March 06, 2013 03:00 AM by Melissa Stavarski
The end is finally near. I truly love American Idol with every ounce of my being (well, maybe a teeny bit less than that, dawg) but it feels like this journey to the finals has lasted longer than last summer’s search for new judges. Kicking off the semi-finals, the Top 10 Girls sing for America’s votes and a place in the season 12 finals.
Zoanette Johnson takes on Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and disappoints the judges. Nicki Minaj‘s words of wisdom: “With this particular song, you gotta be on key and stuff.” Now, I’m no expert, but I think the idea behind every song is to sing it on key. Randy Jackson starts with the good news, reminding Zoanette that they all have mad love and respect for her, and then breaks the “what a mess” bad news. Mariah Carey calls Zoanette a bundle of festivity.
Breanna Steer sings Beyonce’s “Flaws and All” and splits the judges. First, Keith Urban carries on about her control, poise, and knack for choosing good songs, but Nicki disses her song choice and tells her not to get too comfortable based on Keith’s glowing review. Then, Mariah loves Breanna’s performance, but Randy whines about a lack of moments. It seems like “moments” is Randy’s “thing” this season, yo.
Aubrey Cleland‘s rendition of Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” sounds off to me, though I can’t quite figure out why. That said, I easily place Aubrey in my top 5, because I love the overall sound of her voice. Keith and Nicki both compliment Aubrey’s vibrato. Randy thinks Aubrey is current. Mariah says, “You so obviously have multi-platinum potential.”
Janelle Arthur sings Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream” and impresses the judges. The classic country sound of Janelle’s voice excites both Keith and Randy. Nicki agrees, adding, “You’re a little marshmallow that I want to eat. I just want some good old country writers and producers to get a hold of you.” Mariah praises Janelle for a job well done.
Tenna Torres sings “Lost” by Faith Hill and gets compliments (from Nicki) on her hair and boobs. So, um, is that good or bad in the grand scheme of things? Personally, I just cannot warm up to Tenna, so I’m going to go with bad. Keith’s words of caution: “Don’t let the camera pull you off the emotion of the song.” Mariah compliments Tenna’s song choice and low register.
Angie Miller is brilliant. That’s all. Who’s next?
In all seriousness, of all the songs available to her, Angie chooses to perform Colton Dixon‘s “Never Gone.” By doing so, she catches the attention of die-hard American Idol fans, nearly eliminates the risk of being compared to the original artist, as it’s a newer song sung by male, and performs at the piano. The performance definitely catches Keith’s attention. “Trumpets should sound when you walk into a room,” says Nicki. “Can I just get your album?” Randy calls Angie a star, and Mariah adds, “All of us, I think, are blown away by what you do.”
Amber Holcomb‘s rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me” brings the judges to their feet. Amber has an impressive voice; however, my ears quickly grow tired of her never-ending runs. Keith mentions her overuse of runs as well but also compliments her tone and confidence. Nicki says, “Am! Ber! Your vocals are surpassing this competition.” Amber’s in it to win it, according to Randy, and one of Mariah’s favorite contestants.
Kree Harrison sings Faith Hill’s “Stronger” and does it beautifully. Keith compares Kree to Trisha Yearwood, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, and Patsy Cline, adding, “The first two words in Idol are I Do, and I Do love to hear you sing.” Oh Keith, let’s never say that dopey line again, okay? Nicki says she’s obsessed. “Another one that’s in it to win it,” Randy says. “But you’re kind of sneaky with it!”
Adriana Latonio‘s rendition of “Stand Up for Love” by Destiny’s Child fails to impress the judges. Keith blames the song choice, noting that it took too long for Adriana to reach her full potential. Nicki tells Adriana that she needs to gain more life experience and try out again next year. Randy says it’s too safe, boring, and pageant-y. Mariah talks about Adriana’s performance from last week. This is what Mariah does when she thinks the current performance stinks.
Candice Glover sings John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and wows the judges. Keith gushes over Candice’s unique blend of a current vibe with an old soul sound. Nicki sucks on a lollipop. Randy says, “That was ridiculous. You sang notes that people don’t even understand.” Mariah simply thanks Candice for sharing her gift with the world.
Without question, my personal top five includes Candice, Kree, Angela, Janelle, and Aubrey. That said, I will not be surprised if Amber moves forward instead of Aubrey or Janelle. I’d love to read which contestants make up your ideal top five, so please leave a comment below!
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Photo Credit: FOX