It’s hard to believe there are only seven American Idol contestants left. Last week, much to the chagrin of Nicki Minaj, Devin Velez sang his swan song after he was unable to rally a unanimous save from the judges to stay in the running. But, he probably shouldn’t make too much of a fuss since this is rock and roll week, and ballads are strictly off limits. And, as we all know, Mr. Velez is definitely a ballads type of guy.
This week was tough for some contestants, who we’re used to seeing as top contenders as this specific genre threw them for a loop. Consistently quirky Burnell Taylor fell short in his solo performance, and Miley Cyrus clone Angie Miller also stumbled during a duet. But nobody knows how to forget lyrics like Mr. Lazaro Arbos, bless his heart. How will America react? Only time will tell, as we will find out on Thursday’s (April 4) results show.
Also, Orianthia, badass lady guitarist, is performing with the contestants tonight and delighting me to no end. She’s such a scene stealer with her black hat and long, blond hair. But before then, let’s get to the singing!
Actually, before the contestants make it to the stage, I’d like to take a moment to give a little rundown of what the judges are wearing. Mariah Carey is rocking what I believe is her best genre of outfit, namely, mermaid princess. Nicki-Nick, seems to be doing much of the same with her turquoise top and sparkly glitter eye shadow and, quite frankly, I think her hair might still be wet. I bet they both smell like the ocean.
As for Keith Urban and Randy Jackson, they’re doing their usual thing. I do love Keith in a blazer and I’m hoping that Randy cutting down on the accessories somewhat means he’s reading my recaps and taking the constructive criticism.
Burnell’s solo, the first of the night, is Jon Bon Jovi‘s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” And give it a bad name he did, with an uncharacteristically disconnected performance. It’s surprising, given his consistency in the past, but the judges are not pleased. Keith sums it up best by saying, “I’ve never seen you, for me, look more uncomfortable in a song.” Nicki compares him to Teddy Ruxpin and even though this doesn’t bode well for Burnell, I can’t help but be tickled by the ’80s childhood reference. Randy and Mariah pretty much express the same sentiment.
Next to the stage are Angie and Lazaro in a duet of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” It’s an odd pairing, made even odder by the fact that once again, Lazaro spaces on the words and sweatily wings it unsuccessfully. Angie does what she can with her vocals, but Nicki paraphrases to Lazaro what we were all thinking when she says, “Well, that was, um, that was nice … up until the point where you forgot the lyrics again.”
My favorite contestant, Kree Harrison, is up next. And I swear, her makeup and styling gets better every week. I’m particularly fond of the bright red lipstick she’s rocking. Her choice of Janis Joplin‘s “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart” is beyond perfect and while she didn’t fully radiate her usual charisma, it’s still a solid Kree performance. The judges love it and we also learn that she’s battling a pinched nerve, which explains why she wasn’t 100%. Still, I’m guessing it’s enough to keep her in the running. Hopefully, she gets plenty of rest the rest of the week.
It’s another duet as Candice Glover and Burnell give a bluesy version of “The Letter.” As far as I’m concerned, Candice sings the heck out of any song she’s given. I love that the two of them coordinated their outfits with black and highlighter yellow. Burnell is giving serious sass with his studded collar. At the very least, it’s clear they have a great rapport behind the scenes, which I’m guessing involves spending lots of time bedazzling one another’s outfits.
Meanwhile, Orianthi is kind of the most fabulous thing on stage at all times.
The judges are fans of the performance, especially Nicki, who decrees it was light years better than when Burnell sang solo earlier in the evening.
Janelle Arthur is up next and she’s rocking big curly hair and a bronze vest with fringe down past her waist that made me think she was going to belt out a Stevie Nicks tune. We find out in confessionals with the other contestants that Burnell likes to tease her for telling him he’s not eating enough potatoes. I wish someone were concerned about my potato consumption, or lack thereof.
After seeing Janelle give her country rock version of “You May Be Right,” I predict the judges will love it. It’s very Janelle at all times and a choice that seemed to fit right in her wheelhouse.
Keith kicks it off by complimenting her cowboy boots that look like they were bedazzled at a kiosk at the mall. Her calls her “such a contender” and is full of compliments. Nicki loves her boots and asks to borrow them. She calls the performance “exceptional” and raves about how relatable she is. Randy calls her “authenticity at its best.” And his favorite piece of her outfit is the vest. Mimi kicks it off with an orgasmic yelp and then gushes about Janelle’s vibrato.
Back from commercial break, Nicki is wearing Janelle’s boots, no lie. That Janelle is a smart cookie. If I were a contestant, the judges would be drowning in gift baskets night after night because I am not above bribery. Now, here’s a dollar to continue reading this recap.
Lazaro’s thing is wearing bright colors and being dramatic, in case you didn’t know. He’s up with Queen‘s “We Are The Champions.” The power ballad is a really good choice for Laz. While I applaud the sexy black leather jacket, I wonder if he considered his sweating problem when planning this outfit with his stylist.
Despite looking like he just stepped out of a sweat lodge, I deem this a great performance for Lazaro. He worked the crowd, hit the notes and remembered all the words. Nicki loved his attitude and says he “did [the song] justice.” Randy tells him “good job.” Like Randy, Mariah was initially trepidatious when she heard the choice, but was pleasantly surprised. Keith thought the song choice was the best part and especially loved the finish.
It’s time for a lady trio, with Amber Holcomb, Janelle and Kree singing “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.” It’s cute, especially when the gals take the show to the judges table. And the judges loved it all, except for Nicki who really disliked the song choice. That said, she loved Amber’s look. I’m expecting Nicki to be wearing her studded red leather vest after the commercial break.
Candice’s style is very fly this episode and her rock choice is “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” This girl really can sing any genre. Also, she’s apparently working with a broken toe, but you’d never know from her fluidity on stage. Mariah praises her, but reminds her that she wants more gospel. Keith was going to tell her to move around the stage a bit more, but given her injury, understands. Nicki wasn’t a fan of the song choice, but then Keith deflects with a shout out to the fab guitarist, Orianthi. Randy loved it, though. Overall, it’s positive.
Ryan Seacrest interviews the enigmatic Orianthi and I love that we never see her eyes under her hat. Also, we learn that Amber talks to herself. And that Burnell is pretending to have a crush on her. That’s quite adorable, for a number of reasons.
I get goosebumps when I hear that Amber is singing Heart‘s “What About Love.” She shows off her supermodel legs in a pair of skintight black leather shorts. I only wish she would have played off Orianthi a little bit more, to give us a little nod to the unbelievable awesomeness that is Ann and Nancy Wilson‘s on stage presence together. Otherwise, it’s heavenly.
Keith is impressed with her song choice. He tells her it was “really great, baby.” Sigh. Nicki says everything about her tonight was “striking.” Randy feels the same. Mariah calls it “A-mazing” and says she looks beautiful, which she does.
Unsurprisingly, we learn from contestant confessionals that Angie is excitable. She is wise to sit down at a piano for the opening of her solo rendition of the Evanescence song “Bring Me To Life.” I’m not always a fan of hers, but I think it was a really good song selection and I’m encouraged to think she might be slowing her roll with the flat iron. Also, bonus points for the wind machine at the end because y’all know I love a good use of a wind machine.
Nicki also calls the song a perfect choice as well, telling her, “Kudos! Congrats!” Randy also thought she nailed it with the song selection. Mariah is effusive and Keith just wants her to make sure she is always authentic. And this concludes the singing part of tonight’s episode.
I hope everyone remembered to vote and am really curious to see what tomorrow’s results reveals. And who knows, maybe it will be the week the judges decide to use that save they’ve been, well, saving.