American Idol Top 4 (Redux) Performance Recap: Standards Operating Procedure [Updated]

Candice Glover American IdolIt’s no secret that American Idol‘s ratings have slipped in Season 12, and tonight — despite some stellar performances by the Top 4 ladies — we witnessed several moments where you could practically feel the Nielsen numbers dropping by tenths.

There was Randy Jackson leering at Angie Miller after a particularly harsh critique and declaring, “I do like the leather shorts!” [Tonight's mathematical truth: Randy + the word "Leather" x Sexual Innuendo = Saw-level horror.] There was Nicki Minaj, trying to insert herself (her favorite pastime) into the middle of one of Mariah Carey’s critiques, and later, Ryan Seacrest breaking up one of the female judges’ tiffs with a “someone needs to be put in the corner!” scolding that played up the anti-feminist notion that “girls” simply can’t get along. Oh, and in other Nicki news, we had the “Starships” rapper telling the incomparable Candice Glover that she’d suddenly become marketable — then asking if she’d lost weight.

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And if that wasn’t soul-crushing enough, the show’s producers flashed an onscreen hashtag of Randy Jackson’s most irksome catchphrase, you know, the one that makes America collectively cringe every time he barks it: #inittowinit. Hashtag: HOW?

All that went down, of course, before guest mentor Harry Connick Jr. and Randy hijacked poor Kree Harrison’s second performance critique to get into an extended pissing contest regarding their level of music credibility. Harry won, obviously, but was it worth claiming poor Kree’s dignity as collateral damage?

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Practically lost in all the low-brow shenanigans was another jaw-dropping evening for Candice Glover — who fought back from last week’s shellacking to score back-to-back standing ovations from the panel (not that they mean anything anymore, but…). Combined with Kree’s magnificent first performance and Amber’s solid (albeit rehashed) second number, it left presumed front-runner Angie Miller as the contestant who endured the most difficult night — both in terms of “having a moment” and suffering from so-so feedback.

Still, last week’s 38 million votes are being added to this week’s tallies — and knowing that Candice and Amber were last week’s Bottom 2, Thursday night’s results-show telecast may be the most suspenseful of the season.

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With that in mind, let’s jump to my letter grades for tonight’s performances:

“Now” (Songs Released/Charting in 2013)
Angie Miller: Rihanna’s “Diamonds” | Angie came into this week knowing she was already in the Top 2 vote-getters, so I appreciated her refusal to play it safe, instead choosing an unexpected artist like Rihanna and reimagining her huge recent hit as a dramatic piano ballad. Despite Keith’s complaints about missing the “percussive muscular weight” of the original, I thought the arrangement worked. Angie managed to breathe added life into the new-agey love story that, in Riri’s nasal bleat, sounds like little more than a cryptic chant. The problem here, though, was that Angie’s actual vocal wound up being a little flawed — thanks to the haywire glory note on “toniiiight” and the intermittent sharpness as she pushed her upper register at the end. Plus, as Mariah noted, Angie worked so hard at maintaining eye contact with the camera that it started to become a distraction. None of those issues were deal-breakers, mind you, but they left this one shining more like a cubic zirconia than the full dazzling diamond it could’ve been. Grade: B+

Amber Holcomb: Pink & Nate Ruess’ “Just Give Me A Reason” | For the contestant who’s been most lauded by the judges as “current” and “commercial,” Amber sure seemed out of her element in the “Hits of 2013″ part of the competition. And no, I’m not buying the judges’ excuses about how hard it is to learn new lyrics or to be a “carefree,” “relatable” girl under the pressure of Top 4 Week. Amber’s got a big, lovely voice — there’s no denying it — but she’s never shown the kind of emotional rawness or sly conversational delivery necessary to tackle anything in the Pink songbook (not even “There You Go”). Perhaps even more troubling, though, is that when Amber is faced with a tune that doesn’t fit her as snugly as her many pairs of Daisy Dukes, she hasn’t exhibited the musicality or creativity to reinvent or reinterpret it as her own — or even to act on advice as simple as Harry’s note to snap her fingers and stay in the pocket. Thus, what Amber ended up delivering was a rote recitation of “Just Give Me a Reason” — mostly on pitch except for that high note that sounded like a small dog had gotten caught underfoot — but without any guts or passion or high-wire audacity. Good thing Mariah was there to hold the party line and tell voters that she already knew Amber’s second performance was going to be great. Wait, did Paula leave her Idol crystal ball at the judges’ table when she stopped by the other week? (And here I thought Jason Castro had smashed it out behind the dumpster back in Season 7!) Grade: B-

Candice Glover: Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” | I couldn’t believe all the pre- and post-performance discussion of Candice not changing the word “man” in the chorus of Bruno Mars’ current chart-topper. I mean, even a dimwit like Randy has to recognize that music isn’t some kind of algebraic exercise where a misplaced decimal or a miscarried digit throws the whole thing off, but rather an entirely visceral art form. Candice’s performance served as a stark reminder of this fact; she didn’t so much try on the song like a sweater off the rack as she did shed her own skin and temporarily inhabit the narrator’s body. When she hit the lines, “I’m probably much too late/ To try and apologize for my mistakes,” a shiver went right through me, and her use of pronouns was the furthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to throw a hand up and be like “You shoulda bought flowers! And now it’s too late, fool!” And oh that sweet falsetto note right at the end, the one that led into one last jazzy run — it was seriously so good I couldn’t even kvetch when Nicki belatedly made her fellow panelists get up and give a standing ovation. Yeah, there’ve been too many instances of Tweedle T-Shirt, Tweedle-ME!, Tweedle-Duh and Tweedle-Dahhling on their feet all season, but this one actually was worthy. Grade: A

Kree Harrison: Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again” | I know Kree is, at heart, a country artist with a bluesy underbelly, but I was still a little flummoxed when I heard she was tackling Carrie Underwood’s current radio hit — one that, to my ears, has always sounded a little blah and impersonal. How interesting then that The Contestant Most Frequently Berated for Not Feelin’ It — and who even desperately told Ryan in her pre-performance interview that “I need to connect” — found an unmarked access road right into the heart of the song. As her entire face lit up with emotion, and the insanely pretty silk of her voice occasionally crackled with pangs of sadness, it wasn’t hard to imagine Kree singing the lyric to her late parents. Who knows if that was actually Kree’s intent, of course, but I got lost with her in the lyrics and transported into a different headspace. And isn’t that one of the many things good music should do to you? Maybe it’s blasphemous to say this, but I’m with Harry: Kree’s cover actually improved on Carrie’s original, her understated approach adding an ache and a vulnerability that have me eager to download it come Thursday morning. Grade: A

“Then” (Standards)
Angie Miller: “Someone to Watch Over Me” | Angie’s standard started promisingly enough, with just her and Hot Idol Guitarist Dude serving up a quiet little lullabye. Alas, though, that gentle approach was short lived. As Angie began to float across the stage in her violet nightgown getup, the band kicked in with (apologies for agreeing with Randy) a confounding and noisy arrangement that managed to sound equal parts old-fashioned and perturbingly garbled. The end result was that Angie’s voice trailed off a bit in spots, while her vibrato became just a wee bit overwrought in others. (I could’ve also lived without the dramatic, wide-eyed inhalation before the finale “Meeeeee!” but it sounds too bitchy to actually type the words.) I don’t think Nicki helped by noting the “Disney princess” quality of Angie’s “look, voice and disposition,” but hey, at least we know “Someone to Watch Over Me” has “special significance” for Mariah, and that’s really what it’s all about, right? Except they didn’t give the number to vote for Mariah! Or Nicki for that matter! “Hashtag: Urgh!” Grade: B+

