American Idol S15 The End…Or Not?

9 04 2016

And the winner is…….

I’m just kidding. There are 2+ hours of filler before we find out who wins the very last spot as an American Idol.

President Obama made a speech at the beginning in a pitch to get people to vote and exercise their rights as citizens to vote in elections.

The opening number included Idol contestants from previous seasons. My mind instantly went to one Idol who will there be in spirit, Michael Johns. His death was so sad. The song started with the top 3 of this season and then moved out of to the broader focus that included all the contestants from this season. Then more contestants. I recognized Nick Fradiani, Diana DeGarmo, Katharine McPhee, Jessica Sanchez, Colton Dixon, (was that David Archuletta, too, next to him), Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, Allison Iraheta, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, Ace Young, James Durbin, Carly Smithson, Jasmine Trias (from season 3 who wore a flower in her hair), Bo Bice, Scotty McCreery, and Caleb Johnson. I am sure there are others I will see and be shocked at how much they’ve changed (like Bo Bice).   Tonight I believe more often than not we will be saying to ourselves, “Oh yeah, whatever happened to” fill in the blank.

Brian Dunkleman, the co-host of season 1, joined as a surprise guest, a nice book-end to the beginning of Idol history. But the jokes he continued making got old and they didn’t get many laughs in the audience. Awkward.

Trent and La’Porsha teamed up to sing “It Takes Two” by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston with pictures of their journey this season playing behind them.

Season 10 and 11 judge Steven Tyler began a series of retrospectives of their participation in Idol. Later Nicki Minaj shared her wishes. Notably absent was diva Mariah CareyEllen DeGeneres sent a video.

Former seasons 8 and 9 judge Kara DioGuardi performed and I wished she hadn’t. She is a better songwriter than singer.   Also among the people in this medley segment were Colton Dixon from season 11; a duet with season 1’s Justin Guarini and season 6’s Jordin Sparks; season 2’s Kimberley Locke; Tamyra Gray (season 1); Allison Iraheta (season 8); Larry Platt from season 9 (“Pants on the Ground” song fame but was never a contestant); finally ending with Pia Toscano (season 10). Sanjaya was spotted in the audience in a “Where’s Sanjaya” segment.  Glad he didn’t sing.

When Kelly Clarkson was visiting a few weeks back as a mentor, since she was pregnant and it was unlikely she could attend the show, she pre-recorded a montage of all her most popular hits. It showcased why we love her and the show that served as a gateway to all the music she brought to our lives. The medley ended with the song that started it all, “A Moment Like This.

Male Idol rockers did a medley of songs. The members included Bo Bice from season 4 (the biggest physical appearance change I have seen yet this evening); Caleb Johnson from season 13; Constantine Maroulis (season 4); James Durbin (season 10); and Chris Daughtry (season 5).

Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood (season 4) joined forces to sing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” originally by Stevie Nicks featuring Tom Petty (Tom Petty actually wrote the song). I wish Carrie would have had a crossover rock career. When Carrie sang rock songs on Idol season 4, they were my favorite and had me looking at her like a winner.

Next was a country medley of songs starting off with Diana DeGarmo (season 3); Skylar Laine (season 11) who wasn’t sounding so great; Kree Harrison (season 12) who I loved during her season also sounded not so great either (you were pitchy dawg). They were then joined by the boys are of country Bucky Covington (season 5); Ace Young of season 5 (who is married to Diana DeGarmo); and confusingly Constantine Maroulis (season 4). Constantine filled in for Josh Gracin who declined their invitation because he didn’t want to sing a medley of covers with other contestants (per his report on tasteofcountry.com). Then Lauren Alaina (season 10) and Kellie Pickler (season 5) came on stage. Lastly Scotty McCreery (season 10) came out.

Harry Connick Jr presented a very emotional segment along with his friend, Marley Fletcher, from The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in the heart of the 9th Ward in New Orleans to sing “What a Wonderful World.”

