American Idol 2013 Top 8 Live Recap: The Songs Of Motown

Amber Holcomb

Tonight the American Idol 2013 Top 8 are taking on songs of Motor City. And even though the theme has been done before, we might be in for some new treats. According to our Top 8 song spoilers, it looks like the season 12 contestants dug a little deeper in the Motown songbook than past seasons. Well, for the most part.

As always, I’ll be reviewing each performance and assigning the letter grade I think each deserved. Please follow along and comment with your own reviews and grades! The more opinions, the better!

The American Idol 2013 Top 8 Performances 

Candice Glover, I Heard It Through The Grapevine. I was a little disappointed to hear Candice was doing this song, but that’s because I didn’t imagine her putting the spin on it she did. I think the song as we all know is a pretty boring song. But she put a blusy spin on it and nailed it. It was a great way to start off the show. Candice is way talented. Grade: A

It’s time for duets already? Well OK. Janelle and Kree took on Like A Prayer by Madonna and they’re both great singers, but not that great together. If I graded duet/filler songs, I’d give this a B.

Lazaro Arbos, For Once In My Life. Well this was better than last week. By far. But is it Top 8 (or Top 7 worth)? No. He didn’t hold one note and the one part in the song that the singer is supposed to sign, the back-up singers handled it. So yeah. Grade: D-

Janelle Arthur, You Keep Me Hanging On. I’ve been pretty impartial when it comes to Janelle, but I really liked her performance tonight. I love that she put a completely different spin on that song. Both times it was popularly recorded, it was an up-tempo song. So her slowing it down and playing along with her guitar was refreshing. Grade: A

Devin Velez, The Tracks Of My Tears. Devin’s performance was very solid, but it was pretty boring, so I think he’s in some real danger this week. I’d love for him to stick around and trade places with Lazaro on the popularity scale, but that’s not going to happen. Grade: B+

Burnell Taylor, My Cherie Amour. I’m a Burnell fan, but this wasn’t my favorite performance of his. I just found it pretty uninteresting. His voice/tone/pitch, as usual, were spot-on though.  And not to sound like Nicki, but I missed his glasses. I don’t think changing your appearance on a singing show is ever a good idea. EVEN if it’s just ditching your glasses. Grade: B+

Angie Miller, Shop Around. It was nice to see a different side of Angie. We’ve never really seen her work a stage like this to know how she’d handle a concert until now. And she handled it just fine. As far as the vocals go, it wasn’t her all-time best moment. But she’ll be just fine. So fine that I’m still about 99.999 percent sure that she’s winning the show. (Oh and at least Mariah agrees with my idea that Angie should have performed I’ll Be There at the piano). Grade: B

Amber Holcomb, Lately. Well that was boring. That’s not the way to fight your way out of the bottom. I mean it was perfectly fine, but not exactly the best way to follow up a week where the votes were not in your favor. But I must be alone in this because the judges and Twitter loved it. I just thought it was fine. The judges were WAY INTO this. And of course I have my thoughts on why that was. She was in the bottom last week and they don’t want her going home this week. So they hope their praise will boost her and push Devin out the door. Grade: B+

Well that guy trio performance was just awful. And I’m glad Nicki let them have it. Forgetting lyrics during Top 8 week? No way. Unacceptable. That gets an F-

Kree Harrison, Don’t Play That Song. I’ve never heard this song, oddly enough. But I like it. Kree is a powerhouse. She has  yet to do anything wrong. She’s great. Grade: A+

What did you think of the performances tonight? And the big drama of the night was Nicki’s comments to Lazaro. Fans are not happy despite him forgetting his lyrics. What do you think?




  1. Branden, I rarely disagreed with you but I had to on this one. While Candice has a beautiful voice and is talented. This song needed to be sung the way Marvin Gaye did, no other way around it, with that being said, I am voting for her and Cree, my favorite.

  2. I’m pretty much in sync with Branden thus far. Candice and Janelle were fantastic. Lazaro and Devin kinda boring, though both seem like nice fellas.

    Mariah, please show up for work sober. Nikki, please start calling in to work sick….please.

