‘American Idol’ Recap: 7 Things You Didn’t See

Tension was at an all-time high on Wednesday’s episode of American Idol. The FOX show’s four female finalists battled it out for a second week in a row in hope of making it to the finale.

This time, they turned out top tunes from 2013 and took their best stabs at “standards.” (Really old slow songs.)

While I thought the girls gave vicious vocal performances tonight, the judges were harsh with their critiques. Call it the curse of having to fill two hours with four contestants, but their long-winded rants were especially annoying this evening.

They called out Angie Miller for her lack of “connection” and slammed Kree Harrison’s song choices. They picked on Amber Holcomb’s practically perfect performances and applauded Candice Glover’s stellar singing skills.

Chances are, you’ve already watched Angie’s Broadway-tinged version of “Someone To Watch Over Me” and seen Candice kill her turn at “You’ve Changed.”  If you’re lucky, you also saw Kree murder Carrie Underwood’s hit, “I’ll See You Again” and have been blown away by Amber’s take on “My Funny Valentine.” 

Unless you were sleeping, you likely caught the double dose of drama served up by Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey with theirsnarky statements to each other.

Here, seven things you didn’t see when the cameras stopped rolling:

1. Mariah’s mommy. Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson climbed into the stands for the first time this season. The judges paid a visit to Mariah’s mom, who was sitting in the stands to cheer on her daughter.

2. Piano prep time. Can you believe it takes five people to shine Angie’s piano before she takes the stage for Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

3. Keith cruising the crowd.  The friendliest judge on the panel took time to visit fans in the crowd during a commercial break. The studio audience goes wild whenever he leaves his seat and a few lucky fans got some photos snapped on his cell phone.

4. Idol alumni. Season 10 standout, Hayley Reinhart, was in the crowd tonight. During a break, she headed to the judge’s table to chat up Mariah and introduce herself to Nicki Minaj. Before bouncing back to her seat, she posed for pictures with Nicki, Mariah and Randy.

5. New judge alert? This week’s guest mentor, Harry Connick Jr., was chatting with Randy and Nicki during the break. He posed for pictures with Mariah and seemed to have a hard time prying himself away from Keith’s swivel chair.  

6. Special Guests. So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy joined executive producer Nigel Lythgoe in the front row for the night.

7. Candice killed the crowd. The crowd went wild during Candice’s amazing rendition of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.” She earned the first real standing ovation of the night and the judges followed suit by praising her performance.

America has a tough decision on their hands as one lady will sing her last song on the Idol stage at Thursday’s elimination.

Who is heading home this week?