'American Idol' Recap: A Total Snoozer Of A Top 4
May 2nd, 2013 10:07am EDT
It’s the final four all over again.
It doesn’t happen in the College basketball. It doesn’t happen at the US Open Tennis. It doesn’t even happen on ‘The X-Factor’. But with ‘Idol’ we get the Final Four one more time.
It doesn’t make much sense, but it was kind of inevitable with the way this season unfolded: These were always the four best girls, so why not give them to us one more time?
Though, they should have done us one better. Why not have them just sing three more times? Make the voting cumulative over the last few episodes. Wouldn’t that have been more entertaining? Rather than just making us watch two or three performers the last couple weeks, we’d get to see all four every night for a nice variety.
Plus, the competition is so close that it would really be tough to determine the standout going into the final show and it would make for a much more dramatic final vote.
They’d never do that though, because they’re obsessed with the hometown show and obsesses with the one-on-one and original song aspect of the finale.
I’d rather see a deeper competition with more chance for a surprise on the final show.
Since that will never happen, last night was as much as we’ll get. Plus Harry Connick, Jr. as our first (!?) guest mentor of the season.
Angie Miller’s First Song: “Diamonds” by Rihanna
Keith Said: I didn’t feel like that’s the song to change it up the way you did.
Nicki Said: It was bland. It was lackluster. You can do a lot better.
Randy Said: Once you hit the chorus, that was it, but I didn’t love it.
Again, Angie has hit the theatrical bent here a little too hard. Like Sarah Brightman in her prime with a sprinkle of Evanesence.
The arrangement is really weird. A goth ballad matched with some sort of Carribean beat, it doesn’t really work and sounds totally out-of-context against each other. Like two songs playing at once.
All that badness aside, Angie continues to sound great and has the makeup of a star, but this is just again too far afield of the singer/songwriter she should be.
Angie Miller’s Second Song: “Someone to Watch Over Me”
Keith Said: It was beautiful.
Nicki Said: It was definitely better than the first performance.
Randy Said: This girl can sing. That was an amazing vocal.
Judging Angie’s performance here is really burying the lead because the clear star of this performance is the douchebag guitarist who’s jamming out like he’s trying to get laid with a Dave Matthews set at a college bonfire. Full-on gesticulations as his gelled hair flops with each bob to the non-existent beat. All from his stool. Odd dude.
Ok, Angie was there too. This was another one her musical theater performances. Far too much of that lately as she continues to go further from the singer songwriter that dominated early. Maybe she’s trying too hard? Maybe she’s over compensating? Maybe she thinks the big-voiced competition is something to be matched?
I don’t know what it is, but this isn’t the Angie that’s been topping the power rankings all season.
Amber Holcomb’s First Song: “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink & Nate Ruess
Keith Said: I love the clarity and the bell in your voice.
Nicki Said: The voice is there, but I didn’t see it was connected all the way through.
Randy Said: That was not stellar.
An odd choice to sing a duet, for sure. An even odder choice to sing such a terrible duet, but here we are.
Problematic is how boring this song is. She does a good job with it and she sounds great, but it doesn’t matter how good you sing when you’re singing a song that seems like it should be in a long distance commercial.
This is a definite ad singer performance. The voice is there, but there’s no sort of star quality bursting off the stage or anything, it’s just a good voice, singing a boring song in a boring manner.
She just didn’t give me a reason to get excited.
Amber Holcomb’s Second Song: “My Funny Valentine”
Keith Said: Your performance was stellar.
Nicki Said: You’re a superstar. You have fans everywhere. That was a great job.
Randy Said: How you ended this song was unbelievable.
It’s strange how lost she gets in the music while she sings. Like she just sort of blends into the rest of the track. A weak vocal for sure. A pretty one, but it just didn’t stand out from the track. That’s a problem.
Superstars make their presence felt. They dominate the rest of the stage and make everyone else there superfluous. Here they were necessary. Nearly equal as she sang with the fire of Gene Wilder’s “Pure Imagination” vocal in the original Willy Wonka.
Just drifting along into forgettability.
Candice Glover’s First Song: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
Keith Said: When you’re singing like that, you could sing “When I Was Your Giraffe” and it wouldn’t matter.
Nicki Said: That performance deserved a standing ovation.
Randy Said: Congratulations, that was amazing.
Another boring song, another good vocal. Just poor song choice after poor song choice to start the show.
This almost sounds like a rock power ballad the way she delivered it. Like somebody in a Queen cover band who moonlights as a backup session singer.
There’s also that lack of emotional connection. While I love that she didn’t change the pronouns because I think that’s so annoying when people do that – They’re just singing a song! – she did seem like she was singing a song she definitely didn’t write. Or even feel.
It’s just singing, but it can be more.
Candice Glover’s Second Song: “You’ve Changed”
Keith Said: Your power and your control were just beautiful. That was a really great performance.
Nicki Said: I can’t add anything else.
Randy Said: Candice is in it to win it tonight, y’all.
Candice is definitely getting graded on a curve here as after six consecutive performances like this, I just can’t take any more of these slow songs. It’s just the same performance from everyone every single time.
Candice is the worst offender. She hasn’t stepped outside of the performance all season. It’s all the voice. It’s all the same attitude. It’s all the same performance. It just gets so mundane after awhile no matter how many “wow” vocal moments you have in a performance and how great your voice is, when you just do the same thing every time.
It’s just old at this point.
Kree Harrison’s First Song: “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood
Keith Said: I felt like there was a conflict between what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing.
Nicki Said: I loved my Kreedom performance. You sang with your eyes.
Randy Said: It was a great vocal. I love the sound of your voice.
For the first time on this show, Kree just dominated the other three girls.
While the other three struggled to connect or make sense of their songs, Kree settled in like a country pro – shrinking her typical over singing down into a simple and pure little country melody that finally allowed the emotion to pour out of her shell.
Harry Connick, Jr. was agog over how good she was in rehearsal, and once you saw the performance it was easy to tell why: This sounded like a record. You could see the music video. You could see her performing this on the Grammys and being the talk of the next morning.
This showed Kree has the chops to win the whole thing.
Kree Harrison’s Second Song: “Stormy Weather”
Keith Said: You should’ve chosen a different song.
Nicki Said: I wish you would have paid more attention to the song choice.
Randy Said: Always stick to who you are.
After coming out her soulless shell on the last song and finally connecting to the song, Kree just went right back into the typical Kree performance here with the animated mannequin just standing in on spot on stage with the same look on her face giving the same good-but-not-great vocal she does every performance.
In other words, Kree showed that maybe she doesn’t have the chops to win the whole thing.
Because the voting was cumulative between the last two weeks, it’s natural to assume either Candice or Amber will go home as they bottom-twoed last week and have the steepest hill to climb.
Without that knowledge, I’d still say Candice was in the most trouble. She’s just given the same mundane and off-putting performance too many times now that the audience must be sick of voting for her.
Maybe if she’d gone with something upbeat, or something the least bit fun she’d have more of a shot, but after another bit of meh, she’s looking like the one to go home.
Photo Credits: Michael Becker/ FOX