She's also the first one that Ryan calls over to suffer through the clips from last night. Jimmy loved "Power of Love," but continues his apparent decades-long hate-on for "MacArthur Park," which he says even Amber couldn't explain to him when he ran into her backstage last night. He even thinks Amber might be in trouble tonight as a result, because he underestimates the country's tolerance for moronic lyrics in pop songs. That's all we know about Amber for now, though, because Ryan sends her back to the bleacher-couches without any update on her status.
After the ads, Ryan turns to Kree. We know Jimmy didn't care for Kree's first performance last night, and her "Whiter Shade of Pale" didn't come close to fixing it in his opinion. He maintains that nobody's going to win this competition with corny lyrics. Is he new?
Stefano is back from Season 10, not that I was watching then. He gets all skeezy in his intro reel about getting to sing "Yes to Love" to the female finalists and the female judges, and then asks them not to use that. And we see how that worked out. So he comes out and croons his mid-tempo ballad. It's pretty cheesy, but he looks like the kind of guy who could be even cheesier than what we're already seeing, so props for keeping that reeled in. Three-way standing ovation from the judges, but Mariah gets up eventually, out of a clear sense of obligation and possibly the sudden, belated realization that everybody already saw her come in wearing a shorter dress tonight.
It's Candice's turn to be judged by Jimmy. He says that Candice needs to both take better care of her voice and make some riskier song choices. He then addresses the controversy from last night, when he was dragged onstage to be booed by the audience and charged by Nicki, but then claims that Nicki has a crush on him. After the clip, Nicki gamely plays along before Ryan gets back to Candice. He plays her a suspiciously high-quality audio clip of Drake thanking her for singing his song last night and saying he wishes she could have worked on it in the studio with him. Candice is already kvelling, and as he's going on to apologize that he couldn't be there in person, the screen in back opens up and he comes sauntering out. Which at least explains the quality of the audio. He hugs Candice, gladhands some people in the front row, gives some love to the other three finalists, and just generally brings the show to a screeching halt until the ad break. And it was humming along so smoothly until now.