American Idol Top 3 Performance Night Recap: No Place Like Hometown Visits [Updated]

American-Idol-Top-3-Recap-Kree-HarrisonSince 2002, American Idol has maintained key sponsorships with Coca-Cola, Ford and AT&T, and that’s all good — seeing how it ensures the show’s weekly themes aren’t always variations on “Gregorian Chants” and/or “Tunes That Have Entered the Public Domain.” Still, after yet another gut-wrenching Hometown Visits episode featuring the Season 12 Top 3, I can’t help but wonder: Isn’t Fox long overdue to pursue a partnership with the good folks at Kleenex?

I mean, if you didn’t tear up watching Candice Glover pull up in front of her family’s house in a limousine or Angie Miller marvel at all the “Boston Strong” signs in her hometown or Kree Harrison visit the ramshackle house where she grew up with her late parents, then you’re made of stronger stuff (or disinclined to sip a glass of stronger stuff during Idol) than I am.

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Emotional as those carefully edited video packages may have been, however, they’re not really going to factor into which (if any) of these ladies manages to conquer radio and concert halls and the iTunes charts in the coming months and years. Which is why I wished that the show’s producers had allowed Kree, Angie and Candice at least one “Contestant’s Choice” round with which to display their artistic vision a mere eight days out from the Season 12 finale.

Instead, the ladies received their trio of songs — Judges’ Choice, Producers’ Choice and Jimmy Iovine’s Choice — like packages from Zappos with no return packaging and a strongly worded missive: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, you better squeeze your foot into it, grit your teeth and smile your way through it anyhow. Your future earning potential depends on it!”

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Like it or not, though, young artists navigating the major-label system don’t typically have total autonomy over which ditties they’ll be recording. And so despite the judges’ mostly bland feedback about growth and purity and genuineness, it was fascinating to see which contestants thrived and which ones stumbled when saddled with less-than-suitable material. With that in mind, let’s cut to the set list — with letter grades and full reviews:

Jimmy’s Choice
Kree Harrison: Pink’s “F***in’ Perfect” | Don’t get me wrong: I love Kree. I love her warm butterscotch sauce tone. I love her compulsion to hug every human being who comes within a five-foot radius. But her rendition of “Perfect” had all the energy of a half-deflated party balloon that gets stuck behind a credenza — right down to that final halfhearted arm raise and subsequent “oh, I give up” drop. Granted, the song was an odd fit: Kree’s country-blues languidness is in a different zip code than Pink’s raucous pop-soul abandon, after all. But I was disappointed that — despite her packed schedule — Kree didn’t rethink the song or the arrangement in any discernable way. Instead of reaching into the shriekbot pit and touching the hands of young girls, I’d have loved to see Kree seated on a stool, accompanied by nothing other than a twangy acoustic guitar, turning “Perfect” into a soul-searching country ballad. (Because “Perfect” really could be country.) That kind of bold risk would’ve announced to the world that Kree had arrived back in Hollywood determined to fight for a Top 2 position, but instead, all we got was Kree’s admission that she’d have never picked “Perfect” for herself and her dubious claim that she’d “had fun.” (Question: Why do contestants break out the “I had fun” card immediately after performances that look about as joyous as slamming one’s head into an open kitchen-cabinet door?) Grade: B-

Candice Glover: U2’s “One” | I’m pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of bum notes Candice has hit during her entire Season 12 run, which is why it was jarring to hear her go sharp three or four times over the course of U2’s booming rock anthem. The bigger problem to me, though, was an arrangement that jumped too quickly to the “love is a temple, love is a higher law” climax — with not enough of buildup to make the payoff satisfying. (Side note: I didn’t set my stopwatch, but the Round 1 performances all seemed particularly rushed — which is annoying considering how much time was devoted to the judges’ yapping, no?) In the overall scheme of the season, I suspect this isn’t “One” for which Candice will ultimately be remembered, but it still wasn’t too shabby. Grade: B+

Angie Miller: Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” | I can’t believe the judges griped — again! — about Angie not performing at the piano. (Side rant: This is not a piano-playing contest! It’s about singing! No one should have to be chained to any instrument! Maybe given her packed week she wanted to focus on the vocals! WHY AM I SO ANGRY BY THE END OF THE IDOL SEASON!?) Perhaps even more nonsensical, though, was the griping from Randy and Keith that Angie could’ve or should’ve “held back even more” than she did. Um, what did they want, exactly? A whispered performance? One done entirely through the art of mime? Maybe one where Angie hid demurely beneath a burlap sack? To me, this was one of Angie’s finest vocals of the season — bell clear, genuinely emotional and landing right in the sweetest spot of her range. Her diction was still sharp, but not blood-drawingly so, and the way she dug deep and delivered lines like, “What’ve I gotta do to be heard?” had me focused only on her — and not even thinking about the fact that the song has really been done one too many times before on the show (including a cover by a Season 10 contender whose name rhymes with Makeup Musk). If the collective opinion of the Internet is right — and Angie’s a lock to win the whole enchilada — then this is one of the performances that will make said victory go down easy (even for a raging Candice fan like me). Grade: A-

Judges’ Choice
Candice Glover: Emeli Sande’s “Next to Me” | To my ears, this was the most creative arrangement of the night — sparse and slowed-down to start, rollicking and energetic thereafter — with a hand-clapping, band-on-hold interlude that reminded me a little of David Cook’s breakdown on “Laying Me Low” during last week’s results show. Candice cut through every note like a Top Chef contestant julienning veggies, laid down those glory notes with the ease of a bodybuilder lifting a 10 lb. weight, and even added a little gravel to her tone when she hit “you won’t ever find him where the rest go.” This was yet another exhibit in the mounting pile of evidence refuting folks who don’t see Candice as having massive sales potential and/or fail to recognize that she could be the American Adele. (Yes, I’m using “American Adele” once more. Randy says “in it to win it” eight times every episode and he still has a job. For now.) Oh, and speaking of Randy and his irksomeness, what the HELL was with his comment about Candice proving “you can come from absolutely nothing”? I mean, it’s not like her family home was a tin shack with a dirt floor. Sheesh! Nicki, for her part, credited Candice with being “the most confident woman on that stage every single night,” a compliment that had Candi Girl openly weeping and admitting she used to be “the most insecure person ever.” That just can’t be the case anymore, can it? Not after a performance this rockin’. Grade: A-

Angie Miller: Pink’s “Try” | Interestingly, I feel like Angie lived up to the song title on this performance in that she took a gritty rock number that didn’t quite suit her and made a valiant attempt to conquer it — stalking the stage, punching the air, and occasionally throwing her whole body into phrases to add extra emotional oomph. Alas, though, all that physical effort didn’t result in Angie’s strongest vocal: She began to sound winded about halfway through the proceedings and there were moments the band threatened to overpower her. To make matters worse, the fresh-scrubbed quality of Angie’s tone left the overall impression of someone taking Pink’s gritty original and sanding down the raw edges. I’m sure Angie was thrilled to hear, however, that the original was written by a good friend of Randy Jackson’s, and that it was okay for Mariah to compare her to a “homecoming queen” during her hometown visit package because, like Angie, Ms. Cary is “festive” too! (Seriously, Uncle Nigel, we get truncated performances to make room for this kind of gobbledygook?) Grade: B

Kree Harrison: Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye” | Without a doubt, Kree’s hometown visit was one of the show’s most tear-inducing moments since Elliott Yamin and his mother wept along his parade route in Season 5. And when Kree said that visiting her childhood home was like hanging on to a little piece of her parents, and then broke down at the end of her concert rendition of “See You Again,” I had a lip-trembling, eye-watering moment of my own. A lot of those emotions got carried into “Here Comes Goodbye” — both for Kree and for the audience. I enjoyed the scaled-back piano intro and the solemnity of Kree’s delivery, and the way all of the song’s emotions played across her face. Unfortunately, though, the extended glory note at the midway marker veered so far off its intended mark that had this been a game of darts, it would’ve gone kerplunk onto the sawdust-covered floor. That said, I have to admit that on first listen, the errant note hit my ears like Q-tips driven home with sledgehammers, giving the overall impression that what came after it was shaky, too. Upon second (and then third) listen, however, I’ve come to realize I graded Kree too low the first time around. One hinky note — even a lengthy one — does not a song ruin. Hopefully one misjudged performance — even in Top 3 week — does not a recapper’s credibility tarnish. (The deteriorating sentence structure showcased in this paragraph, however, is another story.) Grade: B A-

