Ryan welcomes us back from backstage with Brandy, who sang earlier, and Kree, who has yet to do so. Brandy talks about the emotional roller coaster tonight and says whoever goes through will deserve it. Ryan asks Kree if she's worried about being added to the pile of smoking corpses who have performed country songs tonight, and Kree says everyone's done great and she'll do her best. Like she's going to switch to a pop song at the last minute.
Moving on to Kamaria Ousley from the Long Beach auditions. She claims to have been in the music business for years singing backup. Tonight she's doing "Mr. Know It All," which proves to be a bad idea for two reasons. 1) You want to be very careful about reminding the judges you're not Kelly Clarkson. 2) Kamaria has a pretty tentative grasp on the melody. So she suffers not only in comparison to Kelly, but to everyone else who has sung tonight. Keith has to tell her it wasn't a great song for her, pointing out that she's made it this far so she can sing, but this wasn't it. I'm sure Kamaria appreciates his concern for the judges' reputations. Nicki starts by telling Kamaria that she looks great and then asks what was going on with her throaty tone tonight, which she's never heard from her before and which didn't work. Randy says the pitch was all over the place and this was her worst performance to date. Even the audience doesn't disagree with him enough to boo. At least until he keeps pushing them to do so by going on and on about how irredeemably bad it was. Mariah compliments Kamaria's smile and vivaciousness, which is great for a singing competition. Kamaria admits to Ryan that it was a challenge, but she's hoping for the best. Clearly a prepared speech. She should have prepared her song that well.
We're moving right on to Kree Harrison, the 22-year-old demo singer from Nashville. She talks about working in the business and paying your dues, which is kind of the opposite of what American Idol is all about, but whatever. As promised, she's doing another country song -- this one a gospel ballad -- but she seems destined to break tonight's curse. She's probably got the best voice we've heard thus far tonight, with this sort of Pam Tillis quality and she gets a Standing O from Keith and Nicki. Keith talks about how much he loved it and how effortless her performance was. Nicki tells Kree that the other girls tonight should be very scared and goes on about how she makes love to the song. Randy agrees that Kree is a natural-born singer, and Mariah talks about how Kree gets sincerely lost in the song and sings the hell out of it. Kree says to Ryan that this is all she ever wanted to do and thanks everyone. She's in a good position to do so.