American Idol
Season 12: 8 Finalists Compete

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 1 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Motown, Mo Problems

Before the credits, we get a little mini-feature about Detroit's musical history, narrated by Smokey Robinson. I think it's probably safe to assume he'll be doing some mentoring with Jimmy Iovine this week. Also, I think it's been pretty established by now that if there's anything American Idol contestants are all about more than anything else, it's musical history.

Out come the judges, both Mariah and Nicki in red, so that's going to be tense. Ryan explains how tonight's rather loose "theme" means that any artist from Detroit is available for the top eight to cover. While Mariah waves some kind of scepter at Ryan, he attempts to explain that Smokey Robinson came in to mentor the contestants, and we go right into a clip of Candice Glover sitting down with Smokey Robinson in a living-room setting. He starts by informing her that she made him cry two weeks ago. By singing on this show, which he watched, not by running over his dog, I hasten to add. She tells him that she's doing "Heard it Through the Grapevine," which by coincidence was first recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, but never released. I don't know what Candice is supposed to do with that information, but I hope he says that about every song tonight. We cut to him with Jimmy and Candice in the studio, working on a bluesy-funky arrangement that they're all feeling pretty good about.

For her actual performance, she starts out with a jazzy saxophone and a blinding spotlight before the beat picks up. And then I'm sure it's quite technically proficient and all, but it feels like she's just marking time right up until the big "Yeeaahh" she throws in at the end. Keith's favorite part is how she always knows how to not overpower herself, and says this is her best tonight. Nicki mainly noticed how Candice took her advice from last week, keeping her eyes engaged, and agrees with Keith. Randy liked how she came out and showed confidence and comfort, and Mariah says she epitomizes the competition and speaks to Candice in some kind of code that the two of them apparently have. Ryan comes out and tells Candice that she's done for the night, remarking on how nervous she was earlier. Looks like she's over that, though.

After the ads, Ryan talks to Janelle and Kree about how they get to do a duet together like they've apparently been wanting to all along. Or at least Janelle has. They're covering the Jennifer Nettles version of "Like a Prayer," because hey, Madonna used to live in Detroit, right? It doesn't sound as country as I was expecting it to, not that that's a bad thing. Decent harmonies, but Janelle suffers in comparison during their solos. After it's over, they step to the front of the stage to get some judges' feedback, even though I didn't think this was a judged performance. Nicki says it looked like Kree flew in to sing with an Idol contestant. Randy pretty much agrees, Mariah calls it a "sisterhood moment" and calls out a time during the song when Janelle helped Kree with the lyrics. Keith just says they both sang great, and Janelle takes it all pretty well. That went on so long that by the time Ryan finds his way out there, he has to remind everybody that the duet was just for fun anyway. So let's cut the feedback a little shorter next time then, shall we?

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American Idol

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