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American Idol 2013 Finale recap

Last night, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison fought it out as the last two contestants on this year’s edition of American Idol. And in all honesty, I missed the show and caught up with the performances after the fact. However, I suppose that might actually be a good thing because the judges didn’t have the possible ability to influence my take on each performance. Not that they usually do but this makes the whole thing even more pure in nature.

Candice Glover and Kree Harrision American Idol Finalists

Candice Glover and Kree Harrision, American Idol Finalists

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Candice (Tie) - It started off slow but she did well in the chorus. Not bad.

1. Kree (Tie) – Slow and simple adding her own country twist good but not great.

Last night’s second performances:

1. Kree – Good tone, nice vocals, got to show off her range a bit, right in her wheelhouse.

2. Candice – Nice inflection in her voice. Strong and emotional, well done.

Last night’s third performances: 

1. Candice – Showed off her amazing range in a touching and incredible performance.

2. Kree – Smooth flowing vocals and a beautiful sound overall. Amazing final note at the end.

Final thoughts:

Neither of the first performances was all that great. And that being the case, I’d have to call that round a tie. With each additional round, the performances got progressively better. Kree most likely took the second round with a song that just fit her better and a quality showing throughout.  While Kree’s third and final song was outstanding and would have likely been the best of the night on most nights, the fact that Candice gave a second performance of her best song of the season won her the round.

Being that Candice went second in each round, I would have to say she has a bit of an advantage. This is especially true when it comes to her closing song. However, with the shocking elimination of Angie last week, if either contestant is likely to pick up her fans it would be Kree. Going into the night, I thought it would be an anti-climactic finish with the newest winner being Candice. However, I’m not so sure that it won’t be a lot close than people expect. Who knows what might happen.

American Idol Top 3 week recap

With a night of very strong performances overall, it’s not a big surprise that last night’s Top 3 show is believed to be the second most competitive (in terms of how close the voting results are anticipated to be) in the history of the series. Everyone seemed to have some shining moments and I couldn’t find much wrong with any of the performances in any round. However, as usual, a few stood out more than the rest.

American Idol 2013 Top 3 finalists

American Idol 2013 Top 3 Contestants – Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Kree Harrison

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Angie

2. Candice

3. Kree

Last night’s second performances:

1. Kree

2. Angie

3. Candice

Last night’s third performances: 

1. Candice

2. Angie

3. Kree

Week overall (with brief commentary):

1. Angie – Her first song was smooth and sweet, simple yet captivating. The second was more poppy and upbeat while showing off her confidence, very strong overall. Her final song was simple and strong providing a great close of the night for her.

2. Candice – The first song was an interesting choice from Jimmy and gave her a powerful, great start. The second song was a nice fit featuring good inflection and the ability to show her range. She closed the night with a soft and smooth song hitting the power vocals in the right spots. 

3. Kree – Her first song had a good tone, strong vocal and worked out well. For her second song, she was in her zone and showed off her range and emotion. She finished her portion of the night with something fun, intense and upbeat.

 

Final thoughts:

While nothing is ever a certainty, especially in the world of American Idol, I personally think that Angie has remained the most consistent contestant throughout the competition. If that means anything at all, she should be in the finals. That being the case, I would assume the second spot is a battle between Kree and Candice. Of course, we haven’t really had any surprises this season, and that is highly unusual. And while Angie’s fan base has likely remained the same over time, there is a good chance that with the elimination of the prior two contestants, Janelle and Amber, the other two remaining girls probably expanded their fan base by picking up the “country vote” and the “African American” vote. If that’s the case, who knows what might happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.  

American Idol Top 4 week recap (redux)

After the surprise non-elimination last week, American Idol fans find ourselves in an interesting situation. How much will this week’s votes adjust the results from last week? Will there be a different bottom two than the first go around? Will the elimination be a surprise? We’ll just have to wait to find out. But in the meantime, here’s what I think of last night’s show in combination with the week before.

Kree on American Idol Top 4

Kree Harrison singing “Stormy weather” Courtesy of wetpaint.com

Performances: Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Kree

2. Candice

3. Angie

4. Amber

Last night’s second performances:

1. Candice

2. Kree

3. Angie

4. Amber

Week overall (with brief commentary):

1. Kree – Her first song was smooth and meaningful with a heartfelt tone. In the second one she projected a cool, classic feel and it was very good overall.

2. Candice – Unusual song choice in the first round but the vocals worked out well. She gave a cool throwback vibe in round two for a very strong performance. 