He then introduced some of the best singers Idol has had on center stage.   Katharine McPhee (season 5) and Casey James (be still my heart from season 9) singing a duet; Carly Smithson (season 7) doing a solo; Clay Aiken (season 2) doing a solo; Ruben Studdard (season 2) and Amber Holcomb (season 12) doing a duet; and finishing up with Jessica Sanchez (season 11) in a solo of ‘The Prayer” where the others joined at the end.

Jennifer Lopez sizzled up the stage with her new song “Ain’t Your Mama.”   I would have loved to see that in person. That was stellar. And she ended with “Let’s Get Loud” to get Idol pumped up, the perfect halftime song. This whole thing left me breathless.

Season 3 ladies Latoya London, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson performed a trio “Bridge Over Troubled Water. Jennifer Hudson sang a solo of her song from Empire “Remember the Music.Brandon Rogers (season 6), Clark Beckham (season 14), George Huff (season 3), Danny Gokey (season 8), and Elliott Yamin (season 5) banded together to sing a medley of Motown hits.

Fantasia came back to do some of her song, “Ugly.” Latoya London (season 3) came back on stage with Taylor Hicks (season 5) “Knew You Were Waiting for Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. Season 11 Joshua Ledet took the stage; wow he looks fantastic. He sang “It’s a Man’s World” by James Brown. He rocked that stage!   And more Idol joined in. Candice Glover (season 12) and Melinda Doolittle (season 6) along with a variety of other Idols including many of the season 15 contestants to sing “Joy to the World.” Even Harry Connick Jr was up dancing.

A tribute to David Bowie was done featuring Idol winners Phillip Phillips (season 11), Lee DeWyze (season 9), Nick Fradiani (season 14), David Cook (season 7) and Kris Allen (season 8) which included Bowie’s hits “Starman” from 1972, “Rebel Rebel” from 1974, and “The Jean Genie” from 1972.

Next was a playback of the worst or funniest auditions or moments during the early years with Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Ryan Seacrest including that awful Simon and Paula kiss. Randy and Paula came on stage and of course you were just waiting for Simon to make a “surprise” appearance. Paula and Randy gifted Ryan with the American Idol sign that Ryan will put it on his nightstand. Simon didn’t have a black T-shirt on. He dressed up for the occasion. Fatherhood looks good on him. And just when you thought the surprises were over out pops the non-surprise, William Hung who performed “She Bangs.” He ultimately released an album which sold 200,000 copies and made it to number one on Billboard’s Top Independent Album chart. He now works for the LA Sheriff’s Department as a technical crime analyst. Ryan Seacrest did a little dancing with him on stage.

Contestants throughout the 15 years shared how much they loved doing the Ford video segments. Trent and La’Porsha received keys to their cars for this year.

Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood sang her song “Something in the Water.”   She got tearful when talking to Ryan Seacrest.

Now it is time to learn who is the winner is of the very last American Idol. The winner is TRENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am just as shocked as he was. With everyone chanting La’Porsha’s name in the audience the night before I felt certain the win was hers. He deserves it just as much as she did but I thought it was hers. I thought Trent was going to pass out. Jennifer pointed to Keith as if she was saying, “you called it.” Jennifer looked shocked and Harry looked shocked too and mouthed “wow” to Jennifer. Trent was sweet when he said that La’Porsha pushed him during the competition.

Ryan Seacrest then signs off the show by saying, “We say to you from Hollywood, goodnight America.” The room goes dark and you hear him say “for now.”   For now? What the hell does that mean? Do they think in 10 years from now, they’ll bring back like X-Files for a limited event? Let American Idol die in peace and go out on a high. They weren’t going out on tour for that very reason so what makes them think bring the show back is “going out on a high?”

I heard later on during the Twitterfest that the producers were going to shop the show to another network. If this is true, it is a mistake. American Idol is forever associated with Fox Broadcasting and to try to resurrect it as the same show or anything that has the name American Idol even if it is in a different format, is just a mistake. American Idol had a great run but like all things, they come to an end, and so should this.

Thank you American Idol for the many years of entertainment; you will live on in television legend.  Guess I will need to get back to blogging about other things, too.





