Amber Holcomb next on "American Idol," doing Stevie Wonder's "Lately." Guest mentor Smokey Robinson loves her, tells her it was "ridiculous" that she was in the bottom three last, week, and "I wanted to turn my TV off."
Not sure about this song choice; it'll appeal to people who understand music, but not necessarily a crowd-pleaser. She is, as always, vocally impeccable -- no problem with the notes, soaring effortlessly.
But no goosebumps this week for me; I think she'll be in the bottom three again just because she doesn't have the fan support, but should be able to stick around a little longer. Judges all give her a standing ovation, although I think part of that is they want to encourage people to vote for her.
Mariah Carey calls it "a tour de force." Keith Urban thought she "sang it beautifully, felt it beautifully," calling her vocals "mesmerizing." Nicki Minaj says "that was just out of this world, you are just something very, very special." Tells her to not care that she was in the bottom three, "know that you are loved by millions of people." Randy Jackson just yells, "by far for me -- the best vocal of the night!" Likes how she gets better every week to boot.
Lazaro Arbos, Devin Velez and Burnell Taylor then do a fun version of "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch." Taylor just soars above everyone else; they're collectively far below the level of the women earlier in the show.
Minaj says, "I don't know what that was, but I'm gonna pretend I never saw or heard that," scolds them pretty strongly and tells them to "go off the stage!" It's half in good fun, but that was just mediocre.
Kree Harrison closes the show with Aretha Franklin's "Don't Play That Song," not sure if this is a great pick but we'll see. She comes out energetic and wailing; is putting on a vocal master class but again, not sure how accessible this is to the average viewer. Song is limiting her, I think. There's applause, but feels a bit dutiful to me.
Jackson says "not the perfect performance," but praises her talent. Carey wanders all over the place, Urban likes that she put her own spin on it. Minaj loves her confidence.