American Idol 2013 : Now And Then Week


Angie Miller: So this week’s mentor was Harry Connick Jr. Who knew, in this post-Groban world, that we even needed Harry Connick Jr any more? But apparently we do, with his sub-Ricky Gervais brand of “oooh, my diva behaviour is ironic” humour, right outta 2002. Certainly Angie found it hilarious, repeatedly screaming “OH MY GOD, HARRY CONNICK JR IS THE WORLD’S FUNNIEST PERSON!” for the entire episode. They even collaborated on an hilarious skit where they both improvised a song together. It was about as funny as you’d expect a comedy skit from the mind of Angie “I sing hardcore music despite not being at all hardcore oh the hilarity” Miller and Harry Connick Jr to be. Don’t get me wrong, Harry had his upsides (calling Randy out as useless, revealing Amber to be educationally subnormal) but I’m not sure it was worth Angie’s “comedy song”. Anyway, both of Angie’s performances were dry as toast this week, with her “Reee-arrrrr-narr” (seriously America, it’s not pronounced like that, anywhere, at all, ever) performance starting off reasonably well, but just descended into random ham-fisted shouting, and her version of “Someone To Watch Over Me” was fine vocally, but her stomping around the stage trying to sex up a song that’s sexier played straight was faintly ridiculous. I’ve added a bonus mark to both, because they both provoked cat-fights between Nicki and Mariah and, outside of Candice, that’s really all I’m watching the end of this series FOR. Now: 5/10, Then : 5/10

(Yeah, I was right back to indifference on Angie this week as Harry Connick Jr and the theme week both brought out the worst of her excesses, sadly. Now: 5/10, Then: 6/10)

Amber Holcomb: So, despite the general fussing on the interwebs over the past few weeks that the show has turned into a TOTAL AMBER PIMPFEST and they’re SETTING HER UP FOR THE WIN, it turned out that no amount of support from the judges can overcome Amber becoming the architect of her own destruction, due to her surprising determination to SUCK. First up she opted to perform Pink’s ‘Just Give Me A Reason’. Now, Pink is not a widely-performed artist on this show (the only other contestant who’s performed a Pink song is Hollie Cavanagh from last season, and while Hollie may have been many things, “a font of good ideas” is not one of them), and I suspect it’s because her songs are not really vocal showcases – especially not for voices like Amber’s. Thus, Amber’s rendition was the living embodiment of ‘will this do?’, feeling more like she was just working her way through a series of musical checkpoints than delivering an actual coherent performance of the sort you should be bringing to the top four of American Idol. Even the judges found it hard to muster up much enthusiasm for her performance. I mean, when the only defence offered for what you just did is Mariah going “SHE HAD TO LEARN A REALLY RECENT SONG! LEARNING WORDS IS HARD!” then you know you’re pretty screwed. Still, we were promised that Amber would redeem herself with her second song, which was to be her second attempt at ‘My Funny Valentine’. Except, as she went in to rehearse the song with Special Guest Mentor Harry Connick Jr, it turned out that Amber really didn’t understand the song at all. “What are you singing about?” Harry asked, and Amber replied “…a guy?”, establishing herself as the Roxxxy Andrews of the piece, except with fewer wigs and tearaways. So, after a lengthy lesson with musicologist Harry Connick Jr, painstakingly explaining to Amber that THIS SONG IS ABOUT AN UGLY PERSON, BUT YOU LOVE THEM ANYWAY, surely that was going to make all the difference to her performance? In a word: no. She sang it exactly like she was singing it before, with the same vapid look on her face, honking away like Rebecca Ferguson. Oh well, BYE AMBER. It’s been real. Now: 2/10, Then: 4/10

(Every Now & Then (Week) Amber falls APARRRRRRRRRRRRRRT. Now: 2/10, Then: 4/10)

Candice Glover: So it turns out that Candice had not in fact lost it, and was in reality just taking a week off from kicking everybody’s ass. I’m so relieved. First of all she so effortlessly explained away why she wasn’t changing the genders for her version of “When I Was You Man”, that I wonder why I sat through the last DECADE OR MORE of foot-shuffling gay panic over the same issue. Please Candice, go back in time to Pop Idol and spare us all the hassle. Also her version of the song was pretty good, considering it’s a Bruno Mars song and all, adding about 15 vocal and emotional layers that the original just doesn’t have. Then she sang “You’ve Changed” and it was one of the top 2 or 3 performances of the season. Which of course means nothing when, like, the top 5 performances of the series have all been by Candice but…it enlivened the week, I guess. And yet, despite her utter dominance, not even Candice could make a song from the soundtrack to the impending Gatsby movie be anything other than a shrill gimmicky waste of time. What does that tell you? What does that tell you IN 3D?! Now : 9/10, Then : 10/10)

(Candice makes Bruno Mars tolerable! Who knew? And I’d even go as far as to say her ‘You’ve Changed’ would sit comfortably in the all-time greats of the series, never mind the season. I am now at the point where I’m going to feel completely cheated when if Candice doesn’t win, which is just going to make her getting Mindy Doo-ed next week all the harder to take. Now: 8/10, Then: 10/10)

Klee Harrison: When I looked at this week’s setlist, I allowed myself to get excited for the briefest of moments when I saw that Kree was going to sing ‘See You Again’. Could it be true? Was Kree about to take on Miley Cyrus in the greatest genre-swerve in American Idol history, forcing me to recant everything I ever said about her being interminably soporific? Oh, of course not, she was going to sing a Carrie Underwood song, because in the absence of a White Guy With Guitar this year, Kree’s taken on the mantel of the contestant who basically gives the same performance every week with a few minor changes. So it was more heartfelt country for Kree, which gave Harry Connick Jr a massive musical boner, and he decided that he’d like to duet with her someday. Assuming that ever goes ahead, I feel confident in predicting it will be a partnership so dull it’ll make Mumford and Sons look like Peaches. For some reason, Kree decided not to do the “whoa-oh-oh”s that Carrie Underwood does, and Harry Connick Jr was all “YES! GOOD IDEA!”, and so the song just ended up being really, really dry, and even the backing vocalists sounded so uninterested that they were probably thinking about who was going to get their vote for fan favourite on Survivor. For her standard, Kree picked ‘Stormy Weather’, previously performed by LaKisha Jones in season six. Hey, remember when LaKisha basically told Bloody Lulu to go fuck herself because LaKisha knew what she was doing, and she didn’t need some smug Scottish cow telling her how to succeed? Yeah, I know that was six years ago, but I’m only mentioning that because Kree’s performance was so dull that I sort of forgot to pay any attention to it. SORRY BOUT IT. Now: 4/10, Then: 4/10

(Harry Connick Jr smugging up that Kree was so amazing that even he would stoop to work with her magical musical gift was so amazing. Bitch, you sang with CARLA BRUNI, let’s not. Now : 7/10, Then : 4/10)


One thought on “American Idol 2013 : Now And Then Week

  1. Tim

    I think I love Harry Connick Jr. As much as Amber’s listless performances sealed her fate, Harry’s scything insight that she didn’t have the foggiest what she was singing about was the equivalent of ramming a very large iceberg below the water-line. It also put the lie to the judges’ incessant praise about how well she emotionally connected with each song, where I’d been busy screaming the opposite for weeks at the way she sang the notes rather than the song. Because obviously I know everything, me – even more so than Jimmy IV-drip. 😉


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