Producers’ Choice
Angie Miller: Emeli Sande’s “Maybe” | I was pretty shocked by the judges chirpily positive feedback on this performance, even though it contained passive-aggressive zingers like Nikki’s “you weren’t staring straight into the camera like a zombie!” To me, it seemed like Angie started the performance in a key that was way too high, causing her to go flat at increasingly frequent intervals throughout the performance — and ultimately sound as shrill as a middle-school substitute teacher scolding her students into silence. Mariah hinted at the problem (“I don’t feel that was easy.” “It was quite a high key.”) but ultimately devolved into psychobabble including “you were you and you were present.” Um, yes, she was on stage for the duration of the performance, Mimi. Thanks for that. Grade: C

Kree Harrison: The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” | Brazenness, thy name is Nigel Lythgoe. I mean, how galling was it that “The Producers” chose a song for Kree — whose lost her dad at age 12 and her mom at age 19 — about a woman telling her man, “If you go before I do/ I’m gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two”? And what other end result could we expect than a dazed-looking Kree limping her way through the song with all the enthusiasm of a strict vegan trying to order something off a steakhouse menu. OK, could Ms. Harrison have willed herself to try just a little bit harder, make the performance a little more dynamic? Yeah, sure. Can I legitimately sit here and rail against her because she didn’t? Not a chance in hell. And it’s not like her tone wasn’t lovely as always. Grade: B

Candice Glover: “Somewhere” (from West Side Story) | On paper, I wasn’t sure how Candice would be able to use a big Broadway ballad going to silence those “she’s not commercial!” criticisms that get lobbed her way. But then, as she opened her mouth and began to sing a sublime, achingly patient rendition of the West Side Story chestnut that dialed back on runs and ad-libs — and relied more on the stunning ebb and flow of her  instrument, as well as her ability to get inside a song and completely inhabit its lyrics — I realized something: Candice is simply too remarkable to go chasing whatever ridiculous formula has made Ke$ha a star while Haley Reinhart gets dropped by her label. As Harry Connick, Jr. told Candice last week — she can’t build a career stressing over whether the 14-year-olds will get it. And frankly, with good collaborators and a decent promotional budget, I bet there are plenty of teenagers who’d get excited about a Candice Glover record. I dunno, maybe her voice just makes me optimistic, but isn’t that the power of Idol anyway? That young women with the ambition and raw talent of Candice (and Kree) (and Angie) can overthrow the tyrrany of Aut0-Tune and regurgitating lyrics that literally say “Blah! Blah! Blah!” to rule the charts and run the world? Somehow. Someday. Somwhere. Grade: A

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 3 performance night? 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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  1. Joe says:

    When I took the poll tonight I voted for Somewhere (obviously), Kree’s 2nd song and Try (surprisingly). I thought each of them had one of the best 3 of the night. But Candice’s best of the night was about 3000 miles away from the 2nd runner up. 50 votes to Candice Glover. Nicki finally articulated what I wanted to hear about Candice and what she’s representing in the music industry. Candice is real. She’s beautiful, although not in the pop star way, humble and she is the most talented singer to be on this show since Lambert. I just want to see her sing in the finale. The rest of her career is in front of her. I think for Angie, winning Idol would be the peak of her career and what comes after that would never compare. If Candice wins the show, it’s just the first step in a very long career. If she loses the show it won’t matter. She’s still going to have a very long career singing. Slezak nailed it calling her the American Adele. In every way, that’s who she can be which is saying a lot. I hope the country puts their prejudices aside (not just racial, but musical) and votes for the best female singer we’ve had on here in a very long time.

    • Karen says:

      “The American Adele”, Candice is this and soooooo much more. She is current and ancient all
      at the same time. Her soul is Ella Fitzgerald, Luther Vandross and Eretha all rolled into one. Her
      musical genius is a natural gift. It is like breathing to her. A singer like Candice comes along
      once in a blue moon. I agree with Joe. Put all predjudice aside. Close your eyes and just listen
      to those incredible notes that want to knock you off your feet, or lure you closer. She will be around for a very long time. And I will be first in line to buy her first album.

      • Amy says:

        Well put, Karen!…”current and ancient all at the same time.” I hadn’t thought of it that way, consciously…but you are right! And she must be current, because I’m not a fan of the old schoolers you mention, not my type music to buy…but Candice has made the style her own, and sold it to me in a fresh package, and I love it. Because I love her singing…period.
        I also think she is beautiful, (though as Joe, says, not in the traditional pop-star way…cookie cutter beauty gets boring…give me uniquely one’s own any dang day..) and humble. Go Candice!

        • Karen says:

          Amy, I would love to see Candice reprieve the roll of Ella Fitzgerald in a story about her life.
          Like Ella, Candice is very humble. And like Ella she has musical genius in her innate note
          placement. i.e. going stacatto or lapsing into a resolve ending. Candice sings rifts and runs
          like Ella scatted. Both are large in girth with the most beautiful smiles. Ella was homeless
          until she was 19 years old and won a singing competition. Then she signed a contract and
          bought she and her mother a home. Until then they slept on relatives couches and floors.
          Ella remained humble despite her fame until the day she died. She was known as the “First
          Lady of Song”. And that is what I think Candice is capable of. She could become one of the
          greatest singers of our time.

    • Amy says:

      Joe, agree with all you say about Candice (except I put her as the best singer’s singer since David A., season 7)…that said, though..
      can we finally put to rest the racial assumptions about “the country” that voted in a black man for president, (twice!!), and a non-caucasian Idol 3 times, already! I’ve heard enough about some phantom racial votes…”this country” has nothin’ to prove on that note, in my book.
      Just hadda get that out. I realize others feel differently. But it’s gets old on this blog.

  2. Idolhead Ed says:

    You know what would have been fairer? If on the last round all three sang “Somewhere”. I think Angie could have Broadwayed that thing up like what it is and Kree could have given it her Kree feel. I think all three would have killed in their own way. Talk about a real comparison. Maybe they should do that in seasons to come. Have all three sing the same song as the last song.

  3. Daniel says:

    Angie (2nd) = A
    Candice (3rd) = A
    Angie (3rd) = A
    Kree (2nd) = A
    Candice (2nd) = A
    Angie (1st) = A-
    Candice (1st) = A-
    Kree (1st) = B+
    Kree (3rd) = B+

  4. Jase says:

    So is there ANY chance the bug-eyed beaver will go tomorrow night thereby giving me the Candice/Kree finale I’ve wanted since the season began?

    • mike says:

      jase, you just made me chuckle, I’m worried Timmah (below) is sadly right so maybe mix yourself a handful of vodka/mango’s in preperation for tomorrow’s show. I appreciate all of Angie’s qualities and she seems to be a good person. I just can’t stand the sight of her!

    • AI Addict says:

      I too, want a Candice-Kree finale Badly! I like Angie, but her singing talent is nowhere beyond my favorites’. But she surely gets me every time with her performance. Her stage presence is good. But can we just let the best singers have their moment on American Idol? Because I’m sure Angie’s gonna make it big out there. BTW, calling Angie a bugged-eye beaver doesn’t explain why we (Candice-Kree fans) don’t think she deserves to make the finals. And, please, VOTE HARD FOR KREE! She really needs our votes, she deserves our votes! If only I were American…

    • ETG says:


    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      OK no need to take it there either. Let’s not get carried away and be mean.

  5. Kaba says:

    I went to look back at “Up To The Mountain” to see how Kree has changed. I’m sorry but the difference in her presence is too insatiably obnoxious for it to be she doesn’t want it enough.
    If you look at “Up To the Mountain” and then anything in the past few weeks. Kree. LOOKS. DEFEATED.
    Kree looks as though she had the biggest and most apparent problems with SOMETHING about American Idol.
    Some performances she looks ready to just get it over with, other times she looks like she’s forcing a feeling because she was instructed to when all she wanted to do was be done with the songs.
    Kree “peaked” right before the top 10. I wouldn’t even claim she peaked. We saw a glimpse of who she is as an artist, then the top 10 came around and she hated something about being in the top 10.
    I’m calling it. Kree has hated the song selection of EVERY week. Look at her performances of “Up To the Mountain”, “Stronger”, and “Evidence”. We saw a whole different Kree then.
    I’m concluding that Kree is simply not the kind of person who can fake a feeling she doesn’t feel, nor fake a connection that isn’t there. Had the variety of songs to choose from been broader or hell, give them the power to pick their own songs and screw all these theme weeks. Kree would be phenomenal at all times.

  6. BillyBob says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! What’s with the Nicki and Mariah cleavage fest. Looks like hookers on Hollywood Blvd. I like Shakira on The Voice she dresses normal and down to earth.

    Oh, BTW VOTE for Angie Miller 1-866-436-5703 or 1-866-436-5706 or 1-866-436-5709

  7. Carla says:

    Pink for Kree Harrison? Ok bussing has began loud and clear! Poor girl tried her hardest to not throw the song choice out like it should have been! Pink for a country girl? Please. I don’t think my favorite will make it tomorrow but I’m voting like crazy anyway!!!