American Idol S12 Top 3

9 05 2013

It’s 4:00 p.m. on results night. Work and family just did not allow me to do a proper blog for this critical point. So let me say this:

Candice Glover for the win!

And I’m truly split on Kree and Angie. Both had good moments and not-so-good moments. I wish Idol would stop making Angie look like she is an angel in heaven with the white smoke on stage, the softer lens they seem to be using when she is singing. Do they not have any other creative ideas to use as a backdrop for her? Kree has better stage presence just because she has had more experience. Kree’s story about her parents dying when she was so young had me sobbing. Kree–Angie — Love you both. I know getting that crown feels like it is important, but it is really not. What matters is what you do after this show–the choices you make, the mistakes you will inevitably make, but learning from those and the desire to not settle, to keep improving is what determines a winner, not who had people dial/text a number or Supervote on AT&T.

Not only do I think everyone in this top 3 will be okay, but Amber Holcomb is also in this category. Such wonderful talent and I have enjoyed this season a great deal.

Postnote update:  And stop having them sing P!NK.  Amber did not do well with hers, and last night the two songs done by Angie and Kree of P!NK were not great.





American Idol S12 Top 4 Again

2 05 2013

After the unsurprising surprise twist last week, the top 4 were allowed to sing again since the judges never used the save all season. The votes tonight will be added to the votes last week to determine who is going home. Tonight’s songs are “now” and “then.” The “now” selection has to be from 2013. The “then” had to be on a list of standard classics.

All the ladies looked fabulous this evening. I have no doubt that all will be successful after the show is over. But here is my rundown for tonight (I’m behind on my blog from last week–so I think I’ll just skip. Most of the performances last week were lackluster anyway. This week, I wasn’t thrilled about Mariah and Nicki fighting.

Angie Miller

Song 1: “Diamonds” by Rihanna

I lived it but I hope we aren’t going to get ballads all night tonight. A little sleepy sometimes. She cracked in a few places. Keith thought it missed the mark. Nicki said it was bland and lackluster. Randy agrees with Keith but liked the leather shorts (okay?). Mariah: Girl–I love you but condense your comments!

Song 2: “Someone To Watch Over Me”

This could have been a really big song for her. It was sleepy for me. Her vocal is nice but it was not a standout performance (for me). Keith loved it. Nicki gave her some performance tips. Randy thought it was an amazing vocal.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb

Song 1: “Just Give Me a Reason” by P!nk

That was rough. She sounds like she is singing just under the note. She has done much better in the past. Nicki said there was no emotional connection (I agree). Randy said it was not stellar.

Song 2: “My Funny Valentine”

Goosebumps. Phenomenal. I felt she was very connected to the song. It was flawless perfection. The judges gave her a well-deserved standing ovation. She became very emotional because she thinks that she has no shot of going through next week and was openly tearful. I felt so bad for her. It was not a fake cry just for votes. Note to Amber: Jennifer Hudson did not win Idol either–look how far she went. It is what you do with the opportunities you get and you must passionately pursue your dream.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

Candice Glover

Song 1: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars

Candice IS BACK! Last week I was so disappointed that she wasn’t pouring her heart and soul into his music which I have seen her do multiple times in the past. I also love her hair. I had goosebumps (see my goosebump history–it has never steered my wrong). Randy said it was amazing. Mariah and Keith thought it was a winning performance. Nicki said she deserved a standing ovation and Mariah stands up after the others and pretends to throw glitter on her.

Song 2: “You’ve Changed” by Billie Hollday

Goosebumps AGAIN!! Her voice is also perfection during both songs this evening. She receives another standing ovation.

Candice

Candice Glover

Kree Harrison

Song 1: “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood

I loved it. She looks lighter in spirit this week even though this was a serious song. She was looking downright depressed last week. Keith thought her voice was full but there was a disconnection between what he was hearing (a full band) and what he was seeing (an intimate setting with an acoustic guitar).

