« All News

Search RealityWanted News











American Idol 12: Top 8 Take Us to the Motor City!

Posted on 03/27/2013 by Kylene in American Idol

| More

American Idol 12: Top 8 Performance

by Kylene Hamulak


It's Motor City Night on American Idol, and I really hope that, for the first time this season, that'll mean more up-tempo music than sleepy ballads, even the talent IS amazing no matter what they're singing. Smokey Robinson is mentoring the Idols tonight, so it should be fun to see what he's able to inspire in the Top 8. Ryan opens the show by telling us that in addition to the individual performances, we'll be getting some group songs as well.




Candice Glover, "Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye

Candice slows down the song a little, putting her own sound on display. Also on display? A lone purple curl in her hair that tells the story of the performance. It's got a bluesy swing to it, with a bit of rock to make it interesting. The crowd is cheering so much Keith can barely get his praise in. He calls it her best performance and is impressed with how she's growing into it. Nicki is proud of her for staying in the performance completely and Randy thinks she's got one of the best voices this year in the competition (which is a comment I always hate because there's only 8 left) and thinks she believes she belongs. Mariah is impressed as well, telling her she epitomizes what the competition is - she predicts she'll be around a while.


Janelle Arthur, "Keep Me Hanging On" by The Supremes

Janelle came up with the arrangement for this on her own at the age of 14 playing guitar. It's got an acoustic groove and sounds like a completely different song - in a good way. I could hear this on the radio and not change the station. Mariah is yelling, "JANELLE AT HER FINEST!" and she's right. Keith loves her fearlessness and thought it was beautiful. Nicki says she shines with her guitar, but she tells her that her good mood is affecting her voice in a negative way. Wait, what? Did Nicki just say that smiling is making her sound bad? Randy absolutely loved it and warns the other girls to watch out - Janelle is in it to win it! Fun facts: Her uncle made her guitar, and she was most nervous to play in front of Keith.


Amber Holcomb, "Lately" by Stevie Wonder

This is one of Amber's favorite songs by Stevie, so it hopefully that translates to a great performance. It's a beautiful performance, and the reaction from the crowd may be both a response to this song and her "comeback" from the bottom three. "That was a tour de force," says Mariah, and when she hears crickets from a crowd that has no idea what she means (do people REALLY not know what it means?) she explains with a definition that gets her censored by Fox. She loved it. Keith thinks she felt the song beautifully and calls it mesmerizing. Nicki tells her to wear pink lipstick to gets more votes, then says, "When God created them vocal chords, he was showing off, honey child." Randy anoints her "THE BEST VOCAL OF THE NIGHT," but he's said versions of that like four or five times, so take it for what it's worth.


Kree Harrison, "Don't Play That Song" by Aretha Franklin

Kree is just so cool. Even sitting with Smokey, she's like, "I'm trying not to make you uncomfortable." I mean, really? Jimmy and Smokey love her in rehearsals - Smokey says he's going to call Aretha and have her watch the show, so no pressure Kree! Seriously, is Kree already on tour somewhere? She's so natural on stage, getting the crowd started with clapping, interacting with the band, and sounding amazing throughout. Kree looks nervous when she finishes, but WHY? It was great. Randy tells her she's one of the best in the competition and is here to stay. Mariah can't talk to Kree without talking about herself first, but eventually she gets to commending her. "Just like Randy said, here to stay." Keith loves the blues and soul in her country music. Nicki gives her some sort of backwards compliment about having confidence when she's singing next to a "beautiful woman", referring back to her duet with Janelle. Did I miss something? Is Kree some sort of untalented ogre and I didn't get the memo?


Burnell Taylor, "My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder

Burnell gets a lot of advice from Smokey that he promises he's going to take. He looks great in his white suit! I love this song in general, and I like Burnell's voice on it. Stevie seems like a natural fit for Burnell, but he still manages to put some of his own riffs into it. "You reminded us why we fell in love with that voice tonight," says Nicki. She could hear him singing back in the height of Motown. Randy loves his choices and declares him - you guessed it - IN IT TO WIN IT! Mariah thinks he did a really great job with one of her favorite songs. Keith loves it all and throws in a Ron Burgundy name check just for fun.





Lazaro Arbos, "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder

Smokey tells Lazaro to do what he wants to do how he wants to do it because that's when he's the best. Lazaro's rendition is stripped down, beginning just with a piano, and by the time it starts picking up with strings and brass, he's definitely stronger than he has been the last two weeks.  Is it innovative? No. But at least he seems like he had fun. Randy says it's far better than last week, though he points out it wasn't perfect. Mariah thinks he listened to the critique, noticing that his courage was back, and Keith says it was exponentially better than last week. Nicki tells him "Fonzi, you gave me everything tonight." She wants to take credit for his great job because she was the one who told him to stop listening to Jimmy.