  8. Jmill0420 says:

    Candice was handed a spot in the finals. She got a perfect fit for her last song and they gave Angie and Kree crappy songs. Sure Candice did do a great job on her song, but she had no competition. You can’t get a standing ovation with “dig two” no matter how you sing it. Artists should be able to pick their songs still or at least pick from a few selected songs.

  9. twnkltoze says:

    #1 While Kree and Angie received 3 great songs, Candice received the LAMEST 2 out of 3 songs. Still, she took two sows ears and made silk purses out of the both of them. And even though the Producer’s picked an overdone powerhouse balad such as “Somewhere” she more than did it justice. Way to sabotage her chances at the finale Jimmy, Judges and Producers. I was SO disappointed in their choices. I agree with Slezak in that they should have allowed the girls to pick at least one song of their own. Surely, knowing Candice’s range and ability to slay a great jazz piece, they could’ve dug down into their collective musical libraries and done better by Candice. MUCH better. Kree and especially Candice’s hometown visits were deeply emotional and their reactions were authentic and heartwrenching. For me, Angie came off as if she were still performing. Adnauseaum at its finest. I didn’t believe a minute of it as anything but pretentious. Why assume that Candice comes from such an impoverished background RANDY? All I saw was LOVE and was deeply moved by every destination, especially her church. It was apparent that Candice’ life before IDOL provided her with a very RICH and strong support system, substance and again, plenty of love and that’s ALL that matters. And again Nicki with the references to Candice’ weight and appearance. Candice is a beautiful and tremendously talented woman and that is ALL that matters. With that said, I think they all sang their hearts out and it’s anybody’s game at this point. If I had to pick the top 2 based on tonight’s performances and the song choices I’d say it would be Angie, based on receiving the best songs and Candice winning over Kree by a slim margin based on her sheer vocal prowess and collection of master class performances over this season. Now I have to give Candice ALL 50 votes. Good luck Ladies!!

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      Kree got a Pink song wayy out of her wheelhouse. She got something perfect for her for her second song true. For her third song yeah a country song was good in that it was country and gets that huge block voting the one they gave her was not hot at all and not likely to get any non-country obsessed fans excited, not in her true wheelhouse and it had chance to be a truly break out moment. So how do you say they gave better to Candice than to Kree?? Look at Kree’s face! She sure doesn’t agree with you.
      Angie’s first song is every bit as old as Candice’s last but it is old in a less timeless way if anything. Although it did fit her vocally like a glove so it wasn’t a bad choice. Her second was a dangerous choice but not so far out of her potential that you didn’t also see chance for something excellent with some reasonable degree of probability (although with a few fears of course). Luckily it worked out in spades. Her third song was OKish, a bit tricky to really moment with and tough in that it could easily go too forced or too sleepy, but as with Kree it wasn’t something that had as much of a chance as a moment as Candice got.
      Now maybe Candice didn’t get the perfect set but it clearly wasn’t any worse set than the other two got and you could even argue it was better.

      • Nak8 says:

        I don’t think One for Candice was a good fit. Candice and Kree got 2 uptempo songs, while Angie only got 1. Kree got 2 country songs and a Pink song that I feel she would have knocked out of the park if she had time to perfect it.

        On a side note, I’m annoyed people keep harping about Candice not knowing a U2 song. Just because someone can sing, that doesn’t mean they have to know every single song from every single artist. Not everyone likes U2 OR Mary J. Blige for that matter.

        They all had a stellar season. It’s going to be a tough elimination.

        • deedee says:

          Candice cites Mary J Blige as an influence, so it is quite surprising she was not familiar with “One”.

        • Name That Tune says:

          I don’t think One was what we’re accustomed to hearing from Candice. But the point was to show us all the flavors of Candice. 3 songs, 3 flavors. She’s so good that when she missed a note here and there, it’s like the sky is falling. But that was a very good performance. I’d like to hear it again after she’s had more time to perfect it.

          BTW, they chose songs that were different & difficult for all 3 girls. By the end of the sh, y should be able to tell who the strongest singers are. So I don’t think there was anything unfair about it. We got to see 3 flavors of each girl. It worked or it didn’t work, but you have a clear idea of what they can do.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          You don’t have to like them but to have never heard of U2 or West Side Story or Phil Collins or the most famous Beatles song, etc. (edit: although actually I guess Burnell said in the interview that he had heard of it but didn’t know it well which is reasonable enough)

          Most people who barely even listen to music still know about U2 and so on.

      • marie says:

        (Well, not quite: nineteen years’ difference, actually. “Somewhere” is from West Side Story, first produced in 1957; Elton John’s “Sorry…” was released in 1976.)

  10. Lois Benton says:

    These kids would have been better served with singing obscure oldies….even as in, 1920’s, Civil War (Hey, some of those are good) than these choices tonight. I am a better crtiic than Jimmy, so, here it is: Round One: Bleech. No one won. Maybe Candice was the closest to digging herself out of the Jimmy -hole. Jimmy thinks Angie won? No, she was at the bottom. Horrible song choice, but if one must sing this overdone piece, an Adam Lambert Tracks of My Tears treatment is called for. Round Two: Angie, although I hate to admit it, as a big Candice fan. Round Three: Candice, no contest, but: What the heck was all that? That’s your best shot, Production people? (Yeah, right. Not a vocal coach in the mix; it’s all Nigel. Just say so.)

  11. cj bacci says:

    Candace “frickin'” Glover !!!!!!!

  12. Becca says:

    Jimmy’s Choice
    Kree Harrison: Pink’s “F***in’ Perfect” | Grade: B-
    Candice Glover: U2′s “One” | Grade: A-
    Angie Miller: Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” | Grade: B
    Judges’ Choice
    Candice Glover: Emeli Sande’s “Next to Me” | Grade: B
    Angie Miller: Pink’s “Try” | Grade: B
    Kree Harrison: Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye” | Grade: B
    Producers’ Choice
    Angie Miller: Emeli Sande’s “Maybe” | Grade: C
    Kree Harrison: The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” | Grade: C+
    Candice Glover: “Somewhere” (from West Side Story) | Grade: A

  13. syb says:

    People really liked Angie’s “Sorry Seems to Be…?” Huh. I thought it was not quite insufferable. On the other hand, I give her props for Try. That’s what an ambitious contestant does with an upbeat song out of left field. I wouldn’t buy it or pay to see it, but she sang it well, she was game, didn’t misstep. Absolutely decent.

    Candice stole the show with Somewhere, but Kree’s Rascal Flatts cover is the one that will stay with me tonight.

    Fine job all considering what a gauntlet they’ve run through in the last 6 days.

  14. Beyonce says:

    Was I the only one who felt that Candice fell short of outstanding in all 3 songs? I would give her B for effort in all 3 performances

  15. HitTheGroundRunning says:

    Glad you revisited Kree’s second performance because the original grade was NOT right. “Grade: B goes to A-” OK now you are talking. Just hope you also revisit Angie’s last two at least a little.

  16. AI Addict says:

    I’ve been rooting for a Candice-vs-Kree finish since the hollywood solo round. And that has never changed (although I have to say Kree isn’t as strong as she was earlier). I’ve never been much of a fan of Angie on the vocals. I thought her vocals when she did Diamonds, Who You Are, Shop Around (of course), Yesterday, Bring Me To Life and a few more, were quite bad. But she definitely is a performer. And I hate that the judges want her to play the piano like every single week. Angie delivers great performances with or without piano. As for Kree, although she does not move around, I disagree with many people saying she sings without emotion. Because I really feel what she sings (except ‘Piece of My Heart’, *she had pinched nerve, so I wouldn’t count that), I know that she sings with all her heart. I think people need expressions (facial expressions especially) to feel the emotion and connection, which to me, seems like they need to watch the singer, rather than just listen and enjoy. Candice, without a doubt is the best vocalist of the season. I’ve loved her since she first auditioned. I wonder why the judges are starting to give her credits for her superb talent now when they should have done that months ago. Amber got the most standing ovations and they even said she had the best vocals at the top 8 (or 9) night when clearly Candice owned the night. Candice had proved her ability weeks ago. I’m glad they finally see it now. Kree also has the best vocals (after Candice) but they have never said a thing about it. And why the hell are the producers trying to write Kree off of their fiction?! She gets the least ‘publicity’ on the show. And they gave her songs that they knew would have people voting for her to be eliminated (if there were votes for elimination). And they did succeed at making people want Kree to go home even more. I’m still hoping that the finale would turn out to be the Battle of the Best Singers, although I know Angie’s massive army could knock down North Korea. Urgh, these girls are keeping me away from my Chemistry book! But I wouldn’t mind failing my exam for them… Kree and Candice for the finale!!!!!

