Photo Credit, FOX
We are down to 6 contestants and Lazaro Arbos is the last man standing. The only question is how long will he last? He is clearly the weakest singer left in the competition and the five remaining girls are all strong competitors. It will take a huge effort by Lazaro to remain in the competition. For the first time this season, each contestant will sing twice and there will be two themes.
The first theme will be songs from the Hal David and Burt Bacharach songbook and the second theme will be “Songs that the contestants wish they had written.” It should be interesting, let’s see how they did!!!
Angie Miller: opened the show with just an okay version of the Dionne Warwick hit, “Anyone Who Had a Heart.” Last week Angie took advantage of her position as the last singer of the night and finished on a strong note. Tonight she had an opportunity to do the same thing with the opening performance slot, but she failed to deliver. The judges criticized her for her lack of emotion and connection to the song and it is hard to disagree with their comments. For her second song, Angie sang “Love Came Down”, by Kari Jobe. I have to admit, I had never heard of the song but I absolutely loved the performance and so did the judges. She sung with passion and emotion and you could clearly see she had a connection with the song. Angie is at her best when she is behind the piano and this performance was a major improvement over her first one. To me, it was one of her strongest performances of the contest and guarantees her spot in the “Top 5.”
Amber Holcomb: For her first song Amber sang “I Say A Little Prayer”, by Dionne Warwick. The judges went crazy and acted like it was the best performance that they had ever seen, anywhere anytime. Don’t get me wrong, her performance was good it just wasn’t “walk on water great”, like the judges said. For her second song, Amber sang what I thought was a pedestrian version of Beyonce’s, “Love on Top.” It was definitely a step down from her first performance. The judges disagreed and continued to heap her with praise. I certainly didn’t like her performances as much as the judges. It will be interesting to see what the American Idol voters thought.
Lazaro Arbos: sang a pitchy, uninspiring version of the Carpenter’s “Close to You”. This was a terrible song choice and easily the worst performance of the entire season. The judges were both flabbergasted and frustrated by his performance. For his second song Lazaro sang “Angels”, by Robbie Williams. It is a beautiful song, unfortunately Lazaro didn’t do it justice. While his performance wasn’t as bad as his first one it is clear that Lazaro is in “way over his head.” It is obvious that the judges have run out of patience with him and there is nowhere left to hide. With all of the weak singers gone, Lazaro is definitely going home this week.
Kree Harrison: sang a stylized version of the Jackie De Shannon hit, “What the World Needs Now is Love.” Her performance started of slow, but half way through the song she found the sweet spot and turned in another good performance. For her second song, Kree sang a touching version of “Help Me Make it Through the Night”, by Kris Kristofferson. I loved it and so did the judges. Nicki said “You are at the head of the class.” Randy said, “You are what I call a natural singer.” Without a doubt with these two performances Kree will be in the “Top 3” again this week. Week after week Kree has been the most consistent singer in the contest.
Janelle Arthur: sang a boring version of “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, by Dionne Warwick. The contestants are clearly struggling with the opening theme and I have yet to like any of the opening performances. Janelle could be in trouble and definitely needs a strong second performance to stay out of the “Bottom 2.” Looking absolutely beautiful, for her second song Janelle sang “The Dance”, by Garth Brooks. It is a beautiful song and I thought Janelle did a great job. She sang with emotion and made a strong connection with the audience. It was easily her best performance of the night and the judges agreed.
Candace Glover: ended the first round with a strong version of Dionne Warwick’s, “Don’t Make Me Over.” It was easily the best song of a boring opening round. The judges all loved it and so did I. For her second song, Candace sang “Lovesong”, by Cure. Her voice was exceptional and the arrangement was beautiful. For her efforts the judges gave her a standing ovation and after her performance Mariah Carey walked on the stage and sprinkled her with sparkles. This was definitely the performance of the night and the perfect way to end the show. Randy Jackson called it the best performance of the 12-year history of American Idol”, and it would be hard to disagree with his assessment. While Candace has been in my “Top 3”, the entire contest, with these two performances she has clearly separated herself from the rest of the field.
For me, tonight was all about Candace Glover. While Kree and Angie had good nights, Candace was the star of the evening and saved what started out as one of the worst shows of the season. Tonight’s “Top 3”, was Candace Glover, Kree Harrison and Angie Miller. In the next tier, I had Janelle Arthur and Amber Holcomb in a close fight for the 4th and 5th spots. As expected Lazaro Arbos was way behind in last place.
American Idol Odds and Ends
• No disrespect to Hal David and Burt Bacharach, but the person who picked their song book as the theme for American Idol should be fired. While these were terrific songs in the 60’s and 70’s, the first hour of tonight’s show was a definite “snooze fest.”
• It will be interesting to see where Amber Holcomb ends up in the American Idol fan voting. The judges absolutely raved about her first performance and clearly like her second performance as well. Overall, I thought she was just okay. I had her in a close battle with Janelle Arthur for the 4th or 5th spot.
• Former American Idol champions Kelly Clarkson and Scotty McCreery are scheduled to perform in tomorrow night’s results show.