Women Wow on “Idol” Performance Show

Kree Harrison
Kree Harrison
Angie Miller
Angie Miller
photos by Michael Becker/FOX

Think about this: American Idol is 12 years old. Next year the FOX reality singing institution will be 13, entering the phase of sullen adolescence, asking for the keys to the car and being evasive about its plans for the night. But for now, let's enjoy (or enjoy hating) the aging singing competition as we always have.

There are currently 20 contestants left, and by Thursday (March 7), there will only be 10 when America chooses. So, stakes are like crazy high, OK? Tonight (March 5), the 10 female contenders on Idol got their chance to shine. It's been a few years since a female took home the Idol crown, so these ladies have their work cut out for them. But, as judge Keith Urban wisely noted, "Based on the level of talent just tonight, America's gonna have a very hard time narrowing it down to five." 

And being that I'm a writer-editor type for a country music magazine and whatnot, I'm happy to report that two of the evening's best performances came from two country-singin' gals local to Tennessee. Janelle Arthur took the more traditionalist route, reprising Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream" with traditional flourishes without seeming too old fashioned. Nicki Minaj told her she was "a little marshmallow that I wanna eat," so we assume that's pretty good. Randy noted there was a lack of Patsy Cline-style classic country singers in the market and the time was right for one to emerge. You guys agree?

Nashville singer Kree Harrison also gave a dynamite performance on Faith Hill's "Stronger," showcasing a massive range and confident ability to hit the big notes with power. Keith cleverly noted, "The first two words in Idol are 'I do' and I do love to hear you sing." So do we, Kree.

Other highlights included Angie Miller's rendition of Idol alum Colton Dixon's song "Never Gone," seated at the piano. She connected well with the tune, starting soft and building to multiple explosive moments. The judges ate it up. Contestant Candice Glover was also superb on her soulful run through John Legend's "Ordinary People," flexing her technical muscles with some sophisticated runs while never missing a note. Amber Holcomb scaled Mount Whitney Houston on "I Believe in You and Me" and got a standing ovation out of the judges. Aubrey Cleland certainly looked like a star while she sang Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry." Tenna Torres also gave Nashville some love by singing Faith's "Lost," restyled as an R&B ballad.

Less successful were Zoanette Johnson's wild take on Tina Turner's "What's Love (Got to Do With It)," a too-soft version of Beyoncé's "Flaws and All" by early judge favorite Breanna Steer, and a very "pageanty" turn on Destiny's Child's "Stand Up for Love" by Adriana Latonio.

My prediction for the five going on to the next round (not entirely based on their performances): Angie, Kree, Aubrey, Candice and Amber.

Tomorrow night, we'll do this again with the guys.

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