, the gift that keeps on giving.

  42. debbie says:

    I don’t know why you keep downgrading Angie. She did a great job on both songs and has more stage presence and personality than anyone else out there tonight. I’ll be voting for her for sure.

    • ETG says:

      She did OK. I highly disagree about the stage presence and personality, though. She has more than Kree, maybe more than Amber, but not nearly as much as Candice or Janelle. Vocally, I would put her in a third-place tie with Amber at this point.

    • TheWiserView says:

      THE PROBLEM WITH ANGIE IS THE TONE OF HER VOICE WHICH CAN BE HARD ON EARS DURING CONCERTS WHEN SHE REACHES THE HIGH NOTES. IMAGINE ON HER THIRD SONG AND SHE STILL BELTS, IT WOULD BE PAINFUL TO THE EARS OF THE AUDIENCE. AND SHE CANNOT AVOID THAT BECAUSE THAT IS HER POWER, SHE SOUNDS ORDINARY WHEN SINGING IN THE LOWER RANGE, BECAUSE SHE DOES NOT HAVE THE SUPER SKILLS OF RUNS AND RIFFS. I PREFER HER IN THE CHRISTIAN MUSIC ARENA.

  43. Evan says:

    Wow- I think Slezak seriously underrated that “Halo” performance. I’d be very curious to hear what he was thinking on that one. I’d say the same to a lesser extent for “I’ll Stand By You,” which I’d put in B country.

    Otherwise, I pretty much agree.

  44. Sue says:

    I was worried that Jolene was going to hit the Idol stage again too. So glad it didn’t.

  45. MasiV says:

    I am just gonna put it out there that I thought Miller was perfection tonight, and if Candice and Kree were in a different league altogether last week, its officially a trifecta now.

  46. Watherly says:

    I thought it was mostly a boring night. Really silly song choices — purposefully chosen for pretense. I guess this is what you get when you start off with what we started off with.

  47. marie says:

    Going to be an exciting race to the finish this year. Every time I think I know who has it in the bag, someone sings something that changes my mind. (And as a bonus, we don’t even have to endure Lazaro stinking up the stage any longer.) I’m enjoying this immensely!

  48. MyTake says:

    I finally figured out what it is about Kree that bugs me. No question she can sing but I’ve always felt a little distanced from her singing like there was no emotional connection. But tonight it finally hit me what the problem is. I think she’s been botoxed to death. Her eyebrows and forehead don’t move a millimetre and it’s hard to show emotion when your face doesn’t move. Re-watch her performances and tell me i’m crazy.

  49. Jess says:

    Amber’s performance of “Without You” showed how great Mariah is because no one has the richness in the lower register that Mariah shows in that song, especially when contrasted with the belting she does.

  50. sdexta says:

    My favorites of the night were “When You Believe”, “Halo”, and “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” Candice is always undeniable, and tonight Angela showed how strong of a singer she really is and Amber brought back the jazzy quality of her voice that was first present in “My Funny Valentine.”

    • Sexy Bikini says:

      Don’t agree with the song When you Believe. It paled compared to the original. Sorry..

      • TheWiserView says:

        I AGREE, THE ORIGINAL VERSION IS SO GOOD. CANDICE VERSION IS SO EASY, I CAN ALSO SING IT THE WAY SHE DID. SHE DID NOT DESERVE THE STANDING O.

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