Editor's note: Season two American Idol finalist Kimberly Caldwell is guest blogging Idol again this week. Read on for her exclusive reactions to last night's top eight performance show!
Yes! Ten years after I was so lucky to have met him on my season, Mr. Smokey Robinson mentored the top eight, all covering Motown classics. What a gift to be mentored by this legend. On top of perfecting their own song choices, this round they had to prepare group numbers and harmonies, plus choreography. This is when the true artists rise!
Best of the Night:
1. Amber Holcomb must have been lip-syncing, because it was soooo vocally impressive! She left us all on our feet, clapping. Exquisite! No critiques from me—or the judges. That's how it's done, my lady! She really brought it with every ounce of emotion she had to give us. She should be very proud that she's making her mark. Like Mariah Carey said, "#POW!"
2. Candice Glover, duh! You can count on this diva to give you an unforgettable show, even if she was first up. Killed it! I could listen to her sultry vibe every day, all day long on repeat! Whether she wins this game or not, she's going to make a name for herself in this world. Snap!
3. Kree Harrison almost makes it look too easy! Effortless! She's unreal! She never reveals an ounce of insecurity, and that's a star for you. I am truly inspired by her professionalism up there.
4. Devin Velez pulled off this genre without a hitch. He needs to rock that slick red suit and be accompanied by six backup singers at all times. This works for him because he is a true old soul.
Potentially in Trouble This Week:
Well, at least two of the boys: Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor. Sad face! I'm rooting for them, but after the drama with the group numbers laid out there for all of America to see, I thought it looked really unappealing, especially compared to the stellar girls' numbers. Keep the chaos backstage, guys! Not a good look.
Positive note: Lazaro and his swagger were back in full swing this week! Unfortunately, he just does not deliver the vocal performances that the ladies of this season bring. And I thought Burnell sounded like he fit right into the Motown era, and this guy is always on point, but he just didn't show off as much as I wanted him to. It's a battle of the vocals, and I felt like he was taking it easy. Way too safe. Side note: You can't throw your competitors under the bus on national TV, even if it is a competition. Won't earn you any extra votes.
Janelle Arthur was extra-emotional, and Nicki Minaj's criticism seemed to really tear her up. Even though it wasn't her best, when she announced that it was her first time ever playing and singing with a full band, I was knocked out of my seat. Could have fooled me! I was also bummed she didn't shine in her duet with Kree, but she's got a pretty loyal fan base built up already, so I think we will see this blonde soar again soon.
Angie Miller's stunning blue minidress gets my vote! Whoa! But I ultimately think this song choice didn't do her justice. She's so brilliant, and this was the first time I've ever seen her not stealing the show. Get back to the keys and do you, girl! Fingers crossed!
Without Regret, Kimberly Caldwell's debut album on Capitol Records, is available now. You can follow her on Twitter @_kimcaldwell.