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February 16, 2013 - 2:00am

‘American Idol’ Season 12 RECAP: Judges choose the Top 40 to end girls’ Hollywood Week



It’s been six years since a girl has won “American Idol.” That’s right - there hasn’t been a female winner of “Idol” since Jordin Sparks won season six in 2007. It really is hard to believe, especially considering that the show’s most successful winners — Kelly Clarkson (season one) and Carrie Underwood (season four) — have been girls.

Could this year change that? Judging by the blossoming talent we saw this past week, the five year streak of white guys who play guitars winning “Idol” could indeed be coming to an end.

Like we saw with the guys’ time in Hollywood last week, there were a few shock eliminations (Seretha Guinn), pleasant surprises (Angela Miller), people overstaying their welcome (Zoanette Johnson) and plenty of high-caliber performances.

With the producers picking the groups this season, so too came a few groups made up of contestants that, really, had zero business singing together. One of those, who happened to make it work, was the aptly named Misfits. Now, we knew that Kez Ban had her quirks, but it appeared as though she let those quirks get the best of her in Hollywood week. Despite her antics, though, Kez Ban’s group, including the country superstar Janelle Arthur, succeeded in their singing of “Be My Baby” and they all made it through.

Another mismatched group was the Poohsnaps featuring none other than Zoanette Johnson. Listen, I think Zoanette is a real character who could make me laugh at any time. But she simply doesn’t have a voice that should have taken her as far as it has, which is all the way through Hollywood Week. Again, despite Zoanette’s incapability to harmonize with the rest of her group on “Knock On Wood”, three of them made it through to the next round.

The Swagettes, the best group of the season, featured arguably the competition’s best singer and served up a stellar rendition of the classic “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops).” Candice Glover and Co. strutted onto the stage with their purses, struck a pose and nailed the song. Seriously you guys, Candice’s lower register is perfection. Doesn’t get much better than that (except maybe her take on Christina Aguilera’s “Impossible” in the first round of Hollywood).

The week’s biggest surprise proved to be Angela Miller who broke out of the pack with her performance of an original song in the solo round. Constrained to the piano, Angela delivered a performance worthy of the praise it got and Nicki Minaj rightly declared that it could succeed today on Top 40 radio.

Speaking of Top 40, at the end of Thursday’s episode, the judges rounded up all of the contestants — guys, too — that had made it through the first three rounds of Hollywood Week and, after cutting a few additional people, announced that this is our top 40.

Now it’s off to Vegas to see who’ll make it through to the live shows.