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.


Candice Glover, the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction": This wasn't my favorite from Candice, but I recognize every time she sings with others that I'm probably grading her on a curve in her solos. She did get gritty and give off a take-no-prisoners attitude like you're supposed to do on Rock Week, and I noticed she had the most and the most natural side-by-side mutual appreciation going on with guest guitarist Orianthi, who tried to "weave around" everyone's vocals tonight and not step on anyone's toes.

Which reminds me: Candice has a broken toe, somehow derived from a failed prank to convince Lazaro the American Idol mansion was on fire. Nicki's reply here was both catty and clever: "That's what you get," she scolded Candice. "Lazaro's got special powers, don't you know that?"

More catty/less clever: Nicki preemptively booing herself for saying Candice's song choice had put her to sleep. To Nicki's credit and my despair, the booming boo did sound like an incredibly aggressive alarm clock.

Unlike Keith, I'd forgotten during Candice's song that she was in pain, because I couldn't stop getting distracted by the aggressive laser spotlights surrounding her and the five backup singers/guitarists standing solemnly in front of the Idol Oval. With the seizure-inducing black and white animations pounding the screens, the whole scene just looked like Edward Gorey drawings on crack.

"I think people don't understand what rock is," said Randy to all the total idiots out there like you and me who have never heard of rock and roll. "Rock is an attitude." He compared Candice to Tina Turner. Yeah, I can see it!

Amber Holcomb, Heart's "What About Love": This song is the BEST. I love me some gooey ol' Heart. But come on, let's be real. This is a ballad! How absurd. Oh well, I'm not that mad about it. I will say that even though Amber's first verse had me completely drawn in and feeling it -- or "melting," said Nicki -- I lost connection with her once she started wandering around in the fog.

Amber's vocal is undeniable and rife with "little Houstonisms" like Randy said. She's technically excellent. But I don't know -- something gets lost once the camera pans out from those exquisite closeups. I always end up thinking Amber would be an amazing solo artist if the main point of being an artist was to make bangin'-looking videos. And let's be honest -- this is 2013. That s--t's important. Her gorgeous voice would just be a bonus.

NEXT: Bringing the possibility of Angie losing her shirt to life

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