Photo via Fox
It’s now a certainty. A female will win American Idol for the first time since Jordin Sparks beat Blake Lewis in season six. I want to thank all of America for finally voting out Lazaro Arbos who made watching this show more painful than it should be.
Now that he’s gone, we can focus on what we have here, which is a fantastic final five diva showdown. On Tuesday, Tiffany (@TVProducerLady) and I talked about the final five on the latest Reality Check Podcast.
We handicapped the final five and yet, there still seems to be some leeway in that five. From my viewpoint, it’s going to be a Candice and Kree final two and that would be pretty amazing. Tiffany is hoping for that as well. But can Angie sneak in? Am I giving Amber the short shrift? Is Janelle only boring to me?
Breaking down the performances
There were two themes tonight. The first theme was songs from the year they were born. As Tiffany mentioned on the podcast, Angie Miller was born when we were both in high school. Mount Pleasant represent!
How did everyone do tonight? I think the judges were feeling pretty generous tonight in their feedback.
Candice’s first song was a jazzy take on Paula Abdul’s Straight Up. Usually on this show, when the contestants cover an old song and put a new twist on it, it’s based on someone else’s cover. I’m not sure if that’s the case with Candice, but imagine Jill Scott Jr. singing this song and slowing it down and that’s what you got. It was a great way to start the show.
Her second performance was a pretty mind blowing vocal of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s When You Believe. I don’t even really like that song and she blew it out the box. She performed both parts and Mariah Carey looked on like a proud Diva Auntie.
Janelle’s first performance of Vince Gill’s When I Call Your Name came about because it was a song that would help stop her crying when she was a baby. Some babies may have stopped crying during the song, but more than likely, they were put to sleep. She needed a kick-ass performance to keep up with Candice and it wasn’t there.
Her second song was Dolly Parton’s Dumb Blonde. It was a fun and spirited performance and I think she looked the prettiest she’s looked all season long. It was also a good follow-up to Candice’s Mariah/Whitney jaunt because it was uppity rather than another ballad. It made her fun and young again, which she desperately needed.
Kree (Summer) Harrison
Kree’s first performance was She Talks to Angels. And it was really boring. Her second song was Celine Dion’s Have You Ever Been in Love. And it was really boring.
Yet, the judges seemed to love her. I think it was mostly because she’s still Kree (Summer). I hinted at her cruising last week and I think she’s just creatively tapped. She continues to sing songs that don’t challenge her because she’s worried about losing her spot – at least, that’s my theory. Also, she’s yet to show her personality and I feel that if she wasn’t as good early on, they’d be reaming her for that now. While I don’t think she goes home this week, it’s now more of a possibility than ever.
And here’s where the judges went overboard.
Angie’s performance of I’ll Stand by You was dedicated to the people of Boston, yet her performance was so pageant-y that it was hard to think she knew what that dedication was supposed to mean. It also paled in comparison to Carrie Underwood’s performance from Idol Gives Back.
And her second performance of Halo was better, but it still lacked the proper feeling and emotion. I think the strongest thing she did was perform a Beyonce song because it felt current, even if the performance wasn’t as good as the judges wanted us to believe.
Amber nearly halted her momentum with her first song, which was the Mariah Carey version of Without You. The problem with it was that a lot of it is in a lower register, which isn’t Amber’s strong point (glossy R&B pop). It’s also a song that takes some time to get to the high spots.
Her second selection was a head scratcher in that by performing Barbra Streisand’s version of What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?, she was taking a chance on a song that only grandmothers would know. It was vocally, only second to Candice’s second performance, but it was very dated. The judges tried very hard to save her in the end by giving her lavish praise (and this time it was worthy).
Who goes home?
If Candice goes home, we riot.
If Janelle goes home, America made the right call.
If Kree goes home, it’s way too early, but she’s walking on a treadmill.
If Angie goes home, it’s because she was disconnected to the songs.
If Amber goes home, she chose the wrong show, because like Tiffany said, she could totally win X Factor.
It’s Janelle’s time. She’s obviously out of her league with the rest of the singers. But she’s also likable. My worry is that Amber gets the short end again. And she’s my pick.