With a dual theme of Year You Were Born and Divas on Wednesday night (April 17), Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Janelle Arthur told MTV News that they pulled no punches in choosing their songs this week. With the first “Idol” crown for a female in five seasons at stake and all five in need of a breakout week to take a lead, they weren’t shy, tapping everything from judge Mariah Carey’s catalog, to former judge Paula Abdul, Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Beyoncé and a special song in tribute to the victims of this week’s bombings in Boston.
MTV News asked the top five to break down their choices:
Divas: “I picked [Barbra Streisand’s ’What Are You Doing For the Rest of Your Life’] because it’s really jazzy and it kind of goes back to when I sang ’My Funny Valentine.’ I’ve shown America all these new things and I want to show them even more.
Year I Was Born: [Carey’s “Without You”] “It’s going to be kind of weird singing a Mariah Carey song in front of Mariah Carey. But I feel like I sing it like me, so it won’t be, ’Ohh! You’re singing Mariah!’ [It’ll be like] ’Amber you’re just singing.'”
Divas: [Beyoncé’s “Halo”] “That’s huge, that’s a big song, but I’m so excited to do it. I love that song.”
Year I Was Born: [Pretenders “I’ll Stand By You”] “I love that song. It’s a good ballad-y, mid-tempo song and I’m probably going to play piano for that. I think it’s perfect for right now, especially with everything that happened in Boston, my hometown. Being able to sing that song and dedicate it to them will be amazing. I want to do that so badly.”
Divas: [Carey and Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe”] “You can’t have divas week without Mariah Carey and without Whitney Houston. And I feel to pay homage to both of them I could do a song they did together.”
Year I Was Born: [Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”] “It’s a very, very unexpected song choice and I think that that’s why I went with it. I never had a chance to meet Paula. I was on the show season nine [Abdul left in season eight] … but [producer] Nigel [Lythgoe] tweeted her and told her to make sure she’s watching because it’s a really cool arrangement.
Divas: [Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde”] “It’s an older song of hers and I knew there would be a risk with doing a song that’s not as well known. Even for Dolly fans I think that’s a stretch for them too. It was the right choice because I have my own arrangement of it and I’ve done something with it to make it to make it more current, more relevant.”
Year I Was Born: [Vince Gill’s “When I Call Your Name”] “I just kind of thought it was so fitting to do that and so I’m really happy.”
Divas: [Celine Dion’s “Have You Ever Been in Love?”] “I just think it’s so pretty. I just hope it’s going to be a good moment for me.”
Year I Was Born: [Black Crowes “She Talks To Angels”] “I just think that it’s a fun song even though it’s kind of a darker lyric. There’s a happy medium of rocking out and respecting the original. I’m gonna put my ’Kree’ twist on it.”
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