idol-20

Tonight’s (very broad) task was to tackle famous rock hits. As usual, the judges were brought out, and then Ryan introduced the remaining finalists: Candice Glover, Lazaro Arbos, Janelle Arthur, Burnell Taylor, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb, and Kree Harrison. Devin Velez was voted off last Thursday. The best part of the show was where the contestants talked about each other, so I’ll be including that, since it’s a nice change of pace from seeing how they prepared to sing the song beforehand.

First up was Burnell. Everyone talked about how they can’t understand him when he talks, how much he uses his hands, and his ridiculous screaming laugh. Burnell sang Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” As the weeks pass, it makes less and less sense how this guy keeps getting through. He’s a fine singer, and he works the stage a bit, but what do the judges actually see in him? Keith said, “I’m gonna assume rock ‘n roll’s not your thing. I’ve never seen you look so uncomfortable in a song. You don’t have to do it like the original. Make it your own!” Nicki said, “You still were lovable to me. But Keith is right- you want to shine as much as you possibly can. Still give us Burnell!” Randy said, “Let me give you a couple tips: You’ve got to ride that beat harder. I think it’s a good learning thing.” Mariah said, “I was proud of you because this is definitely not the typical song that you would sing. I feel like you had fun with it! I think you did a great job.”

Then they did a super strange pairing: Lazaro and Angie. They sang Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and Angie was, of course, infinitely better. When did Lazaro start singing so softly. He definitely didn’t know the words before this. But seriously, the past few weeks have been shit for him. He’s my prediction to go home tomorrow at this point. Nicki said, “That was…nice,” and then continued to rip on Lazaro and compliment Angie. Randy said, “Angie, you were amazing, as usual.” Mariah said, “The song was not a duet originally! I do agree it was tough when you forget the lyrics. I did feel like she [Angie] was supporting.” Keith said, “It was a bit too kitch-y for me. Lazaro, I like how you look this week!” Way to throw him a bone, Keith.

Kree is “the mom” of the group who knows everyone who works on the show, and gives them all hugs constantly. She sang Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” and managed to maintain the rocker edge, while giving it some of her country twang. Goosebumps! Randy said, “This girl can sing! She’s in it to win it!” Mariah said, “You have an innate ability to choose you songs, and I think that shows a true artist. Tonight’s performance for me, was possibly my favorite.” Keith said, “Your voice is so good that you can just coast through. Ten out of ten for your professionalism.” Nicki said, “That was magnificent, lady. You would get all 50 of my votes right now. You seem like you’re already established. Your voice was just unmatched!”

The next duet was Burnell and Candice, who sang Joe Cocker’s “The Letter.” Once again, the female performer outshone the male by miles. Mariah said, “You both have proven that you can sing anything. That’s all that I can really say. You did justice to the song.” Keith said, “I thought it was a great song for you. I loved it!” Nicki said, “Your voice is clearly superior, Candice. I’ve run out of words to describe it.” Randy said, “Burnell, this was much, much better for you. Oh my god, oh my god Candice. Talk about watching a professional on stage! Props to both of y’all.”

Thick-accented, dramatic Janelle performed Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” like it was her own country-girl anthem. Keith said, “I love how you work the stage. You come out like a professional. You’ve gotten better and better, you’re such a contender.” Nicki said, “The performance was exceptional. When you go out there and make it, girls are going to love you. A lot of people can relate.” Randy said, “Authenticity at it’s best! It [the song] fit you like a cuff.” Mariah said, “I really loved this key that you’re singing. I was compelled listening to you. Something comes from you, it’s tangible but it’s there. You’re real.”

Lazaro was judged by the others for his bright wardrobe and stage theatrics. He sang Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” which definitely fit with the latter of his fellow contestants’ remarks. Nicki said, “I love that song, I think you did it justice!” Randy said, “You did a good job, I gotta give you props!” Mariah said, “I was concerned, but I really do feel like you did a good job on a song that’s an anthem. It was a good choice.” Keith said, “You chose something that played into your dramatics in a really big way.”

The final group number was the trio of Janelle, Kree and Amber singing Billy Joel’s “Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me.” Randy said, “Wow, wow, wow! That was so unbelievable. I closed my eyes, it was like a group up there.” Mariah said, “Very nice blending. Yay!” Keith said, “What a great song! You girls were great together, you should do more!” Nicki said, “I could have done without that particular song choice, it but me tonight to be completely honest. Really none of you stood out. Overall, I hated the performance.”

No one actually had anything to say about Candice herself, just that she’s the only one with her own room, and that she and Burnell argue a lot. She sang The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” As always, she was completely flawless. Mariah said, “It’s like mesmerizing to just watch you on up on that stage!” Keith said, “You’re voice is so freaking good. You just wail up with so much power. It’s always effortless! You have so much other-worldliness about your voice.” Nicki said, “You voice was amazing, I can’t think of extra things to say about it.” Randy said, “Rock is really an attitude. You brought that, in like a Tina Turner way. You did the rock thing tonight!”

Apparently Amber talks to herself and likes to take selfies. Oh, and Burnell has a thing for her. She sang Hearts’ “What About Love?” and proved why she’s the diva of the group. Keith said, “That was a really, really good song choice. I thought the key change was killer.” Nicki said, “It was striking. The first line of the song out of your mouth completely melted me. Like you believe what you’re singing. This has to be my favorite of the night so far, to be honest.” Randy said, “You look amazing, you sounded amazing. What I love is you didn’t lose Amber in there.” Mariah said, “I think that you really did a great job, and you can hear your natural inflections that are so intrinsic to you. Just to see you grow as an artist, and the star quality that you have.”

Finally, Angie gets really excited and claps a lot, and uses her eyes when she performs. She sang Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life,” which I wouldn’t have thought of as really “rock” per say, but she certainly performed it like it was. It was like, sexy rock, if that makes any sense. Nicki said, “I think that this was a perfect choice for you, because you were able to start on the piano but stay true to the genre that we’re doing tonight. Your voice really does sound amazing. Kudos!” Randy said, “I think you did an amazing job. The note at the end was stellar. Great dynamics you had going on with this!” Mariah said, “I felt that this was you. I really appreciated this song and you. I thought it was a perfect match.” Keith said, “It’s not just about singing really well, it’s about feeling. I think you’ll fall into the song more if you do that.”

So obviously, tomorrow is the results show, where someone will (or maybe not) be voted off. (Very likely Lazaro.) See you next week!