American Idol Recap: The Top 4 Seem Old Beyond Their Years

Last night American Idol featured arguably their most talented Top Four ever, all women, and all possessed of great big tuneful on-pitch voices. Last night each got to sing three times...two solos and one duet.

Last night was also one of the most painfully boring American Idol evenings ever.

Listen, I've always gotten offended by the concept that singling "Broadway" or "cabaret" means something less than pop music. Especially when they imply that kind of singing is all about big bombastic singing, not interpretation. Quite the opposite. The key to Broadway success and cabaret success is all about making your indelible mark on a song...and that usually entails interpretation. Acting, if you will.

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Last night actually reflected what I don't like about a lot of popular music: Big diva songs sung with little emotion or differentiated layers of it, anyway. Here's my angsty face. Here's my sexy face. Here's my serious dramatic face. Here there is no actual feeling, but I think I'm replicating an approximation of what I would look like if I felt any.

I could barely stay awake.

So, yay, let's dig in, shall we?


Solo #1. "The Power of Love" by Celine Dion:

That was slow and BO. RING. The original was not that slow was it? I mean she has so much control and range, but I could have fallen asleezzzzzzzzzzzz. The song actually isn't about your stance in the spotlight, you know? (Granted, I'm not sure what the song is about, but I'm pretty sure it's not about Amber's palazzo pants.)

Solo #2. MacArthur Park by Richard Harris (and Donna Summer)

I didn't feel this was Amber's night at all. She seemed to be marking on this one, and her voice seemed tired and strained. She tried to do a carbon copy of Donna Summer's version, which I shudder to say I remember quite well. It was cheesy back then, and still is now.

Bottom line: I think Amber is at risk, for all the judges seems to be heavily promoting her. This was a night of carbon copy covers and little energy.


Solo #1. "Find Your Love" by Drake

I wasn't familiar wit the song, and that's always a risk. Candice sounded particularly John Legend-y on this number, which I haven't really noticed before. It was n OK performance, not great. Not really because I agreed with the judges that she did too many runs...I didn't...but because this was the first time I ever heard slight pitch issues. Nonetheless, I love her and think she's just so mature and ready, like I said last week. She still reigns supreme in my book. 

Solo #2. Emotion by Samantha Sang (and The Bee Gees and Destiny's Child)

Boring. Seriously. Why would she pick this song? One nice big note doesn't make a performance. I could barely pay attention, and Candice is MY GIRL.

Bottom line: I also think Candice is at risk, mostly because the judges seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make her seem equal and in fact less than) the other remaining three. 


Solo #1. "Hurts So Bad" by Susan Tedeschi

She did a good job. There were a few inappropriate smiles along the way, but mostly this was her most impassioned performance yet. I'm surprised the judges didn't feel it. But I'm glad Keith is asking for more. because she could still stand to deliver more. I felt bad, however, for Ms. Tedeschi when Jimmy Iovine completely dissed the song. I was expecting it to be "Hurts So Bad" by Linda Rondstadt and was disappointed it wasn't, but it wasn't that bad, Jimmy!! 

Solo #2. "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procul Haram

Boring boring boring. OMG, the second round of solos were deadly. There are so many fun and quirky "one hit wonders", and they barely respected that theme anyway, so the song choices made very little sense at all!!

Bottom line: I find it hard to believe that two country girls will go home in a row. I'm going to bet Kree picks up most Janelle voters. So, I think she's safe.


Solo #1. "Who You Are" by Jessie J

We saw a snippet of this during Hollywood Week, so it was good to see the full performance (if 90 seconds can be called the full performance). She was in her sweet spot...sitting at the piano, and she did a nice job. She simply is way more comfortable at the piano. And she loses her self-consciousness. And her awkward pageant arm gestures. She really needs to listen to Nikki and just stay. right. there.

Solo #2. "Cry Me a River" (Julie London's version)

As judges of yore might have said: This was "so old-fashioned". I am not sure why these particular judges seemed to like that. I, by this point, was barely watching. Seriously, was it just me? I could not stay connected to last night's performances at all!

Bottom line: Angie had a good night. I don't think she's at risk.

Oh yes. As I mentioned, there were:


Duet #1. Amber and Kree sang "Rumor Has It" by Adele

It was fine. But Nicki was right…there was no dialogue between them, no relationship. They were two people singing solos side by side, not dueting. 

Duet #2. Candice and Angie sang "Stay" by Rihanna

What a boring boring night. I am looking at my notes and can't even remember this number. I have AIADD.

Bottom Line for the Bottom Two:

Should be: Amber and Kree with Kree going home.

Will be: Amber and Candice with Amber going home.

But what did you think?

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