  17. GoAngieGo says:

    i want an angie-kree finale.. candice is boring, fat, no sex appeal, judges don.t like her in their top 3. except for mariah but liked her only as third.. nah, no chance of winning, lesser chance of shining in the real music scene, sorry just my opinion..

    • Nak8 says:

      I feel sorry for you. Angie has some of the worst fans.

    • Mafs95 says:

      Seriously, I like Angie a lot but some of her fans are highly annoying (yes, I’m talking about you). I read almost every comments in this section and yours were always trashing Candice. An Idol must have sex-appeal and be slim? I’m sorry, but this isn’t “America’s Next Top Model” or “Toddlers and Tiaras”. This is a singing competition, so that kind of critique is completely (how will I say this without offending you?)…. STUPID!
      Why can’t we appreciate either one of these talented ladies individually? You have the right to support your favourite (Angie), but saying Candice is boring and using “fat, no sex appeal, judges don’t like her” as an argument is completely wrong in many levels. Just say you prefer Angie, easy as that!

    • deedee says:

      What a ray of sunshine you are. You must make your idol so proud that you’re her fan!

    • syb says:

      And you’re just the ‘mean girl’ type that people project on Angie, who probably doesn’t deserve it.

    • Bessie says:

      Ah, Angie fans, so classy.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      OK now though let’s not take it there. Don’t get off track and mean.

  18. yeah says:

    Slezak, I’m so freaking tired of this constant mindless insulting of REAL-LIFE pop stars like Riri and Kesha. it’s completely par for the course now, just a flourish to add a little zing to the recap. ugh.
    Just so you know, both of them are the stars not because of the autotune or money or “bad taste of the general public”. (as easily evidenced by the fact that most of Idol “stars” – with Idol’s money and Idol’s platform – don’t do that well in real world)
    Does, for instance, Pia Toscano has a bigger range and better voice technically than either Rihanna or Kesha? Yes of course she does. Why isn’t she as popular? because she’s BORING and empty like a doll. They on the other hand, have something to say, they are personalities, they are fun and exciting – as well as good singers.

    “That young women with the ambition and raw talent of Candice (and Kree) (and Angie) can overthrow the tyrrany of Aut0-Tune and regurgitating lyrics that literally say “Blah! Blah! Blah!” to rule the charts and run the world? Somehow. Someday. Somwhere.”
    – that kind of holier-than-thou bs is really not attractive, you know. And no-one rules the world for no reason.

    • kaba says:

      It’s actually because they have gimmicks

      • yeah says:

        well give Pia some gimmicks and try making her a megastar

        • kaba says:

          Don’t think that’s necessary tho tbh. Look at adele

          • yeah says:

            adele def has something to say tho. unlike a lot of idol stars.
            it’s cool to like madonna now but much of her career she was looked at like riri, silly popstar. and she doesn’t have much of a voice.

    • Jongirl says:

      People in this country have become like children. They have no attention spans and constantly need “excitement” or some kind of stimulation other than the pure musicality of a singer to make them pay attention. I recently watched a 25th anniversary concert of “Les Miz” that riveted me for 3+ hours simply because the music was so beautiful. I got “goosies” over and over again. But there was no action on the stage; just people standing at the microphones in costume, singing. This sublime show was stuck on PBS just because of the thimble-sized attention span of viewers. Obviously none of the networks would touch it. The fault is not with someone like Pia; the fault is with the American viewer.

    • Mark says:

      auto-tune. anyone can be a star. no talent required.

  19. Mafs95 says:

    Top 40:
    Angie Miller – 8 / 10
    Candice Glover – 8.5 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 9.5 / 10
    Top 20:
    Angie Miller – 9 / 10
    Candice Glover – 9 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 9 / 10
    Victory Songs:
    Angie Miller – 7.5 / 10
    Candice Glover – 9.5 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 9.5 / 10
    Top 10:
    Angie Miller – 8 / 10
    Candice Glover – 10 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 9 / 10
    Top 9:
    Angie Miller – 8.5 / 10
    Candice Glover – 8.5 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 8 / 10
    Top 8:
    Angie Miller – 6 / 10
    Candice Glover – 8 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 8.5 / 10
    Top 7:
    Angie Miller – 9 / 10
    Candice Glover – 8.5 / 10
    Kree Harrison – 8 / 10
    Top 6:
    Angie Miller – 8 + 9 = 17 / 20
    Candice Glover – 10 + 10 = 20 / 20
    Kree Harrison – 9 + 9.5 = 18.5 / 20
    Top 5:
    Angie Miller – 8 + 9.5 = 17.5 / 20
    Candice Glover – 9 + 9 = 18 / 20
    Kree Harrison – 8 + 8 = 16 / 20
    Top 4:
    Angie Miller – 9.5 + 8.5 = 18 / 20
    Candice Glover – 8.5 + 8.5 = 17 / 20
    Kree Harrison – 8 + 9 = 17 / 20
    Top 4 (Redux):
    Angie Miller – 8.5 + 8 = 16.5 / 20
    Candice Glover – 9 + 9.5 = 18.5 / 20
    Kree Harrison – 9 + 7.5 = 16.5 / 20
    Top 3:
    Angie Miller – 9 + 9 + 7.5 = 25.5 / 30
    Candice Glover – 8 + 8.5 + 9.5 = 26 / 30
    Kree Harrison – 7.5 + 9.5 + 7.5 = 24.5 / 30
    Angie Miller – 151 / 180 (83,9%)
    Candice Glover – 161.5 / 180 (89,7%)
    Kree Harrison – 154 / 180 (85,6%)
    I think this is one of the best Top 3 we ever had in this show, but I slightly prefer Candice, specially if we consider her whole body of work. I think the Top 2 will be Angie and Candice, but anything could happen…

    • daynamonet says:

      I like they way u tallied this. i think i like this better than the letter grades and then adding them all together in the end thats good. And of course the “best” of the season has the most points and that’s Candice!

    • daynamonet says:

      Top 40 Vegas

      Angie – 8.5
      Kree – 9.5
      Candice – 8

      Top 20

      Angie – 8.5
      Kree – 8
      Candice – 9

      Victory Songs

      Angie – 7
      Kree – 9
      Candice – 9.5

      Top 10 – Songs From the Idols

      Angie – 8.5
      Kree – 8
      Candice – 10

      Top 9 – Beatles Week

      Angie – 8.5
      Kree – 9
      Candice – 9

      Top 8 – Motor City/Motwown Week

      Angie – 5
      Kree – 8.5
      Candice – 8.5

      Top 7 – Rock Week (no ballads)

      Angie – 8
      Kree – 8
      Candice – 8

      Top 6 – Burt Bacharach/Songs You Wish You’ve Written

      Angie – 7.5 + 9 =16.5
      Kree – 9 + 7.5 = 16.5
      Candice – 10 + 10 = 20

      Top 5 – Songs From the Year You Were Born/Divas

      Angie – 6.5 + 8.5 = 15
      Kree – 7 + 9 = 16
      Candice – 9 + 8 = 17

      Top 4 – Contestants Choice/One Hit Wonders

      Angie – 9.5 + 8.5 = 18
      Kree – 8 + 8.5 = 16.5
      Candice – 8 + 8 = 16

      Top 4 (redux) – Songs From 2013/Standards

      Angie – 8 + 8 = 16
      Kree – 9 + 8 = 17
      Candice – 9.5 + 9.5 = 19

      Top 3 – Jimmy’s Choice/Judges Choice/Producer’s Choice

      Angie – 8 + 9 + 8 = 25
      Kree – 7 + 9 + 8 = 24
      Candice – 8 + 8.5 + 9.5 = 26


      Angie – 144.5
      Kree – 150
      Candice – 160

      Although as far as #’s go i have Kree ahead of Angie, i still would prefer a Candice/Angie finale. To me Angie had some serious weak moments (shop around, stand by you, i was here) however her really great moments were actually really stellar and kind of outweighed her lackluster performances. Also, many of Kree’s stronger performance were prior to top 10, and then as someone else commented, she didn’t carry that same emotion in all her top 10 performances. I think more or less my ratings were based on pure vocals because that’s really the edge Kree has on Angie. Of course we both have Candice with the most points which would make her the winner, which is no surprise.

      • Mafs95 says:

        I completely agree. Even though Kree has more points than Angie (according to my opinion and yours), I think she has shown more interest and fire in these last weeks than Kree. I want Candice in the finale, the one who’s going to be in the finale with her doesn’t matter to me. They are all pretty good.

