‘American Idol’: The Ladies Do Diva Songs By Whitney, Paula And, Yes, Mariah Carey
It’s the exact opposite of a sausage fest on American Idol (now that Lazaro Arbos was booted off the show last week), with the five remaining ladies duking it out for the winning title. The two themes for tonight’s songs are birthday month and diva.
Because of this, we are treated to not one, but two Mariah Carey tunes. And while Mimi and fellow judge Nicki Minaj go at each other’s throats early in the evening, their story ultimately has a happy ending when Nicki gives Ms. Carey her due. These two may fight hard, but they love hard and it truly is the greatest love of all.
The promos remind us that it’s been a whole six years since the last female contestant walked away with the title. And now, no matter who goes home tonight, it’s going to happen again. Girl power, y’all!
Cue the judges sashaying to their places at the panel. Holy smokes, Nicki has poured herself into a skintight red dress and is looking quite stunning, I must say. Not to be outdone, Mariah looks lovely in her short, black, sparkly frock. Ryan Seacrest, in his tailored suit, takes a moment to somberly give a shout out to Boston.
And without further ado, the top five contestants take to the stage with big smiles on their faces. It’s hard to believe that there’s only one month left of Idol. Might I need to (gasp!) get another job?
The first performer of the evening is Candice Glover. We learn that Sagittarius Candice was a bossy little girl. She’ll be singing “Straight Up” from Paula Abdul for her birth month selection. I’m loving the Cher hair on Candice tonight. In fact, she looks all-around gorgeous. Ms. Glover gives a super jazzy, sassy rendition of the ditty. It’s low key but still somehow manages to show off her range. Let’s see what the judges have to say about the first contestant of the night.
Keith Urban is the first to holler his praise, yelling, “Woo, hoo! Candice!” He tells her, “Baby, that was so good.” I die a little inside as I record that sound byte to save for later. He loves her runs and compares them to “a slow wink one gets across a bar.” Nicki is looking absolutely fab with that red lipstick. She kicks it off with congratulating Ms. Glover for making it to the top five. She calls Candice,”The Boss.” Randy Jackson, in a red leather jacket and not one, but two brooches, says, “Can’t nothing go wrong now for you.” He adds, “Great vocals.” Mariah calls the song choice, “Genius!” She sputters more compliments before cutting herself off with a clap of the hands.
Next up is clearly Janelle Arthur, judging by the baby photo Ryan is teasing us with before the commercial break. Jimmy Iovine thinks Candice should have chosen a more complex song. We’ll see if America agrees after the voting!
Janelle was born in December and loved wearing foo-foo dresses. Vince Gill‘s voice was the only thing that could get her to stop crying as a baby, which is why she’s singing his song “When I Call Your Name.” She’s slinging her acoustic guitar, which will assuredly make the judges happy.
Nicki starts off the judges panel by telling Janelle how much she loves her with the guitar, which I was completely unsurprised to hear. She calls Janelle’s voice “pretty and angelic,” punctuating it with congratulations. Randy loved the song, saying, “Janelle’s back where she belongs.” Mariah agrees and I’m just now noticing her gorgeous diamond jewelry and manicure.
Keith, the country expert on the panel, says her voice was beautiful, but he “didn’t feel it.” Completely disagreeing with Nicki, he thinks the guitar was too much. Mariah screams over the Idol transition music, “Maybe it’s a girl thing, but you brought me to tears!” Ha! Mimi shan’t be silenced!
OMG, the baby picture of Kree Harrison is as adorable as I would have imagined. What a cutie. Also, Jimmy agrees with Keith on Janelle’s performance. Kree was a beautiful baby, born with fair skin and jet black hair. Good lord, she was cute as a button. She’s always been a performer.
I literally DIE, meet God and then am brought back to life when I hear the song from the month of her birth she has chosen to sing is “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crowes. I effing love this song. Seriously guys, this is a top ten Lisa karaoke favorite. She has already won Lisa’s Idol. As usual, she looks superb in a pair of black leather spike boots.
Randy starts by saying that her voice and believability is what wins him over every time. Mariah tells her she could “sing anything.” I do think she’s onto something when she says that even though she loves our girl, Kree had moments where she was clearly performing. Keith agrees with this minor critique, but also gushes about her voice. Her calls her vocals “fine and beautiful.” Nicki agrees with Randy and says in her British accent, “That was the best performance of the night.”
Mariah jumps in to say, “I wasn’t saying she was awkward.” Ooh, snap! The ladies start to bicker and Nicki shuts it down saying, “I thought it was perfection.” Sexy times at the panel!
Next up is Angie Miller. I am shocked to find out she wasn’t born with a full set of teeth. I kid! She was a cute, fat baby — my favorite kind. Jimmy says he didn’t think the song was strong enough for Kree’s vocal. The judges disagree and Randy teases him about his hat. Ha!
Angie was born in January 1994. She was a self proclaimed “loud and obnoxious” child.” Her song choice is “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders, giving her hometown of Boston a little mention before kicking off her vocals at the piano. I think it’s a great choice for her but as I tend to always feel with her, the vocals are gorgeous but I never really feel it. Good God, that smoke machine is going off. I want smoke like that to cascade out of my fridge every time I open it.
