Have we ever seen an American Idol episode without ballads? Not even one? So much potential for American Idol Season 12 with a show theme of “Classic Rock, No Ballads”, so much hope. We got a too heavy dose of Orianthi but the show, solos and duets both, was fun. Once again the girls dominated. Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller were all essentially tied at the top. Burnell Taylor, Janelle Arthur and Amber Holcomb were bunched in the second group. Nobody had a standout, amazing moment this week but we had mostly solid performance and an enjoyable show.
American Idol Season 12 Top 7 Performaces
1)Kree Harrison – “Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin
So Kree Harrison is the den mother of the group and she is one of the best singers ever. She can do soul, she can do blues, she can do rock and she can do country. Wonderful, powerful performance of a Texas girl by a Texas girl. She was completely at home with the song and she consumed this song. Amazingly she has a pinched nerve and she stomped around the stage like a big 60′s rock singer. Nikki said Kree Harrison would get all 50 of her Idol app votes. She would get many of mine.
2)Candice Glover – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones
Candice Glover is just done. She is complete. She could go on tour right now. Candice Glover delivered perfect, powerful, aggressive singing with commanding stage presence. My only complaint is that the song did not push her very much. Kree gets a degree of difficulty bonus but this was incredible. The judges continue to fawn over Candice Glover even though Nikki hated the song choice. Randy was correct that she brought the rock attitude to the performance.
3)Angie Miller – “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence
All season long the judges have been telling Angie Miller to perform an Evanescence song. I think they were right. The song was big enough for her dramatics and her voice soared on this big rock anthem. I think she felt the lyrics and she stayed within the song. Finally, Angie Miller returned to her piano, even if just for a moment. Randy was right that her dynamics were great. This could be the return of Angie Miller.
4)Janelle Arthur – “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel
According to Burnell, Janelle Taylor is “horse waiting outside country”. Janelle’s thick country take on this Long Island songwriter actually worked. This was not the riveting performance she has delivered the past few weeks and the arrangement exposed her vocal weakness but her powerful stage presence made it worked. Nikki said that Janelle seems like every girl’s best friend. That translates into many American Idol votes.
5)Amber Holcomb – “What About Love” by Heart
I think Burnell is sweet on Amber Holcomb. Evidently Amber is sweet on Amber as well, because she is constantly taking photos of herself. This song skirts the edge of ‘no ballads”. This performance exposed some Amber’s shortcomings. She sang big and she sang powerfully. However, we did not see many musical dynamics from her. The song sounded like a flat plain. The judges gushed but I did not see it. Nikki even said it was her favorite of the night. I didn’t get it.
6)Burnell Taylor – “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi
Burnell Taylor actually did much better than I thought he would with an uptempo number. The character of his voice showed through even though his unique phrasing was washed away in the tempo of this song. This gives me hope about his performance range. I hope to see some uptempo R&B from him if he survives the opening spot this week. Burnell did “The Letter” in a duet with Candice Glover. He should have picked that song for his solo performance.
7)Lazaro Arbos - “We Are The Champions” by Queen
Lazaro Arbos is bright and dramatic but he is no Freddy Mercury. This song completely engulfed him. For stretches of the song I could not hear him. When I did, he wavered all around the pitch. That was not so good. But we did have a big dramatic pose at the end. The judges generally liked the performance but I think they have lowered their bar for Lazaro.
The results are tricky to project this week. We could have surprise but I doubt it. I think Amber Holcomb, Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos are in the bottom 3 on Thursday night. I think Burnell Taylor is at risk because he performed first and his was not a stand out performance. However, his duet was great and he was featured a lot during the vignettes between songs. I think that will be enough to save Burnell and I think Lazaro Arbos runs out of steam this week.
Check back in with us on Monday to review our American Idol Season 12 top 6 power rankings.