Burnell Taylor gets things started as "American Idol" has its seven remaining finalists doing rock songs; this is traditionally a tough night for some... He's doing Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name."
It's his roughest performance of the year; clearly not his thing, seems uncomfortable. Missing that sweet, unique tone -- he's one of my faves, but I think he'll be in the bottom three after that.
Keith Urban laughingly tells him it was the "most uncomfortable" he's seen him all year. Nicki Minaj says she still wants to "cuddle" him. Randy Jackson flat out tells Taylor he needs to learn how to do up-tempo rock songs, even if they're not his sweet spot. Mariah Carey says that was one of her favorite songs growing up, and that she still loves Taylor.
Next, Lazaro Arbos and Angie Miller do a duet on "Crazy Thing Called Love." He's OK; swallowing his words as always and then forgets them altogether at one point; she's good, just a born performer. Minaj afterwards starts with, "hello, Ken and Barbie." Jackson says, "Angie you were amazing, as usual."
Kree Harrison singing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" -- we could have a moment here, a great pick for her voice. Struts out in leather pants; is doing a good job, but not the raw passion and wailing I was hoping for. Definitely sanded off the rough edges. Wanted to love it, instead felt like it was just good.
Jackson thought she "rocked the stage," Carey likes her song choices, claims "tonight's performance was possibly my favorite," as Harrison says, "really?!" Urban wonders about her high black boots, says it seemed like she was struggling to stand -- wonders what was holding her back.
She says, "I have a pinched nerve... was hoping you wouldn't be able to tell." Urban says he "knew there was something going on." Nice work, Urban; just confirms that Jackson and Carey often hear what they want to hear.
Minaj says "that was magnificent."
Taylor and Candice Glover next do "The Letter" -- it's an inspired pairing, they play off each others' fantastic voices. Gloverr's particularly electric, sounds like she's headlining at a club. Gets the judges to stand, on a non-competitive duet no less.
Carey calls it "beautiful... A+ amazing." Urban loved it as well, says Taylor was like a "shining star" and when Glover started in it was like "a whole galaxy" of stars. Minaj calls Glover's voice "awesome," and also liked how Taylor was true to himself. Jackson says Glover's vocals were "like, oh my god! Oh my god!"
Definitely the best duet of the season.