Amber Holcomb: “My Funny Valentine” | Randy was correct… OH EM GEE, I just had a thought that if God struck me dead about 11 seconds ago, my last act on earth would be typing “Randy was correct,” and my entire life’s work as an American Idol recapper would be tarnished forevah, dahhling. Sorry, let me get back to my point. Randy was correct that Amber took the stage looking defeated, but I mean, wouldn’t you do the same if the show’s producers had devoted an entire segment with Harry Connick Jr. trying to drive home the message, “She’s cute, but maybe not that bright”? Yeesh, that was brutal, especially after Amber’s first package was all about her failure to remember her lyrics. Granted, it was great to see some real, actionable mentoring happening — and I kinda wish we’d had that happening all season long — but I can’t imagine being in Amber’s shoes and having to take the stage seconds after a video in which it’s pointed out that you couldn’t even use basic comprehension and deductive skils to determine the meaning of the lyric “Is your figure less than Greek?” Or that you have no idea what your signature Idol song is actually about. I’d suspect a case of producer sabotage, but given how hard Uncle Nigel and the judges have pushed Amber for the last six or seven weeks, that theory seems a little tenuous.

Whatever the case, though, Amber gave another lovely performance of “My Funny Valentine,” one that was slightly more sophisticated but perhaps a little less surprising than when she first did it during Top 10 Girls performance night back in Vegas. And that’s the problem of a repeat performance on a reality singing competition: There’s simply no recreating a magic moment at two separate points in time. (Doctor Who should probably devote an episode to this topic.) However, Amber’s post-performance tears — combined with a standing ovation from the judges and Nicki declaring her a “beautiful budding red rose” regardless of whether or not she goes home — might score her enough votes to put Candice or Angie or Kree at risk. That would be unfortunate, though, because to me, “Funny Valentine” (Part 2) wasn’t enough of a statement to shake the feeling that Amber is the No. 4 contestant behind three other women who just happen to be savvier strategists, bigger risk-takers, more creative thinkers and more believable interpreters. Grade: B+ (downgraded from A- because we already heard it before!)

Candice Glover: “You’ve Changed” | Yowza! I know Candice’s “Lovesong” is widely considered the Performance of the Season, but if for any reason that Cure cover is unable to fulfill its duties, the title will be handed over to first runner-up “You’ve Changed.” I mean…do I need to count the ways I loved this performance? The world-weary toss-off of that first “you’re breakin’ my heart.” The way Candice doubled up on the “I can’t, I can’t” and then had to double-time the “realize that you ever cared” with an unexpected rhythmic flourish. The transition from a huge, growling “You’ve changed!” to a heartbreakingly whispered “the sparkle in your eye is gone.” Yes, Randy managed to drop another offensive “church girl” dismissal, and Nicki actually passed on offering any feedback on the night’s inarguably best vocal, but to quote Harry — whose mentoring got a little heavy on the “stick with the melody!” ranting, but was delightfully specific and actionable — “14-year-olds” probably weren’t ever going to get Candice anyhow. Grade: A+

Kree Harrison: “Stormy Weather” | I have to agree to an extent with Nicki that Harry’s unvarnished brand of mentoring may have been “startling” to the Top 4 ladies — especially when they had to hear a highlight reel of his critiques seconds before their performances. Perhaps that explained Kree’s almost timid stage presence during “Stormy Weather,” which to me is supposed to be sung by a woman who thinks of herself as a broad or a dame or a tall glass of water. That wasn’t the case for Kree, whose phrases drifted off like the down on a dandelion, and who seemed to lose her cadence when she hit the bridge. The tone of Ms. Harrison’s voice never fails to thrill just a little — it’s the ace that she’s got in every hand — but after such a deeply connected “Now” number, the “Then” lacked the urgency of a contestant knowing this could be her final time on the big Idol stage. To make matters worse, Kree had to stay on said stage for a loooong and drawn out argument between Randy and Harry that ended with the guest mentor shouting “Randy! Stop! Stop!” (We’ll dive deeper into said dustup and its origin in next Monday’s Idology episode.) And while we’ve all wanted to yell “Randy! Stop! Stop!” for about 12 seasons now (or maybe even put it on a t-shirt), I’m just not sure it was fair for Kree to have to be in the middle of the fracas. Maybe next time Harry could send out a strongly worded Tweet instead? Grade: B

Top 4 Ladies: Little Mix’s “Wings” | Yep, they sang it.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 4 performance night (Part Deux)? What did you think of the judges’ comments? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!


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

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656 Comments
  1. marie says:

    I said it last week and I’ll say it again this week: not everyone can sing the standards. You really do have to have a certain instinctive feel for them, and not all pop singers – not even all GOOD pop singers – do. Carly Simon, who’s wonderful, released an album of standards, and it fell flat: she didn’t have the feel for them. Linda Ronstadt released a few albums of standards, and they were superb.
    I know the contestants had no choice but to choose a standard this week, but all I can say is thank goodness Angie is unlikely to ever choose to sing any standards after Idol. She just does not have any feel for them at all. I truly found her Someone to Watch Over Me painful to listen to.

    • Lois Benton says:

      I didn’t think much of LInda Ronstadt’s standards album, overall. She had Nelson Riddle, which supposedly gave her credibility, but I guess you have to like Nelson Riddle. Best “standards album from a rock or pop star, in my opinion, is Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. It’s jazzy standards, reworking two of her own works, and she sings in her lower register. It’s pretty great. What’s interesting is that, every now and then, some rock/pop artist hits a standard out of the park. Meatloaf did a version of Somebody Loves Me for a compilation album that is amazing. I hated the song until he sang it, because everyone else who recorded it sang it without irrepressible joy and hope. He really reveals the essence of the song.

    • syb says:

      I kept thinking throughout, Linda Ronstadts “Someone to Watch Over Me” had so much more emotional impact than Angie’s it was like a different song.

    • donito says:

      I believe everyone is already a winner. The thing now is whose fans will keep on fire for them. As in the past, fans are just hot while the voting is on, after the season, let’s take a rest and get back to what is was before the contest. So let’s just watch out whose fans will remain fans to the end. I mean those who will buy her records and follow and support her career. then that girl is a real winner.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree, marie. We have Linda Ronstadt’s album with Nelson Riddle and it’s superb. I love “What’s New”.
      Angie’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” would have been better without Bandzilla jumping in.
      .
      Lois – Joni Mitchell did an album of standards? Yikes. That’s as dreadful as Willie Nelson’s “Stardust” album (love the songs, can’t stand Willie singing them). I have never cared for Joni Mitchell and I know I have posted here before about a former boss of my husband’s that had a reel-to-reel tape of Joni Mitchell songs that was about 27 hours long.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        Oh darcy’s I don’t think we could be friends, LOL jk. How could you hate Joni Mitchell? I always imagine Kree singing A Case of You and nail it. I hope she’s a fan of hers like I am so it could happen someday ~. I do think her oeuvre is a bit inconsistent tho, but when she brought it, some of her best records are transcendental.