  20. Armand says:

    I wish these reviews were a little more objective. Angie gets a C whereas Candice’s “One” with all its sharp notes is labeled “not too shabby”. I am surprised nobody commented on her not having heard “One”. Had it been any other contestant, Michael would be all over it. Kree admittedly was stuck either with bland songs or songs not fitting to her voice. At this point, looking at the lackluster first week sales of Jessica Sanchez, it does not matter who will win

    • marie says:

      “Objective” isn’t the point here; Michael is NOT writing a straight-facts-only recap, but rather the whole POINT of his columns is to express his own opinions and invite his readers to express theirs. “Objective” would very quickly become dry and boring.

  21. db says:

    I might be the village idiot, but I thot Better Dig Two was pretty good. Might have been better if it had been her first song rather than her last. I don’t think another ballad no matter how well sung was better although Ms. C has a beautiful voice – would have liked her to sing another one of those up tempo jazzy sounding songs. I did go back and listen to both songs again. Maybe Jimmy could take my place in the village with his choice though as the most stupidiest choice of songs for an artist (Ms. K). Make them work? Seems awkward for a contest…so it might have been nice if the three of the songs kind of lined up somehow someway….

    • Mark says:

      You and me both. How about head down to the local tavern and down a couple pints of beer while we listen to Better Dig Two. We’ll be the only ones there.

  22. Larry says:

    Total corruption!! the producers first rigged the season so there were NO decent male singers, so intent were they on making SURE a FEMALE won this season. Then, last night, they gave 2 girls ‘ho-hum’ songs and gave Candice probably one of the only great “arias” of the 20th century!!??? REALLY???? And by Leonard Bernstein no less!! and then she went WAY SHARP on it!!! So much so that I cringed!!! Candice actually BLEW “Somewhere” because of her inability to control the pitch (1st time I’d heard her so far off this season!) and the judges gave HER the ONLY standing ovation and praise to the moon?
    This show is RIGGED. TOTALLY. I’ve watched every episode of every season. But this is the last season I’ll watch it. First they rig it, then they put Niki (YIKES!) and Mariah (yawn….) in as judges. I love Candice and she has scads of natural talent; but the producers rigged it for her last night.

    • deedee says:

      LOL, seriously? A standing O is not *rigging*. If it were, Joshua would have won by a landslide last year, and Amber would still be in the competition. If you’ve watched every episode of every season, then you know the drill.

  23. ETG says:

    I liked Angie earlier in the season, but she quickly began to wear on me. She has the unique, God-given ability to sit at the piano, take 10 different songs from 10 different genres, and make them sound EXACTLY the same with her patented zero-harominics top-end screech. I can’t take anymore, so I mute her every time now.

    • Maíra says:

      to be really honest, I do feel the same. and it’s nothing against angie the person, as, from what I can tell she seems to be a genuinely nice, good-spirited and sincere kid. she’s talented, for sure, and I’m always happy to see a girl playing instruments, so I’m glad angie was around this season. it’s just that, to me, that lack of harmonic complexity in her voice can get jarring especially if the songs she’s singing aren’t all that interesting and her interpretation is a little too squeaky clean. if I was her (and I do think my voice is actually kind of similar in quality, unfortunately), I’d focus on the mid-range while using the top end as room to add interest and never the focus. but the main reason why I don’t enjoy her performances too much is just the musical/singing style, it’s really a matter of taste…

      as for kree, everyone said it: her tone is beautiful and it needs to be given room to soar. she’ll definitely always sound the best and touch people emotionally if she sticks to patsy cline type things. very melodic, very folky/country bittersweet tunes: if she sticks to those, I’ll be delighted. she’s do great as an artist in the wavelength of patsy, emmylou harris or a more countrified norah jones.

      now, candice. what can I say? she’s a true musician. she inhabits the songs, she knows precisely what it is she’s doing while still giving us the feeling of being lost in song, she’s got an amazing ear, clearly, and makes the boldest melodic choices. like I said before: I have heard riffs from her that I don’t think many guitar players would pull off, and in the guitar it’s way easier to get creative with key change and dissonance because you can actually sort of visualize what you’re doing and if you put your finger in the right spot on the fretboard, the instrument will sound right, while sounding right with the pipes is a gigantic physical effort that employs both ears and throat (not to mention lungs, diaphragm, you get the picture)… at the risk of sounding obnoxious with all of this, what I tried to convey is that candice has mastery and taste, all at once. and all she does is so deliberate that I can’t help but admire her also for her intelligence.

      as a side note: I think all 3 ladies are very talented and beautiful and it’s so nice to see that they’re loved and that they must be so happy at this point. happiness is a beautiful thing to witness and it really warms my heart.

      • deedee says:

        I agree, Maira. Candice has amazing musical intelligence and makes very interesting, surprising choices in the notes she picks. She doesn’t go for the obvious, and that makes her interpretations unique. Like Mariah said – hard to believe she was ever selling airline tickets and not singing. Mariah truly understands what she’s hearing from Candice.

        • Maíra says:

          yes! I agree, mariah sometimes says gobbledegook but she does understand the depth of candice’s artistry.

      • marie says:

        Very good post, Maira. I agree with everything you’ve said.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        If she is a perfect mastery of taste above all the other contestants then why does such sometimes toss in too many runs or start yelling West Side Story and even toss runs into that?
        She is very good, but she is not perfect either and infinitely beyond the others.

  24. Mary says:

    The girls were good, but no lets say heartless moment. I acutually liked the judges choices the best, Jimmy and producers suck at picking songs. Each of the girls had one song that stood out for me but not a wow moment. I think Candice and Kree were the top two last night, but unfortunately I think Kree got bussed. I am hoping her fans rally to keep her in. All the girls have talent so no matter who goes it will be a tough decision.

  25. deedee says:

    I didn’t love the show last night. The songs were cut too short and that’s never enjoyable. They decided to take up valuable singing time by showing longs home-visit clips, which are usually reserved only for the results show. Would have been better had they left those clips out of the performance show, but I will say that it helped me really connect with Kree’s second song. Without the home visit as a backdrop, I would not have felt half of what she made me feel … which is a good thing and a bad thing. The performance itself should do all the heavy lifting.
    Anyway, aside from Kree’s Rascal Flats song, the other standout was “Somewhere”. The rest was just unmemorable. Have no idea who will make top 2 along with Angie, but I’m still hoping for a miracle that we get a Candice/Kree finale. Dreaming, I know.
    Anyone getting a weird feeling that they’ll do another non-elimination tonight, and have the top 3 go for the title like on DWTS? I’m getting that feeling for some reason …

    • marie says:

      I pretty much agree, deedee, the show felt rather flat to me overall. For my taste, there weren’t any downright poor performances, but I personally didn’t hear any standouts, either – and yes, I’m including “Somewhere.” My very first thought when the music started was, Ok, after an evening where FINALLY Idol gave us a pretty substantial percentage of contemporary material, suddenly we’re slammed right back into traditional same-old ballad / standards-heavy Idol, far, far from 2013…
      And, while not at all bad, it was definitely not among Candice’s best performances. As has been mentioned, there were off notes: rare for her, but they were there. And the song itself, particularly as edited down, is too much on one dramatic level; there’s no build. Listen to the original song, any version, particularly the opening lines: “There’s a place for us / A time and place for us / Peace and quiet and open air / Wait for us / Somewhere.” That first “Wait for us / somewhere” descends and is correctly sung very gently, preparing you for the analogous part in the next lines, “…hold my hand and we’re halfway there / Hold my hand and I’ll take you there / Somehow…”, sung with more power – now that phrase ascends and builds dramatically, and following the quieter passage, has dramatic impact; to START the song with that passage, though, is too much, too soon, in terms of dramatic effect. (I apologize that I’m not putting this in proper musical / singing terminology, but I’m not a musician.) I said it the other day and now, having heard the performance, I stand by my original opinion: not a great choice for Candice musically – but they made SUCH a big deal hoopla over it, I guess (hope) it helped her in the voting.
      BTW, I love West Side Story, but I feel that song works very, very well and is very moving within the context of the show, but is not really a great stand-alone performance piece except perhaps for an opera singer (yes, a trained opera singer, Reri Grist, was the original performer of the piece, in the original 1957 Broadway production – I saw that production as a young child and have loved the show ever since). Not the greatest choice for jazz-singer Candice.
      Which didn’t stop me from voting for Candice as much as I could afterwards; in fact, I woke up on the sofa with my cellphone in my hand, having aparently fallen asleep at some point while repeatedly dialing…! I truly hope she remains after tonight to go on to the finale.
      I’d been intrigued by the idea of Kree singing “Perfect” – as Michael mentions, a stripped-down acoustic version could have been a very good fit for her – but it didn’t work very well.
      I was not familiar with the Band Perry song, but when I heard the lyrics, like others have said, I couldn’t believe that I was hearing Kree having to sing those particular lyrics hard on the heels of her very emotional and moving hometown package. Ridiculous! “The Production” (hey Nigel! Is that your new moniker, sort of like “The Situation” or something?) should be smacked in the face, both sides, for that.
      But the most egregious bit of crap I heard all night was Randy’s idiocy about Candice allegedly “coming from absolutely nothing.” How DARE he call her loving family, their love-filled home, and what looks to be their vibrant and supportive and caring community, “nothing”? What a total jackass that man can be sometimes. Ugh!

