The first 8 minutes of the show did not tape. So I’m going to assume that the judges wasted time by walking to their seats, Ryan Secrest wasted time by giving us a bunch of useless information, the Top 5 did a group song, and, oh, I don’t know, Lazaro galloped across the stage on a sparkling, glitter-covered unicorn while making excuses for why he was unfairly eliminated last week.
I tuned in with the start of the results. Angie was first, and Jimmy Iovine loved her Pretenders song (I was conflicted about it), but he wasn’t blown away by her Beyonce number (I thought it was terrific). Nikki Minaj agreed with me and said that Jimmy is full of shit. Next it was Candice’s turn. Jimmy remained lukewarm about “Straight Up,” but loved her diva song. Ryan baited Randy Jackson, asking if he’d heard from original co-judge Paula Abdul about her thoughts on Candice’s version of her signature song. Randy couldn’t even convince himself as he did this goofy bit saying he couldn’t reach her, but of course Paula was there, dressed like a sofa, but still looking gorgeous. She babbled a bit to Candice, clapped like a seal (good ol’ Paula!), and eventually took a judge’s chair in between Nikki and Mariah Carey (both of them were very cute with Paula).
After the commercial, Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken came out and talked about all of the humanitarian work he has done in the past decade. That’s great, but looking at a decade’s worth of footage of Clay, I had to wonder: How did none of his gays take him aside at some point and discuss the hair? The clothes? The whole look? Mind boggling. But Clay looks good now, if not a bit…tightened up. He sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Clay has a great Broadway-style voice, but I question how he would fare on this show if he was a contestant nowadays. (Speaking of which, when will we get the inevitable all-stars season?)
Janelle was up for feedback next. Jimmy and I agreed that her first number was sleepy, and he thought she struck out with the Dolly Parton song. But Dolly herself -- DOLLY! -- wrote a nice, funny note to Janelle, and I just love her. Please have her be a judge on this show…
Amber was up next, and Jimmy thought that she took a huge risk singing both Mariah and Barbra Streisand, and that she executed both songs beautifully. As for Kree, I didn’t feel like she had a solid night at all, and Jimmy agreed with me. He thought she made the wrong song choices, and I totally agree. And typically Kree makes brilliant song choices. So I don’t know what was going on there.
And then, Fantasia! The Season 3 winner. The package actually covered all three of the “Three Divas” of S3, Fanny, Jennifer Hudson, and LaToya London. LaToya is trying to relaunch her career, and I hope it happens for her, because she is great. I actually saw her in “The Color of Purple” when it came to Rochester on tour. Fantasia sang her new family, “Lose to Win.” Fantasia looked amazing, and I’ve always loved her voice, so I thought she sounded really good. She certainly was FEELING the performance. The judges were obviously all about it -- Nicki was giving her backsnaps! Yes! I love Tasia.
Then, finally, results: Candice, Angie, and Amber were safe -- even Amber looked totally shocked at that one. That left Kree and Janelle as the B2. First time Kree has EVER been in danger, and that made my Spidey Sense tingle. But it was Janelle who rightfully received the lowest number of votes. For her sing for the Save she did her great version of “Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Smart song choice, and one that really showcases all the best qualities of her voice -- although she sounded better on it the first time around.
As they went to the judges for the decision, Janelle was actually shaking her head no and telling the judges that it was OK. She knew. And Randy said that it was two judges yes, two judges no. I am curious to know who was on which side of that argument. Janelle acquitted herself better in the Top 10 than I assumed she would after her DISASTROUS semi-final performances. Janelle is a performer and she’s very personable. I don’t think she is at the same level of the country singers we’ve had on this show recently. But there’s no denying her charisma. I’ll be curious to see what happens to her.