Angie Miller, "Someone to Watch Over Me": Progress: I agreed with Nicki that Angie's face and body transform for the better when she hits her upper register. It's just always a treat to watch -- a release from her more methodical pondering of the rest of the song. There's nothing wrong with the other notes, and I don't think Nicki or Keith were demanding only high notes. That's absurd.
Anyway, Angie reminded Nicki of a Disney Princess with her wandering-in-the-woods rendition of a song her mom used to sing as a lullaby. Yep, pretty much. Vocally this was pretty good, but the way Angie confidently grinned and shook her head on that final line was a bit jarring -- shouldn't she have been more wistful and longing? Nit picking.
"I was like YO, where you going with all this music?" --Randy Jackson, summing up his approach to the series
Amber Holcomb, "My Funny Valentine": AMBER CRIED. That is what people will remember about this performance. Not that she repeated it from Hollywood, not that Harry Connick Jr. very gently but firmly called her out on not understanding the lyrics whatsoever. Amber cried and Nicki jumped at the opportunity to give her a confidence boost. "You're a superstar! You have friends everywhere! Stahhhhp!"
The performance itself was quite impressive -- especially, as Keith astutely noted, once the audience woke up after Amber hit a solid run. I enjoyed the crazy-high note in the middle of a middle-range run on the line "Staaaaaaaaay!" and appreciated the giant light bulbs at Amber's feet that totally looked like fishbowls. Also....
"THE STANDARDS DO NOT NEED RUNS," Harry Connick Jr. told Ryan from the audience. "There's a reason they've lasted so long. Hitting high notes on the end of 'My Funny Valentine' didn't make sense." See, I don't totally agree with him in the context of American Idol -- I think you can get away with *a few* runs here and there, plus you'll be dinged for unoriginality if you don't. But like I said above, I'm so glad Harry was there tonight to offer this old-school, very legitimate opinion from a place of pure musicality. And objectively, he is right.
NEXT: What does 'Be Kree' even mean, really?