Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Top 6: Burt Bacharach/Hal David & Free Choice Week

Welcome back. Only 6 people are left and 5 of them are female. Not one female has been eliminated yet, the Judge's Save has yet to be utilized and somehow Lazaro is the lone male left. It's been a crazy kind of season. This trend continues with the theme this week. The contestants are singing 2 songs, one is "The Song You Wish You Written" aka Free Choice and the other song is from the Burt Bacharach/Hal David songbook. Now I always hate when the Idol contestants don't know a ton about The Beatles or Billy Joel or Queen, but I am kinda in the same boat with them in regards to Burt Bacharach and Hal David. But unlike Lazaro I did my research and I had to Google their songs to be honest and there are a slew of great songs, so we'll see which ones they choose. So a lot going on tonight, let's get started:

Weekly Rankings
Although this week Idol decided to dole out their Top 3 and only have a Bottom 2 the public's Top 3 and 2 differ from ours. Idol Be The Judge's criteria again includes, successful performances, judge's perception, audience perception, chance to win and overall personality. 
1. Kree Harrison-Up 1 From Last Week (Officially Top 3)
2. Candice Glover-Down 1 From Last Week
3. Angie Miller-Up 1 From Last Week (Officially Top 3)
4. Janelle Arthur-Down 1 From Last Week (Officially Bottom 2)
5. Amber Holcomb-Same As Last Week
6. Lazaro Abros-Same As Last Week (Officially Top 3)

Performances From The Burt Bacarach/Hal David Catalog

 Angie Miller
(Anyone Who Had A Heart)
I won't lie I don't know this song, but it's a very pretty song. It has the huge drum, the string instruments, the background singers and regular band, so there's a lot going on. I think Angie did a nice enough job. I'm not sure I enjoy this song to start the night off, but she sang it prettily enough. B-
Keith=Such a great voice, but doesn't want her to use it alone. Was waiting for the passion and humanity in her voice.
Nicki=Her voice is amazing, that because it seems almost too easy and the song just seemed old fashioned.
Randy=She needs to digest the song as if she wrote the song. She needs to feel every lyric and emotion.
Mariah=Something she is so perfect that she is just focused on pronunciation rather than the truth of the song. She needs to just immerse herself.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sorta. They really missed a lot of passion and emotion from Angie, I think did a good enough job, but with 6 people left that isn't completely enough.

Amber Holcomb
(Do You Know The Way To San Jose)
The first time I heard this song was in the Julia Roberts movie "My Best Friend's Wedding", but it was famously sung by Dionne Warwic. So there is that whole Whitney Houston and Amber Holcombe connection again. (Dionne Warwick was Whitney's cousin). Anyway, Amber did decently. I feel like she was just singing it, I kinda didn't feel Amber with this one completely. But she did another really solid job. B
Nicki=Bowing down to her. Unbelievable. Became the favorite female left. Chose the perfect song, but it didn't sound old-fashioned.
Randy=Competition just started tonight. Amber is trying to win this whole thing.
Mariah=Loved the transitions she made in the song. She can do most songs justice.
Keith=Loved that she didn't overperform. Sang it effortless. Never oversings. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Not really. They really really loved this performance, and although I thought it was good, I didn't think it was that good.

Lazaro Arbos
(Close To You)
I knew this wasn't gonna be good as he was off key from the first second, from the first note. Even when they got the tempo going he stayed kind of in the low version. It was tough to hear him in spots. He just didn't look comfortable. Off pitch, off key, off the show? I don't know but this was a very poor verseion. It's so bad, I actually paused my DVR just to fast forward through it. He is lucky he gets 2 songs to sing tonight. We'll see how lucky we are. F
Randy=Speechless. Loves Lazaro the person, but just "No, No, No". That was horrible. It was like going back to the auditions and they would have just said "Next". Worst performance he's ever done.
Mariah=As a person he is beyond courageous, but at this point in the competition he is just in another competition than the rest of the others. [No Joke Mariah was talking for at least 3 or 4 minutes trying to figure out the nicest way to say that he was horrible. It was uncomfortable to watch her brain explode]
Keith=At this stage the key of the song was way too low for him. He never caught the key change that happened in the song. 
Nicki=Wants to move things along and just passes her turn. [Thankfully so]
Do The Judges & I Agree? 100% Lazaro was as bad as you can get at any point, auditions or otherwise. One of the worst performances I have seen in years, especially at this point in the competition. The fact that he is Top 6 astounds me. But, he can only go up I guess.