Song 2: “Stormy Weather”

She looks beautiful. I felt she was very connected to the song. She did not take Harry Connick, Jr.’s advice. I thought that was a good thing because I loved the way she did it. The judges, however, did not like her song choice. They thought “God Bless The Child” might have been a better song for her, for example.

Kree

Kree Harrison

So my picks for tonight are: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie

Last week my picks were: Angie, Candice, Amber, Kree

It will be interesting to see who goes home tonight. David Cook will be on!





American Idol Season 12 Top 5 Perform

21 04 2013

I can say I am 100% confident that a girl will win American Idol this year. And if I can be so bold, two ladies will occupy the top 2 spots. All kidding aside, there are some camps who believe that some of the less talented boys got through Vegas week to make sure that there would be a girl winner this year.

I only got to watch the first round of the top-5 performance night before I had to run to work, then a sick kid, more work, and here I am on Saturday just now watching it. How I managed to stay away from the spoilers of who went home is beyond me.

Tonight are songs from the year the contestant was born; second round is songs from divas. And the performances were dedicated to Boston in light of the bombings there (and here we are, on Saturday, and they have been caught, one dead, one captured). Jimmy would give back-stage critiques after the judges had their say.

Candice Glover


Song 1:  “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul from 1989

I thought she was nuts when I heard the song choice but I absolutely adored it. The people who have been most successful on Idol are the ones who, while on the show, we’re able to take songs and make it sound like an entirely different song. Candice has the ability to do that. People who just turn songs into covers with no changes are singers, not artists. Candice is an artist. I loved that Keith indirectly insulted Paula by saying he did not realize this was a good song. Jimmy did not like her song choice.

Song 2: “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston

I got goosebumps! Enough said. Mariah was very emotional about the performance.

Candice

Candice Glover

Janelle Arthur


Song 1: From 1989 Vince Gill “When I Call Your Name”

I don’t know the original at all. I was bored. She may be a singer and a performer, but not an artist. This was always my problem. I would not ever let my walls down. I could sing, but I never had the ability to emote. But Janelle does better with her guitar. All the judges liked it except Keith. Keith’s opinion matters here because he is the country artist. Jimmy agreed.

Song 2–Dolly Parton “Dumb Blonde”

Again I have never heard this song. This was better than her first song. It did not require much pulling from her emotional base. It was upbeat and fun. Keith did not like the song choice.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

Kree Harrison


Song 1 from 1990 “She Talks To Angels” by Black Crowes

I really like Kree because she can crossover into genres. I did not think this was her best performance though. I felt like she was very tired. I still think she will be in the top 3. Nicki and Mariah had an exchange where Nicki told Mariah to “simmer down sir.” Jimmy did not think it was strong enough.

Song 2: Celine Dion “Have You Ever Been In Love”

Her lower range is tough. When she ventures past her speaking voice range, she does well. Her last note wavered in and out of pitch. But I liked that she pushed her voice to its full vocal range.

Kree

Kree Harrison

Angie Miller


Song 1 From 1994 “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders

At the beginning of the song she was singing the words but not feeling them either regardless of her dedication to Boston. I think because she made the song faster it did not allow for the heartfelt emotion that should have been felt with every word. Maybe if she did the first verse slower, and then picked up the tempo it would have been better. And can we please have a performance by her that does not include the dry-ice effect on stage? It is getting old. Whether it is Angie or Amber who makes it into the top 3 will be interesting. Amber is the better singer, but she is not connecting with the audience for some reason. Angie was a bit pitchy when she made the key change in this song, but no one is voting the girl from Boston home so she will be safe. No one made any criticisms either. Even Jimmy liked it.

Song 2: “Halo” by Beyonce

I think this was much better than her first song. Exceptional! Fantastic song choice. She really pushed herself in that song. Her risk paid off.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb


Song 1 From 1994 MARCH 17??? My birthday but definitely not birth year! Mariah Carey “Without You”

Amber, I love you, but this was absolutely the wrong song choice. At some points it seemed like the notes were just under where they should be. I did not feel the emotion of the song either, the desperation that is required on this–I would rather be dead than live without you. Part of that is her age and the lack of experience of feeling a love that deep. Teenagers think they have loved so deeply that they could just die when it is gone, but they lack the emotional maturity to really understand that. Perhaps you should have thought about God and how you would feel not having His love as I know you have deep church roots. Nicki felt what I was feeling. It was a gutsy choice to try with Mariah. Jimmy agrees with Nicki.

