American Idol Recap: The Top 4 REDUX

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Last night we experienced the Top Four Ladies all over again, since I'm guessing the producers weren't happey with whomever America wanted to send home last week. #AIconspiracytheories

Each contestant sang two songs, one form 2013 (yay!!) and one standard. And Harry Connack Jr. returned as a mentor...for both rounds.

Poor Harry fought an uphill battle. He tried; he tried his very best to advocate for respecting the melodies of these classics, for understanding the lyrics and really telling the stories these songs tell. He was talking to  a perfect quartet of brick walls.

Let's dig in.

1. Angie

2013: "Diamonds" by Rihanna

I thought she did a nice job. I agree the song didn't really go anywhere, but on the other hand, when she tried to make it get somewhere, it didn't need some of those higher embellishments she threw in, especially since they weren't executed perfectly.  Overall I could dig it, though. I was not as down on it as the judges. I didn't think she played to the camera anymore than she has all season long. So, I guess they're just noticing?

Standard: "Someone to Watch Over Me" by The Gershwins

Props for doing the actual intro that many singers skip.(Or at least half of it anyway.) But OMG, I hate when singers do a total vocal break between "watch" and "over". It's the frickin' title fo the song..."someone to watch over me". Not "someone to watch. (What? TV? The kids? WHAT????) Over me". And I'm 100% with Keith that that three-chord ascending ending was SO cheesy. (Actually in my notes I ca;;ed it "icky".) The song doesn't need that. And it sure doesn't make you sound like a little "lost lamb". Except maybe one getting slaughtered. 

Bottom line: I think Angie is safe, she has a lot of built in good will.

2. Amber

2013: "Just Give Me a Reason" by P!nk

Why are they always staging Amber's performances to be constrained and distanced from the audience? #AIconspiracytheorynumbertwo. Also, is that the most boring P!nk song ever, or is it just Amber? Yawn. I didn't appreciate them picking on her about whether she was having "fun" or not. Well, not right now while you're telling me I suck, I'm not. Shocking, I know.

Standard: "My Funny Valentine" by Rodgers & Hart

I love how Harry walked Amber through the lyrics. My old vocal coach had me write entire subtexts about the lyrics for all the songs I sang. It meant I was singing something quite specific to someone quite specific, every single time. So, back to Amber. I thought that was terrible. Not so much the sound of the vocal, but just her overall lack of comfort, which she tried to mask with runs and big notes that didn't really fit the essence of the song. I could not believe the judges all stood. I could not believe her comments. It's like they felt they had to compliment her because they critiqued her in the first round. I hated that. Is it just me?

Bottom line: I think Amber may have sealed her doom last night.

3. Candice

2013: "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars

Interesting choice, lots of build-up ot the oddness of singing a man's song, but ultimately the gender thing made NO difference at all. This was, as always, just a stellar vocal and a deeply connected performance. It was hers. Absolutely. But why bring up her weight, Nikki? Ugh.

Standard: "You've Changed" by Bill Carey and Carl Fischer

Well, she didn't quite do it as simply as Harry and I would have liked. But she can sang. There is just no contest. I especially love her deep rich low notes, bcause most of the other singers bottom out and get weak and breathy when they go low.

Bottom line: If there is ANY justice, Candice is safe. Come on, America!

4. Kree

2013: "See You Again" by Carrie Underwood

First question: Why was she performing in front of Sauron's eye? One does not simply walk into Mordor, and one certainly doesn't sing a conutry ballad in front of Sauron, you know? Nice control, nice job, nice connection. Perhaps my favorite performance of Kree's ever.

Standard: "Stormy Weather" by Harold Arlen

Despite all of Harry's evangelism, Kree was simply unable to do it simply. Her low notes were not good. And it just got worse and worse. Where was the actual melody on the break? It just went completely off the rails. And then a cheesy key change YUCK. Then that big, unnecessary last note. DOUBLE YUCK. OMG. Poor Harry must have been DYING. (And he was.)

Bottom line: Oh, she deserves to go home for that second performance.

Bottom Line for the Bottom Two:

Should be: Kree and Amber with Kree going home.

Will be: Kree and Amber with Amber going home.

But What did you think?

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