American Idol – Recap & Review – Motown Night

photo: fox

photo: fox

American Idol
Motown Night

Original Air Date: Mar 27, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

It’s rare to see one contestant crash and burn so badly that you’re fairly certain they’re going to get voted off. But that’s exactly what happened during Motown Night.

The contestants got to work with legend Smokey Robinson, and they all recognized their good fortune in doing so. In fact, the show treated the Motown Midas like a king, which was only fitting.

Fun little side note: Both female judges wore red dresses. That must have been uncomfortable backstage! But not as uncomfortable as some of the group numbers…

CANDICE GLOVER: “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”
She slows it down and adds a smoky, bluesy tone to it. The outfit, with a balloon top and tight pants, doesn’t do her any favors. She blows the number away, but not sure it will be memorable by the end of the show. It’s that dreaded “going first” curse.
KEITH praised her control and thought it was best performance yet. NICKI thought she kept her eyes focused and did a great job of not over doing it. RANDY said she has one of the best voices in the competition. MARIAH said she epitomizes what the competition is about and thought it was excellent, but wants more of her churchy sound.

JANELLE AND KREE: “Like a Prayer”
You’d think this would be a power coupling, but the song kind of dragged. I found myself watching them follow the ever spinning camera more than listening to them.
NICKI thought it looked like Kree flew in to do a duet with an Idol contestant, while Janelle pushed it a bit and Kree outshone her. RANDY said Janelle’s pitch got away from her. MARIAH called it a sisterhood moment. KEITH thought the song worked well and they both sang great.

LAZARO ARBOS: “For Once in My Life”
He does much better than last week, but he still isn’t as strong as the others. He only had a few wobbly notes.
KEITH agreed with Smokey that he shines when he likes a song. NICKI said he gave her everything she needed and did a great job. RANDY didn’t think he completely redeemed himself, but it was far better. MARIAH thought it was wise that he chose a song in his sweet spot, then praised his courage. (What – he’s supposed to get a recording contract based on courage?)

JANELLE ARTHUR: “Keep Me Hanging On”
She plays the guitar and it sounds like Jewel doing the Supremes, much more poppy than anything she’s ever done. It was certainly different and well performed.
KEITH thought it was beautiful and applauded how she brought out the angst in the lyric. NICKI said she shines when she has her guitar with her, but didn’t feel her voice was in top form. RANDY thought it was incredible and one of her best performances on the show. MARIAH said it was Janelle at her finest.

DEVIN VELEZ: “Tracks of My Tears”
He gave it a real contemporary twist. What a smooth voice he has, but he needs to keep it exciting.
KEITH praised his style, but he needed to relax more into it. NICKI called it an amazing job and she loved every choice he made. RANDY said it was one of his best performances in weeks. MARIAH thought it was flawless.

AMBER, ANGIE and CANDICE: “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
Individually they sounds wonderful, but their harmony is just a little bit off.
MARIAH: “That was so Pow!”

BURNELL TAYLOR: “My Cherie Amour”
Dressed as the Good Humor Man, he really showed off that creamy tone of his with this song. But he had a few bad notes and he tried too hard to connect with the audience.
KEITH said he’s so original and good that he’s hard to critique. NICKI called it “very, very, very good,” adding that his voice is rich and soulful. RANDY loved his choices and how he didn’t have to do the big runs to show off. MARIAH liked the ensemble and said he did a wonderful job with one of her favorite songs ever.

ANGIE MILLER: “Shop Around”
She always looks like she posing for Vogue photo shoot. It’s distracting. Her pitch wasn’t as strong as it has been. From the short shorts she wore in the group number to the skintight dress for her solo, she seems to pushing herself as sexy singer.
KEITH said the melody keep pulling her down and that’s why she was sharp. NICKI thought she should do what people like her doing rather than giving them another style. RANDY loved the rock but noted she had pitch issues. MARIAH said she should have done “I’ll Be There” at the piano and this isn’t what she does best.

She’s tackling another little-known song, which is not the way to get the vote. Getting the second-to-last slot might help. She could make this song a hit right now. It was great to hear the power in her voice, although she had a few sharp notes. The judges all gave her a standing ovation
KEITH agreed with Mariah that it was a tour de force and she really felt the song. NICKI said it was out of this world and when God invented her vocal chords, He was showing off with hers. RANDY said it was the best vocal of the night and she is growing every week. MARIAH called it impeccable and she loved it.

Lazro screwed up and forgot most his words.
NICKI thought she was back in Hollywood Week and said Lazaro was flat as a pancake. She asked them to get off the stage. When Ryan asked them what happened, Devin said he knew the words but Lazaro admitted he did not. They knew how bad it was.

KREE HARRISON: “Don’t Play That Song”
She seems a little more nervous than usual, but she is awesome. I can’t figure out how she walks on heels that tall (well, she didn’t walk much).
KEITH loved that she reminds people of the soul and blues roots in country, but she always sounds like Kree. NICKI praised her unwavering confidence and called her a queen. RANDY said she is one of the best in the competition although this performance wasn’t her best. MARIAH commended her for doing this song and knows she’s here to stay.

I think that it’s a pretty easy bet that Lazaro is going home. He did terrible last week (and lied about how long he had to learn the song, then shed crocodile tears). He seemed to redeem himself a bit this week, although he just isn’t in the same league as the other remaining singers. But when he blew it on the group number, it was like he signed his own death warrant. It will take a miracle for him to stay on the show — and that won’t be good, because he’d be taking the spot of a better singer.

Do you think Lazaro should go? Will Candice be hurt by going first? Did Kree pull out in front? Give us your TwoCents…

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