American Idol Season 12 my have jumped the shark for the season and maybe for the franchise. When the judges are so distracting with their unfathomable commentary and self centered behavior that they overwhelm the performances, the show has gone off the rails. We spent last night in a perpetual state of “Huh?”.
I began to wonder if there was something wrong with the very expensive, seven speaker, surround, do dah sound system attached to my television. Did I actually hear the judges say that 40 year old snooze fest songs like “The Power of Love” and “MacArthur Park” prove that Amber Holcomb is THE contemporary artist of the final four when Candice Glover completely re-arranged a Drake song that was ACTUALLY RECORDED IN THIS CENTURY?????
Did we actually see the judges completely disrespect Candice Glover by taking her critique and voting time to argue with Jimmy Iovine about how great Amber Holcomb was? Last night, it seemed the judges were #initomuckitup. My assessment of the judges last night was #thud.
About the only judge I agreed with last night was Keith Urban, when he said “have there been any one hit wonders in the past 10 years?” He could have said, “in these singers lifetimes.” American Idol Season 12 Top 4 performances were a collection of old, dull songs, mostly performed in an over relaxed manner. Angie Miller came to play with all of her heart and soul last night and she took the evening. Amber Holcomb brought the same level of intensity and proved to me that, despite the judges love fest, she is not ready.
Candice Glover had a somewhat quiet night, compared to the last few weeks, and still managed one big moment and a string of three perfect performances. Kree Harrison was the enigma last night. The country vote was handed to her last week with the departure of Janelle Arthur and she failed to sing one country song! I think last night’s show confirmed for me that Kree Harrison is a perfect singer who lacks the charisma to win American Idol Season 12.
American Idol Season 12 Top 4 Performances
1) Angie Miller/Candice Glover- “Stay” by Rihanna
We don’t normally review duets, but this was so far above the standard for the night that we had to give it, its proper due. Candice Glover and Angie Miller were two great singers wailing away with this song. They took care of each other and supported each other in the duet but they also drove each other higher and higher to an amazing peak for the show. Candice Glover was her normal, amazing self. I think last night was Angie Miller‘s best singing night of American Idol Season 12 and this duet was the best example of that.
2) Angie Miller – “Who You Are” by Jessie J
You think Angie Miller likes Jessie J? Every Angie Miller performance feels like life and death and tonight was no different. Every line seemed personal and yet communal. If felt like Angie Miller was singing to herself, trying to encourage herself to stay strong through this competition. And yet, as we all shared in her struggles we took those lyrics into our own fears. The piano absorbs some of Angie Miller‘s energy and enables us to enter her performances with her. When she hits her low register it is ethereal. That was a show stopping, heart breaking, tear jerker of a moment. Mariah called it a “professional moment”, “stunning”. Randy said she made him forget is was a Jessi J song. Randy said 10 out of 10 out of 10.
3) Candice Glover – “Find Your Love” by Drake
Once again Candice Glover showed her artistry and her voice by taking this Drake joint and turning it into an urban contemporary ballad. Candice Glover took the big ballad mood of “When You Believe ” infused some of the reggae sensibility of “Straight Up” and then just performed crazy runs all around the melody of this song. Candice Glover is no longer competing. She is taking us on a serial Candice concert. We subscribe to the concert in 10 weekly issues, with one to three songs in each week. This was my second shocking perplexment with the judges. Nikki wanted her keep the melody and called her “old fashioned”. Randy criticized Candice Glover for all of the runs. At least Mariah revolted against Nikki and Randy. She said there were certain moments when Candice took her to a place she needed to be.
4)Angie Miller – “Cry Me A River” by Julie London
Despite hating this song, I think Angie Miller solidified herself on American Idol Season 12 with this performance. This was a non-descript ballad that allowed Angie Miller to blow out her voice. By standing in the middle of the stage and delivering a stellar, heartfelt vocal performance, Angie Miller put an exclamation point a series of five straight show stopping performances. For those of us who have been criticizing Angie Miller‘s consistency, we just need to be quiet for a few weeks. Keith said “mystical and celestially powerful”. Nikki said, ‘tonight was your night”. Randy called it the best of the night.
5)Amber Holcomb – “The Power Of Love” by Jennifer Rush/Celine Dion
That was pretty perfect. The first verse was as about as pretty as anything I have heard on American Idol Season 12. She was comfortable to the point of being casual. Her comfort was commanding. A beautiful singing performance of a completely horrible, 30 year old song. This was my first perplextion with the judges. Of course the judges, leapt to their feet. Keith called it effortless. Nikki said “she is so current.” What, is another show bleeding through my speakers? I think my mother-in-law thinks she is dated. This girl can sing the leaves off a tree but she is anything but current. Amber Holcomb may be Season 12‘s Fantasia- a great singer who will never find an audience.
6) Kree Harrison – “It Hurt So Bad” by Susan Tedeschi
Kree, WHERE IS THE COUNTRY? Kree Harrison is more a blues singer than a country singer. This song allowed her to unleash her voice and it is a big roaring beast. She growled and she she wailed. But the song really did not go anywhere. Kree Harrison was in her zone but is that zone sufficient to win American Idol Season 12. Randy did not get it. Keith was right that she did not pour her heart out in the performance. Nikki said it was not a top4 quality performance.
7) Kree Harrison – “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by Procol Harum/Annie Lennox
“and the crowd called out for more”, how appropriate. Does Kree Harrison have more? This was not Kree Harrison‘s night. That was a spectacular vocal but not much more. Mariah had no words. Keith did not like the middle ground song choice. Nikki said that something on the inside of Kree Harrison seems to be dimming.
8)Candice Glover – “Emotion” by Samantha Sang/Destiny’s Child/Bee Gees 7
How can a song that was a hit for three separate artists be a “one hit wonder” That was terrible. There was nothing to that song. It was bland and middling, not worthy of Candice Glover‘s voice. That seemed a little lazy.
9)Amber Holcomb – “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris/Donna Summer 6
Amber came to the second half of the show in her third outfit of the night. She has all the instincts of a modern diva, she just needs to sing songs from this century. The slow first part was exquisite, but when the disco pace hit Amber Holcomb was washed away. She lost the emotional connection to the song and did not control the beat. Her vocal wavered off pitch and she missed some of the high notes. Of course, the judges leapt to their feet. Not for me. Nikki wants to be friends with Amber. Mariah said her star quality is starting shine.
American Idol Season 12 top 4 performance show was frustrating and disappointing for me. The song selections were mostly horrific and the judges were an unfunny joke. What happens tonight? Ryan allude to a special surprise twist, which we all interpret as- “we need a non-elimination week to right the screw-up that has us ending one week earlier than Fox ordered”. If there is an elimination, I am afraid the Kree Harrison is in trouble.
Check back with us on Monday for our American Idol Season 12 top
3 4 power rankings.