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American Idol Recap: Top 8 Sing The Songs Of Motor City

March 28, 2013 01:00 AM by Melissa Stavarski

This week on American Idol, the Top 8 tackle the Songs of Motor City. Basically, the theme is Motown Week plus one random Madonna song, because heaven forbid someone get creative with an Eminem or Kid Rock track. Anyway, the bright side to this been there, done that theme is that the legendary Smokey Robinson mentors the contestants this week. Keep reading for all the performance highs and lows.

Candice Glover: Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Candice sounds like she was born to sing the blues. Keith Urban says this is Candice’s best performance yet, adding, “I never feel like you overpower it too much or leave it down too much.” Randy Jackson adds “amazing” and “effortless” and “crazy good” to the review like only he can. Mariah Carey hopes Candice will do more church-y jazz songs.

Duet: Janelle Arthur and Kree Harrison sing “Like A Prayer” by Madonna, though they pull their twang inspiration from Jennifer Nettles. Nicki Minaj disses Janelle, saying, “Kreedom almost made it look like she flew in to do a diet with an Idol contestant. Kree definitely out-shine you, my darling.” Randy agrees with Nicki, Mariah rambles on about nothing of importance, and Keith doesn’t feel it’s right to compare the two singers.

Lazaro Arbos: Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life”

Oh my. Where’s Simon Cowell when you need him? That was totally “cruise ship” or “lounge singer” worthy. Randy calls it disconnected, to which Lazaro says, “No problem, boo.” Um. Wow. Randy cites pitch problems. But, apparently, pitch isn’t always important in a singing competition. Um. Okay. Mariah goes on to talk about Lazaro’s courage again.

Nicki asks Smokey to be her sugar daddy, adding, “That’s a sexy piece of specimen.”

Janelle Arthur: The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”

Janelle slows down the song and plays the guitar. It’s easily my favorite performance of the night. Mariah stands, yelling, “Janelle at her finest!” Keith praises Janelle’s fearlessness and loves how her arrangement of the song brought a new feeling, angst, to the lyrics. Nicki thinks Janelle is too happy and not paying attention to her pitch. Randy loves it and announces that Janelle is in it to win it!

Devin Velez: The Miracles’ Tracks of My Tears

While this pales in comparison to Adam Lambert‘s version of the same song, Devin makes smart decisions and sounds fantastic. Keith urges Devin to relax and not think too much. Nicki tells Devin that she loves every single choice he made, adding, “You look like a ripe banana. That’s a good thing.” This is Devin’s best performance in weeks, according to Randy, and Mariah calls it flawless.

Trio: Angie Miller, Candice Glover, and Amber Holcomb take on the The Supremes and perform “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.” Mariah gives it a hashtag POW! Is it just me or is Mariah a little lot tipsy tonight?

Burnell Taylor: Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour”

Nicki loves Burnell’s playful approach and soulful sound, adding, “You reminded us why we fell in love with your voice.” Burnell, too, is in it to win it, according to Randy, and Mariah thinks he did a great job with one of her favorite songs. Keith adds, “You’re so original, Burnell, that it’s really hard to critique anything, because it’s your style.”

Angie Miller: The Miracles’ Shop Around

Yikes. This is Angie’s weakest performance to date. “This was a very strange one for me,” Randy says. “It’s the first time ever that I’ve seen you have such a pitchy performance.” While Randy speaks the truth, here, I cannot help but to point out that Lazaro’s pitch problems were not important. Mariah comments on Angie’s “risque” sexy moments. “I think you came out and tried to show a different side of Angie that didn’t need to be shown,” an irritated Nicki says. “Don’t come out here and try to show us another side if we haven’t asked for another side.”

Amber Holcomb: Stevie Wonder’s “Lately”

Amber’s performance isn’t nearly as entertaining as Mariah’s drunken reaction. Mariah says, “And that was a tour de force,” and the audience fails to go crazy. Mariah adds, “Tour de force, DARLINGS,” and the audience still doesn’t fall out of their seats. “Does anybody know what tour de force means?” Mariah continues. “That was effing incredible!”

Keith assures Mariah that she’s correct and tells Amber that she picked the right song and sang it beautifully. Nicki says God was showing off when he created Amber’s vocal cords, and Randy calls “Lately” the best performance of the night.

Trio: Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez, and Lazaro Arbos butcher The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” so much so that Nicki tells them to get off the stage. Ryan Seacrest tells them to stay put, giving them a chance to respond to the criticism, and they make an already bad situation much worse.

“I learned my parts,” Devin says. “I tried saving a couple people.” Burnell says he did what he was supposed to do, adding, “I d-d-don’t want to throw anyone under the b-b-bus but it is a competition.” So, Burnell is clearly mocking Lazaro, and a horrified Nicki signs “cut it out” from her seat.

Kree Harrison: Aretha Franklin’s “Don’t Play That Song”

Beautiful. Randy commends Kree for taking on the Queen of Soul, adding, “You’re one of the best in the competition and here to stay.” Keith loves that Kree’s voice reminds people about country’s blues and soul roots. Nicki compliments Kree’s never wavering confidence and calls her a queen for annihilating the songs of two other queens – Aretha and Madonna – in the same night.

Who needs to go home this week? Sound off in the comments below!

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Photo Credit: FOX

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows |

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2 Responses to “American Idol Recap: Top 8 Sing The Songs Of Motor City”

  1. Nina Says:
    March 28th, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I think Angie Miller’s problems with the song she chose (pitch; high notes shrieking) could send her home – or at least put her in the bottom three. Popularity is a factor – she is popular, but not like Kree and Janelle, for instance – they are super-well liked – and they can’t let Candace or Amber go, no way! I don’t care much for Devin for he has an arrogant attitude. His voice is good, though. I like Burnell, and I think that Lazaro may stay because all folks with speech impediments would have to be inspired by him! Who knows??…

  2. april Says:
    March 29th, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I think you should clarify your article. Burnell was not mocking Lazaro. Burnell was still talking when Lazaro tried to say something and it sounded like he was copying Lazaro’s stuttering.


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