American Idol
Finalists Compete

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Stand-Up Connick

Tonight's pre-credits sequence is basically a brilliantly edited reminder of how last week was essentially a waste of everyone's time. And now everyone is totally serious, y'all. Seriously. It's not like anyone's going to push back the hotly anticipated premiere of Does Someone Have to Go?.

Enter the judges, enter Ryan. He tells us that the finale is only two weeks away -- not that anyone's counting -- and presents the top four. And wouldn't you know it? They're the same top four as last week. Ryan reminds everyone about how the top three will get the hometown visits, but for some reason fails to mention that that was the point in last year's competition when Phil Phillips decided he wanted to win after all. Tonight's two themes are songs from 2013 and standards, which means the finalists will each be singing a song most of the viewing audience doesn't know and one it does. And they've brought in Harry Connick, Jr. to mentor, because who says 2013 quite like Harry Connick, Jr.?

We start with a clip of Harry greeting the finalists in some mansion and saying he feels like he knows them already. They return the sentiment and he cracks, "Well, you don't, because I'm a huge star." Okay, this might not be so bad.

Angie's starting off, and we see her meeting individually with Harry, whom she calls the funniest person ever. "The whole household loves you," he tells her at the beginning of their mentoring session. "I... don't." Angie is doing a stripped-down version of "Diamonds" by Rihanna, but the point of the scene is when they bluff each other through a song of his that Angie's pretending to know even though they're both making it up on the spot. I'm starting to think the person who goes home tonight will be the one who gets along least well with Harry Connick, Jr. Angie's actual performance is pretty basic arrangement-wise, with her behind the piano that she's been warned so many times against straying from. She's going with a slow build vocally, which is good except for how she doesn't quite nail the first big high note. She recovers well, though, and remembers to give the camera the old Angie-eyes. Keith starts by telling her how much he loves the song, but mostly the percussive parts that Angie took out. He adds that if he's going to change the song anyway, she might as well do what she wants with the melody. Nicki says this is different from most of Angie's piano performances, which isn't a good sign. Sure enough, she ends up calling it bland and lackluster. Randy agrees with Keith, saying it didn't go anywhere, but he digs Angie's leather shorts. Not at all creepy, that. Mariah takes forever getting to the point that Angie didn't really connect with the song, so it's a relief when Nicki interrupts to point out that Mariah's agreeing with her. Mariah clarifies that she agrees with all the judges, just in more words.

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American Idol

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