Sudden Death, Round III
Original Air Date: Feb 27, 2013
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
Looks definitely played a huge role in the judges’ decision for the final five women. In fact, for two of the contestants, Nicki and Randy went on and on and on about how sexy they were. That, they implied, made them ready for a recording contract right away.
In a heart-breaking twist, the judges decided they only needed one country singer even though both were excellent. But one was a superior singer and the other super cute. Want to guess which one got the last spot? Read on to find out.
Contestant: MELINDA ADEMI
Backstory: She was in Season 10. Her family escaped Kosovo.
Song: “Nobody’s Perfect”
Impression: She did a little gasp at the end of every line – very annoying. She has a few pitch problems and sounds a bit screechy. KEITH loved the performance but felt her nerves hampered the first half. NICKI criticized that she did it after Angela did it last week. RANDY thought it was OK, but didn’t have enough moments. MARIAH also thought her nerves got to her until the end.
Contestant: CANDICE GLOVER
Backstory: She works as an “excursions coordinator.” She was cut in Vegas last season.
Song: “(You Make Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
Impression: She looked as if she’s had a bit of styling already. The purple streak in her hair was hidden and her wardrobe has been updated. She picked a perfect song for her voice and delivered a solid KO. KEITH gives her a standing ovation, praised her song choice and called her a natural singer. NICKI said she was born to do this and that she has one of the strongest voices in the competition. RANDY said she was one of her favorites, and although he didn’t think it was her best performance, it was really good. MARIAH said it was “very nice.”
Contestant: JULIANA CHAHAYED
Backstory: She is 15 and sophomore in high school. She writes music as well.
Impression: She accompanied herself on the guitar that dwarfs her. Her pitch wobbles here and there, but her tone is incredibly sweet. She needs a little vocal maturing, but she definitely has something. KEITH noted that she struggled with pitch but he loved the tone, comparing her to Jewel and Taylor Swift. NICKI applauded that she already has a signature sound to her voice, but warned her that she seems very timid. RANDY liked the honesty in her delivery. MARIAH praised her angelic quality.
Contestant: JETT HERMANO
Backstory: She left an academic college scholarship to be a musician.
Song: “Only Girl (In the World)”
Impression: She made it her own, sitting at the piano. But it wasn’t that memorable, like something you’d hear in the background at a piano bar. KEITH loved the arrangement of slowing it down bringing out a different sexiness. NICKI liked the breathy falsetto, but never felt it climax. RANDY wanted more. MARIAH gave faint praise.
Contestant: CRISTABEL CLACK
Backstory: She is a worship leader and backup singer, as well as a mom.
Song: “No One”
Impression: Her voice cracked and then she went off pitch, but she gave it heart. Randy gave her a SO. KEITH loved her song choice and thought she had “crazy potential.” NICKI loved her rasp but felt it got out of control. RANDY thought she was on point and it sounded great. MARIAH liked it, but liked songs that showed off more what she can do.
Contestant: AUBREY CLELAND
Backstory: She is a 19-year-old college student from the farm.
Song: “Sweet Dreams”
Impression: She has such a pretty voice – definitely a Top 12 singer. She has a few soft pitch points, but overall, sold the song. KEITH liked her balance, poise and fire. NICKI said she looked and sounded like a current artist – and she was blown away. RANDY said she is a great commercial artist, also bringing up her pretty looks. MARIAH thought she is limitless.
Contestant: RACHEL HALE
Backstory: She is a small town girl and college student studying song writing.
Song: “Nothing But the Water”
Impression: She was confident, on pitch and strong. KEITH loved the song but felt it got on top of her in parts. NICKI was excited that she came alive. RANDY liked the energy of an up tempo song. MARIAH felt she didn’t hear her as much as with other performances.
Contestant: BREANNA STEER
Backstory: Hurricane Isaac wiped out her family’s home.
Song: “Bust Your Windows”
Impression: She infuses the song with lots of attitude. She’s wobbly her and there, but she hits the important notes. It’s a nice, confident performance. KEITH liked the song and her nerve. NICKI thought she was ready to record right away, based partly on her looks, calling her sexy on a stick. RANDY said he’s sign her right away because she looked amazing and she knows who she is. MARIAH loved the song and her amazing presentation.
Contestant: JANELLE ARTHUR
Backstory: She’s another country woman.
Song: “Just a Kiss”
Impression: She pushed too hard, but she has a soothing tone and a nice country sound. KEITH thought the song had a limited chorus and wasn’t good to show what she can do. NICKI said it felt flat and she didn’t have the ease usually does and over do it. RANDY called her his favorite country singer in the competition, but it wasn’t the right song for her. MARIAH said she is a fan and agreed it wasn’t the right song.
Contestant: ZOANETTE JOHNSON
Backstory: This is a National Anthem girl. She originally came from Liberia.
Song: “The Circle of Life”
Impression: I just don’t get her. Her pitch was all over the place. However, she was fully committed to her performance. She got a standing ovation from Keith, Nicki and Randy. KEITH loved that he never knows what she’s going to do and called her the queen of the jungle. NICKI said she “just served it.” RANDY said she showed why she was on the show. MARIAH said her spirit is too big to be contained.
YES: Zoanette Johnson, Aubrey Cleland, Candice Glover, Breanna Steer, Janelle Arthur
NO: Melinda Ademi, Juliana Chahayed, Cristabel Clack, Jett Hermano, Rachel Hale
And that means that cute Janelle Arthur won out over the more talented Rachel Hale. But that’s not to put Janelle down. In fact, if they hadn’t had this funny idea that we could only handle so many country singers, I would have put both Rachel and Janelle through and cut Zoanette.
Did you agree with the judges’ choices? Are you a fan of Zoanette? Are you like me and think that Candice will probably be in the Top 3? Give us your TwoCents…