        • LLA says:

          I don’t think Joni Mitchell did an album of standards. Kree singing a Case of You would be really nice. I love Joni–absolutely brilliant songwriter. I get that everybody doesn’t like her voice or some of her albums. But.most good songwriters and artists revere her.

        • deedee says:

          I love Joni Mitchell too! Such a unique and interesting singer. I once saw her during one of my power walks in my neighbourhood. She was standing on a lawn talking to someone, lol.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I’m sorry but I could never stand Joni Mitchell. Or the group “America”.
          I’m sure Joni Mitchell is a very nice person, though.
          I also can’t stand Jimmy Spheeris, one of my husband’s favorites. And if I ever have to hear Joan Baez sing “Diamonds and Rust” again I will slit my wrists.

        • Bob says:

          Yes. “Blue” is a prime example.

      • marie says:

        Actually, Joni’s standards album was quite good, but yes, you’d have to like Joni to like the album because it’s all Joni, through and through, and I’ve been a fan since the late 1960s when she was just starting out and still had an angelic high soprano, all the way through her contemporary recordings where she’s mellowed to a deeper, rich contralto. Ronstadt’s albums with Nelson Riddle – especially the first because it WAS the first, and came out of the blue – were delightful surprises from someone not hitherto known for singing that sort of material.

    • marie says:

      While we’re on the subject, a shout-out to the WORST standards EVER by a rock or pop artist: those multiple abominations by Rod Stewart…UGH. Angie was better than THAT, at least.

      • Lois Benton says:

        Ha! True, but I heard Rod Stewart sing a live version of “These Foolish Things” that was one of the best, if not the best, version of it I’ve heard. But he never recorded it that way, in any album, live or otherwise. He should have.

  2. Anna says:

    Candice was easily the best of the night, both of her performances were excellent. I especially loved her 2nd song. 2nd best was Kree, although she was solid rather than spectacular. Angie’s version of “Diamonds” was not very interesting, and there were a few notes that were painfully off key. Her 2nd song was much better. Amber was ok but repeating My Funny Valentine wasn’t the best idea, esp. since she performed it better the first time around.ee, but

    I still think the Top 2 should be Candice & Kree, but as long as Candice is one of the Top 2, I’d be ok with whoever the other person is.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Although I agree that Candice took the first round it’s not fair to get on every little Angie miss and then pretend that Candice didn’t horrible strain on a couple of those notes and go off pitch on some.

      • daynamonet says:

        I don’t know what you were listening to but Candice DID NOT go off pitch and I do like Angie but I do feel like she tries a bit too hard which can cause her to strain sometimes. Out of all 4 girls, Candice definitely FEELS songs the most.

  3. marie says:

    Almost forgot: how baffling, but how extraordinary and delightful, that Idol, that bastion of severely limited cleared-song lists with a budget of $1.87 per season to buy performance rights, somehow found a way to allow Candice to sing such a gem as You’ve Changed! How unexpected and amazing!

    • Jason says:

      I don’t think it’s the budgets. I just think the majority of contestants do not have taste or think they can only win with the familiar songs !! The ones that do have taste get good songs cleared. Haley and Adam got Led Zeppelin. Philip got Damien Rice. Elise got Jimi Hendrix. Casey got Nirvana (Of course he butchered it)!! Daughtry got some of his favorite rock bands! Angie this season has been getting some of her more obscure favorite christian songs cleared.

      • daynamonet says:

        I 150% agree with that. If the contestants did broaden their scope of musical knowledge its very possible we wouldn’t be hearing the same songs and maybe not having this convo about songs being cleared. I think Candice and Angie have taken risks w/ song choice. Kree kind of and Amber, though i love her, not much at all.

        • Adam Fachry says:

          This. I feel like inhabiting each and every one of their bodies so they can listen to more vast stuff.

      • marie says:

        Good point.

  4. twnkltoze says:

    Haven’t even seen Candice but I know it’s gonna be special. LOVE the song “You’ve Changed” and I just know she’s gonna work IT!! Doesn’t Amber know any other standard but “My Funny Valentine?” Hope HCJ brings out some emotion in her.

  5. jake says:

    amber deserves to be in the finale, love her.

    • donito says:

      But why is there a lot of hate for Amber? I don’t play faves on anyone from the four, but i feel it is so unfair for Amber. I believe she is just 18 years old and she doesn’t have any control of what is happening, or what the judges would say. i feel for her, God bless you Amber. God bless you Angie, Kree, and Candice as well.

      • daynamonet says:

        I agree, a lot of hate towards Amber. Not too long ago Amber gave one of the most beautiful performances of the season w/ that barbara streisand song and i think thats a standard, but was the one real risk she took all season and it paid off big time. I AM an Amber fan and i praise her when she’s great, but i will call her out when she’s not.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        It a shame to see so much hate on Amber. SHe really does have quite a voice.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Criticism is not hate. People don’t hate Amber. They think she isn’t a mature singer yet. She’s the 4th best singer on the show.

  6. marie says:

    How extraordinary that Idol, that bastion of severely limited song-choice lists, somehow found a way to allow Candice to sing a gem like You’ve Changed! How delightful and out of left field! (I tried posting a similar comment a moment ago, but I think the board ate it; if this IS a duplicate post, apologies!)

    • The Beach says:

      Since it was written in 1941 maybe it was in the 99 cent bin and Nigel could get it on the cheap:)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I agree, marie – “You’ve Changed” was wonderful.
      And beach, your comment gets a Made Me Laugh. :-)

    • deedee says:

      Marie, sometimes the comment doesn’t show up after you hit “post”, but if you refresh the page, it suddenly shows up. It’s happened to me several times.

      I agree about “You’ve Changed”. Candice did a stellar job – best of the night for me.

      • marie says:

        Thanks for the tip! Seems to have happened here, although on occasion, this board is just a little wonky, like misplaced replies, etc. I’ll keep that in mind, though!

  7. CAM says:

    Really? B+ For Someone To Watch Over Me? It was NOT good. The arrangement was terrible, she did not sign it that well…ugh

  8. Rob says:

    UGH! You WOULD downgrade Amber’s performance.

    • daynamonet says:

      i would’ve still kept the A-; It may not have had the element of surprise like the first time, but this may be the first time she truly felt a song and b/c of that i liked a 2nd one just a tad more b/c she showed emotion and had better understanding of what the song meant.

  9. WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak says:

    Wow so much hate on Amber for singing a song twice which she did even better than the first – which was perfect as it was! Whereas Angie sang a same song last week but no one says anything …

    Anyway. Amber’s MFV was my number 1, followed by both of Candice’s performances and then Angie – I thought Kree did good on the first one, but I ended up finishing my assignment during her second one lol. So damn boring, I think she’s a sweet girl I like her and everything but she’s really put me to sleep all season. Great voice, boring as hell song choices.

