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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 28 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Idol Top 4 Results – Twist and Out

As I’ve said in previous articles, the results shows with the save/non-eliminations are always the most anti-climatic because you can generally see them coming from a mile away. Subtlety was never really a part of the Idol Machine’s vocabulary. Still, Thursday’s results show was far from unimportant. As the show chugs like an unstoppable steam train towards the grand finale at the Nokia theatre in may, every second we get to spend with these four girls, the four judges and the incomparable Ryan Seacrest is important.

First, let’s discuss the performances we saw. Again, I feel like Nigel saves the better guest performers for later in the season because I find myself more and more motivated to watch the results shows near the end.

1. The Top 4 Girls: “Girl On Fire” – Rejoice! A group performance featuring a song that isn’t older than the contestants themselves and it was, perhaps, for that reason alone that they all sounded good. I actually enjoyed this group number but I did notice Candice’s voice wasn’t as potent as usual. Either her sickness was catching up with her, or the volume on her microphone was low, but either way… we already know she can sing it because she slayed it back in Hollywood. Hopefully this performance was foreshadowing good things to come for next week’s Songs from 2013 theme.

Rating: 76%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

2. Stefano – “Yes To Love” – Stefano’s probably the cheesiest contestant the show has ever had. He just plays up that part of his personality and pretends to be a ladies man, which I don’t believe for one minute. That said, the song was great. Stefano has a fairly strong, souful voice and even though he was an underdog during his season, his recording contract with Hollywood Records may prove fruitful if he continues making songs like that and giving solid performances of them wherever he goes.

Rating: 79%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

3. Lee DeWyze – “Silver Lining” – I’m not ashamed to say that I adore Lee. He is probably one of, if not the most, polarizing of the Idol winners. True, his voice isn’t without it’s flaws, but the one thing that this performance showed is that, in his element, he’s a great, current musician. Detached from the overbearing 19 Entertainment record label, he makes music that sounds similar to Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers and fellow winner Phillip Phillips. His new single was catchy and I loved the addition of the orchestra and choir. It definitely made me excited to see what kind of music the album will bring.

Rating: 86%

Before I get to the results, I did say that I found Jimmy Iovine’s comment especially ripe with backpedaling and self-censorship this week. I never really enjoy hearing Jimmy speak unless it’s to point out something that all the judges failed to comment on (i.e. that MacArthur Park was a terrible song choice for Amber), but on Thursday Jimmy found it necessary to slap Kree on the wrist for her creative song choice during the One-Hit Wonder round, then praise Amber like she didn’t fumble her way through both of her performances. That, combined with his mixed praise for Candice made me wonder how much the audience is really listening to him and the judges, especially given the results.

I’d also just like to say that it was really cool to see Candice’s moment with Drake and the genuine happiness from her fellow competitors for her. Their friendship, more than anything, is what makes me wish the judges would just let them sing and not try and control the verdict come Thursday night.

After all of that, Ryan was quick to dole out the top and bottom 2 spots with Angie and Kree at the top and Amber and Candice at the bottom, as I had hoped. Personally, I wish we didn’t get any results because now I think Amber & Candice are going to get a boost in the votes simply for being in the Bottom 2. That said, the vote totals are being combined from weeks 1 and 2 featuring the Top 4, so it we’ll see what happens.  Since I’m surprisingly early with this recap, I can re-rank the Top 4 and predict song choices for them:

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

 4. Amber Holcomb – Say what you will about the way the judges blind praise Amber, but I’m still fairly convinced that America isn’t buying it. All the post-episode polls that I have seen online show that people didn’t enjoy her performances nearly as much as the judges’ feedback would seem to indicate. Amber is going to have to figure out I way to be more deserving of their praise. That or the producers are just going to give her the last spot of the night and praise her anyway. We’ll see what happens, but either way, I still think this girl has the slimmest chance of claiming the title from her rivals.

Song from 2013: “Next To Me” (Emile Sande) – This is a great song for her. It’s not one that she’s going to have to strain her voice and it’s up-tempo, which has been her Achilles heel so far this season, but I believe this song would let her change that.

Great American Songbook: “Over the Rainbow” (Harold Arlon) – Kat McPhee killed this back in Season 5. It was a really moment for her and if it hadn’t happened so close to the finale, it might have be enough to give her the win. I think Amber needs a solid song to sink her teeth into but have a quiet moment with and this song could do just that for her.

3. Kree Harrison – The judges slammed both her performances and song choices on Wednesday and she was still in the Top 2 on Tuesday. I think she’s got a solid fanbase and I think some of Janelle’s voters have latched on to her. I think if she can give performances that don’t give the judges any reason to critique her (or look foolish if they do), she might just secure her spot back in their favour.

Song from 2013: “Mama’s Broken Heart” (Miranda Lambert) – This song is a bit more country than anything else, but Miranda (and the writer of this song, Kasey Musgraves) are both super hot right now, so it would be the perfect way for Kree to lock up Janelle’s votes and show a little bit more personality, like the judges wanted her to.

Great American Songbook: “When I Fall In Love” (Victor Young) – The judges want emotion, so give them some goddamn emotion, Kree. This song is gorgeous, heartfelt and… yeah, it’s another Celine Dion song, but it’s tender and perfect for her buttery voice. Just put a bit of a blues swing like some of the other who have covered it over the years and you’ve got yourself a hit!

2. Candice Glover – As I said last week, this placement is solely based on the assumption that Candice outlasts Amber. If she does, she steals her fanbase and that may be enough to lock up a spot in the finale for her. Whether it’s a strength or weakness that her voice is her only weapon, albeit the most powerful one in the competition, only time will tell.

Song from 2013: “Two Black Cadillacs” (Carrie Underwood) – No one does drama like Candice and her case is helped by the fact that Carrie didn’t sing this song when she came on the show earlier in the season. What better way for Candice to snatch up a bit of Kree’s country vote and distinguish herself from Amber for the black diva vote?

Great American Songbook: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Rogers & Hammerstein) – All you need to do is look at the Wikipedia article for this song and you’ll see everyone who’s covered it and how many of those women fit Candice’s style to a tee. It’s a predictable choice for her, but maybe safe and predictable is the way to go after being in the Bottom 2 last night.

 1. Angie Miller  – Angie proved, once again, that with her piano, she’s pretty unstoppable. It’s clear that the judges still like her and may even want her to win so she’ll probably stick to what she did this week and, I believe, that will be enough to give her the momentum to get into the finale. After all, she’s the only remaining contestant who’s never found herself in danger.

Song from 2013: “Radioactive” (Imagine Dragons) – This song has a bit of a rock edge and if she plays the piano, she can really make it her own. I’m going to say that this is the best choice for her, hands down.

Great American Songbook: “It’s De-Lovely” (Cole Porter) – This song could also work for Candice, but I’d caution Angie during this theme to avoid the more Broadway-esque songs in the songbook. She needs to pick something that feels relevant, rather than stiff and I think this song is cute and would work perfectly for her, just like it did for a certain Canadian Idol winner: Melissa O’Neil.

That’s all I’ve got for you for this week, see you next week, when the Top 4 fight it out for a two-in-three shot at the finale.

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