Was this Mariah Carey‘s birthday party? Even Nikki Minaji offered up auditory sacrifices to American Idol‘s living diva. As much as Mariah Carey feigned humility you could see her growing with every paean to her divaness. It was a strange night where the judges loved everything, even if pitch and pace were sacrificed to bombast. They stood for jut about every performance, except for Janelle Arthur, and complimented performances even when you could tell they were holding back criticism.
Angie Miller and Candice Glover dominated the night with big emotional performances wrapped in a big diva, emotional night. However, Amber Holcomb pulled out a miracle at the end that will probably save her. Kree Harrison was surprisingly mundane and just missed with song selection and performance choices. Without those no-talent males around, the comparative level of performance jumped significantly so we watched everyone a little more critically.
American Idol Season 12 Top 5 Performance Rankings
1)Angela Miller – “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders
I don’t know about the singing but I do know that performance brought me to tears. Angie Miller picked a great song, grabbed her piano, turned that song into a big power ballad and brought the house down. She made some great vocal choices and lost herself in the song. When she powered her mid range in the chorus the hair stood up on my neck. The judges fawned over her but seemed to hold back some unidentified criticism.
2)Candice Glover – “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston
I do not like when American Idol performers do songs from Disney cartoons. Candice Glover convinced me to make an exception. Candice Glover took a song from a Disney cartoon and took us to church. The melody is boring and Candice had to slug through a mundane first half of the song. But when she hit that first chorus she changed chords like an drag racer and soared. Was Candice Glover singing this song about prayer and faith to herself? I don’t know but I certainly felt I was watching her in an intimate moment convince herself that she able. The judges stood and the crowd roared. Nikki said, “that is the way you sing a Mariah Carey song.” Randy called it the best vocal of the night.
3)Angela Miller – “Halo” by Beyoncé
Angie Miller finally got it right. She stood in the middle of the stage, delivered a performance that was just big enough and allowed her voice to dominate the song. A strong, strong vocal performance by Angie Miller. It is obvious that Angie Miller was feeling it tonight. That was huge and soaring. Nikki said that Angie is back and performed the song like a diva.
4)Amber Holcomb – “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” by Michael Dees/Barbara Streisand
Amber Holcomb probably saved her season with this final performance of the show. A beautiful low opening gave her room open up her vocal range. This was a good song choice. It gave her voice time to flow with some fun, jazzy runs. That was beautiful and elegant and mesmerizing. Her vocal was overwhelmed by the band and the orchestra at times, but this was Amber Holcomb‘s best performance of American Idol Season 12. Nikki called it simply perfection.
5)Candice Glover – “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul
Candice Glover took a stinking dance pop number and turned it into a sultry, jazzy, Caribbean vibe. Her arrangement highlighted the lyrics and gave her room to show off her voice with runs, casual falsettos and long notes. Incredible. Candice Glover started the show and set the bar high. Keith said she doesn’t choose her runs she feels them. Nikki called her The Boss. Mariah merely said, “genius”
6)Janelle Arthur – “When I Call Your Name” by Vince Gill
This was a great choice for Janelle Arthur‘s voice. It showed the full range of her tone and highlighted the softness of her voice. She pulled some wonderful country falsetto at the end. We could feel her connection with the song and she pulled us into the melody. It felt that Janelle Arthur was sharing something personal with us. However, this performance would blend into a long night of country performances if we were at a country music special. The judges loved how much comfort she brought to her performance. Except for Keith, he did not feel the emotion of the song.
7)Kree Harrison – “Have You Ever Been In Love” by Celine Dion
This was a strange night for Kree Harrison. She never seemed comfortable and at times she seemed almost distracted. This song did not really fit Kree Harrison’s voice. It sounded odd with her phrasing and at times her voice seemed to screech. Why is Kree Harrison not singing country songs? The judges stood again but I just didn’t get it. Nikki said Kree just elevated her net worth. Kree Harrison confused me tonight.
8)Kree Harrison – “She Talks To Angels” by The Black Crowes
I was a little disappointed with this performance. Of course she sang it perfectly. Kree Harrison soared through some big notes and she was pitch perfect. However, she seemed to struggle with the rhythm of the song. She looked out of sync and never seemed to lift the song. The judges all gushed about her voice but they all saw the clumsiness of her performance. Nikki thought it was perfection.
9)Janelle Arthur – “Dumb Blonde” by Dolly Parton
This was the wrong song choice for this person at this moment. Dolly Parton had so many better songs. The song allowed Janelle Arthur to unleash her country rock side. Janelle’s fiery side showed through her connection to the lyrics. But the vocals were just okay and performance was a little cruise like. Randy was right that there was more performing than singing. Nikki thinks Janelle is going home.
10)Amber Holcomb – “Without You” by Mariah Carey
Amber Holcomb has guts. She grabbed one of Mariah Carey‘s biggest hits, one of the most recorded pop songs of all time and one of the most performed songs on American Idol. But she just could not pull this song off. She seemed to fight the song and her voice screeched at the top end. She struggled with pitch and pacing. I thought that was pretty bad. The judges stood, I don’t know why. Except Nikki who said she seemed a little scared. Randy gave her props for trying ?
With that final song, I think Amber Holcomb saved herself and maybe elevated herself out of the bottom 2. I clearly see Janelle Arthur in the bottom two but who will join her. Is it possible that both of the country girls land at the bottom tonight. I doubt it, but I cannot imagine Angie Miller or Candice Glover standing with Janelle Arthur. So I think Janelle Arthur is voted off tonight. Will the judges save her?