American Idol Season 12 - Top 5 Recap - Thank Heaven For Little Girls
Finally. We have a show where all of the singers can actually sing. All of the singers belong on the stage. And for the first time ever, we have an Idol Top 5 where all of the contestants are not only all female, but will likely have a solid recording career after the confetti falls next month, regardless of who wins.
It's two songs each again this week - with two traditional Idol themes.
Round 1 brings us the Idol tried and true theme of 'Songs from the Year of the Contestant's Birth' - which never fails to make me feel old.
Candice Glover - "Straight Up" (Paula Abdul)
Candice was born on November 22, 1989. Growing up, Candice was a very busy, bright and bossy little girl. She loved to play fight but isn't a mean person (unless you mess with her).
Keith - "I never realized that was such a great song. You really set the bar high for all the other girls."
Nicki - "Once again you showed that you're the boss. I like that you put your own spin on [the song]."
Randy - "You are so in the zone - you're so relaxed."
Mariah - "Unpredictable, Smart as always. Genius song choice."
This song has been covered previously on Idol, but never performed as good as this. I love the Jazzy notes and runs that Candice injects into everything. It's tasty without being overdone, and it contributes to her overall uniqueness. A
Janelle Arthur - "When I Call Your Name" (Vince Gill)
Janelle was born December 12th...also in 1989. Before she could even talk, Janelle was singing in front of a video camera. Her Mom tells us that the only thing that would get her to stop crying was listening to Vince Gill's music.
Keith - "That song is all emotion. When Vince sings it, you feel it. As far as hitting all of the notes, it was perfect. But I didn't feel it."
Nicki - "I feel like when you have your guitar, you're so much more comfortable. You let us into your world. I thought your vocals sounded so pretty and angelic."
Randy - "The comfort that you were sitting in there...dude that's your world."
Mariah - "I believed you. You were singing with your whole heart. It was so raw and real."
It's hard to not like Janelle. She is obviously an authentic country girl. She comes off as so very sweet and innocent. I didn't know this song at all but I liked the performance. Contrary to what Keith said, I did feel it. It doesn't matter what she sings to me. She's always consistent with her approach, demeanor and performance. A-
Kree Harrison - "She Talks To Angels" (Black Crowes)
Kree was born May 17th,1990. She was obsessed with her red cowboy boots when she was little. The first time she performed was when she was 3 years old in church.
Keith - "I feel there are moments where you don't feel comfortable. Even with all of that , it doesn't matter. I love your voice."
Nicki - "That was the best performance of the night so far. This was the first performance that I feel could be current today 2013."
Randy - "What I love about you is all the natural-ness in your voice."
Mariah - "Honestly? You can sing anything. My favorite thing is when you lose yourself in song. I think tonight you felt a tendency to perform."
I didn't like this as much as the judges, and Kree is annoying me more and more. I don't think she felt this song at all. In fact, I think the "she" that is the subject of the song is actually akin to Kree herself (The spirit of the song refers to a girl that doesn't know who she is, lies, and is hiding from herself with darkness and pain). I'm not saying Kree is that extreme, but she's far from "real" for me. B-
Angie Miller - "I'll Stand By You" (The Pretenders)
Angie was born on February 17th, 1994. Her young parents think she was a perfect little girl with no flaws. The first song she ever wrote was called "Little Little Sparkle Dress" which she used to sing around the house.
Keith - "I love you at the piano. Really, really good song choice. I'm really looking forward to you hitting the road (going on tour)."
Nicki - "You know we are all obsessed when you are on the piano. It was such a smart choice for you as an artist."
Randy - "This Top 5 girls is some of the best Top 5 we've ever had. Dude, I think you're on your way."
Mariah - "You could look to Chrissy Hynde for inspiration. I glad you made this choice. It was perfect."
Angie started by dedicating the song to her hometown of Boston. Like last week, she stayed true to herself by sitting at the piano for the whole song. Absolutely gorgeous performance. A
Amber Holcomb - "Without You" (Harry Nillson/Mariah Carey)
Amber was born on March 17th, 1994. Turns out she's been a good looking girl since she was a baby. She used to harmonize at home with her sister and wanted to be a news reporter.
Keith - "Your singing has grown by leaps and bounds. Beautiful, baby."
Nicki - "I feel you were really stoic and there was no feeling in the beginning [with the low notes]. I didn't think it was good."
Randy - "It wasn't perfect, but I give you mad props singing it in front of Mariah. Aside from a couple little parts, I think you did a damn good job."
Mariah - "It just happened to be a huge hit for me. I love to hear you sing in that upper register. You made some new choices [that I liked].
