idol-23

Last week, Janelle Arthur was voted off, leaving Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb, and Kree Harrison remaining in the competition. Tonight, each girl sang three songs: Two solos and a duet. The themes were Contestant’s Choice and One Hit Wonders, which was chosen by the viewers.

First up was Amber, who sang Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” in full-on early 90s-style: Giant curly hair and a white pantsuit. Surprisingly, it worked really, really well for her. Keith said, “If ever there was a song that was so tailor-made for everything in your voice, it was that song. I thought you handled it beautifully. I love watching all the poise and confidence that’s come into you in the past few weeks.” Nicki said, “You are so current, outside of your amazing voice. You’re so ready. We’re just at your show, you don’t even feel like a contestant anymore!” Randy said, “You came in as a baby, you’re now a grown woman! That was so on point, you didn’t miss a beat.” Mariah said, “You took a classic song and you gave it flavor. Amber, keep it going.”

Candice pulled a daring move that only she could pull off, taking Drake’s “Find Your Love” and turning it into a ballad. Every week she tops herself, it’s ridiculous! Nicki said, “A big part of me, even with that stellar vocal, wishes you stuck with the original melody. You are capable of doing anything you want to do. I don’t want you to get lost in that old-fashioned bracket.” Randy said, “We know you’re that church girl, but it doesn’t mean that you have to use it all the time, all the way full on.” Mariah said, “I MUST comment on the vocals, because there were certain moments where you took me to a place I needed to be! I think you can sing anything, and you should continue to sing anything.” Keith said, “I love what you did with the song. What I love is the power in the quiet moments in your voice. Keep letting that authenticity come!”

The only remaining Country singer, Kree, kept to her roots, singing the bluesy “It Hurts So Bad,” by Susan Tedeschi. She rocks that genre, there’s no denying it. Randy said, “I could tell you were right there in your element. That was tremendous, once again. [But] I felt like parts of it were a little disconnected.” Mariah said, “There were moments where you were truly connected to audience. You were having a free-spirited moment on stage. That’s what I love most about you: When you don’t care who’s there, you just sing!” Randy said, “You’ve got to pour your heart out. You can’t just let your vocal do that. You’ve got to make my heart break, and I know you can do it.” Nicki said, “That performance is not going to give you what you need for next week. That is not a top 4 worthy performance.”

Angie followed the judges’ advice for once and took to the piano once again, singing yet another Jessie J song, “Who You Are.” She may have topped Candice, and definitely topped the other girls, and got a standing ovation from the judges. Mariah said, “The caliber of that performance was… beyond. That was a professional moment,” but told her to do an original song next time. Keith said, “That was kind of like a mini representation of why I have so much confidence in your as an artist. As the song went on, you got looser and looser.” Nicki said, “There is no one that compares to you when you’re behind the piano. We feel it, we feel every word. I’m very proud of you. It was exceptional.” Randy said, “You made me forget that was a Jessie J song. You made me believe this was an Angie performance. She’s in it to win it!”

Next was the first duet: Amber and Kree singing Adele’s “Rumor Has It.” It was good, and the girls sounded good together, but the best part was the giant drums that were being played. Keith said, “It was interesting watching the two of you together, because you have a different way of being at the mike. It was good, just cut loose!” Nicki said, “Think about your two favorite divas, how they would do a duet. You have to add personality now on top of the voice.”

Then, Angie and Candice performed Rihanna’s “Stay.” It was immediately clear this would be better and more unique than the first duet, and not just because of the (arguably better) singers. But more than that, it topped the original arrangement of the song. They did everything Nicki had said Amber and Kree were lacking. Randy said, “Unbelievable! That’s the way you do a duet!” Mariah said, “You have different styles, and I really respect how you do things according to the song you’re singing. The both of you are so versatile.”

Amber started off the One Hit Wonders category, singing Donna Summers’ rendition of “MacArthur Park.” Keith said, “Your dominating tonight, baby!” Nicki said, “You’re just like this blooming flower. I like that you take chances.” Randy said, “You hitting those crystal-clear high notes at the top of your range just like you’re drinking a glass of water is CRAZY. I think you’re so ready and so current and so now!” Mariah said, “You are giving us confidence. It’s not overt, it’s just there. And it’s called star quality.”

For her second solo, Candice sang the infamous “Emotion,” by the Samantha Sang and the Bee Gees and, later, by Destiny’s Child. Is it any surprise that she completely slayed it? Nicki said, “You’re a super hero, and I’m proud of you. Yes ma’am.” Randy said, “You took your time with it, let it marinage. I thought it was another great performance by you.” Mariah said, “The way you’ve been singing since day one is incomprehensible. You did a stellar performance with a cold. You are definitely not a one hit wonder!” Keith said, “That was kinda like breezy, lovely, nice. That was like a big moment there and I think you could have had a different song in there. Next week, pick a song that’s gonna stand out from everyone else.”

Kree Harrison sang “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum. Yet another song no one’s ever heard of, but it was oddly compelling, and she sounded lovely of course. Randy said, “You can flat out sing. You redeemed yourself right there for me. You sang your face off.” Mariah said, “You’re a true artist, and a great song will just accentuate that. Feel good about what you just did.” Keith said he felt like it was “middle-ground,” which made no sense to me. Nicki said, “I think that you put your heart and soul into it. I think your voice just felt so lovely and angelic. But do I think that’s going to keep you out of the bottom two tomorrow? No. Something inside of you seems to be dimming a little bit.”

Finally, Angie sang Julie London’s “Cry Me a River.” It was the “bare-naked bones ballad” Keith wanted all night: Beautiful, passionate, emotional, etc. Mariah said, “That was an elegant number. Just beautiful. Not much more I can say.” Keith said, “They said I have to use three words: Mystical, and celestially powerful.” Nicki said, “Tonight was your night!” Randy said, “The best of the night! Angie wins the night, hands down!”

Guess it’s up to America to decide if it was really Angie’s night! My prediction is that Kree will go home. Personally, I’d prefer if it was Amber, but after tonight’s reactions, I doubt it.