Wednesday, April 17, 2013
AI Season 12- Top 5 Performance
It's been six years since a girl won this shindig, and the show finally figured out how to make that happen again (Hint: get lots of good female singers in several styles/genres, and don't allow any of the guys to play a guitar).
Randy is wearing a starlet leather jacket with gold ornaments on the breast. Keith is in a white tee with the word Liberte on the front (very French of him). Nicki... oh Nicki... is in a tight red dress with a keyhole bosom, and by *keyhole*, I mean a large gaping hole filled with enormous cleavage that threatens to spill out entirely. I don't usually jump ahead in the recap, but I will say that I spent the entire episode mesmerized by the possibility that Nicki might fall out of her dress. Mariah, by comparison, is fairly restrained in a strapless black glittery bodice that might actually be made out of metal, over a short sleeved top made of black netting. I didn't notice what Ryan wore. It's all Nicki's Boobs' fault.
Tonight the Girls are singing Songs from the Year of Their Birth, and Songs by Their Favorite Diva. I will also say in advance that learning that the oldest of the girls was born when my oldest son was almost out of high school (and the youngest when they were both in college) is extremely sigh-inducing.
#1. Candice, 1989. Candice says she was a chubby cheeked, bossy kid, and her parents agree. She's singing Straight Up... yeah, the Paula Abdul one. I am concerned about this song choice. Candice is wearing a royal blue blouse, jeans, and straightened hair. Aaaaaand... I should have known better than to worry. This is smooth and jazzy and nothing at all like the frenetic original. Candice is getting the 360 spin-cam and she's playing to the camera and to the band and to the audience perfectly.
K: whoo, whoo, good Lord... and then many words that boil down to how seductive Candice's voice is
N: congratulations on making it to the Top 5
R: loved the arrangement
JI (commenting from back stage): needed a bigger song, this one was too vocally narrow for Candice's talent
#2.Janelle, 1989. Janelle was a girly girl and totally adorable. She was a performer even as a toddler, and Vince Gill's voice had the magical ability to make her stop crying. Janelle is wearing a dowdy long gray dress with wide black zig-zag stripes. She's singing some Vince Gill song that I don't know, standing still at the microphone with her huge guitar. It's old-style country, and Janelle is singing it well, but it's totally boring.
N: loves how comfortable Janelle is with the guitar, the vocal was pretty
R: in her comfort zozne
N: believed in Janelle
K: angelic voice but didn't feel the song.
M: interrupts and babbles
JI: Keith is right, the performance not strong enough
#3. Kree, 1990. Kree was a good baby, and she looks exactly like her late mother. She had red boots which she loved so dearly that she wore them to bed. Kree began performing at age 3. She's wearing a white cardi with elbow-length sleeves over a white top with silver embroidery, black pants and black patent leather knee-length stiletto boots. Her hair is nicely sideswept and she has great makeup. She's singing She Talks to Angels, by The Black Crowes, with which I am not familiar. But Kree is giving it an effortless country twist. It's lovely.
R: Kree, man, let me say this, man...
M: thinks Kree can sing anything but was maybe holding back a bit
K: agrees with Mariah
N: loves the shoes, lapses into the British Accent and says it was the best of the night so far
M: interrupts again, says nothing worth hearing
JI: not strong enough to take the lead
#4. Angie, 1994. Angie's family is fixated on the fact that Angie was born thin (their word) but became a chubby baby, therefore Angie is also fixated on that. It makes me dislike her mother (the one who called Baby Angie a *fatty* on a previous segment) intensely. And it explains why Angie is Pageant to the core. She's singing I'll Stand By You, sitting at the piano, of course. Angie is back to tons of cascading curls. Her strappy tank top is festooned with lots of chains and her jeans are holey. I don't love this song, and I don't love Angie (though after seeing her parents again, I do feel sorry for her), and I think she starts out way too high. The performance is mechanical.
The judges don't agree with me, she gets a K,R & M Standing O.
