Amber Holcomb overcame early confidence issues to become a singer fairly sure of herself and her abilities on the 12th season of "American Idol," vaulting her into the top four of the singing competition. However, an up-and-down Wednesday night (May 1) of performances and a deficit to overcome from the start (the week's vote tally included votes cast last week, when she was in the bottom two), coupled with a recurring spot in the spot of lowest vote-getters, finally did in the 19-year-old Texan, as Holcomb became the latest eliminated contestant on "Idol," finishing in fourth place.
By finishing in fourth, Holcomb narrowly misses out on the homecoming episode, during which the "Idol" top three return home to a hero's welcome. Part of the near-unstoppable group of female finalists that saw to it that all of the show's male contestants were eliminated before any of its top 10 ladies, Holcomb was preceded in elimination by Janelle Arthur, the country girl from Tennessee who went home two weeks ago.
"I'm just happy that America got the best four of the competition to the top four," judge Nicki Minaj said before the elimination.
Wednesday night, the R&B-leaning Texan was brought to tears following her acclaimed performance of "My Funny Valentine," leading the show's judges to provide a much-needed confidence boost for the singer, who has been fairly doted on by the panel, particularly Randy Jackson, who claimed at one point he would sign Holcomb, and Minaj, who was one of her early champions. Previously, she sang Pink and Nate Ruess current hit "Just Give Me a Reason," which was not nearly as well-received.
Thursday (May 2), the tears flowed again following her elimination and subsequent exit song, Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You and Me," which she was unable to finish before being overcome with emotion and receiving a hug from her father, Phillip.
She was joined in the bottom two by Kree Harrison, who also had a rough Wednesday but had not been in the bottom two during the previous week. Candice Glover, who had joined Holcomb in their near-elimination experience last week, was able to climb out of the bottom two, while Angie Miller continued to sail through sans any dramatic moments.
Before the big news, it was a Gatsby kind of night. The four finalists convened to cover Beyonce's "Crazy in Love," which will appear in "The Great Gatsby," opening in theaters next week.
The "Idol" contestants weren't the only ones promoting the new film. Will.i.am visited the show to perform "Bang Bang," his contribution to the "Gatsby" soundtrack and a tune off his just-released new record, "#willpower." Flanked by an array of instrumentalists/dancers, the Black Eyed Pea was dressed in all white everything for the song, which fuses '20s jazzy elements with the rapper/producer's futuristic pop.
In keeping with the trend of former "Idol" winners and contestants gracing the stage in performance, Season 7 winner David Cook returned to debut "Laying Me Low," his first new single since May 2012's "The Last Song I'll Write for You," which was also performed on the show.
Wednesday night mentor Harry Connick Jr. performed "Every Man Should Know" off his upcoming new album, showing off some of the sensibilities he attempted to relate to the contestants during his mentoring turn -- that is, simply singing the song, without too many unnecessary runs and excessive flashiness.