Source: USA TODAY
It’s the week before the big finale on American Idol contestant. Who’s peaking at the right time — Angie Miller, Candice Glover or Kree Harrison? Watch tonight as the three singers have their hometown visits, then share your opinions about their performances. — Brian Mansfield
The final three return tonight as hometown heroes, beginning the show onstage with their families.
“The grand finale takes place in just one week, ladies and gentlemen,” Ryan Seacrest reminds the audience as he introduces the three remaining singers – Angie, Candice and Kree. “One of these faces is your next American Idol.”
Tonight, the three singers will sing three songs each: One picked by Jimmy Iovine, one by the judges and one by the Idol producers. So let’s get started.
Last song: Candice Glover does West Side Story‘s Somewhere. And here, finally, she takes Harry Connick Jr.’s advice from last week. Back by a string orchestra, she just lays back and wails on one of the great melodies in American musical history. It’s the one thing she hasn’t done this season: Just sing the melody and nail the audience to the wall with it.
“If you want to vote for Candice, dial the number on your screen,” says Keith Urban. “If you don’t, call your doctor.”
“See. Ya. Next. Week,” Nicki Minaj says.
“You are such a pro. It was such an incredible. This was like a singing lesson,” says Randy Jackson.
“You’ve shown everybody you can sing any song any day of the week,” Mariah Carey tells her. “You made me cry, yet again.”
Jimmy Iovine gave Angie and Kree the first two rounds, but, he says, Candice won the night with Somewhere.
Producers throw Kree Harrison a different kind of song — The Band Perry’s Better Dig Two. It’s perfect for that bluesy rock edge she likes to bring to country, but the band mix could be better. But it’s an uptempo song, and goodness knows all this year’s singers could use more of those.
“We see the wild side of Kree this evening,” says Mariah Carey. But she prefers sorrow to that song’s anger.
“I like that song, I don’t know that that’s the place for you,” Keith Urban says. “It didn’t feel right for me.”
“That’s not your comfort zone,” Nicki Minaj says. “Whoever picked that for you should be stoned.” She’s still going to buy Harrison’s album.
Harrison’s a superstar, and everybody knows it, Randy Jackson says. No matter how much they didn’t like that song.
For her part, Harrison’s just grateful to get up in front of everybody and sing.
Jimmy Iovine gives Round Two to Kree Harrison.
Angie Miller begins the third round, getting the night’s second Emeli Sande song, Maybe. (Guess we know where 19 Entertainment wants these girls to fit in the pop pantheon.) She’s back at the piano, sounding as strong as ever.
“You sang your heart out, right there,” Randy Jackson. He loved all her performances. “Tonight, you became a complete performer.”
“I don’t feel that that was an easy song to sing,” Mariah Carey says, noting how high the key was and how Miller stayed in her “belting range” for most of the song. “I really have nothing negative to say at all about that performance.”
“You’re finding your groove, Angie, you really are,” says Keith Urban. “Next week, sing a song under the piano.”
‘Your growth has surpassed my expectations, miss lady,” Nicki Minaj tells her. “You’re emotionally connecting every time, and you feel it now.”
“I think I gave it my all, and I hope it pays off,” Miller says.
For Kree Harrison, the judges have picked the Rascal Flatts Here Comes Goodbye, a song co-written by former American Idol finalist Chris Sligh. She gives it a very different treatment than the country trio did, and it ought to work well. It does, in fact, until Harrison starts to go off-key during the higher notes of the first chorus. Other than that one spot, it was an incredibly emotional performance — and that note might actually be able to be chalked up to the emotion.
“You can’t underestimate or deny the power of a true emotional trigger,” says Nicki Minaj. “I am so super-proud of you.”
“Words just don’t express,” Randy Jackson says. “That was unbelievably beautiful.”
“I absolutely agree that that was brilliant,” Mariah Carey. She’s astonished that Harrison was able to make it through the song after watching the powerful homecoming video.
“It was a lot coming out of the video into that song, Kree,” Keith Urban says. He tells her that she had him from beginning to end.
Angie Miller gets the second P!nk song of the night — Try, the judges’ pick. It’s a better pick for her than Perfect was for Kree Harrison. At least, Miller puts more energy into her performance.
“I love that you didn’t play the piano,” says Keith Urban. “To me, you’ve never looked as comfortable performing without the piano.”
Nicki Minaj wrote almost exactly the same thing in her notebook. Miller says going home refocused and re-energized her. “You need to watch that video every day,” Minaj tells her. And Minaj thinks she looks like Miley Cyrus’ sister.