  10. Lois Benton says:

    Candice Glover is a genius. A jazz genius, no doubt, and not what this show wants to be about, but a genius she is. But all the girls are good–and I couldn’t even parse who I might prefer and why for the first half. They were all fine, in their own, all four, very different, ways. But the second half, that’s a different story. One thing I know, and very well, is every standard, and just about all jazz and R&B music from the early 20th Century and on. Candice’s You’ve Changed was super-star stellar. Amber’s My Funny Valentine Redux was stellar. But Kree’s Stormy Weather wasn’t anywhere near where it needed to be in interpretation. At first I thought it was kind of an okay, interesting country version of the song, but as it wore on, no. And no. Someone to Watch Over Me, though, was worse. As in, bad. I felt like someone just slapped me. Where’s Allison Iraheta when you need her? I had to go back and watch her version to make the pain go away. (I got chills while watching Allison perform that again.) Therein lies the sad reality, as it were, of this show: It parades some gifted artists before the public, rewards lesser ones, and having been teased with true talent, that talent falls into obscurity.

    • The Beach says:

      Classic female jazz singers is a favorite genre of mine….Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah (Washington, not Shore LOL), Peggy Lee, Nina Simone and modern ones like Diana Krall. I think Candice Glover has the goods to climb that mountain.

      • timewarpnut says:

        Absolutely agree about Candice! I will be following her career and definitely buying her albums in the future!

      • daynamonet says:

        I too believe Candice won the night and I thought she was great on both songs. I, however, don’t think Candice is really tring to be a jazz artist. I think she has jazz tendencies and inflections, but i don’t think thats going to be her lane. She’s still going to be R&B soul.

        • deedee says:

          Maybe one day she’ll dip into jazz and embrace that side of herself. She can make a great career not trying to be a typical mainstream artist, but rather playing to all her strengths.

      • marie says:

        She does: the boots, ropes, carabiners, canteens – the works.

  11. Joe says:

    50 votes for Candice Glover. If you voted any way else it means you like reality show personalities more than love music. In a top 5 all time of Kelly, Fantasia, Carrie, Jennifer Hudson and Candice, Candice just cracked the top 3 and is rising. Carrie Underwood NEVER did anything on that stage to equal what Candice is throwing down. Usually, someone this talented doesn’t win because America likes broken dishes better than fine china, but Slezak was 100% right calling Candice the American Adele. She’s the real deal and the one I can wait to hear is doing her own concert in NYC at Radio City/Town Hall/Carnegie Hall. That girl’s voice and soul were touched by God.

    • Badazz says:

      Amen!

    • CJS says:

      Well you sir are an arrogant arsehole & here’s why:
      – “If you voted any way else it means you like reality show personalities more than love music” You state that as if it is universal fact, where as music is purely subjective. Anyone can love music & vote for Kree, Angie, or Amber (which I did) and not Candice.
      – In what world is Candice in the top 3 AI contestants of all time? Although again, while this is subjective, it is way too soon to call Candice an all time great. Also, anyone who places Candice Glover above Carrie Underwood immediately loses all credibility IMHO. In no particular order, my top 5 would be Carrie, Kelly, Daughtry, Adam, and Phillip (go ahead & ridicule me)
      – “…the one I can wait to hear is doing her own concert in NYC at Radio City/Town Hall/Carnegie Hall>” Be that as it may, I’d rather see someone more commercial & current with an actual tour ( and Candice should really lose some weight & lighten up before doing concerts; until then, she should only record CDs)

      • kaba says:

        Ill ignore the ignorance of your first half of your argument to address the ignorance of the last.
        Candice should lose weight before doing concerts but meanwhile bigass adele can perform in whatever size she chooses?
        Shut up that was so ignorant my kidneys are bleeding

        • I’m sure he/she thinks Adele is too fat for concerts, too. Just another idiot that thinks people are only worthwhile if they conform to their idea of attractive. Can’t do anything about it but feel sorry for their narrow enjoyment of life.

      • Rivky says:

        bs’d
        CJS You made me laugh. Nobody can be that dumb. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Adele, Peggy Lee were never skinny yet they were each great & successful singers. I think they were known as “LEGENDS”, you simp. “…Daughtry, Adam, and Phillip (go ahead & ridicule me)…” You need nobody to ridicule you. Your words do it all. :) Have a nice day.

    • twnkltoze says:

      Tell it like it is Joe!!!

    • The Beach says:

      “America likes broken dishes better than fine china” may be the best line I’ve seen on this board in a long time.

    • MC says:

      It’s not too often that one can truly say, “A Star is Born” in reaction to a season of American Idol.
      It’s usually just a matter of crowning a fairly competent singer/musician who the public soon forgets. Candice is a star, though. It’s a shame that many people have tuned out this season, but it’s their loss imo.

      • Joe says:

        MC – Candice is going to bring a lot of people a lot of joy singing for the rest of her life. She transcends pop star and is an artist. What she does with her voice whether it’s instinctual or rehearsed is mind boggling. Josh Ledet had moments like this last season, but Candice has them in every darn song she sings. I can’t wait to see her sing in concert once she’s free of the Idol commitments. I got to see Melinda Doolittle do a cabaret show in NYC not too long ago and it was perfect seeing such a truly talented singer just singing beautiful songs. I’d love to see Candice in that setting some day just rip through songs she loves to sing.

    • Jongirl says:

      Anyone who thinks Fantasia represents “the best” musically (AND leaves Adam Lambert’s mad vocal and musical skills off that list) has no credibility.

      • Joe says:

        Jongirl – I was ranking the ladies. If I included men, Adam would push Carrie out of the top 5 with ease. He’s by far one of the best contestants they’ve ever had and I want them desperately to hire him to be a judge. I don’t think any of the other men would crack the top 5 for me though. I loved Daughtry, but he left too soon. Any of the other guys were forgettable other than Josh Ledet who probably pushes Carrie down again. Carrie was a deer in the headlights that entire season on Idol and was hardly inspiring. Her doe eyed looks & constant Simon pimping back then got her a lot further than some of the performances. That said, what she’s done post Idol and who she’s matured into is ridiculously impressive. I just can’t overrate what she did on the show at the time.

    • marie says:

      (Radio City or Carnegie, please, as the acoustics are better in those venues, but I’d gladly pay to see her at Town Hall – hell, even the Beacon!)

  12. kaba says:

    I hate the critique “I would/n’t go see your concert”.
    That’s not a good judging phrase.
    I love Adele music and singing but I have 0 interest in going to any of her concerts at all. I have what I prefer to look at and what ill sooner just buy, then I have a fusion of both.
    Can we simply say “I would/n’t buy your album”?
    Makes more sense and sounds more real. And going by that standard I’d buy a lot of krees albums and candice and angie.
    Idk but I have always been so disinterested in Amber. Just over her, nothing against her this competition just kind of sways me to ignore her. Sans michaels bias cause idc for that

    • Joe says:

      kaba – I scored tickets to see Adele live in NYC and it was probably one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. People were openly weeping when she sang “Make You Feel My Love” that night. I usually go for larger sounding bands live like DMB, Phish, Prince, but seeing Adele sing is up there with seeing Sinatra with my parents when I was a very little kid.