      • Maíra says:

        I had the exact same reaction to randy’s comment as I was watching it. he’s so detached! ne needs to be more self-aware and do a little bit of word choosing before spouting his weird comments. that was very very wrong.

      • deedee says:

        I understand exactly what you’re saying about “Somewhere”, and I agree. For me, though, “One” suffered the most from the truncation. Half the first verse was cut and there was zero build to the dramatic payoff part, leaving the whole thing choppy, disjointed, and unsatisfying. Just … give the songs the respect they deserve, Idol! Jeez.
        The Band Perry faux pas with Kree was unbelievable to me. Did nobody on the whole team pick up on that? Were they all afraid to raise a hand and say, “*ahem* poor taste, fellas”. I mean, that was the height of insensitivity.
        And yeah! Randy’s nonsense about Candice coming from “NOTHING”, was really bone-headed. Candice’s home visit was enviable! Oh, but it’s Randy, and I don’t even notice his comments anymore. He always says stuff in a way that he doesn’t really mean. It’s Randy! :)

      • MB says:

        I was also very offended by Randy’s remark. To me Candice lives in a very pretty town and her house though not a mansion was well kept and neat. Her family was so loving and supportive. I would say Candice is very rich in the things that matter most. Randy is just such a jerk with absolutely no class.

      • init2winitdawg says:

        I was looking forward to hearing Candice sing One, I listed to MJB’s version all the time. However, I believe it was just chopped up too much to have the effect Jimmy was looking for. MJB’s version on her CD is over 4 minutes long, cut that in half and we get what we got last night. The song sounded rushed because all the great parts were mashed together. AI does not have it up on youtube but Daily Motion does.

    • marie says:

      Oh, I was so busy getting incensed at Randy Jackass again, I forgot about your last comment. The thought crossed my mind too that next week could be a Finale of three instead of the ususal two…could be. But then again, they did try their best to hurl Kree way under the bus on her ill-chosen last song…nothing would surprise me with Idol, though.

  26. Jongirl says:

    Contestant by contestant:
    Kree (who I think will go home tonight): “Perfect” – I liked the message of the lyrics, but it didn’t move me one way or the other. “Here Comes Goodbye” – Wonderful. Made me tear up. But wasn’t it a bit of “twisting the knife” to give her this song? On the other hand, it made her connection to the lyrics fabulous. But then, “Better Dig Two” was noticeably less connected.
    Angie: “Sorry” gave her round one. She was REALLY connected to the lyrics. On “Try”, she showed her true potential as a performer, moving around some and getting her whole body into the song. “Maybe” seemed to be a cry of pain and it made my throat hurt, hearing her pushing out those notes with no evidence of vibrato.
    Candice: “One Love” was powerful, but I noticed some pitchiness (as did my husband on his way through the room). “Next to Me” – I know it’s not her fault, but the words were SO repetitive. After it was done, my daughter said to me “Now WHERE is he going to be? I didn’t quite pick that up”. It’s a lively song with a good beat, but….. “Somewhere” – Where are all the people who scream about the “pimp spot” and producer manipulation? To give Candice a well-loved (by everyone but me; I’m sick of the thing) song that’s perfect for her belting style and closing the show with it? I’m not much into conspiracy theories and I pretty much cut in half all the things I read on this board about them, but this was ridiculous. Also, although it was powerful, despite what Mr. Slezak says, she DID play too much with a classic melody. There should have been NO runs. AND….she ALMOST crossed the line into non-musical shouting. But, I knew she’d get the reaction she did.
    I predict a Candice/Angie finale, with Angie winning. Candice is the better pure singer, but Angie is more appealing physically (sorry–I don’t care, but that’s the way the world works) and is a better performer.

    • Jongirl says:

      Just wanted to apologize if I’ve repeated things lots of others have said on the board today. I didn’t take time to read through all of the comments before I posted.

    • marie says:

      This may not be a popular opinion, Jongirl, but I agree with you: that particular song should have NO runs. But Candice was milking the moment and as you say, the reaction was inevitable.
      Personally, I find Candice more “appealing physically” – I think she’s absolutely beautiful. Of course, neither young woman sings with her looks, as it were. But apples and oranges on the matter of attractiveness / appeal!

      • Jongirl says:

        As you said, Marie, no one sings with their looks. And, personally, I don’t care how someone looks, as long as they sing wonderfully. But our society is SO looks conscious and has become SO weight/fitness, etc. obsessed that someone like Candice has a strike against them in any kind of popularity/voting situation.

  27. Kate'shomesick says:

    Sorry people, “Somewhere” is not a showtune. It is classical musical theatre, which means it should be sung by classically trained singers…it’s also not Tonys and Marias. “A girl” sings it. As much as Iove Candices “pop”technique, she has no business singing that…neither had Barbara Streisand and so on …

    • Name That Tune says:

      Then Barbara Streisand has no business singing it.

    • deedee says:

      Yikes, Barbra Streisand’s version is my favourite. I’m glad she sang it despite your disapproval!

      • Kate'shomesick says:

        It is not about disrespecting Barbara Streisand…it was meant to be sung by a classically trained singer. There is technical stuff in it that can not be done by “pop” singers…and the entire piece should be sung as written. Respect the music.

        • Kate'shomesick says:

          youtube Reri Grist Somewhere and maybe you’ll hear what I’m talking about…

        • deedee says:

          I think when singers cover a song (that they weren’t “meant to sing” … whatever that means) and bring a different interpretation to it – that is respecting the music. Is there a bigger compliment than having someone re-imagine a song and bring it to a whole new audience? Why be stuffy and snobbish about it? Maybe the composer was thrilled and flattered by all the interest in his music from people who represent different genres! If I wrote a song that was covered by dozens of artists, I’d be over the moon!

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      I mostly agree but how is it not Tony and Maria’s?? Wasn’t it written to be about those characters for West Side Story?

      • Kate'shomesick says:

        Yeah, it is ABOUT the characters but not sung by them :-)…that’s something I hear on a reglar base and it’s wrong.

    • Music Lover says:

      Candice had no say in the choice of “Somewhere.” That is far from her style or genre. She had wanted to sing “Bounty” by Christine Aguilar and had gotten permission from Aguilar but the powers that be (the producers) yank the contests choice away.

  28. joey says:

    I watched Idol for the first 4 songs and then turned it off. The song choices sucked. These girls are supposed to be artists, right? Then why don’t TPTB let them choose all 3 songs at this point in the competition? I’m done with this show.

    Go Candice!!!

  29. Candice does deserve to win American Idol. But Kree and Angie are amazing as well, and all three have had great moments last night. However, that being said, neither of the three has the emotional hold on me that Sarah Simmons has.

  30. dude says:

    I get that people love Kree’s second performance because it was so emotional but it was also a vocal mess. She went off-key so much that I can’t just shrug it off and say “she was emotional” as an excuse.

  31. Michele says:

    I think it’s going to be a rough night. Candace is one of the best singer’s that Idol has ever seen.

  32. ellen8 says:

    SInce I first saw her audition, I called Angie as the winner. Not because she is my fave but, without a WGWG this season, I think she fits into America’s voting formula.


    • Amy says:

      Yep…feeling Angie fits the “pop-star” mold, if not AI formula, too. I’m not convinced there is ONE AI, formulaic, type winner…America really HAS voted in a variety of talent to AI…all sexes, colors, styles.
      That said…the expectation of an Angie win because she fits type would make a Candice win even sweeter.

  33. Judy says:

    I don’t know, Michael. I love love love Candice and believe she should win, but I thought “Somewhere” was SO bombastic — partly because of the horrible orchestral arrangement that was so intent on creating a “moment.”

  34. Evan says:

    Once again, I love an Angie performance far more than Slezak. I didn’t think Angie had the grit for “Try,” but I ended up loving it. It was my favorite performance (yes, even ahead of “Somewhere,” which admittedly is a song that I just do. not. like. and never have).

