01:25 PM EDT 05/23/2013
Originally posted 04/25/2013 09:45PM
Twelve seasons into American Idol, things can sometimes get very predictable. Contestants will sing, judges will judge, America will vote and someone will go home. So at the beginning of Thursday's show, Ryan Seacrest teased the audience: "In just a bit," he said, "I will announce some shocking news that will affect the judges and turn the competition upside down."
After a group performance of Alicia Keys's "Girl on Fire" by the top four contestants (Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison), the weekly segment sponsored by Ford, a surprise appearance by Drake (mostly for Candice's benefit), a performance by season 9 winner Lee DeWyze (his new single is "Silver Lining") and other filler, it was time for the twist to be announced. What would it be?
Seacrest split the finalists into two groups. Candice and Amber were on one side of the stage, Kree and Angie were on the other. To the displeasure of the audience, Seacrest announced that Candice and Amber were the bottom two. The judges also looked stumped.
Originally posted 04/24/2013 10:40PM
Now that American Idol has whittled the competition down to its final four female contenders, it suddenly seems like one of the underdogs might end up on top.
After a season in which Kree Harrison and Candice Glover always appeared to be the frontrunners, on Wednesday's show it was Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller's turn to shine.
Amber – decked out in a flowy white pants suit – started off the night with a personal song choice, Celine Dion's "The Power of Love," and got a standing ovation from three of the judges (Mariah Carey remained in her seat but did blow a few kisses).
Originally posted 04/18/2013 09:30PM
Now it gets interesting.
Week after week, we've watched American Idol's male finalists leave the competition. It hardly mattered in which order the guys went home – an all-female final five was basically preordained from the beginning. But after Lazaro Arbos left last week, all bets were off for Thursday's elimination night.
It says something about the quality of this season's finalists that any of them could win the competition – and they will all probably find some niche in the music industry after the show.
Originally posted 04/17/2013 11:05PM
America got its first glimpse of American Idol's first all-female top five Wednesday night, but it was two other women – Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj – who briefly stole the show with their unexpected verbal catfight.
The tense exchange happened when they were critiquing Kree Harrison, who had just performed her first song of the night, "She Talks to Angels" by The Black Crowes.
Mariah liked the performance and said, "You can sing anything and I love to hear you sing." But she felt like Kree might have been trying too hard to perform: "My favorite Kree moments are when you are lost in a song and just don't care," she added.
Fellow judge Keith Urban agreed with Mariah's critique, but Nicki did not – and things went downhill from there.
Originally posted 04/11/2013 09:15PM
Did American Idol make history on Thursday?
The top six contestants of season 12, who performed Wednesday night, included five women and one man, Lazaro Arbos.
Arbos, who has a stutter that seems to disappear when he sings, started off strong in the competition. But in recent weeks, the ice cream scooper from Naples, Fla., flubbed his lyrics and struggled to get positive feedback from judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson.
Meanwhile, the women – Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller and Janelle Arthur – were doing well, setting up a unique situation for the show: a possible all-female top five.
Keep reading to find out what happened on elimination night ...
Originally posted 04/10/2013 10:45PM
With Sir Anthony Hopkins in the audience, American Idol's six remaining contestants took the stage to perform two songs – one from the catalogue of legendary songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David and another one "they wish they had written."
The best performance of the night – and according to Randy Jackson, "one of the greatest performances in the history ... of American Idol" – came at the very end of the two-hour show.
Candice Glover, who first earned a standing ovation for her soulful take on "Don't Make Me Over," sang "Lovesong" by The Cure. The crowd exploded in a raucous uproar, Keith Urban literally bowed down in front of her and Mariah Carey walked up on stage and showered Candice in glitter. The enthusiastic response brought Candice to tears. Watch her performance below.
Originally posted 04/04/2013 10:00PM
It's always interesting when American Idol brings back a former winner to perform on their stage. Older, wiser and much more polished, they often bear little resemblance to the contestants.
On Thursday's show, Carrie Underwood's performance showed how far she came from when she competed eight years ago on season 4. It was hard not to look at the final seven contestants and wonder if any of them would ever be able to duplicate her success.
Early in the show, Mariah Carey sized up the finalists, who performed Wednesday.
"There's so much talent on this stage," she said.
Carey has been an interesting judge this season, overusing words like "amazing" and "wonderful" while frequently dissolving into tears. Compared to her, Paula Abdul was a barracuda.
And then the lights dimmed and Ryan Seacrest began to announce the results. Would Lazaro Arbos survive after flubbing the words again?
Originally posted 04/04/2013 12:00AM
American Idol's top seven added their own flair to classic rock songs Wednesday night with mostly strong performances, despite another lyrics flub by Lazaro Arbos.
Burnell Taylor kicked off the night with a version of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" that didn't connect with some judges. "I've never seen you look more uncomfortable in a song," Keith Urban said.
Randy Jackson was booed when he said, "Everything was so behind the beat."
Although Nicki Minaj agreed with the critiques, she couldn't help but feel the love for the New Orleans native, declaring him "a little Teddy Ruxpin bear ... Even though rock is not your thing, I still want to hug you."
Originally posted 03/28/2013 09:00PM
It only takes one bad performance to end someone's dream on American Idol.
Back in season 5, Kellie Pickler "butchered" (her word, not ours) "Unchained Melody," and was unceremoniously sent home. In a previous season, frontrunner Constantine Maroulis left the competition after an unpleasant version of Nickelback's "How You Remind Me."
It's not always their fault – Jennifer Hudson was forced to sing a Barry Manilow song on the night she left the show. But the message is clear: no matter how fabulous you have been, you're only as good as your last performance.
And the guys' last time on the stage – for the cringe-worthy group performance of "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" – was enough to send any one of them home. In a season where the girls are head and shoulders above the men, they couldn't afford a bad performance – and they had one of the season's worst on Wednesday's Motown Night.
But after all the judges' criticism, it's still America's votes that matter. Did the guys survive this week?
Originally posted 03/27/2013 10:45PM
"We're down to the last eight contestants on American Idol – and all of them are very talented," said the legendary Smokey Robinson, who was on hand as a mentor for Motown week.
Candice Glover – who later admitted that she was sweating the pressure of having to sing first – didn't let the nerves show during her bluesy take on "Through the Grapevine." The judges' verdict: "You've got one of the best voices in the competition," Randy Jackson said, summing up the whole panel's response.
Later, Lazaro Arbos took the stage to sing Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life." The audience loved it and although the judges weren't 100 percent positive, Keith Urban shared his take, calling "exponentially better than last week."
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