Kree Harrison
(What The World Needs Now)
Kree starts off the song acapella, and it's just a beautiful way to start the song. She has been criticized for not emoting enough and really finding the emotion of the song, but she stepped it up with the emotion. I don't think this was the best performance she has ever done, but I appreciate her trying to do more. Her vocals are still at the top of the competition. B+
Mariah=She knows who she is. The arrangement was perfect for her choice. She is so natural and is just being her. 
Keith=Can feel her warmth and genuine compassion. Has a beautiful tone but her humanity and passion comes through.
Nicki=Her voice is so sweet and humble and endearing and it's also so cocky like she knows she is supposed to be here. She will be at the Country Music Awards every year.
Randy=That girl can sing. Loves that she came after the last performer because this is a singing competition.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Kree is great again. She makes everything so easy and right.

Janelle Arthur
(I'll Never Fall In Love Again)
Almost more than anyone Janelle just makes her performance effortless. She doesn't have a band or background singers or any big stage production, she just moves around, she goes down to the judge's table and sings a little there. Her voice is obviously not as strong as some of the other girls left in the competition, but she makes everything seem very easy and pleasant. This was a pretty good song selection. She put her country spin on it but also kept true to the original. B
Keith=Sees a different side from her every week. 
Nicki=Can be a huge commercial success, but thought this performance was boring.
Randy=Not her best, and it was a little lackluster. The falsetto found some bright spots.
Mariah=Loved how simple it was. Loves her effervescent. Loved the sweet ending of the song.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. It wasn't her best, but it wasn't her worst.

Candice Glover
(Don't Make Me Over)
This was just a beautiful rendition. Just an amazing beautiful rendition. I never heard this song before but I can't imagine it being much better than what Candice did tonight. Her voice, her performance, the emotion everything just clicked. Beautiful job by Candice. She gets a standing ovation by the judges. A+
Nicki= The fact that she didn't make it seem old fashioned given how long ago this is written is amazing. Born to do this. Exquisite.
Randy= This girl is "in it to win it". Best vocal of the night. She started so simple but waited for all the beautiful stuff for later. Best performance thus far. 
Mariah=Took a classic, kept it current and it showed another side of her. Simplistic, beautiful, loved it.
Keith=Set the bar really high. Completely in the Top 3 tonight. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Definitely. If I wasn't sitting and I wasn't a plane ride away from the Idol studio I would have given Candice a standing ovation, but instead I just sit her and watch her do her thing.

Performances "Song I Wish I Written"/Free Choice

(Love Came Down-Kari Jobe)
She mentions that not a lot of people know this song, and she got that right. Angie is back at the piano. It might be a good idea to not sing a song that a lot of people know because it makes it seem like she actually did write this song because we can't compare her to the original version. Angie doesn't seem more comfortable than she does when she is at the piano. She hits the high notes flawlessly and brings all the passion that the judges thought she was lacking her first time around. Guess she was saving it for this performance. That piano and her need to be surgically connected because Angie is a different person at that piano. A-
Randy=Loves it because this is who she is. Really tapped into the emotion. At the piano she feels it more. Unbelievable.
Mariah=She never loses when she is with that piano. Sounded so perfect.
Keith=She is just so comfortable behind that piano, and with time and experience she will be able to get the same emotion when she is without the piano
Nicki=This is the only time when she is remembered at the top of the pack. Stay with what she is good at. This was Angie. This is what people are voting for. She is doing what the other girls can't do.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely, this was one of my favorites from Angie. She gets pretty emotional because she knows that she is at home behind that piano. The judges are 100% right, she needs to stay at that piano.

(Love On Top-Beyonce)
I love that she didn't choose a ballad, and this is a beautiful song by Beyonce. It starts a little off key, but she quickly gets comfortable on stage. This is a great song choice for her. Sometimes her songs make her a little old fashioned but this was so current and age appropriate. She works the stage, she has attitude(in a good way) and just sang wonderfully. One of my favorite Amber performances. Just really fun. A-
Mariah=America and the crowd loves her. She seemed so happy. Not her favorite vocal but she has so much star power.
Keith= This was a great song choice. It was all just a natural fit.
Nicki=Beyonce better watch out. Has arrived in every sense of the word. Everything just works.
Randy="Yes, yes, yes".
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. She did a great job. It was youthful, it was fun and it's a song choice that everyone loves. Really great job.

