Image credit: Fox
FINALLY, I BELIEVE IN PAISLEY Said no one after watching Curtis Finch, Jr. cover Fantasia's victory anthem.
Devin Velez, Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" -- Devin sounded placidly fine on this ambitious cover, when he needed to make us believe in his emotional connection to the song. It seemed like he was just getting through it, passing the time until next week. This is the Top 10, cried Randy. You gotta go for broke!
In a bizarre role reversal, only Nicki liked this performance from Devin and the others thought he played it too safe. Mariah Carey blabbed on and on about how "we expect so much of you because you're that good," then admitted this was not a show-stopping song choice, then of course backpedaled like always to finish things off with a singsongy compliment. She does this constantly! The whole "But I hope that America will get to hear you sing again because you have a lot to offer" is so unnecessary and brutal -- it's like she's playing herself off during an award-acceptance speech.
Angela Miller, Celine Dion's "I Surrender" -- Idol's turtle overlord Jimmy Iovine accused Angie of being too pageant-y in her performances -- she shuddered at the thought during a confessional, and then what did she announce she wanted to sing? Celine Dion! Too perfect.
Angie started out the song still clinging to her piano -- you might even say she was chained to it but no, those were just the chains on her leather dress. Great outfit tonight, but the '80s hair is holding her back. Similarly, Angie's vocal was very pretty and on-pitch and crystal-clear and everything you'd want aurally speaking, but something's missing. I don't know. A hair makeover, maybe. (You know it's coming! I'm picturing sleek and straight with jagged, "edgy" long layers.) Angie's voice is rather thin in the upper register, which made her prediction, "I think I can sing it as well as Kelly [Clarkson] did," even more absurd after the fact. Girl, just don't say things like that. Save yourself.
"Your legs are giving me everything I needed in life today," said beauty pageant judge Nicki, who loves the way Angie walks in heels. "It's weird -- you're, like, not stumbly in them. You're just perfection to me on every level." Great vocal critique.
Paul Jolley, Lonestar's "Amazed" -- Oh, wow, I already forgot Paul existed and it's only been a few hours since the show aired. Come to think of it, this happens every single time. Jimmy Iovine gave Paul this really long speech about how he's not supposed to be auditioning for Broadway and, just for good measure, "You're not running for president!" Poor Paul looked so confused. This whole time he's been running for VP.
"Amazed" was such a dud of a song choice, but I guess this was one of Paul's better vocals. I'm still not excited by him at all, and I noticed mid-song that the auburn-haired fiddler lady also looked annoyed with Paul for not totally bringing it. I just don't think he knows how. He has a decent voice and a nice face (perfect for quasi-seductive closeups during final lines) and he's willing to take direction. But direction is pointless unless the subject truly understands why.
"This is the first time you've stimulated my sexual appetite," said Nicki. WHY.
NEXT: Waffle Talk with Nicki Minaj