"American Idol" aired its always tear-jerking "Hometown Visits" episode Wednesday night as Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller got to see their loved ones and then sang for the final two spots in Season 12.
The three ladies each made emotional returns to their hometowns this week. Candice rolled up to her house in a limousine. Kree returned to the rundown home where she grew up with her now-deceased parents. And, perhaps most emotional of all, Angie returned home to dozens of "Boston Strong" signs in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
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But despite the touching displays of affection in the video packages, the three ladies had to get down to business and fight for a spot in the finals next week. Each contestant sang three songs chosen by the judges, the producers and mentor Jimmy Iovine.
Jimmy Iovine's Choice
Kree was up first with Pink's "Perfect," a song well outside the comfort zone of the country/blues artist. And it showed, as Kree never seemed to find her groove during the song and even admitted afterwards that she never would have chosen the song herself.
Candice performed U2's "One" next and did her best with a limited amount of time. "One" is a song that builds slowly to a climax, but Candice did not have five minutes to let the song play out naturally. Despite that, she continued to show why she deserves a spot in the Season 12 finals.
Angie finished the Jimmy portion of the show with Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and delivered perhaps the strongest performance of the first three. She used her beautiful vocals in just the right way for the song and proved why so many fans believe she is a lock to win the whole thing.
Candice started things off with Emeli Sande's "Next to Me" and added some nice touches to the popular radio hit. She ramped up the intensity as the song progressed and never missed a beat. It was another typically strong performance from Ms. Glover.
Angie was up next with the second Pink song of the night, "Try," and poured plenty of emotion into it. The song was a bit outside her usual range, but Angie took it and ran with it to deliver another solid performance.
Kree ended the judges' section of the night with a truly moving performance of Rascal Flatts' "Here Comes Goodbye." The emotion conveyed during her hometown visit was on full display during the song. And while she messed up a long note in the middle of the song, the rest of it was so well done that it did not truly detract from the overall performance.
Angie opened this segment with the second Emeli Sande song of the evening, "Maybe," and earned praise from the judges. Mariah Carey admitted the song was in a high key and difficult to sing but said that Angie pulled it off.
Kree then took the stage to perform The Band Perry's wonderfully dark "Better Dig Two." It may have been a bit jarring for Kree to sing a song about two graves when so much of her time on Wednesday's show was devoted to the memory of her two deceased parents, but Kree powered through the song nonetheless.
Candice ended the night with "Somewhere" from West Side Story and delivered another powerful performance. If she is not in the finals next week it would be nothing short of a travesty and a shocker.
"American Idol" will air its Top 3 results show Thursday night at 8 p.m.