We're finally back on track. After a brief stop in "whoopsie, here's a mulligan" territory, American Idol is back to making a tough cut each week, and with only four ladies left, this week's cut was the deepest one yet.
The final moments of Thursday night's episode dangled the fates of two talented ladies: While Angie Miller and Candice Glover sat in safety, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb sweated it out. One girl had fallen from a series of perfect performances to a low spot, the other hadn't managed to package her immense talent in an enticing way for voters. When the votes fell, it was Amber who was sent packing.
After the last two weeks, the eliminated contestant really should have been Kree. In over a month of performances, it's clear that while Kree is talented, she's not growing. And last night, she proved that she's not going to pull out of it.
Amber, on the other hand, finally figured out how to bridge the gap between her staggering vocal talent and the art of performance. All along, we knew that Amber has almost Whitney Houston level talent, but she wasn't connecting with audiences in her performances and her personality was muddled. We weren't sure if she was the second coming of Whitney (literally, as in Whitney from 1991) or if she was a future Broadway star, or if she simply longed for the days of disco to return. Amber was wildly confusing.
It makes sense then, that at this point in the competition, voters are showing their confusion and sending her home. However, Amber made an incredible comeback on Wednesday night with an impeccable performance of "My Funny Valentine." When she sang the song, she broke down, something Nicki Minaj supposed might be because she's aware that she was the most likely to go home.
And again, on Thursday night, when she sang her swan song, "Miracles," Amber got emotional. She couldn't even finish her song and thankfully, Ryan Seacrest pulled her father on stage to comfort her. If watching Amber tear up wasn't enough, it came with the added impact of her sudden revival and subsequent elimination. It was tough to watch, and I'm sure the Idol producers were jumping up and down at the thought of the televisual value of such emotion.
But as difficult as it was to watch Amber fully process the weight of her elimination, it's a necessary evil and this season is already feeling too long. The rightful pair for the season finale is Angie and Candice. The audience, the voters, and nine tenths of the Internet know that. As much as we care about these girls after spending so much time with them, it's getting to the point where we're just short of screaming "Get on with it!"
Next week, that will become even harder to hold in, while Kree attempts to pull ahead of our clear top two.
Do you agree with Amber's elimination? Who should have been sent home instead?
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