American Idol 12 Top 4 – Recap and Videos

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UPDATE: At the end of the show, Ryan teased a super special SURPRISE TWIST that he’ll be announcing tomorrow. I wonder what that could be?

BLARGH. What happened tonight? I’ll tell you! The judges and Jimmy are setting us up for an Angie/Amber finale. Ugh. The judging tonight was ridiculously transparent. Sure, Kree has lost some of her mojo at this point in the competition, but if you ask me, they all have. All four girls are singing with raspy, tired voices. But the relentlessly negative comments, particularly about Kree’s 1st performance were insane and didn’t match reality. Conversely, the crazy praise of Amber’s pitchy, old-fashioned performances made no sense. I love the way the audiences booed the judges when they dissed Kree.

I get that Candice’s arrangement of the Drake song turned it a bit adult contemporary, but her vocal on that number was STELLAR, despite the strain due to a cold and vocal fatigue. She out sang Amber easily tonight, and was certainly no more “old-fashioned” than the young singer.  The only silver lining here is that the critiques were so off the wall, the bussing will work in reverse. I will admit that I set aside some time to vote tonight for both Candice and Kree.

On one hand, I get it. Angie and Amber are young, attractive and marketable. Jimmy loves Amber especially. He probably envisions her as the next Rihanna or Beyonce. Not that she has the personality or charisma of either. Young Amber is underbaked at this point, and doesn’t seem to have much of an artistic identity. It’s like she only knows how to sing mama’s music, or the songs that got her standing ovations at the school assembly. I feel like I’ve dropped in from another planet when the judges call her current. Tonight she sang a wretched Celine Dion ballad, and a cheesy disco number. How the hell that’s current, I don’t know.

Angie is not very versatile, and it has caused her trouble in competition. Her overall performance has been uneven. But performances like her Jesse J. song, which she has obviously been singing for a long time, prove that she fits nicely into a pop rock niche, although I see her succeeding in Christian Contemporary/Hot Adult rather than CHR.

Candice is a perfect fit for Urban Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz. Jimmy probably has no interest whatsoever in trying to market her there. But here’s the deal. American Idol is a singing competition, and Candice, is the best singer AND the best performer out of the 4 left.  She deserves to be in the final, regardless.

Am I crazy to believe that Kree could smash the country charts AND cross over into Triple A?  The judges keep harping on Angie’s songwriting ability. Yes, this will be a huge advantage for her. But Kree writes songs too and has the respect of many in the Nashville community. She came into this competition as sort of a ringer. The girl needs no introduction! She’d be a worthy AND marketable winner. It’s been long enough since Carrie to introduce another female country Idol.

I’m just really pissed off that TPTB are screwing with my dream Candice/Kree finale. They both deserve to make it until the bitter end.

Ryan teased the announcement tomorrow night of a “BIG TWIST.”    The go-to guess is that there will be no elimination this week. But it could also involve the songwriting and original songs the girls have been preparing. In my opinion, whether there is a free week or not, will depend on who has the lowest number of votes. They might just let Kree or Candice go if either winds up at the bottom.

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The show opens with a montage featuring the top four talking about their AMAZING journey on American Idol. They ALL want to win, y’all. “America has the hardest choice,” says Angie.

Amber Holcomb – “Power of Love” by Celine Dion – The video package features each of the girls visiting patients at Children’s Hospital this week. “I vote for all of you to get well!” Amber exclaims to the kids. OMG. This song is so DREARY. Why Amber, why?  She does make a smart decision to sing the first verse a cappella–a crowd pleasing technique.  This big ole ballad is in her sweet spot. She can show off her huge range and ability to hit glory notes. She’s singing it well, if a bit languidly, with a bit of strain on the high notes. But geez. I’m smelling grandma’s mothballs while I listen. I just wish Amber was a little more creative when she chooses songs. We’ve heard this before. Not this exact SONG but, this performance. Take a chance or two, Amber! Keith calls the song tailor made for Amber. He loves her crazy, effortless range. Her poise and confidence is impressive, he says. Nicki calls Amber a “big sexy glass of milk.” and adds, “can with have a moment of silence for how beautiful she looks!”  Nicki believes Amber is current, ready. We’re at your show! she says.  Hm. I didn’t find that performance very CURRENT, but whatever. Randy compares her outfit to a black and white cookie. Jeez. Randy awards her with the “growth arc.”  She came in as a baby, and became a star. She seems pretty much the same to me, DAWG. Mariah loves that she did a Celine Dion song. She took a classic song and gave it flavor. #Pow, she says. – 866-436-5701, 866-436-5705

Jimmy says: Amber has been picking classic song. It leaves her voice very exposed. I heard the top end of her voice feeling that strain. But that song is going to be difficult to beat, he said. Let’s sum it up. She didn’t sound great, but she’ll still be hard to beat. Alrighty then.


