Groove on, fellow Idol addicts! We’ve moseyed into Idol’s Motown theme night territory. Best thing about this for me is Smokey Robinson as coach. I HEART Smokey. Saw him live a couple of years ago and sang and danced the entire concert. He is super talented, great at coaching younger artists, seems like a genuine and cool guy and is quite the debonair gentleman. Yeppers, I’d say “yes” if he got down on one knee.
Whoa…a touch of TMI…see what Idol does to me?
Okay, back to sending my positive vibes out into the universe for Devin. It looks like we are getting the “treat” of some small group numbers tossed in among the solos. Yippee yip.
Mariah has a wand and Ryan isn’t sure what she’s planning to do with it. Be afraid, Nicki.
Candice Glover (“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”) – Okay, Candice. The legend that is Mr. Smokey Robinson tells you that you made him cry when you performed “I (Who Have Nothing)” and all you can say is, ”wow”? Her smoky (heh), jazz version of tonight’s number is a fine performance, but she does a bit too much to the song for me. I’ll give her an I’d listen again for the effort, but know I won’t.
Janelle Arthur and Kree Harrison (“Like a Prayer”) –What? I thought we were doing Motown since Smokey is here. Since when was Madonna on Motown? *reviewing recording* Ah, yes. This goes back to Ryan’s “fine print” statement from the top of the show that “any artist from Detroit is fair game.” Queue the Material Girl. This duet is like happy sing-a-long country wedding music and Idol pops out the phantom choir with the smoke machine ablaze. They’ve violated the song for me.
Sidebar: “Motown: The Musical” is coming to Broadway.
Lazaro Arbos (“For Once In My Life”) – Why is he still here? And he’s not even endearing like Sanjaya Malakar who stayed a touch too long back in Season Six. Plus, I see this song title and immediately flashback to Justin Guarini during Season One. He had the star flame and appeal that Lazaro lacks big time. The judges, per the usual, give him kudos on just getting through the song versus mentioning how lacking the actual performance was. Lazaro’s fake charm is now failing to hide his inner ego as he sasses Randy during his critique (without a stutter within ear shot). Here’s your door prize.
Sidebar: I’m going to have to spar with Nicki for claiming Smokey as “her husband.”
Janelle Arthur (“You Keep Me Hanging On”) – Mawk. If Lazaro is my least favorite guy, Janelle is my least favorite girl. She delivers a slow version of the song while playing guitar. I like the arrangement just not her singing it. Meh.
Devin Velez (“The Tracks of My Tears”) – Ah. The comfort of his voice is like a warm blanket draped over me as I sip cocoa and nosh on s ’mores. Love him. To put his unique spin on the song, he—as Jimmy pointed out in rehearsal and Smokey said was cool—is singing slightly behind the beat. It fits with Devin’s laid back style. And did you hear that falsetto? Mmmm. I still have concerns that without loud, held notes at the end this isn’t going to be memorable enough for the voters. I’d listen again.
Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller(“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”) – Angie has snagged Amber’s hot shorts from last week. She looks plain and underdressed compared to the sparkles on the other two. This performance leaves me cold. They are harmonizing, but there is no joined happy energy between the three if that makes sense. It also highlighted the fake, “put on” vibe of Angie’s mannerisms. Tonight she’s tossing us “attitude.”
Burnell Taylor (“My Cherie Amour”) – He has moved back down for me. Is he capable of moving away from the mic stand to sing? If I strap his flitting fingers down to his thighs, will he explode? This performance misses any possible vibe of sultry love. Here’s your door prize.
Angie Miller (“Shop Around”) – Angie thinks it is “cool” to meet the man who wrote the song she’s going to sing on Idol. Oh boy. This is not a good song fit for her. She stalks back and forth on the stage in her interpretation of a rocker girl. Then she flubs two lines and covers by giving us some gibberish syllables. Funny the judges don’t pounce on their favorite for the obvious miss. Here’s your door prize.
Amber Holcomb (“Lately”) – Smokey’s advice for her on handling the emotion of the song is great—“Feel it every time and you’ve got to make people know that you feel it.” This is one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs and she handles it well. Great breath and vocal control. Relaxing as she handles the runs and effortless move to the high notes. Bravo. I’d listen again.
Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor and Devin Velez (“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)”) – Train wreck alert! This. Was. Bad. There are obvious points where the camera pans to Lazaro and he has a wide-eyed, “which way do I go” look and is not singing. Devin is singing the majority of the lines covering where Lazaro doesn’t come in, with Burnell tossing in some harmony parts, but that does nothing to save the mess on the stage. Note: I tortured myself to go back and watch this three times to catch-all the places Devin covered.
Nicki goes all Mommy Dearest and attacks, ending by telling them to leave the stage. Whoa. Ryan inquires what happened and Burnell and Devin state they learned their parts, yet don’t specifically call Lazaro out as the weakest link. I get it. This is a lose-lose situation. Lazaro has a fan base and a direct stab—though deserved—will be perceived by the fans and some others as lacking etiquette. I’m even more scared for Devin now for the little he did say and that he’s been associated with this drudge. Lazaro goes for sympathy votes as he tells Ryan that he didn’t know the words. You think?
Kree Harrison (“Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”) – Smokey shares with Kree that Aretha Frankin is his “longest friend that is still alive.” I think I might have to go some rounds with Kree in my quest for a side by Mr. Robinson. She is all wide-eyed and giddy as she works with him. Then Smokey says he’s going to call Aretha and tell her to watch the show. That’s sweet (humph). Kree makes her magnificent technique appear effortless. I’d listen again.
My top three would be Kree, Amber and Devin. Bottom three would be Lazaro, Angie and Burnell with Lazaro leaving.
- Colton Dixon is performing tonight. Strike one.
- Katherine McPhee is performing tonight with One Republic. Never was a fan of hers—technique is there yet the emotional connection is not. Strike two.
- Angie is even fake while mentoring the kids during their Ford product placement shot. She’s also sporting Daisy Dukes. I’m sneaking into the Idol house to burn these.
- Ryan plays a recording from Aretha Franklin for Kree, praising her for the performance.
- All the ladies are called “safe” with last night’s trio from the dark side, Lazaro, Burnell and my Devin, in the bottom three.
- Ryan sends Burnell to the sofa as safe. Oh no.
- Devin is the bottom vote receiver. He sings for his life and and slams it home. The crowd chants for the save and even Ryan says the performance was there, but the judges are not unanimous. Ryan is like “really, wow.” Strike three and we are out.
So tell it like it is, did the Motown theme (with a touch of Madonna) have you dancing in the aisles? Who would you have head to the stools of doom?