American Idol Top 4 Results Recap: Sealed With a Twist [Updated]

American-Idol-Top-4-Results-Amber-HolcombRyan Seacrest kicked off Top 4 results night on Season 12 of American Idol with a speech that — depending on your outlook in life, or at least reality television — sounded either incredibly hopeful or deeply ominous: “I will announce some shocking news that will affect the judges and turn the competition upside down. It’s gonna be another serious night of drama.”

Ryan, who’s hummed along this season as quietly and efficiently — and with as little fanfare — as a high-end refrigerator, had already hinted at a “surprise twist” in the Idol proceedings at the end of Wednesday’s Top 4 performance show. And, of course, with TVLine breaking the news on Tuesday that the Judges’ Save had expired — and the knowledge among Idol watchers that at its current pace, Season 12 was on target to end a week short of the scheduled May 16 finale — all signs pointed to a non-elimination week, with the next ouster slated for May 2 and based on two weeks of voting tallies.

RELATED | American Idol Top 4 Performance Night Recap: I Don’t Think That I Can Take It 

But if that was the case, how come Ryan was talking about the implications for the judges’ panel? Did executive producer Nigel Lytgoe have some nefarious card up his sleeve? Would RuPaul emerge from that trademark seam in the backdrop and demand that Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey “lipsync for their lives” — with the loser being asked to “sashay away” from the proceedings? Was a quartet of semi-good-looking, semi-talented white guys about to storm the stage and engage in individual sing-offs against Angie, Candice, Kree and Amber, the better to placate hormonal teenagers whose texting fingers have gone idle since the elimination of Elijah Liu back in Vegas? Or maybe there was just a simple plan to present Randy Jackson with the thesaurus that Santa never ever seems to bring him — despite it being No. 1 on the Christmas list of every Idoloonie of every religious denomination for the last 11 years.

VIDEO | Idol‘s Lazaro Arbos on Sassing the Judges, Smuggled Whitney CDs, and ‘Courage’ Critiques! Plus: ‘No Way 5 Guys Could’ve Left in a Row’

After performances by Season 10 grad Stefano Langone (charmingly cheesy as ever) and Season 9 champ Lee DeWyze (freed from the 19 Machine and able to actually release a catchy, self-penned tune!), it was time for the results:

Angie Miller
Kree Harrison

Amber Holcomb
Candice Glover

“And the person who could be at risk tonight is…no one!” said Ryan, revealing that indeed, the schedule demanded a non-elimination week, and that Wednesday’s 38 million votes will be added to next week’s numbers.

Before I turn things over to you, a few additional thoughts:

* Please tell me I’m not the only one who was moved to tears when that cute little boy at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles grabbed the mic from Candice and joined the Top 4 on “Just the Way You Are.”

* The group rendition of “Girl on Fire” was — dare I say it — one of the least atrocious group numbers in Idol history. Despite an outfit that was lacking in both sophistication and fabric, Amber sounded particularly potent on the Alicia Keys track though (brace for Slezak Conspiracy Theory No. 477) I swear something weird was happening with the volume on Candice’s mic. Weigh in below if you caught that, too.

* I could make fun of the Ford Fiesta “Cloning Ryan Seacrest” spot, but let’s just be glad it didn’t end with the Idol host/E! reality series producer multiplying his stable of a Kardashians, yes?

* Amber may have “won” the “5 things in 20 seconds” battle by managing to fit in six fun factoids about herself in the allotted time, but it was Kree who won the war with her charmingly self-deprecating “I suck!”

* How could Jimmy note vocal strain from Amber’s “Power of Love” on Wednesday, then assign it an A+ on Thursday? That said, I don’t think it was fair of him to tell the audience she didn’t know the meaning of “MacArthur Park.” I needed Alicia Florrick to stand up and shout, “Objection: Hearsay!” Srsly, if it wasn’t captured on camera, then did it actually happen in the Idolverse? I say “no.”

* Jimmy’s evisceration of Kree’s choice of “Whiter Shade of Pale” made me want to dial 1-800-Trying-Too-Hard.

