American Idol 2013 Recap: Top 5 Performances on 3/17/2013 (VIDEOS)
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American Idol

American Idol 2013 Recap: Top 5 Performances on 3/17/2013 (VIDEOS)

In our American Idol 2013 recap tonight, the Season 12 Top 5 finalists are all women for the first time in the show’s history! No matter what happens from here on out, the American Idol winner will be a girl for the first time since Jordin Sparks won in Season 6. Can you believe it’s been so long? Which of the ladies will prove tonight they deserve to be in the finale this year? Join us for our live American Idol recap and watch the performances with us!

Right now the obvious front-runners in the competition are Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Candice Glover. After last week’s incredible performance of “Lovesong” by The Cure, Candice actually received not one, but TWO standing ovations from the American Idol judges. We thought Nicki Minaj might actually fall out of her chair after hearing Candice do that song. Honestly, had we been given a choice, we probably just would have handed her the American Idol Season 12 winner’s crown right then!

While we were momentarily overcome by appreciation for Candice’s incredible talent, our current prediction to win is still leaning toward country girl Kree Harrison. We just feel like the voters (and the producers) are really into the idea of making Kree into the next Carrie Underwood. The American Idol 2013 judges may waver a bit on their favorites from week to week, but we think they might secretly be in support of a Kree win as well. After all, wouldn’t it be a nice bookend if the year they brought on a country judge, Keith Urban, is the year Idol has another country winner?

As for poor Janelle Arthur, well, we’re just counting the days until she goes home on the next American Idol results show. Or the one after that, if the country vote somehow overcomes the lackluster fan support for Amber Holcomb this week. Janelle is certainly mountains above the last eliminated contestant, Lazaro Arbos, but she just can’t compete with the rest of the ladies in pure vocal prowess.

Who will wow the judges and the voters tonight in the Top 5 American Idol performances? Stay tuned for our live American Idol 2013 recap starting right here at 8 p.m. ET and watch with us!

[Please refresh this page frequently for all the latest updates and performance videos in our live American Idol recap!]

Before introducing the first ever American Idol all girls Top 5, host Ryan Seacrest takes a moment to take note of the terrible tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings. “With heavy hearts, we’re going to put on the best show we can for you this evening,” Ryan says.

After that solemn moment, Ryan goes over the two themes for the evening: “Divas” and “Songs From the Year You Were Born”. Now it’s on to the first performance of the night!

American Idol Candice Glover Top 5 Performance — "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul (1989)

Judges: Keith Urban says “Baby that was so good!” He comments that he never realized this song was such a great song. He says Candice just feels the song and her effortless runs are like “someone winking across a bar”. He thinks she has really set the bar high for the other girls. Nicki Minaj congratulates Candice for making it to the Top 5 after having tried out last year and not making it to the finals. She says Candice showed she’s the boss and, btw, that song has always been great Keith! Randy Jackson says he loves the arrangement and what Candice did with the song. “Can’t nothing go wrong for you right now,” he says. Randy also gives a shout out to former American Idol judge Paula Abdul. Mariah Carey thinks it was a “smart, as always, song choice, genius!”

Our Rating: 8 out of 10 (love, but she’s raised her own bar very high)

Jimmy Iovine: He said Candice was good, but the song just wasn’t big enough to give her the kind of moment like she had last week. And she needs more of those to win.

Vote: 1-866-436-5701 and 1-866-436-5706

(AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 5701)

American Idol Janelle Arthur Top 5 Performance — "When I Call Your Name" by Vince Gill (1989)

Judges: Nicki Minaj says her “little marshmallow” needs to stay on the guitar like tonight because she tends to oversing when she doesn’t have it. She loves her tone tonight though and it was like being at her concert. Randy Jackson thinks she did a really great job and she is back where she belongs tonight. Mariah Carey says she really believed her tonight and Janelle was singing with her whole heart. She says Janelle needs to keep positive and not let any negativity get to her. Keith Urban says he feels like he heard another song than the other judges tonight. He agrees with Nicki that Janelle’s voice is beautiful, but he didn’t hear the emotion in the song and says she was thinking too much. Mariah yells out that “maybe it’s a girl thing, but you brought me to tears!”

Our Rating: 6 out of 10

Jimmy Iovine: He thinks Keith was right about Janelle tonight. The song was like “Row, Row, Row the Boat” to him and it just wasn’t enough.

Vote: 1-866-436-5702 and 1-866-436-5707

(AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 5702)

American Idol Kree Harrison Top 5 Performance — "She Talks To Angels" by The Black Crowes (1990)

[Video coming soon!]

Judges: Randy Jackson says he absolutely loved it! The rest of what he says is just kind of repeating himself. Mariah Carey says she loved it too, but she felt Kree was trying to “perform” a bit too much. Keith Urban says he agrees with Mariah. He loves her voice and always has but she wasn’t quite in the moment. But her voice is so fine and beautiful, it just carries him all the way through. Nicki Minaj says, in a British accent, that she disagrees with the other judges. She thinks it was the best performance of the night, better than Candice or Janelle. Nicki felt like she was at the ‘Kreedom’ show.

Our Rating: 8 out 10 (we love this song and Kree could sing a phone book...)

Jimmy Iovine: He says he felt the song was not strong enough for Kree’s vocal, which prompts huge boos from the audience.

Vote: 1-866-436-5703 and 1-866-436-5709

(AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 5703)

American Idol Angela Miller Top 5 Performance — "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders (1994)

Angie dedicates her song tonight to her "home" of Boston. She is from nearby Beverly, MA, just north of Boston.

