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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 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 – Part 2: This One’s Four The Girls

Well, I have to say that keeping these for girls around for another night of performances made for an interesting show. The content of the judging was slightly better than last week but their antics had me cringing all night. From Mariah and Nicki’s bickering to Randy’s pissing contest with guest mentor (and hopefully future panel member) Harry Connick Jr., I almost just wished we could shut their mics off and just let these girls sing. Let us be the judge of who did well and who didn’t, since we’ve reached the point where standing O’s and constructive criticism are meaningless. I digress, let’s get down to the Now & Then performances to see who did what well.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

1. Angie Miller – “Diamonds” (Rihanna) – I kind of went into this performance knowing what to expect because I had seen Angie’s cover on her youtube channel. The first few moments with just her and the piano were really pretty, but I kind of understand Randy’s attempt at giving her some non-jibberish feedback by saying the arrangement was a little awkward. She was trying to develop the song into something it’s not and sing it for more than it’s worth. If she wanted to really sing a song, she should have picked something else or, like Randy said, completely flipped the arrangement on this. It felt like, at times, she kept getting dragged down by the original melody and that made it hard for me to really get into it. So it wasn’t a complete failure, just confusing, which is almost worse because the audience doesn’t know how to feel about it. If it went bad, they’d know to vote hard for her, if it went well, they’d know she’ll get plenty of votes. Confusing isn’t a good thing. That said, she still sounded good. (Sidenote: Did anyone else vomit a little in the back of their throat when Randy made a comment about Angie’s leather shorts? No? Just me?)
Rating: 58%

2. Amber Holcomb – “Just Give Me A Reason” (P!nk feat. Nate Ruess from Fun.) – A couple people, myself included, said that Amber and Angie should have switched songs and I definitely agree. I though Amber was good until she hit the chorus and then she just sounded out of breath. She was hitting the highest and lowest parts of her range and it wasn’t pleasant. Keith nailed it when he said that P!nk’s songs seem simple, but she has a monster voice and I think Amber underestimated this little chart-topping ditty when she picked it. The song’s popularity may help her in the votes, but I don’t think her version did her any favours tonight.
Rating: 28%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

3. Candice Glover – “When I Was Your Man” (Bruno Mars) – Keith said it best when he said that Candice could be singing to a giraffe and it wouldn’t have mattered. The fact that she didn’t change the pronouns didn’t affect my enjoyment of this performance one bit. Candice was tender with it and she sang it in that hearty way that she does. If Kree’s voice is like butter, Candice’s is like a good chili – spicy when she hits those crazy notes or makes those interesting voice choices, but in the end it always fills you up and leaves you wanting to lap up the rest from the bowl. This performance, as usual, proved that Candice can just stand there and sing and when she does, there isn’t much anyone can say to her. I think my only critique would be the emotional connection and the drama. I loved the way she told the story, but I almost wished there was a bit more there. Like if you go back to her renditions of “I (Who Have Nothing)” or “Love Song”, you’ll understand the ability Candice has to truly live in a song and I didn’t get that in every moment with this.
Rating: 72%

4. Kree Harrison – “See You Again” (Carrie Underwood) – At first I was taken aback with how much Kree sounded like Carrie in rehearsals. If Kree’s style wasn’t that bluesy stuff she does so well, she could almost just fall comfortably into Carrie’s lane. That said, I was still nervous that this performance might not take off since Carrie just did it a few weeks ago, but Kree’s rendition proved to be the best part of the “Now” songs. With her just on the stool, singing and keeping it simple, I had no critiques. The song is beautiful and she really conveyed that emotion and for the first time in the competition, I felt her live the song with her eyes, which Nicki was also quick to point out. I think, because she has such dark eyes, she can kind of seem dead in the eyes at times, but she fixed that tonight and her voice was like a perfectly paired wine with this song.
Rating: 83%

5. Angie Miller – “Someone To Watch Over Me” (Ella Fitzgerald) – I can’t fault the judges for commenting on Angie’s broadway side coming out in this performance, but I have to agree with Keith when he talked about how crystal clear Angie’s tone is. This really showed it off and in parts, her voice soared. I know Candice and Kree appear to be vocally in another league, but Angie’s voice is nothing to sneeze at and she proved it again in this by ditching the occasional rough treatment her voice gets and just straight up singing this song. Harry kept reminding them that these Standards songs are beautiful in their own right and don’t require vocal acrobatics to really sell them and I think Angie took that advice to heart and it worked well for her.
Rating: 67%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

