After a bit of producer manipulation, American Idol is finally going to get a girl winner. You seriously can’t tell me with a straight face that Lazaro Arbos and his male counterparts were the best the country had to offer this season. Speaking of Arbos, as much as Nigel and company wanted him gone, I’m sure they fully expected him to outlast one of the girls. With him gone and the judges save never used, if things go according to plan, American Idol Season 12 will end a week early. FOX isn’t going to let that happen. I fully expect a non-elimination on Thursday night or next week.
Without Arbos in the mix, it was much easier to determine who the weakest girl is. She may be a cute little marshmallow, but Janelle Arthur just didn’t bring it tonight. The other girls had at least one shining moment, where as the blond country singer didn’t.
Side note: Is it me, or were the judges interacting more with each other tonight? After Nigel’s public comments earlier this week about the lack of chemistry on the panel, I felt Mariah, Randy, Keith and Nicki tried to bring it. Speaking of the “Pound Da Alarm” rapper, at point she told Mariah to “simmer down, sir” and then minutes later praise her vocal talents. Love or hate Nicki, she keeps things colorful on the panel. Without further ado, check out all the performances below and my rankings.
Song: “Straight Up” (1989)
Original Artist: Paula Abdul
Song: “When You Believe”
Original Artist: Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston
As expected, Candice didn’t disappoint with her Paula Abdul cover. I knew she would give the 80s track her Candice flava. She transformed the Abdul track to a vocal tour de force and delivered some major ‘tude doing it. While the jazzy arrangement with touches of reggae isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For her second performance, I felt it didn’t live up to the high bar she’s set for herself. The high notes were top notch, but I felt the lower notes weren’t as powerful. Amber also had problems with her Mariah cover on the exact same thing. A true diva can easily shift from their lower register to glass-shattering notes with ease. That said, Candice’s “Divas” number was still better than most tonight.
Song: “When I Call Your Name” (1989)
Original Artist: Vince Gill
Song: “Dumb Blonde”
Original Artist: Dolly Parton
I truly do like Janelle, but with Lazaro gone it’s clear that she’s the weakest. She really needed a performance like her “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” showstopper during “Music of Motor City” week. Like the judges, I didn’t feel she connected with the Vince Gill number.
For her “Divas” performance, Janelle performed the sh*t out of it. Walking sassily from side to side while give some stank face. Sadly though, the song didn’t allow her to shine vocally. Whether she’s eliminated or not, Janelle is definitely in the Bottom 2.
Song: “She Talks To Angels” (1990)
Original Artist: The Black Crowes
Song: “Have You Ever Been In Love”
Original Artist: Celine Dion
When I found out one of the themes this week was “Year They Were Born,” I was hoping Kree would take on Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.” She totally would’ve slayed that. Instead she went with a Black Crowes number. While I appreciate the out-of-box thinking, I was kinda bored with this performance.
On the flip side, girlfriend shut it down with her “Divas” number. She did Celine Dion justice yet made it country enough to stay true to herself. Definitely the best of the night. Kree is great and all, but she really needs to make her personality pop more.
Song: “I’ll Stand By You” (1994)
Original Artist: The Pretenders
Original Artist: Beyoncé
Going into tonight, I thought Angie picked the best songs. Unfortunately, both were just a tad undelivered. After Mariah mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, I’ve begun to notice that Angie does have a tendency to over enunciate things. That wasn’t more evident than when she sang “Halo.” While her “I’ll Stand By You” number was touching and solid, I couldn’t help but compare it to both Gina Glocksen (Season 6) and Pia Toscano’s (Season 10) versions. IMHO, I enjoyed those ones better.
Song: “Without You” (1994)
Original Artist: Badfinger/Mariah Carey
Song: “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”
Original Artist: Barbra Streisand
Oh Amber, I knew she was doomed when I read she was doing a Mariah cover. Like Candice, she didn’t execute the lower notes as well as Mariah. That’s why people should stay clear of Mariah/Whitney tracks unless they can deliver on point or change up the melody somehow. As much as I love her, I didn’t agree with Randy, Mariah or Keith giving her a standing ovation for her first performance. This is why I love Nicki on the panel. She’s not afraid to go against everyone and tell it like it is. Amber wasn’t that good. Even Jimmy was a tad delusional and called it the second best of the night at that point. Clearly Mr. Iovine has an agenda. I bet he’s going to sign her and produced the sh*t out of her.
Thankfully, Holcomb knocked it out of the ballpark for her “Divas” number. As expected, she went back to her jazzy side for the Barbra Streisand number. This was absolutely sublime. Definitely worthy of the pimp spot. Candice’s two numbers from last week were still better, but this is exactly what Amber needed to do to survive in the competition.
If they reveal the Bottom 2, it’s a no-brainer that both Janelle and Amber are going to end up there. The other three ladies have such loyal and large fan bases. Based on performances, Janelle should go home, but as we’ve seen time and again, the worst doesn’t always get eliminated.
What did you think of tonight’s performances? Who was your favorite? Who do you think will be in the bottom two? Do you think this week or next will be a non-elimination week? Sound off below.