Season 12, Season 12 finals

Ranking the Top 6 on American Idol

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The way I figure it, the American Idol ladies should be enjoying a pretty stress free week.

As I’ve noted repeatedly, the Idol judges still have their save tucked away as we head into Top 6 week.

In past years, they’ve been required to use it before the field is whittled down to five contestants.

What’s that mean?

1. Any lady who lands below Lazaro Arbos this week probably can count on that save being used to keep her in the competition for another week.

2. If Lazaro ends the week as the low vote-getter … get ready for some creative changes in how the save can be used. No way the judges are going to want to save the weakest singer left in the competition.

My advice to the ladies: Use this week to heal.

Pinched nerves. Broken toes. Jeans ripped to shreds as though a tiger attacked.

Ladies, this is supposed to be a singing competition, not singing meets “Survivor.”

On to the rankings …

Angela Miller (FOX Photo)1. Angie Miller (2): Yep, Angie takes over the top spot this week. She lands there because she’s the only contestant who showed any originality in her song choice last week. She lands there because she turned in the weeks’ best performance, starting off at her piano, then letting her voice soar once she reached that mini podium at center stage. She lands there because American Idol unleashed a gale force wind machine that might have blown Season 11’s Hollie Cavanagh right off the stage, yet Angie seemed unfazed. Well, except for tugging at the bottom of her top to keep it in place.

Kree Harrison (FOX Photo))2. Kree Harrison (1): Vocally, Kree’s take on “Piece of My Heart” was pitch-perfect. Performance wise, perhaps the pinched nerve held her back. Because, folks, just two years ago, Haley Reinhart, growl in full throttle, dug a heck of a lot deeper into that Janis Joplin classic. And, Kree, all that makeup? Perhaps the timing wasn’t great given the gritty song you decided to sing. Bottom line: I expect better on a song like that from someone with aspirations of winning Season 12, and that’s the reason Kree is taking a one spot tumble this week.

Candice Glover (FOX Photo)3. Candice Glover (3): Here’s betting the gal from St. Helena Island shows up on stage with a little to prove this week. She’s the best singer in Season 12, yet Jimmy Iovine and three of the four Idol judges omitted her from their list of the top three contestants, choosing Kree, Angie and Amber instead. What’s worse for Candice is that voters kept her out of the top three, too. Truth be told, “Satisfaction” was a bit shy of special, though she displayed more vocal flair than Kree. Hate to keep referring readers back to past years, but if you want to see the song done better than Candice did it, check out Adam Lambert in Season 8.

Janelle Arthur (FOX Photo)4. Janelle Arthur (4): Her take on Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right” was a bit of a letdown after her unique rendition of “You Keep Me Hanging On” the week before. It also struck me as an odd song choice, given all the great classic rock songs there should have been to choose from. Of course, you never know what that Idol song list looks like. But Janelle’s scoring huge points for me based on what she does when she’s not singing, like congratulating Amber on a great vocal after their group number last week and providing words of encouragement to Burnell before his save-me song. Whether she wins or not, she’s certainly showing the class to be an American Idol.

Amber Holcomb (FOX Photo)5. Amber Holcomb (5): She’s not in my top three yet, Idol judges. And, guess what? She’s not in voters’ top three either. The beginning and ending of “What About Love” were superb. In between? She was OK. By the way, she got away with singing a power ballad on no ballads night. How did that happen? I really think Amber could have used another year or two of performance seasoning before stepping on Idol’s big stage. Meanwhile, if Candice and Amber ever wind up singing ballads back to back, the judges might be forced to reaccess their top three assessments.

Lazaro Arbos of American Idol. (FOX Photo)right: FOX.6. Lazaro Arbos (7): He’s top three, according to the Idol voters. He’s dead last, according to Jimmy and lots of experts who follow the show. He’s number one in the hearts of the folks at, which is never the best place to be, but might help keep him around longer than he deserves. I wasn’t surprised or discouraged when he outlasted Burnell. And I won’t be surprised if he survives for at least two more weeks because I figure Janelle and Kree are splitting the country vote and Amber and Candice might be doing the same with the R&B vote. But I will be discouraged if Lazaro outlasts any of the ladies.

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