6. Amber Holcomb – “My Funny Valentine” (Chet Baker) – I’m just going to get this out of the way: I’m upset Amber reprised a performance rather than picking a new song, but I’ll try not to let that cloud my judgment even though it was a choice she made. I loved the backdrop and the lighting during this performance and her dress was gorgeous, but like the judges said, you could feel the weight of the world on her shoulders until about mid-way through until she found her confidence again and really thrust herself back into the song. So I liked the second half of it. That being said, and to hark back to what I said earlier, I didn’t get anything new from this performance that I didn’t get the first time, which is why I wouldn’t have given it a standing O. If Amber breathed new life into it and sang it all like she did the second half, I might have but I wasn’t fully sold. Still, she cried and got a standing O, so we’ll see how far that takes her tomorrow night.
Rating: 63%

7. Candice Glover – “You’ve Changed” (Billie Holiday) – Once again the performance of the night goes to the Lady Glover. The vocal nuances she displayed in this song, just like in “Love Song”, killed me. If you ever watch Idol with me, I close my eyes and let out a few “mmm’s” during a particularly good performance and this one took me there. First of all, the song gave Candice every chance to show off her acting chops again and I thought she did that beautifully on top of singing perfectly, which is a sign of a killer performer. I watch Idol every night for dinner and a show and Candice never fails to deliver that when she needs it most.
Rating: 84%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

8. Kree Harrison – “Stormy Weather” (Lena Horne/Etta James/who the heck knows) – Let me start by saying that I love Harry Connick Jr. and I wish he would replace Randy on the panel, but I was thoroughly skeptical of his advice to Kree to keep it simple on this performance and to listen to the Lena Horne version. For once, I agreed with Randy when he said that he would have preferred yo hear the more bluesy Etta James version of this song. I will say that Kree still sounded great and showed great vocal restraint, but I think she sacrificed some of the old-fashioned heart that comes along with singing a standard. I think Harry might have gotten so deep into her head that she kind of forgot the reason she picked the song in the first place. I hope, however, that America still sees what I see in her and doesn’t make the mistake of letting her go too early.
Rating: 55%

9. The Top 4 – “Wings” (Little Mix) – This is a great, catchy song and as a reality show nut, I love Little Mix (who won the eighth season of X Factor UK), but I could have done without the backup dancers and the theatrics that Little Mix normally throws into it. We have four ladies with great voices, why not just let them come out and sing? Even the backup vocals and mixing kind of drowned them out, but when I could hear them, it was great. I wish Nigel would follow Harry’s advice for once and keep it simple. No pimping one girl over the others, no overdoing the band or backdrops or anything like that. Just let the talent do the talking.
Rating: 46%

Before I close this off, let’s talk numbers. Remember, we’re adding last week’s voting totals to this week. Last week, Amber and Candice were in the Bottom 2. We don’t really know by how much though. Based on the way everyone was treated tonight, I’ll say this:

  • Likely Bottom 2: Amber & Candice (again)
  • Likely Eliminee: Amber (unless her tears really got her a lot of sympathy votes)
  • Ideal Bottom 2: Amber & Angie (just so we know that it’s possible for Candice & Kree to beat her)
  • Ideal Eliminee: Amber

Tomorrow night, mentor Harry Connick Jr. performs, as do will.i.am and David Cook performs his awesome new single, “Laying Me Low”, which my fellow author, Tania, wrote an article about over here.

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2 Comments on “Idol Top 4 – Part 2: This One’s Four The Girls”

  1. Karen May 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Your reviews are so spot on. I agree with absolutely everything you’ve written here. Nice job!

    • Andrew Rogers May 3, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks Karen! I’m glad you agree with my reviews. I know I can be pretty harsh on Amber sometimes, but only because I think she’s capable of better! It’s tough to have 4 great singers because someone still has to be “the worst” of the bunch.

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