The “Rock Week” results episode kicked off with the Top 7 group sing to “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Lot of Queen this week. Some of it was pretty, and once Candice came in at the end she stole the entire song. There were other moments -- mostly with Lazaro -- where it just wasn’t working. There were parts where they seemed to forget the lyrics again, or didn’t know who was taking the lead. I’ve never seen such poorly rehearsed group numbers on this show.
Time for the Jimmy Iovine recap. He was baffled by what he saw on Wednesday, and put much of it on poor song choice. Jimmy said that Burnell got it all wrong, and again expressed his disappointment with Burnell obviously not knowing the basics of the music industry. Jimmy thought Kree did pick the right song, and said that she sang with dignity, especially given the pinched-nerve issue. He thought Janelle was merely competent, and again chalked it up to the wrong song. Jimmy has had it with Lazaro, calling his performance “reasonable,” and saying what I’ve been saying since semi-finals -- Lazaro’s voice is nowhere near ready for this level of competition. He didn’t care for Candice’s performance because the melody of “Satisfaction” did not showcase her vocals. On the other hand, Jimmy thinks Amber is improving every week, and considers her one of the three best singers in the competition. Jimmy also liked Angie’s performance a lot more than I did, but he did pick up on the fact that Angie continues to overthink while she performs.
Ultimately Jimmy thought Amber, Angie, and Kree would be the Top 3, and bluntly said that, “If America gets it right, there’s only one person going home tonight: Lazaro.” I cannot recall a judge/mentor ever being so blatantly dismissive of a contestant before.
After the break, we got Casey James from Season 9. It actually took me a few minutes to remember who that even was -- Casey was never the most memorable contestant, and the fact that he came in third is a testament to the overwhelming shitiness of Season 9. (Lee DeWyze winning is, of course, the only proof you need.) Casey has apparently become a successful country artist since the show. I always considered him a more straight-ahead blues artist, but I guess country is more commercial. His new song was generically pleasant, though Casey’s voice is as weak as ever -- his strength was always in his guitar playing and his hair. Apparently Casey did research on the current Idols and got them each presents from their hometowns. OK, that was extremely sweet. Good on you, Casey.
And here’s a weird twist. While the show first promised us public rankings of the contestants, and immediately backpedaled after Week 1, it threw a curveball by revealing the judges’ picks for the Top 3 of last night. Apparently the judges didn’t like this, and in the case of Nikki Minaj, apparently didn’t know the information was being revealed publicly. Nigel is going to hear about that, I’m sure. Keith Urban picked Kree, Angie, and Amber. Nikki picked Angie, Amber, and Kree. Randy Jackson picked Amber, Kree, and Angie. Mariah Carey went with Kree, Amber, and Candice.
Then Ryan told us who actually WAS in the Top 3 this week. Kree was first, Angie was second, and LAZARO was third. Unbelievable. Unbelievable! You know Candice and Amber had to have been shitting themselves on that couch knowing that a guy who cannot remember the lyrics to his songs was in the TOP THREE and they were not.
And then: Cunderwood! I love Carrie Underwood. She and Kelly Clarkson swap places as my favorite winners of the show (I know, what a bold statement…), although I did not care for her last single, “Blown Away.” She looked fan-freaking-tastic singing her new song, “I Will See You Again.” The vocal was not great. The beginning of the song -- her own song -- was too low for her, and the higher notes were too pinched. But I liked the song itself -- very pretty. And Carrie was never the best vocalist. She’s more of a total-package deal. She’s reportedly playing Maria von Trapp in NBC’s upcoming production of “Sound of Music.” I am utterly fascinated to see how that turns out.
More results: Candice was safe, and I think she was legitimately worried. That plus her broken toe made for an awkward moment. Amber was the other person safe, leaving Janelle and Burnell in the Bottom 2. Janelle surprises me. I think she is the weakest of the girls, but I thought the country vote would save her. Burnell had this coming after Wednesday night.
And indeed, it was Burnell who got the lowest number of votes. For his sing-for-the-save he sang “Ready for Love,” which he has sung at least twice before on this show. He’s very good at this song, there’s no doubt. And he’s a hell of a singer. But Burnell is SO limited as a singer. He can only do these mid-tempo r’n’b ballads. That’s literally it. Using the save on him would be pointless. He has zero shot of winning this.
The judges declined to use the save. I think that’s right. It was Burnell’s weakest version of the song that we’ve seen, and if they didn’t use it for Devin last week -- when he was legitimately moving in his Hail Mary bid -- they shouldn’t have used it here.
That means we have all five girls left, and Lazaro. Holy smokes. Lazaro’s continued presence has become THE story of the season, and now he’s going to start taking out people with legit shots at winning. This is going to get INTENSE.