Last night was the American Idol Winners' Song Books, and it was also a night of mediocre performances which left me wondering if we chose the right ten. It was especially obvious and apparent with the guys performances-- the song selections, the arrangements, most of the guys were just not in good voice last night. As for the ladies, they were confident, strong, and their song choices reflected that.
First up was Curtis Finch Jr. who sang I Believe by Fantasia-- I Believe was truly one of Fantasia's performance songs, not just on Idol, but in general. Curtis would have had to have real skills to nail this number, and he just didn't. The phrasing wasn't great, he was pitchy, and the last note in particular was not good. Randy wanted him to show other sides of himself. Mariah liked the choir feeling; I agree with that [art of it, but this was not by any means a good performance.
Janelle Arthur sang Gone by Montgomery Gentry (Scotty McCreery Song Book)-- This was the weakest performance of all the ladies. On the positive side of things, Janelle had great confidence and lots of energy and personality on stage. Nicki commented on her confidence, but said that she wanted her to sing songs that showcase the pretty part of her voice. Randy did not like the song choice which goes back to what Keith said, he said that he had never heard a woman sing this song, and maybe there's a reason for that. For the majority of women, that song doesn't sit in the sweet part of their voice.
Devin Velez sang Temporary Home by Carrie Underwood-- This was one of the weakest performances of the night. I thought the song choice was terrible, I don't even understand why he chose it, it certainly didn't seem like he related to the song. Keith said it was not one of his best performances, and it was the wrong song choice. Nicki, who clearly was out of it last night, said she thought that was totally him, and she liked the performance and song choice. Randy called it way too safe, and thought that he underplayed himself. Mariah told him to keep his confidence.
Angie Miller sang I Surrender by Celine Dion (Kelly Clarkson Song Book)-- This was a strong performance, not the best of the night for the ladies, but middle of the pack, and overall one of the best of the night. Angie is a consistent performer and she has a very original style. Keith called Angie "an artist" and said that she can take any song, sing it, and make it current. Nicki told her that she looked like a billion dollars and that she's perfection on every level, your voice is flawless, and you're amazing, congratulations! Randy believed that the competition started with the performance; I'd agree with that. Mariah said one word: stellar.
Paul Jolley sang Amazed by Lone Star (Scotty McCreery Song Book)-- Second strongest performance for the men of the night. Paul was a great voice, and I do have to comment that I love the way he was styled. Keith felt that Paul listened to the advice of Jimmy and the judges. Nicki said that tonight was the first time that Paul stimulated her sexual appetite. She also added that he was styled very well and comfortable on the stage. Randy commended him on his song choice. I think the song choice was great too.
Candice Glover sang I Who Have Nothing by Shirley Bassey (Jordin Sparks Song Book)-- This one of the performances of the night and probably one of the best of the series. Candice really took it to another level last night, and she really turned me into a believer because I must admit that I wasn't completely convinced when it comes to her. Keith, Nicki, and Randy were on their feet (Mariah said she was too in spirit, it's just that her skirt was too tight). Keith said I love you so much, you have that command and effortlessness liek Shirley Bassey, incredible baby, amazing. Nicki said no one should ever sing that song again on Idol because you destroyed that. You did the "barbz" (Nicki's followers) proud. Randy said it was one of the best performances of Season 12. Mariah said your performance was in my heart.
Lazaro Arbos sang Breakway by Kelly Clarkson-- Love Lazaro and admire his courage. This wasn't his best, but the effort was there. He needs to pick something that sits in that sweet spot of his voice. Keith didn't like it. Randy thought that the song was too big for Lazaro. Mariah said that people are falling in love with his courage.
Kree Harrison sang Crying by Roy Orbison (Carrie Underwood Song Book)-- The other best performance of the night was this one. Kree's voice was genuine, her emotions were so authentic, and her voice just soared on the big notes. The ending literally brought tears to my eyes. Keith said he loves her voice so much. Nicki said her performance was smooth, delicious. and fun. Randy said he loved her voice and the feeling that she put into this performance. Mariah said that her range is obvious, and said that she chose one of the best songs ever written.
Burnell Taylor sang Flying Without Wings by Reuben Studdard-- The strongest guy performance of the night goes to this man who continues to impress me. His phrasing, his tone, and his voice, are just so special and immediately when I hear him, I can identify him. Keith liked his eccentricity and found it magnetic. Nicki loved his song choice and said that he is well on his way. Randy said he's in the zone. Mariah loved the melodic choices that he made in the song.
Amber Holcomb sang A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson-- The arrangement for this performance was terrible, but Amber's voice was all that and completely made up for it. I didn't like how the performance started in the middle of the song; it was just weird. Once again though, she reminded me of Whitney, the personality, the smile, and the way her voice just so naturally goes to where it needs to be. Keith loved how easy this was for her. Nicki felt it was the best performance of the night. I would say top three, but not the best. Nicki also said she sounded like Whitney on her first album. Randy told Amber that she blew it out of the box tonight, and called the song his fave finale song, by one of his fave Idols ever. Mariah said, "power" and you have such a natural gift.
Who is in trouble? Curtis, Janelle, Devin, and Lazaro
Best performances of the night?
tied for first: Candice and Kree
tied for third: Angie and Burnell
Middle of the pack?