Tonight’s American Idol started with only three judges, or maybe even less. There was no Nicki Minaj, she was running late and caught in traffic and there was no Mariah Carey cleavage, shame. No one explained why it had not shown up.
The theme of the show was Idols Singing Idols. As far as I could make out, that meant that the competitors could sing any song that had ever been sung or recorded by a previous American Idol competitor. This resulted in almost everyone singing Kelly Clarkson songs.
First up to sing was Curtis Finch Jnr.
Curtis Finch Jnr – He sang I Believe from Fantasia. There was a parade of backing singers who joined him after a verse or so and the song really got better after that. He got a huge ovation. But Randy Jackson still wanted more of the other sides of him and so do I. I’d like to see him do something different
Janelle Arthur – sang Gone by Scotty someone or other. I didn’t catch his last name and I have not seen recent series of American Idol prior to this year, as it was not shown in Australia. This started with a nice guitar intro and progressed into a hard rock kind of country song. Janelle strutted the stage like she owned it and I liked it. Nicki Minaj arrived and she wanted pretty from Janelle, but I preferred this. Randy knocked her song choice; Mariah was not that keen either.
Devin Velez – sang Temporary Home, a Kerry Underwood ballad. It was pleasant enough and he sang well, but never really stirred any emotions. Keith Urban said it was a wrong song choice. Nicki Minaj disagreed with everything and loved it. Randy said it was safe and Mariah said it was a little disappointing, because we expect a lot from him.
Angie Miller – gave us I Surrender from Celine Dion, which Kelly Clarkson had sung on the show. Now I am not a Celine fan, to say the least, but Angie sang and performed it well, if you like that sort of thing, I really don’t. We’ve had enough of these overly dramatic performances from the boys. The crowd liked it, as did Keith. Nicki liked her outfit, her legs and how she walks in heels, which is understandable, as she could not walk in them herself and needed help from Keith to walk around the stage the other night. They raved all over her. Randy said the competition starts now and amazing performance. Mariah said “Stellar”, just that.
Paul Jolley – sang Amazed, also from Scotty whatever his name was. Jimmy Iovine told Paul before his performance that he over sings and comes across as a Broadway singer, something almost all the guys are guilty of in my opinion. Paul did take it down a notch and it was better, but still not my cup of tea. Keith liked it and thought it was one of his best performances. Nicki thought it was great. Randy said great song choice. Mariah agreed and told him to do his own thing.
Candice Glover – sang I Who Have Nothing which had been sung previously on the show by Jordan, someone else I am not familiar with I’m afraid. I know the song from Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black, but enough said about that. She sang it very well and although it is a very dramatic song, I quite liked it. Candice got a standing ovation all around. Keith Urban had to cut the crowd short. He loved it and said she was incredible. Nicki said her favourite performance she had done. Randy said it was the greatest performance on the show this season. Mariah said she is mesmerised by her.
Lazaro Arbos – gave us Breakaway, from Kelly Clarkson, of course. He came out with a quiff. I thought he sang it too deep. I didn’t like it. Keith said not in his wheelhouse and Lazaro agreed. Nicki said he looked like Ricky Ricardo, but didn’t like it either. Randy said it was a wrong choice. Mariah admired his courage, but she didn’t like the song choice either.
Kree Harrison – Jimmy Iovine also told Kree not to over sing. She sang Crying from Roy Orbison. Kerry Underwood did it on the show before. Kree was looking better, with the aid of the stylists. Crying is a great song, she sang it well, but never blew me away like the original does. Keith just said she always sings well. Nicki said she is smooth and delicious like her waffles (what the…?). Randy loves her voice. Mariah loves her too, but none of them really mentioned the performance specifically.
Burnell Taylor – sang Flying Without Wings from Ruben Studdard. Jimmy Iovine mentioned the issues of doing too many ballads, I couldn’t agree more. When he came out Burnell had moved away from the Steve Urkel look. He again sang well, but again a dramatic ballad. Keith said he was pure magnetic and liked it. Nicki said good job, she and Randy Jackson both said he puts his own twist on things. Mariah, as usual, never said much.
Amber Holcomb – gave us another Kelly Clarkson song, Moment Like This. She wore a long dress and covered up those legs, but she still looked good, aided by a bit of wind tunnel treatment. This was really an Idol song, not my sort of thing, but she sang it well and it would appeal to a lot of people. She got a standing O. Keith loved it, Nicki said best performance of the night and she mentioned the Whitney Houston similarities, which is exactly what I was thinking. Maybe this girl could be the replacement for that great loss. Randy and Mariah loved it too.
In Australia we got the results show straight after this. Jimmy Iovine started the show with an overview of his thoughts and his opinion of each of the competitors. He said the girls are out performing boys, which is what we expected. Up until now I have probably agreed with Keith Urban more than any of the other judges, but it could certainly be Jimmy Iovine from here in.
The results were duly spread out, to cover a one hour programme. Ryan Seacrest told us that Devin was No 1 in Puerto Rico voting, Janelle was 1st in Tennessee; Candice was top in South Carolina and in the Top three.
All the competitors sang together, Shine Your Way from The Croods movie. Obviously a cross promotion but it kinda worked.
Ryan grabbed Kree, as all of the singers were returning to their seats. The Mayor of her home town came on stage, a huge man, and gave her the key to the city. She was also in the Top Three.
Next up the two closest semi-finalists were given the opportunity to sing for a place on the Idol Tour in the northern summer.
Charlie Askew sang an original song of his, Sky Blue Diamond. He played piano and sang much better than the last time he was on. He really needs his teeth straightened.
Aubrey Cleland – sang well and is so much prettier than Charlie, but I wouldn’t like to kick him out on that performance. I’m glad that I don’t have to decide.
Philip Philips, the reigning American Idol, sang a nice folky, indie style song. I liked it. I thought I could hear a banjo, but there was none on stage. Almost everything else was, including two drummers, a cello and a horn section.
Angie Miller was the last to be told she was in the Top Three. To cut a long story short the remaining sequence was:-
4th Lazaro Arbos
5th Amber Holcomb
6th Janelle Arthur
7th Burnell Taylor
8th Paul Jolley
9th Devin Velez
10th Curtis Finch Jnr
Curtis sang I Believe I can Fly, to be saved by judges. He started out not as well as the last time he sang it. But he gave it the big finish. Some of the girls got emotional, there were a few tears.
Nicki Minaj looked disgusted at the fact that he was last. The judges were not unanimous, so he goes home.
As I have said before, the guys are far too similar, but his voice is so good I would have picked Paul, Burnell and Lazaro to go home before him. Maybe he suffered from doing too much of the same thing. Best of luck Curtis.