Though ratings for American Idol continue to drop, the talent on the show continues to carry the weight of the series and rise above it.  And, last night, Candice Glover gave one of the best performances in the history of the show and reminded viewers how good Idol CAN be when it does what it's supposed to . . . turn everyday singers into international superstars. As Steve Thompson explains, Candice's performance was one for the Idol history books!

Here's idol Chatter from this morning's edition of The WBKR Waking Crew.

From Steve Thompson:

These dual themed nights are often quite literally double-edged swords.  (In Lazaro's case, the sword of Damocles would suffice.)  In what universe-- at least in 2013-- would something from Burt Bacharach and "Songs I Wish I'd Written" be coexistent?

Next week's two themes showcase a similar disparity-- but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Ryan says in the opening the contestants have something burning inside.  Might I suggest something that spells r-e-l-i-e-f?

The Burt Bacharach (Hal David) Songbook

6.  Lazaro Arbos sang Close to You.  Somewhere in Heaven, Karen Carpenter weeps.  This was so bad the only duck Lazaro should become acquainted with is from AFLAC.  Honest to Pete, if this song ever sounded this bad from anyone else on this program the townsfolk would be carrying their torches and pitchforks toward Castle Lythgoe.  I mentioned this on my page, but I found myself wondering if Richard Carpenter could sue for defamation on the behalf of his arrangement and his sister's vocal.  Anyone who voted for Lazarus this go round should recall the Biblical admonishment: "He stinketh already!"

5.  Amber Holcomb sang I Say a Little Prayer.  I'm sorry, I can't think of this song anymore without thinking  of the scene from My Best Friend's Wedding.  Now I'll grant that Amber has youth appeal and a strangely unusual ability to channel Whitney-- but this is Aunt Dionne we're considering here.  I just wasn't as impressed with this as the judges seemed to be (who seemed to be somewhere in Pimp City.)  Evidently, Amber has had low vote totals this season.

4.  Janelle Arthur sang I'll Never Fall in Love Again.  This was never one of the strongest songs in the Bacharach playbook-- and it seemed more of a piffle than ever tonight.  Janelle tried to bring some country out in the song, but this time country refused to play along.  Possibly her weakest performance.

3. Angie Miller sang Anyone Who Had a Heart.  I would've liked a different Dusty Springfield song, but not everyone should even try to attempt Dusty.  I appreciated the fact that Angie stayed away from the much stuffier Dionne Warwick version.

2.  Candice Glover sang Don't Make Me Over.  Yes, I'm sure it was a capable version-- but I hated that song in the 60s and all these years later I can barely stand to hear it again.  I'm giving her second spot in this first round because, to my ears, nothing was better than...

1. Kree Harrison sang What the World Needs Now.   Jackie DeShannon for the win.  Yes, the song by the blonde singer from Hazel, Kentucky sounded really good in the capable voice of Kree Harrison.  Interesting that three of the biggest musical icons of the 60s were involved in recording Bacharach/David songs.  Dionne, Dusty and Jackie.  Methinks that might be the real reason this theme existed tonight.

Songs They Wish They'd Written

6.  Lazaro Arbos sang Angels by Robbie Wiliams.  Is it just me or did it sound like Lazaro mumbled his way through this song as if he was some sort of long-lost Dick Tracy villain?  I don't care what Ryan might claim-- the only duck Laz should be invested in at this point works for AFLAC.

5. Amber Holcomb sang Love on Top by Beyonce.  In the grand scheme of things, Amber's ode to the industry that is Beyonce just didn't pull me in and make me love the song.  I guess she did okay with what she had here, it's just a good thing the judges can save her if her time is up.

4.  Angie Miller sang Love Came Down by Kari Jobe.  Kari Jobe is a Praise & Worship singer who has had a great deal of commercial and critical success in Christian music.  (I thought I'd throw that in for those of you who might be booking passage on a long dark train.)  Angie is to Christian music what Kree is to country.  While many of you may look down your noses at the genre, I suspect Angie has the Colton Dixon career path clear in her mind.  She might never make it to the Opry, but she'll be singing in Heaven.

3.  Janelle Arthur sang The Dance by Garth Brooks.  Why is everyone shocked that Mariah didn't know this song?  Most singers have tunnel vision when it comes to music.  I wouldn't expect Mariah to know Garth Brooks nor would I expect the lead singer of Queensryche to know every Mariah Carey song.  Let's get serious.  Keith was right on the money when he suggested that Janelle should've gone acoustic.  That would've been the way to find yourself at second place.

2.  Kree Harrison sang Help Me Make It Through the Night.  Sammi Smith was one of the great icons of country music back in the 70s.  Johnny Cash helped get her a record deal and an unknown songwriter named Kris Kristofferson wrote this magnificent (controversial at the time) ballad.  Kree did a fantastic job with this cover and I was very impressed with how well she seemed to (in Keith's words) connect to the song.  I hope Kree has a more successful chart history than Sammi, however...  This would've been the highlight of the evening for me except for...

1. Candice Glover sang Love Song. I confess that I was never a big fan of The Cure.  However, when I bought the DVD of Adele's concert and found myself enthralled with her version I had to go back and listen to the original just to see how wrong I had been.  Nope.  Still didn't like The Cure-- just love Adele to death.  Candice, somehow, surpassed Adele's version for me.  I'm not sure if I'm ever going to get on board the Candice train-- but tonight I was ready to inquire about tickets.

If there is any justice, Lazarus shall not rise again.  However, if justice is blind-- this is the last week the save will be available for the judges.  I suspect a girl will be the low vote getter and the judges will utilize the save.  FOX will be on schedule and the mantra "No More Saves" will be heard from sea to shining sea.  Life will go on, God will be in His Heaven-- and we won't study war no more.

All seriousness aside, I'm a bit worried about all the pimping the judges were doing to save Amber.  She could be vulnerable, depending on how many tone deaf are still voting.

By the way, if we have a save...  Next week the themes are Divas and Songs from Your Birth Year.

It just keeps getting better now, doesn't it?

@April 10, 2013  Stephen W Thompson