Judges: Mariah Carey says all of their hearts and prayers go out to Boston and says it was a beautiful dedication. She thinks it was beautiful and a nice match for Angie. Keith Urban says it was a great song choice and she is really looking forward to her going on the road. He says Angie just makes him want to cry every time. Nicki Minaj says they are all obsessed when Angie is on the piano because she just knows who she is there. Randy Jackson says these Top 5 girls are some of the best Top 5 in the show’s history. He thinks she is really on her way, he really, really does.

Our Rating: 8 out 10

Jimmy Iovine: He thinks Angie took one of her weaknesses and turned it into a success tonight. This was the best performance of the night so far in his opinion.

Vote: 1-866-436-5704 and 1-866-436-5708

(AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 5704)

American Idol Amber Holcomb Top 5 Performance — "Without You" by Mariah Carey

Judges: Keith Urban says we have an “Amber alert” going on here, but then feels back about saying that. He thinks Amber has grown by leaps and bounds the past few weeks and he loved it. Nicki Minaj thinks the lower parts didn’t really have enough feeling and she feels like Amber came across as a little scared. Maybe because she was singing in front of Mariah. Nicki just didn’t think it was good and she didn’t like it. Randy Jackson says it wasn’t perfect, but he gives her mad props for doing the song in front of a legend like Mariah. He thinks she did a “damn good job.” Someone in the audience screams very loudly: “Vote for Amber!” Mariah Carey agrees that yes, people should vote for Amber this week. She really loved the choices Amber made in the song and it was great.

Our Rating: 7 out 10

Jimmy Iovine: He says Amber gets an A for doing the song in front of Mariah but agrees she wasn’t emotive enough the low parts. However, he thinks she is the second best of the night so far.

Vote: 1-866-436-5705 and 1-866-436-5710

(AT&T customers can text “VOTE” to 5705)

American Idol Candice Glover Top 5 Performance — "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston

Judges: The judges are beside themselves. Nicki Minaj can’t even talk over the screaming from the crowd. She says “that is how you do a Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston song.” She says everyone needs to feel it right now. She says “yes m’am diva, yes!” Randy Jackson says “again, that is the best vocal of the night!” He say she is so in the zone and Candice has “one of the best voices in the known world.” Mariah Carey says she could “sing anything in front of anyone at any time” and Candice did the late, great Whitney Houston justice. Keith Urban says it was beautiful to watch Mariah watching Candice sing. He says Candice didn’t just pull out the stops, she ripped them out and annihilated them.

Our Rating: 9 out 10

American Idol Janelle Arthur Top 5 Performance — "Dumb Blonde" by Dolly Parton

Judges: Randy Jackson says he loves Dolly Parton and it was a fun song for her, although vocally it didn’t really show anything different for her. He thinks it was more of a performance than a vocal piece. Mariah Carey says she loves Dolly too and she thinks it was very “pow” and Janelle was connected to the song. Keith Urban isn’t sure he would place “Dumb Blond” high on the Dolly song list out of the incredible catalog she has. He doesn’t think it was the best song for her to shine on and “song choice is everything.” Nicki says she wants to be very careful about what she says because these Top 5 girls have superpowers. However, she does think Janelle is in jeopardy of going home tomorrow. But she still loves Janelle’s light and no matter what happens, she could still go very far in the real world.

Our Rating: 6 out of 10

American Idol Kree Harrison Top 5 Performance — “Have You Ever Been In Love” by Celine Dion

Judges: Mariah says Kree looks “divalicious” and the song was a very smart choice for her. She thinks Kree showed her versatility with this song and she’s going to be around for a long time. Keith Urban says it was the right song and Kree stayed in control of it the whole time. Nicki Minaj says “hi ‘Kreedom’ you’re back” and says Kree is not country, she’s worldly, she’s iconic. Nicki compares her to Adele and Celine Dion. She thinks Kree is like one of those divas you can watch when you are 20 and when you are 50. Nicki thinks ‘Kreedom’ is “everything.” Nicki is crazy in love with this girl. Randy Jackson says Kree can sing anything and she isn’t just country, she can sing anything.

Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

American Idol Angela Miller Top 5 Performance — "Halo" by Beyoncé

Judges: After a standing ovation, Keith Urban just says “definitely the Top 3.” Nicki Minaj says Angie Miller is back and she did that song justice, she did her thang! Randy Jackson pulls out his classic catch phrase that “Angie is in it to win it!” Mariah Carey says she just loved the clarity of Angie’s voice and she is here to stay. It’s obvious the show is running out of time as the American Idol judges rush through the critiques.

Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (we didn’t think it was all that...)

American Idol Amber Holcomb Top 5 Performance — "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" by Michael Dees/Barbra Streisand (1994)

Judges: Nicki Minaj says it was “simply perfection” and she really hopes American gets to see inside of Amber because she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. She says Amber always gives her a “young Whitney Houston”and she was amazing. Randy Jackson agrees that Amber was “so the thing” and really hopes America gets it right and does not put her in the bottom. Mariah Carey begs viewers to vote for Amber and thinks it was a great performance. Keith Urban agrees that Amber knocked it out of the park.

Our Rating: 8 out of 10 (we just can’t connect...)

And that's a wrap for our live American Idol recap tonight. Join us here again tomorrow for the Top 5 results show and find out who will go home or if the judges will use their Save at last before it expires!

04.18.2013 / 08:03 AM EDT by Laura Vess
Related: American Idol, Recaps, Spoilers, American Idol Season 12

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