    Don’t worry- still rooting for the Lady Glover first and foremost though. ;-)

    My rankings:
    1. Angie, “Try”
    2. Candice, “Somewhere”
    3. Kree, “Here Comes Goodbye”
    4. Angie, “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”
    5. Candice, “Next to Me”
    6. Candice, “One”
    7. Angie, “Maybe”
    8. Kree, “Better Dig Two”
    9. Kree, “Perfect”

  35. Jill says:

    Let’s give props to all three of these women for cramming in three songs…probably none of which they would have ever chosen for themselves…some of which they had never heard….and home town visits all in one week. They all did amazingly well. At this point with these three ladies in particular critiquing them is like splitting hairs. They are all just THAT good.
    My two cents…? Angie is unstoppable. Though Candice is superior vocally, Angie FITS the American Idol package best. She is the whole enchilada.
    All three will have success. No doubt.

    (btw Michael…a C for Angie on “Maybe?” seriously? It may not have been her best performance but it was not a C. Kree’s “Perfect” was the bomb of the night.)

  36. MasiV says:

    Arghhh @ all the Angie sabotage last night. They didn’t give her any ‘moment’ songs while ‘Here comes goodbye’ and “Somewhere’ were very clearly tailored to be moments for Kree and Candice. They had her perform first in the last round.Her final song’s lyrics included ‘Maybe its time to go’, if that wasn’t a subliminal hinthint to the voting audience, I dont know what was. On top of that, the feedback was effusive for the other two girls, but merely positive bordering on indifferent for Angie, with terms like ‘homecoming queen’, ‘zombie’ etc thrown in to plant / reinforce negative associations. Finally, the package basically said Hey! Look at this girl, she has an awesome family, and awesome friends and looks pretty well off as opposed to this other girl who is ‘real’ because she has no parents and this other girl who overcame insecurities and poverty to be so confident. It was too much!

    I don’t think Angie will make it tonight, and we will have a quality battle next week regardless, but as far as I am concerned, she is most deserving of the title. I have a feeling, I won’t be watching next week’s finale so best of luck to Kree and Candice fans, and of course, the ladies themselves.

    • deedee says:

      So… the lyrics “Maybe it’s time to go” is a subliminal hint-hint, but “Here comes goodbye” is a “moment”? And I wouldn’t exactly call Kree’s feedback “effusive”. I thought it was downright muted. As for song choices, Kree lost out on that front, too, with “Perfect” and the horribly titled “Better Dig Two”, which … I have no words. No words.
      To say that Angie was somehow at a disadvantage in her homecoming reel because she has an awesome, well-to-do family and awesome friends is just weird. Should they have created a different, sadder reality to help in her bid for the crown? Besides, it’s fairly clear she doesn’t need any manufactured help because she going to win no matter what.

      • MasiV says:

        Deedee, why do we always lock horns haha! This is just me, but I don’t think Angie’s that far ahead, she may actually get eliminated tonight. My contention with the video package is that Candice and Angie have great families and really supportive towns, and both look like they hail from well-to-do backgrounds but one’s package was followed by endless yammering about ‘coming from nothing and becoming a superstar’ and so on. That, and the insecurities bit lent a strong narrative arc to Candice’s story. Kree’s story had the sad reminder of her parents’ demise, which they milked quite a bit. Angie’s most obvious choice for an arc would have been the Boston marathon bombings, and while I am glad they didn’t milk that, it isn’t because TPTB are classy or thoughtful enough not to but rather they didn’t want to lend a strong narrative arc to Angie’s trajectory tonight. When I say effusive, I meant that Kree and Candice both got ‘tears’ and ‘I am proud of you’ speeches. Moreover, their challenges were integrated into the critique, such as Candice’s insecurities growing up and Kree;s ingenuity and strength in the face of such adversity. Angie’s critique didn’t feature any such comments, and it was decidedly about her artistic growth.

        • deedee says:

          Angie’s critique didn’t feature any such comments, and it was decidedly about her artistic growth.
          That, imo, is the ideal critique. I can’t speak for the contestants, but I imagine they’d all much rather be told that they’ve grown artistically, than some Lazaro-esque “your courage is inspiring” filler.
          But on another level, Angie doesn’t inspire that kind of comment because, honestly, it doesn’t look like she’s had much to overcome in life (and at only 19, that’s not so unusual). Sure, she has hearing problems, which I’m sure is a bit of an annoyance, but like Elliott Yamin, she’s managed to work around it. Other than that … her self- esteem and confidence have always been healthy and proudly on display. She’s the pretty and popular type, and she has what looks like a typical middle-class life. So, I dunno. Makes more sense to focus on her artistry, I guess.

          • MasiV says:

            Disagree! Sure, that would be ideal critique but this is about garnering America’s votes and the more one’s personal challenges are highlighted, the more relatable the voters at home are likely going to find those contestants. Keeping it objective for one, while giving others feedback that helps voters connect with ’em is TPTB playing ventriloquists once again. As far as challenges are concerned, I could have milked the heck out of Angie’s hearing issues and I am sure TPTB, wise as they, are would have been able to do the same. That they chose not to indicates their inclination to have a Kree / Candice finale. And seriously, that ‘she looks all put together’ translates to ‘she doesn’t look like she has faced any challenges in her life’ for you kinda indicates some deep rooted prejudice Deedee. If people don’t choose to share every little insecurity they have had with you doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced them. Pretty girls from middle class families dont exactly live in a utopia or something.

          • deedee says:

            What deep-rooted prejudices do my comments reveal, MasIV? Prejudice against privileged, middle class, white girls like myself?
            I didn’t say Angie has never faced adversity or hardship, I said she doesn’t LOOK like she has. She certainly didn’t share any tragedies with the public, nor reveal any issues with confidence, self-esteem, learning disabilities, bullying, terminal illnesses, or psychiatric issues. Doesn’t mean she’s never dealt with any (or all) of those.
            The point is – her Idol story arc is that of the pretty Northeast girl who seal-claps and makes silly videos with friends; who was voted “most likely to be the next American Idol”; who has a great, supportive family, and who loves Jesus. So, it’s hard to comment on other stuff, when this is what she has presented to us. If a lack of sob story makes her lose the title, then that is her strategic mistake for not sharing her struggles with eating disorders, or her dependence on Prozac, or her grandmother’s battle with a rare incurable intestinal parasite. But Idol history has shown us that sob stories don’t determine the winner, so she still has a very good chance to take the crown.

          • HitTheGroundRunning says:

            masiV’s point was simply that that is not the sort of story that deeply emotional grabs people and deeply emotionally being grabbed is how many vote (heck even for President, in almost very single case, the guy who seems like the guy to chill at with a beer at a BBQ with burgers and hot dogs wins and it doesn’t even seem to matter the politics or what is going on in the world, I mean it is not quite that simple, but look back and it’s shocking how that almost 100% fits who won any remotely recent Presidential election; OTOH it is true that they hardly need a sob story as the Bush family and their richest hardly fits haha)

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        Well they didn’t exactly rouse up support Kree either true, even less so.
        As far as the back stories though, family with no problems and happy great life doesn’t pull in votes as much. Look at Carly Rose and then the Tate story and how he gave up his job and dream and this and that.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      I do wonder if they didn’t set up a shock elim. Someone said vote tracking looks crazy strong for Kree and Candice got talked up like mad. And with everyone posting that Angie has it locked up, voters can become complacent. Plus she is from a region where people don’t vote a lot and the other two are from regions where people vote like mad. We will see.

  37. Word Money G says:

    Random thinking:

    I like Mike Slezak, I think he’s about as good a TV blogger as there is.

    But he’s wrong this time. I think he has a little blind spot that Angie sits squarely in. Nobody can deny that Candice is one of the very very best singers in Idol history. (Better than Carrie? Better than Kelly?) But she has a charisma issue which needs to be factored in. She’s just not an outgoing personality type. Now, neither Carrie nor Kelly were over the top fun when they were on the show, and they’ve both managed to show their personalities after they had some chart success. “Try” was the only fun moment on the show, “Sorry” was the best song of the 1st round. Candice was REAL sharp on “One”, and I don’t think Kree was real good on any of her songs. (First week I thought that…)

    It’s been pretty obvious that the show is in search of their next “star” – their storyline has been “Idol produces stars” – and they have engineered an all female final with good singers to carry that mission out. So which one can be a real star? The best bet would be Angie. She’s certainly a good enough singer, and she’s more contemporary than either of the other two. Kree is very good, but I still haven’t heard her define what she’s going to do. “Country” is a wide path.

    Do Kree and Candice NEED to win to be successful? No, I don’t think so. Candice has demonstrated that she can sing anything, and unless she radically changes her approach she doesn’t really have a pop career in front of her – even though she might be a better singer, she can’t compete with Rihanna or Alicia Keys or Nicki Minaj. Kree will make a record, but she has to compete in a ridiculously crowded Nashville scene. Lauren Alaina is at least her equal as a singer, and she’s had zero hits to date. Kree will more likely follow in the footsteps of her buddy Kacey Musgraves, and make more thoughtful music.

