idol-21

This week, six contestants are left to compete, after Burnell Taylor was voted off last Thursday. Five girls (Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison, Janelle Arthur and Amber Holcomb) and just one guy, Lazaro Arbos remain. There were two categories tonight: songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and songs they contestants wish they’d written themselves.

First up was Angie, who sang “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” by Dionne Warwick. It was a bit different from her usual choices, but she sounded great on it. Keith said, “You have such a great voice, and all I ask is that you don’t rely on it. Give me an impassioned performance. You can actually make it look too easy, and you miss the humanity in it.” Nicki said, “I don’t know what it is, but maybe this just isn’t a song your passionate about. This one just overall felt old-fashioned.” Randy agreed with them, then added, “You’re still one of the greatest in this.” Mariah said, “I feel it’s about making your next performance better, not tearing you down. If you let go a little and just immerse yourself in the song, that might remedy this whole thing.”

Amber sang “I Say a Little Prayer For You,” and rocked it, and her strapless pant suit. Nicki said, “I am bowing down right now for you.  You have just become my favorite girl in this competition. You chose the perfect song, but it didn’t sound old-fashioned. You owned that song!” Randy said, “The competition just started tonight! Amber is trying to win, y’all! You’ve got the confidence.” Mariah said, “I love the transition that you made. You took a chance, you decided to be Amber. This was A+, amazing, top of the world.” Keith said, “You never over-perform. It was like this summer breeze just blew in. Beautiful!”

Yes, my prediction that Lazaro would go home last week was wrong, but he probably wishes he had after his performance of “Close to You.” Randy said,” You know that I love you the person, but all I can say is no, no, no. That was horrible! I think that’s the worst performance you’ve ever had on the show.” Mariah said, “This no denying you’re beyond courageous to be doing this. But this type of song you really need to owning, and comfortable.” Keith said, “You’re fans are going to love you no matter what.” Nicki said, “Let’s just pretend I already gave my comment.” So yeah, if he’s not gone tomorrow, I’ll be completely shocked.

Kree sang “What the World Needs Now,” and almost gave me goosebumps with her first a capella note. Almost, but not quite. Mariah said, “You know who you are, and you sing as Kree. Natural as can be. Very smart to start the song a capella.” Keith said, “You have real genuine compassion for people. You can feel it. That’s what comes through in your voice. That’s the best you’ve ever sun.” Nicki said, “Your voice is so sweet and humble and endearing. If you’re not performing at the Country Music Awards next year…you’re ready. It’s out of here.” Randy said, “That girl can sing, that’s what it’s about!”

Then Janelle sang “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.” She really interacted with the audience (and Keith), but it was a little distracting how much she moved around. Still, she seemed very professional. Keith said, “That was good! I always feel like we see a different side of you every week.” Nicki said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that you could be a huge commercial success. But that was really boring.” Randy said, “It wasn’t your best. We know that you can really sing.” Mariah said, “I always love your effervescence as it comes through.”

Candice can do no wrong, it’s a fact. She sang “Don’t Make Me Over,” and seriously, every note was just perfect. Can she just win the competition right now? No one else has gotten this many standing ovations. Nicki said, “That didn’t sound old-fashioned. You committed so whole-heartedly. Whatever you do in your voice, it can’t really be explained.” Randy said, “This is what the show is all about. This is the best vocal of the night. It was emotional! This was one of your best performances ever.” Mariah said, “You took a classic, you kept it current, but you kept it you, and showed another side of who you are.” Keith said, “That performance alone, you just became in my top 3 tonight.”

So the song Angie wish she wrote is Kari Jobe’s “Love Came Down.” It brought her back to the piano, which is where everyone likes her the most. It was clearly much more impassioned that her first song, so it was a redeeming choice, for sure. Randy said, “That’s exactly who you are. That was amazing!” Mariah said, “That piano and you, you NEVER LOSE. It was just perfect.” Nicki said, “This is the only time when you are going to be remembered at that top of the pack. And I don’t know why you want to run away from it. This was ANGIE. When you do that, you do something all the other girls can’t do.”

Amber sang Beyonce’s “Love On Top,” and she sounded a little flat at first, but it picked up at the chorus. Her voice just sounded a bit strained at times, but she was definitely enjoying herself. Mariah said, “Not my favorite vocal of yours. But just feeling the star power that’s growing within you!” Keith said, “I love that you know which songs just go with what you do and who you are.” Nicki said, “You have arrived: vocally, your charisma, your style…WORK!” Randy said, “Yes, yes, yes! This girl is in it to win it!”

Lazaro chose Robbie Williams’ “Angel,” and sounded much better than earlier. He sang a bit too low at times, like he often does, but he appeared more confident and his voice was smoother than before. Keith liked the song, but basically told Lazaro he sounds like he’s in a school talent show. Nicki said, “Uh yeah, what he said.” Randy said, “Slightly better than last time. It’s a girls race right now to me.” Mariah said, “You’re the only guy, so it’s difficult. You did redeem something from the last performance.” It was just insanely awkward, so yeah, again, he’s going home.

Kree sang Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” It seemed like a perfect song for her: VERY old-school country, slow, almost sorrowful, but soothing and deep. Nicki said, “You believe the lyrics so much that I don’t even care if it’s a top 10 song. I just think that you’re something very, very special to this competition.” Randy said, “You’re what I call a natural, natural singer. You sell the story, you sing the song. I love the ease at which you sang that.” Mariah said, “That’s how the song should be sung. Simple, beautiful.” Keith said, “That was a buckle-polisher right there. I predict that you will become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in the future.”

Next, Janelle sang Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” This is where she differs from Kree: Her song was more upbeat, hopeful, a little bit pop-sounding, but still country. And that’s what fits her. Randy said, “Great, great song. I believed your story, and I love that it meant so much to you.” Mariah said, “I really, really appreciated when you sat there and just sang that first verse and chorus. I felt you in the beginning, singing from your heart.” Keith said, “That would have been a great song for you to do with the guitar. Don’t forget the power of that kind of honesty from you.” Nicki said, “That was such a sweet song. That was a lot better for me than your first performance. I still don’t think that was enough to get a leg up over the other girls tonight.”

Finally, Candice sang The Cure’s “Lovesong,” but it was completely different from the original, and that alone made it incredible. But seriously, there are no words for how good it was. There was so much emotion and power in it, it just blew everyone else’s songs out of the water. Mariah even got up to give Candice a hug while the audience cheered for a solid minute. Randy said, “One of the greatest performances in history, 12 years of Idol!” No one else even got a chance to talk, and the audience couldn’t stop cheering as Candice cried openly.