(Angels-Robbie Williams)
After a pretty atrocious last performance I wish Lazaro chose a more uptempo song. This is a beautiful song, but it is still rather slow and ballad-like.This is a free choice song so Lazaro got to pick pretty much song that he wanted to, so he has no excuses for not being comfortable with this song choice. Obviously this song allowed Lazaro a chance to push his voice and get to a higher range. This was obviously better than last time, but that's like saying get a fork stuck in your hand is better than having a fork stuck in your eye, sure it hurts less but you still are getting a fork stuck on you. That might be a little extreme but why not, I'm going for it. C-
Keith=Beautiful song. There is elements to his tone that we loved. The disparity between the girls and him is just so huge.
Nicki=What he said. aka Keith. [Nicki wants no part of Lazaro critiques tonight]
Randy=Slightly better than last time. The girls are just so crazy good.
Mariah=The only remaining guy. Better range for him. More in the direction of what would be deemed good.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yup. Given that Nicki didn't even comment and he got barely any positive criticism

(Help Me Make It Through The Night-Kris Kristofferson)
This was a beautiful song choice. It really makes you focus on the lyrics because it is so simple in melody and structure. Kree sounds and looks beautiful but stepped up the emotion again. She doesn't do too much and just sings it straight and I loved every second of it. A
Nicki=Head of the class. Makes a song she that never heard of and makes her fall in love with it.
Randy=Kudos. A natural singer. Sells the story, sings the song, perfect match, right emotion. So beautiful.
Mariah=Sings the song how it she be sung. Simple and beautiful.
Keith=Beautiful performance. Predicts that she will be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Sings just pure and real country music.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely. Kree is as solid and natural as you can get. Just does her things, no tricks or big productions or anything, she just knocks it out of the park again.

(The Dance-Garth Brooks)
Doing a country song right after Kree did an amazing country song only moments prior is tough but Janelle holds her own. Her voice sounds very pure and on point. There were a couple shaky spots but overall it was quite beautiful. B
Randy= Great song. Did a good job. Not her best performance. Loved that the song meant so much for her.
Mariah=Really appreciated how simple and true she made the song when she was just sitting on the step. She didn't even need to stand up.
Keith=Would have loved if she played guitar. Shouldn't forget that kind of honesty.
Nicki=Such a sweet sweet song. This was a lot better than her first performance. Doesn't think it was enough to get a leg up over the other girls tonight.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sure. She did a very pretty job. It wasn't better than Amber or Kree or Candice or Angie's piano performance, but it was darn good for her.

(Love Song-The Cure)
I love this song choice. She doesn't do the song in the way The Cure do it, she does it more like the way that Adele did this version, but she also does it in the Candice way. I feel every word that Candice sings. She just riffs and moves with song. She scats and brings this sultry side to the performance. The way that she goes for this big note and just hits it and the band stops and then begins again. Then that last note was killer. A standing ovation by all 4 judges including a bow down from Keith and a glitter throw from Mariah. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. There have been great performances on this show but this is up there. Candice immediately starts to cry. The judges sit down and then gives her a standing ovation again. A+
Randy=Due to time constraints, "On behalf of all the judges, one of the greatest performances in the history of American Idol".
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely. This was one of the best performances on that Idol stage. Candice just threw it all out there. This could catapult her to the finals, it really could.


Bottom 2

Going Home
Lazaro. Unless America has completely lost their minds and decides to pity this guy for another week, Lazaro will be gone with no chance of a Judge's Save. There is no way that Lazaro should still be here, and tonight was brutally clear why he shouldn't be. 

Final Thoughts

*The Good/Amazing/Winning Moment?=Candice!!! The Very Very Bad?=Lazaro. Lazaro's performances tonight were as bad as I have ever seen on the Idol stage, especially at this point. I don't remember a worse Top 6 performance. I can't see even the Lazaro fans that somehow got Lazaro to Top 3 last week voting for him tonight. This was so bad. But Candice Glover for the win. WOW!

*It seems like the people that be and the internet really got into Mariah's mind tonight. She really was acknowledging what people have said about certain contestants and the judges and tried to change things up, but it all came out jumbled and long winded at times. It got so long that all the judges couldn't give their critique at the end. It's a live show and her ramblings almost made the show go too long.

*Not even kidding, if you don't watch Idol and only read recaps you have to go on Youtube or somewhere and watch Candice Glover's last performance. It was simply amazing.

 Well that's it. It's been quite a night, some very high highs and some very low lows. Come back tomorrow to see if America has done the right thing finally. So until then, see ya!

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