'American Idol': The Future One-Hit Wonders of the World Salute You

The Atlantic Wire

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The final four! We've finally made it. How are your brackets doing? Mine is wrecked. For some reason I had Zoanette and Johnny Keyser going all the way. What was I thinking? Candice out in the first round? Angie Miller losing to Papa Peaches? What a mess. I should never put money in for these things, I'm terrible. But maybe some of you are better at it. Maybe this is the top four you always envisioned. If so, I congratulate you. And with a deep sigh of relief I tell all of you that yes, we are almost done. Thank heavens. Since there are only four gals left, let's just go gal-by-gal, shall we?

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Candice Glover

So the theme was "One Hit Wonders" and... just some other song they picked. They've kinda given up on the whole theme thing at this point. Candice's first song was her choice, and it was a version of a song by Aubrey Graham from Degrassi the Next Generation. He's a hip-hop/R&B artist now and records songs that are pretty popular! Isn't that cool? Nina Dobrev is on Vampire Diaries, Shenae Grimes was on 90210, and Aubrey Graham is a rap artist! Such talented kids, that Degrassi gang. Anyway, Candice sang it well as she always does, but the judges were a little eh on it, saying it sounded too adult contempo or something. And of course that's going to be Candie's problem, isn't it, that she plays a little old and nobody in the music business likes old people. Not a single person. I guess you could say that Barbra Streisand like old people, but Barbra Streisand isn't in the music business, she's in the Barbra Streisand business. So really nobody, not one living soul, in the music business likes old people. Meaning, you got to figure it you, Candice. It was a good decision to pick a contemporary song, but maybe next time pick one a little cooler than something by a Canadian teen soap star, y'know? There's nothing cool about Aubrey Graham, I'm afraid.

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Candice's next song was "Emotion," which was originally sung by a one-hit wonder, yes, but also has been done by the Bee Gees and by Destiny's Child, so I'm not quite sure that really fits the assignment. But whatever. Once again Candice did a good job with the whole singing thing, but also once again it was a little fusty. So many singers run into this problem on this show. And why? Because being a good singer and being a pop star are really not necessarily the same thing. Sometimes they, like in K. Clarkson's case, but sometimes, like in say Rihanna's case, they're not. So you get all these wonderful, melodious cruise ship singers who couldn't move a pop record to save their lives. Look at Jennifer Hudson's actual recording career. It's not great! (Though,"Spotlight" is a fine, fine jam.) And Jennifer Hudson can sing like bonkers. Candice will have a good career singing at New Year's Eve concerts and various galas (galae?), but that's not really what this show is trying to be about. So, oh well. Doesn't really matter. The producers and judges and everyone want her in the finale, and I suspect that's where she'll end up.

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Kree Harrison

Boo, do I have to write about Kree? Man is she boring. It's not all her fault. The judges make her boing, mostly by being super dismissive. Nicki especially, who really seems to have taken the producers' memo about getting Kree off the show to heart. She was kinda mean to Kree, last night. The girls sang duets — Amber & Kree, Candice & Angie (the two faves, unfair) — and after Kree and Ambree busted out an Adele tune Nicki was really critical of Kree, telling her she didn't know how to sing a duet or whatever and it was just obvious that they're trying to dump her, like plane fuel over the ocean. She kinda seemed to know it too, which is both a little sad and a little bit of a relief.

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Her solo songs were proper snoozers. She first sang some blues tune, which... Kree, do you actually want to win this show or are you just f--king around? Because a blues song? When you can choose literally anything? Do you know who watches this program? Old men sitting on porches in Kansas City do not watch this show. And those are the only cats that are gonna vote for a blues performance. Maybe she wants to go home. Maybe she wants some small break before she has to get in the back of that rusted old Ford Explorer and be driven around all summer on the tour. It's not a bad strategy, but I don't think it's going to work this week. But more on that theory later.

