Nicki Minaj didn’t miss anything by being late last night except Curtis Finch, Jr’s forgettable performance of “I Believe”. Last night contestants chose from among the songs of past Idol winners. “I Believe” was sung by season three’s American Idol winner, Fantasia. Contestants were also sporting their new “makeovers”, which were just as critically judged by some as their music. Finch sported a bright paisley jacket which didn’t do a thing for him. The jacket was a little overwhelming while the performance was a bit underwhelming. Which was surprising, because while he stinks in the personality department, no one can say the guy can’t “blow”, to borrow a term from Randy Jackson.
And while Angie Miller got the pot boiling last night with “I Surrender”, it was Candace Glover who blew the lid right off with her haunting and heartfelt version of “I Who Have Nothing”, sung by Jordin Sparks in season six. All the while looking like a million bucks.
Kree Harrison put the cry in Roy Orbison’s classic “Cryin'”, performed by Carrie Underwood in season four. She gave such a good performance that it put Nicki in mind of sweet syrupy butter and waffles, while Keith Urban lifted his brows and checked Nicki’s drink. But though Kree’s singing was spot on, Idol’s wizards of style need to re-assess her wardrobe and get her into something current and cool.
Amber Holcomb got a standing ovation from the judges for Kelly Clarkson’s coronation song “A Moment Like This” — if truth be told doing it better than Clarkson, who was never a favorite with me or mine. We’ve never understood the “Idol worship” of the girl when there are such greats as Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert out there.
Cute and perky country girl Janelle Arthur opted for Scott McCreary’s version of “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. And while Janelle’s voice was clear and sweet and she looked great, she wasn’t on a par with the big girls. She’ll make a great country music star, but I doubt she’ll survive past the top five in American Idol this year. Too much big competition.
The guys were more or less lackluster (again) last night. Surprisingly Paul Jolley, though not perfect, sang his best so far with Scot McCreery’s version of “Amaze”. Paul just doesn’t seem to know where he fits voice-wise or otherwise, and among this year’s group of glorious gals, he’s gone. So are Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos. Burnell has a sweet voice but was definitely flying under the radar with Reuben Studdard’s “Flying Without Wings”. And Lazaro keeps getting all twisted up with the nerves and pitching his voice too low for the songs he sings, this time with Clarkson’s “Breakaway”. How many songs was that for Clarkson, anyway?
But I was so disappointed in Devin Velez I could have cried. I love his voice, but whatever happened last night with Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home” will probably get him on the next flight home after Lazaro or Burnell.
Out of the ten last night, the worst was Lazaro Arbos and the best was Candice Glover. Tied for second best are Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison, with Angela Miller next, followed by Janelle Arthur. All of the guys come in last, but I can’t decide what order of descent to put them in. I suppose Finch and Jolley might stay longer than Burnell and Devin, but I hope Devin gets another chance – and USES it.
My daughter-in-law Tammy watched the show with me last night, which was fun because she knows all the songs, who sang them, and how they should be sung. All I can say from my end of the judging call is that we both had a pep rally around Candice Glover, with sister Katie on the phone adding to the bedlam. Fun. Fun. Fun. Finally.