Amber Holcomb, Top-4 1st Performance ~ American… by HumanSlinky

Candice Glover – Find Your Love by Drake – Candice gets a little pre interview with Ryan where she breathlessly talks about meeting Drake last year. She’s a big fan. Candice visits Children’s Hospital. She plays hide and seek with a cutie named Demi. She seems to be making a connection with the tykes. Oh this Drake song is GORGEOUS. She brings subtle jazz inflections to her performance, beautiful phrasing. A Candice performance is a master class. Nicki let Drake know she was performing his song, so we may hear from him tomorrow. Nicki says her vocal was stellar, but she wished she had stuck with the melody. It was more Luther than Jay-z. Basically, she doesn’t want her to get lost in that “old fashioned” bracket. Randy says every phrase doesn’t need a run. What? She doesn’t oversing at all! He thinks she can be a huge urban star, but it doesn’t always have to sound like she’s in church. Mariah disagrees. Candice can sing ANYTHING. DON’T veer from taking those musical chances. Keith hears Candice every week. He’s not thinking about what market she’s in. She needs to find herself, and she’s doing that. I take their point–the song did have an adult contemporary feel. But Candice has proven she can do current. Give her credit for reinterpreting the song! – 866-436-5702, 866-436-5706


Candice Glover – Find Your Love – American Idol… by IdolxMuzic

Jimmy says: He agrees with Nicki. It was the second best performance of the night.

Kree Harrison – ”It Hurt So Bad” by Susan Tedeschi – Kree visits with a premature baby at Children’s. In a very touching moment, the mom sings to her boy in order to bond.  Kree’s performance finds her in the groove tonight. The grit in her voice is back and she’s got a loosey goosey stage style that’s been missing for awhile.  It’s a warm, bluesy performance. I totally believe that Kree is missing her guy! Randy says she can do anything. He doesn’t think it’s the best vocal he’s heard from her. Parts of it were disconnected. For him! He was waiting for something else (!!!) Mariah felt her on certain sections and her connection to the audience. Give us Kree! She says. Keith says she’s got to leave EVERYTHING on the table. It’s not enough to use her voice. Nicki says the performance isn’t going to give her what she needs for next week. “Everybody can blow smoke up your asshole, but that isn’t it,” says Nicki. Asshole was bleeped by the way. WOW the judges eviscerated her. I do not get it. – 866-436-5703, 866-436-5707

Jimmy Says: Of course, Jimmy agrees with Nicki again! So surprised. NOT. He believes it was 100% the wrong song.


Kree Harrison – Hurt So Bad – American Idol 12… by IdolxMuzic

Angie Miller – “Who You Are” by Jesse J – Angie is sitting behind the piano…like she’s been told. She sang this song in Hollywood, and it’s the 3rd time she’s tackled Jesse J. Angie is taking NO CHANCES at this stage of the game. The performance is a little breathless in spots, but it’s one of Angie’s better vocals. Angie is hit or miss when it comes to emotional connection, but she’s right on here. No doubt, the song means alot to her.  Also, there’s NO DOUBT the judges are going to eat this up with a big giant spoon. She gets a standing ovation. Mariah calls it a professional moment. Stunning.  And the performance of the song has evolved from the auditions. Get home and write another original song, says Mariah. “Be inspired.” Keith thought she had a stagey beginning but became cooler and looser as she went along. No one compares to Angie when she’s behind the piano, says Nicki. It’s like she was closing an awards show, she says. She liked the way Angie mixed some rock into the arrangement. “Smart AND cute.” “You made me forget it was a Jesse J song…SHE’S IN IT TO WIN IT.” says Randy. Angie’s tearful grandma joins her onstage. That should be good for a few votes. – 866-436-5704, 866-436-5708

Jimmy Says: He has Angie neck and neck with Amber now. OF COURSE HE DOES.


Angie Miller – Who You Are – American Idol 12… by IdolxMuzic

Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison – “Rumor Has It” by Adele (Duo) – These duets are always under rehearsed. There’s some pitchyness here. I don’t know. I’m just really tired of Adele covers on American Idol. Both Amber and Kree had some nice moments on the bridge, though.  Somehow, Amber has found a commanding stance, says Keith. “It’s riveting.” Kree’s voice is sensational. “You do it so effortlessly.” But, Keith is waiting for somebody to cut loose. “Thow a mic stand or do SOMETHING,” he says.  Nicki agrees. Amber was almost dominating Kree, she says, in terms of commanding the stage.  Then, Nicki begins screaming at Kree. She wants Kree to get back to a place where she’s “into the song.”  Nicki begins lecturing Kree sternly about needing personality, and treating the duet like a diva. She accuses Kree of not duetting properly with Amber. IF YOU ARE DOING A DUET DO A  DUET she yells–as if Amber had no responsibility whatsoever to make the performance work! SMH. Literally, Nicki is losing her mind.