Mariah calls it, “Perfect.” She really thinks it was a fitting song choice for Angie. Keith loved the choice too, as well as her at the piano. Her voice makes him want to cry. Well, Keith, I’ve got two working shoulders, so come on over. Nicki also was a fan of the piano and dedication to Boston. Randy, likewise, congratulates her on her shout-out. Really? We’re critiquing shout-outs now? All in all, he thought it was a stellar performance.
Amber Holcomb is next and her baby picture is awesome because she looks super suspicious of whoever is behind the lens. Ha! Can we have more baby photos on this show? Jimmy thought Angie did a “fabulous job,” calling it the best performance of the night.
March 1994 is the month of Amber’s birth and she used to want to be a news anchor. Amber sings Mariah’s “Without You.” It’s a bold choice, but I think she’s got the chops to pull it off. Her colorful dress and bright lipstick are youthful. She looks and sounds great. When she rocks the high notes, she makes it her own. Even though I love, love, love Kree, I have to say, Amber really pulled it out tonight. She picked a big song, but totally delivered and got a standing ovation from Ms. Mimi herself.
Who was your favorite performer of the night? Jump into our Idol Squabbler and voice your opinion!
Keith yells, “We’ve got an Amber alert going on!”, momentarily forgetting that it’s a warning for a kidnapped child. He then says, “I wish I hadn’t said that.” This is why I love him. Nicki felt the lower notes didn’t do it justice, saying that Mariah’s version was so amazing. The look of appreciation on Mariah’s face as Nicki continues to gush over her version really made the show for me. Randy says that it was no Mariah, but says, “I think you did a damn good job.” Mariah really loved it, though. This has been my favorite critique of the night.
Now we kick off round two with the song theme of “divas.” Candice has chosen “When You Believe,” made famous as a duet by the late, great Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Why can’t every night be Mariah Carey night? A miracle truly takes place when Candice opens her mouth. I think she may have dethroned Amber as my favorite performance of the night. Not only are the vocals exquisite, but I get goosebumps when she belts them with such emotion. When the choir emerges on her high note, I collapse into a pile of sweatpants on the floor. I am near tears, y’all. Candice just destroyed that song.
Nicki starts it off by saying, “And that is how you do a Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston song.” She felt it as strongly as I did and tells Candice as much. The Mariah love is a beautiful thing here tonight, y’all. Randy agrees with me that it was the best vocal of the night. Mariah also gushes and her genuinely being near tears almost makes me cry. Keith thought that Mariah’s adoration of the song was clear and said that not only did Candice “pull out the stops,” she “annihilated them.” I think this girl took it tonight. Dayum.
I’m super excited to hear that Janelle is singing Dolly Parton‘s “Dumb Blonde” because I heart Dolly. She gives a great, enthusiastic performance that’s full of energy. It’s a solid, but following Candice is just some super unfortunate timing.
Randy starts by complimenting the firecrackers. He thought it was fun, but not as much of an opportunity for her to showcase her vocals as much as he would have liked. Mimi calls it “pow,” but agrees that she needs to not forget to show off her “chops.” Keith wishes Janelle would have picked a different Dolly song. Nicki chooses her words carefully, kicking off her critique by giving her lots of kudos for making it this far.
Holy shit! Kree is going to do Celine Dion. Girlfriend is not messing around. Her diva selection is “Have You Ever Been in Love.” While it is powerful and effortlessly passionate, I still think Candice edged her out tonight but just barely. She’s still in no danger of going home, as far as I’m concerned.
Mariah calls her “divaesque” and “divalicious.” She says it was a “very smart choice” and applauds Kree’s versatility. Keith says she was “in control of the song the whole time,” which he thought was fantastic. Nicki says, “Hi, Kreedom. You’re back.” She gets the description of “iconic” from Ms. Minaj. Randy piggybacks on the versatility compliment. It’s a unanimous love fest from the panel.
Angie’s diva song is “Halo” by Beyonce Knowles. I love this song and applaud her selection. Ballsy move, lady. I like it! I don’t know what she did to prep for this performance, but she totally won me over with it. Somebody is channeling her inner Sasha Fierce.
Keith kicks it off by saying, “Definitely top three.” Nicki pounds her fist on the table with a smile, “Now my Angie Miller is back!” I have to say I completely agree. Randy says, “Angie’s in it to win it, y’all.” Mimi says, “Yes, diva,” with a golf clap. And I have to say, Mariah gave some of her best critiques of the season tonight.
Amber is getting classic on us with some Barbra Streisand. This girl is such an old soul. Her choice is “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” I throw my hands up in the air as she starts to sing because it is now officially impossible for me to pick a favorite. She has a harpist accompanying her for goodness’ sake. Her poise and elegance belies her age and she hits the notes with confidence.
Nicki says, “Baby girl, it was simply perfection.” She tells her that no matter what, she always radiates Whitney Houston. Randy calls it the most difficult selection of the season and says she totally nailed it. Mariah says, “Classic. Elegant. Beautiful.” Keith thought she casually “knocked it out of the park.”
Guys, guys, guys. What’s an audience to do? These ladies are amazing and it’s getting very difficult to pick. My prediction is that Janelle is going home on Thursday night. No hard feelings, but it’s simply getting to that point.
Till tomorrow, when we find out who gets the axe!