Thursday, April 18, 2013

American Idol 12: Top 5

Yes, and it finally happened. The end of an era on American Idol. After five seasons, American Idol will have a new female winner. The curse has been broken and the show can once again be seen as a place where a woman, after some heavy-handed casting choices by the producers, can prevail. So, how can the show celebrate this rebirth? Of course, slap them with another overused "Birth Year" theme and the almost inevitable DIVAS! 

But before we start ranking the remaining ladies, let's talk about the night as a whole. It had a little bit of everything, didn't it? Tonight's show had a whole lot of great to mediocre performances thrown in the middle, there's Nicki Minaj's cartoonish cleavage, countless standing ovations (!!!) and an almost catfight between the two ladies in the panel. 

Oh, and I loved how the judges were talking about "emotions" throughout the episode as if it was a talent. "Your emotions were incredible." Seriously? Guys, they’re emotions. We all have them. It's not a skill. For instance, if you were to punch me and I got angry and punched you back in the face, you wouldn't look at me and say, "Wow! Your emotion was incredible. I punched you and then it was like BAM! What was that - anger?" Haha.

I guess, what I am trying to say is that I'm glad most of them could connect with their songs in a way that was honest and true, but let’s not turn everything like it's the second coming of Christ.

On to the rankings!


05. Angie Miller
I'll Stand By You
This was good, but nothing special really. I don't know. There were a few rough, rough parts in the middle of the song and then she made an awful decision to have the full band come in and it somehow overshadowed her voice. If Angie had just kept the song soft and intimate it would have felt more powerful, but, alas, it didn't happen. 6.5/10

04. Amber Holcomb
Without You
This song, which Mariah Carey also covered, was actually a good fit for Amber's voice and she did try to up her game especially during the last half when she did hit those incredibly hard to execute high notes, but it was vocally plagued by her weak lower register in the verses. Her delivery also lacked a bit of intensity, but at least she still managed to display fully her vocal strengths towards the last half of the performance. 7/10

03. Janelle Arthur
When I Call Your Name
This felt so natural and so authentic. Vocally, it wasn't something my jaw would drop over, but this was a big leap forward for the young blonde. She proved once again that she's possibly one of the better storytellers to come on this show this season and her ability to access these songs that were written by folks way older than her is one of her strongest weapons. I just wish she picked a song that allows her to deliver a "moment" and not just another solid performance. 7.5/10

02 Kree Harrison
She Talks To Angels
Kree really seemed to latch on to the beauty of the verses and took her time with the song. The first half, I thought, was absolutely brilliant, but then I had to take off points because her connection to the material was a little uneven. For some odd reason, she looked like she was a bit distracted in parts. Vocally, it was outstanding as always, but I need something more from her. 7.5/10

01. Candice Glover
Straight Up
So, Candice is starting to rule the top of my list with an iron fist! Haha. Candice was a bit unlucky that this came at the very beginning of the program, because Straight Up was flat out awesome. It was, pure and simple, a very cool stuff. The arrangement, the strings, the hip quality, the marketability - everything screamed, "Candice is the real deal!" As much as people talk about how artistic Angie is - in terms of her arrangements - I still can't help but see Candice as equally talented in that department. Probably another nice little Idol moment for her. 9/10


05. Janelle Arthur
Dumb Blonde
This was another decent vocal performance that did nothing to establish Janelle as a real contender for the crown. These songs are sweet and all, but they just don't give her the opportunity to have a great vocal moment. Plus, she still hasn't been able to get control of her breathing difficulties. You can't sing a song like Dumb Blonde if you are speeding through the verse in a desperate attempt to reach the chorus. She didn't seem to be able to summon enough air to put a nice crisp ending to the lyrics resolution. These verses are killing her in every single up-tempo song she has attempted and she will need to fix this problem very quickly. 6.5/10

04. Candice Glover
When You Believe
This song has been played so many times over the past couple of years that I'm starting to believe it's a terrorist plot to indoctrinate our children with bold ambition and reckless self-belief. Haha. It's silly, I know. Did Candice pull off the mad vocals off this diva song? Yes! But, it was pretty basic "Candice". It was almost like she was doing a benefit concert of some sort. I don't know. Something was missing and it really left me wanting more. 8/10

03. Kree Harrison
Have You Ever Been In Love
It was so fearless and insane to take an incredibly cheesy song and turn it into a palatable country version that just soared. To me, Have You Ever Been In Love provided the vehicle for Kree to absolutely wail and demonstrate that, yes, she did have a strong voice capable of reaching some impressive belt notes. Her vocals were great and her lower register actually seemed stronger than it has ever been. 8/10

02. Angie Miller
The first half of the number was good if a little too safe and karaoke, but then the last chorus hit and it was magic. The fireworks were launched, the room freaking exploded and Angie's voice soared. I loved the ad libs she did towards the end, plus she sounded effortless for the most part. She can't sing as well as Candice or even Amber, but her musicality makes up for it. 8/10

01. Amber Holcomb
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
Amber, for whatever reason, sang a diva song titled What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? and performed it like she had a gun to her head. The vocal was intense, passionate, and made me forget that the song itself isn't one of my favorites. She performed the most difficult song of the night and she should really be given credit for that because this was quite the number to tackle. She began with a lot of really interesting jazz phrasing and this turned out to be one solid performance from Amber. There is this war going on between Janelle and Amber over who gets to hold the "dark horse" title, and this week, Amber made a very good case that she should have it for good. 8.5/10


Who should go? 
Janelle Arthur

Who will go?
No one.


Carlos Jude Laron said...

Why no one?

Anonymous said...

garry said..

y did u put no one will go? Is there something we should know dam?

Christian said...

they will save the one who goes, and Angie was the best of the night for me, so passionate and those eyes ...

DAM said...

This is the last week the save could be used and with one extra week coming into the Finale (sched Mar 16) there has to be one week of non elimination to fill that void.

Anonymous said...

Angie has one thing going for her... She sang the ONLY current song tonight (well, current enough in this season's standards). Not a big fan of hers but at least she's trying to be marketable. XP

KC said...

I've got to agree with Nicki, Amber do not get the credit she deserves! Her version of "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" is exquisite! This is perhaps the third time (the other two is Funny Valentine and Leaving Home) she modernized a classic or a song I'm not even familiar it AND made me love it! AMAZING.

Some people say they do not see what kind of artist Amber is or will be. What can you say about it DAM?

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