We can prognosticate all we want, but there was no way we saw that coming. In an “American Idol” season that’s been about as surprising as a lyric about going #2 on a Lil Wayne album, Candice Glover finally provided a spark of excitement on Wednesday night … and might have just pulled out to an insurmountable lead.
We’re going to ignore the Burt Bacharach/Hal David portion of the night for now (because, well, we’re sure you did too) and focus on how Glover blew everyone’s mind with a cover of the Cure’s “Lovesong.” It was an inspired and inspiring choice for the Songs I Wish I Had Written-themed episode.
Glover threw a lifeline to the sinking S.S. Idol while Amber Holcomb proved her mettle once again, but it was the usual see-saw for the other four finalists. Meanwhile, Lazaro Arbos tanked it again, maybe for the last time. Who else made us wish they were songwriters, and who botched their verses? Here’s our “American Idol” report card.
Candice Glover: Glover’s “Don’t Make Me Over” felt like an instant classic, her voice rich and buttery and her confidence once again blazing through. Though she came at it through Adele, Glover’s genius decision to remake “Lovesong” by mope icons the Cure as a jazzy torch ballad was the artistic high point in a season that has been hovering at zero risk for too long. Grades: A, A+
Kree Harrison: A lot of “Idol” finalists say it, but even if Kree doesn’t make it to the top, she’s definitely got a big future ahead of her. She nailed “What the World Needs Now is Love,” making the schmaltzy ballad feel big and fresh (with a touch of twang) and killed with her sultry take on Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make it Through the Night.” But, as I’ve said before, she’s great, like Fruit Stripe gum, her flavor/personality fades way too fast to be memorable among this group of divas. Grades: A-, A-
Angie Miller: Her “Anyone Who Had a Heart” sounded like a yogurt commercial. The arrangement was generic and while Angie’s voice was typically strong, it didn’t really give us anything and even she looked bored. Despite picking an obscure song like “Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe for one she wished she’d written, Miller was totally in her element sitting at the piano and belting out the inspirational ballad. Grades: B, A
Amber Holcomb: While the song sounded throwback generic, Holcomb’s personality, not to mention her 70s denim jumper and wavy hair, totally sold “I Say a Little Prayer.” We knew she’d probably do Beyoncé for the one she wishes was hers, and “Love on Top” finally got Amber on the move for an uptempo song. The vocals, however, were closer to the middle. Grades: A-, B-
Janelle Arthur: While she looks like a star and has a 1,000 watt smile, Arthur’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” felt like something out of a corny 1970s variety show, right down to her phony flirting with a confused-looking Keith Urban. She wished she’d cooked up Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” but she could’ve picked something a bit more dynamic and not have hit that bum note at the end. Grades: B, B-
Lazaro Arbos: The self-described “Spanish Redneck” shot himself in the face with what Randy Jackson called a “horrible” cover of “Close To You.” Arbos has been flooring it in the Velveeta lane all season, but he managed to make the marshmallow song feel like a zero gravity trifle as he lost the key, and, possibly, the competition. His take on Robbie Williams’ “Angels” was like Josh Groanban, mostly on key, but just listless and blah. Grades: F, D
What did you think of Wednesday night’s performances? Let us know in comments below!
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News” “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest “Idol” news, interviews and opinions.