Devin Velez, "Tracks Of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson

Smokey explains the origin of the lyrics to Devin, who seems to be wondering if Smokey is ever going to get to the point. Vocally, Devin's sounding very nice, but I always feel like he's going through the motions instead of entertaining me. Keith mentions that all the contestants have the challenge of learning songs they don't know (Really? People don't know this song?), and he tells Devin to relax into the song instead of thinking so much. Nicki thinks Keith is nuts and says Devin was amazing. She loves every choice he made. Randy also declares Devin "in it to win it!" and thinks it was one of his best performances. Mariah loved everything about it. Hey judges - just cause you love the song doesn't mean you HAVE to love every performance of it.


Angie Miller, "Shop Around" by The Miracles

I'm excited to hear Angie picking something a bit more up-tempo - I want to see her have fun with it, just like Smokey's encouraging her to do. Jimmy keeps telling her to lighten things up. It's not her best performance and seems a little inauthentic or something. It definitely doesn't show off her voice, even with the big notes she hits. Randy isn't impressed - he calls it pitchy and says "it was not right on tonight." Mariah suggests that she could've done better with a song at the piano and notes this style may not be what she does best. Keith believes she'll make it through to next week, but the song pulled her down. Nicki just thinks she tried to show a different side of herself that didn't need to be shown. "Don't try to come out here and gives us another side - we didn't ask for another side."





And On Wednesdays, We Wear Red: Either the divas planned it, or someone's getting fired for not making sure Mariah and Nicki weren't wearing the exact same hue. Now, with that being said, I do wonder if the red is in support of marriage equality, and if that's the case? Diva-on, ladies.


Idol Sisterhood:

The first duet of the season comes in the form of countrified Madonna - "Like A Prayer" from Kree and Janelle.  Betcha never thought you'd read that! They do a good job with it, but Nicki thinks Kree was much stronger than Janelle, as if she had flown in to duet with a contestant. Randy takes his cue from Nicki and agrees that Kree "outshined" Janelle, but he also uses the term "usually sometimes" so I sort of don't care what he has to say. Mariah describes it as a sisterhood on the stage, and Keith thought they both sang great. He liked that they had each other's back. My thoughts? Sure, it wasn't the greatest duet in the world, but it feels like Nicki and Randy were looking for an excuse to shake Janelle for some reason.


#POW: Angie, Amber, and Candice are performing "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" by The Supremes. When Ryan asks which of the girls is "Diana" the glazed over look on Amber's face suggests to me that she's not really sure who he is referring to. What they were ACTUALLY thinking is that all three of them are Diana Ross, so that'll work well in a group number. Candice says she's the shyest of the three (which is weird to me, because she seems the most natural on stage) and had to take flirting pointers from the other girls.  This summer's tour will definitely benefit from having these voices working together, but they've got some work to do to actually sound like a group, instead of three talented women. Mariah gets the only critique and is doing vocal tweeting again: "HASHTAG POW! That was so POW!" Is pow a thing now?


Return to Helly-wood Week: 

Look, the guys are outmatched by the girls, and Devin, Lazaro, and Burnell are adorable in their matching little bow ties, but this group performance of "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" feels like Hollywood group week, where we throw three voices together and hope no one forgets their lyrics. Oh my GOD! "It's a beautiful day in Hollywood...." Nicki literally just said exactly what I did! "I don't know what that was, but I'm gonna act like I didn't see it OR hear it," says Nicki before she dismisses them all. Burnell responds, "I sang what I was supposed to" and Devin claims, "I knew MY part...I tried to save a couple people." Things are getting interesting in Idolville!


Final Thoughts: No one was a complete trainwreck tonight (except for the group of boys). Kree, Candice and Janelle (my favorite performance of the night) were my top three, and I'm glad Idol bookended the show with the two most consistent performers. My bottom three for the night would be Lazaro (though he was better tonight, he's simply out of his league at this point), Devin (I just don't feel anything from him), and Angie (based on tonight, comparing her to the other Idols). I don't, however, expect Angie to be in the bottom three. In fact, I think Amber's scare last week will motivate her fans and leave us with, once again, an all boys bottom 3, with Devin going home.


Who do you think will be leaving this week? Who had YOUR favorite performance? Let us know below!


Catch American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7C on Fox!


(Images courtesy of Fox)


Follow Kylene on Twitter @keepingupwithky!




Rate this article

  • Currently 5.00/5

Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast) (Log in to vote!)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Go back to the previous page