American Idol home stretch

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I would have liked to blog about my Idol top 3 predictions weeks ago (because I’m usually right)  but I haven’t been able to watch the show live all season. I’ve been too busy to devote 3 hours a week to the live broadcasts so the kids and I have spent a few weekends catching up on back episodes, which is not nearly as fun as watching live and voting.

The judges never used their “save” this season so it wasn’t a huge surprise when they said there would be no elimination this week. That leaves the top 4: Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison, and Amber Holcomb–  a strong group with no obvious weak link. It’s about time a girl won the title, which hasn’t happened since Jordin Sparks won in Season 6.  (Full list of past Idol winners here.)

Last 4 Idol contestants, (from left) Candice Glover, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb/ FOX

Although I’m not wild about the judges this year, the talent has been amazing and the show production keeps getting more elaborate with each season. The sets, lighting, back up singers, hair, makeup, and styling make these kids look like stars early on.

They got rid of the celebrity mentors and stuck with Jimmy Iovine to work with the kids and give them advice. I like Jimmy. He’s a character and his brutal honesty is refreshing and helpful.

But the foundation of the show is the judges table. My thoughts thus far:

Nicki Manaj–  I’m not a fan.  She sits perched in her seat, stroking her long, faux blond tresses like Dr. Evil pawing Mr. Bigglesworth, as she gets ready to pounce.  She seems to constantly crave attention, with her style, wacky accents, and unnecessary roughness about performances that don’t suit her fancy. Some comments are sweet and supportive, others are venomous,  causing fights with fellow judges and an angry crowd.  I do give her credit for her honesty but I cringe when she speaks, which makes for compelling but uncomfortable TV.

Randy Jackson-– My overall feeling is that he’s mailing it in. I kind of get it after 12 seasons.  Towards the end of the season he’s been more excited about the performers– particularly Candice and Amber–  but since Nicki is so biting, it allows Randy to sit back and play Mr. Nice Guy. His advice is usually solid if he takes the time, but his comments don’t stand out, especially since we’ve heard them all before. He’s been wearing less crazy jackets and lapel pins this year, which is also a disappointment.

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Keith Urban –  I like Keith.  He offers the most constructive advice and knows and loves music, which comes through in his comments. He is completely engaged in the process and wants the contestants to do well, which is what you want in a judge.  He often plays the role of peacemaker and has a classy way of saying “that performance was stinky but you’ll get it next time.” He also rocks a t-shirt better than most.

Mariah Carey – Oh dear. I want to like her. She’s amiable and earnest and often looks pretty, especially if you like cleavage. Her passion for music shines through. But the poor gal can’t put a sentence together to save her life.  She often goes on and on and says nothing. When she talks to contestants her eyes are looking somewhere else and she uses distracting hand gestures. So clearly uncomfortable, it’s painful to watch her falter, knowing her intentions are pure. This just isn’t the gig for her. It’s surprising to see her in this light because we’ve only known her as a confident performer with a powerhouse voice. She has every reason to be owning the moment, but she can’t do it.

Ryan Seacrest  keeps the show together. So smooth, but so accessible. He can handle any situation, any temperamental judge, any uncomfortable moment with charm and grace.

I was expecting a Candice-Angie showdown but after Amber and Candice took the bottom 2 spots this week, I’m rethinking. I always forget that it’s middle America voting and a lot of teenaged girls so I’m going to say it will be Kree and Angie in the finale and Angie will win in a landslide.

Who’s your favorite to win? Tell me in the comments.

3 responses to “American Idol home stretch

  1. Moms are sensitive. : )

  2. I completely get it. She is wacked out and keeps it interesting because she’s unpredictable but she strikes me as scary and mean and I would not want to meet her. I do think she can be too harsh. she can critique a kid’s performance but why does she have to then say “x, y, and z are so much better than you?” mean!

    Ha ha on Janelle. She does not remind me of anyone I know who’s not 20!

  3. I have been watching the show after a multi-season sabbatical. I thought I’d give it a go during the auditions, and I have to tell you – I fell for Nicki. I love listening to her wacked-out, creative comments. I also feel like her criticisms are useful as opposed to nasty for the sake of nastiness. She is fresh and funny and you can’t deny her way with words.

    The top 4 ladies happen to be outrageously talented in a belter sort of way, but it’s Nicki who keeps me coming back for more.

    Also, did Janelle remind you of a certain pop culture blogger with a super sweet smile from the Northern New Jersey suburbs? Just me?