Photo via Really Wanted
Rather than format this as I have usually done this season, I’m going to instead hand out Idol comparisons like if this was the NBA Draft and I compared Trey Burke to Damon Stoudamire. Why? No reason other than that it should be fun. I’ll also recap this week at the same time.
About this week – there were two themes. The first were the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David which is such an old fashioned theme, but it kind of worked. And the second was “Songs They Wished They’d Written” which is a creative way of saying that they could sing anything they wanted.
The Katharine McPhee Zone: Angie Miller
I was very critical of Angie’s wannabe beauty pageant aspirations and figured that the female voters would get tired of it and end up hating her. I thought we’d see ten Tumblr pages called “I Hate Angie Miller”, but instead, you have Dreaming With Angie and Angie’s Dreamers.
And who created the American Idol beauty pageant persona? Well, none other than Kat McPhee. The guys voted for her because she was hot, not necessarily for her stiff singing chops. I saw Angie going the same way. After making light of the fact that she thinks she’s pretty, the Idol producers decided to do a 180. Last week, we saw how nervously excited she gets at everything which causes her to clap about 100 times in a matter of five seconds. This week, they showed her making fun of herself via embarrassing YouTube videos (that I cannot find on YouTube by the way). So instead of being a naively snobby, Angie Miller is now fun, quirky, and youthful. It’s kind of endearing.
She first performed Anyone Who Had a Heart which was a nice, but lifeless performance and then followed up with the stronger Christian song Love Came Down by Kari Jobe. She was able to sing while at the piano and it was much more in her lane. Will the goody-two-shoes-ness of it hurt her? I don’t think so. She’s made over. She’s goofy now. And America loves goofy.
The Vonzell Solomon Zone: Amber Holcomb
I’m not sure we’ve had someone as fun as Amber since season four’s Baby V. What I liked about Vonzell was that she was pop R&B in a field of contestants who performed easier genres. Amber is similar. People who don’t enjoy pop radio R&B music probably don’t enjoy her performances. It will probably be what causes her to slip out of the top three. Kree (Summer) and Candice are just about untouchable right now, but I would place Amber third, just above Angie, if I were ranking today. I don’t get Janelle and I don’t think I will.
She killed Say A Little Prayer For You. I thought I was watching My Best Friend’s Wedding again. (Solid rom-com by the way.) On her second choice, she took a gamble by doing a non-memorable Beyonce song called Love On Top. But her performance was spirited and fun. It was just like something Baby V would do.
The Kevin Covais Zone: Lazaro Arbos
You thought I was going with Sanjaya right? The reason I didn’t is because I think Sanjaya had some self-awareness. He knew he was just along for the ride and was going to eek out as much celebrity as possible. Actually, “along for the ride” was a bit of a pun since Sanjaya was found busking recently. (And no, I didn’t know there was a term busking until Sanjaya did it.)
I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be Lazaro these days. He sucks, the audience knows he sucks, the judges know he sucks, and he probably feels like he’s on Idol Death Row. However, I must admit, that he’s done something that no other singer on American Idol has ever done, which is make me yearn for the days of Kevin “Chicken Little” Covais. Yes, Covais is probably the person when I think of when deciding who was the worst Idol contestant ever. Maybe Tiffany and I should do a list? If we do, we’ll be sure to not include David Archuleta on it.
Lazaro tried to flip a Carpenters’ song called (They Long to Be) Close to You. He looked pitiful singing it as if he was cringing awaiting the judges feedback while still performing. While his performance was painful, the judges’ critique of his performance was even more painful. Randy Jackson called it the worst performance of the competition. Mariah spent about 30 minutes trying to tell Lazaro what he did wrong when all she had to say was that he was out of key throughout. Keith said the same thing, but in a nicer Keith way. Nicki was laughing because the segment was so long and just asked Ryno to move on.
Lazaro’s second song wasn’t much better. He performed Robbie Williams’ Angels. But he did it with the same defeated shamed puppy dog look in his eyes. Lazaro shit on the carpet proverbially.
The only thing that saves him this week is if the judges’ critiques were seen as too harsh. But hey, Idol producers are the ones who have made us pay the Lazaro tax anyway. It’s their fault, not America’s.
The Ruben Studdard Zone: Kree (Summer) Harrison
It may look like a weird comp, but it’s not really. Hear me out.
She’s so consistently good that when she doesn’t improve on her previous week’s performance, it’s a bit of a disappointment. She’s also so level headed. All of those same things were said about Ruben Studdard in season two.
I found both of her performances slightly boring, but they were both good. They just weren’t better than outstanding. She first performed What the World Needs Now Is Love and then did a Kris Kristofferson country ballad, Help Me Make It Through the Night.
The second performance was better, but she’s cruising right now like if she were in the 205 with Ruben.
The Kellie Pickler Zone: Janelle Arthur
I think I called her a less attractive Kellie Pickler earlier in the season. And maybe I should’ve called her a less-less attractive version of Kellie Pickler. But the main reason she reminds me of Pickler is because no matter the feedback, good or bad, she has the same smile every time. Does she not understand the feedback? Is it over her head? Or is that her way of dealing with it? When she’s kicked off, I have a feeling she’ll have the same smile.
As you can tell, I’m not a Janelle fan. I just find her highly overrated. I think these last couple weeks, the praise from the judges has come down and they’ve been more real with her. Her performance of I’ll Never Fall in Love Again was boring. And her version of Garth Brooks’ The Dance caused me to wince because she had to hold a couple of long notes and they were inconsistent. She looked to be struggling. If Janelle left before Lazaro, I wouldn’t mind all that much. Not like she wouldn’t smile anyway.
The Fantasia Zone: Candice Glover
The single greatest American Idol season I’ve ever seen was Fantasia’s season three. She was like LeBron James. There was a bigger distance between her and second place finisher Diana DeGarmo than there was between DeGarmo and the 12th place finisher (Leah LaBelle in the house).
I’m not saying Candice is Fantasia. Or that she’s had a season like Fantasia’s. But her Wednesday night was Fantasia-like. She easily ran through Don’t Make Me Over which only a standing ovation was necessary. But her second performance of The Cure’s Lovesong was worthy of someone falling out of their chair, spinning on their back like Turbo from Breakin’ and giving the McKayla Maroney face.
She hit an end note at the end that was reminiscent of Whitney Houston’s end note on I Will Always Love You.
With Kree (Summer) on cruise control, Candice has taken the lead of top diva.
Who Will Go Home?
It has to be Lazaro. I don’t know if he’ll show up next week if it isn’t.