Top 5 Perform
Original Air Date: Apr 17, 2013
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
The show begins with sympathies to the people of Boston. Then it’s zip, zip, zip to the two performances by each of the remaining five contestants. They sang a song from the year they were born and then a diva song.
With five such top-notch singers, no one faltered. I couldn’t help thinking how nice a Larazo-free show is!
SONGS FROM THE YEAR THEY WERE BORN
CANDICE GLOVER: “STRAIGHT UP”
1989 – It’s fun and jazz with syncopated rhythm. And it’s nice to see her lighter side. But was it showy enough to make an impact from the top of the lineup?
KEITH said it was great version and her vocal control is amazing. Her runs are like a slow wink from across the bar. NICKI said she once again showed she is boss and liked that she puts her own spin on it. RANDY loved the arrangement and how it made it more current. MARIAH called her a “song choice genius.” JIMMY disagreed with the judges and said she needed a song that showed her whole vocal range.
JANELLE ARTHUR: “When I Call Your Name”
1989 — She has her guitar but barely plays it. She doesn’t do anything special with it except for a few extras runs. It’s nice, but nowhere near great.
KEITH said the song is all emotion and while her voice is beautiful, but he didn’t feel the emotion – that she spent all her time thinking about hitting the notes and runs that she missed the heartbreak of the song. NICKI feels when she has her guitar, she’s more comfortable on the stage, and when she’s without it she overcompensates. She called her vocals pretty. RANDY thought she did a really good job. MARIAH said she was singing with her whole heart. She brought Mimi to tears. JIMMY agreed with Keith that she wasn’t strong enough. She will stay on the middle of the pack unless she shows more emotion.
KREE HARRISON: “She Talks to Angels”
1990 — She showed more emotion in her face and especially vocally, which she needed to do. Excellent.
KEITH said her voice is so fine and real but wishes she didn’t have to deal with cameras and other distractions. NICKI said it was the best performance of the night by far and could be a current song. “It was perfection.” RANDY loved the natural blues and soul in her voice. It wasn’t flawless but it was emotional and he loved it. MARIAH said she loved hearing anything Kree sings. But felt she was performing more than in the past.
JIMMY thought it felt Kumbaya and wasn’t strong enough.
ANGIE MILLER: “I’ll Stand By You”
1994 — She’s a little wavery on the notes. But she’s back at the piano, which does seem to ground her. She gets a standing O from Keith, Randy and Mariah. She dedicates the song to her hometown of Boston.
KEITH loved her at the piano and praised her song choice. Her tone makes him cry.
NICKI congratulated her on a great performance.
RANDY said this top 5 is the best top 5 they’ve ever had and Angie is one her way.
MARIAH called it beautiful and perfect.
JIMMY said she did a fabulous job making the song a power battle.
AMBER HOLCOMB: “Without You”
1994 — There are sections that are a little too low for her. I love her dress – very styling. But she hits those high soaring notes beautifully. She gets a standing O from everyone by Nicki.
KEITH said her singing has grown in leaps and bounds – it was beautiful. NICKI thought there was no feeling in the lower notes. Even the high notes didn’t impress her. RANDY said it wasn’t perfect, but he gives her mad props for doing it in front of Mariah. He thought she did a damn good job. MARIAH agreed about the lower register but did like some many of her other choices.
JIMMY gave her an 8 for daring, and even though she struggled with the lower register, felt she was the second best of the night.
SONGS BY DIVAS
CANDICE GLOVER: “When You Believe”
Pretty close to perfect. Standing O from ALL the judges.
KEITH loved her voice because it stops him in his tracks. Jimmy said that she had to pull of the stop, but Keith said she annihilated them. NICKI said that’s how to do a Mariah and Whitney song. RANDY said “again? That’s the best vocal of the night and she’s in the zone.” He said she has one of the best voices in the known world. MARIAH said she was so proud of her.
JANELLE ARTHUR: “Dumb Blonde”
I like her attitude. She doesn’t hit all the notes solidly. This is a nice side to her and it’s nice to hear a diva song that’s not a ballad.
KEITH didn’t think this song was high up on Dolly Parton song list and it didn’t allow her to shine.
NICKI thought she was in jeopardy of going home, but she will go far in the real world.
RANDY thought it was a fun song for her although it didn’t show anything new. Her would have liked something that showed more from her vocally.
MARIAH thought she was connected to the song but America has to hear her chops.
KREE HARRISON: “Have You Ever Been in Love”
This song shows off her amazing voice better than anything else she’s done. She got four standing Os. She such wonderful vocal vulnerability.
KEITH said it was a strong song choice, and she will inspire other girls to see you can have poise in country music. NICKI called her iconic, compared her to Adele and Celine. She just elevated her net worth. RANDY thought she sang it so well and could sing whatever she wanted because she is that good. MARIAH said she looked divalicious. She thought it was a smart song and key choice as it showed her versatility.
ANGIE MILLER: “Halo”
She’s wearing a metal chain dress. Very odd. She struggles with the lower notes (a theme this week?) but hits the money notes well, except for a few shrill ones. It’s a great song choice for her. Again, four standings Os.
KEITH said “definitely Top 3.” NICKI said “now my Angie is back.” RANDY said she’s in it to win it (it’s a broken record). MARIAH loved the clarity in her voice and said she’s here to stay.
AMBER HOLCOMB: “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”
Very sleepy and didn’t really build to anything. She does a beautiful job though. I just wish I was drawn into the song more. But I think it was enough to put her in the Top 3 this week.
KEITH said it was elegant and beautiful song and she did a great job. NICKI called it perfect and every note was on point. RANDY said it was the most difficult song of the season and she did it so well, adding that she reminded him of a young Rihanna. MARIAH thanked her for the performance.
My guess is that Janelle will be voted off — but wait! The judges’ save is only available this week and they’ve already planned for it in the number of shows. So I’m betting even money that NO ONE will be leaving this week.
Did you think the judges were a bit too easy on the contestants? What was with Jimmy judging – do we need five judges? Could they push Amber more? Give us your TwoCents…