Down to 7. That's 5 girls, Lazaro and Burnell. I can only assume that next week it'll be 6, 5 girls and Lazaro and then, finally, it will be a straight competition between the girls for the top spot.
So let's see how they get on tonight. It's rock night. I would be good to see some of them actually waking up and getting a bit excited perhaps.
Burnell starts with You Give Love A Bad Name. Hmmm. Seemed to me that he was just singing the words. No real rock feel to that at all. Accurate enough representation - and credit for that to the guy - but it was pretty bland. Just not his style and you could see he was acting a part!
Keith found it hilarious and noted how uncomfortable he looked. Unless one of the girls really drops the ball this evening that performance may well be Burnell's last. He really hasn't shone since the Live Shows started.
A duet between Angie and Lazaro, murdering Queen's Crazy Thing Called Love. Angie simply blew Lazaro off the stage and supported him all the way through from what I heard. This was not a good duet.
Kree has chosen a good track - Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart. I remember Crystal Bowersox doing this or something similar some years ago and I have to say that Crystal was far more convincing. Kree was accurate and quite a smart presentation, but not as well acted as it could have been. Again, she was just singing the words, admittedly a lot better than Burnell's effort, but still not convincing. She should be perfectly safe, though, and is on track to win this from the comments and reviews tonight.
I don't know when The Letter became a rock track but it seems that Candice and Burnell will be doing it their way as the next duet. Strangely, this is a track that you could just sing and get away with as that's all The Box Tops did. It had some atmosphere which made it appeal so it shouldn't be difficult for these two to do reasonably well. The production was completely different - very bluesy and jazzed up at the same time. Burnell seemed like he was singing with his mum. Candice was doing her thing well enough and he just sang along. It was all neither one thing nor the other. Totally forgettable.
Janelle takes on a Billy Joel number. From the very start, this was excellent - she turned the track into something she could handle and this was the first performance of the night that I felt was even vaguely genuine. Nice job. I know everyone is putting Kree and Candice out front but I like her and see her in the final. Great reviews from all the judges.
Now Lazaro pulls the show back off track again and the producers must be so regretting pushing him forward and assuming the sympathy vote would bring the audience in. I think they're dropping off because Lazaro is simply not up to this. He has shown no signs of improvement at all. It's all very embarrassing and, of course, no-one wants to say the obvious. However, he seemed to have rehearsed this one well and managed Queen's We Are The Champions pretty well. That may well see off Burnell as there were no bad notes and generally he did a good job, entertainment-wise.
Amber, Janelle and Kree complete the secondary performances as a trio. Amber is on amazing heels and with some sexy clothes that made Kree look positively ancient! Nice enough job of another Billy Joel number, Janelle leading quite well and certainly maintaining a balance with Kree vocally. Amber didn't seem to suit the song so well but actually performed just as well so no harm done. Janelle has had a good night as she came across as the helpful and considerate one and was praising Amber and also the first to answer questions but not in a pushy way.
I Can't No Satisfaction is more like the sort of rock we want to see. Candice belts this out in pretty confident style but it seemed to be missing something. Well done, in tune and all good enough, just not inspiring. We gather that she has a broken toe so that explains why she didn't move around so much and may have appeared a little stiffer than usual. I still just rate that OK.
So what will Amber and Angie bring to the stage? Amber is first. What About Love is a good choice for her and she performs well. Another girl who can be trusted to deliver all the right notes and she is seriously good-looking on stage too. I think the judges will have seen more of the technical compliments than the average voter so whether they'll put her top of the list I don't know. I often feel she's the most vulnerable of the girls and yet also, possibly, the one with the best chance of future long-term stardom.
Angie closes the show. She needs something a bit special to make up for last week's shambles. I think she's smart enough to recognise that and also to take advice. Taking on Evanescence is a tough call. If anyone can do this, though, it's this girl and she does Wake Me Up Inside proud - just a little sexless, that's all. But then none of the acts really have any sex appeal - even Amber only scratches the surface - so in terms of voter appeal she should be safe.