‘American Idol’ Recap: the Girls Outshine the Guys
The countdown to the ‘American Idol’ finale is on, and tonight’s episode (March 13) brought a wide range of performances. Some were absolutely stunning, while others were bland and downright disappointing. Nicki Minaj was fashionably late, showing up almost 15 minutes into the show.
All 10 contestants were required to sing a tune from the ‘Idol’ archives, and producer Jimmy Iovine worked with them behind the scenes to give them advice based on his wealth of knowledge and experience. All in all, it was pretty clear that judges Keith Urban, Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey were more impressed by the ladies than the men tonight.
Here’s the recap of the night's performances:
Curtis Finch Jr.: He sang ‘I Believe’ by Fantasia Barrino, clad in a snappy red jacket and backed by a gospel choir. The judges enjoyed his performance, but Urban and Jackson both urged him to climb out of his comfort zone. “I would caution you to now try something a little bit different, because I feel like it’s always these kinds of things that you sing," suggested Jackson. "Show me some other sides of Curtis!” Carey, on the other hand, wanted to hear even more of his gospel side. “Please keep doing what you do,” she said.
Janelle Arthur: A country girl through and through, she performed Scotty McCreery’s ‘Gone’ and worked the stage with energy and gusto. Urban praised her performance by saying, “I’ve never heard a female sing that song before, and I love that you put some Lee Ann Womack-y runs in there.” Minaj pointed out her newfound confidence but told her to work on her song choices. “I don’t know if that song wowed me, but you are electric and beautiful and exciting,” she said. Jackson commented that “the song didn’t lead anywhere” and while she performed wonderfully and knew how to work the stage, it wasn't the best song choice. Carey also remarked that she had wonderful confidence and stage presence but thought a ballad would have better showcased her vocals.
Devin Velez: Best known for his bilingual tunes, he stepped out of his comfort zone and went in a new direction with Carrie Underwood’s ‘Temporary Home.’ He confessed to having an emotional connection to the song, which is about growing up with a single parent. Urban stated that it wasn’t one of his best performances and that he seemed to lack a lot of confidence with the song. Minaj disagreed completely, saying that she loved his song choice and he seemed completely in his element. Jackson was on the same page as Urban and said, “It was way too safe for me.”
Paul Jolley: He followed in Scotty McCreery’s footsteps and sang a passionate rendition of Lonestar’s ‘Amazed.’ Urban mentioned that of Jolley’s ‘Idol’ performances so far, tonight was one of his favorites – and evidently, Minaj agreed. “This is the first time you’ve stimulated my sexual appetite,” she remarked. She went on to add, “I think this was a great song for your voice.” All of the judges seemed pleased by how much he has improved and praised his ability to respond well to criticism.
Lazaro Arbos: He sang Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway,’ and mentioned that his reason for choosing the song is that he too comes from a small town and it was a huge culture shock coming out to L.A. But despite his strong connection with Clarkson’s hit, it wasn’t the best song choice. Minaj loved that he looked like a cute and cuddly Ricky Ricardo, but said that the tune wasn’t a good fit for him. Jackson commented that the pitch was all over the place and the song was too big for him. Ever the optimist, Carey put a positive spin on things, saying “I think a lot of people are falling in love with the courage that you have.”
Kree Harrison: She sang Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying,’ as previously performed by Carrie Underwood – and unsurprisingly, she nailed it. It’s no secret that Harrison is a favorite amongst the ‘Idol’ judges. “You could sing the phone book, baby. I love your voice so much,” praised Urban. He went on to say that if she made a record tomorrow, he would run out and buy it. In Minaj’s words, “it was smooth, it was delicious, it was fun.” Jackson chimed in by saying, “It just makes me feel good all over. You have one of those infectious voices … I love that you put feeling into everything you do, whether it’s a big song or a small vocal.” Carey praised her for always showing genuine emotion and "being real" whenever she sings.
Burnell Taylor: He sang Westlife’s ‘Flying Without Wings,’ previously performed by Season 2's Ruben Studdard. Urban was quick to comment on his quirky “Burnellisms,” claiming that he has “an eccentricity that’s really pure” that makes him stand out as an artist. Carey admitted to feeling emotional whenever she hears him sing.
A bunch of videos from tonight's episode are available below for your viewing pleasure, so be sure to check them out. We'll see you tomorrow (March 14) for the next installment of 'American Idol.'
Watch Curtis Finch Jr. Perform 'I Believe' on 'American Idol'
Watch Janelle Arthur Perform 'Gone' on 'American Idol'
Watch Paul Jolley Perform 'Amazed' on 'American Idol'
Watch Kree Harrison Perform ‘Crying’ on ‘American Idol’
Watch Burnell Taylor Perform 'Flying Without Wings' on 'American Idol'