3. Angie – Her first performance was hauntingly beautiful and simple yet powerful. She followed it up with something sweet and simple for a job well done.

4. Amber – The first song was nice in the softer parts but she struggled with the power notes. The second song had nice vocals with only a few misses but it was a bit boring.

Final thoughts on past two weeks:

While Angie seemed to fall off just a bit this week, her talent is so amazing that it might not matter in the end. Amber surely benefited the most from last week’s non-elimination. However, it seems that it might not be enough. I really think Kree has stepped up her game over the last few weeks and with the likely added support of Janelle fans, she could be in great shape at this point. While Candice had a rough week last week, she came back strong last night and  might have brought herself out of the bottom two. All in all though, I don’t expect too much variation in the results from last week. But then again, who knows what could happen. We’ll just have to wait to find out.

American Idol top 4 week recap

So for the first time in the history of American Idol, we have an all-girl Top 4. And rightly so I believe. While each of the ladies continues to try to step up her game, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Angie Miller American Top Top 4

Angie Miller singing “Who Are You” courtesy of zimbo.com

Here’s how I rank last night’s first performances:

1. Angie

2. Amber

3. Kree

4. Candice

Last night’s second performances:

1. Angie

2. Candice

3. Kree

4. Amber

Last night’s duets:

1. Angie and Candice

2. Amber and Kree

Overall (with brief commentary):

1. Angie – Wonderful tone and so much raw emotion in the first song. Her second was soft and slow and while not the best song, she’s so good it didn’t even matter. Angie outshined Candice a bit in their duet with her incredible range.

2. Kree – Her first song showcased a bluesy confidence and good vocals. Her second song was sort of beautiful in its simplicity. The duet was lively and catchy and more suited to Kree than is was to Amber.

3. Candice – The first song was soulful and smooth. The second featured good vocals but she didn’t show off her range or power. She brought both the power and soul in the duet.

4. Amber – Her first song was an amazing vocal performance with a confident vibe. The second song was a bad choice even with decent singing. She did OK in the duet but was the weaker of the two singers.

Final thoughts:

The first round of songs as a whole was better than the second. It didn’t take much for Angie to take the second round considering the rest of the performances where just OK.  That’s just one of the reasons she took the night, again. For the first time, Candice looks a bit vulnerable. I figure she was pretty much even with Kree last night but it is quite possible (but not a sure thing) that Kree may get a boost in her voting base now that the other “country girl,” Janelle, is gone. Amber seems to have come on a lot lately and her first performance was great. But it looks more and more like she doesn’t quite match up with the rest of the girls. It could be a shocker tonight as that history says that if often is. But no matter what happens, it should be interesting.

American Idol Top 6 week recap

Well, we’re down to the top six and the competition on American Idol is getting very tight. Unfortunately, for some reason the theme this week wasn’t great.  The first round of songs where quite limiting but at least the second round allowed for a little more flexibility. I was also a bit disappointed that virtually none of the contestants took the chance to think outside the box in the first round to make major changes to the arrangements and possibly make the songs their own. With all that being said, it is what it is and some singers still shined while others struggled.

Candice Glover American Idol

Candice Glover sings “Lovesong” courtesy on Hollywoodreporter.com

Here’s how i rank last night’s first performances:

1. Candice

2. Kree

3. Amber

4. Angie

5. Janelle

6. Lazaro

Last night’s second performances:

1. Candice

2. Angie

3. Kree

4. Janelle

5. Amber

6. Lazaro

Overall (with brief commentary):

1. Candice – She had good inflection on her first song but didn’t really get going until she hit the power notes and from then on she crushed it. Her second song really played to her strengths. It was powerful, pure and beautiful.

2. Kree – Her first song was sweet and bluesy in parts with a strong vocal. The second one was classic country that came across as pure, raw and very, very good.

3. Angie – She has a nice flow and good tone in her first song but it was a bit slow and old fashioned. This amazing singer redeemed herself several times over with her time at the piano singing a powerful, emotional and awesome second performance.

4. Janelle – In the first song, she came across as highly confident but did have a few trouble spots. Her second song was a great choice. It was right on the money and very good overall.

5. Amber - She started off smooth and upbeat in her first song for a very good performance. Her second song had a rough start. She did better in the chorus. It was pretty good but not great.

6. Lazaro – He started off with a classy, simple song but the vocals were off and way too soft. In his second song, the vocals continued to be off until he hit the high parts. He didn’t have a very good night.

Final thoughts:

It could very easily be a clean sweep for the ladies as Lazaro should be on his way out tonight. However, I do believe that the judges still have time to use the save and would likely do so if any of the ladies finds themselves in the bottom spot.

