But I never can.
Wednesday night’s stories about the trips back home for Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover were all magnificent, but the one that I enjoyed the most was Angie returning to Boston a little more than one month after the tragic terrorist bombings.
“Boston Strong.” It was hard to miss those signs, and yes I had to reach for the Kleenex to wipe away a tear or two. It’s the moments like that which will always separate American Idol from all of the imposters.. The emotional attachment we draw to these people over the course of more than four months is a kind of tie The Voice, X Factor or Dancing With The Stars will never be able to match.
American Idol is an American tradition. We grow to care about these people, and that’s what makes year special. There is a reason why this show has been around 12 years. Wednesday night was a prime reason
CANDICE, ANGIE WIN THE NIGHT
I think we have our two finalists for next week: Candice and Angie. They seemed to separate themselves from Kree during Wednesday’s two-hour semifinal.
Each of the girls sang three songs, one picked by uber judge Jimmy Iovine, one from the judges and one from the Idol production crew.
Candice and Angie were both incredible. Kree was fine, but on this night “fine” was not good enough. The night was punctuated with Candice’s jaw-dropping “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.”
“What was THAT?!” exclaimed judge Keith Urban.
“Four words — see you next week!” fellow judge Nicki Minaj said.
“Thanks for making me cry again,” Mariah Carey added.
Yeah, it was that good.
Unless there is an unthinkable mistake on the part of the voters, it will be Candice vs. Angie next week.
Here’s my take on Wednesday night:
1. Candice Glover
Songs: “One,” by U2; “Next To Me,” by Emile Sande; “Somewhere” from West Side Story.
Comment: I was extremely worried about Candice tackling U2, but I shouldn’t have been. The girl chewed it up and spit it right back at us. I think even Bono would have been proud of that effort … She was even better with the Emile Sande number, returning a bit to the rocking version of Candice I enjoy the most … All I can add about “Somewhere” is Oh, Em, Gee.
Keith Urban: “You care, and you’re really committed to this.”
2. Angie Miller
Songs: “Sorry (Seems To Be The Hardest Word)” by Elton John; “Try,” by Pink; “Maybe” by Emile Sand.
Comment: First of all, Angie Miller looks exactly like my daughter, Kaysi. I’ve been waiting to offer that all season. That said, I enjoyed Angie’s take on “Sorry.” She seemed more comfortable than I anticipated standing in front of the mic and belting out the Elton John classic. It wasn’t great, but it was well above average … The judges’ choice of “Try” for Pink was perfect for Angie, because she is the only one of the three semifinalists who could convey Pink’s attitude with/for the song … Angie capped off a great night by returning to the piano for “Maybe.” She captured the emotion in perfect tone and performance. I think Angie sang herself into next week’s championship round. “You sang your heart out,” Randy Jackson said. “Tonight you became a complete performer.” I can’t argue that.
Nicki Minaj: “You clearly are bringing it, to win this competition.”
3. Kree Harrison
Songs: “Perfect,” by Pink; “Here Comes Goodbye,” by Rascal Flatts; “Better Dig Two,” by The Band Perry.
Comment: I didn’t connect at all with “Perfect” — the country spin just left me flat with that one … The Rascal Flatts song was a nice comeback for our country girl, but she had to follow Angie’s “Try” by Pink, and I think the rather somber “Here Comes Goodbye” may have hurt Kree, despite her powerful emotional attachment to the song. She simply was not able to follow the momentum-building performance from Angie. It’s one of those intangibles that may show up in the voting … Kree’s tribute to The Band Perry was fine from a technical standpoint, but it was rather boring and paled in comparison to her two rivals. I think Kree will be going home Thursday night.
Nicki Minaj: “The quality of your voice is … always filled with so much quality.” (What?)
FROM ACROSS THE IDOL NATION
From Liz Raftery, TV Guide: Countless male football fans were disappointed last month when Faith Hill revealed she’d be retiring as the sexy opening number for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. However, they’ll no doubt perk right up again when they hear who her replacement is — it’s yet another country-music beauty and former American Idol champ Carrie Underwood.
“I have always loved football season,” she said. “It is so exciting to now become part of it every Sunday night!”
Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli confirmed that Underwood was their first — “and only” — choice to replace Hill. “She’s one of America’s most popular entertainers and the perfect fit for our show,” he noted. Gaudelli revealed in a conference call today that Underwood was also included the original line-up of considerations in 2006 when the show debuted.
Underwood will be performing the same number Hill made famous for the past five seasons: “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night,” which is set to the tune of Joan Jett’s classic “I Hate Myself For Loving You.” She’ll be recording her own version of the song, marking her first production for NBC Sports. “It’s the same song, same lyrics, but it’s going to be with my flair,” she explained.