      • kaba says:

        I fully believe you when you say it was phenomenal but I don’t think that’s an accurate choice of words to gauge the skillset of the contestants. Fans will rush to concerts regadless of quality.
        I don’t mean to throw bieber under the bus out of dislike but he has been late to two or three concerts which were ultimately ended shortly after and his fans still line up and sell him out as though it never happened.

        Saying would one buy their single/cd makes much more sense

  13. Robbie says:

    “Her favorite pastime?” Nicki and Mariah only just started to acknowledge each other’s existence in the last couple weeks. Get over your sudden hate for her you bitter queen.

  14. Sarah says:

    First I must say….HALEY REINHART!! I couldn’t believe when Ryan walked right past her without even a glance.

    I definitely think that Candice won the night. She has such an amazing voice and ability to give a flawless performance. A true star in the making.
    I do also love Angela. I wasn’t thrilled with her first performance, mainly because I don’t really care for that song and don’t think it has enough substance for a compelling performance. I did actually think that the beginning was really beautiful when it was just her and the piano, but then the rest of the instruments came in and it lost the “lullaby” quality that HCJ mentioned and became less appealing. I thought STWOM was really good and would have probably liked it even better if I didn’t have Allison Irahita’s superb rendition in the corner of my mind!
    I didn’t love Amber’s “Just Give Me A Reason.” The best part was when the music stripped down to just the drums about 2/3 of the way in. For whatever reason, Amber seemed to really click into the song during that section, but unfortunately the rest of the song didn’t match up. I liked her first performance of MFV better than this one. It’s always a bit of a letdown when contestants repeat songs and this performance seemed to lack some of the first one’s magic.
    For Kree, I thought it was interesting how we just finished watching a whole intro package of Harry Connick Jr. telling her to stick to the melody and not add so many runs…and cut to her adding runs on practically every line. I think that he did a great job mentoring and would love to see him on the judges panel next year. His points that they needed to know the meaning of the songs and stick to the melody were spot on. I definitely would have enjoyed Kree’s performance more if she had let the true melody shine through.

    • takakupo says:

      I really appreciate your review of Amber here. Everyone else who didn’t like her hated both of her performances and it wreaks of unfairness because of last week’s fiasco.

  15. Badazz says:

    I thought Kree received terrible advice on her second song. The version she wanted to do would have suited her much, much better. I love, love, love Kree, and hope to see her in the final but everyone knows who the best singer is…Candice of course. She was great tonight especially her second performance. Her power,and control puts her in rare company.

  16. Mick says:

    Nikki did not mention Candice’s weight (smh). I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

  17. dani n. says:

    For people to say Amber’s tears weren’t real you sound like minor false flag criers. Get real. This kid is a kid and seems to be the least exposed and experienced out of al the contestants. She can’t help it if she’s adorable. Too hold that against her is ludicrous. Especially because her voice is pretty finger remarkable.

    • WishesRandyCouldn'tSpeak says:

      Thank you, thankfully I skipped past the posts that said that.

      It’s true, she has been the least exposed of all the girls this season – I felt so bad for her I teared up watching her cry tonight. I hope she gets the votes to stay another week, she deserves it. And poor girl is being a punching bag for Slezak and his opinion-less followers (just like how the judges make their statements and some ppl just blindly follow). Call it judges favoritism whatever, it ain’t her fault and at least she has the vocal chops to be pimped in the first place.

      Unlike like a certain somebody I know, *cough* Lauren Alaina *cough*

    • Joe says:

      Amber is a very good singer. All 4 are very good. Angie and Kree have hit just as many bum notes and had just as many missteps as Amber if not more. Amber’s voice is ready for modern day R&B radio. She’s going to do very well long term in the business.

    • donito says:

      agree

  18. Connor says:

    Tonight it went CAndice 1 and a mile back a 2 was Angie 3. Kree who I’m just not buying her performances anymore and I used to love listening to her. 4. Amber she has always just been average to me.

  19. Daniel says:

    Candice (1st) = A
    Angie (2nd) = A
    Angie (1st) = A
    Candice (2nd) = A-
    Kree (2nd) = A-
    Amber (2nd) = B+
    Kree (1st) = B+
    Amber (1st) = B
    Quartet = C

  20. ErictheK says:

    Michael, I’m glad you reprinted Randy’s hashtag. I read it as #nitwit.

  21. David says:

    Harry was great and offered exactly what a mentor should offer, and then was chastized by “Miss Ladybug” and “Dawg.” Harry was right and if Randy is correct that “If you can sing, you can sing anything,” his argument with Harry totally misses the mark.

  22. Guitar Blue says:

    Amber and Candice were the bottom 2 last week, It’s going to take a whole lotta votes this week to reverse that and pull them both out of the bottom 2. ….

    While no one is technically safe, odds are that Amber gets the ticket home this week. All top 10 will likely be back for a cameo in the finale. Next week, “The Voice” will be aired in the same time slot on Wednesday, which could cause another drop in ratings for Idol’s top 3.

    Fox exec’s will probably push a lot of advertising on their network and even buy time on some other cable channels to advertise their top 3 show.

  23. Jess says:

    Nicki is infuriating. Not only did she interrupt Mariah for no reason, but she then made a “snatching” motion when Randy called Mariah one of the best singers in life.

    • JJ says:

      Nicki has been in defense mode all season against Mariah’s catty slights. Mariah refuses to interact at all with her and she barely speaks to Keith either. The only person she consults with is Randy (her manager). There is no flow at the judge’s panel. It often feels very divided. I really think Mariah’s whole issue was that she was promised she would be the only female on the panel when she signed than they brough Minaj in. I think she would have behaved the same way no matter what female personality they hired for the fourth spot. Its just very unprofessional imo & I love Mariah.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        I think Mariah did have plenty of interactions with Keith at the audition rounds and Hollywood week though. I remember Keith asking her what song she just sang, and she said it was Billie Holiday’s, they were immediately engaged in a conversation about music afterwards. It’s funny how the chemistry went out of thew window when the judging rounds started. I do think part of it was that they’re separated by two people there.

      • Jess says:

        Mariah started ignoring Nicki because of how she was being treated. We’ve all seen how Nicki went off on her, in addition to the eye rolls, snide comments, interruptions, etc. Why should Mariah acknowledge Nicki? I would tell my kid to ignore someone treating them like that.

        And Nicki’s comment to Candice about her weight was insulting.

        • Mary says:

          It takes two to tango as my mother would say. Nicki was just pointing out that Mariah statement was what she had said not Keith. For what they are being paid both of them need to take the high ground and be professional.

      • Maíra says:

        I think it’s pretty terrible, to begin with, that she had them promise then she’d be the only female. that’s such a horrible competitive mindset! she should’ve been more confident and elegant, first of all because competition is silly. second of all because it bodes badly for the gender (by feeding the whole “women can’t get along” sexist stance). and thirdly, because even if she can’t shake off the competitive attitude, she’ll always be the best singer among other people they’d put on the panel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are many many artists I admire more than mariah, but she is tremendously talented and capable and she makes me like to listen to songs I’d otherwise loathe. so yeah, I’m a fan of mariah’s musical prowess but not a fan of her attitude as a human being.

