American Idol Season 12 Recap: Top 10 Finalist Perform For The First Time. We Think This Is Certainly The Girls Year!
American Idol’s Top 10 finalists had a big night as they took the stage for the first time. What else! Nicki Minaj failed to reach the studio. Reason: She was stuck in traffic!
Did we expect that from Nicki? Remember she criticizingly lectured some contestant during the auditions for their lack of professionalism. Nicki, we guess, arriving late at the studio is a sign of lacking professionalism. How about practising what you preach?
This season’s crop of Idol finalists is one of the strongest groups ever, in terms of vocal talent. But several of them have displayed terrifically bad judgement when it comes to picking songs for themselves to sing. It might have seemed like a good idea to pick songs that were highlights years ago, but what it actually accomplished was removing any sense of contemporary relevance from this group.
And to be honest–it was more of a ‘ladies’ night and its going to be the same every week and the entire season. The two best performances tonight were Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb by a wide margin. I thought some of the early leaders such as Kree Harrison and Devin Velez didn’t quite hit it out of the park but should be safe. Angie Miller fell in the middle on that front. Lazaro Arbos was a distinctive disappointment.
So lets get back into the show and recap what happened:
Curtis Finch Jr. (“I Believe” Fantasia) – He starts off fine, as the song goes on, it gets more and more wobbly with a really wretched note in there and something screechy at the end. The worship leader has done some serious over-singing. The judges let him
off fairly easy, though, Randy Jackson warned, “I would caution you to try something a little bit different.” Keith said he always picks the right song and that he looked great!
Janelle Arthur (“Gone” Montgomery Gentry//Scotty McCreery) – It was good, but not great. She has a sweet personality. Keith: “I love you put those classic Lee Ann Womack runs in there. It suits that song.” Nicki (who just arrived): “Last week’s song suited you better. But I like your confidence. I want you to show the pretty part of your voice.” Randy wasn’t so sure about the song choice, either. He said, “The song didn’t lead anywhere.” Mariah complemented about the raw quality of her voice.
Devin Velez (“Temporary Home” Carrie Underwood) – Devin does Carrie Underwood! How much is being said that this being a girl’s year. Now guys are doing songs by females. His tone, as usual, is fine, but it’s another ballad and it’s rather boring and forgettable. “That was not one of your better performances,” Keith Urban says. “… I didn’t feel you had confidence with the song at all.” Nicki disagrees and says it was right there in Devin’s comfort zone. But Randy says it’s “way too safe.” As for Mariah, well, we have no idea what she said.
Angie Miller (“I Surrender’ Celine Dion//Kelly Clarkson) – Angie’s rocking a short black leather dress and is accompanied by a full string section. There’s power in her voice and confidence in her stage presence. Has the competition finally started? Keith: “I thought you knocked it out of the park tonight!” Nicki: “Your legs are giving me everything I needed in life today.” (Huh?) … “You’re perfection on every level.” Randy: “Absolutely amazing performance. I loved every moment. The competition starts now” “Stellar,” Mariah complemented.
Paul Jolley (“Amazed” Lonestar//Scotty McCreery) – Scotty McCreery sang this Lonestar song in Season 10 and probably sang it better. Jimmy has told Paul to stop with the Broadway over-singing, which he does for the most part. It’s his best performance in weeks. “This is the first time you’ve stimulated my sexual appetite,” says Nicki, apparently referring to Paul’s fashion style and not the song. Mariah’s glad that Paul is taking Jimmy’s advice, but cautions against holding back too much. He needs to be himself, after all.
Candice Glover (“I Who Have Nothing” Shirley Bassey//Jordin Sparks) – She is truly mesmerizing to watch. She has the proper intensity and emotional urgency. She performs it with aggression and drama and swagger, and then punctuates it with a commanding glory note toward the end. Wow! All the judges are raving. “It would be in everybody’s best interest to never, ever perform that song on ‘Idol’ ever again,” Nicki says. “You just destroyed and annihilated. That was actually my favorite
performance you’ve ever done.” Says Mariah, “Every time you are on stage, it’s mesmerizing. I’m transfixed watching you.”
Lazaro Arbos (“Breakaway” Kelly Clarkson) – The song he chose did not really allow him to emote in a way that really makes him an effective performer. It wasn’t bad but it was reasonably forgettable. He looks snazzy in his suit and tie and it’s impossible not to like him. But good looks and likability can carry you only so far. This is not a great performance. Plenty of rough patches. Keith says the song wasn’t in Lazaro’s wheelhouse. Nicki says he looks like a “cuddly Ricky Ricardo,” but the song wasn’t up to par. Randy thinks the song was way too big for him.
Kree Harrison (“Crying” Roy Orbison//Carrie Underwood) – She does a sped up version and as someone noted below, it sucks quite a bit of the emotion out of it. The pauses in the original really helps add to the pathos. Otherwise, it was just a very pretty version of the song. Good, but not stupendous. “You could sing the phone book, baby,” Keith says. Nicki goes on a long monologue about buttermilk pancakes and syrup and finally gets around to saying the song was “smooth and delicious.”
Burnell Taylor (“Flying Without Wings” Ruben Studdard ) – Burnell is fine here, but the song is probably doing him no favors. We’ll probably forget it in 10 minutes. Nut the makeover was certainly impressive. Nicki says she was obsessed with Ruben’s first album, but this isn’t her favorite Burnell song. Mariah claps and says something that has something to do with melody, but not waffles and syrup. Randy said, “Very nice!”
Amber Holcomb (“A Moment Like This’ Kelly Clarkson) – Amber is up to the challenge. She sings it with passion and power, and it’s beautiful. Nicki calls it the best performance of the night and says Amber reminds her of an early Whitney Houston. Says Randy, “You blew it out of the box tonight.” And Mariah closes with “Hashtag pow,” whatever that means.
So what do you think, who goes home? How do you rank the contestants in today’s performance?