Wednesday’s episode of American Idol featured the first all-female Top 5 in the FOX show’s twelve-year history. In honor of the groundbreaking occasion, the ladies took on songs by music’s greatest divas– a list that includes judge, Mariah Carey. They also chose songs from the year they were born, offering some fun and funky throwbacks.
Host, Ryan Seacrest kicked off the show by paying respects to the victims of this week’s Boston Marathon bombings. “We do want to send our support to everyone affected by this week’s tragic events in Boston,” he said. “And with heavy hearts, we’re going to put on the best show we can for you this evening.”
Boston native, Angie Miller, took the news especially hard and dedicated her version of The Pretenders’, “I’ll Stand By You,” to her hometown. Janelle Arthur gave her best shot at Vince Gill’s, “When I Call Your Name,” while Kree Harrison killed again with “She Talks To Angels.” Candice Glover chose a reggae-tinged redo of past Idol judge, Paula Abdul’s hit, “Straight Up Now Tell Me,” and Amber Holcomb took on Mariah’s version of ‘Without You.”
With all the ladies showcasing their stellar singing skills, America has their work cut out for them this week. Here, ten things you didn’t see on the season’s first ladies night.
1. Nicki and Mariah play nice. While the cameras caught a mini-squabble during Kree’s critique, the ladies of the judge’s panel interacted much more than in any other weeks so far. Between sets they seemed to be chatting, or at least looking in each other’s direction, a far departure from their usual “pretend she’s not there” attitudes.
2. Kree’s dress took a hike. Right before she started singing “Have You Ever Been In Love,” a stagehand had to help the sultry singer pull down her little black dress. While she looked amazing in it, it was a little snug for the sexy singer, who opted to stand during post-show interviews because she said it was “painted on.”
3. Keith hugging fans. Keith is always affectionate to the audience from his seat at the judge’s table, but tonight he ventured off his usual post. The country star snapped pictures with fans in the crowd during commercial breaks and seemed to be snapping a few of his own from his cellphone as well.
4. Amber’s set took serious set up. Amber’s show-closing number took about forty people to set up during the last commercial break. Who knew the power singer was so high maintenance?
5. Nicki was in a good mood. Ms. Minaj is usually busy texting or talking during commercial breaks, but she interacted with the crowd much more than usual on Wednesday. She even took pictures of screaming fans in the audience and smiled and waved from her seat. Another telltale sign the rapper was feeling the love? Her complimentary comment about Mariah’s legendary voice was unexpected, even shocking the contestants.
6. Contestants can’t hear critiques. Candice revealed that the sound is muted backstage when Jimmy Iovine gives his critiques. “They don’t want it to mess with our head,” she says.
7. Candice rocked the crowd…for real. While the crowd “has” to stand after every performance, sometimes they get to their feet before it’s mandatory. Tonight, Candice’s version of “Straight Up Now Tell Me” had the whole audience up before she finished the first verse.
9. Kree is feeling better. Thanks to a shot of “killer medicine” in her shoulder, Kree is finally finding relief from her painful pinched nerve. “This is like the Olympics,” she said after the show. “The name of the game is pain management.”
10. Janelle was in heaven. The country cutie had a little extra sparkle in her eye tonight, and it turns out it was for good reason. She was over the moon that she got to perform songs from two of her biggest idols, Dolly Parton and Vince Gill. “I don’t care what happens,” she said. “I am just so happy that I got to sing those songs on that stage.”
Chances are, all the ladies will stay put this week as the judge’s have yet to use their one “save” of the season. Then again, they may be holding out for the night that Amber Holcomb gets voted off, since Nicki and the rest of the panel seem to be puzzled by her consistent spot on the bottom.
Who would you send home this week?