Detroit week on American Idol separated the good from the great as Motown and soul classics challenged even the most capable of singers. How are the top 8 contestants holding up two months away from the finale? The Hollywood Reporter has the answers to the latest round of burning questions below...
How did Amber Holcomb feel to be in the bottom three last week?
“I was so sad,” she told THR. “I was, like, ‘America hates me and I'm going home.’ But it did give me a little push to do better. I feel like it made me do what I needed to do, which was a ballad and that’s where I'm really strong…. That’s why I chose [“Lately”] this week -- because it starts at zero and takes you all the way to heaven.”
Why did Angie Miller choose “Shop Around?"
“I was so not familiar with anything,” said the Massachusetts native of the week’s Detroit theme. “I talked to my parents and was, like, ‘help me pick a song!’ They sent me their favorites and I loved ‘Shop Around.’”
Was Candice Glover intimidated to perform “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” a song that’s an Idol favorite?
It was the Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight version that scared her more, said the South Carolina native. “But I wanted to do something that had never been done before and I think I did a pretty good job.” Her inspiration: heartbreak. “You think about the blues -- like, why didn't you tell me yourself that you were cheating on me? I analyzed that.”
What’s the most important lesson Devin Velez has learned so far in his Idol run?
“You can never over-practice and there's no such thing as over-preparation,” he said. “You go until you're tired of the song and then you practice two more times.” The mantra must have stung even more after the “trainwreck” group performance of Wednesday night. “It's an embarrassment,” Velez added.
Did Burnell Taylor inherit some of his soul music know-how from a family member?
“My grandfather was a musician so I was raised on Detroit,” said the soon-to-be 20-year-old. “When I saw ‘My Cherie Amour,’ I was, like, ‘That's it -- it's mine.” But the prospect of living up to Stevie Wonder’s version was somewhat nerve-wracking, he confessed. “I was just trying to do the song justice,” he said. “Stevie is a legend -- you can't do no in-between stuff. You have to do your best or come real close to it.”
What makes the happy-go-lucky Janelle Arthur cry?
“Fan mail,” she said in all seriousness. “Every letter makes me cry. I don’t know why people like me so much.” It’s only going to get worse when she goes home, by her own account. “People keep telling me, ‘At home, you're a celebrity but I don't feel any different. It's like I'm still in Hollywood week or something.”
How is Lazaro Arbos handling the judges’ tough comments?
“I loved when Nicki got to [speak],” he said unfazed. “Randy was rough because I think that no matter what I do, he’s never satisfied. But last week I learned that it’s not about that. It’s about me and the people that follow me and love me for myself.”
What makes the ultra-confident Kree Harrison nervous?
Nothing that takes place on stage, she revealed to THR. “I get more nervous in interviews and photo shoots,” said the Nashville native. “It's more natural for me to sing; that's where I feel most comfortable in my own skin -- on stage. It's like a switch.” To which we say, turn it on!