The “American Idol” judges unofficially put Oliver Springs singer Janelle Arthur near the bottom of the five remaining contestants tonight, and Arthur’s undoing on the show could well be her rendition of a song by her idol, Dolly Parton.
The remaining contestants each sang two songs: The first was a hit from their birth year, and the second was a song by a diva.
Arthur’s first performance was of “When I Call Your Name,” a Vince Gill song released just weeks before Arthur was born in 1989.
Three of the four judges gushed over her performance. Randy Jackson proclaimed, “Janelle’s back where she belongs,” and Mariah Carey said, “I believed you … You were singing with your heart … please keep your confidence.” And Nicki Minaj, who had gone from one of Arthur’s strongest supporters to one of her harshest critics, did another about-face: “Congratulations, my beautiful little marshmallow,” and added that Arthur ‘s singing was, “so pretty and angelic tonight.”
Yet Keith Urban, the lone panelist from country music, wasn’t buying Arthur’s performance. “I didn’t feel it,” he said, “I didn’t hear it tonight.” Carey interrupted Urban, however, and said to Arthur, “Maybe it’s a girl thing, but you brought me to tears!” Then Carey defiantly pointed at Urban as if to say, “so there.”
In the second hour, Arthur performed Parton’s “Dumb Blonde,” and the judges were lukewarm at best. Jackson and Carey, who tend to be the most generous judges, kindly echoed each other’s sentiments by saying the song didn’t give Arthur a chance to show her range and let America hear the depth of her talent. Urban was tough on Arthur again, saying he loved Parton, but, “I don’t know that I’d place ‘Dumb Blonde’ high on the Dolly Parton song list.” And in yet another turnaround, Minaj flatly stated to Arthur, “I do think you’re in jeopardy of going home tomorrow.”
Janelle Arthur: "Dumb Blonde"
Meanwhile, the judges were blatantly selling Amber Holcomb to the viewers. Last week, despite consistent praise from the judges, Holcomb finished next to last in the voting. (Lazaro Arbos was at the bottom and went home.) Tonight they sang her praises again, with Carey saying she didn’t understand why America wasn’t more enthusiastic about Holcomb.
Arthur, Holcomb and the other contestants will find out their fate Thursday night when “American Idol” airs at 8 p.m. on Fox.
© 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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