Well thank God someone was actually eliminated because I’m seriously out of “four” puns for this season. That said, Thursday’s results show wasn’t without plenty of suspense as Ryan withheld any results until the very end of the telecast. I, personally, was on pins and needles because I had a very clear Top 3 that I wanted and, from what I’ve read around the Internet, most people had a clear top 3 as well, so the decision would either be the best or worst one all season. But more on that later, first lets talk performances:
1. Idol Top 4 Girls: “Crazy In Love” (Beyonce cover, from the Great Gatsby Soundtrack) – While I was excited to hear a modern, contemporary song from this girls and this performance was far more fun than some dreary old ballad or a medley of songs staler than year old melba toast, I did think that (once again) Nigel drowned out these fantastic girls with awkward backup voices and an overly loud band. But when I could hear them, I loved it and I loved seeing them shake their thangs with some great old-school dancers, even for the sake of Gatsby promo.
2. David Cook: “Laying Me Low” – Season 7’s winner is still, in my mind, the best male contestant the show has ever had. Bo Bice, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert all give him a run for his money, but Cook was brilliant with his arrangement. His range is unexpectedly broad and he writes great music (which perhaps is what sets him most apart from the three aforementioned contestants). This foot-stomping, head-bobbing single was no exception and I had it download on iTunes the day it came out, so I kind of cheated and already knew the words. But for more on that, check out my fellow writer, Tania’s, article on the song.
3. Will.i.am: “Bang Bang” (Nancy Sinatra remix?) – As soon as this performance started, I got the feeling that I was going to hate it. The song itself is catchy, even if it tears poor Nancy’s song limb from limb to get there, but Will.i.am’s voice and his unnamed female counterpart really did this no favours. I think the song would have been better in someone else’s hands (Janelle Monae, perhaps?), someone who could actually sing? Still, the old-school vibe was pretty cool.
4. Harry Connick Jr.: “Every Man Should Know” – The handsome crooner who played mentor the previous night was very careful not to add too many “licks” to his performance, subsequently proving Randy wrong that a good song doesn’t need them. His performance was good, if not grand, but his voice is always so comforting that I don’t mind the subtlety and simplicity of his style. There’s rumors swirling about him becoming a permanent fixation at the judge’s table next season and I have to say that I wouldn’t mind that one bit, especially if he replaces Mariah and/or Randy. Nicki and Keith, you stay. Mariah and Randy, sashay… away.
And then, once all the performances were finally out of the way, Idol fans were left clutching the arms of their couches as Ryan announced, one by one, the members of the Top 3. I have to say that I literally had no idea what to expect as this happened… but first it was Angie (momentary sigh of relief, a bit of cheering), then Candice (another sigh, more cheering because if America robbed, arguably, the best straight up singer this year I’d be ticked on her behalf), which only left Kree (my personal favourite) and Amber (the underdog that the judges had been hyping up for weeks). We cut to commercial but when we come back, it’s… Kree who makes it! I’ve never leapt off my couch so fast to scream and cheer. It’s the first season where my 1st, 2nd and 3rd favourite contestants (don’t ask me in what order… because it’s too close to call) ended up being the Top 3. America, you finally got this one right, at least in my opinion. The question now is… which 2 of these 3 will end up on that big stage come May 15th? I’m hopefully going to help you answer that:
3. Kree Harrison – Kree has the country vote behind her, which is a powerful fanbase. They kept reminding us that she was from Texas, and it helped that she sang a Carrie song just to drive that point home. Her being the last one sent through to the Top 3 could have been a fake out by the producers to make her fanbase feel a bit insecure and vote harder, or it could have been a result of the Randy/Harry pissing contest which ensued after her performance of Stormy Weather. Further, Jimmy kind of gave her a bit of a undeserved flack for two “good” performances, rather than “one great and one bad one” like Amber. Colour me confused, but it seems like the producers aren’t on her side here.
2. Candice Glover – Like I said, Candice is the best singer in this, no question. But we know that raw talent isn’t always enough to win (see Hudson, Jennifer). Candice needs a breakout moment next week to pick up steam and get the momentum to get her in the finale. It bodes well for her that she’s not sharing the black diva vote with Amber anymore, so hopefully some of her fans will jump onto Candice’s bandwagon, but I don’t think it will be an easy leap to that big stage for her.
1. Angela Miller – Angie, unlike the other two girls, had an off night this week. Neither of her performances were stellar, but I know all Idol fans are thinking the same thing as I am: Will Angie get to perform “You Set Me Free” if she makes the finale? If so, that could be the end of everything. Her and that piano and that song is about as current and as relevant as the music industry gets right now. It’s Sara Bareilles meets Alicia Keys and that’s exactly the kind of winner I think the producers are hoping for. We’ll see based on the picks she gets next week, because what the judges, producers and Jimmy choose for these three during Top 3 week is a sure-tell on who they want in the finale (see Syesha Mercado’s “Happy Feet” pick back in Season 7)
That’s it for now… see you next Wednesday for the weepy hometown visits, plus the Producers, Jimmy and the Judges pick songs for these three contestants… we’ll see how that turns out. And some pre-emptive advice to the judges: Just let these girls sing! Don’t bus one to get the finale you think this show needs. Let America be the judge of that!