Lazaro Arbos, "(They Long to Be) Close To You": Embarrassing. Awful. No enunciation. Off-pitch. It's like the concept of key changes doesn't even resonate with him. The guy just has no musicality -- or if he does, it doesn't matter because he's not learning these new songs fast/well enough to prove that he does. Finalists on this show are supposed to take a song and make it better, not murder a song and pray no one noticed. Each of Lazaro's efforts are like long, nail-biting prayers to me. I have no nails left! I AM OUT OF NAILS. He needs to go!
As Mariah said (after 15 minutes of getting to the point): "You can't go into another key...and stay in the old key." Hilarious.
Kree Harrison, "What the World Needs Now Is Love": I loved the way she started the song a cappella, cloaked in total blackness. The whole performance was gorgeous -- I'm always happier with a minimal setting like this, just Kree and the orchestra. In fact everything was done so simply (Kree barely moved) that I basically spent the whole time thinking about how soothing her voice is. So, not the most compelling stuff in the world, but a damn near flawless vocal.
I thought the judges went overboard in trying to disprove the rumor (?) that Kree lacks an emotional connection when she sings. "I'm sure we're all aware of what people say about us…" Mariah trailed off, as Kree stared blankly. "I don't need you to make faces or go OTT." I'm pretty sure no one is demanding that Kree fake emotion, but whatever. Keith gushed about Kree's "genuine compassion for people -- you can feel it." They all agreed with Nicki that Kree would have producers lining up with material for her first album. I always feel like yelling out "Don't jinx it!" when this happens.
Janelle Arthur: "I'll Never Fall in Love Again": Didn't love this, but I enjoyed Janelle's audience engagement, especially at the beginning when she slithered by a row of teens and made sure to touch them all. Really not as inappropriate as it sounds. Somehow her caressing of Keith's shoulder was much more awkward. Go figure. He mouthed the words along with her to break the tension -- smart. Her vocals were better when she wasn't concerned with off-stage choreography, I thought. Otherwise, they were shaky. And after Janelle's Quirk Snippet about playing a male role in a school play, I couldn't help but make the connection that against better competitors like Candice and Kree, it sort of is like Janelle is play-acting in her quest for the Idol throne. She's so spirited, though!
ALLERGIC TO FEATHERS.
NEXT: A different type of murder