    • We are big Angie fans but we felt the key she sang in was bad. I hope the folks at home keep her around. She is a rock head. Why she doesn’t get back to the piano is beyond my comprehension.

  3. Lazaro was awesome! thought he might be leaving this week, but now I’m not going to be surprised if he is in top 4 this week. Hated the outfit!

    • Cool you liked Lazaro, but he did forget his lyrics in the trio. His excuse is lame and he’s used it before; he has the same time to learn the song as the others. Good he made it this far, but I think the end is near for him.

      • I dvr’d the show and commented before I saw the group performance. I am also tired of of his lame excuses. I thought briefly that he had somewhat redeemed himself, but then saw the trio performance.

    • I like Lazaro,too but I don’t think he’s emotionally ready yet for the music business. He needs to toughen up a little more in order to survive in such a brutal industry.

  4. Kree! Even though Angela didnt do so great she still gets half my votes, got to support the hometown contestant! And the other half goes to Kree! Not worried though cuz I don’t see them in the bottom 3 at all!

  5. Twitter must be shelling out big bucks to AI. It’s bad enough we have to hear about tweeting a couple hundred times per show, but now we have the dang judges glued to their cell phones. WTF! Put the dang phones away while your working idiots.

  6. To me, Burnell has the most distinctive sounding voice. I would know it was him singing on the radio just based on the voice. Kree seems a little overated in this sense. Yes, she sings on the show like Kree (singing a non-country song as country). But I don’t think I would hear her on the radio and say “hey it’s a non-country song sung country…it must be Kree”. She’s a great singer; but so are a lot of other people. You need to stick out besides being just great.

    • I 100% agree w you about Kree, I just really dont get the hype. we have had country singers on the show trying to fuse amotjer style into their genre. nothing new. . .

  7. Angie, Kree and Janelle the top singers and heard it through the grapevine is a brilliant song. Hard to top anything sang by Adam Lambert on the show.

  8. You seem to be using the word BORING alot. How can you say that about all of these Motown songs. Angie was terrible, so should get the boot this week. Burnell was the best with Janelle and Kree next best. Stop the negative comments about Lazaro. He did fine tonight, much better than Angie, who was off key throughout the song. Bring in the piano, and stay there!

  9. ANGIE AND CANDICE FINAL TWO KREE AND JANELLE CLOSE THIRD ALL GIRLS ARE GOOD THIS YEAR just wonder is that why the judges picked average guy`s this year idol has been crying out for a female to win this as ratings are slipping

  10. IMO, the best performance tonight belongs to Janelle, #POW for her rendition of this song. She definitely has surpassed Angie. For the next couple spots, it’s a tight race between Amber and Candice. Kree’s performance tonight is just so-so to me anyway. It’s just like someone performing a song at the wedding with a band. Angie is, meanwhile, just Angie standing still with nowhere to go. She appears a bit clueless where to go from the place she herself set the bar so high for. Aside form her performance of that religious song of hers “You Set Me Free”, she’s been in a “cruise-control” mode or what Jimmy had called it a “beauty pageant” mode for so long. My prediction is that she’ll be doing no better than fourth place behind those other improved and talented girls.

    • are u kidding me?! janelle was only lucky enough to have that as her best performance so far (just because she busted out w the guitar, oooooo). . the rest of her performances have only been mediocre at it’s finest. . they should have not let her, whatsoever, secure that top 20 spot in the first place when it should’ve beem given to rachel by a long shot instead! n btw, you cant just judge angie on one night, she has been consistently better than janelle throughout the competition! such a holly cavanaugh carbon copy, smdh. . .

  11. I think Nikki is a bitch and her “music” is autotuned. She sounds like Fran Dreshler trying to rap.

  12. I don’t know if lazaro knows this, but there was another singer back in 1970 that stuttered also, and sang beautifully. please lazaro, keep the faith. don’t give up. Your a great singer.

  13. Even though Nicki needs to just stick to her rapping and junk, those boys so deserved that lecture. Absolutely awful!