* I had to roll my eyes when Stefano went on and on about ladies to his left (the Top 4) and ladies to his front (Nicki and Mariah) before singing “Yes to Love,” but he plays his Mack Daddy Jr. role with such goofy obliviousness that I find it hard to root against him. Still, as far as dude’s singles go, I preferred “I’m on a Roll.” (Woo hoo hoo hoo.)

* Interesting to hear Jimmy reconfirm his belieft in Candice — and then publicly ask for her to “speak less” and save her voice for these next few weeks of competition. Do we trust Old Man Bieber? I’m not sure. But I’m 10 percent less angry about the judges’ ghastly treatment of Ms. Glover on Wednesday after they brought out her idol Drake to thank her for covering one of his tunes. Bonus points for the way Kree, Angie and Amber went berserk with excitement over seeing their competitor’s dream come true. I buy that these gals really do dig one another.

* Lee’s “Silver Lining” sounded very au courant, no? It was like if Mumford and Sons’ “The Cave” made a baby with Phillip Phillips’ “Home,” and then that baby grew up and became a motivational speaker. I know I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Season 9 champ — or his win over Crystal Bowersox — but it’s always nice to see any artist reclaim their artistry after getting steamrolled by the major-label conformity monster.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 4 Results (Part 1)? Did you see the “twist” coming from 10 miles away? What did you think of Jimmy’s comments? How about the Candice-Drake moment? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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

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  1. jan says:

    As far as Amber is concerned, I could take her or leave her. However, when she was visiting the Children’s Hospital w/Kree, and she referred to the both of them being there as “me and her went to visit,” that was it. Couldn’t someone tell her to sound just a little less ignorant?

    • Eric says:

      Ok, how is saying “me and her” ignorant? It’s true they went to the hospital together to see the kids. Stop nitpicking so much, like Kree really cares about your feelings towards grammar.

    • Roxann says:

      Unless you have been on stage,been interviewed stop putting others down , you might have graduated Suma Cu laude from the best university in the country but just get on stage in front of MILLIONS of people and you just might mess up a little or maybe you would be “Perfect”
      this girl or who ever wins will be coached,and taught how to speak and answer interviewers questions and given a singing contract, all 4 ladies sing well but Candice and Amber have better singing ….Voices (in my opinion)

    • tonya says:

      You are a true hater man like I said before. this is obviously competition to all her haters. like They say if no one talks about you there not worried.So she is defintly someone you worry about.You and a ton of haters.GO AMBER!!!!!

  2. RedInDenver says:

    Re the IDOLOGY video: I’m not a “Tasia” fan. She’s way too dramatic/Broadway for me. And as to the “lip tremble’ mentioned by Melissa Dolittle — all I can wonder is if she’s showing early signs of Parkinson’s disease.

  3. Kathy says:

    Michael Slezak, I love your recaps and commentaries. They are so spot-on! Your recap of Wednesday’s show was exactly what I was thinking but could not put into words. I’ve been watching American Idol for the past 6 or 7 seasons and this will probably be my last. I’ve never seen so much blatant favoritism and manipulation on this show before. In past years, the judges have had their favorites but it was done much more subtly and fairly (for the most part). What happened the other night with Candice after her 2nd song was a travesty. I thought she deserved an apology from the judges last night but she just got more of the same. Candice is my favorite contestant because she has the best vocals of the group, but more importantly, she throws herself into every performance. You can feel every ounce of her emotion when she sings. Kree is great as well but maybe not as emotionally connected. The other 2 are great singers but simply robotic. Candace will have an uphill battle next week – how much of a battle depending on whether she finished 3rd or 4th. Regardless, I think she will have a stellar career – I see her as much more marketable than the others, but what do I know?

    Michael, I read a rumor that Candace may sing “Call Me Maybe” next week. Can you get a message to her and tell her not to do that?!! It would be so cheesy – I think it would be the end of her Idol run. There are so many other great songs she could do! Next week should prove interesting.

