American Idol – Recap & Review – Songs from Past Idol Winners

photo: fox

photo: fox

American Idol
Songs from Past Idol Winners

Original Air Date: Mar 13, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

There’s something about the ugly sight of an empty chair. For the top of the show and through the first performance, Nicki was missing. It’s implied that she was stuck in traffic. Sounds like someone doesn’t have good time management, hmmm?

It’s a new theme: Songs by Idols from when they competed and post competition. In other words, it’s one big commercial for the Idol machine.

But after all the cutting and loss of other contests (I’ll always miss Charlie Askew), this has to be one of the best Top 10 in five seasons. There isn’t a real clunker (although I would argue that Lazaro Arbos comes close) in the bunch. Here’s how they did:

Contestant: CURTIS FINCH JR.
Song: “I Believe” by Fantasia
My Impression: It’s a nice, but his performance doesn’t have the emotional impact of Fantasia. And he went flat on one of his big money notes. This was a disappointment.
Judges: KEITH said he picked the right song but thought his adrenalin made him sharp.
RANDY cautioned him to try something different and show him other sides.
MARIAH was happy about the choir feeling and wanted more gospel tinge.

Song: “Gone” by Scotty McCreery
My Impression: She does fine job, but the song doesn’t show off her classic country sound well. She does have a very appealing personality.
Judges: KEITH thought she burned it up and it was great.
NICKI called her King Arthur, but thought last week’s song suited her better.
RANDY thought the song didn’t go anywhere.
MARIAH said her aura was giving off stars but she would rather hear a ballad.

Contestant: DEVIN VELEZ
Song: “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood
My Impression: I love his voice. But the song was too sleepy for this point in the competition. It didn’t give him any “moments.” He struggled with the last note in falsetto.
Judges: KEITH said it was not one of his best performances, probably due to the song choice, but he has a beautiful voice.
NICKI disagreed with everything Keith said and thought he sounded great.
RANDY thought it was too safe and he needed to remember he’s still in a competition.
MARIAH said he has the ability to do so much vocally, so they expect more.

Contestant: ANGIE MILLER
Song: “I Surrender” by Kelly Clarkson
My Impression: Jimmy warns her not to pose like a beauty contestant. She doesn’t seem to be comfortable out on the stage without her piano. This is not a song to parade around on. But her vocal is outstanding.
Judges: KEITH said she makes songs sound current and she knocked it out of the park.
NICKI thought she looked like a million dollars and liked how she walks in heels. She thought Angie personifies perfection.
RANDY said the competition started with her and thought she could sing anything.
MARIAH said “stellar.”

Contestant: PAUL JOLLEY
Song: “Amazed” by Scotty McCreery
My Impression: He began sitting on the steps and looked like he took Jimmy’s advice to tone down the theatrics. It’s nicely restrained and showed off his voice really well.
Judges: KEITH felt like he had been listening and it was one of his better performances.
NICKI said this is the first time he stimulated her sexual appetite and thought he did the song justice.
RANDY called it a great song choice and also applauded his listening to them.
MARIAH loved that he learn to hold back, but he should forget those going on. (Huh?)

Song: “I (Who Have Nothing)” by Jordin Sparks
My Impression: Wow – what a make over. She looks like a model. This is a very passionate, polished performance. You can feel her emotion from the toes up. No one could beat that. She gets a standing ovation from Keith, Nicki and Randy.
Judges: KEITH said he loved her so much and thought she had what Shirley Bassey had, plus she did it effortlessly.
NICKI said it would be in everyone’s best interest to never perform that song again and it was her favorite that Candice has ever done.
RANDY said she really worked the song out and it was the best performance of season 12 so far. It was perfect.
MARIAH called her mesmerizing and the only reason she didn’t stand up was because her skirt was too tight.

Contestant: LAZARO ARBOS
Song: “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
My Impression: He seems nervous, trying to figure out the cameras. He also stutters worse than before. I like his new hairdo. There’s very little emotional connection with the song.
Judges: KEITH didn’t feel that song fit his wheelhouse.
NICKI liked his Ricky Ricardo look but it was her least favorite from him and pointed out how nervous he looked.
RANDY thought it wasn’t the right song for him, that it was too big.
MARIAH said people are falling in love with his courage but didn’t care for the song choice.

Song: “Crying” by Carrie Underwood
My Impression: Beautiful. She’s such a mature singer and makes this song light and sweet.
Judges: KEITH said he’d buy her record tomorrow – that she’s already there.
NICKI said her performance was smooth and fun (comparing her to eating buttermilk waffles).
RANDY thought her voice was infectious and it gives him tingle – very subtle and full of emotion.
MARIAH said she can’t help be real when she sings.

Song: “Flying Without Wings” by Ruben Studdard
My Impression: He performs without his glasses and lots of stage fog. He has got to keep his hands more still – it looks as through he was conducting and orchestra or plucking the notes from the air. It’s an OK song, but he doesn’t bring anything special to it.
Judges: KEITH praised his unique tone and called him “magnetic.”
NICKI loved the song and him, that he’s on his way.
RANDY called it very, very nice and he finally believes in himself.
MARIAH liked it.

Song: “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson
My Impression: She gets a wind machine and a great outfit. It’s hard to believe that she’s a teen as she commends the stage well. She hits a great glory note and knocks it out of the park.
Judges: KEITH called it beautiful and praised her effortless singing.
NICKI said it was the best performance of the night and compared her to Whitney. (Did she remember Candice?)
RANDY thought she blew it out of the box and that she feels like she belonged there.
MARIAH “hashtag Pow!” and then called her singing a natural gift.

I waited to hear more about the contest for two others to compete for a spot on the tour, but they didn’t have further details. Still hoping Charlie has a chance.

Do you think the women beat the guys? Who do you think is in danger? Wouldn’t it be great to have a Candice and Kree finale? Give us your TwoCents…

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