For once, Randy Jackson’s effusive praise for an American Idol contestant was richly deserved. As fellow judge Keith Urban did a series of bows, Jackson declared Candice Glover’s take on Adele’s version of The Cure’s “Lovesong” one of the best vocals in the 12 year history of American Idol.
My Mom, who hasn’t watched a minute of American Idol this year, heard the first few notes and declared that Candice was a blend of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn. I can’t say it better than that.
As much as I love Kree Harrison who was also terrific last night, Candice declared herself ready for stardom if there is a place in the internet-driven music world for a jazz/R & B powerhouse. Her first tune was also excellent, a powerful take on the Dionne Warwick/Bacharach & David hit, “Don’t Make Me Over.”
This night featured Bacharach & David tunes for the contestants’ first song, and a song “they wished they had written” for their second tune.
Kreedom delivered two outstanding performances to come in second for the night, with a solid take on “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and an even better, heartfelt version of the beautiful Kris Kristofferson song “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
Before we get to the other ladies, there is the continuing Lazaro problem. He absolutely butchered the Bacharach/David/Carpenters’ hit “(They Long to Be) Close To You,” one of my all time favorite songs from my high school years.
I did Sanjaya a disservice when I compared Lazaro to him in last week’s blog. Sanjaya was never this bad.
Now back to the other ladies. Angie Miller delivered one mediocre performance with “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” and successfully returned to her piano wheelhouse with Kari Jobe’s “Love Came Down.”
I thought this was not a good night for Amber Holcomb but the judges disagreed, as they seemed to enjoy both “I Say A Little Prayer” and Beyonce’s “Love On Top.” The Beyonce take was screechy at times, yet Nicki M was saying that Beyonce better watch out. Seriously?
We know Janelle Arthur is not winning this competition, but I think she will find a recording contract in Nashville. She had fun with “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and did a lovely job with Garth Brooks’ superb “The Dance.”
My top six:
1) Candice Glover
2) Kree Harrison
3) Janelle Arthur
4) Angie Miller
5) Amber Holcomb
6) Lazaro Arbos