For the first time ever, American Idol has a top five of women, and they’re making a big deal out of it. That means pretending that a) This wasn’t basically orchestrated by judges and producers from the get-go b) That the reason we have an all-female top five is because America has officially run out of flopsy-haired dudes with guitars. It also meant lots of diva songs! And the requisite “Songs from the year you were born” theme, because who doesn’t want to be reminded that these kids were born in 19-freakin’-94.
Candice Glover – “Straight Up“
Candice auditioned last year and got cut? Whaaaa? This was a boring song, but it was nice to see her change it up a little and the woman cannot hit a wrong note.
Janelle Arthur – “When I Call Your Name”
Perhaps Janelle will have a lovely country music career. This isn’t my thing, but I thought she sounded pretty and seemed to be right in her comfort zone.
Kree Harrison – “She Talks To Angels”
I love this song! I really liked this performance, and I agreed with Nicki that it was the best performance of the night thus far. I also agreed that it was a great contemporary pick.
Angie Miller – “I’ll Stand By You”
Angie started this song a lot higher than I’m used to hearing it, and there are several versions I quite like. The dedication to her hometown of Boston was sweet, and although I thought it started off shaky she found it in the end.
Amber Holcomb – “Without You”
I’m just really impressed with how far Amber has come throughout this competition. I think she has amazing talent, and while this performance didn’t outdo Candice’s love song from last week, it was very good. The low parts were a little weak, but she nailed the end.
This round wasn’t the most impressive group of performances we’ve seen from these ladies. No one knocked my socks off, and Amber’s imperfect performance was my favorite overall.
Round One Rankings: Amber, Kree, Angie, Candice, Janelle.
Candice Glover – “When You Believe”
Oh man, when this song came out? Twelve year-old Jill was obsessed with it. And I knew Candice would slay it. I liked this performance very much, but I don’t think she could sing it the way Whitney could. Last week, I thought Candice did “Lovesong” better than Adele’s recent cover of the song. This time, I thought it was an excellent performance, but not the kind of thing that gave me chills like her performance last week.
Janelle Arthur – “Dumb Blonde”
Janelle is quite clearly, I think, the weakest of the final five. But she’s likable, and if she’s eliminated this week she went out on a strong note. This was a fun performance, and the pair of her songs this week were very representative of what she could be in country music.
Kree Harrison – “Have You Ever Been In Love”
Kree really pushed herself outside her comfort zone this week, and I think she came out on top. I wasn’t sure I’d like this performance, but it was very pretty. I like Kree a lot, and I think I would buy her album.
Angie Miller – “Halo”
I hate when people in the audience clap along. Like, thanks guys – the percussion section has it covered. Angie did well with the full-voiced parts of this song, but I think her voice lacks subtlety. Beyonce does a lot of transitions to falsetto in this song, and when Angie attempted it once she was weak. The song came across as screamier than it should be.
Amber Holcomb – “What Are You Doing With The Rest Of Your Life?”
Wow. Fantastic. Truly, a beautiful performance. I will never understand why Amber doesn’t get more votes, but she sure as hell better not go home this week. Every single note of that song was stunning. Amber is young, gorgeous and talented. Someone make her famous.
Round Two Rankings: Amber, Candice, Kree, Janelle, Angie
Overall, I thought Amber killed it this week. I don’t think she’ll make it past fourth, but I love her. This is Janelle’s week to go, and I’m prepping myself for an epic Kree vs. Candice showdown for the finals.
Update: Janelle received the fewest votes, and was eliminated. Two judges voted to save her, but two did not. I don’t think Janelle should have been saved, but was this the last week to save someone? I always thought that it was only available up until the top five, but I could be mistaken. Feel free to chime in in the comments.