This was the best that Amber has sounded since she sang "My Funny Valentine" in Vegas. While she has had pitch issues in many of the previous weeks, this performance was pitch perfect. I think Amber sings better when she stands still and has more control of her breathing. Even though Mariah's version is untouchable, I still loved this performance. A
For Round 2, the theme is songs by Divas - entirely appropriate for a ladies quintet. I'm now even more grateful that Lazaro is gone.
Candice Glover - "When You Believe" (Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston)
At first, Candice thought she would never do a Mariah Carey song in front of her, but now that she's gotten to know her, she feels more comfortable.
Keith - "Your voice stops me in my tracks."
Nicki - "That is how you do a Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston song. I remember listening to that song and crying. Yes ma'am diva, yes."
Randy - "Again...that's the best vocal of the night. You know that you can do this. You got one of the best voices in the known world."
Mariah - "I think you did Whitney justice. I am so proud of you every time you sing."
I can't wait until the season finale when Candice and Mariah sing together (here's hoping). Candice is just as much of a diva, and deserves to be in the same league as Mariah and Whitney. Outstanding. A+
Janelle Arthur - "Dumb Blonde" (Dolly Parton)
Dolly is one of Janelle's favorite singers and doesn't think that she was a dumb blonde at all.
Keith - "I don't feel like that was the best song for you to shine."
Nicki - "I do think you're in jeopardy of going home tomorrow [but] you're very lovable and [this] has nothing to do with how far you can go in the real world."
Randy - "I thought this was a fun performance number for you."
Mariah - "It was pow because you were connected to the song. We [just] want to make sure America can hear everything you can do vocally."
Out of all of the girls, I think Janelle is the most comfortable performing on stage. She looks so relaxed and is clearly having fun. I don't think the judges were fair saying that it wasn't a good showcase of her vocals. She sang it very well and on pitch. Every song doesn't need to have the vocal acrobatics of a Mariah or Whitney to be a good vocal. She might go home, but in my opinion, she's the best Country girl on that stage. A
Kree Harrison - "Have You Ever Been In Love?" (Celine Dion)
Kree thinks Celine has an amazing presence and is pop royalty.
Keith - "You stayed in control of the song. You're going to inspire so many girls to sing Country music."
Nicki - "You're not Country. You're worldly and iconic. You're one of those divas that we can watch when they're 20 or 50."
Randy - "I keep seeing this versatility in you. You can do whatever you want to do. You are that good."
Mariah - "I think it was a very smart choice. It may have gotten away from you slightly, but you reeled it in."
This girl has a great voice but it feels like she's just going through the motions. Has she ever been in love? I didn't feel that she believed anything she was singing. Blank stare. No emotion or emoting. Meh. B-
Angie Miller - "Halo" (Beyonce')
Angie thinks Beyonce' is the queen diva because she can dance and sing, and she picked this song because Beyonce' sings it with a lot of passion. Angie thinks if she can sing with as much passion center stage as she does when she plays the piano, then it's a risk worth taking.
Keith - "Definitely Top 3."
Nicki - "You just did that song justice like a queen could. You did your thang!"
Randy - "Angie's in it to win it ya'll!"
Mariah - "I loved the clarity in your voice. It doesn't die. You are here to stay."
Impeccable vocals. Great song choice. She's on the right track heading into the final weeks of this show - and beyond - to what is sure to be a promising career. I love this girl. A
Amber Holcomb - "What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life" (Barbara Streisand)
Amber knows this is a challenge but really wants to make Babs proud.
Keith - "It was such a difficult song to sing [but] you knocked it out of the park."
Nicki - "It was simply perfection. I don't think that you get the credit you deserve."
Randy - "Probably the most difficult song to sing of the whole entire season. You are so current, so modern."
Mariah - "Classic. Beautiful. Elegant. you are potentially a massive star."
Again, Amber stood still and didn't have pitch issues. Any Barbara Streisand song is indeed difficult to sing, and I think she did a fine job. A-
All of the ladies did very well, but someone has to go home...eventually, anyway. My guess is that they'll use the save this week no matter who gets the lowest amount of votes. But there will still be a ranking tomorrow night. Here's mine:
There's no way that Kree will get the least amount of votes, but she's at the bottom for me. I wish the judges see what I see in Janelle. Maybe they do and are under the evil spell that Kree has cast upon them. (I can just picture her with her witch's hat on, stirring up the cauldron with cackles echoing in her cat-filled coven). Ok, maybe that's a little harsh. But something's up with that girl.