American Idol Top 7 week recap

Every year I look forward to rock week on American Idol. You never know how things might turn out. For some contestants, rock is certainly in their wheelhouse. For others, not so much. But all in all, it’s always interesting and entertaining.

Angie Miller American idol roock week

Angie Miller singing “Bring Me To Life” during the Top 8 week on American Idol. Photo Courtesy of Hollywoodreporter.com

Here’s how I rank last night’s performances:

1. Angie - Perfect song choice, great fit for her. The singing was amazing and she continues to improve each and every week.

2. Amber - She shocked me last night. She showed off some excellent vocals and was really dead on. Almost definitely her best showing yet.

3. Candice - Powerful as always. This song was also a perfect fit. It seems like she can sing any genre.

4. Kree - Good song choice. Her power vocals and country sound meshed well with the rock style of Janis Joplin.

5. Lazaro - He also pleasantly surprised me. It was a tough song to sing but he got off to a good start and maintained that momentum throughout.

6. Janelle – Another good song choice. It was a nice vocal overall and brought out the fun and confidence in her.

7. Brunell - Good song but he was way out of his comfort zone. Not good but it could have been way worse.

Group Performances:

1. Amber, Janelle and Kree - Simple and not flashy but not too bad overall.

2. Angie and Lazaro - Interesting pairing. I sort of expected a disaster but it turned out to be sort of OK.

3. Burnell and Candice - Candice did well with her bluesy, soulful side and Burnell was rather awkward when they sang the solo parts. It was really bad when they sang together.

Final thoughts:

Once again the ladies dominated the night. While I still find it hard to believe that all the guys will leave before a single girl, in all honesty that is probably what should happen. Before last night, I would have thought the girl in the most jeopardy would be Amber. And based on her entire body of work, that probably still holds true. But, based on last night alone, that certainly would not be the case.

All in all, the solo performances worked out well. The group ones are a different story. None of those came across as particularly impressive.

With only a few more weeks that the save is in play, I’m about 90% sure that the judges may use it tonight. I’m almost certain they will save any girl if one somehow happens to be at the bottom. They may also possibly save a guy if one lands in the bottom so as to keep the gender balance at least somewhat even.

American Idol Top 8 week recap

Last night’s American Idol Top 8 show featured a lot of strong performances and very few weaker ones. I also loved the fact that they had one duet and two trios sing in addition to the solo rounds. All in all it seems like the competition is still (and likely will remain) being dominated by the ladies this year.

Janelle Authur

Janelle Authur sings “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” PHOTO COURTESY OF: zeibiz.com

Here’s how I rank last night’s performances:

1. Janelle - Her song gave off a cool pop-country vibe somewhat reminiscent of early Jewel. The pace perfect and the vocals really stood out.

2. Candice - She showed so much range and it felt like classic Motown. Very well done overall.

3. Kree - She didn’t step away from the country sound all that much but her vocals are pure and powerful so it still worked out well in the end.

4. Lazaro - Much better than last week, even down to his style. He kept it simple and smooth.

5. Angie - Fun, sexy and very entertaining with a bit of an edge but it probably wasn’t the best song for her.

6. Amber – She showed a nice range but the vocals seemed to be just OK overall.

7. Devin - he did pretty good in making the song more fun and catchy but he faces some major competition and an uphill battle.

8. Brunell - He started off ok but the quality progressively deteriorated. The vocals seemed strained and there was much too much variation in pitch and vibrato.

Group Performances:

1. Amber, Angie and Candice - The song and the group pairing was a pretty good fit for them. They did well and showcased their individual talent.

2. Kree and Janelle – They worked well together and produced a strong group vocal overall.

3. Burnell, Lazaro and Devin - The song wasn’t a bad choice but the group didn’t mesh well together. It was average at best and that’s being kind.

Final thoughts:

While Paul was probably not the most likely person to leave last week, he was one of the legitimate possibilities. At this point, America still seems to be rather on target (in my opinion) in terms of voting. We’ll see if that continues tonight.

I do believe there is a pretty good chance we could see the judges use the save this week. Why? Well, voting may go against a girl this week because of a collective effort to even things out a bit. But, if it goes against a guy, perhaps the judges will try to take that approach so that the girls don’t outnumber the guys by 5-2. Not that I fully agree here. I personally feel that is any girl (with the possible exception of Amber) gets the least number of votes, that girl should be saved. As far as the guys go, I would not be willing to save any (with a possible exception of Lazaro) form elimination.

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