Image credit: Fox
FINALLY, I BELIEVE IN PAISLEY Said no one after watching Curtis Finch, Jr. cover Fantasia's victory anthem.
Candice Glover, Shirley Bassey's "I (Who Have Nothing)" -- Finally! This segment was the most "alive" I felt all episode. (I barely have a pulse at this point and, much like Mariah, apologetically refuse to stand up at the end of great performances, because my jammie pants are too tight.)
What struck me tonight, beyond Candice's effortless vocals -- "it's like skiing downhill with you, crazy" said Keith -- is what a good little actress she is. I love how she knows exactly when to let loose and when to rein it in and show restraint, and the evil eye she was tossing toward one camera was so delicious -- sly, subtle, not too much. As Keith said, she never lets the audience put her out of her zone. But it's not like there's a distance between Candice and the crowd -- it's because she truly believes in her zone and twists and turns so compellingly within it that the audience gets naturally drawn in. Tonight's and last Thursday's performances have been her most confident, and seemingly effortless, yet.
There's Candice's family in the audience. Her dad was nervous to come because he'd never flown before! "The plane should be afraid of YOU at that size!" beamed Ryan. (Plane = Ryan.)
Lazaro Arbos, Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" -- Agggggggghh. No. Bad. Not only was he off-pitch, but Lazaro was way too practiced in all of his movements, looking dramatically yet cautiously at this camera, then that one, then that one, then oh, the singing, oh no, make it stop! At least the judges didn't praise him -- although I'm getting so sick of them coming down on song choice instead of condemning sub-par vocals when they hear 'em. I mean, of course Lazaro couldn't handle a Kelly Clarkson song, but too often the judges are using the whole "this was maybe not the BEST song choice for you, for me" shtick as a way to avoid telling people "You are really not that great!"
Kree Harrison, Roy Orbison's "Crying" -- Oh, man, do I love me some Roy Orbison. As subtle as Kree's performance was tonight, she really jazzed things up visually with a severe smoky eye and an Orbison/Elvis-esque jacket. My love for "one of the prettiest melodies I've ever heard" (Kree and I agree!) may be clouding my judgement, but this performance was just shy of the top (Candice) tonight. It was restrained and simple, yet just enough -- it reminded me of Haley Reinhart covering "Blue" in season 10. I think Kree's shown the most variety so far among the Top 10. She's almost too perfect -- where can she go from here? I can't wait to see.
"Hello, Harry. Sometimes when I wake up every day, like if I'm not working, I'll eat waffles -- like, buttermilk -- and I'll have to have Aunt Jemimah syrup on it," began Nicki. "Wow!" said Kree. But there was more.
"I'll put it in the microwave and warm it up a LITTLE bit. That song…I would've enjoyed it if I was by myself in front of the TV. Just by myself eating waffles."
First of all, how sad is it that this pretend day Nicki's described in which she's "not working" almost exactly mirrors all of my days in which I "am working"? Become a TV recapper, Nicki! It's hedonism at its finest. Just by yourself. The glamour never ends. But more important: I need to look into this ingenious process of applying butter and syrup to waffles before heating them up. Like, where the f--- have I been this whole time? Eating sub-standardly infused carbs in front of my crap TV, apparently.
Thanks to Clown Bangs for showing me the gateway to a better life.
Esteemed Colleague Email of the Night:
Good questions. The answers are easy: Yes, and you just haven't been watching American Idol. It happens.
NEXT: The Ruben Studdard cover no one's been waiting for