Song 2: Barbra Streisand “What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life”

SHE KILLED THIS SONG! I think she is going to be in the bottom 2 because of her first song was not great.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

I think Janelle is going home not because she is not good, but she is no longer in the same league as the rest of these ladies.

RESULTS SHOW

What? Clay Aiken is on? As usual, I fast-forward through the group number. With few exceptions, I don’t like them. He sounds as great as he always has. I do understand now what Jimmy was saying about Kree now that the previous performance was shown. Latoya London is in the house.

Clay

Clay Aiken

Fantasia–I love her haircut (for me!) That was fantastic!

Fantasia

Fantasia performs

Whoa, Amber is safe!!!!!! Janelle is in the bottom. But will they use the save?  It was 2 for using the save and 2 against so she does not get a second chance.





American Idol Top 6 Perform

12 04 2013

Yes I’m two days behind. I have no clue at this point as I am typing this as to who is going home (watching on the DVR). This season is really great with these talented contestants, so I really did want to write something, but likely an abbreviated version. Writing blogs is my hobby; I have a real full-time job, a child with a disability and this week a norovirus (not confirmed by lab tests but it fits the profile) hit our house. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Two themes: Songs from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. And the second are “songs the contestants had actually wished they had written.”

Angie Miller

Song 1: “Anyone Who Had a Heart” by Dionne Warwick

A bit pitchy again. I think she is at her best at her piano. The song choice was boring for me and making me sleepy. She looks terrific but her song choice is not going well.

Keith points out that he doesn’t hear singing the passion and I think his point is valid. She has not had much experience in that department, and many times I think she is pretending (that is “acting” like an actor who also does not have much experience. It will come as she ages and I think her album should be Christian contemporary, like Colton, because that is where I see her shine and where she moves me as a singer.

Song 2: “Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe

It is risky doing an unfamiliar song. I had not heard of it. This was better than the first one. This has a contemporary Christian feel to it and she did great. The judges loved it.

Angie

Angie Miller

Amber Holcomb

Song 1: “I Say A Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick

It was good. The very low notes were difficult for her (she was slightly flat there). Again another sleeper song until the ending. She did put her own spin on it which was good.

The judges loved it (to the point Nicki declared her her new favorite).

Song 2: “Love On Top” by Beyonce

Liked how she used the backup singers at the beginning. She looks like a pop star. I thought this song was better than the first and on some of the noted I did feel like it was Whitney. At the end it got slightly pitchy but it was nice to have an up-tempo song. Judges loved it too.

Amber

Amber Holcomb

Lazaro Arbos

Song 1: “Close to You” by The Carpenters

No comment. No, I will comment because in this blog I am already irrelevant so it does not matter. It won’t churn votes for him because I have criticized. It was horrendous. Lazaro, dear one, you are a good guy but this song was hardly ever in key. The judges agree with me. Mariah–condense! Tell him all this after the show. The other two judges want to speak.

Song 2: “Angels” by Robbie Williams

The beginning was rough. His lower register needs a LOT of work. This was better than the first song, but it was still not good enough to stay.

Lazaro

Lazaro Arbos

Kree Harrison

Song 1: “What The World Needs Now is Love” version of Jackie DeShannon

I want to see Kree, Amber and Candice in the finale. She really can cross genres easily. I loved the interpretation of the song and making it different and a song from Kree. She has never disappointed. MARIAH– Condense! This is not Camp Mariah. You have other fellow judges.

Song 2: “Help Me Make It Through The Night” by Kris Kristofferson

This happens to be one of the few country songs I like and I loved this unplugged version. If I bought a country CD it would be Kree. It was beautiful. Great job! (Nicki called it a Kreedom show). All the judges loved it.

