'American Idol' Recap: The Final Four Sings Thrice

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American Idol is down to the final four and this week, they face the stage three times each for a spot at the top. The FOX show’s fierce, all-female competition is heating up with the ladies taking on one hit wonders, a song of their choice and a duet.

The judges are fishing for things to critique at this point since all four women have stellar singing skills.

Amber Holcomb opens the show with Celine Dion’s “Power of Love.” She’s wearing an all-white jumpsuit and with a new curly hairdo. She’s giving me Whitney circa 1988 and I kind of love it -- and so does the panel.

“That’s how you do it. If ever there was a song that was so tailor made for everything in your voice, it was that song. That was amazingly perfect song choice for you. I thought you handled it beautifully,” says Keith Urban. “The range was crazy and effortless and I love watching all the poise and confidence that has come into you in the last few weeks. It’s extraordinary. There’s reason you’re standing here in the final four.”

Nicki Minaj says she looks like “a big sexy glass of milk,” and asks for a moment of silence for how beautiful she looks. “That song was made for you. You are so current outside of your amazing voice, you’re so ready, it’s just like we’re at your show,” she gushes. “You don’t even feel like a contestant anymore. Congratulations!”

Randy Jackson makes some gross comment about her looking like a black and white cookie. Mariah Carey says she took a classic song and gave it flavor. “Keep it going!”

Candice Glover is a big Drake fan and gives him a shout out and shows off a photo of the two of them together. She’ll choose the first hip-hop song of the season, covering his hit, “ Find Your Love.” The vocals are amazing, and I really like that she took a risk with this song. Nicki says she’s worried she’ll be cornered into an “old-fashioned” market. That’s weird, since this song is pretty recent.

Randy says, “It can’t always sound like you’re in church." The crowd booed and for good reason. He should have kept that to himself. In a miraculous turn of events, Mariah makes a good, sensible critique! “Please don’t veer from taking those musical chances,” she says. “This was risky but you did it.” Agreed. Keith loves the “power in the quiet moments” of her voice. Me too.

When Kree Harrison takes the stage, I get goosebumps. She’s just so soulful and so sweet. It’s hard not to root for her. She sings Susan Tedeschi’s, “It Hurt So Bad,” and it sounds so good. The song is a little boring despite her wonderful riffs, and I’m wishing she did something more up-tempo. The judges hate her song choice. Randy says it was “vocally tremendous,” but felt that parts were “disconnected.” The crowd doesn’t agree and boos him again. Keith wants her to “pour her heart out,” and says she’s not giving enough. Nicki agrees and says she looks sexy in red. “That was not a top four-worthy performance,” she says. “Everyone else can blow smoke up you’re a**, but that ain’t it!” They’re all nuts. Kree is everything.

Angie Miller is back with a vengeance after a few weeks of flying below my radar. She’s also back at the piano, which will certainly please the judges. She sings Jessie J’s, “Who You Are,” and the crowd is mesmerized. Her harrowing voice sounds a million times better when she’s playing piano. It’s undeniable. Mariah wants her to sing another original song. Randy calls it “the best performance of the night.”

The duets are super fun to watch. I wish they did a few more instead of spending so much time on the b-roll from the children’s hospital. Amber and Kree tackle Adele’s “Rumor Has It.” Who knew I could love that song any more than I already did? Love. Love. Love. Candice and Angie sing “Stay” by Rihanna and it’s awesome. I want them to stay singing.

The one hit wonders aren’t as great as the first round, but still super strong vocals from all of the ladies. Amber revives Richard Harris and Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park”
and Candice picks Samantha Sang’s, “Emotion.” That one was a bit of a cheat since Destiny’s Child and The BeeGees released super successful covers as well. 
Kree sings Procol Harem’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
and Angie tries Julie London’s, “Cry Me a River.”

All of the ladies get great marks from the judges and it’s clear America has their work cut out for them. My guess is that the judges will use their save this week. This is way too tight a race to cut it short.

Who will be on the chopping block?

 

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