Last night the Top 10 contestants on Idol performed songs by Idol winners before them, a little back patting by Idol for sure, but I have to say it was nice to finally get back to the “Theme” weeks that Idol is famous for and that I think do a good job of separating the Artists from the Singers. I’m going to take a page from Kevin Rutherford at Billboard and share my thoughts in order of favorite performance to least favorite. I’d love to hear who your faves and least faves are in the comments section below!
1. Angela Miller – not to be a major broken record, but I love this girl. She is a leader of the pack this season IMHO and her performance of “I Surrender” in tribute to Kelly Clarkson was beautiful and passed another “Would I buy the album?” test. To be fair, it was also after a series of realllllly lackluster performances and I was grateful to her for picking up the pace of the show. Jimmy Iovine gave her some strange feedback about being beauty pageanty and totally ignored the fact that she shows real artistry where a lot of the other contestants are lacking and also frankly has one of the more pleasing voices on the show with a healthy dose of star power swagger and likeability. I think she’d be a dream come true for Idol.
2. Candace Glover – We can’t not talk about her amazeballs performance. The only reason she isn’t my #1 tonight is because at the end of the day, I’m still not sure I’d buy her album. She’s amazing and the voice is just hot damn good, but she’s not my thang honestly. Because I’m weird? That said, her rendition of “I (Who Have Nothing)”, performed by Jordin Sparks was like knock out, drag down good. One of the first standing ovations of the night, she had the judges stuttering with glee and she earned it. Nikki commented that nobody should ever, ever perform this song again on Idol because Candace has officially slayed it and I agree. Nobody could live up to that.
3. Kree Harrison – You know what I love about this girl? She is so damned normal and sincere but with a little dose of witty swagger and then she opens her mouth and sings and she’s like amazing amazing. One of the best vocalists in the competition (up there with the two ladies mentioned above) and so sure of herself. There are no theatrics here, there’s nothing extra needed because her voice stands alone. She’s perfection. She sang the hell out of “Crying” by Roy Orbison (paying homage to Carrie Underwood) and I have to say the country flair kinda suited her. I like that she can sing anything and sing it damned well and then just smile and be like “hey, what’s up?”
4. Janelle Arthur – This is where I start getting significantly less praisy. You’ve been warned. So… I don’t disagree with the judges thoughts on Janelle’s performance of “Gone” by Montgomery somebody was… good but not great. The judges noticed it, too. I think the problem might have been that she struggled to keep the vocals in check while running all over the stage a la Scotty McCreery but either way, whatever it was, I hope she gets through next week because A) she’s adorable and B) I love her accent and think she’s really sweet and C) she’s still more talented than a lot of the other people I’m about to talk about.
5. Devin Velez – I think the judges were a bit hard on Devin, that said, I don’t think his performance was nearly as amazing as some of the ladies above. I think Randy was right in deeming it “safe” and yet I kind of almost loved it. Maybe I’m just saying I loved the song – “Temporary Home” is definitely a song I can relate to and I definitely felt his emotions come through and for that, I’d want him to stick around another week. That said, meh?
6. Paul Jolley – I really really like Paul, I think he has one of the better voices for the men this season, but he always leaves a bit something to be desired for me. And I really didn’t like how noddy and yes mastery he was towards Iovine’s advice. Like, yes, he’s an industry pro so listen to him but I don’t think he actually heard him. Or rather he heard him too much. He still delivered a beautiful rendition of “Amazed” which is a beautiful song but in my opinion it was too restrained and I felt like I could see puppet strings coming out of his limbs while he performed. He needs to lose those strings and find himself fast or I’m going to leave his band wagon and I’d really hate to do that.
A quick aside: One of my biggest complaints with the men this season is that frankly… there aren’t any. Paul Jolley might be the most “masculine” guy on the show and that’s frankly a little weird. Maybe I’m just saying that I miss Phillip Phillips but I think you guys probably get my drift here. I think the men this season could use a healthy dose of testosterone because I don’t really feel like any of them are singing to, well, me. Mkay? Moving on…
7. Curtis Finch Jr. – Curtis opened the show with “I Believe” and it was fine but I’ll admit, I fast forwarded through most of it after confirming that it was more of the same. He bores me. He’s just fine. He can sing but I don’t get artist from him at all. I think his song choices are weird and his jacket needs to be burned.
8. Burnell Taylor – Speaking of awful fashion choices and lackluster performances. Yeah, sorry, the further down this list we go the more that my Angst is bound to come out. I mean, really? I cannot figure out what the judges loved so damned much about Burnell’s rendition of “Flying Without Wings” which is by one of my fave boybands from back in the day, btw, Westlife. It’s such a beautiful song and he weirded it all up with this weird Two Face performance where one minute he’s singing with one voice and then for half a second he puts on a new voice just long enough for you to say WTF was that but then he jumps back again before you can decide if it was a good change or not. And then he does it again later, but it’s so fast that it almost seems like he did it by accident was trying to mask it. It was just weird. Almost as weird as that damned hat and jean jacket that needs to join Curtis’s jacket in the fire pit stat.
9. Lazaro Arbos – My poor little Lazaro was absolutely eaten alive with his rendition of Clarkson’s “Breakaway”. I’m still in shock, because for me this was the first time I’ve ever seen the miracle start to crack for him when performing. It is so refreshing and amazing to see him just relax into a star and dazzle us all with that beautiful voice but he looked horrified and scared for his life during this performance and I don’t blame him. I blame Jimmy Iovine for getting all up in his poor head and messing him up. WTF Jimmy? Lazaro has never delivered a bad performance on this entire show until Jimmy opened his big mouth. And yet…. Lazaro was not my least favorite performance of the night. Nope that honor goes to the performance that the judges deemed BEST of the night much to my chagrin…
10. Amber Holcomb – So is my television broken? Because I actually rewinded and relistened to Amber’s performance of “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson and I still.don’t.get.it. Seriously. That was what they considered the best performance of the night after Candace and Kree and Angela? Seriously? Seriously? I thought it was awful. Her voice is so whatever to me and maybe I’m just getting all up in my head but something about her attitude really bugs me, too. She has this smug expression on whether she’s being critiqued or praised like “Yeah, whatevs, I know I’m the shit” that just irritates me soooooo much. Also? The glitter lipstick needs to go. Now. Lipstick aside, really, the vocals? Maybe my problem is that I get no sense of genuine feeling behind the song at all. She’s just standing there looking bored while belting out a beautiful song and it obviously irritates me. Am I hearing something different from everyone else though? Because it seemed really well received so maybe I’m just crazy.
What did you think? Who do you love? Who do you hate? Should I be locked in an asylum for disliking Amber Holcomb so much? :OP Tell me all about it in the comments section below!