  14. I felt like I was taking crazy pills while watching Burnell. He was singing “My chevrie amourm” throughout the entire song and nobody said a word about it. I don’t get it!!! Maybe the judges will hear it during the playback.

  15. I agree that Angie wasn’t her best this week. What I like is that she hasn’t been playing the sympathy card about her hearing loss. That’s right. She’s hard of hearing. She has Meniere’s Disease. 60% hearing loss in one ear, 40% in the other. SO it baffles me that when Lazaro is consistently off key, everyone comes to defend him cuz he has a stutter, but the one week that Angie is a little sharp (due mostly to those lower notes in the melody-she shoulda chosen a higher key) everyone harps on her and says she should go home. Jeez! When they asked her if she couldn’t hear, she had the opportunity right there to play the hearing aid sympathy card, but she didn’t. I do want her to go back to the piano though, cuz I feel like that’s when she connects with a song the most. She needs to understand the difference in stage acting & TV/film acting. She doesn’t have to over-emote because the camera is right there in front of her face.

  16. Judges were so annoying with Angie. We all understand that she’s her best behind a piano but she wanted to have fun and what better week than Motown! Sure it wasn’t her best but it was still good.

    Still the worst two are Amber who bores me to tears and got shut out by all the girls and merely got praise because she was (rightly) in the bottom 3 last week. And Burnell. Honestly he couldn’t even pronunciate the words correctly.

    • It’s “annoyed” not “annoying” BTW.

      Are you sure you aren’t Brendan Barker’s alter ego or perhaps his long lost sibling?

      Angie is the worst of all girls this week. Like you said, it’s a way to have fun with “motown” – by going pitchy all over the place.

      • No it’s annoying. I knew exactly what I was saying. Thanks for trying though.

        I think amber will again be in the bottom securing her role as the worst girl this season.

    • I agree with you. Angie doesn’t have to stay behind the piano week after week because she knows that people will get bored with it eventually and expect her to do the same thing week after week. And I agree with you on Amber. I don’t get what the big hype with her is. Her voice isn’t that good. Her voice sounds like her throat is clogged. Go ahead, tell me off, those of you who love Amber and don’t like Angie. I don’t care. I will answer back harder.

  17. This website Americanidolnet shares the fate of AI. The two are becoming less and less interesting each day. The Voice is so much more substantial and enjoyable. Predictions, predictions, and predictions of Branden are without substantial basis. This is the nth time, including the auditions, that he has predicted that Devin will go home. Indeed, a prophet of Doom.

  18. I love Kree and Janelle’s individual performances. And I agree Amber’s performance was boring. I didn’t think she deserve the standing O. Candice and Kree was way better than her.

    As for the boys, it’s not looking good for them. I just hope Burnell and Devin made it to top 7 to redeem themselves. As for Lazaro, he shouldve been voted off last week instead of Paul.

    Oh well that’s just me, I’m frustrated I can’t vote since I’m not in the US 🙁 but still, I enjoy watching the show, and I’ll just voice my opinion here.


    • Totally agree about your take on Amber’s performance. It was boring and not memorable at all.

  19. I’m starting to love Kree more than Candice. I love how she puts soul into Country music. She does better with Studio and live versions. It’s like she can sing any song from the songbook and nail it. My only problem with Candice is that she nails a live performance but when it comes to studio recordings, I won’t even have myself enjoying her song because there’s something that is not right about it.Maybe it’s the background instruments and maybe not her vocals because she sings so good. (I don’t know..I just don’t like the studio version). The problem with Angie is that I ain’t sure if she really CAN sing an uptempo song because she’s too good in ballads. She has a hard time making an uptempo song very enjoyable for viewers. I remembered in Season 7.. “Shop Around” was the song sang by David, and he nailed it. David is good in ballads and uptempos.But I’m not sure about Angie (singing uptempo), or maybe it’s just the song choice. I hope if she sings another uptempo, she’ll do better with it than with “Shop Around”. me.

  20. So Admin, you think Lazaro, Angie and Amber should be in the bottom with Lazaro going home tonight?

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