It's crazy to have such a huge disparity between the best and the worst on "American Idol," but Wednesday night (April 11) proved it possible, thanks to Candice Glover and Lazaro Arbos.
While taking on the catalog of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Arbos hit arguably the lowest note of the season with his song, continuing a downward slide that will keep many viewers baffled if he remains on the show longer than he already has.
Meanwhile, the show's second half, including songs the contestants wish they had written, featured arguably the season's best, and perhaps one of the top performances of the previous few years, with Candice Glover going beast mode on The Cure's "Lovesong."
If anything's for certain following Wednesday, it's that Glover is far and away the show's best singer still remaining, and even if she doesn't win, she'll have something to do in music, whatever that may be. But as always, it's not about the best singer (hey, Phillip Phillips), but about the total package as well. The next few weeks shall be very interesting.
Check out a rundown of the night's performances, from best to oh god what were they thinking!
1. Candice Glover - "Lovesong"
It's tough to even describe how phenomenal Candice Glover was on Wednesday night, particularly with her jaw-dropping final song of the evening, The Cure's "Lovesong." Glover took a page out of Adele's book (she's covered it in the past) for the song, presenting a jazzy rendition that showcased her effortless runs and amazing control. Just watch and take in the longer-than-usual ovation from the judges and audience that follows. League of her own.
2. Candice Glover - "Don't Make Me Over"
Even before her magnificent "Love Song," Glover turned in the best performance of the show's first half with "Don't Make Me Over," during which she transitioned slowly from a simple, solid beginning to a second half that absolutely soared. In fact, it was because of the dynamic between beginning and end that the performance ended up winning as many people over as it did. Glover was technically on-point before, but when she raised the bar, it was all that sweeter.
3. Amber Holcomb - "I Say a Little Prayer for You"
WHOA. Much has been said about Holcomb's inability to connect with audiences on a major level, and while this performance may not have changed that, it's hard to deny its technical brilliance. It was great to see her venturing out of balladland, because her take on the up-tempo "I Say a Little Prayer for You" found Holcomb really seeming comfortable, not going through the motions. I wrote down the word 'breezy' in my original notes, something Keith kinda backed up. She's showing some turns lately that are finally making her seem like a relevant performer in the 2010s.
4. Amber Holcomb - "Love On Top"
Another Holcomb up-tempo performance? This I could get used to! Amber wasn't as astounding on her second song as she was the first (actually, she was the only singer in that situation, in my opinion), but there were some moments in Beyonce's "Love On Top" that proclaimed her as a powerhouse vocalist that really could do something in the industry. Prior to last night, I wasn't sold on Holcomb becoming a star; I didn't believe the hype. Now? Call me a believer. She's improved the most of the remaining contestants too, which should count for something.
5. Angie Miller - "Love Came Down"
Finally, Miller turned in a performance that recalled her original song, "You Set Me Free," which will undoubtedly stir some interest in folks who might have grown tired of her the past few weeks. "Love Came Down," done by contemporary Christian artist Kari Jobe, really did its thing for Angie in the verse, when she was able to show off a breathy, hushed vocal before crescendoing into her usual bigger vocal. The verses were great, the chorus good. One thing's for certain: when Angie Miller gets behind the piano, there's a real connection there between the song and her that isn't always there otherwise. This is the type of music she'll end up playing on her eventual record, I'm sure.
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