'American Idol' Recap: Candice Glover 'Somewhere' Near the Top
When "American Idol" reaches this stage of its season, it airs the episode one might think would provide the remaining contestants with their best chances at big moments. In a three-round evening, each performer sings a song chosen for them by mentor/record producer Jimmy Iovine, followed by one picked by the panel of judges and a third by "Idol" producers. If there's anyone who's been following along more closely than viewers, it's those who are actually employed by the show, many of whom already work in the music industry. They should know the songs to choose to best highlight each singer's strengths.
In some cases, that held true. Each singer had a big moment Wednesday night (May 8), a performance that could easily propel them into the final two. These performances also showcased the finalists' potential in the "real world" of the music business, promising that, hey, maybe we'll hear some of these ladies on the radio after all.
That's not to say all was well. All three contestants -- Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller -- did at least one song that was super OK. Like, yeah, it wasn't horrible, but no one's going to remember it after this week, either.
Because of the ups and downs, there's a very real chance that any of them could be heading home Thursday night. It's been an evenly matched season all around, and going into the finale, there's still no clear favorite.
To stretch the show to two hours, "Idol" did its trademark homecoming show, during which each top three contestant visited their respective hometowns and received a hero's welcome. Honestly, the best moments of the night were there, either tugging on the heartstrings or causing one to like a singer even more than one already had. It's cool to see where the girls grew up, as well as what's at stake for them.
Anyway, you're here for the performances, right? Then on we go with the ratings of each contestant!
1. Candice Glover - "One," "Next to Me," "Somewhere"
Firstly, you can't call me biased on this one just because Candice Glover sang a tune by Emeli Sande, who has been my future wife since about a year ago; Angie sang one, too! The reason Candice won the night is simple: she outsang everyone. Plain and simple.
That's not to say she was necessarily winning before the final round. "One," Jimmy Iovine's pick, was admittedly a little disconnected, but there were many nice moments in it, which makes sense as her rendition of the U2 song was close to that of semi-kindred spirit Mary J. Blige.
"Next to Me" found Glover with some tempo beneath her, which is always a welcome addition this season with any contestant. It was her moment (and everyone had one) that solidifed her as a potential radio-friendly recording artist, especially if this British soul invasion continues (and I hope it does!). There wasn't anything flashy about this one, but anything that makes me say, "Yeah, I could hear something like this from her on the radio" is fine by me. She should look into this sort of thing.
"Somewhere" is the one everyone loved, and while I actually didn't think it was the best of the evening (!), there's no denying how jaw-droppingly good it was. She stuck to the melody and poured out a righteous rendition that was almost too big for its own good, helped along no doubt by an intensely dramatic backing band. Deep breaths after that one, you know? Heart rate down. It's what won her the night. There may have been one better performance that evening, but Glover was the most consistent. Sometimes, that's what you need.
2. Angie Miller - "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," "Try," "Maybe"
Angie Miller started off the evening doing an Elton John song without being at the piano. Isn't that a no-brainer for a girl who's been most lauded when she's behind the instrument and tends to falter more often during upright, at-the-mic moments, LET ALONE the fact that it's a song by Elton John, a piano player himself? "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" wasn't bad. It was just a lost opportunity for the reasons above.
Then there was "Try," the second Pink song of the evening. Miller was a lot more like her usual self, and her confidence showed. This was her radio-friendly moment. Miller won't necessarily fit in with Pink's usual style, but "Try" did finally show that she can do more of a rock-styled tune without seeming totally lost.
"Maybe" was most in her comfort zone, or so it seemed. Back behind the piano, Miller sang the soulful number beautifully, though it was a little sleepy. That's the risk Miller often runs; even when she's at her best vocally, she's still not always incredibly gripping as a performer. That said, like her prior songs, there weren't any major vocal missteps, which will probably benefit her.
3. Kree Harrison - "Perfect," "Here Comes Goodbye," "Better Dig Two"
It should be noted that Kree Harrison had the best performance of the night. So why is she the third-ranked singer of the evening? Consistency, plain and simple.
I don't know what on earth "Perfect" was aside from not being anywhere near what its title conveys. For being such an esteemed producer, Jimmy Iovine sure picked some duds tonight; in fact, his round was probably the worst for each singer overall. Jimmy's not in it to win it, Ryan! Seriously, that chorus was just not what it needed to be. Way too rock, without any way for Harrison to show off her voice. She didn't seem very into the song at all, either. Sounded like one of those songs you get at the beginning of the "Idol" live shows from a singer who ends up voted off the next week.
But holy wow, "Here Comes Goodbye." After Harrison's tear-jerker of a homecoming segment, she came back with easily her best showing in weeks, a song performed by Rascal Flatts. Kree is best on the stripped-down ballads, as well as when the country side of her voice is able to shine through most clearly. Her high note right before the final chorus was chilling, and I loved her tone throughout the entire tune. You know when Nicki Minaj mentioned thinking we'll see Harrison performing at the Country Music Awards or the Grand Ole Opry soon? This is the kind of song I'd expect her to sing. Her artist moment of the evening, for sure.
Ending with "Better Dig Two" wasn't going to work as well as its predecessor from the start, but Harrison was able to hold it together. I'm just not sure if up-tempo's her thing yet! She could do a few of the songs in The Band Perry's catalog, though I'm thinking more along the lines of "If I Die Young" or "You Lie" than this. OK, happy thoughts. Back to that second performance. Yeah, that's the stuff.
Should Go Home: Kree Harrison or Angie Miller
Will Go Home: OH GOD I DON'T KNOW. It still seems like anyone's game. I'm leaning toward Kree being the ousted contestant, but Candice was in the bottom two two weeks ago, and Angie wasn't as spectacular as I'd've liked her to be. Leaning toward Kree, though.