Classic songs soared over today’s biggest hits Wednesday on “American Idol.” Oh, and Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey clashed over their critiques, which didn't help the show but held a weird fascination.
Harry Connick Jr. served as mentor for round one (songs from 2013) and round two (standards from the American songbook).
In round one, Angie Miller played the piano on a stripped-down version of Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Angie showed off her range, but Keith Urban disliked her approach. Minaj found the performance lackluster and bland, yet Carey said Angie did a great job.
Amber Holcomb gave a sincere but muted performance of Pink's “Just Give Me a Reason.” Minaj said she needed to do better, and Randy Jackson said she looked nervous. Urban praised the clarity in her voice.
In a risky choice, Candice Glover ripped into Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” with riveting passion. Jackson said it was amazing, and Carey agreed. Minaj led the judges in a standing ovation.
Kree Harrison offered a pretty, heartfelt take on Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again.” Carey praised her authenticity, and Jackson said it was a great vocal.
Round one to Candice.The second round focused on standards. To honor her mother, Angie went with “Someone to Watch Over Me.” She looked lovely although her phrasing suggested she was nervous. Urban said the performance was beautiful, and Minaj compared her to a Disney princess. (Carey rolled her eyes.) Then Minaj and Carey argued.“Sing from your heart the entire time, and your notes will continue to shine, regardless of the dirt that gets splattered around you,” Carey said, dissing Minaj.
Amber had to learn what the lyrics to “My Funny Valentine” meant, but her fine performance revealed that she had learned well. The judges gave her a standing ovation. "Stellar," Jackson said. Minaj said it was a great job. When Amber started crying, Minaj urged her to believe in herself and not worry about the votes.
Candice gave one of her best performances on “You’ve Changed,” which ranged from heartbroken to dynamic. The judges gave her a standing ovation. Really great, Urban said.
Kree looked glamorous and delivered a poignant “Stormy Weather.” Carey and Urban questioned the song choice. Jackson said she still did a good job, then he and Connick argued about her approach to the song. Ryan Seacrest said the two men were making Nicki and Mariah "look very benign."
Round two to Candice, who reminded everyone she's the best singer.
The votes from last week will be added with this week’s count to determine which singer goes. The results show starts at 8 p.m. Thursday. Former champ David Cook will perform. The winner will be named in two weeks.
Prediction: Amber will probably go Thursday, but her "My Funny Valentine" was remarkable.