There were at least three tiffs at the judges table on “American Idol” on Wednesday night, but one of them wasn’t actually between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
Guest mentor for the week — Harry Connick Jr. — and longtime judge Randy Jackson had a bit of a disagreement.
The moment happened after Randy watched Kree Harrison perform “Stormy Weather,” and during his commentary, he suggested she should have performed the Etta James version on the song.
A clearly frustrated Harry was ushered into one of the judges’ chairs (by Keith Urban) where he took Randy on, pointing out that Kree had trouble getting the melody down pat, and that she shouldn’t sing it like the legendary singer if she couldn’t get the melody right in rehearsals.
Randy then told Kree she needed to, “always, just be you, baby,” something Harry suggested was conflicting advice.
“’We want you to be Kree, but choose the Etta James version.’ … It doesn’t make any sense,” Harry said.
The debate was the last one between the judges’ on Wednesday’s show, but before that, there were two rounds of competition where the singers did their best to impress America and the panel — to mixed results.
Here’s how it all went down in Round 1, where the four remaining women took on songs from 2013:
Angie Miller performed Rihanna’s “Diamonds”
Nicki Minaj wasn’t impressed, telling the singer, “It was bland, it was lackluster. You can do a lot better.”
Amber Holcomb performed Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason”
Mariah Carey suggested Amber needed more power in her performance, saying, “We need to see that confident Amber we’ve been seeing.” Mariah then suggested Amber would bring that confidence to the second round. “You will continue to go on, particularly after we see tonight’s second performance because I believe that’s going to be somewhat beyond stellar and then some.”
Candice Glover performed Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”
Mariah loved the performance and raved, “Candice knows how to take any song, and has the musicality to change it to suit her and that is what separates you from almost everybody else in this competition.” Nicki was also impressed, getting the judges’ panel on their feet by commenting, “that performance actually deserved a standing ovation.”
Kree Harrison performed Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again”
Keith Urban liked it, but said he felt the stage setup wasn’t quite right. “It’s a power ballad, so if you’re gonna play with the whole band, which we can’t see, and you’re seated with a guitar player and you’re both seated, I feel like there’s a conflict going on between what I’m feeling and what I’m seeing,” he told her. “So, I found the two a little out of sync, but your voice is faultless. It always is.”
In Round 2, the performers took on standard songs. Here’s what happened:
Angie Miller performed “Someone To Watch Over Me”
Keith loved it, telling her, “it was beautiful.” Randy also was a fan of her rendition. “This girl can sing and that was an amazing vocal. You sailed through the difficult parts to keep me engaged,” he said.
Amber Holcomb performed “My Funny Valentine”
After a standing ovation from the judges, Nicki said, “That was so beautiful, Amber. … From the set, to your outfit, to your poise, the subtle spirit that took over you!”
Candice Glover performed “You’ve Changed”
Mariah was so impressed, she revealed she planned to spend money on acquiring the song. “There is no critiquing. The only critique is I’m going to download that ASAP!” she raved.
Kree Harrison performed “Stormy Weather”
Nicki wasn’t happy with the number. “Because it’s so close, I wish you guys would’ve paid more attention to the song choice because it means so much, whether you’re gonna put someone to sleep or whether you’re gonna give a memorable performance,” she said. “That is really what I wished you would have focused on this week.”
On Thursday’s “American Idol” one of the contestants will be eliminated.
-- Jolie Lash