  4. Angel says:

    “(brace for Slezak Conspiracy Theory No. 477) I swear something weird was happening with the volume on Candice’s mic.”
    I have noticed this more than once happening but I definitely heard it last night during the singing and at least once when they were at the couches. I am all for conspiracy theories.

  5. Dust says:

    Man, I just really don’t get the Amber hating. She drew me in back when there was still like 12 contestants. I think she has an amazing voice. That Streisand cover sounded like she was classically trained.I just think she has been consistently good every week. The only thing I could say against her is that she isn’t quite as eloquently spoken as the other girls when Seacrest asks her questions or when she is being interviewed. Let’s not forget she is quite shy, but when she gets onstage I notice it melts away.I do kind of wish the judges would NOT compare her to other singers (Whitney, Celine, Beyonce, Rihanna) because I think that has caused some backlash too. But hey, it is not her fault that the judges compare her to these singers and it’s also not her fault that they “brought up” Amber again during Candace’s critique. Further more, Are people upset that she was in the bottom several times and managed to pull herself back out? To endure? I just think she is being unfairly criticised. I think all of the girls are awesome and I wouldn’t mind any one of them winning but i’m going to cheer Amber on because at this point with all of the mounting negativity hurled at her, she is like David fighting Goliath.

    • Seriously... says:

      Excellent comment Dust. People should stop hating Amber or any other for that matter. Push your idols without pulling down the other.

      • dj says:

        I would like to see everyone be able to promote their favorite without bashing the others, too. I don’t get the hate, and it seems to last forever. People hold on to the grudges against certain contestants and never give the performers a chance even years later.

    • Roxann says:

      I so totally agree with you Dust Totally !!!!!! I know that Amber will still come out on top even if she is eliminated there are other out side producers that watch this show just looking for new talent and they will polish her up and she will be even more fabulous than she already is, few entertainers come into the business totally professional ,poised, ect… the have to be coached she will do great . Watch out for Ms Amber !!! :)

  6. Seriously... says:

    Shame on you Jimmy Lovine. Thought you were mentoring the four during rehearsals. I am not favoring anyone from the four but isn’t it preposterous for Jimmy to critique Amber for not knowing the song’s meaning in Mcarthur Park? He himself doesn’t know, the least he could have done is to ask somebody about it and tell Amber. He is not one of the judges so don’t act like one. The meaning of the song for his info is having done something which was put to waste. Jimmy Lovine go home and plant tomatoes. You are not needed in AI.

  7. teatime says:

    Amber’s Disco MacArthur Park was one fo the worst performances of this entire season.

    • Roxann says:

      That is certainly your opinion, each song is different and Amber has consistently shown that she can handle the songs she has a …..Voice…Whitney Houston had an amazing voice ,there were some songs that were not that great but she was still able to sing the songs, I personally never liked that song that Amber sung even by the original artist but that happens , a poor song choice does not mean that the singers voice is bad , if you do not like Amber for some reason just say it and state your choice , after all this is over I am sure you will hear some good things regarding both Amber and Candice they both have great voices also Kree and Angie (I like Kree voice better its better than Angie’s) but Angie does very well.

      • teatime says:

        I did not say there was a problem with her voice although I do find it grating when she goes for high notes.
        She sang the song as Disco which is terrible and dated. Disco was a fad that was very short lived and never had a revival because it is not musically interesting. It was popular because it was associated with a dance craze and had some popular movies that were centered around it and helped promote the music to be generally popular. The original of MacArthur Park, which is the One Hit Wonder version, is not at all Disco and would have been better. But she chose not to do that. The song does have odd lyrics and it really only works as a poetic/dramatic sounding song. She also mumbled thru the entire song and you could barely make out the words even though the original is sung clearly so you can understand the words.
        People critiquing Amber’s performances often state that they are dated, or have no energy, or her diction is not clear, or that she was overpraised for what she did. I agree with those comments in general and I think MacArthur Park was her worst performance. Fans who defend her often say she is ‘marketable’ which I think is code for her being very young and attractive. But I think she does not sing young and contemporary songs or sing with a lot of energy so I seldom enjoy her performances at all and I do not even think she is that ‘marketable’ as a singer.
        For Beatles week she sang the Al Jarreau version of “She’s Leaving Home.” That at least was an interesting choice. That and My Funny Valentine are her only performances that I have enjoyed. Other than that I think that she makes uninteresting song choices and while she has good vocal she seems the most comfortable with ’80’s style songs.

