'American Idol': Hollywood, part 4
Final cuts are painful as 74 girls, 28 guys are trimmed to 20 per gender
Angela aces 'Idol': Singing an original song accompanying herself on piano, Angela Miller was the clear highlight of the final Hollywood episode.
"Idol" had a lot of business to take care of in an hour. First up: Reduce 47 survivors of the girl-group shambles to 20. Then there were the 28 guys remaining from last week who had to be pared to 20 as well. And as it turned out, there was a little extra business to wrap up.
So it was necessarily a fast-paced episode. We saw 10 of the final 47 performances, accompanied by the house band and consisting of songs from a list or original compositions – an interesting wrinkle that paid immediate dividends. The first contestant shown, Angela Miller, decided to play her own "You Set Me Free" at the piano, and – defying the show-biz dictum about not peaking too early – it was the highlight of the episode, ethereal like a Florence & the Machine intro before settling into slightly more mundane musical territory in the chorus.
Candice Glover then ripped Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" a new, fiercer incarnation, followed by perennial contestant Janelle Arthur's assured rendition of Randy Travis' "I Told You So" (as filtered through Carrie Underwood). Then one of the girls' two designated eccentrics, wild-haired and -eyed Zoanette Johnson, debuted an original at the drums, a rhythmic improvisation name-dropping the "Idol" judges that collapsed mid-song when Zoanette misplaced a stick after berating the bemused band to slow down the tempo. This travesty greatly amused and entranced the judges (it couldn't have been the name-dropping …), and Zoanette, along with the first three singers shown, plus unseen Jett Hermano, were voted through.
For spectacle and spectacular vocals, it would have been hard to top the first segment, and the episode didn't come close. Shubha Vedula sang "When You Believe," the less-than-memorable duet by Whitney Houston and Judge Mariah, which touched Mariah deeply, almost as if she didn't know it was on the song list. From what little we were allowed to hear, Juliana Chahayed's version of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" was pretty good, and – although the actual decisions weren't shown – we can presume they both made it.
Designated Eccentric No. 2, Kez Ban, accompanied herself on guitar on an extremely short original that managed to meander like the Mississippi. With one D.E. already chosen, it came as no surprise that Kez was rejected, although Ryan Seacrest let her hoist a boom microphone as a consolation prize.
Next came three final performances. Ashlee Feliciano picked Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years," which, is at least metaphorically, preferable to Perri's "Jar of Hearts," with a few showy Mariah-style high notes for the dogs watching at home with their owners. Following a complaint by Randy that too many singers were picking serious songs (meaning, no doubt, the boring ballads that "Idol" girls dote on), which segued into a brief montage of serious introductions to some of these serious songs, Melinda Ademi did a lively version of a tedious but semi-upbeat song, Jessie J's "Price Tag." And Kree Harrison delivered a powerful, country-tinged version of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' "Stars," a song the "Idol" producers quickly snatched from the most recent season of "The Voice."
Ashlee's Mariah impression did not win her a yes vote, but Melinda and Kree were voted onward, along with the unseen Lauren Mink … but not for long. After the break, it was revealed that, as happened with the guys, too many girls had been given the affirmative, so four had to be quickly eliminated. Poor Lauren was the first one cut, along with two others; then Barbie-like Stephanie Schimel and giddy Rachel Hale were forced into an instant, band-accompanied sing-off. Stephanie tried to curry favor by covering Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips' hit "Home," while Rachel went for the same trick, covering Season 10 third-place finisher Haley Reinhart's "Undone." Rachel's delivery was stronger, and the judges chose her.
That left five minutes to send eight guys home, complicated further by another sing-off, this one between freakishly stratospheric singer Adam Sanders, who did Celine Dion's "What Do You Say," and gospel aspirant Josh Holiday, who did the 374th version of "Georgia on My Mind" since the show began in 2002. Adam seemed more impressive, or at least more distinctive, but Josh split his pants and, in a possibly related move, got the nod. Adam and seven others were briefly shown getting their bad news, and there was just enough time left to set the stage for next week's sudden death round in Las Vegas.
Beyond Vegas: It's a default choice, but Angela Miller really was impressive and should make the top 10.
Staying in Vegas: This idle obsession with the loopy Zoanette Johnson needs to end next week. I would declare this with more confidence if it weren't for painful past experience watching the likes of Heejun Han and of course Sanjaya Malakar cruise appallingly high in the finals.
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
randy said years ago...WE CUD HAVE A COUNTRY WINNER. guess what? that season 2 country singers were in the finals. now he says a GIRL cud win. if that doesnt smack of
"fixed" nothing does.
Candice Glover was one of my favorite singers that night, along with Angela Miller. It really was an interesting episode with the funny and fantastic being showcased. I’ve been watching Idol from the beginning and I wouldn’t miss it for the world, and never do because my DISH Hopper automatically records all of my favorite primetime shows, including American Idol on FOX. This way I don’t worry about time changes and missing my show. Then, I can talk about it when I’m at work at DISH, because American Idol is a popular conversation since we’re all TV junkies. LOL!
American Idol used to be the best program on TV by far. I stopped watching my favorite show when I saw the favoritism shown for some contestants that looked a certain way, was a certain gender, or race, over those with real talent.
When I saw who the judges were this year that sealed it.
The producers of American Idol need to get a clue.
You just lost me and the people I know that were loyal viewers over the years. We all have the same complaint.
Sorry it will be The Voice and America's Got Talent from now on.
Now, I'm totally against the teeny boppers voting for a dude cause he's good looking, because we all know how that played out (Kris Allen), but I'm also against persuading viewers to vote "girl" simply because a girl hasn't won in six years.
I too was very disappointed and pissed last night as well. And you wonder why American Idol has lost it's audience. It's because of stupid moves like keeping that gorilla (Zonetta), I believe on the show. The girl never should have been given a golden ticket through audition. She has been horrible from the beginning. Singers that had way more talent like Kiera Lanier and many others were sent home over this beast. She's a hot mess (literally and seriously). Believe me America will not be voting for her and if they do they are worst than the judges who put her through. If America is as harsh as I believe them to be she will be the first to go home....as that would be the right decision. It was a joke last night!
This is a re-write to what I wrote earlier because Ms. Net was correct that I should not have called her a gorilla and I apologize for my ignorance and wouldn't want anyone to call me a gorilla. In any rate, you could tell by my response I was worked up by how the Idol judges could overlook great talent. In the event that Zonette wins, you can then consider Idol's ratings to decrease even more because of the judges inability to TRULY recognize great talent. As Randy always points outs "This is what (Idol) is all about". After last night, his motto totally went out the window when Zonetta was kept in the top 20 ladies...
Zoanette is so bad, Angela has been my favorite since her first audition and last night's performance was nothing short of amazing, she should make the top 10 just from that. Mariah Carey is so annoying and smug, yuck. I like the other three judges, I can see why poeple might not like Nicki Minaj but I love her craziness. One thing I have to say, I have watched every season of Idol and never have I seen so many people make it through group rounds with forgetting their words, Simon would have never allowed that. I felt for some of the contestants that sang well and didn't make it out of group rounds but crappy word forgetting people did. Right now, Angela is my winner no doubt. Janelle is really likeable and talented too. Candice has an amazing voice but she doesn't smile enough and is a bit unlikeable imo.
I wont watch this show no more that was a big joke last night keeping that Zoanette ...(REALLY)
letting the other 2 girls go ...they were better by far ....crazy ....