American Idol Top 7 recap: Orianthi plays guitar, Lazaro Arbos forgets some lyrics on rock night

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comApril 3, 2013 

Well, it could've been worse.

Having the seven remaining "American Idol" singers perform classic rock tunes was a scary prospect -- especially since ballads were banned from the list of song options. In past seasons, we've had at least one token rocker. None of this season's remaining contestants scream "edgy," as illustrated by the seemingly endless array of ballads we've heard in previous weeks.

Nobody delivered an epic performance on Wednesday night, but most of the show was at least tolerable.

My favorite? I really enjoyed Angie Miller this week. Her cover of an Evanescence tune was one of the more creative efforts of the night, and she deserves some points for not throwing Lazaro Arbos under the bus when he forgot the lyrics during their duet.

Speaking of Lazaro, I think he'll last another week. Believe it or not, his performance of "We Are the Champions" wasn't the worst effort of the night.

I'd give that honor to Burnell Taylor, who sounded incredibly awkward while singing a Bon Jovi song. I think he's in trouble this week.

A few other notes about the show:

Orianthi accompanied the singers on guitar. We learned viewers can suggest a future "Idol" theme by using "#attidoltheme" on Twitter. Kree Harrison had a pinched nerve this week and Candice Glover had a broken toe.

Wednesday's show also included a Georgia connection: Amber Holcomb's sister, who's in the military, was in the audience. She's stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., according to The Bayonet.

Here's a full recap.

***

Burnell Taylor kicks things off with Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." The song choice throws me off a bit. Vocally, Burnell isn't too bad. Unfortunately, the song choice doesn't leave much room for vocal uniqueness. He basically ends up singing the chorus over and over...and over. Which is fine, if you're singing at a bar or an amusement park. But this just comes off as glorified karaoke. Not to mention the fact that Burnell looks incredibly awkward on stage. He's just not an edgy guy.

Keith: "I've never seen you, for me, look more uncomfortable in a song."

Nicki: "You still were loveable to me."

Randy: "Everything was so behind the beat."

Mariah: "I was proud of you."

Duet time! Angie Miller and Lazaro Arbos sing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." No surprise: Angie seriously out-sings Lazaro. Did Lazaro just forget the lyrics again? Yes, I believe he did. But on the plus side, I really like Angie on this song.

Nicki: "That was nice...I had fun watching it."

Randy: "Angie, you sounded really, really good."

Mariah: She would've picked a different song for them

Keith: "It wasn't a great duet for you guys...it was a bit variety show-ish."

Kree Harrison performs Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." Sigh. It seems like this song is totally overdone on "Idol." I suppose Kree sounds fine on the tune. I like some of the bigger notes she delivers toward the end. But let's be honest: This really isn't anything we haven't already seen on "Idol." She's a good singer, though she doesn't do much to make this especially memorable. I started off as a Kree fan. Now, my support is waning. Seems like she gets more boring every week.

Randy: "I feel like the show finally started tonight."

Mariah: "You have an amazing ability to choose your songs."

Keith: Says Kree looked a little stiff. She says she has a pinched nerve.

Nicki: "That was magnificent."

Duet time! Burnell Taylor and Candice Glover perform "The Letter." It seems like this song has been performed 1 million times on "Idol," too. They do a decent job with it. Candice is especially strong.

Mariah: "You both have proven that you can sing anything."

Keith: "I loved it."

Nicki: "Your voice is clearly superior, Candice."

Randy: "Both of y'all, that was brilliant."

Janelle Arthur sings "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel. What a random song choice. Immediately, I'm prepared to hate this. But it's actually not that awful. Perhaps it's a result of the numbing power of "Idol" -- I'm enjoying Janelle's voice more and more as this competition progresses. I'll go ahead and say it: I liked Janelle better than Kree this week. BAM. My only criticism of Janelle is that it still seems as if she's trying too hard at times. Some of her movements on stage seem a little phony.

Keith: "I love how you work the stage...I don't think that was the best song for you to do."

Nicki: "The performance was exceptional...You feel like every girl's best friend."

Randy: "Authenticity at its best."

Mariah: "I really enjoyed watching you."

Lazaro Arbos sings "We Are the Champions" by Queen. Well, this song choice will make things incredibly awkward if Lazaro gets eliminated Thursday. The start of the performance is a little shaky, and Lazaro seems visibly nervous. He's rocking some serious forehead sweat as usual. That said, it's hardly his worst effort on the "Idol" stage. Some of the notes actually sound fairly good. It's one of Lazaro's better performances. The song choice should boost his popularity this week, too.

Nicki: "I was loving that...I think you did it justice."

Randy: "You did a good job."

Mariah: "I was concerned...but I really do feel like you did a good job on a song that is an anthem."

Keith: "That was a really good song choice for you."

Trio time! Janelle Arthur, Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison sing "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me." The performance is a little awkward. It kind of reminds me of Kidz Bop. Overall, it's fairly forgettable.

Randy: "That was unbelievable."

Mariah: "True professionalism."

Keith: "You girls are great together."

Nicki: "I could have done without that particular song choice. It put me to sleep...Really none of you stood out. It was just so cheesy."

Candice Glover sings "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. Thank you, Candice, for finally bringing rock to the "Idol" stage. This is the first song of the night that actually sounds like real, full-fledged rock. Is it the most creative performance? No. Candice basically ends up saying "I can't get no satisfaction" over and over. But I love the energy that she brings to this song. And her gritty power notes are simply awesome. Oh yeah, she also apparently has a broken toe this week.

Mariah: "Every single performance brings a different part of you to stage."

Keith: "When you get up into the really high register, your power never wanes."

Nicki: "Your voice is amazing...I fell asleep with that song too, though."

Randy: "You put your thing into it...You did the rock thing tonight."

Amber Holcomb sings "What About Love" by Heart. OK, this is a little bit like a ballad. I can see how it technically doesn't fit the description, but I wish Amber would've picked something a little edgier. That criticism aside, you can't dismiss the vocal power that Amber showcases with this performance. She hits some really pretty notes. I still think there's a certain disconnect when she's on stage, but this performance exceeds my expectations. I think all the judges except Mariah Carey give her a standing ovation. Side note: Amber's sister, who's in the military, is in the audience. She's stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., according to The Bayonet.

Keith: "What a great, great song choice."

Nicki: "You believed what you were singing."

Randy: "You didn't lose Amber in there...you really found yourself in it."

Mariah: "I think that you really did a great job."

Angie Miller sings "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence. She starts the performance at the piano and then gets up to rock out. Confession: I like the edgy side of Angie a lot better than the singer-songwriter side of Angie. Yes, it's a bit dramatic at times. Yet it seems like Angie is in her element. Well, aside from the moments when the wind machine lifts her shirt up and exposes her midriff. That makes Angie a little uncomfortable. But overall, I really like Angie this week. Very solid performance.

Nicki: "I think that this was a perfect choice for you."

Randy: "I think it was a great choice for you and I think you did an amazing job on it."

Mariah: "I felt like this was you...I really appreciated this song and you. I thought it was a perfect match."

Keith: Tells her to not be so conscious about the way she looks

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