    Angie might make it to Broadway (someday) if she doesn’t win, but she could make a run at a Kelly Clarkson career if she does win. I think Idol might want that.

    If it were me, and it was my money, I’d feel best betting on the commercial career of Angie, even though I might think Candice or Kree sings better.

  38. sandi says:

    I hope the home visits will put Kree and Candice in the finale. Angie is so immature and to me always sounds screechy.

    • Jessica says:

      The endless hand clapping-yikes. If that’s relevant and young-well it’s no wonder why I still love 90’s music.

      • Jongirl says:

        Boy, the people who make comments on this site really hate to see an upbeat, happy young person acting like they’re an upbeat, happy young person. I wish I had half the cheerfulness and positive attitude that Angie appears to have.

        • Amy says:

          I love cheerfulness! I love positivity! I love that she’s young, happy and living her dream! But.. I just find that constant, speed-clapping so distracting because she looks, to me, like a happy, positive, young baby seal each time she does it! j’s sayin.

      • HitTheGroundRunning says:

        Hah, it’s why I didn’t like 90s music overall quite as much. All morose and depressing and violent with so much grunge and hard core rap. Yay the world sucks and I don’t care and lets drive off a cliff. Yay. How fun.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          Look back at the 80s and it looks like it was actually OK to be happy and have fun. The horror!! How shallow!!

  39. RD says:

    I feel that in the first round Kree and Candice’s song choices should have been switched.I can certainly hear Kree doing a killer ‘One’ and Candice murdering ‘Perfect’ in her own inimitable style.Generally though I heard more than a couple of bum notes from Candice last night which I certainly didn’t expect. Kree is my favourite but my favourite always comes third,(Haley,Joshua…).Angie’s my least favourite but I expect she’ll win.

  40. Jessica says:

    The songs were OK-I didn’t see many moments and I already have my fav’s locked in. I really hope that people voted for Kree to give a shock so Angie gets the boot tonight. Shame on the pimping this season…. How funny Lauren Alaina is singing tonight just to really lay it out there how much AI’s production sucks. Candice is amazing and I love she got some pimping tonight -even down to a dumb roll before she sang. Angie is seriously getting some mixed reviews and I thought they were being extremely nice with “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” She should have kept it more soothing and on the piano. Singing a song just to sound pretty or waiting to belt out a part of a song isn’t good singing for me. I hope Kree gets some sympathy votes. For the good stuff- Candice’s home package was wonderful! 1st time i cried for one. I think she will be very successful!

    • Jessica says:

      To be clear- I hated when Candice and Kree were put down that week, and I can’t stand how Candice’s weight is brought in. She needed and deserved a drum roll! I did get a little nervous that it might be too much.

  41. MasiV says:

    Also, I just feel like sharing this. I think the hometown visits were edited particularly well, but the moment that touched me the moment was Angie during the parade when she said ‘This is amazing” and it seemed like words kinda failed her then and her eyes swam with tears. Just made me reflect on the fact that this girl has been uploading videos on youtube for quite a while and she wants this so very much, and at that moment, it must have felt for her like it was all coming together. I picked a significantly less interesting field ‘International development’, but I remember completing my undergrad and waiting for 2 months with no jobs and then getting three within hours of each other, and thinking its finally coming together. Felt like I could relate to that moment, and woah! I am crying again!

  42. Joel says:

    Six reactions:

    1) I don’t know if producers were making up for past sins, but Candice definitely got a producer “advantage” as well songs: pimp slot, glory song, tearing-up opportunities, and Ryan’s constant “wait till you see THIS!” attitude even before she belted out “Somewhere”. That said, she deserves it all.

    2) “Somewhere” was very impressive, no doubt, but not an Idol Moment. An Idol Moment doesn’t make you say “that was impressive!”; it renders you speechless, like Candice did a few weeks back on the Cure cover. Randy, relax.

    3) The “Going Home” packages left me with three very different emotional take-aways. On Candice’s, I felt touched and moved; On Angie, I felt that she was having fun and a great time; On Kree, I felt her sadness and a profound sense of her being alone. Overcoming, yes, but still a tragic sense of solitude that comes through on her sadder songs. Given all that, I think Candice’s and Angie’s life-affirming and upbeat packages will best serve them — given the audience. I feel for Kree and love her when she’s at her best, but her package was a downer on many levels. And as Slezak notes, she seemed down for much of Wednesday night.

    4) I appreciate how Candice said understanding the words through and through is key to her brilliant interpretations. I hope Amber — who could belt out a Lithuanian tune as if it were the her favorite song — was taking notes. Amber had so much talent, but didn’t give a crap what was coming out of her mouth when she “applied runs here and here”.

    5) Angie’s “Sorry” was by far her best performance of the season. I sped through the others, when, as Mimi put it, she was in one-tone “belting” mode.

    6) Strangely, the biggest thing that annoys me about Nicki now is her insistence on wasting time by asking each contestant “How are you?”. Even the contestants seem bored and exasperated by the useless rhetorical query “Fiiiiiiine, how are you……..”

  43. Brian says:

    Jesus Nigel, at least make one of the three songs the Contestant’s Choice. I do agree that artists don’t always get to sing what they want to and that actually is a very good test for them, however, the last week before finals? Are you kidding me? That just reeks of setting someone up to fail. (Can we get rid of the current producers already?)

  44. Scott says:

    Based on the home-town visit videos, I’d say the Producers want a Candice/Angie final. Kree went into the visit with a huge disadvantage — no crying parents to serve as backdrops. Her performance was great, yes, and touching, but the Candice/Angie visits were IMO far more vote-grabbing. Loved seeing the person making sweetgrass baskets (I have a Mary Jackson basket and love it) in South Carolina. I did get tired of Angie’s clapping at the start of her home-town visit.

    • MrsMrH says:

      Kree’s visit reminded me of Shania on Oprah (I think). Shania and her younger sister visited the house where they grew up in and shared memories. Shania too lost both of her parents. Really sad with no parents. I like Kree more after the trip to her home town.

      • Amy says:

        Yes! Kree has reminded me of Shania’s story all season. Was just saying this same thing to someone about her.

  45. ml says:

    Candace and Kree have been my favorites since the beginning and I would love to see them in the finals. Angie is also very talented but I am not drawn to her music, style and most importantly her soul or essence- she is a teenage singer and I can see the similarity between her and Miley Cyrus. She will probably win and that is OK- a singer for a younger crowd . I do hope Candace and Kree get to record- I look forward to purchasing their music. BUT the biggest thing that truly is bothering me is the producers’ choice of the song “Better Dig Two” ?!!! for Kree. The title alone makes me cringe- I can’t imagine this totally stupid but also unbelievably insensitive song being given to Kree- not only because her voice is much better than the song BUT this is a person who lost both parents at the tender age of 9 and 12!!! I just can’t believe it. We lost a teenage child to cancer- a particularly poignant death as is the loss of both parents to two young girls and this is probably why I am so upset over this choice of song for Kree- it’s mind-boggling. Just had to get that off my chest.

  46. waterbug says:

    It’s telling how this forum only received half the comments after the final 4 went to the final 3. Very telling.

  47. waterbug says:

    It’s now “let’s hate Candice” for the blah blah pimp slot…blah blah blah…I hate the judges…blah blah blah…she got a better song…bwah bwah bwah. Hunker down Candice, you have now been shoved into the ” I hate Amber” mold.

  48. Bessie says:

    Seems like they each won one round last night. Too bad all 3 can’t compete again next week.

    • deedee says:

      Maybe they will, Bessie. As I mentioned before, I’m feeling they might pull another non-elimination tonight. Of course, that’s based on absolutely nothing :) . It’s just something that would be fitting for this strange season of odd, random-seeming, on-the-fly decisions.

    • Name That Tune says:

      I think that was the plan. No one how they performed, Jimmy was going to declare each girl a winner. And then we vote to determine the real winners.

  49. marie says:

    I’m with those saying the contestants should have been allowed to pick at least one song of their own choice. Infuriating to have the show pick all three.

    • Name That Tune says:

      For me, I thought this was like an audition. The producers are going to put on a show and these are the songs and the parts you have to play. They gave them each difficult songs and songs not in their comfort zone.
      For months, AI fans have complained they want more current songs. They want more songs from Pink. In the last 2 weeks, we got 3 Pink songs and current songs from Emeli. They were difficult, but for anyone contemplating signing these girls, and as a voters, wekknow what they can do. I

  50. Joshtinpowers says:

    “Kudus” to Randy for congratulating the judges panel.