For the first week of the Season XIII finals, American Idol brought back the reigning winner, Candice Glover, to perform a medley of her current single “Cried” and (her best song) “Same Kinda Man”, both from her just-released debut album, Music Speaks. She sounded and looked every bit like the exquisite singing sensation that she is!
The theme for Season 13’s Top 13 was “This is Me”. The contestants were tasked to sing the one song that defines them as an artist and as a person. Not only did this theme allow the singers to have more choice in their selections (here’s to continued diverse song clearance in future!), but by granting them this opportunity for true self-expression, we the viewers got to know them all better.
My Top 3 performers of the week were Majesty Rose, Alex Preston, and Jessica Meuse. My overall favourite (in terms of having it all – a distinct sound, a unique style, and an upbeat personality) Majesty reminds me so much of Corinne Bailey Rae and Janelle Monae, the latter of which whose song “Tightrope” she sang, for its message of maintaining balance in life. Her performance was groovy, fun, and an all-around joy to watch! Alex, who has excelled with his song picks throughout the competition thus far, sang my favourite Jason Mraz song, “A Beautiful Mess” and really hit the emotion of that tune with great stride; his introspective vibe just draws you right in. Jessica showcased her rocker side by singing the dark and dynamic “The Crow and the Butterfly” from her favourite band, Shinedown, and exhibited the power and intensity of her voice.
The other standouts of the night included MK Nobilette, who sang Allen Stone’s “Satisfaction” – a fresh and funky tune that showed her versatility, Emily Piriz, who pulled off a stunning vocal on Pink’s “Glitter in the Air“, Sam Woolf, who chose Matchbox Twenty’s “Unwell” in relation to the crazy dream he’s currently living out on Idol, Jena Irene, who delivered a stunner with Coldplay’s “The Scientist“, and Caleb Johnson, whose electrifying rock performance of Rival Sons’ “Pressure and Time” literally made his hair spike up. Rounding out the group were CJ Harris, who sang Darius Rucker’s “Radio” as an ode to his childhood memories, Ben Briley, who gave a tribute to his personal musical idol, Johnny Cash with “Folsom Prison Blues“, Dexter Roberts, who jammed out to Chris Young’s “Aw Naw“, and Malaya Watson, who gave an energetic and pumped-up performance of Bruno Mars “Runaway Baby“.
In the end, it was Florida nurse Kristen O’Connor who was eliminated during the first results show of the finals. The pop vocalist took a big risk by singing “Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson. Choosing a song by the original Idol is almost always the kiss of death for Idol contestants, and unfortunately for Kristen, who does have a very pretty singing voice, song choice is everything on this show.
Is Candice’s debut album a winner? Who were your favourite Idols this week?