Oliver Springs’ Janelle Arthur impressed the “American Idol” judges Wednesday night with her rendition of Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right,” but she may have been upstaged by her own wardrobe.
Arthur exploited her vocal range as she worked over the entire stage during her “Rock Week” performance, and the judges responded enthusiastically. Mariah Carey said she was impressed with Arthur’s vibrato, and Randy Jackson said Arthur was “authenticity at its best.” Keith Urban said, “I don’t think that was the best song for you to do, but you still came out barreling.”
For her part, Nicki Minaj said Arthur’s performance was “exceptional,” and said the Tennessee native has an advantage of “relatability – you feel like every girl’s best friend.” Carey agreed with Minaj’s assessment, indicating Arthur’s charisma will help her win votes from the show’s fans, who ultimately decide which contestants stay.
Yet the judges were clearly distracted by Arthur’s showy, country-fied outfit. “I love those boots, Janelle!” exclaimed Urban, and Minaj echoed the sentiment and said she wears a size 5. When Arthur said she wears a size 6, Minaj said, “I wear a 6 now!”
Then Jackson said he wasn’t as concerned about Arthur’s boots as he was her fringe-adorned vest. “I’ll wear that vest!”
Sure enough, when the show returned from a commercial break, Minaj was wearing Arthur’s stone-embellished boots and Jackson was wearing her vest.
The show is down to the final seven contestants, and the judges generally graded all seven favorably Wednesday night. The results show will air Thursday night on FOX, and the lowest vote-getter will have one last chance to sing and attempt to woo the judges. If the judges don’t unanimously agree to spare that contestant, he or she will be eliminated.