of 8: Imported From Detroit
It's a story
of innovators. It's a story about the American Dream.
It's a story of visionaries. It's a story that will take
our remaining eight Idolers through Dearborn all the way
to Hitsville USA. This is the story of Detroit.
On hand to assist Jimmy with
his mentoring is the one and only Smokey Robinson (who, by the way, is
working on a duets album while working on "Motown the Musical: The Life
of Berry Gordy").
Candice Glover's "I Who Have
Nothing" drove Mr. Robinson to tears, but will he be smiling after she
sings Marvin Gaye's "(I Heard It Through the) Grapevine"?
THEY SAY: Keith says she has
great instrument control, calling it her best performance. Nicki says
that it was good to see that rocky, bluesy side of her. Randy thinks she
believes that she belongs in this competition. Mariah gives the old
standby: "You are what this competition is."
WE SAY: Sounds like she's
playing from the Gladys Knight playbook. This was perhaps the perfect
song choice for Candice. She honestly can do no wrong. Or at least she
has yet to do wrong. In any event, she's a shoo-in for survival with a
raspy, soulful, sultry take on this classic. The gauntlet, she is
Next up, a non-scoring round
with a group collabo. Here's Janelle Arthur & Kree Harrison with a
country-strong version (pulled from Jennifer Nettles) of Madonna's "Like
Lazaro Arbos was called out
by Jimmy last week. Tonight, he'll answer those charges with Stevie
Wonder's take on "For Once in My Life".
THEY SAY: Randy says it's
"far better than last week". Mariah liked it. Keith says tonight had to
be about choosing the right song that rhythmically fit him. Nicki says
"Ricky" is back, and then says something about Smokey being his sugar
daddy and a sexy piece of specimen?
WE SAY: This is perhaps the
song that Lazaro was waiting for. We hear both the slow and mellow
Frankie vibe and the quick Stevie vibe, and they mesh together well. Now
if only he did a little more with it. I mean, this was high energy and
frantic when Stevie did it. When Lazaro does it, it's just ... meh. Not
to mention sharp.
Janelle Arthur "country-fying"
"Keep Me Hanging On". First thought. Why? Second thought? Why not? Let's
see what she can do.
THEY SAY: Mariah says
"Janelle at her finest!" Keith loves the arrangement and the hidden
angst therein. Nicki says she's "amazing", but her voice "isn't how it
normally is". Randy thought it was "incredible"
WE SAY: Janelle is falling
into a familiar trap. She's becoming "the country artist". That's good
for a country audience, but she's performing for votes, and that means
tapping into genres that she would probably not picture herself doing.
On the other hand, she's got a nice little outlaw radio vibe for her
Devin Velez is going to pay
homage to the Miracle man himself with "Tracks of My Tears". If he
doesn't deliver a solid, exciting vocal, he could be the one crying.
THEY SAY: Keith could feel
Devin relaxing into it, but he can see him thinking about what to sing
next. Nicki... says something about a ripe banana. Randy says Devin is
back. Mariah loved it from the second she heard the piece. Smokey
thought it was awesome.
WE SAY: Devin is up against
Burnell.... Candice... AND Amber. There's a glut in the R&B department.
And Devin still hasn't done anything in a voting round to stand apart.
The tracks of his tears could lead him back to Chicago.
(FUN FACT: according to the
Twitterverse, 38% of Idol fans love country, compared to 27 for pop, 18
for R&B and 17 for rock. Could be a factor later on)
Next group number is Amber,
Angie, and Candice goofing on the Supremes with "I'm Gonna Make You Love
Me". I know this is a non-scoring performance, but... DAMN! If the Idol
thing doesn't work out, you have a hell of a girl group here.
We go right into Burnell
Taylor with Stevie's "My Cherie Amour", a song about a woman who is so
near, yet so far. It's the quintessential love song. Is Burnell going to
quintessentially love singing it?
THEY SAY: Nicki is reminded
how she fell in love with his voice, being rich and soulful. Randy
thought he was in it. Mariah appreciated the song. Keith wonders where
Ron Burgundy is while commenting on how original Burnell is.
WE SAY: He has the tone down
pat, but the phrasing was kinda off. And there was a disconnect between
him and his "cherie amorb."
Angie Miller's hoping to
"Shop Around" her voice to Smokey, who knows a thing or two about how to
do that song proper justice. Does Angie?
THEY SAY: Randy thought it
was strange and pitchy. Mariah wanted her at the piano. Keith says we'll
see her next week. Nicki says that Angie tried to show a side of Angie
that didn't need to be shown. You know what... this is her. "It doesn't
feel like an organic choice just for your swag... If your thing is not
R&B or bluesy, switch it up and do what you shine at. Don't try and give
us another side. We ain't ask for another side yet!"
WE SAY: ... we agree with
Nicki? Wha? Huh? In short, a giant. Step. Backwards.
Going back to Stevie for a
mo, here's Amber Holcomb with "Lately". It hasn't been done since Jodeci
did it in the 90s. Will Amber be a reminder as to why?
THEY SAY: Mariah thought it
was a tour de force before .... well, going blue. Keith thought it was
mesmerizing. Nicki: "When God created those vocal chords, He was just
showing off, honeychild." Randy thought it was the best of the night.
WE SAY: Simple song sung
simply is always the best bet to go. Amber didn't need to go to certain
places. She didn't, and the song is all the better for it. She was
singing for survival. And she's only going to get better.
Now the MEN of Idol take on
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)." ... Yeah.
Time to end the tour of
Detroit with Kree Harrison with "Don't Play That Song" by Aretha
Franklin. She's looking to bring more attitude to the stage. She still
remembers singing "Shop Around" at age 6 (maybe SHE should've sung it!),
but will her performance tonight leave us saying THE EXACT SAME THING?
THEY SAY: Randy thought she
was here to say. Mariah agrees. Keith loves that she stayed true to
herself. Nicki says she's organic and natural.
WE SAY: Janelle, take notes.
This is how you play to win Idol. You choose a knockout song, you don't
go by the book on it, and you draw everyone in. Don't be afraid to take
a risk. Not the perfect vocal, but it got the job done.
And so this trip to Detroit
comes to an end thusly.
DRIVER'S SEAT: Amber and
SHOTGUN: Janelle, Lazaro, Burnell, Kree
CRAMMED IN THE BOOT: Devin, Angie
But who's headed on the next
plane back to... the UPPER PENINSULA? GASP! Results tomorrow!