        • kaba says:

          I love how Nicki is faultless. And also I don’t find it keen to insinuate that Mariah had no intention of trying to get along with another female judge but its just that because they chose Nicki is what made it bad.
          Also, sure Mariah hasn’t bothered to acknowledge Nickis presence since the show started but at least she wasn’t an ass about it. They’re to do their job not be friends and that isn’t a requirement for the job so it doesn’t matter.
          Mariah just doesn’t care for Nicki it doesn’t mean she has to go out of her way to talk to her just cause they have the same job

  24. twnkltoze says:

    Wasn’t that Haley Reinhart in the audience and did Ryan just walk right past without even recognizing her? DIS!! Candice did NOT disappoint. Harry did not disappoint. Kree, IMO, did disappoint. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t think she’s a great vocalist. I think Amber might’ve been crying because her Dad was ballin’. That would have got me goin’ too. Angie. Nothing to say. I agree with Harry that the “Standards” don’t need alot of embellishments but even Etta or Lena would’ve have improvised in a live venue. Most recordings are much different than what you see live. With that said, I had to mute Kree’s standard song as she did EVERYTHING Harry told her NOT to do and she failed. I’m happy that Harry did NOT hold back and that he pointed out that the singer’s must learn the melody first. Nobody there has the natural musicality that Candice has and nobody pulled it off except Candice.

    • daynamonet says:

      yes Ryan did straight up diss my girl Haley. I thought he would at least have acknowledged her. wow, they really didn’t like her did they?

      • deedee says:

        They chose to put Ryan in that part of the audience because Haley was there. It wasn’t a “diss” on Haley. Ryan doesn’t always talk to the Idols in the audience – sometimes the show’s nod to them is just a camera shot.

  25. Timmah says:

    I didn’t really care for Candice’s interpretation of the Billie Holiday song. When BH sang that song, or anything really, she could fill a room with palpable heartbreak and regret. Candice just sounded defiant. Or something. I don’t think she really communicates the emotion of a song well.

    For me, Amber and Kree win the night. Angie was boring as always.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Billie Holiday died shortly after I was born. But I guess it’s possible you saw her in concert!

    • Mellie says:

      I think a thing to remember is that lots of people interpret songs differently, and it doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. You can disagree with the interpretation or dislike it, but she wasn’t interpreting it as regretful or heartbreaking, and the emotion she chose she played strongly and powerfully – which of course you would still dislike it since you disagree with the interpretation, which is completely fair!

    • Name That Tune says:

      I don’t think she was trying to do Billie Holiday. It had more of a Sarah Vaughn feel to it. Definitely was modern jazz/blues. I listened to Billie’s version and I didn’t care for it. If you were expecting to hear Billie you were going to be disappointed.

      • Timmah says:

        Admittedly that’s one of my favorite BH songs, so I’m probably not going to like hearing anyone else sing it. Although Diana Ross did a fantastic job on Lady Sings the Blues, an amazing soundtrack if you can still find it.

  26. Candice was phenomenal tonight. Harry was spot-on. Mariah gave some great critiques. and Keith’s “I AM THE STIG” shirt was fabulous! and did I say that Candice was phenomenal tonight?!?!?! Yay!

  27. roland vann silao says:

    Angie Miller will/should win this season! beauty+Brains+talent+musical prowess=perfect package in the music industry! with it comes to votes, angie is far beyond others ;)

  28. kwilliams says:

    Note to all those Amber-bashers on this site; long, long, long after Candice (lovely voice), Angie (shrill), and Kree (dreadful) have been forgotten, Amber Holcomb will be a star. Yes, she is a little raw yet, and won’t win the competition, but she will leave all the haters in her dust.

    • You do know that every fan of every idol contestant says the same thing about their favorite every year and it rarely happens that any of them become stars, right? She’s a lovely singer, but to assume that she’s going to out perform the others after the show is just silly. Only time will tell if any of them make a real mark on the industry.

  29. keith williams says:

    I hope Amber wins; she is sweet, charismatic, incredibly beautiful, and when she connects with a song she is such a magnetic presence. Gorgeous singing.

  30. JJ says:

    I highly suspect that Amber was “FORCED” by production to sing the Pink song & also resing “Valentine.” All the contestants this season already voted off have confirmed that producers changed their songs & that the list of songs they have to choose from insist longer than a sheet of paper to begin with. I’d bet money that these weren’t Amber’s choices this week & that’s why she looked so defeated on stage.

    • LeahKittyS says:

      Totally with you on that one, JJ. I doubt Amber would choose a P!nk song on her own. Actually, I was surprised she didn’t sing a song she once said she liked: “I Love It” by Icona Pop (ooh, how Mike would have loved to hear her do that!)

      • JJ says:

        I wouldn’t even be surprised if they litterally told her that she had to sing the Pink song right before her session with Harry Connick, Jr which would explain why she didn’t know the lyrics that well for their rehearsal. I don’t think its right for production to have that much influence over what these kids decide to sing especially when they can get clearance to any song now.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        If she agrees to an interview here we may find out.

    • daynamonet says:

      i think she chose both of her songs. She wanted to do something different singing P!NK thats y she chose it. honestly i think they worked w/ harry connick jr last friday while they were still getting their songs figured out.

  31. tesh says:

    Michael, you do see the irony in your description of Candice’s first song: “shedding some skin”? ;)

  32. The Voice says:

    CANDICE!!! I STILL WONDER WHY YOU’RE STILL HERE IN THE TOP 4!!! YOU CAN’T EVEN SING WELL!!! I THINK YOU’RE TIME IS UP!!! I THINK YOU’RE GOING HOME!!!
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    Only kidding. LOL

  33. JEF says:

    Amber and Angie overscored and Kree’s second song underscored.

  34. I like Amber, and she’s got a great voice, but I feel no sympathy for her being called out for not knowing what the song means. It’s not a new song to her, she knows it, she’s sung it before. How in the hell has she never taken a moment to figure out what she’s singing about? Why does she like it enough for multiple performances? Because she can hit all the notes and show off? That’s not enough. It’s a hard lesson for her to learn publicly, but I hope she’s learned it well.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Amber is 19 years old. 19! Anyone remember being 19? I had to sing “When Sunny Gets Blue” in high school and, looking back, I had no idea what the heck I was singing about. This is why (sorry, repeating myself) I really want to see Amber attend some sort of performance college and get some formal training. She has the potential to be great! She’s beautiful and a wonderful singer but she could be completely amazing with a little work.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        I do know the meaning of Nine Inch Nails’ Closer when i was 10 tho lol, out of topic. The thing is this, I don’t buy the whole understanding lyrics notion cause music, like other kinds of arts, is substantially subjective. Every song could be interpreted differently, and if the songwriter never makes a legitimate statement on what the song is about, everyone’s allowed to read into it with their own perspectives. Semiotics and audience reception are normal when scrutinizing the meanings of lyrics. I do believe in knowing the tone of the song though. Sometimes, the tone speaks louder than the content of the words. Take the Nine Inch Nails song Closer for instance, the tone is obviously very carnal and savage, so you can’t expect the whole thing is about as sunny as a Barney song.