Kree

Kree Harrison

Janelle Arthur

Song 1: “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” by Dionne Warwick

Underwhelming. She does work the audience and stage well. There were moments that were sweet and effortless. I thought there was emotional disconnection in this song. Some notes were flat.

Song 2: “The Dance” by Garth Brooks

Her lower register is rough. She again had beautiful notes and notes that were sharp or flat. Unfortunately this is nowhere near the level of the other girls, so I put her in the bottom 2 with Lazaro. The judges were not impressed.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

Candice Glover

Song 1: “Don’t Make Me Over” by Dionne Warwick

America–this is your next American Idol. Week after week she is perfection. If she does not win, I will support her career. I haven’t picked it wrong yet. The judges gave her a standing ovation. By the way, all of my 50 votes went to her. She won me over during the auditions and that feeling has not changed.

Song 2: “Lovesong” by The Cure

BEST performance EVER this season 12. I loved her taking the rock star and making it bluesy. I would actually buy a ticket if she ever came into town. What a FANTASTIC way to end the show. Keith got up and bowed to her from the ground. Mariah threw a glitter bomb. Candice was very moved by the support in the studio. Truly AMAZING!

Candice

Candice Glover

My picks in order: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie, Janelle, Lazaro

RESULTS SHOW

Jimmy called Lazaro’s performance an Ambien milkshake (so funny–I need to borrow that). Amber is in e bottom two? You are crazy, America, and I am not just saying that because she is from Houston. FINALLY! Lazaro is in the bottom and I KNOW the judges will not save him.





American Idol S12 Top 7 Perform

4 04 2013

AmericanIdolLogoInstead of having no blog at all because (insert numerous excuses here), I’m just going to keep it short.

Last night’s American Idol was….disappointing. Very, very disappointing. It was ROCK night and only a few rose to the occasion. The group numbers and/or duets were painful to watch. It was cute to see that Burnell has a crush on Amber; however, we have an engaged Idol couple right now–Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young. I also got tired of Ryan Seacrest asking the contestants why they did so crappy. Was he also at a loss for words? These people are being groomed for professionalism and how professional is it to be asked why they did not remember the lyrics (because they never heard of these songs before) or why did they have such a bad performance when usually they are always so good (because they had too much to learn that week or they are not feeling well, etc.) When someone goes to a concert, can you imagine them saying to crowds that paid hard-earned money hear: Hey y’all. I’m sorry I forgot the lyrics on that one. I’m so tired going from city to city playing for all of you. Candice did a great job, but after hearing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” from Adam Lambert, well, no one could sing that better except for the Rolling Stones.  But Candice was my favorite. Amber Holcomb was my next favorite. Next was Kree despite her rough note. Angie Miller. You have a problem. You have no life experience so while your wind machine blew tropical-storm-force wind in your face, you could not put the emotion that was necessary of the lyrics from “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence to the song. You do best when you sing your original music. “Bid my blood to run, before I come undone…” With your Christian roots, I doubt you’ve ever felt love this deep at your tender age. It’s not your fault. However, you need to pick songs where you can emotionally connect. Then Janelle. Janelle, my dislike of what you do has nothing to do with you. It’s me. I got so sick of my mother playing country music that I grew to dislike it so much. And your twang seems to be growing every week. What’s up with that? Then Burnell and then Lazaro. I love challenges turned into triumph, but Lazaro is not performing on par with what needs to come from the Idol winner. You should be proud you got this far, but it is really time for you to go home until the tour. You should not have worn those pants last night; when they went out for the wide shot, I felt like I was looking at pictures similar to Anthony Weiner, or you were having a Jon Hamm moment. Or perhaps that is why people keep voting for you and I missed it until tonight.

Don’t forget that you can pick the theme for an Idol show by tweeting with the hashtag #ATTIdolTheme. Based on these performances last night, I’m going to suggest TV Show Themes, Songs of the Circus, or One-Hit Wonders





American Idol S12 Top 8 Perform

28 03 2013

Music of Motown. Smokey Robinson is guest mentor.

