I’m still scarred from last week’s horror episode of American Idol’s Season 12 Rock theme. I can’t get those minutes of life back. Then Lazaro was shown to have made the top three in viewer votes. My brain went “kablooee-kirk.” Send brownies and hugs.
This week we get the pairing of music from Burt Bacharach and Hal David with songs the contestants wish they’d written. Cue the Dionne Warwick memories. And okay, isn’t the second theme just a free for all, grab a song you like moment? I fear that it will lead some of our winner wannabes down a path of self-indulgent muck, but hey maybe I’m just a crazy show addict?
Angie Miller (“Anyone Who Had a Heart”)
Idol Addict: She lacks any sense of depth and soul. That is all. Here’s your door prize.
What Say the Judges?: Keith tells her he was waiting for an emotional moment and that he missed the “humanity.” Nicki and Randy concur on the Stepford performance. Mariah nails again how well Angie connected with her own song when she sang it, but hasn’t again with other songs. Yep, that was a fear I mentioned for her during Hollywood and her Las Vegas round:
I wonder how she’ll do with the material of others because that is what this show is about . . . Her singing “Nobody’s Perfect” isn’t as connected as when she sang her own material. Makes sense yes, but that is a concern for the structure that is Idol.
Bam! Put me at the judges’ table now.
Amber Holcomb (“I Say a Little Prayer”)
Idol Addict: She is quite pleasant-sounding and seems to have a much better grasp of connecting to the song’s spirit than dear Angie. Kudos to her. I’d listen again.
What Say the Judges?: Nicki wants to “bow down” to her for how well she did. Randy says “the competition just started” (drink up, folks). Mariah loved the transition she made in the bridge. Mariah then rambled on and I lost her. Keith loves that Amber “doesn’t over perform.”
Lazaro Arbos (“Close to You”)
Idol Addict: All the boys are gone except him. Thank you, Idol producers, for your plan of stacking the deck against the guys this season. This is your fault. Oh, he goes way off pitch in the transition key change. Here’s the door prize no one seems to want to give you.
What Say the Judges?: Does it even matter anymore? Randy says he is “speechless” then chants “no, no, no, no that was horrible.” Pretty much.
Kree Harrison (“What the World Needs Now is Love”)
Idol Addict: I like how she starts a cappella. I still love her voice. I’m just not a rabid Dionne fan and this one has always been a snoozer for me. Meh.
What Say the Judges?: Mariah says “you know who you are and you sing as Kree.” Well I’m glad she doesn’t sing like Lazaro.
Janelle Arthur (“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”)
Idol Addict: Oh, she’s still here? Meh.
What Say the Judges?: Nicki calls it “boring.” I doze off and miss the others.
Candice Glover (“Don’t Make Me Over”)
Idol Addict: She has too much voice for these soft listening songs. She makes the song interesting, modern and something that I’d listen to on an album. Best of the night. Best in the show. I’d listen again.
What Say the Judges?: Standing ovation. Randy passes out shots as he says she’s “in it to win it.” Well, he should have.
I look up, see it is 9:02 pm and feel dread at the prospect of having to sit through another hour and hear Lazalo again. Help me.
Angie Miller (“Love Came Down”)
Idol Addict: She’s singing a song that she admits many people don’t know. I called it. This is self-indulgent garble gook. Here’s your door prize.
What Say the Judges?: Randy praises her for connecting and says that there is “something about you and the piano.” That’s a problem since this isn’t piano Idol.
Amber Holcomb (“Love on Top”)
Idol Addict: Ugh. She takes five steps back. This sounds strained. I get Amber wants to dance and do a modern song, but movement knocks off the vocal. She needs to belt the song to reach the build that Beyoncé does. Beyoncé songs are so stylized and Amber isn’t exhibiting that spunk and no amount of short-shorts will create it for her. Wrong song to end the night. Here’s your door prize.
What Say the Judges?: Mariah agrees that it isn’t “her favorite vocal.”
Side note: Why did Ryan try so hard to convince me of some young love brewing between now gone Burnell and Amber?
Lazaro Arbos (“Angels”)
Idol Addict: (inaudible with hand motions) *whips door prize at the screen*
What Say the Judges?: They are done and babble away. Randy has the nerve to say the girls are doing better. Yeah, as planned.
Kree Harrison (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”)
Idol Addict: This is a boring song choice. It is a pretty for the words and melody, but in terms of performance energy, it doesn’t leave us with any “oomph” to run to the phone. Quote of the night from my mother, a fellow Idol watching buddy: “That’s a funeral song.” Meh for performance level, but I love her pure vocals and tone.
What Say the Judges?: They like how she’s not an over the top singer.
Janelle Arthur (“The Dance”)
Idol Addict: Having her fall right after Kree in performance shines a bright light on her lesser abilities as a country singer. Here’s your door prize.
What Say the Judges?: Randy says that it isn’t her best performance to date. Nicki says it wasn’t enough to “get a leg up” over the others.
Candice Glover (“Love Song”)
Idol Addict: She sounds like she’s already a professional. The fire, depth and vocal range she provides single-handedly brings back the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Masterful. She should win the season. I’d listen again.
What Say the Judges?: Standing ovation with Keith up next to the table and giving her literal bows. Randy says she’s given “one of the best performances in the history of American Idol.” Hey, I’ve been here all 12 seasons too, Randy, and agree.
Who should go home? Lazaro.
Who does goes home? Lazaro. Two weeks too late.
It isn’t lost on me that Idol is taking a hit in the ratings. The producers’ grand plans this year to steer the ship to lady land has done nothing to help. If the viewer demographic that made it a ratings beast in past years was girls willing to vote for the cute and talented male contestants, then ripping that option from their screens will make them bail. History on Idol has shown us that the audience will rebel when being force-fed options. As I’d mentioned during music of the American Idols week, I’m wondering when the turn will hit Angie, after all the early pimping now equals her Femboting her way through the finals.
So do you think there is hope for the survival of Idol? What do you think the show can do to revamp for next season? How do you stack the chance of success for this year’s winner?