Wednesday, May 1, 2013
AI Season 12- Top 4 Performance, Again
Did you know that four girls performed last week, but none of them went home? The show thinks we might have forgotten that, so we're reminded. Several times. We're also assured that none of the girls want to go home this week either. Huh. Never woulda guessed.
Nicki is wearing a black wig with straight cut bangs. She's also wearing a tight, short, long sleeved, white knit dress with a vaguely Egyptian design in black and yellow. Her eyes are lined with neon green. Mariah is in a black bustier dress with a knee-length full skirt and a wide black leather belt laced up like a milkmaid. Randy is in a red blazer over a white shirt with a polka-dot collar. Keith is in a tee which reads: I am the Stig. I had to look it up and I still don't understand it very well. Ryan is in a pewter suit with a white shirt, white pocket square and a navy tie.
The dual themes tonight are Songs of 2013 (and I can guarantee that I won't know a single one), and Standards. I may know some of the standards, unless the show uses the same dictionary as they used last week to define One Hit Wonders. Harry Connick Jr. is a mentor tonight. Let's hope he's not as big an ass as he was last time he was on the show.
#1. Angie- singing Rhianna's Diamond
HCjr (who has facial scruff and artfully foofed hair) tells Angie that he doesn't like her. Angie assumes he's joking. She pretends to know his current song and then is trapped into trying to sing this non-existent song with him. It could be real, it could be a bit- either way, it's awkward and unamusing.
On stage, Angie is wearing black shortie shorts which bag weirdly at the crotch, a splotchy loosish black top, and, once again, she's festooned with yards and yards of intertwined and interlocked chains. Angie is sitting at the piano because she finally heard the repeated pleas from the judges that she meld herself to the instrument. I don't know this song (just assume that throughout this portion of the festivities), but she's doing a slowed-down, ballady version with bongos. It's actually pleasant until Angie gets all shrieky toward the end. Her ability to follow the camera at all times is spooky.
K: loved the percussion-heavy original version of the song, but not so much this arrangement
N: bland, lackluster, played to the camera
R: agrees with Keith, but loves the shorts. (Me: shut up, Creepy Randy)
M: changed it too much, agreed with Nicki, which may be a first
Me: It stands to reason that the judges dislike the one performance of Angie's that I mostly liked.
#2. Amber- singing Pink's just Give Me a Reason
HCjr calls Amber out on forgetting the words and then says that it doesn't matter because her voice makes up for it.
On stage, Amber is wearing an ice blue silk halter blouse with a tight, high collar, tucked into cream jeans with precisely shredded legs, black boots, and huge earrings. She's singing a slow version of this song, and it is not impressing me. Her higher register is shrill tonight, and for a minute, I think she lost her place altogether.
N: likes the jeans, but felt that Amber was disconnected
R: wonders why every year at about this time in the competition, it seems like the kids stop having fun. (Me: Think about that for a minute, Randy, and maybe the answer will come to you)
M: babble babble, agree with Randy, babble
K: talks technical musical shop stuff, but says the same thing the others did
#3. Candice- singing something by Bruno Mars
HCjr goofs with Candice, and is surprised that she's choosing to sing a Boy Song without changing it to a Girl Song
On stage, she's wearing a quilted black leather jacket, a purple top, and a very blingy necklace and matching earrings. Of course, I don't know this song either but I love it. The entire performance is great.
R: yo yo um yo, Candice can sing anything
K: didn't care about the gender in the lyrics, that was a winning performance
N: that deserved a Standing O (which all 4 did, belatedly),enthusiastic babble
#4. Kree- singing Carrie Underwood's I'll See You Again
HCjr wouldn't change anything that Kree did in rehearsal.
On stage, Kree is wearing a loosish royal blue blouse tucked into black jeans. She has great smoky eye shadow. And this performance is gorgeous, and better-sounding than her rehearsal, which seemed a little shrill in the upper notes to me. She's sitting on a stool, next to a guy on another stool playing a guitar, but there is a band somewhere in the dark recesses of the stage.
M: Kree connected to the song and audience
K: felt there was a slight disconnect between the duo in the spotlight and the obviously larger-band arranagement.
N: loved it
R:amazing voice and great vocal
HCjr (on stage): loved it too
#5. Angie is singing Someone to Watch Over Me
HCjr wonders why she chose that song (Answer: Angie's mom used to sing it to her. After she got done calling her a fatty, I guess). He wants all of the girls just to sing these songs and not embroider them.
