Wow, that was bad.
That's all I could think after watching the three remaining "American Idol" guys -- Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez and Lazaro Arbos -- do a group number to "I Can't Help Myself."
Apparently, Nicki Minaj agreed. Watch her scold the boys below:
It's pretty clear that Lazaro forgot his lines and couldn't recover, and Devin literally pointed fingers at him after they sang. Lazaro was by far and away the worst solo performance too, but a favorite faltered as well. Here's how I ranked them, from best to worst:
1. Candice Glover
Candice was nervous about opening the show, but her version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" set a bar no one touched. It could've been very karaoke, but she added her signature runs and showed off a very nice lower register. She pulled ahead of everyone else with this:
2. Amber Holcomb
Amber was in the bottom three last week, but she redeemed herself with this. Her performance of "Lately" got a standing ovation from the judges. I just wished she slowed the arrangement down (ala her cover of "My Funny Valentine") so viewers could appreciate her voice fully. I agree with Nicki that she's lost the twinkle in her eye ... hopefully she'll bring it back after the judges' praise.
3. Kree Harrison
Kree was not her best tonight, but she was still better than most of the rest. She covered Aretha Franklin's "Don't Play That Song" (a song Kelly Clarkson killed in Season 1), a big song. Kree hit her notes but I feel she could've worked the stage and "performed" more like Candice. Still, she'll be safe.
4. Burnell Taylor
I love Burnell, but I hate the song "My Cherie Amour" (or "Amourm" the way he pronounced it). I find it cheesy and melodically too simple for someone of his caliber. I would've loved to hear him sing some Jackson 5 or any pretty much any other Stevie Wonder song. Burnell still sounded great, but this was my least favorite song choice:
5. Devin Velez
All season long, I've said Amber and Devin are the best vocalists, and he proved it. This was a very nice cover of "The Tracks of My Tears," but I'm afraid viewers will find Devin wooden and he'll find himself in the bottom three again.
6. Janelle Arthur
Janelle slipped a little this week after last week's breakthrough, but I still enjoyed her own country arrangement of "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Nice seeing her change it up a bit without changing who she is. I think she'll be safe for weeks.
7. Angie Miller
All season long, the "American Idol" producers have touted Angie Miller as the one to beat. She had one of the greatest Hollywood Week performances ever (to an original song she wrote) but hasn't been able to match it during the live shows. Her star definitely fell on Wednesday's Detroit-themed night. Her cover of The Miracle's "Shop Around" (written by guest mentor Smokey Robinson) wasn't up to par. And while she looked great, she never looked at ease. She was pitchy and lower register was nowhere as secure as Candice's.
8. Lazaro Arbos
A much better performance than last week, but still not up to par of the rest. I've also had enough with the excuses. He really needs to go.
Obviously, it's Lazaro's time to go, but I can see Devin getting cut. I'm going to be really bummed if Amber is in the bottom three again. What do you think?
-- Lawrence Yee