Who run the world? GIRLS!! GIRLS! Rock it pop it lock it…yeah, I don’t know the lyrics of the song.
Anyway…I have to say I have mixed feelings coming into this episode. On the one hand, I absolutely adore this top 5…definitely one of the strongest top fives in a the history of the show. I just feel so loose and refreshed…I think, at least right now, any of these five would be deserving of the win (including the recent VFTW pick…)
HOWEVER…I took a look at the leaked song list and…I gotta say, I’m pretty disappointed with the boring, bland song choices. (Why is it that Angie has the most interesting/current song on the list?) I will repeat my sentiments from last week…if you’re allowed to sing two songs in one night, then YOU MUST make one of the songs uptempo. This is why I didn’t LOVE Candice’s “Lovesong” as much as everyone else in the world seemed to…it was a ballad that came after a slew of more ballads. When too many ballads are sung in one night, they all begin to melt together and become insignificant. So…unless Amber has turned one of her ballad songs into an uptempo remix, then I won’t be truly satisfied with her.
Now…before I begin this recap, I need to address something. After Lazaro’s elimination last week, I’ve been reading a lot of comments and blog posts that are sort of similar to this sentiment: “The producers (aka TPTB) are so manipulative this year! They purposely paired the girls with AWFUL guys this year so a girl would win. It’s not right! This isn’t the right way to get a girl to win. And, even though I like this top 5, who ever wins won’t TRULY be a winner because of the backstage manipulation. Humph! End of rant!”
Now…’statements like these are bullshit…and I’m going to explain why right now.One, saying that the guys this year were AWFUL is really over-exaggerating it a bit. Yes, the girls were undeniably stronger. But at the same time contestants like Burnell and Devin were quite good TBH. Actually, they each had at least one excellent moment on the show (“It’s Impossible” and “I’m Here.”) Curtis Finch Jr. didn’t choose the best songs but he didn’t have a bad voice. And Paul Jolley, despite his “vanilla flavor,” actually had potential. Lazaro was really bad…but he would have been put through any other season anyway because of his stutter and inspiring story (remember Scott Macintyre of season 8?). The point is…the dudes weren’t that bad.
Two, I know we’ve all been making comments about how the producers purposely stacked the shows with “bad” male singers so a girl could win.,.but it’s mostly been in jest/snark (at least coming from me.) I feel like people are taking this speculation way too seriously. The truth is…there is no hard boiled concrete evidence that this was Nigel’s intention. Yes, maybe they were trying to find male singers who weren’t white and gifted at the guitar for the sake of diversity, but there’s no proof that they were purposely seeking out sucky male singers. This isn’t Superstar USA.
The truth is…if the producers were manipulative this season…they weren’t any more manipulative than they have been the last few seasons. It’s the nature of the show. TPTB choose contestants who they believe will be the most successful post-Idol and pimp them out until they win. This is why contestants like Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery were constantly receiving praise, while all Haley Reinhart had to do was sing one night off key to get an undignified “dawg” from Randy. Joshua Ledet constantly got standing O’s from the judges and Phillip Phillips was given a kick ass coronation song, while Elise and Skylar weren’t given nearly enough credit. And when Jessica made the top 2 what possible coronation song was she given? Exactly.
And what did all this manipulation lead to? FIVE FIVE FIVE WGWG winners in a row. Now, I don’t know how people can bash a historic top 5 all female finale, while being “OK” with the fact that the last five winners have been of the same color, gender and musical instrument of choice. I’m certainly not OK with that. I’m not OK with the fact that Lee Dewyze’s distant stage presence and “awe shucks” routine allowed him to steal the American Idol crown from the spectacular Crystal Bowersox. Season nine was truly an awful season. From Ellen Degeneres to Tim Urban and an overall questionable top 10 to an aloof Simon Cowell, it was awful season. Crystal Bowersox was the ONE THING that made the season watchable. And yet she got second place. I don’t care that she never became a success after the show, she still deserved to win (and it’s not like the actual winner did much better himself…actually he pretty much did worse.)
The show has been downright sexist for the last three years; and I find it a little disturbing that America has finally embraced female singers yet there are people out there who find the need to complain. I think it’s insulting to these 5 women. I’ll repeat what I said last week…these are five TALENTED women. And I refuse to see Candice’s (or Kree’s or Angie’s) eventual win be tainted because there are some pissy thirteen year old girls out there who hate the fact that there’s no eye candy on the show for them anymore. You guys are upset about this season? Well, I’m still upset over the last three.
All I’m sayin’…is that if you think this is the first season Nigel or the producers or the judges have manipulated things…then you’re truly naive. S’all! I be done!
