The themes this week on “American Idol” are contestants’ choice and one-hit wonders, plus a couple duets thrown in for good measure. That’s a lot of singin’ — let’s get to it.
1. Amber Holcomb, “The Power of Love,” Celine Dion
Wow. It’s like Whitney singing Celine. The a capella opening is exquisite. She is just … wow. It’s not exactly current, but when you can sing, you can sing. That high note was perfection. Also, she looks amazing. Those big curls really suit her.
The judges are over the moon about it — Keith calls it an “amazingly perfect” song choice and Randy says she’s the contestant who has grown the most over the competition. For sure.
2. Candice Glover, “Find Your Love,” Drake
Interesting song choice, but if she wants to be current R&B, then this is a good pick. It’s nice to hear her put her diva-ness on it, but she could’ve pulled back just a little. She puts too many runs in there. It was good, but not our favorite Candice. She kind of weirdly sounds both contemporary and throwback at the same time, is that possible? We think it is.
Nicki very presciently say that they all have great voices, so she needs to comment on them in the world of music today. She wishes that Candice would’ve stuck to the melody a little more. Agreed. Randy echoes us that she gets overdone with the runs.
3. Kree Harrison, “It Hurts So Bad,” Susan Tedeschi
Oooh, her voice is like molasses on those low notes. Mmm mmm. So deep and throaty and gorgeous. The ending is spectacular, she’s so bluesy. Awesome. However, even though this sounds like a great song for Kree to release, we aren’t sure picking something so obscure at this stage is the way to go. Voters don’t know this song, we would wager.
Randy calls the vocal tremendous, but maybe not her best. Disagree. It showed off a different side of her. Urban says that while the vocal was so good, he wanted to see more emotion and more connection, which is fair.
4. Angie Miller, “Who You Are,” Jessie J
Good plan, sticking to the piano for at least one song. Vocally, this is one of the best she’s done in the competition. Angie isn’t always quite as on-point, vocally, as the other girls. She’s had some issues some weeks, but this sounds wonderful and is still letting her show off her big ol’ notes. Angie’s probably going to win the whole thing, gang. Wouldn’t surprise us at all, especially between the Boston shout-out and the crying grandmother.
The judges go bonkers and rightly so — this was maybe Angie’s best of the entire show.
So, Amber and Angie totally won Round 1 over Kree and Candice.
5. Kree and Amber, “Rumor Has It,” Adele
We were wondering when Kree was going to sing some Adele because her voice is like tailor-made for Adele’s songs. Case in point — Kree sounds better on this than Amber does. Amber is still great. As the judges say, at this point, everybody can flat-out sing. But this just seems to suit Kree’s voice better than Amber’s. Props on the harmonies, though. They handled their business on that part.
Either way, while this is vocally strong, it’s kind of boring, honestly. The camera and the drums and the flashing lights are trying to trick us, but we’re not fooled — this is a little boring. The judges love how Amber commanded the stage, but frankly, we thought they both could’ve performed more.
6. Angie and Candice, “Stay,” Rihanna
Interestingly, while the first duet got a much more “performance” song, this duet seems much more dynamic and interesting. Both women seem more invested and connected and it’s palpable in their singing. Vocally, it’s not as perfect, but that almost doesn’t even matter because they’re so into it? The judges’ reactions during the performance are really all you need t know.
Round 2 goes to Angie and Candice, so Angie is a solid 2 for 2.
7. Amber Holcomb, “MacArthur Park,” Richard Harris
Oh, dear. This song. The cake! It’s in the rain! I can’t take it! Anyway, for probably having no idea about this before like three days ago, Amber does pretty well with it. Her long note going into the disco part is a little shrill, but overall, she does a solid job. It’s just such a dumb song. Also, it’s kind of a cheat to do the Donna Summer version, since Donna Summer was not a one-hit wonder. Hilariously, as Seacrest said, this was first recorded by Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies. The more you know, guys. We’re a full-service blog here at Zap2it.
The judges are over the moon about it, but honestly? We weren’t that wild about this song or performance. Amber’s great and we want her to stay, though we aren’t sure at whose expense. But the judges sure are pimping Amber — and not so much Kree.
8. Candice Glover, “Emotion,” Samantha Sang
Again, seems like a cheat to pick a song that wasn’t actually a one-hit wonder, if it went on to be released by a group like the BeeGees. Whatever. Anyway, once again, this is not our favorite Candice performance. She’s just … lacking a spark tonight on her solos, or something. It’s just a little tedious and it feels like she’s filling in the dots — big notes, check; runs, check. Hmm.
Like the judges have said, at this point it’s hardly about the vocals because everyone’s so good. So now it’s about performing and this just didn’t grab us.
9. Kree Harrison, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” Procol Harum
Great choice for her, certainly better than the first two girls did on this round in terms of song choice. Kree really knows how to use her runs, Candice could take a lesson. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it every time you have a chance. Anyway, Kree absolutely nails this. It’s not the most exciting song in the world, but she is the best so far this round.
Mariah calls her a true artist and says a great song will just accentuate it. Totally agree. Meanwhile, Keith says she needed an intimate, vulnerable song or a burn-out rocker song, none of this middle-ground stuff. He’s not wrong.
10. Angie Miller, “Cry Me a River,” Julie London
We think it’s a mistake for her to have her second song be so static. She’s not at the piano, she’s not working the stage, she’s just standing there. Vocally, Angie sounds fantastic, but, as we’ve said, it’s about more than that at this point. However, the vocal is wonderful. Angie has had a fabulous night this week.
So, who won Round 3? Angie and Kree. By our count, that leaves Angie at 3 for 3 and the other three girls at 1 for 3. And that’s about right — the rest of them had their ups and downs this week, though obviously they are all uber-talented.
Who do you think should go home? Honestly, for us, Candice was the weakest tonight. Her duet totally saved her. But we have a feeling it’s Kree-dom’s time. Will the judges use the save? We haven’t heard about any before-Top-5 rule this year. It’ll be interesting.
What say you, “Idol” fans?