It had the potential to be awesome, but it was the same old song and dance on this week's "American Idol."
The themes: Free Choice and One-Hit Wonders -- two themes that could have given us a fun mix of current and classic tunes. Instead, the all-female Top 4 churned out the usual fare with bland song picks and one-hit wonders that left us wondering two things: Can we just have a ballad ban already? And maybe a mandatory song from this century?
Despite the fact that the Top 4 could pick any song they wanted for their first performance of the night, Amber Holcomb went with "Power of Love," the 1985 Jennifer Rush song that's been covered by Air Supply and Celine Dion. The judges raved, although fashionista Nicki Minaj seemed more intrigued by Amber's curly 'do and bell-bottomed white pantsuit.
Kree Harrison faced the wrath of Nicki after she sang Susan Tedeschi's 1998 song "It Hurt So Bad." "That is NOT a top four-worthy performance," the outspoken judge told her. "Everybody can blow smoke up your a--, but that wasn't it! That performance is not going to give you what you need for next week."
Angie Miller performed Jessie J's "Who You Are," which would have been fine (actually, her performance was more than fine), but she already performed that song during Hollywood week. Mariah Carey made sure to note that Angie sang Jessie J again. Yawn.
Only Candice Glover went current without repeating herself, with the 2010 Drake song "Find Your Love." Remember, this is the same girl who dared to step out of the box and cover The Cure two weeks ago. While Randy Jackson had the audacity to tell Glover, "It can't always sound like you're in church," (it didn't), she still has the best vocals of the remaining four. Find this girl a recording contract, please!
Next up, it was time for viewers to really wonder what's going on in these contestants' heads. The One-Hit Wonder theme could have been, should have been fun. Trouble was, none of the songs really fit the criteria of being a one-hit wonder, and all of them were from the last century.
Keith Urban wondered aloud, "Aren't there any one-hit wonders from at least the last decade?" Randy chimed in, "Last year!" -- which left us wondering, "Call Me Maybe," maybe?
Amber Holcomb had the nerve to sing "MacArthur Park," which everyone knows as a Donna Summer song despite the fact that Richard Harris recorded it first. Hard to think of it as a one-hit wonder, though, when the Queen of Disco had a huge hit with it.
If Amber's pick was a farce, Candice Glover's was even worse. She sang the Bee Gee's song "Emotion," which was also recorded by Destiny's Child. Yeah, yeah, Ryan Seacrest reminded us that Samantha Sang sang it first, but really? This would have been a really good time for Candice to secure her spot in the finale and pull out a Gnarls Barkley song, or maybe Muse's "Uprising," which James Durbin did so awesomely back in 2011.
Kree Harrison did step a little bit outside of her country-blues box to bring us Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Still, one-hit wonder, anyone? While we'll go with the Procol, Kree referenced Percy Sledge's version. And her performance paled in comparison to Angie Miller's "Cry Me a River," because let's face it, Angie is in it to win it, even though her one-hit wonder pick has been recorded by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Aerosmith.
Hmmm, what does that mean? Now he's got us wondering…..
"American Idol" Season 12 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on FOX.
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