'American Idol' Burning Questions: Does Mariah Carry Glitter at All Times? Is Amber Dating Burnell? What's on Janelle's Finger?
Also: Is Angie Miller destined for a career in Christian music? What made Candice Glover lose it? Was Lazaro Arbos familiar with David Archuleta's "Angels" performance on season seven?
American Idol looked to the classics -- the Burt Bacharach/Hal David 1970s hit parade -- for half of its theme on Wednesday night, while the second hour was an open book for the finalists: the song I wish I had written.
Most handled the challenge expertly, but a couple stumbled. But even as the weeks count down to the finale, there’s still plenty of questions about the future top five. Read on for this week's answers ...
How is Kree Harrison handling the ever-shrinking contestant pool? “It’s bittersweet -- Thursdays are really hard,” she told The Hollywood Reporter following Wednesday night’s show. “Also, we live in a bubble of excitement and chaos and there's not really a moment to take it all in. That’s why on Thursday, you see all the emotion come out. I did the ugly cry last week when Burnell [Taylor] left.”
What inspired Kree to wear a formfitting dress for her rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night” rather than a pair of pants or leggings, as she usually does? “I thought with the song, I could put a timeless dress on and hope that they would like it,” said the Tennessee native. “And keep it classy.”
Does Mariah Carey walk around with fistfuls of glitter at the ready? “I don't know what she brought the glitter for, but she had a box of glitter with her,” said Candice Glover, the recipient of Mariah’s gold star shower. The unexpected gesture threw Candice, to be sure. As the new frontrunner explained to THR: “I thought she was coming to give me a hug. I didn't want to look upset. If Mariah Carey throws little gold star glitter at you, you better be happy.”
So what made Candice lose it? “The reception and the feedback that I got from the audience – that they were on their feet way before the song was even over,” she explained. “And the cheers -- it was so loud and I didn't expect that. I was, like, let me give Mariah what she’s wanted the past few weeks. I didn't expect all that, so I lost it.”
What’s the real deal with Amber Holcomb and Burnell Taylor? “We developed a crush on the show, and we really like each other, but we’re not girlfriend and boyfriend -- yet,” Amber told THR. Promising to come clean, here’s what’s going on: “We're getting to know each other, so we’re talking and feeling each other out, but right now it's friend-friend. We're young, it's not like we're getting married tomorrow. He's a doll and he can sing, too! That's what I look for … is talent.”
Did Amber consider other Beyonce songs or current hits? “I thought of a lot of songs by Whitney [Houston] and Celine [Dion] and Mariah,” revealed the 19-year-old from Houston. “But I wanted to stick to my guns and show America something different. I didn't want to get stuck in ballads -- I do them all the time.” As for “Love on Top,” Amber said it’s a song she sings “around the house all the time -- when it comes on Pandora, I go crazy.”
With two country singers in the running, Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur, inevitably will only one advance? “I definitely think only one country singer will go through,” said Janelle after her performance of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” “I think that it's been an awesome ride -- if I’m that country girl who makes it through or not, I'm just so thankful, no matter what.”
What’s that on Janelle’s ring fingernail? “I always like to do a cross on that finger every week,” the show’s second Tennessean explained. “It represents faith for me.” Indeed, you need a lot of it to weather the stress of America’s highest rates singing competition. “It's not only tough emotionally, where people say things that can get you down, but you're also watching friends leave you're worried about yourself … It takes a lot of focus and drive.”
Is Angie Miller headed to a career in Christian music? The daughter of pastor parents readily admits, “I think I have a following in Christian music, especially when I did a Colton Dixon song and when I did my own original song.” But, she adds, “I don't think I'm going to do an album in the Christian genre. I want to go more mainstream.” That’s not to say she’ll leave the positive message behind. “My actions and words show that,” Angie added.
What’s Angie’s connection to singer Kari Jobe, whose song, “Love Came Down,” she chose to perform? “I first heard it live,” says the Beverly, Mass., native. “And I actually got a chance to sing on the same stage that Kari Jobe did. It was amazing. She came up to me afterwards and said, ‘Angie I want you to know that you're amazing. You can change nations, girl, go out there!’ I was, like, this is insane…” Angie also revealed that Jobe was aware that her song would be performed on Idol. “Now I'm excited to hear what she thinks about it,” said Angie.
What’s Lazaro Arbos’ take on his performance, which Randy Jackson called “horrible”? “I don't know what went wrong,” he said “I felt that when we rehearsed it, it went well, but they did a last-minute key change. So I'm not sure. I'll have to watch it back to see what they saw.” It was certainly a rough night for Lazaro, who received a lukewarm response to his second song, too. “I think I came back and they were kind of, like, ‘meh.’ You never know [how the judges will respond.”
Was Lazaro familiar with David Archuleta’s version of Robbie Williams’ “Angels”? Yes, answered the Cuba native. “I thought it was so good.” Although he only discovered the original song about six months ago. Revealed Lazaro: “I was on YouTube looking up songs to learn for the show and I came across that one and loved it.”