Anyway…let’s review these performances. Uh…I sort of spent a long time on this rant so…four sentences per performance, K?
First the contestants will be performing songs from the year they were born!
Candice Glover: She was born in 1989 so she sang Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.” Wow, what a creative arrangement. This is how someone takes an old song and makes it current and interesting. She sounded great – what’s new? Also…I really liked the camera work in this one…it was interesting. (Also…that was very nice of her to give Janelle props for the song choice.)
Janelle Arthur: She was born in 1989 so she sang “When I Call Your Name.” I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, she sounded perfectly pleasant and lovely. However…maybe I’m just not a big country fan…but the song was a little too sleepy for me. It didn’t leave a big impression on me…but she still sounded beautiful.
Kree Harrison: She was born in 1990 so she sang “She Talks to Angels.” I really enjoyed this performance and song. Her voice is perfect…so I think now she needs to work on stage presence. She’s getting better and better with every week…but I think she could still be livelier. I think she’s so concerned with having a nice voice that she pulls back a bit.
Omigod…I love Nicki and Mariah so so much.
Angie Miller: She was born in 1994 so she sang “I’ll Stand By You.” She dedicated it to the Boston bombings. All the judges stand except…Nicki for some reason. Call this blasphemous…but I liked this version more than Pia Toscano’s. While Pia’s was, in my opinion, a little pageanty…I feel Angie really put some new found feeling and edge into this one. I do think this song has become over sung so I’m a bit disappointed with the song choice…but she did her best with what she chose (or was given, whatever).
Amber Holcomb: She was born in 1994 so she sang the Mariah Carey version of “Without You.” (Yeah…I agree, this is sort of a cheat.) Nicki must be in a bad mood or something. Yeah, I agree with her. Things got a little awkward when Amber sang low. But, Amber is so great when it comes to musical climaxes. Her voice just rockets. I really don’t like this song…but she sung it well. I just don’t think it was “on your feet” worthy.
I think Candice definitely won this first round, followed by Angie Miller.
NEXT UP…A DIVA IS A FEMALE VERSION OF A HUSTLA….my lip gloss be poppin’ (Again, I don’t know these songs.)
Candice Glover: She sang “When You Believe” by Mariah and Whitney. Finally Nicki stood up with the rest of judges! Candice is just so effortless. She moves me every time she sings. I simply loved it. You go glen coco.
Have you guys noticed that there is a small band of irrational “Candice haters” who are roaming through the message boards with shit like “She isn’t current enough. STOP VOTING FOR HER!” I don’t know who these people are…but I’m really glad they’re not the majority.
Janelle Arthur: She sang “Dumb Blonde” by Dolly Parton. No! The judges are wrong. Keep doing what you do, Janelle! Thank you for livening things up a bit. She chose a song that very few people know exist. It was fun and peppy and upbeat. She takes risks. And, she sounded great. This wasn’t supposed to be a “moment” and that’s OK. At least she didn’t try to attempt “I Will Always Love You.” I’m starting to like this chick more and more…
Kree Harrison: She sang “Have You Ever Been in Love” by Celine Dion. Yes, this was another ballad…but I feel like this is the performance I’ve been waiting for from Kree. Something that I can truly take in. Something that’s powerful and uninhibited. I think she proved, with this performance, that she’s still in the competition.
Angie Miller: She sang “Halo” by Beyonce. I was hoping she would do the fast version from Glee. And she too gets a standing O from the judges (poor Janelle). Anyway, I love the current song choice. I mean…it’s ridiculous how rare these are this season. In fact, Angie might be the contestant who has chosen the most “current songs” so…I commend her for that. I love how Angie’s voice just soars. It’s so ethereal and beautiful. And I think this song allowed her to do that. She sounded a great without the piano…but it would have been kinda cool to see her play the piano hook herself. Anyway, great job.
Amber Holcomb: She sang “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” by Barbra Streisand. There was a raw maturity in this performance that I hadn’t really seen from her previous ones. Yes, I like it when she’s having fun and acting young (like last week’s “Love On Top.”) But I thought there was something nice about how composed and grown up she was. I think this performance will keep her for another week…
Hm…I think…Angie won this second round. So, I pretty much think Angie and Candice stood out last night. But, really, all five of them did wonderful…and I’m really going to enjoy this season.
So, here’s the deal…if the save is used tonight, I’m not going to post a quick recap or ranking. If the save isn’t then I obviously will. But..,I believe in terms of scheduling, the judges MUST use the save…or else we’ll all die. Even if it’s Janelle going home (and I think it will be her), then I think they still have to use the save despite their clear ambivalence towards her.
Anyway…uh…that’s all folks. Byeee!