Randy Jackson pats himself on the back for the song choice. “That song fit you like a glove,” he tells her.
Mariah Carey concurs, thinking Miller looked like a homecoming queen during her hometown visit.
Jimmy Iovine thinks Kree Harrison was very good but not as good as he wanted. He thinks Angie Miller not going to the piano was a mistake. Candice Glover missed a couple notes, so he gives Round Two to Miller.
Now, on to Round Two, which begins with Glover.
The judges have chosen Emeli Sande’s Next to Me for her. Like Iovine’s choice of One, it’s a pick that points the direction for Glover to take as an artist. And she sounds even better hear than she did on One.
“Yes, Candice, yes!” Mariah Carey says. She calls the performance “A+mazing.”
Keith Urban loved two things: the “straight up clear confession” in the first lyrics, then, at the end, “you were just in the zone of melodically riffing and you never felt like you had to come down into the melody.”
‘You have come out swinging in this competition,” Nicki Minaj says. She fights back tears as she says, “I am so proud of you … congratulations.”
“That was amazing vocally,” Randy Jackson tells you. “It shows people how you can be in the modern world on the charts today.”
Iovine may have tried to force Angie Miller to the piano for her first song, giving her Elton John’s Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word. But Miller didn’t go. Instead, she put on a tight, leathery dress and stood in the fog center stage, while somebody else caressed the ivories. Unfortunately, doing a dramatic ballad while standing stock still is one of the times when Angie’s the least interesting. Of the three, she’s got the weakest voice. She needs the piano to complete the image.
Randy Jackson wonders if it was hard to do without playing the piano. “No, it was good,” Miller tells him. She feels like she wouldn’t have been able to learn the piano part in time and play it well enough. Jackson likes the restraint she showed in her performance, which I suspect may have had more to do with not knowing the song very well than making any musical decisions.
Mariah Carey thinks this was one of the best performances she has seen Miller do.
Keith Urban would have been happy if Miller had held back even more. “You can break people’s hearts singing really gently, too,” he tells her. “If you’re going to go for big notes, choose when to do that.”
Nicki Minaj loves the dress, and the shoes. “This was a stellar vocal … but it didn’t hit me emotionally like I would have wanted it to.”
Seacrest assures viewers that Miller will get behind the piano later tonight.
Iovine picked U2′s One for Candice Glover, figuring she can do she Mary J. Blige as well as anyone.
Glover starts playing with U2′s melody almost immediately, but her choices are all smart ones. And this may be a good song pick for Glover because it helps suggest the direction she might go as an artist — the one thing she hasn’t been able to accomplish this season.
Nicki Minaj is grinning big. She didn’t think Glover could possibly touch Blige’s version with Bono, but she did. “That felt like I was at your show, workin’.”
Randy Jackson, like Minaj, gives Iovine props for picking the song. “The emotion was so on point,” he says. “We all got lifted up here.”
“I’m grappling with the fact that you worked as a travel agent, that you did some other than sing for a living,” Mariah Carey says. “You always bring so much to the table as a singer.” She could tell that Glover wasn’t perfectly happy with the song (“I’m a perfectionist,” Glover admits) but wants her to know that the listeners felt it.
Keith Urban heard the power in her voice, even when she went sharp. “I felt every bit of it — beautiful.”
Seacrest tells the judges Glover had never heard any version of the song before Iovine picked it for her.
Iovine has chosen P!nk’s Perfect for Kree Harrison. The song lends itself to the sort of bluesy country treatment that Harrison likes so much. At least that’s the way she goes at the beginning. For the chorus, though, it’s more a straight rock ballad,
Harrison tells Keith Urban she appreciates the song’s message and sang it for her niece. Which I think is her way of saying she wasn’t crazy about the song itself. Urban is equally non-committal in his assessment of her performance, saying that no matter what she sings, she sounds like a country girl.
Nicki Minaj tells Harrison the quality of her voice is filled with quality. O-kay, then. She would also like to see Harrison come out in flat-heeled cowboy boots so she could move around more easily.
Randy Jackson didn’t love the song so much, either, though he notes that she can sing anything at any time.
Mariah Carey calls Iovine’s song choice “interesting.” She felt Harrison felt the message but could have done more with it.
Seacrest tells Harrison that Iovine chose the song because he wanted to hear her sing a pop song. Harrison says she loves P!nk but wouldn’t have chosen the song herself, though she loves singing its message.
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