On stage, Angie is wearing a deep red, belted, satin night gown with an open back (just the top part, not the lower). There's not a chain in sight. Are all y'all sitting down? This is quiet and restrained, and lovely. Well, at least it is until the end. I think she's physically unable to resist oversinging. But I did like it until then.
K: asks Angie why she chose that song (Me: guess who doesn't pay attention during the clips) and then says it was such a beautiful performance that the song choice didn't matter
N: calls Angie a Disney Princess, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't a compliment (Me: I've stopped calling her Mini Miley, but the resemblance remains)
R: loved the beginning, but the middle lost him
M: takes time to introduce her own mother, and then says that Angie is best suited for Broadway.
And then for some reason, Mariah and Nicki start to argue, even though they said pretty much exactly the same thing (though as always, Mariah used ten times as many syllables).
#6. Amber is singing My Funny Valentine
HCjr watches Amber sing for few lines and then interrupts to ask her what she thinks the song means. As God is my witness, Amber says that she thinks that the song is about a couple of friends who are laughing at each other's looks. HCjr firmly but gently tells Amber that she really needs to study the lyrics and understand them before she tries to sing them in front of an audience.
On stage, Amber is wearing a red brocade sleeveless top with a peplum, matching pants, and very tall gold stilettos with wide ankle bands. Her hair has been rolled up and it looks really pretty. Her performance sounds pretty good for a girl who seriously thought that the song was about kids making fun of each other. I now wonder if she understood the lyrics of any of the songs she has performed.
She gets a 4-way Standing O.
N: so beautiful
M: thanks Amber
K: Amber needs more confidence.
Up with Ryan, it's obvious that, despite the universal praise, Amber is barely holding it together. Personally, I think she's really embarrassed by the clip with HCjr, but she could just be exhausted and stressed out. Amber is crying, and in the audience, her stoic father has tears running down his cheeks as well.
#7. Candice is singing Billie Holiday's You've Changed
HCjr once again reminds Candice just to sing the song, and not to embellish it, that the fourteen year olds in the audience might not get it, but the grownups will.
On stage, Candice is glammed up in a black dress with a black lace jacket. She looks gorgeous, and, oh man, this is amazing. GOOSIES! Wow!
4-way Standing O, and Mariah was the first one to stand (she's generally last, if she stands at all)
R: in it to win it
M: no critique, but will download that song immediately
K: enjoyed watching Mariah watch Candice
N: says there is no time for her comments
(Me: Why? There's at least twenty minutes left and only one performance to go).
#8. Kree is singing Stormy Weather
HCjr is still preaching simplicity.
On stage, Kree is wearing a one-shouldered black short dress with a long black transparent overskirt. Her hair and makeup are perfect. She looks beautiful. I'm not sure any performance could add up to what Candice just did, but this is close. She's throwing in a few more runs than HCjr recommended (How many did he recommend? None, that's how many), but it sounds great. I did like the sultry beginning more than the slightly ramped up ending, but it was still lovely.
M: dinged Kree for song choice, would like to have heard God Bless the Child instead
K: also didn't like the song choice
N: not loving the song choice either, but tells Kree to listen to her heart (Me: presumably, instead of HCjr)
R: says the same thing and then in a single sentence, tells Kree to be herself AND sing the Etta James version of the song.
Keith grabs HCjr by the hand and leads him to the judges table so he can call Randy out on his BS
Back from the commercial, and instead of a very long recap of the evening's performances the girls all in varying casual denim outfits, prance out of the audience and onto the stage, followed by lots of sassy backup dancers, in order to sing some song that I don't know. There was no intro, and no explanation for why they had a group sing tonight, complete with lots of stompy choreography. It's not a great song, and it's not a great performance, and it sort of ruins the mellow glow from the last half of the show. Afterward, as the girls stand on stage, panting, Amber looks even sadder, and Kree seems equally depressed.
When the song is over, Ryan has barely enough time to run clips and repeat the phone numbers.
My Best Round 1:
1. Candice/Kree (tie)
My Best Round 2:
2. Kree (but #2 only by a hair)
The votes tonight will be combined with last week's totals, but since Amber was in the bottom last week too, and she's been a consistent bottom-dweller, I think she'll be going home. But I'm not taking any bets.