Wednesday, April 10, 2013

AI Season 12- Top 6 performance

The show opens with a long recap of last week's episodes, which I did already, and do not feel the need to do again. Short version? Bye-bye Burnell. We do get some new clips of the kids as they rehearse their two songs for tonight, which we are going to see in their entirety very soon. We have to fill those two hours somehow.

Mariah is wearing a white knit mermaid dress and nude lipstick. Nicki is in a floor-length snakeskin. Randy is in a red zip-front blazer, and Keith is in a yellow Mustang tee. Ryan is wearing a charcoal suit with a lavender pinstripe shirt and a lavender tie with little black pin dots. His pocket square is red and white, which makes no sense to me. Anthony Hopkins is in the audience. Seriously, that Anthony Hopkins.

Tonight's themes are Songs of Bacharach and David, and Songs the Kids Wish They'd Written Themselves. This should be interesting- Burt Bacharach was the first composer whose music I could identify without a scorecard. His songs sound simple, but they're devilishly difficult to sing. I predict a couple of the kids will flounder.

Tonight's exposition involves the kids talking about themselves, as though that's any different from any other episode.

#1. Angie has smooth hair (which is a large improvement), a short rust-colored dress and booties. She's also wearing a narrow black belt which is attached to a black band looped up over her shoulder, like a single suspender. Her big secret is that she and her friend make embarrassing home videos and post them on You Tube. By embarrassing, I mean they act goofy and dance weirdly, which certainly can be embarrassing, but is also nowhere near as embarrassing as I was expecting. She's singing a subdued version of Anyone Who Has a Heart. I don't enjoy listening to Angie's voice, but this isn't terrible.
K: Angie looks great but is still not connecting to the lyrics
N: agrees with Keith
R: says that Angie looks *commercial* (read: cute and thin and long legs) but needs to find the passion
M: took awhile to get there but actually offers a constructive comment about not over-enunciating

#2. Amber... oh dear, Amber is wearing a wide-legged, denim, strapless, zip-front, jumpsuit. I'll let that sink in for a moment. Strapless. Denim. Jumpsuit. Her big secret is that she likes to eat frozen cooked shrimp right out of the bag. Shrimp-cicles as she calls them. Amber is singing Say a Little Prayer- hmmm. There are some distinctly wobbly notes and her voice sounds uncharacteristically thin.
N: What the hell just happened? (Note: that was a direct quote, but I actually think it's a compliment)
R: the competition just started tonight
M: genius, and then briefly mentions the wonky notes (Note: that's the second time tonight that Mariah actually said something pertinent).
K: don't oversing
Ryan takes time to let us know that Amber really is going out with Burnell. Ew.

#3. Lazaro is wearing a blue, green and black suit with a Kilim-like pattern. And by *suit*, I mean a blazer and pants. Matching. In a Kilim-like print. He's also sporting a really tall pompadour. Lazaro's secret is that he loves four-wheeling and hunting, and that he's a Spanish Redneck (his words, I would never say that on my own). He's singing Close to You, and... and... and... this may be the absolute worst thing I've heard so far this year. Or any year. I don't think Lazaro hit a single note within his five-note range, and I can't understand a word he's saying.
R: uh... wow... speechless (Note: Randy SAYS that he's speechless)... no no no no
M: reminds us that she has been reminded that she's supposed to judge, not just cheerlead, so it's her job to tell Lazaro that when the music makes a key change, he's supposed to do it too
K: Lazaro's fans will still love him
N: recuses herself due to time constraints (Note: Nicki rolled her eyes quite dramatically throughout Mariah's commentary)

#4. Kree is in a seafoam green shirt with ugly split sleeves, though I freely admit that I never like split sleeves. Her hair is softly curled and her makeup is stronger than usual (it looks great). Her big confession is that she sings at rodeos. She's singing What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love). Kree starts a capella in a spotlight, a piano joins in, and finally the rest of the ocrhestra. Oh, wow, this is great! Note to Lazaro: this is how you do a key change. Kree is throwing in a country-tinge that works perfectly.
M: always amazing, babble babble babble
K: feels Kree's compassion and humanity
N: Kree is sweet and humble, and yet cocky at the same time
R: This. is. singing. that. girl. can. sing.

#5. Janelle is in all white, with a large feather yoke/necklace which covers most of her chest. She has smooth hair, and her pants are tucked into her shorter boots. Her secret is that she played a boy in a school play. She's singing I'll Never Fall in Love Again. She sounds fine, but bland, and she's substituting her own lyrics- not just individual words, but entire lines. Since I know all of these songs, the change throws me a bit.
K: sees a different side of Janelle every week
N: likes Janelle but the performance was boring
R: not Janelle's best
M: loves Janelle's effervescence
Ryan points out that Janelle is allergic to feathers, which makes me wonder why she festooned herself with them.

