On Thursday, American Idol started the show with more footage of the Idols at the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles before moving on to a final four performance of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire." The song may as well been about Amber Holcomb with the swagger that she was displaying last night. It must have had to do with the fact that she was the only girl who was able to successfully name five things we didn't know about her in 20 seconds. It's the little things in life.
Jimmy Iovine then dished on Amber's performances last night and it was no surprise to hear he hated her performance of "MacArthur Park." It annoyed him that Amber selected a song that she couldn't really interpret because she didn't understand what it was about. While Jimmy's frankness is refreshing, the recognition that Amber struggles with being sharp and off-key more often than not, is still going unnoticed. Jimmy claimed that if America agreed with him, Amber would be in trouble this week.
Kree Harrison, who struggled with her first ever week of criticisms on Wednesday, had to endure another recap and listen to Jimmy complain about her dreadful song choice of "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Jimmy pointed out that no one could win the show with such a corny song. Remember contestants, it's not until after you are crowned American Idol that you get to sing corny songs, starting with the first single that Idol saddles you with. Although thankfully, Phil Phillips managed to dodge that bullet last season with the best coronation song of any Idol in history, "Home."
Then viewers were treated (and I use that term loosely) to a walk down memory lane with season 10 contestant Stefano Langone. Anyone who remembers my coverage of Season 10 knows that Stefano was never a favorite of mine. His perfectly adequate performance on Thursday resulted in an epiphany; Stefano and Angie Miller are a lot alike, they both have over-exuberant mannerisms and distracting enunciations when they are performing. The difference is that while it was easy to dislike Stefano in season 10, disliking Angie, when we live a stone's throw from one another, produces near-debilitating feelings of betrayal and disloyalty. Okay, not really, but there is twang of guilt now and again.
After Stefano performed, Candice Glover was treated to the best recap of her performances ever when Drake surprised her on stage to give her props for singing his song the night before. To see the normally composed, slightly reserved Candice jumping up and down and blushing like a school girl was incredibly endearing and entertaining. It almost made up for Idol's rather uninspired choices for returning contestants and past winners this week. If we're already reduced to Stefano and Lee DeWyze, what will the remaining few weeks have in store? Sanjaya and Taylor Hicks?
Last but not least were the Angie highlights. Jimmy agreed with the judges that Angie won the night and also agreed that she needed to stick with the piano in order to win. Certainly there have been great contestants in the past who always seemed more comfortable with an instrument, Phil Phillips comes to mind (now that I think of it, Phil Phillips is never far from my mind) but never before have the judges pushed harder for a contestant to stick to doing the same thing over and over again. It's one thing to encourage her talent on the piano, it's another to make her feel that the only time she is good enough to win is when she plays.
Finally, host Ryan Seacrest divided the girls into two groups, Angie and Kree and Candice and Amber, the top and bottom two. Learning that Candice was joining Amber in the bottom two was unexpected. But not quite as unexpected as when Ryan announced that no one would be leaving us tonight. Since the judges never used their save, Idol had an extra week before the finale, so they decided it would be a hoot to waste an hour of our lives waiting for an elimination that would never come.
Good thing Nicki MInaj orchestrated the Drake/Candice moment, otherwise I'd be bitter.