The fan-selected theme for tonight is "one-hit wonders," which is one of the few forms of mocking I'm not entirely comfortable with. I mean, how many hits do most of us have? I'm pretty sure I don't have any yet. Anyway, Amber is covering a hit by the original Albus Dumbledore: "MacArthur Park," although she's doing the Donna Summer version rather than the Richard Harris one. Probably just as well. This is more suited to her style, though she gets a little shaky on the first big "agaaaaaain." I can't wait to see what Keith has to say about emotionally connecting to lyrics predicated on baking-related tragedies.
Mariah actually does stand up for this one, as well as Randy. Keith settles for telling her she's dominating tonight. Nicki calls her a blooming flower, and asks if she went for the longest note in Idol history. She also says Amber's the one of the top four she wants to be friends with, which may mean she's the most marketable. Randy deploys his catchphrase and babbles on until he concludes that he'd sign her right now. Mariah speculates that Amber has an "inner glow" and "star quality," which the show is helping her to develop. Ryan asks if Amber's been hustling us all along, and she's smart enough not to deny it. Backstage, Jimmy disses the judged because he's got a big hate-on for how corny the song has always been, "and not even Amber can pull off corny."
Ryan schmoozes with a couple of the kids who were well enough to leave Children's Hospital for the evening and are here in the audience. Candice's one-hit wonder is "Emotion" by Samantha Sang, which of course was covered more famously by the Bee Gees. I think they're maybe cheating a little bit with this one-hit wonder theme. Candice can sing it, obviously, but doesn't do much with it until stretching out a bit on the last chorus.
Nicki says it's an older song but didn't feel like it, and wants to be sure Candice knows she's a superhero like everyone else. And then she leads a brief mass revolt of the judges against Jimmy's comments on "MacArthur Park" from earlier, apropos of nothing. Randy calls "Emotion" a classic song and says she did it well, and also disagrees with Jimmy. Mariah drops some knowledge on the masses about how difficult it is to keep up their voices in this competition, and was able to detect a slight cold that Candice confesses is actually terrible. Keith complains about whether there are any one-hit wonders from the last decade (obviously there are, most of which have been on the cover of Rolling Stone), like songs from the last decade ever get anybody anywhere on this show. Then Ryan drags Jimmy out from backstage to defend his earlier opinion, which turns into this whole hairball of an argument with Nicki coming up onto the stage to get into Jimmy's face (and Randy following), but then not doing anything but hugging him while Mariah moves over to sit next to Keith. I'm sure this is a moment that'll be ridiculously trumped up in tomorrow's episode and maybe even the media, even though not much of anything actually happened.