        • Name That Tune says:

          But you do have to tell a story. Singing is always going to be part scting and always an interpretation of the lyrics. Even if your interpretation doesn’t match what the songwriter intended, you need a point of view. Otherwise you can sing it in a monotone. Wouldn’t be very interesting would it?
          We forget that every song has 2 part: lyrics and instrumentals. Sometimes the instrumentals force an interpretation. As dreary as it is, McArthur Park hss some great instrumentals that force the singer down a certain path.

        • RP_Man says:

          I agree totally as I mentioned in my other post.
          Not everything is black and white and white as some make out, there are shades of grey (many of them).
          Lyrics dont always even make sense, and many hits have lyrics that dont make complete sense, Does this stop them being great songs? No!!
          Does this stop them from creating an emotional connection to listeners…no!!
          Does a singer need to speak it and understand it before they can sing it with feeling..NO!!
          Thats total BS!!
          If that was true then that would mean all instrumentalists play pieces with “No Feeling” (because there are no ;lyrics at all) Obviously not true.
          The reality is a number of things in piece can move a person or make a connection emotionally…not just lyrics.
          To some degree what Harry said makes some partial sense, but is it totally true…NO!!!
          All he achieved was stifling (especially) Amber and others thats all, because he was plain forceful and an arrogant AH to boot.

      • deedee says:

        Could not agree more, darcy’s evil twin. Most 19 year olds are not deep thinkers. I did feel bad for her that the pre-song package made her look like a silly teenager with no depth, but ultimately, that’s the kind of feedback she needs to make the most of her talent. Jimmy might still sign her and try to make a go of her marketability, but I agree that a good music college would do wonders for her. Then again, with the right Rhianna-like material, I could see her becoming a mainstream success (perhaps at the expense of her potential future artistry). Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to her post-show.

      • marie says:

        It does bear repeating, DET. I agree wholeheartedly: with some good training, solid advice and coaching, and a lot of dedicated work, Amber does have the potential to be a wonderful singer. Her tone is really quite lovely and she’s THIS close on style. She can get there if she wants to and if she works for it. I wish she had waited a few years before auditioning )but of course, at this point who knows how long Idol will remain on the air).

        • RP_Man says:

          I agree with a lot of what you say.
          But there is such a thing as too much training, too much micro managing.
          This is from someone who has taight music for 30 plus years.
          You have to discover your own message, your own soul, your own world view, na dhtta is unique to everyone.
          Dylan wasn’t trained, Hendrix wasn’t trained,Wes Montgomery wasn’t trained, neither was Louis Armstrong….all great and diverse talents.
          There is too much training these days, too much mentoring, too much market driven garbage.
          If I was Amber I would simply go to a teacher that helps and encourages her to keep in touch with her inner self.
          And that teacher…certainly aint Harry! LOL!!

    • RP_Man says:

      Rubbish!!
      Harry Connick is full of it, do you know what the words to “All along the Watchtower” means…or perhaps “Whiter Shade of Pale”?…Still Hendrix was able to perform “Watchtower” with heaps of emotion.
      And they were huge hits too…despite perhaps no-one really knowing excactly what they meant
      Sometimes lyrics are almost mystical and mean different things to different people, not everything is black and white.
      Harry is too pedantic, his performances are mannered , his arrangements are mannered, and he is plain full of himself and thinks his opinions rule.

  35. Bebe chez says:

    Amber’s charm is irresistable i wanna vote for her. This is my fave top 4 ever!

  36. rwfblog says:

    Best line of the night — Harry Connick in wry stage voice: “I’m holding Keith Urban’s hand!”

  37. Adam Fachry says:

    I haven’t watched the show or performances but I’ve read some recaps online and followed the liveblog on Rickey. Was it true that Harry said “she’s cute, but maybe not too bright” on Amber? Here’s what I found interesting, the lyrical content of My Funny Valentine’s opening words, from the Babes In Arms version by Rodgers and Hart, introduces a man who is perhaps not the best looking or the most intelligent. They wrote the line “Thy vacant brow and tousled hair conceal thy good intent. Thou noble, upright, truthful, sincere, and slightly dopey gent…” From these words we see a man who is misunderstood by most, but loved by the singer of the song. See, I think there’s a subtext to Harry’s statement. Maybe his comment was supposed to be an implicit sarcastic remark inspired by the meaning of the original version’s first verse? We never know. I know, I may have read too much into it but I just can’t help but notice the subtle connection, if there ever was.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      And btw, some of the explanations I’ve written above were cited by this comprehensive analysis on the song’s meaning by looking at the connectivity between its lyrical contents and melodies on lorenzhart. Look it up online, if you want to.

    • tabgic says:

      Harry did not actually say that. Michael was summing up the impression of Amber that one might draw from the film shown of the mentoring session. She did not understand the meaning of the song and was not able to respond to his questions with any insight into the meaning of lyrics (at least in the part that was shown on Idol)

  38. donito says:

    Who cares which of the four emerges the winner? Everyone in this blog is so die-hard to see their idol win. But does it make sense if after the contest the declared winner is not doing well in the music charts? where are you people who headbang themselves just to push their idols win. For me, i just wait who makes it and that’s what matters.

  39. Mary says:

    You could tell all the girls were nervous tonight and it showed in there performances. I thought the judges actually were good in their critiques, maybe a little late. Amber first performance was not that bad, but you could tell she was trying to remember the lyrics so it took away from the performance a little, but I gave her credit for taking on a song she did not know, where all the other girls had known theirs. I hated Angie first song. I will be honest, do not like the song in the first place and to me the arrangement did not improve it. Unless Amber’s fan base rally I think she will be leaving. Yes she probably was a little defeated but not just in the pre package. If she looks at the blogs like this there has been a lot of hate spew at her. I still think she has raw talent and if she chooses she can have a career. For me that is what the show is about.

    • donito says:

      DEFINITELY AGREE. Some people are narrow-minded to push their idols while pulling down the opponent. With reference to Amber in tears. I felt it real, remembering her shyness in her contest beginnings, the pressure now is truly too big for her. Likewise thinking that she’s in the bottom two last week, not to mention that she’s the youngest. i don.t have any problem who wins, just want everyone to be happy.

    • Jongirl says:

      Amber, to me, seemed not only physically, but emotionally exhausted. If she leaves tonight, I don’t think she would be all that upset about it. I think her tears were genuine and a sign that some sort of depression or extreme fatigue may be setting in.

  40. Adam Fachry says:

    Anyone here a fan of Willie Nelson’s pop standards cover album called Stardust? I think Kree should’ve chosen anything from it–or Who’s Sorry Now? which would be an EPIC MOMENT for herrr–given her trajectory. Nelson’s takes have the ability to find the common ground between outlaw country and wistful melodies, combined with his tender and intuitively around-the-beat phrasing, the songs create a sense of understated drama that I think would demonstrate Kree at her finest.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      yes. We have that album on vinyl. I can’t stand Willie Nelson singing any of those songs but I agree with your comment overall. I think Angie could have done a lovely job on “Stardust”. I think (is this the title?) “The September/November Song” would have been perfect for Kree. If marie is reading she might have to help me out on that one.
      As it were I think Kree did a nice job on “Stormy Weather” and it’s too bad Randy and Harry had to get into a testosterone match over her performance.