        • Seriously... says:

          Excuse me but my 15 year old daughter asked the song McArthur Park. She said it’s good. So don’t conclude that disco sings did not last and was not revived. It may be unwelcome to you but new generations liked the sound. Iam referring only to the song not on Amber . Though i also liked her interpretatiion. I teach choir and i know what sounds good no matter what era the song is.

    • Seriously... says:

      Of course not. Worst performances belong to Lazaro.

    • daynamonet says:

      I disagree. All of lazaros performances were worse than that. Honestly although macarthur park was a horrible song choice, she still sang it well

  8. Justin says:

    Who else has heard the new song “still into you” by paramore? I think it would be perfect for Angie to cover next week

  9. CathyEM says:

    I attended one of the Idol shows in Branson last summer (primarily to see my fav Elliott Yamin) and Lee was in the lineup as well. I really enjoyed his original music and got to talk with him briefly after the show. I said it sounded like he was moving into a bluegrass style and he confirmed it. I don’t think he’s trying to copy Mumford & Sons, P2, etc., I just think he’s leaning in this direction and it seems like a really good fit for him. I wish him well!

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      I do recall reading years ago that Idol had pushed him a direction far out of his comfort zone and that he had always been more bluegrassy or something along those lines. So it is true that it is not a sudden 180.

  10. Roxann says:

    Just keep in mind that Jennifer Hudson was eliminated and just like I thought would happen she signed a contract with another producer,American Idol proves to be a great vehical to get the singers noticed,winning on American Idol is not all there is. Candice and Amber are the best singers Kree and Angie are good as well ,Amber and Candice smile a lot because I bet they have been told that they are already Winners no matter how it turns out they will still get a contract, Like I said earlier look at Jennifer Hudson she is doing very well.

  11. James A says:

    Glad America got it right this week. Candice and Amber deserved to be in the bottom 2

  12. rachel a says:

    I really wish Canadian could vote bcuz Americas voting this year has been absurd. To cut a long rant short, Burnell should have never gotten the lowest vote n wants even more of a shock is that the judges didn’t use the save! He was the only that deserved it. Next, all u Amber haters need to get ur ears, eyes, and attitudes checked bcuz she has the second best voice after Candice, she’s absolutely stunning (marketable) n she has the best personality on the show by faaaarrrr!!!.!!. Lastly Kree needs to go home

  13. dadang says:

    aesthetics in music (or any other form of art) can be classified but has no standard. not because you have perfected the song-writing and playing the piano, and do scream-singing while managing to deliver the perfect pitch and enunciation automatically means or you have produced the best sound of or have the best stage presence or it will determine you will have the best future. those are strengths but a real artist knows when to apply them in the songs they choose or produce themselves.

    When you hear a song those elements come together at one time. you don’t hear the voice first then play the melody later on. it’s about picking the right elements that should be present in a song and combining them that makes it appeal to the listeners/audience. An amazing song has to have the right amount of everything not necessarily equal otherwise you remove the thrill and reality. The intensity of our emotions has its highs and lows and so as when you sing a song.

    That’s why I don’t buy Angie at all. Jimmy’s right, she’s too technical. she doesn’t appeal to the natural sense of “humanities” which is why there is MUSIC in the first place.

    i believe that her fan base are those deluded by the definition of “popularity” nowadays.. and a lot of people are..

    • Seriously... says:

      My guess is this, Angie wins but won’t make it big. One of the other three will make it to the charts esp Amber.