#6. Candice is wearing a studded white leather jacket and black on black print tight pants, which may also be leather. I think we've seen both before. Her hair and makeup both look fantastic. Her confession is that she speaks some local island dialect that no one else can understand. She's singing Don't Make Me Over, and I have one word to say about it: GOOSIES!
Keith, Nicki and Randy give Candice a Standing O and Mariah gives her a Sitting O.
N: Candice made an old tune sound like a new R&B song
R: this is what the show is about, in it to win it
M: agrees with Randy 100% (Note to Mariah: *simplistic* does not mean what you think it means)
K: beautiful, automatically in his Top 3

For their second number, the kids will sing songs they wish they had written. They each talk about why they chose that song, but each one says essentially the same thing: this song speaks to me. I don't feel like typing that six times, mentally insert that after the outfit-descriptions, wouldja?

#7. Angie, is in a black leather top with cap sleeves and lots of chains, and splotchy white pants. She's singing Love Came  Down, by Kari Jobe. She begins where the judges want her to be, at the piano. There is lots of swirling smoke, and a really annoying drum track that sounds like a very fast heartbeat. I don't know this generic song, but Angie is really pouring her heart into it, though that does not distract her from knowing exactly where the camera is at all times.
Randy and Keith give Angie a Standing O.
R: stay at the piano
M: that was organic
K: this is what Angie will do in concert
N: this is what Angie needs to do
Angie is touched and crying, and really needs to wipe her nose.

#8. Amber is wearing shortie shortie short shorts, which are full of holes and the pockets hang lower than the legs. She's also wearing a waist-length faded print jacket over a coral top, and matching coral heels. We remember how young Amber is when she says that the song she wishes she had written is by Love on Top, by Beyonce. Amber is prancing and enjoying herself enormously but her voice isn't up to the song, and the band is overpowering her entirely. It's... peppy.
M: America loves Amber, though that wasn't her greatest vocal (Note: again with actual commentary. Go, Mariah!)
K: great song choice
N: Look out Beyonce!
R: yes yes yes, in it to win it (for the second time tonight)

#9. Lazaro is in a white jacket and red pants. He's wearing a shirt that is black with little white polka dots at the top, but it mysteriously segues into a red and black print on the bottom. It's untucked, and the two sections of the shirt are so disparate that at first I think that Lazaro is wearing swim trunks over his pants. He's also wearing a gold bow tie. He's singing Robbie Williams's Angels. He appears to be hitting closer to the melody this time around, but I still can't understand anything he's saying.
K: elements of Lazaro's tone are marvelous, but the girls are plainly better
N: uh, yeah (Note: that's her entire commentary)
R: slightly better, but no, the girls are better
M: this song is better for Lazaro's range, but the girls are better

Once again, I want to point out that the reason that the girls are better this season is because the show stacked the deck with amazing girls and mediocre guys. It's not an accident. If even one guy with a guitar had made it through, we'd be seeing an entirely different ball game.

#10. Kree is wearing a really flattering black (navy?) short sheath dress. It has one keyhole shoulder, and generally I don't like keyhole anythings, but this one looks okay. It also has 3/4 sleeves. Again, her hair looks fantastic, and she has absolutely great smokey eye shadow. When Ryan announced that Kree was going to sing something by Kris Kristofferson, I was hoping for Me and Bobby McGee, but Kree says she's singing Help Me Make it Through the Night, which is almost as good. There is not much to say about this performance except that it is perfect.
N: shout out to the musicians, and Kree is very very special
R: kudos (Side Note: I keep typing: judos), Kree is a natural singer with a beautiful voice
M: this is how this song should be sung
K: it was a Buckle Polisher (Note: this appears to be high praise)

#11. Janelle is in a black sparkly top with ruffly sleeves, a short two-tier ruffled skirt made from  black tulle, and a wide rhinestone belt. Her makeup is also very good, with red lipstick that suits her skin tone very well. She's singing Garth Brooks's The Dance, first sitting down and then standing. This performance is much better than her first, more *real* and heartfelt, though that last note bobbled just a bit.
R: believed this performance
M: unfamiliar with the song, but liked it
K: reminded everyone (particularly Janelle) that Garth Brooks did not, in fact, write this song, a good thing to know on a night when the kids are supposed to be honoring songwriters, not just singers.
N: sweet, sweet song, better than the first one

#12. Candice is wearing black again. Still. Some more. I wish she'd raid Lazaro's closet. I cherished a small hope that she would sing I Can't Make You Love Me, just because I want to hear her sing it, so I'm a little disappointed that she's singing something I don't know: The Cure's Love Song.
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! I do not have the words to describe this performance. The audience goes crazy. She gets a 4-way Judge Standing O. Mariah not only stands, she shuffles up on stage and tosses a handful of glitter at Candice. Keith falls to his knees and bows repeatedly. And not a single one of them is over-reacting or exaggerating. That was the best performance I have ever seen on this show. Ever.
Randy speaks for all of them, repeating what I just said. And for once, Randy is right.
Candice gets another Standing O from the judges. She weeps on stage. It is absolutely amazing.

So my best of the night? Candice #2, followed very closely by Candice #1, with Kree #2 and Kree #1 behind. Kree was marvelous and her songs were fantastic, but Candice was pure genius tonight. Far ahead of everyone.

The worst, obviously, Lazaro #1, and then Lazaro #2, followed by Amber #1, and Janelle #1.

I have no confidence that Lazaro will go home tomorrow night, though it is well past time. Tonight brought the best and worst this show can manage, and I have no confidence that Candice and Kree will survive, but for the first time this year, I voted.

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