‘American Idol’ Recap: Kree Harrison Makes Carrie Underwood Proud

Nicki's M.I.A. on 'Idol'
Behind the scenes on Nicki's late arrival.
It’s a real shame that the most exciting part of the first hour of FOX’s American Idol’s first live Top 10 performance was Nicki Minaj’s tardiness. Once again, judge drama takes away from the actual performers. Le sigh.

The competition didn’t really begin until the second hour of the show. Up until then, the song choices were, well, boring. They lacked dynamics or just plain didn’t feature enough vocal Olympics to stand out. I understand that’s a strange thing to say on a night where the songs were selected from the greatest hits of Idol’s past, but I said it.

Mentor Jimmy Iovinestarted his sessions with the contenders and I kind of think he hampered more than helped them. Yes, I know he has worked with some great artists. But, he seemed ineffective on Wednesday.

So, who will probably move on?

My favorite of the night was Kree Harrison. Jimmy told her that she had a tendency to over-sing. I can see that, but she’s no Paul Jolley. Just sayin’. Performing Roy Orbison’s “Cryin’” (a Carrie Underwood song on Season 4), Kree’s voice is just so pretty and easy to listen to. Watch her again above and notice the control on that last long note. Uh-mazing. The judges were happy with the choice with Keith Urban saying that she’s ready to record. Nicki compared her to yummy, warm waffles. I wasn’t sure where she was going with that, but she pulled it together at the end.

Clearly, Candice Glover should be safe. With Ben E. King’s “I Who Have Nothing (a song performed by Jordin Sparks), Candice was just delivering. The judges were full of praise; Randy Jackson called it “perfect.”

I have to give a shout out to Burnell Taylor, who I find inspiring and inspired. His take on “Flying Without Wings” (one of Ruben Studdard’s finale songs) was simply his own. He’s always unique and captivating. Keith calls his singing quirks, “Burnell-isms.” While Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey agreed, I wasn’t quite sure what Nicki thought. She gave him props, but never really said if she liked the performance or not – her face sort of seemed over it.

Honorable mentions go to Curtis Finch, Jr. (who technically sang very well, but just didn’t move me), Angie Miller (for getting the competition going), and Amber Holcomb (whose “Moment Like This” the judges just loved, but Kelly Clarksonwill always make me feel emotions with her version).

Who do I think is in trouble?

Janelle Arthur, who sang Scotty McCreery’s “Gone” was just so-so. Her voice showed some weaknesses and working the stage made her out of breath. She later complained of cottonmouth – we could tell. The judges pretty much agreed it was the wrong song choice for her.

I’m sorry about this, Lazaro Arbos, because I really do love you and your story. Lazaro took on Clarkson’s “Breakaway” and I just felt it did nothing for his voice and he always seemed to be chasing the music.

Dishonorable mention: Paul Jolley,who wonders where his “Broadway” style comes from — I’m not touching that. The song was just so-so for me. His voice is always good, but this song really didn’t take me (or his voice) anywhere special.

Who do you think sang themselves to another week? And who will probably be on the chopping block on Thursday’s elimination show?

Where’s Nicki? Watch below.

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