Amber & Kree – Rumor Has It – American Idol 12… by IdolxMuzic

Angela Miller and Candice Glover – “Stay” by Rihanna (Duo) – There is some pitchy stuff going on, and I’m not sure I love this blocky, turgid arrangement. Why has this turned into a pop rock song. Oh right. Hello Angie. The judges, sans Mariah Carey give them a standing ovation. Randy is flipping out, “UNBELIEVABLE THAT’S HOW YOU DO A DUET,” Randy says and thinks Candice redeemed herself from her first performance. As if she needed redeeming. (She didn’t) Both Randy and Mariah loved the way they blended, despite having different styles. That was OK, but it was by no means perfect–certainly not worthy of the apoplectic fit Randy had while critiquing it.


Angie & Candice – Stay – American Idol 12 (Top 4) by IdolxMuzic
Ryan REVEALS the next theme You Voted via twitter. ONE HIT WONDERS won.

Amber Holcomb – MacArthur Park by Richard Harris/Donna Summer – So this is a cross between the original and the disco version, beginning all ballady and then breaking out into disco. Actually, I appreciate that Amber is going upbeat. But I feel transported back to the 70s here. If the judges call her “current” I’m going to SCREAM. The performance is also shouty and pitchy in spots. OMG Randy and Mariah stand for her. “It’s like summer has set in for you, and it is here to stay. You are dominating tonight,” says Keith.  Sigh. Nicki compares her to a blooming flower. She likes that she takes chances. WHAT? Amber plays it safe, always. She has no imagination. Out of all 4 girls, she’s the one she’d like to get to know.  I wonder what Amber thinks about being BFFs with Nicki. hm. Randy repeats, “SHE’S IN IT TO WIN IT,” and calls her ability to to hit high notes CRAZY. And here it is. Randy calls Amber CURRENT and COMPARES HER TO RIHANNA. That OLD FASHIONED disco number reminds him of Rihanna? Okee doke! Mariah loved her low and high notes (remember Mariah nicked her on her low notes last week) and loves her confidence. “Star quality,” she says.

Jimmy says: FINALLY some honest. He calls the song corny. Says Amber DID NOT pull it off.


Amber Holcomb – MacArthur Park – American Idol… by IdolxMuzic

Candice Glover – “Emotion” by Samantha Sang/Bee Gees/Destiny’s Child – An easy Jazzy performance of this classic. Admittedly, I’m not crazy about this song, but she does her THANG with it. It’s tough to get traction with mid tempo songs on Idol, though. There isn’t enough time to make an impression. Nicki says she was still grooving to it, even though it was a classic song. She’s proud of her. OMG. Nicki is now addressing Jimmy’s critique of Amber. She wants to argue with him.  Are you kidding me? Back to Candice, Nikki! Randy thought it was another great performance. Mariah gives ALL the singers props for performing, despite the wear and tear on their voices at this stage of the competition. Oh. So Candice has a terrible cold. See, this is where Mariah is useful. She understands a singer’s point of view. Nobody else on the panel can bring that empathy. Keith is wondering if there are any one hit wonders from at least the last decade.  He thinks Candice would have had a moment with a different song. Oh. So they drag Jimmy out on stage so Nicki can storm the stage and yell at him (LOL at the crowd booing Jimmy). LETS TALK ABOUT AMBER EVEN MORE. Candice throws up her hands. It’s kind of ridiculous at this point, but he at least forces them to say Candice was better than Amber in this round.


Candice Glover – Emotion – American Idol 12… by IdolxMuzic

Kree Harrison – “Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harem – Hm. This song is revealing the wear and tear on her voice from the competition. There’s noticeable strain on the high notes.  She sounds tired. I hope not defeated. This is a great rock song, but I think it would have been better set at a slower tempo. As it was, the song didn’t really go anywhere. Randy says she can flat out sing. She redeemed herself for Randy. “That was brilliant.” Erm. The first song was better. Mariah believes there was no “redeeming” necessary. Well, I agree with THAT. Keith feels both of her songs were “middle ground songs.” She HAS to pick a song that allows her to be vulnerable or totally rock out, he says. I agree–mid-tempo songs are really difficult to pull off in 1:30. Nicki loved the performance, and put her heart and soul into it. Nicki doesn’t believe that it will keep her out of the bottom 2. “If you leave tomorrow, you’ll put out a multi-platinum album and win.” Wow, the kiss off speech from Nicki.


Kree Harrison – Whiter Shade Of Pale – American… by IdolxMuzic

Angie Miller – “Cry Me A River” by Julie London – Angie goes full on theatrical here, and it’s smart to show some versatility at this point of the competition. Angie is a very astute student of Idol strategy, that’s for sure. The downside of singing such a great, great classic, is that it totally reveals her vocal limitations. Candice would have sung the SNOT out of that song. But Angie is limited in her phrasing and ability for subtle interpretation. It was just OK. But of course, the judges go effing ballistic over it. Mariah was impressed with her upper register. Talent galore, she says. Mystical, and celestially powerful, says Keith. “You came out tonight to snatch some wigs off some heads,” says Nicki. “Tonight was your night.” Randy calls it the best of the night. SHE’S IN IT TO WIN IT.” God Randy YOU ARE SO ANNOYING.


Angie Miller – Cry Me A River – American Idol… by IdolxMuzic

About mj santilli 33323 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!