Candice Glover–Smokey cried at her performance last week. This week she chose “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. Preach girl! She is always spot on. She laid down the gauntlet! I believe she is untouchable. Keith said tonight was her best performance (for her). Nicki said she stayed in it emotionally completely. Randy said she was crazy good. Mariah said she wants to hear more of that jazzy sound.

Group song–Kree and Janelle–country version of “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. I preferred Kree over Janelle. This song was not a good choice for Janelle’s voice. Nicki said that Kree looked like she flew in to sing with an Idol contestant. OUCH. Randy said Janelle’s pitch was off night and Kree outshined her. Mariah said it was a sisterhood moment. Then I walked out of the room to ask my husband a question and Mariah was still talking when I got back in. Keith said it worked really well. He felt they could have walked around more but he was glad they had each other’s back in that lyric-slip moment.

Lazaro Arbos — “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. I think Jimmy was going easy on him this week because he has gotten such flack the past few weeks about his mentoring of Lazaro. Lazaro has enunciation issues but this is the best he has done since the auditions. Randy thinks it was better than last week. Mariah said she hears Randy about the pitch problems. His confidence was back. Keith thought Smokey’s advice was fantastic. This week was better than last week. Nicki feels he was back this week. Nicki said he gave her everything she needed and wanted. She said when he stopped listening to Jimmy, he did a great job.

Janelle Arthur “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes. I was bored. Mariah said it was her at her finest. Keith thought it was fearless. He thought it was beautiful. Nicki thinks she shines when she has her guitar. She seems to be smiling a lot more (but is smiling during this song appropriate?). Nicki does not think that her voice is where it normally is. Randy thought it was one of her best performances.

Devin Velez–“Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Flawless to me. I like this but Adam Lambert’s is still my favorite Idol cover of the song. Keith says he has to stop thinking about things so much and relax but he has style. Nicki said he looks like a ripe banana and that is a good thing. Amazing job. YES sir. (He was wearing a red jacket, but I think she meant she wanted to eat him all up figuratively speaking). Randy thinks Devin is back tonight. Best performance from him in weeks. Mariah loved it.

Group number:  Amber, Candice and Angie–I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by The Supremes & The Temptations. Fantastic and they get a standing ovation except for Mariah. Mariah said it was A-plus amazing.

Burnell Taylor“My Cherie Amour”–Stevie Wonder. He had a nice voice but there’s nothing about it or his performances that stand out. He always sounds like he is right under the note and I think he mispronounced the word “amour.” Nicki thinks he is artsy. Randy loves his choices. Mariah loves him looking debonair. He gave it a modern twist. Keith said where is Ron Burgundy when you need him (and what the hell does that mean, but I love that Keith loves Anchorman). Keith likes him too.

Angie Miller“Shop Around”–The Miracles. She needs to work on her stage presence when she is not behind the piano. I felt there were opportunities to interact with the good-looking guitar players that would have made that performance stand out more for me, but I think because of her faith and her age, she is reluctant to do that. Nicki said she tried to show a different side of Angie and she does not need to do that. Randy thought it was pitchy.

Amber Holcomb–“Lately“–Stevie Wonder. I loved it. My second favorite performance of the night. Mariah: She is a tour de force. Mariah was bleeped! That’s funny. Keith agrees. It was the right song. She felt it (the song). It was beautiful tonight. Nicki said it was out of this world. When God created those vocal cords….. Randy said it was the best vocal of the night.

Group number:  Devin, Burnell and Lazaro–“I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops (which ironically is at this moment playing on Shark Tales on my son’s DVD). This performance was TERRIBLE. Their voices do not complement each other. Nicki hated it. She told them to get off the stage. I LOVE HER HONESTY.

Kree Harrison— “Don’t Play That Song” Aretha Franklin. Her voice is really growing on me. Randy says she was one of the best in the competition. She is here to stay. Mariah commends her for doing the song. She loves her and she is here to stay. Keith loves her. Nicki says she is a queen.

My top 3: Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison.

My bottom 3: Burnell Taylor, Lazaro Arbos, Janelle Arthur