Here we go, and here are my comments as always written down before judges say anything.
Curtis: "Believe" - well this is getting the night started with all those great cliches we've come to know and love from American Idol songs. Right now this is working for me, but in many ways his jacket is more animated that this performance. And one of those notes was very flat. Not great. But he can still do that big note at the end.
Janelle: "Gone" - Now that's how you make an entrance! This is a great performance of a "just okay" song pick. But what this song does show is that she has some appeal beyond the pure country stuff. So it's better than her Lady Antebellum pick, but over the course of the song she had a hard time maintaining the fire of the song.
Devin: "Temporary Home" - This boy has a silky smooth voice. He's still my dark horse. no one thought that there was a teeny-bopper pick in this top 5 of guys, but if he is able to select some key songs that give him some tween girl traction, he could make life really miserable for the girls. I liked it.
Angie: "I Surrender" - Well she certainly does have the voice for this song - but what Jimmy is talking about and what's missing in her performance is what I would call "artist angst." - She is nailing it technically, and she's being honest with her performance, but she isn't diving into the heart of the song - she sings "I surrender" in a minor key but she's smiling a bit in the breaks. That's what makes it seems like a pageant performance.
Paul: "Amazed" - Well he's not oversinging, but this is also boring. Bored. Boring.
Candice: "I Have Nothing" - the control that it takes to go from belting the "I" and the "love" while cooing the immediate "you" that follows is very impressive. She's like if Mary J. Blige stole Beyonce's range in a street brawl. It was an amazing performance, best of the night.
Lazaro: "Breakaway" - Brunazaro Mars? His voice isn't made for this song - the band and BGVs are overpowering his performance. It's too bad because I think the sentiment of the song could work for his story but it just didn't connect this time.
Kree: "Crying" - Very solid performance - exactly what I would have expected of her - I hope people don't stop being amazed by her talents. It was a little too slow for me personally, but man she is great.
Burnell: "Flying Without Wings" - This boy has eyes! Nice to see him without those frames. What in the heck is he doing with his hands? Is he auditioning for the Children's Television Workshop? He almost had all the notes to do this song, but does anyone actually remember this song? I just heard it and I already forgot the melody. He's got a great voice but it needs a better song to really come alive.
Amber: "A Moment Like This" - Ahhh, the original cliche finale tune! She had complete control of this performance the whole way through - my only feeling was that the arrangement was pretty "Disney World" especially the background vocals. - but her runs were off the charts good.
Random thoughts: So was Nicki lost in a penguin boxing ring? Is that why she was late? Will someone please put some more light on the pianist for Devin's song? He obviously can't see his music and continues to play wrong notes...
Nicki about Angie: "You personify perfection."
Randy about Angie; "Your voice was clystal clear."
Nicki: (after Candice killed it) "It would be in everybody's best interest to never ever perform that song again."
Keith about Amber: "That was a fan, I'm a fan"
Gotta love the snark of Mariah unwilling to mention Beyonce's name...
Who is in the bottom three? Based on performance, I would put Lazaro, Burnell, and Curtis in there. But I bet a Janelle or Angie will be shocked to be in the bottom three based on popular vote. We shall see...