Her second jam was "Whiter Shade of Pale," which, again, yes was a one-hit thing for the original performer, but it's Whiter goddamned Shade of Pale. Where's the Willa Ford song or the Duffy song? Or like any one-hit wonder who is only associated with one particular song and that song with them? I guess that's a little harder, banging out "Insensitive" instead of a widely known song. (Although people really should be singing "Insensitive.") Anyhoo, it was fine and the judges liked it but Kree is not going to win this thing if the show has anything to say about it. No, I'm afraid Kree ain't gonna get crowned in this competish. But that's fine. She'll get gigs at state fairs and faux-dive music venues in the nicer parts of midwestern cities. Like she'll play gigs in Overland Park and whatnot. And she'll make a living and that'll be that.

Amber Holcomb

I think Amber might be the dark horse in this competition. It's obvious that the show would prefer that the finale be Candice vs. Angie, but I think they'd be fine with Amber. I mean she's pretty and young and can sing and could have some sorta cute pop career if put in the hands of the right producers. Though it was strange then that Amber's two songs last night were old lady dirges. Well one old lady dirge and one old man dirge. The first song she sang was Celine Dion's "Power of Love." Yes. This 19-year-old child had a chance to pick whatever song she wanted and she chose what is possibly Celine Dion's least popular popular song. I mean it's a great tune, but it's not "My Heart Will Go On" or "It's All Coming Back to Me Now.” And it's so old and slow and strange for a bright kid like Amber to be woofing out at eight in the evening on an April Wednesday in 2013. A very strange choice, Amber! But the judges liked it. Nicki especially. Nicki loves Amber very much. At one point she said to her, "Of all the girls, you're the one I'd want to get to know." Which is a weird thing to say! I know what she meant, but it's sort of unnecessarily insulting to the other gals. I'm sure she was just making a marketing point, but it just came off sorta "The rest are lameos, but you seem cool." That's Nicki, though.

Next Amber sang "MacArthur Park" which... Come on, guys. Do the assignment. If you're gonna give the assignment you gotta do the assignment. "MacArthur Park" is, yes, originally a Richard Harris song and it was his one hit, but for crying out loud, "MacArthur Park" is a Donna Summer song. Ask anyone in the world, from the Tuvans of the Manchurian Steppe to the Tehuelche of Patagonia, and they will all say the same thing, "'MacArthur Park'? Oh, yeah, that's a Donna Summer song." Also, calling Richard Harris a one-hit wonder is sort of dumb. He was knighted in Denmark for christ's sake. Ridiculous. Why even bother with a theme.

Angie Mills

Oh man does the show love her, huh? They really, really love this girl. They want her to win so bad you can taste it. And good little Angie did her duty last night, horking out a Jessie J song on the piano, because they love her behind the piano. It was a bit showy, and she actually did get dinged a little for that, because of course the judges couldn't completely gush, they don't want her to same too safe. (Although, that doesn't really matter this week. Again, more on that in a second.) But overall it was received rapturously, even though this child still can't figure out what to do with her damn hair. It was straightened this week, which was an improvement from the Muzzy hairdo she had before, but it still looked like someone had just plopped a wig down carelessly on top of her head. I think she might need to shave it all off at this point. Or dye it some drastic color. because this broom-brown fireplace curtain is just not working.

Angie's one-hit was "Cry Me a River," which felt more appropriate than the other one-hitters. She sang it in her usual Angie way and the judges gave birth to kittens, Nicki screaming about wigs, which means she's really excited, and Keith crying up big fat bubbly tears, so excited to tell Nicole about this magical moment, but quietly knowing that she wouldn't care, that she'd just say "Well isn't that nice for you" and go back to stuffing the new kittens in a potato sack to bring them down to the river for drowning. "Who's going to feed these, huh? Wastes of air. You should have strangled them as they came out." Poor Keith.

The Surprise

Ryan teased a BIG SURPRISE or TWIST last night, eyes twinkling mischievously. What do we think it is? I think we all know what it is. No one's going home tonight. That's what I think it is, anyway. Which means this is all moot. It's all useless. What are any of us doing with our lives.

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