    • TheGirlsRock says:

      “she doesn’t appeal to the natural sense of “humanities” which is why there is MUSIC in the first place”

      What a load of BS…all evidence to the contrary. Start with the 3.5+ million (and still climbing) views of her song on youtube and nearing a million views on others. So… somebody finds her appealing.

      You’ll find it more efficient to say who you like and support it with a few words to say why. I’ll find more value in that.and maybe you’ll convince me … cause in the end… it’s really a personal choice..

  14. Seriously... says:

    Picture out each of the four on an MTV. Who will look good? Seriously… is so obvoius. The two healthy ladies can better be seen on a tv commercial selling chocolates. LOL!

  15. daynamonet says:

    Ok everyone rest easy; First off I have to say while my favorites are both Candice and Amber (with me wanting Candice to win) I was also a bit disgusted at the judges for the critiques they gave Candice and Kree and the standing ovation for Amber on BOTH songs. I mean Power of Love was debatable, but MacArthur Park, really? I was like wow, there’s definitely some shady stuff going on. First off Amber on contestants choice singing “Power of Love”, I mean she sounded great, but of all the songs to pick, she picked power of love, I would’ve preferred her to do a whitney song again if you ask me, I would’ve actually appreciated it more and believed more that it was her choice. And also her outfit was amazing, I was like go Amber and the hair, however, with the outfit she had on, I really expected her to have done a different type of song, like something more funky, more R&B, a little more beyonce-esque, but whatev; And we need to commend Candice for being the only real risk taker completely flipping that Drake song and making it her own, although the vocal wasn’t at her best, I still feel like she should’ve been commended for taking a risk and being dare I say it CURRENT, unlike Amber choosing Power of Love. Mariah was the only real voice of reason during Candice’s performance but what’s up with Randy saying Candice is a “church girl” when really that’s been the farthest from my mind esp after her performing a Drake song. Moving on to Kree’s first performace, which I actually enjoyed and loved that she tapped by in to her bluesyness, but the judges totally trashed her. That’s the first time she’s done a song like that really since evidence (same artist) and I liked it a lot. I do agree she needed to show her grit, but her vocal was solid and she was growlin and hittin those notes. Nicki making the comment about them “blowing smoke up her ass” was just cray cray, if that’s the case it needed to have been said for amber. I also feel much of the critique they gave Kree was about 5 or 6 weeks overdue. I mean maybe if they hadn’t been blowing smoke up her ass in the beginning she would be coming off as more interesting now. I don’t have much to say about Angie, she was the best this week, she killed it and I was impressed, and after her duet w/ Candice I realized that a Candice/Angie finally, but then I digress b/c I think it’ll be easier for Candice to beat kree or Amber. I do think Angie and Candice want it the most though and have the most passion. Absolutely classless how they discussed amber during Candice’s critique and how they praised Amber so much on the duet w/ Kree. Honestly I think Kree definitely better vocally and the adele song just fit her voice more. I do have to admit they’re both stiff. Oh, and as far as nicki minaj trying to figure out who the Candice fan is, no need to look father than right her, because I AM a Candice fan, I also won’t find it surprising if many hip-hop/R&B artists and producers are knocking on Candice’s door once the show is over whether she wins or not (hopefully she will) and I won’t be surprised NICKI is Drake is one of those artists. All in all I LOVE Amber but she’s not going to learn anything if the judges keep “blowing smoke up her ass” she could probably benefit from the constructive criticism the most. Really she has all the goods, she just needs to pick the right songs. If she picked better songs (more current songs), was actually getting mentored and judged, we would probably be having a very different conversation. Please don’t hate on Amber though its not her fault she’s not getting the proper guidance. Also this week she’ll have no choice but to sing a current song b/c the theme is Now and Then. And I’ll do u one better the Then is “standards” and the Now is “Hit songs from 2013” so she really has no choice but to go current. I think it’s going to be a test this week for the contestants, but mostly for the judges. Really they all have enough money anyway especially Mariah, so why do they care if they actually TELL THE TRUTH, and not do everything that Uncle Nigel says?

  16. The only album I will buy is Amber’s.