American Idol recap: What About Rock (No Ballads)?

The Top 7 take on classic rock tunes (let Nicki Minaj boo herself in advance) with accompaniment from Orianthi
Ep. 24 | Aired Apr 3, 2013

MISS UNIVERSE When Candice joined Burnell on their duet, "It was like the whole galaxy showed up," said Keith.


Kree Harrison, Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart": Kree got a "10 out of 10 for professionalism" from Keith for performing with a pinched nerve. Come to think of it, a lot of the judges' critiques for Kree are basically along those lines. Randy and Mariah babbled absolutely endlessly, dah-ling, on how country, bluesy, and rock are all different styles -- kinda sorta -- but they don't have to be -- DAH-ling -- not when you're Kree! I believe that was the gist of that mess. But Kree's going to have to dig deeper and turn in a performance that inspires real excitement and a momentum that propels beyond the idea that she's "already ready" to work in the real world. This number just blended in with the rest for me.

I'm very impressed that Kree knows the entire Idol staff's names, immediate families, extended families, favorite colors, etc., though. If something wonky happens over at Telescope and the only votes that get through are from the hug-hungry crew guys, Kree is your winner.

Janelle Arthur, Billy Joel's "You May Be Right": I like Janelle. Along with Candice, she's become so naturally captivating onstage. Last week's rave reviews for her slowed-down cover of "You Keep Me Hanging On" (which also earned her an A+ on the "Carry out the song title as best you can" assignment) must have infused her with a new sense of confidence. The judges are being really heavy-handed with their insistence on Janelle's improvement arc, which I find unnecessary, but whatever. They'll just keep on announcing generic truths for the rest of the season, like Nicki's "You feel like every little girl's best friend" (ugh) and "It's safe to say that Middle America is at home voting for you" (barf). WHY? Happens all the time. (I'm trying not to let it bother me because the show is way more fun that way, but man is all this scripted nonsense getting annoying.)

I liked how Janelle executed a deep squat and got all legit-crazy up in the camera's face on "It just may be a lunatic you're looking for." Perhaps! But tonight, at least in the judges' case, they were looking for her clothes and shoes. Well, Nicki with the sparkly jeweled boots and Randy with the fringed vest, at least (this episode had major crossover potential with Dancing with the Stars). Not Mariah Carey, no sir. "NO, DARLING, I HAVE MY WARDROBE, THANK YOU," she slurred while making sure Ryan Seacrest didn't touch any part of her with that icky synthetic fabric. I'm just glad she went unscathed! Close call.

NEXT: And bad mistakes, Lazaro's made a few....

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