It’s the Top 3 showdown on “American Idol.” The rounds go Jimmy Iovine’s choices, judges’ choices and “Idol” production choices.
1. Kree Harrison, “Perfect,” Pink
Not a great song choice for her. This song has like five notes. It’s not showing off Kree’s voice at all. This is actually really boring and not a vocal number at all. She kind of listlessly wanders around stage and milquetoasts it out, but there’s really only so much she can do with it. However, not her fault — she didn’t get to pick it.
Keith Urban touches on this by asking her how she feels about the song choice and she very diplomatically says that it has a good message and she thinks about her 11-year-old niece when she sings it. Nice save. And Urban gets to criticize the choice without making Kree criticize it and look like a punk. Bravo all around — that was a wretched choice, Jimmy Iovine is on crack.
2. Candice Glover, “One,” U2 feat. Mary J. Blige
In a complete opposite of Kree, this is a spectacular choice. She gets to start off all quiet and powerful, then the chorus gets nice and big for Candice to do her thing on. She has a few bum notes, which is very un-Candice-like, but it was miles better than Kree’s snoozefest.
The judges back me up — the choice was great and Randy does point out the off-key moments while still praising her.
3. Angie Miller, “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” Elton John
Another great choice. Did Iovine try to tank Kree on purpose? Sheesh. Anyway. This is lovely — perfectly suited to Angie’s range and tone. Candice was good, but this is a girl who wants it. Angie’s emotional connection with the song is palpable and she never goes off pitch.
It’s a shame she wasn’t at the piano, which Randy immediately jumps on. For sure, that would’ve jumped the song up from great to spectacular.
Round 1 — Angie, even without the piano.
4. Candice Glover, “Next to Me,” Emeli Sande
Wonderful song choice. Emeli Sande is like exactly the kind of artist Candice should be looking to emulate when she releases records. Very R&B, very current, spectacular voice. Candice sometimes has trouble working the stage and that’s a little apparent here. She doesn’t quite know how to move all the time and likes to take what our acting teacher always called “two steps to nowhere.”
However, vocally she does a great job. It’s not blow-your-mind good, but it’s very solid. The judges can’t stop talking about her video package of her hometown visit and that’s great and all, but let’s not forget it’s about the performances and not the sad story.
‘Cause otherwise — Kree should totally win. Both her parents were dead
by the time she was 19. That is the saddest thing, for us.
We do agree with Nicki, though, that it’s about loving yourself and being proud and confident, no matter what you look like. So, good for Candice on that front.
5. Angie Miller, “Try,” Pink
Now this is a Pink song that lends itself to this competition. Angie works the stage better than either of the other girls and this is letting her really show off and be all “rock.” This isn’t the best we’ve ever heard Angie — she’s much more suited to what we heard the first round, as opposed to stuff like this or her Evanescence night. But she’s giving this her all and the voters are going to love it.
Candice’s Round 2 was better than Angie’s, but they both have been good so far. Keith and Nicki both praise her comfort on stage and they are 100% right. She has really grown as a performer.
6. Kree Harrison, “Here Comes Goodbye,” Rascal Flatts
A spectacular choice for her, way better than Round 1. Her warm country tone and twang is on beautiful display — the way she floats up to “in my arms tonight” is gorgeous. Then on the big “here comes goodbye” she gets a touch off-pitch — but it might have been some emotion getting the better of her? It sounds like she got a little tight on that section. Kree gets it back for the ending, that was very good. If not for that bobble on the middle section, she would totally win this round.
Nicki brings up the no-parents thing and so at least she’s an equal opportunity sad-story lauder. But it’s not about that — vocally, she did well, but not quite as good as she could have. But the emotional connection was definitely palpable.
We’re giving Round 2 to Kree, but only by a slim margin. Candice was vocally strong too, but the connection wasn’t quite as strong. And Angie’s vocal was the third-best this round, even if her actual performance was very strong. Aww, Keith is crying.
7. Angie Miller, “Maybe,” Emeli Sande
She’s back at the piano, which is nice, though she doesn’t appear to really be playing it. Hmm. Do you suppose she had to choose which song to learn and she had to nix the Elton John one in favor of this one, since it’s her final song? Ending on the piano? We bet that’s what happened.
Anyway. This performance probably just put Angie in the finals. It’s got the whole package of what she’s about — big soaring notes, emotional lyrics, piano. Very, very good.
8. Kree Harrison, “Better Dig Too,” The Band Perry
Love the banjo and fiddle and we thought this was a good song for Kree, but it … actually gets away from her a bit. She sounds out of breath and she’s missing the low notes. It’s not completely the production’s fault, because this seems like it would be a good choice for her, but she couldn’t really keep up with it. Kree also needs a lot of work on her stage presence. She doesn’t work the stage as well as she could be.
Keith rightly says the song is good, but that’s not the place for her. It’s not. It didn’t feel right, he’s correct. And yeah, she couldn’t possibly live up to her second song. That was so good and this one just was not.
9. Candice Glover, “Somewhere,” “West Side Story”
Oh, dear. This song? You’re killin’ us! This is … we start crying from the opening notes, y’all. It’s so good. SO GOOD. Nothing more to say. Candice just slayed Round 3.
Well, each woman won a round, by our count. However, Kree’s one really good song might not be enough to trump two fairly weak ones. She was a little hamstrung by not-great song choices.
It should really be Candice and Angie in the finals and we say that as a huge Kree fan, so.
What do you think, “Idol” fans?