May 01, 2013 07:10 PM by Candace Young
Last week on American Idol, Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover found themselves in the bottom two, but received a stunning reprieve when Ryan Seacrest revealed that no one was going home! The Top Four are mentored by Harry Connick Jr this week and will perform standards as well as songs from 2013 for a ‘Then and Now’ theme. Will the judges play nice tonight? Don’t count on it!
American Idol kicks off with Angie Miller once again tackling a Rihanna tune. In rehearsal, Harry Connick Jr was worried about her choosing to do Diamond, but was won over by her arrangement. It was strange, but not bad, to hear such a heavily-played song performed in a totally different way. Angie’s version is like a flowing love song with some vocal ‘moments’ thrown in for good measure. Keith gets ‘booed’ for saying he kept waiting for the song to ‘happen’. Nicki calls it bland and lackluster. Randy agrees it didn’t go anywhere, but likes her leather shorts. Mariah takes a very long-winded path to agreeing with the others.
Amber Holcomb‘s first song this week is Just Give Me A Reason by Pink. She begins singing slow and moody which is preferable to when she speeds things up. It becomes sort of middle-of-the-road and like an act you’d see on a cruise ship or something (shout out to Simon Cowell). Nicki felt like Amber wasn’t always connected – she was in and out. Randy agrees – she needs to let go and have fun – it was not stellar, and should be at this point. Mariah also wants to see the confident Amber, and Keith is a bit more forgiving, waxing on about how difficult it all is.
In a curious twist, Candice Glover has selected When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars as her first song. Harry Connick Jr is a little weirded-out by her not changing the pronouns, but is okay with her doing it like she’s telling a story. At the beginning of her performance it seems it might not pan out, but once the showstopping vocals kick in, it ceases to matter what she’s singing – so talented! Randy shouts, “Yo! If you can sing, you can sing anything!” Mariah agrees – Candice has the musicality to change a song to suit her; it’s what sets her apart. Keith quips that she could have sang When I Was Your Giraffe… he calls it a winning performance. Nicki says it deserved a standing ovation and the judges get to their feet!
Kree Harrison is determined to connect with the audience tonight with Carrie Underwood‘s See You Again. Harry Connick Jr positively gushes over her arrangement, saying he likes it more than Carrie’s. Kree perches on a stool and sings her heart out. Her vocals are full and rich – love it! Mariah felt she was connected and authentic. Keith questions her staying seated for a power ballad, but says her voice is faultless. Nicki loved her performance – she sang with her eyes. Randy says she has an amazing voice and he felt her – he thinks she could do well in the country genre. Harry comes out to congratulate her personally!
Angie Miller is singing Someone To Watch Over Me for her ‘standard’, and dedicates it to her mom who sang it around the house all the time. Angie’s wearing a long gown and delivers a very traditional version with a big ending – it’s very Disney. Keith disliked the ending, but thought the rest of it was just beautiful. Nicki says she reminds her of a Disney princess (ha!), saying she could sing those types of songs on Broadway. Randy didn’t love the arrangement in the middle, but hollers that it was an amazing vocal! Mariah makes some technical comment that is somehow a jab at Nicki’s opinion causing a kerfuffle on the judges’ panel. Mariah struggles to finish telling Angie to ‘shine despite the dirt being splattered around her’ before the music plays, while Nicki digs furiously in her purse and pulls something out, thrusting it at Mariah. Whew! Luckily it didn’t appear to be a weapon. Ryan rushes down to restore peace and confirm that dinner plans with the panel are still on.
My Funny Valentine is Amber Holcomb‘s choice for a ‘standard’. Harry quickly realizes in rehearsal that she doesn’t know what the song is about and fills her in. Amber takes the stage, and at first it seems it will be too serious. It does turn out to be intense, but the mood works and her vocals are incredible. The judges love it. Nicki notices Amber crying and tells her not to think about votes – she’s a superstar! Randy thinks Amber made a believer out of a lot of people tonight. Mariah thanks her for bringing her spirit back bigger and better than ever. Keith talks about her confidence coming back.
Candice Glover is performing You’ve Changed tonight. It’s a moody, rich arrangement worthy of a smoky jazz club and Candice surprises me by going for an understated ending as opposed to the ‘big moment’ finale. Randy crows that she’s in it to win it! Amazing! Mariah says there’s no critique – she’s downloading it ASAP. Keith raves about her power and control – it was a great performance. Nicki adds nothing, telling Ryan to come on out.
Stormy Weather is Kree Harrison‘s ‘standard’ song choice. Harry guides her away from removing the melody from her arrangement in rehearsal. Kree comes out on stage and performs with a full orchestra. It catches the attention and has a strong ending, but didn’t have quite the intensity of the others. Mariah says she did a great vocal, it was clear as a bell and beautiful, but feels other songs may have allowed her to go more full out blues. Keith agrees in part but warns Kree not to let people get in her head so that she over thinks it. Nicki also mentions song choice – she wishes all of them would have focused more on that this week. Randy says they’re all saying basically the same thing. He thinks Kree would have chosen the more bluesy Etta version, but listened to Harry, who pointed her toward the Lena version. Harry comes up to debate the point with Randy and it’s a free for all for a moment or two – should Kree be Kree, Etta, or Lena? Gah! Harry winds up accusing Randy of making Mariah and Nicki look benign – burn!
Which contestant gave your favorite performance tonight? Who do you think will be in the bottom two this week? Sound off! We want to hear your opinions!
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Photo Credit: FOX