One of the most notable features about the second week of the “American Idol” Top 4 performances was the emotion. Each of the four remaining singers — Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb — showed more seriousness (and occasionally tears) throughout the night. What was going on? We asked the girls to explain right after the show.

Amber was easily the most emotional of the four, crying openly during one of her judges’ critiques. “Yes, I cried like a baby!” Amber told us. “I think it was just the pressure, it all hit me. Because, I mean, I’m constantly in the bottom, and I feel like when I do a good job I’m still on the bottom. This week, it just hit me — the bad critiques and everything.”

In addition to her personal worries, Amber noted that the competition is getting fiercer in these last weeks before the finale. “We still love each other and we’re still friends,” she said. “But it is a competition. I’ve known it was since the beginning, but I guess since the pressure just hit me, it does feel more like a competition now.

For Candice, being in the Bottom Two during the previous week affected her mood as well. “Especially with me and Amber, because we were in the Bottom Two, this is a very crucial week.” Candice explained. “First of all, we got a second chance to prove that we belong in the Top 3 … At this point in the season, somebody always cracks under the pressure. All of us are trying so hard not to.”

Long-term goals were beginning to be a factor for Candice at this point as well. “I think all of us are scared of becoming irrelevant after all of this is over,” she admitted. “Especially if you win, because you don’t want to win and then fall off the face of the Earth and have people saying, ‘Who are you again?'”

The end was coming fast enough to stress out Kree. “The emotions are so high because we are so close to the end,” she said. “It gets in your head sometimes, and it is emotional because it’s such a fast process we haven’t really been able to fathom it.”

Angie admitted to being just plain tired. “I think we’re all just emotionally drained, so we need to keep up the energy and do all of that,” the singer explained. “Plus, we all really want to make the Top 3.”

The fact that someone **has to go home, no matter what, was a stress-increasing factor for Angie as well. “I think it’s really that there’s no more saves and we all want to do the homecoming visit and we all want to be in the finale,” she said.

Which of the singers will be in the Top 3? Were you surprised by all of the emotion this week? Leave your comments below!

Posted by:Laurel Brown