Burnell Taylor and Devin Velez broke up the year of the women on "American Idol," turning in the most memorable performances as the eight finalists took on Motown songs.
It was an uneven night vocally, but guest mentor Smokey Robinson as usual was insightful and made for good television — doesn't get any better than having the guy who wrote a song coaching young talents through it.
Below's how I ranked everyone; put in your own thoughts in the comments, below.
1) Burnell Taylor and his white suit shone on "My Cherie, Amour" -- he does nice little inflections with his voice, as Nicki Minaj said, he's always "very artsy and interesting to watch."
2) Devin Velez's "Tracks of My Tears" had Keith Urban praising his "great style," with Smokey Robinson telling Velez, "you were awesome — great job is my feedback."
3) Candice Glover's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was spot on; as Mariah Carey said, her voice is, "gritty when you want it to be, pretty when you want it to be."
4) Amber Holcomb 's "Lately" got all the judges to stand, but even though I appreciated it as a vocal masterpiece, for me there were no goose bumps. Her problem has always been fan support, not sure this helped.
5) Angie Miller looked fantastic in her electric blue dress on "Shop Around," but for Randy Jackson and the other judges it was a "strange " performance where she was trying to be something they don't think she is.
6) Janelle Arthur countrified "You Keep Me Hangin' On," making it dramatic and self-indulgent; she's not one of my favorites, so even though she has a good voice it didn't ring true for me.
7) Kree Harrison took on Aretha Franklin's "Don't Play That Song," but I don't think the song gave her a chance to show off her talents — nothing memorable or that enjoyable for me.
8) Lazaro Arbos was still swallowing his words on "For Once In My Life," but at least his confidence was back and it wasn't a total train wreck this week.