Confession time: Did you cry during Wednesday's episode of "American Idol"?
When the three remaining contestants performed May 8, the show included footage of the always emotional hometown visits. Even some snarky bloggers -- read: me -- got a little teary-eyed while watching the clips, especially the footage of Kree Harrison remembering her deceased parents.
It wasn't the only noteworthy thing about the show. The episode included plenty of solid performances and helped me believe all three singers could be marketable in the contemporary recording world.
Each "Idol" contestant sang three songs Wednesday: "judges' choice," "Jimmy's choice" and "Idol producers' choice."
Mentor Jimmy Iovine said Candice Glover won the night. I agree, though I liked her second-round performance better than the third-round effort everyone seemed to love. Also, I think Angie Miller wasn't too far behind Candice Wednesday night.
For now, I predict Kree Harrison will go home Thursday. Warning: My prediction might change as the results show approaches.
Discussion time: Who WILL be eliminated Thursday? Who SHOULD be eliminated Thursday?
Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show.
Round 1: Jimmy Iovine's choice
Kree Harrison kicks off the show with "Perfect" by Pink. It's slightly an odd song choice, given Kree's country roots. The performance isn't a total mess, but it doesn't do much to showcase Kree's vocal uniqueness. The whole thing appears a bit average. Even though Kree sounds fine, it almost borders on karaoke. It is, however, nice to hear Kree sing something modern.
Keith: "You're a country girl and it doesn't matter what you sing."
Nicki: "It felt very short to me," recommends that Kree wears flat boots to allow more movement on stage
Randy: "You sounded good on it, but it didn't have a lot of pizazz to it."
Mariah: "I felt that you were connected," hopes that Kree will deliver more later in the show
Candice Glover sings "One" by U2. Again, I'm not entirely sold on Jimmy's song choice. I wish he would've picked something that's straight-up R&B, instead of something that needs to be converted into R&B. Still, Candice handles it well. She delivers lots of big notes, good energy and pleasant stage presence. This is very reminiscent of the Mary J. Blige version of this tune. After the performance, Seacrest says Candice hadn't previously heard the song. Really?!?
Nicki: Compares it to the Mary J. Blige version -- "You are on your way. You are a diva."
Randy: "That's a great song...What was perfect about it was the emotion was so on point."
Mariah: "Great song choice...you always bring so much to the table as a singer."
Keith: "It was a great song choice, Jimmy...I felt every bit of it. Beautiful."
Angie Miller sings "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." Groan. Another song that needs to be retired from "Idol." Jimmy is NOT my friend this week. Surprisingly, Angie does not sit at the piano while singing this ballad. I think that's a huge mistake. If she performed it at the piano, she could've added a personal edge. Instead, we get a performance that has strong moments but makes Angie appear slightly dated at points. It doesn't enhance her appeal as a contemporary artist.
Randy: Asks Angie why she didn't play the piano -- she was worried she couldn't learn the song in time
Mariah: "I felt that this was one of the best performances I've seen you do."
Keith: "I would've been happy with you actually holding back a little more...Your voice is spectacular."
Nicki: "This was a stellar vocal...but it didn't hit me emotionally the way I wanted it to."
In an interview after the round, Jimmy says Angie won the first round -- even though he wanted her to play piano. He says Candice was good, but she missed some key moments. Jimmy adds Kree was good, but not great.
Round 2: Judges' choice
Candice Glover covers "Next to Me" by Emeli Sandé. Already, I'm digging the judges' picks more than Jimmy's picks. This is a great contemporary song choice for Candice. She plays with the arrangement a bit. Overall, I like it but I wish she would've made it even more uptempo. That said, it's a very solid performance that proves Candice's appeal translates to a current audience. I'm happy -- but not happy enough to excuse Candice's funky pants.
Mariah: Says Candice will have a good future
Keith: "It was so good...it was beautiful."
Nicki: "You have come out swinging in this competition...I am so proud of you...Congratulations." Gets very emotional
Randy: "That was amazing vocally. I love you."
Angie Miller sings "Try" by Pink. Angie handles her Pink tune much better than Kree's take on Pink in the first round. I'm a little divided on this performance. I like the verses much better than the chorus, which is when the band sometimes overpowers Angie a bit. It seems like she borders on the shout zone at points in the chorus. Nonetheless, the performance still has a very contemporary feel and I appreciate that.
Keith: Says she looked incredibly comfortable on stage
Nicki: "You believed every single word," notes Angie's Miley Cyrus' long-lost twin
Randy: "That song fit you like a glove. You sounded amazing on it."
Mariah: "You performed like never before."
Kree Harrison sings "Here Comes Goodbye" by Rascal Flatts. I slightly wish the judges would've picked an uptempo song for Kree. This song is in Kree's comfort zone, but the performance is also incredibly predictable. On the plus side, I'm happy it's at least a relatively modern tune. And Kree's vocals are very solid. She obviously connected with the song, and delivers lots of emotional big notes. Even if Kree isn't the flashiest singer in the world, she still has talent.
Nicki: "I am so super proud of you...I'm so happy for you. You sang it like a pro."
Randy: "Words just don't express...We love all of you...That was unbelievably beautiful."
Mariah: "I'm overwhelmed with emotion...There's something just so real about you."
Keith: "It was the perfect song...you sang it just right."
After the performances, Jimmy Iovine says the judges chose the wrong song for Candice. He says Kree won the round.
Round 3: Songs chosen by the "Idol" production team
Angie Miller covers "Maybe" by Emeli Sandé. Wow, we're certainly hearing a lot of Emeli Sandé and Pink songs tonight. Angie sits at the piano for this one, which is definitely a wise choice. The opening seems a little shaky, but things pick up as the song progresses. It's actually a really good song choice and it's not long before Angie enters her zone. She's ending the show on a very strong note -- literally, I guess. Well done.
Randy: "You sang your heart out right there...I think tonight you became a complete performer."
Mariah: "I really have nothing negative at all to say about that performance."
Keith: "You're finding your groove, Angie."
Nicki: "You've come full circle now...Your growth has surpassed my expectations."
Kree Harrison sings "Better Dig Two" by The Band Perry. Finally, an uptempo song for Kree! Thank you, "Idol" producers. It still seems like Kree is more comfortable with ballads, as she appears slightly stiff on stage during this performance. But this is very close to the surprise I've begged Kree to deliver all season. I really enjoy this performance -- not sure if that's due to the quality of the vocal, or simply the fact that Kree is finally changing up her routine.
Mariah: "I like the sorrow more than the anger. That's just me."
Keith: "It didn't feel right for me."
Nicki: "That's not your comfort zone. Whoever picked that for you should be stoned."
Randy: "It was too ordinary for you."
Candice Glover sings "Somewhere" from "West Side Story." I'm not thrilled about the song choice. This episode had a fairly contemporary feel, and this song put it in a different zone. Candice's vocals are still really nice, though. Naturally, the tune allows for lots of belting and impressive big notes. I like Candice, but it seems like the producers tried too hard to create a "Moment" here. The four judges give her a standing ovation.
Keith: Tells everyone to vote for Candice
Nicki: "Four words: see you next week"
Randy: "This is like a singing lesson."
After the performances, Jimmy says Candice won the third round. No surprise. He adds that she didn't only win the round with "Somewhere" -- she won the night. Do you agree?