      • Adam Fachry says:

        Didn’t Slezak recommend Stardust to someone this week? But yeah, this song would prevent Angie from shouting high notes. I think that’s my problem with her, she has learned how to create a gradual build-up tho it still feels a tad affected, but when she was finally faced with an upper-register or climax, she can’t help but shout instead of effortlessly sing it. I also think you’re right, The September Song is an amazing choice for Kree. It could have a quiet yet transcendental impact, just like when she sang Help Me Make It Through The Night.

        I think we need to have a fan requests kind of week when a lucky fan gets a chance to pick a song for their favorite contestant. It’s pretty self-indulgent, or maybe self-righteous, on my part, but to me, sometimes the fans know them better than they knew themselves in terms of aesthetic.

      • marie says:

        Very close: it’s called simply “September Song.”
        As an aside, re another topic we were discussing elsewhere: a tiny voice was whispering at the back of my head; I checked my iPod, and sure enough, Joni Mitchell included “You’ve Changed” on her standards album.
        Didn’t love Kree’s “Stormy Weather,” but still, I do still love Kree. Very much looking forward to hearing what she releases post-Idol; she straddles a line between country and blues I find very attractive and intriguing.

  41. darcy's evil twin says:

    “…Tweedle T-Shirt, Tweedle-ME!, Tweedle-Duh and Tweedle-Dahhling …”. LOL, that’s funny stuff, Mr. Slezak.
    .
    In Crazy Nicki’s defense, Angie’s voice does have that clear-as-a-bell “Disney Princess” quality. It’s always reminded me of Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”. Despite the rough spots in Angie’s performance of “Diamonds” I would bump up the grade to at least a B+ or maybe an A-. Overall it was my fourth favorite performance of the evening. First, and I realize it’s immaterial here, Rhianna can’t even sing for crying out loud. Not only that, everyone has been critical of the lack of creativity this season, but it seems when someone DOES do something creative, they get negative feedback (“stick to the melody”, “you could have changed up the melody on this song”, “more runs”, “fewer runs”, “Stick to the guitar”, “I would have liked it better without the guitar”, “yeah, you took a rap song and turned it into a ballad but it sounded old-fashioned”, etc.). It’s as if these women are so good vocally the judges have to make up crap so they have something to say. I was honestly waiting for someone to pipe up with “more cowbell”. I thought Angie deserved more praise for what she did with what amounts to a dreadful song, IMO.
    .
    I think the only criticism we haven’t heard this year, and maybe it’s because we have different judges, is, “Sing something YOUNG. You’re YOUNG. That song is too old for you. We want to see you sing something young and have fun!” – after they hand them a list of songs that were popular when I was 12 years old and revolve around “suicide right on stage”, masters having sex with the slave girls, and “holy rollers”.
    .

    • Name That Tune says:

      DET, I am undecided about whether Kree or Angie had a better night . There were moments when Angie had beautiful tone in both of her songs. But it was not perfection. Kree was absolutely lovely on the Carrie song, but out of her element trying to sing a jazz standard.
      What got lost last night was that Mariah was offended tgat Nicki compared Angie to a Disney Princess. Angie is not some preprogrammed lightweight. She can sing and that was absolutely an insult.
      And there is nothing wrong with being a Broadway singer.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        It was strange how they suddenly a 180 and went to the sly bus types comments towards Angie all of a sudden (not as much Keith or Mariah though). Can’t yet tell what it means, if anything.

    • marie says:

      Dang, you beat me to it; I’ve been reminding myself to compliment the “Tweedle” names all day, and kept getting sidetracked by other comments!

  42. ljbehar says:

    Candice: Best. Idol. Singer. Ever.

  43. Michele says:

    I love Amber’s voice, she’s amazing to me. If life was fair, Candace would win, but sadly, it’s not.

  44. whowho says:

    “Tweedle T-Shirt, Tweedle-ME!, Tweedle-Duh and Tweedle-Dahhling”

    This is priceless!

  45. CK says:

    Given his tendency to divert attention to himself after a particularly noteworthy performance, I half expected Randy to begin his comments with “I was just with Billie last week and…”

    • Mark says:

      You forgot the first part…”back when I was the bass player for Journey, Billie was at one of our gigs…”

  46. ChrissieK says:

    BORing. The most boring American Idol EVER. How I longed for a white guy with guitar being in the mix…and I NEVER thought I would say that.
    Harry Connick…mentor…too little too late Idol.
    Nicki and her “Cher Hair”…ewwwwwww.
    Candice even though her songs put me to sleep has the best voice of all.

  47. darcy's evil twin says:

    Just saw David Cook is going to be on Idol tonight. Yay!

  48. donito says:

    with all due respect to you Mr. Slezak, you sounded harsh over Amber’s choice of MFV. at age 18, it does not surprise me that the three are more creative because they are older and more experienced. i like all the four in their own zones. but to put down someone unfairly is definitely foul..

    • daynamonet says:

      Um Angie is only 1 month older than amber so its not like its that big of a gap. and angie chose her standard b/c her mom used to listen to it so not much difference there either.

  49. Jongirl says:

    My take on the evening:
    1. Angie–Although she’s my favorite, I was disappointed in her tonight. The Rihanna song seemed to have no melody (whenever they go more up to date on Idol, I realize why they have so many old-time themes–the songwriting quality of today just isn’t there). And, STWOM was too full an arrangement (as Randy said–and I can’t believe I’m agreeing with him). I wanted her to stay sweet and vulnerable, the way she started out.
    2. Amber–No fair repeating MFV. You should have to earn the right to repeat a song by being in the top two. Besides, she mumbled phrases in the middle. The vocal quality was sterling, but, to quote Harry, the end run was “stupid”. (Plus, she had a totally wrong sustained vowel sound on the last word.) The Pink song just seemed shrill and off-pitch in spots. This girl is exhausted, both physically and emotionally. She seems tired of the whole Idol grind.
    3. Candice–The best on both songs, especially “You’ve Changed”. But she still adds too many extra notes. As Slezak said, the gender thing didn’t matter, and I never thought it would.
    4. Kree — “See You Again” brought tears to my eyes, thinking of Boston and Texas and anyone who’s suffered the loss of a loved one. “Stormy Weather” was good, but, as noted in other posts, she totally ignored Harry’s advice about runs.

    THREE CHEERS FOR HARRY! Is anyone today capable of singing a song without endless runs and vocal gymnastics? Those little black notes on the grid are there for a reason–that’s the tune the writer wants the singer to sing. They’re not just suggestions. I pumped my fists in the air and cheered during Harry’s talk to Kree about how all the runs and flourishes destroy the melody of a song. He was brilliant and I want him as a judge, or a season long mentor. Let’s get music back to being a melody with a message, not a showcase for the singer’s egotism.

  50. Robin says:

    A lot of people just aren’t into Angie and her eye contact with the camera while on the piano…it can be a little too much. I would suggest that Angie watch season 8 top 9 performance from Kris Allen…Ain’t no Sunshine! That was my guilty pleasure for the day.

    • Rivky says:

      bs’d
      Sorry, can’t get behind anything by Kris Allen, but my guilty pleasure is CROCS by Danny Gokey. I guess it really is subjective. :)

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