Thank God that Hollywood Week and the live Las Vegas live performance shows are finally over. After weeks of bad performances, good performances, temper tantrums, breakdowns and inconsistent judging we finally have a “Top 10.” I for one haven’t liked many of the new changes implemented this season and their insistence on having an equal number of guys and girls in the “Top 10”, certainly didn’t result in us getting the “Top 10”, best singers.
Based on their performances at least 7 girls belonged in the “Top 10.” It is obvious the girls are the strength of this year’s competition and hopefully we will finally have a female winner. My early favorites for the American Idol crown include the beautiful Angie Miller and Candace Glover. Tonight the contestants will be singing the songs that were performed or recorded by past American Idol contestants. This week the Idolcontestants will get song choice help from mentor and record executive Jimmy Iovine. With the show about to start we have one empty judge’s chair. Nicky is late, she is caught in traffic. Joking, Ryan Seacrest asks the other judges “Which one of you gave Nicki the wrong directions?” With any kind of luck maybe she will miss the entire show!
A recap of the contestants performances are listed below in the order of their appearance.
Curtis Finch JR: Dressed in one of the ugliest paisley sport jackets I have ever seen Curtis sings a pedestrian version of Fantasia’s “I Believe”. As the opening performer Curtis had a chance to make an early impression on the judges, unfortunately the only thing people will remember about this performance is his jacket. While I don’t think he is in danger of going home he is going to have to give us more if he wants to stay in this competition.
Janelle Arthur: the young pretty country singer picked up where Curtis left off with another boring performance. Janelle sang an uninspiring version of Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone.” This is the same song that kicked off Scotty McCreery’s run to the American Idol title two years ago. Mariah liked Janelle’s “aura,” but would have liked a ballad. Randy didn’t like the song choice and Nicki who finally arrived rambled on for a few minutes and I have no idea what she said. Janelle can do better and I think she will get another chance to prove it.
Devin Velez: gives another uninspiring performance of Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home.” It is a safe and boring song choice and his performance will be quickly forgotten. Keith said “he didn’t feel Devin had confidence with the song”. Nicki, completely disagreed and loved the song. I am not sure what show she is watching. I think her mind is still back in traffic. Randy shook his head at Nicki’s comments and told Devin “he played it way too safe and told him he needed to go for broke every time.” Devin could be in trouble and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the “Bottom 3”, tomorrow night
Angie Miller: This week’s show is off to a miserable start. Fortunately, the beautiful Angie Miller is up next and hopefully she can get this show back on track. Angie doesn’t disappoint and sings an incredible version of Celine Dion’s “I Surrender.” Season 1 winner, Kelly Clarkson sang this song and Angie does her justice. I loved her performance and so did all the judges. Randy said, “The competition start’s now…that’s how you do it.” Mariah described it in one word, “Stellar.” This was clearly the best performance of the night so far. Angie is the total package. She is beautiful, has a great voice and has to be considered one of the early favorites to win the American Idol crown.
Paul Jolley: Paul sang an okay version of Lonestar’s “Amazed.” While I absolutely love this song Paul’s performance didn’t continue the momentum that Angie had generated. The judges all like the performance more than I did and Nicki said, “This is the first time you stimulated my sexual appetite.” What is she thinking? Mariah told Paul “Not to hold back when he sang”. Paul is a good looking guy and the girls will definitely love him, but if he can’t do better than this he won’t last long in the competition. Fortunately for him he will get another chance to impress next week.
Candace Glover: sang an amazing version of Ben E. King’s “I Who Have Nothing.” Jordin Sparks originally sang this song and Candace absolutely killed it and got a standing ovation from the audience and three of the judges. Mariah admitted she couldn’t stand to applaud because her skirt was too tight Keith said, “If we had more time we’d still be standing and clapping.” Nicki in a moment of clarity said, “It would be in everybody’s best interest to never perform that song again. You destroyed it.” Randy called the performance “The best Idol performance of the season.” If Candace can keep this up, she could be the next American Idol winner.
Lazaro Arbo’s: sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” His performance was a train wreck and easily the worst performance of the night. Keith said “I hope we get to hear another song from you because I don’t think that was in your wheelhouse.” Randy thought the pitch was off and the song was just too big for him and I agree. Good looks and a great story will only take you so far, unfortunately I think Lazaro’s journey is in real danger of ending this week.
Kree Harrison: sang a good version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”. Carrie Underwood sang this song during her run to the title. The judges all liked her performance. Keith said, “You could sing the phone book baby.” Randy said “He liked her performance from note one.” Nicki compared her performance to the comfort she feels when she eats waffles with Aunt Jemina syrup. This is one of the worst analogies I ever heard but I understood what she was trying to say. While I liked Kree’s performance it was definitely a step below the performances given by Angie, Candace and Amber. She won’t be going home tonight but she has a lot of work to do if she is planning on challenging the aforementioned “Top 3”, girls.
Burnell Taylor’s: sang Ruben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings.” The judges all seemed to like his performance. Keith called it “Magnetic”, and Mariah liked the song choice. I didn’t feel quite the same way. Using a Nicki Minaj type analogy, while I thought Burnell did a good job but his performance kind of left me empty and unsatisfied. Like the way you would feel if you settled for a no name Cola instead of Coca Cola. That being said, Burnell did enough to get another chance to impress next week.
Amber Holcomb: was the last contestant of the night and she brought down the house with her performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Moment Like This.” Keith called it “effortless” and Nicki called it the best performance of the night. Randy said “You blew it out of the box tonight.” Mariah spoke in Twitter speak and said, “Hash Tag Pow.” Amber definitely made a statement and with this performance and she joined both Candace Glover and Angie Miller as the three favorites for theAmerican Idol crown.
After a painfully slow start, the girls took over and saved the show. The performances by Candace Glover, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller were outstanding. These three have quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. The men are in trouble and based on their performances I wouldn’t be surprised to see three men in the “Bottom 3”. The lead candidates to go home include Lazaro and Devin.
American Idol Odds and Ends
• Nicki Minaj has clearly assumed the Steven Tyler role. Like Tyler, you have no idea what she will say next. At least Steven was funny, Nicki just appears confused.
• This is clearly the weakest group of men that we have ever had in the “Top 10”. There is a good chance when we get down to 5 contestants there will only be one guy left standing.
• Season 11 American Idol winner Phil Phillips and Bon Jovi will perform on Thursday’s elimination show.