M: loves Chrissie Hynde
K: loves Angie at the piano
N: great performance
R: great song choice
JI: turned the song into a power ballad, best tonight so far
Ryan reminds us that Carly Rae Jepson (who is almost 30 but dresses 14) is going to perform on the finale. I had managed to forget that.
#5. Amber, 1994. Amber sang with her sister, and had on-air journalistic ambitions. Her expressionless father sends his love. Expressionlessly. Amber is wearing a tye-dye knit dress with cap sleeves, and electric yellow heels. Her hair is in a single braid, slung over one shoulder. She's singing Without You (the Mariah version, since the original is way before her time). Man, this is Amber's worst performance ever, parts are too low, there's too much embroidery, it's shouty, and I think she's a bit sharp throughout.
She gets a K-R-M Standing O.
K: shouts *Amber Alert*, and then retracts it as stupid
N: the low notes weren't quite right, and Mariah did it better
R: not perfect, brave to sing that in front of Mariah
M: loved some of the choices Amber made
JI: A for Bravery, but Nicki was right about the lower register.
Ryan fills in a bit with some Amber-style fast talking.
#6. Candice has chosen Mariah and Whitney Houston as her Divas. She's singing their When You Believe. She says she's nervous but that Mariah has given her courage. Candice is wearing a pretty white silky blouse and black jeans. The stage is filled with smoke, strings, and purple starscapes. Man, this is beautiful and I got GOOSIES at the key change.
4-Way Standing O
N: THAT is how you do it, the song is a perfect message for everyone
R: best vocal of the night
M: so proud
K: just ripped out all the stops and annihilated them
#7. Janelle's diva is Dolly Parton, and she's chosen Dumb Blonde, a song I've never heard. Janelle has soft curls and is wearing a floaty white layered tunic with sparkly speckles and a low slung belt, a short sparkly skirt and boots. This song is obviously an anthem for anyone who has been judged unfairly, but Janelle just doesn't have enough sass for the message. The whole performance is plodding.
R: fun song but not a great vocal
M: hears what Randy is saying and mostly repeats it, only a little less bluntly
K: wonders about that song choice from Dolly's huge songbook
N: says Janelle is in jepoardy, gives a pre-consolation pep talk
#8. Kree is going to sing Celine Dion? Oh dear. She's looking glamorous in a simple black dress with a peplum. Peplums annoy me just by existing, but Kree looks good. She's in the dark with multiple spotlights and purple smoke. Her performance is good, really good, though maybe just a tad tentative.
4-Way Standing O
M: smart choice, showed versatility
K: Kree is back
N: epiphany: Kree is not country, Kree is worldly
R: agrees with everyone
#9. Angie's Diva is Beyonce. Of course. She's wearing a short black dress with an overdress consisting of hundreds of loopy chains. And booties. I don't like Beyonce, and I don't love Angie, and I don't love Halo, and this isn't impressing me at all. I think her voice sounds thin. Then again, Beyonce's voice sounds thin to me too, so I shouldn't be surprised.
I am surprised by the 4-Way Standing O
N: Angie is back
R: in it to win it
M: loves Angie's clarity
Evidently there wasn't enough time for Keith to add his critique.
#10. Amber's Diva is Barbra Streisand. Huh. Didn't see that one coming. She's wearing a heavily boned, white strapless top with a very deep plunge which is nevertheless, a modest deep plunge (tricky thing, that), and a long black skirt. She's singing What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life? standing at the mike, with a grand piano and strings. I think she's just a tad behind the music, but otherwise is doing a surprisingly good job with this. Her voice has a lovely tone (which was entirely missing from her first performance) and it sounds much more mature. The whole performance might be a bit slow, but it's otherwise really nice.
N: simply perfection
R: very difficult song to sing
M: tells everyone to vote for Amber
K: elegant and regal
My Top Performances:
My Worst Performance:
Janelle #1 and #2
All five of these girls are talented, each in a different way, so truly, it could be any of them staying, and any of them going, but I really think Janelle will head home tomorrow.