American Idol 12: Three Girl Rhumba (Finals Round 9: Semi-Finals)

Here’s where we are: I watched The Voice’s results show live, and I’m doing this show in Amazing FastForwardVision on the DVR.  As we lurch to a joyless conclusion, where the manufactured feud between the female judges appears to be the show’s focus, I’m actually glad it’s over in 8 days.

A quick aside: The Voice did something honest and refreshing tonight that Idol will never do – The Voice admitted a voting discrepancy that forced them to toss out text and online voting this week, which means that only phone votes and iTunes sales counted toward the Top 12 on that show.  Interesting…

However, I try to finish the things I start, even this, so we’re off and running from Television City…

THIS! … is American Idol!

No opening montage – just the Top Three’s families on-stage with Seacrest… and cue the titles.

Instead, we get a hometown visit montage after the titles…

BREAK!!!  The girls’ dress for their first songs tells a lot – Kree, the country girl; Candice, the diva; Angie, all legs and teeth and hair – about how the producers see them…

Round One: Out-of-Touch Egotist Jimmy Iovine’s Choices

Kree Harrison
”F***in’ Perfect” (P!nk)

For the first time in a few weeks, Kree seems comfortable with and connected to the song.  Makes sense – she’s a big girl, I’m sure she got the bullying that P!nk sang about.  We’re getting the Kree that we saw back at the start of the process – a couple more like this, and she could just win this thing yet.

BREAK!!!

Candice Glover
”One” (U2, possibly with Mary J. Blige)
Not sure which version – the single or the duet – this is meant to cover.  She seems a bit flat tonight, at least at the start.  As she got into the song, I’d say it was the U2/Blige version… and she still never really seemed to get fully invested in the song. Her voice is so good that she can get away with it, but she needs to pick it up a bit later.

BREAK!!! 

Angie Miller
“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” (Elton John)
Looks like Iovine is trying to sabotage Angie – giving her one of Sir Elton’s slowest ballads at a point where she could have used an uptempo number.  We know she can do ballads.  And she does a solid vocal job, but it’s static and kind of lifeless.  Not going to help with votes…

Round One Recap: Kree by a small margin.

BREAK!!!  #shutupjimmy

Round Two: Judges’ Choice

Candice gets a visit to the Product Placement Red Zone and a montage of her hometown visit.  I sense a theme here… although if they’re blowing out this much time on the hometown montages tonight, what are they going to fill the hour with tomorrow night?  Keep in mind that the hometowns were saved for the results show last year.  #beveryafraid

And to avoid having one judge not intro a song, none of the judges are.  Seacrest is doing the intros for the Judges’ Choice songs.

Candice Glover
“Next To Me” (Emeli Sandé)
Ms. Sande appears on the Gatsby soundtrack doing “Crazy In Love”.  She has two songs in the playlist tonight.  There are no coincidences on Idol.  The song is a good lite-rocker, a basic love song suited for Candice’s ability to belt out a song.  And she carried it off well.

The judges are out of control, just for the record.  If you watched, you know why I said that.  If you didn’t, you’re probably fortunate.  I have no doubt we are way over on time right now (and I’m DVRing).

BREAK!!!

Angie’s brother visits on-stage for the hometown Product Placement Red Zone.  Because her brother is overly influenced by hockey, apparently, he’s growing a “playoff beard”.  And… cue the montage… which, because Idol is shameless, plays hard on the #BostonStrong theme…

Angie Miller
”Try” (P!nk)
Angie needed to belt out a rock song… and this is about as close as the rockphobic Idol production crew was going to let her get.  And like Kree in the first round, she caught the vibe of the song and really showed a side of her style that Idol hasn’t let her show… she just plain had fun doing a song.  One of her best of the season.

BREAK!!!

And we run the cycle again – Product Placement Red Zone, montage, song – with Kree… I guess nobody told Kree that having your monitor earpieces out and next to your microphone will cause nasty feedback… of course, the vibe of Kree’s hometown visit is different without parents waiting for her at home…

Kree Harrison
”Here Comes Goodbye” (Rascal Flatts)
Surprised they didn’t mention former Idol finalist Chris Sligh wrote this… but if the judges want to show her as The Country Girl, this is about as country as it gets… and she gives it a solid, if somewhat karaoke, reading.  Good job.

Round Two recap: Angie won this round big. 

BREAK!!! I forgot about Kree’s backstory last week when I snarked on the choice of “See You Again”… I’m sorry for that.  That said, Nicki needs to shut up about this.  Also, #shutupjimmy.

Round Three: “Producer” (Nigel Lythgoe) Choices

Angie Miller
”Maybe” (Emeli Sandé)
Angie’s back behind the piano, singing a breakup song from tonight’s paid-placement original singer (yes, I said it).  As has been true all season, she’s clearly much more comfortable behind the piano.  She gave it her all, and gave another solid performance.

BREAK!!!

Kree Harrison
”Better Dig Two” (The Band Perry)
I am not saying what we’re all thinking.  Yet.  Actually, yes I am.  A song about “digging two” graves after her last segment???  What were they thinking????  Right, it’s a current country track.   And she came out, and like the pro she is, she gave it a good run (and avoided the soundalike route). 

BREAK!!!

Candice Glover
”Somewhere” (West Side Story Soundtrack/Barbra Streisand)
This was probably the wrong song at the wrong time in the wrong place.  it felt old.  It made Candice feel old.  And although she got the Idol Note out of it, it is absolutely the wrong last memory she wanted the voters to have (unless, of course, there are more older voters than I expected).  Sure, the Idolbots loved it, they love everything.  But while it was a good job, it is exactly what is wrong with Idol.

Round Three recap: I liked Angie’s performance best, but really, this segment feels very much like a missed opportunity.  I wish they had stuck with Contestant’s Choice as the original announcement indicated.

GET IOVINE OFF THE DAMN STAGE.  When they revamp Idol for season 13, if it’s not cancelled, firing his out-of-touch, arrogant, egotistical ass should be the first thing they do.

The Recap

It feels like the script was that Angie would go home and Kree and Candice would go at it next week.  But I think Angie had the best overall night.  I just don’t know that the voters will care.

In my heart, I’d send Candice home.

In my head, America will send Angie home.

If the producers want to spite VFTW, they’ll send Kree home.

I’ll be doing a late blog tomorrow (and again on finale night)… which, as noted at the top, should really indicate how far over the shark Idol is flying.  That said, Lauren Alaina’s onstage tomorrow, so that’ll be fun, and Alicia Keys will be there.  See you later tomorrow night.

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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