American Idol Season 12 experienced another surprisingly weak night that was absolutely dominated by Candice Glover, Harry Connick Jr and dysfunctional judges. Candice Glover delivered the two best performances by a mile. Amber Holcomb did her thing with “My Funny Valentine” but Angie Miller and Kree Harrison struggled throughout the night. Candice Glover is just out singing the competition on American Idol Season 12.
What was up with Harry Connick Jr? Based on the video we saw, he did not care at all about the modern songs and he was fanatically committed to original interpretation of the standards. I think Harry Connick Jr did more harm than good. What he was trying to say was sing the song, not riffs. What he said was, the songs don’t need embellishment sing them as they were written. He is missing that these songs were overtly expressive in the demure society of the first half of the 20th century. In the loud, everything goes 21st century, the understated anguish of these standards is lost in the noise.
As far as the judges go, firing is not good enough. As punishment for their behaviour this year, Nikki and Mariah should be forced to perform duet on the American Idol tour this year. Randy should be assigned to his seat forever. Keith Urban seems to have given up so he should go back to the Voice in Australia. They are disruptive and distracting and they have ruined American Idol Season 12.
American Idol Season 12 Top 4 Performance Rankings
1) Candice Glover – “You’ve Changed” by Harry James/Eva Cassidy
Wow this girl can sing. Candice Glover completely ignored everything Harry Connick said and fully delivered in what he meant. She took this standard, engulfed its meaning, its foreboding, it s anguish and then delivered and fully 21st century explosion of runs and stops and groans and huge notes. I felt like I was in Harlem in the 30′s listening to a 60′s soul singer blowing it out in the 21st century. The power, the subtlety, the control, the dynamics. She took that song for a wild ride. Mariah said “okay” . Randy said “that was stellar”, “speak your truth girl”. The judges were rally just speechless.
2) Candice Glover – “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
I struggled with this song selection, but Candice Glover just out sang that song. She took it back to the 60′s and blew it out. Simply fantastic. . Randy says “that’s how you sing a song”. Keith said, “when you sing that good, you could sing when I was your giraffe.”
3)Amber Holcomb - “My Funny Valentine” by Mitzi Green/Chet Baker (Reprise)
This was another example of an American Idol singer ignoring Harry Connick. She tried and the first half of the song sufferred. Then she got out of her head and let loose with what she does best. Amber Holcomb hit a cool run in the middle of the song and seemed to just take off.. She bent and warped that song. She made that song modern without losing the classic beauty of that standard. The second half of the performance was a tour de force. That was Amber Holcomb at her best.
4)Kree Harrison – “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood 7
Finally, Kree Harrison sings country. That song selection guarantees her American Idol Season 12 top 3. That was the best Kree Harrison performance in 6 weeks. Her aching vocals were heartbreaking. However, the song just did not go anywhere. I think this performance highlights Kree Harrison‘s lack of passion and transperency. She just does not open a well of emotion for us. Keith did not connect to the moment. He wanted it to big bigger. Nikki loved it and said she sang from her heart. Randy said it was a great vocal.
5)Angie Miller – “Someone To Watch Over Me” by Gertrude Lawrence/Ella Fitzgerlald
The first half was a little sleepy and then built to a big finish. Angie Miller‘s mid range was big and powerful. I think Harry Connick got into her head. These type of songs do a disservice to Angie Miller by exposing her theatrical tendencies. I think she was fighting that the entire performance and Angie Miller is best when she is lost in her song. Nikki said Angie puts her in mind of a Disney princess. I don’t think that was a compliment.
6)Angie Miller – “Diamonds” by Rihanna
A cool, jivey version of this mega hit. Angie Miller took the disticntive rhythm of this song and turned it on its head. It freed her to highlight her voice. And highlight her voice she did, but the performance lacked dynamics. Loved the artistic risk she took, but I don’t think it worked. Keith missed the percussive weight of the song. Nikki called it bland and lackluster. Randy said the song did not go anywhere.
7)Kree Harrison – “Stormy Weather” by Ethel Waters/Gladys Knight
I think Harry Connick confused Kree Harrison. You can sing the song without runs but you need to SING the song. She made some bad choice at the end of verses that undercut her voice. The end had some moments but overall that was not great. Keith was right when he told Kree Harrison not to lose her instincts. The country, blues singer was nowhere to be found in that song.
8)Amber Holcomb – “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink & Nate Ruess 5
She seemed to struggle with pitch and seemed shrill many times throughout the song. Pace really hampers Amber Holcomb. She needs space to wrap her voice around notes and this song needed her to hit directly on the beat. Tonight was a perfect example of why Amber Holcomb is not the “current” budding superstar the judges all want her to be. Her singing style is more 1030′s than 21st century. Nikki felt she was disconnected. Randy felt she was not having fun. Keith rambled on about how difficult what she did was.
I think Amber Holcomb goes home tonight. We then have a heavy weight top 3 who will need to bring it strong over the next two weeks. Candice Glover has proven she can. Angie Miller can bring the wonder but can also confuse us. Kree Harrison still needs to lift her game to justify winning American Idol Season 12.