Janelle Arthur Performs ‘Dumb Blonde’ by Dolly Parton on ‘American Idol’
Aspiring country singer Janelle Arthur sang an early Dolly Parton song titled ‘Dumb Blonde’ on ‘American Idol‘ Wednesday night (April 17), earning a less-than-enthusiastic response from the judging panel.
Arthur chose the song as part of the theme of the night, in which the final five contestants chose songs from divas. Arthur called Parton “the country diva,” and she talked about her admiration for her business smarts, as well as her music.
Her arrangement of the song was so different from the original that it might as well have been a different song entirely, but it did allow her to stride the stage and perform with a sassy attitude that was a bit different from her usual strengths in song interpretation.
The judges seemed less than impressed. Randy Jackson said he thought it was a fun performance, but that the song was not really a vocal showcase, while Mariah Carey said she felt Janelle was connected to the song, calling it “cute” but saying that she understood Randy’s criticism.
Keith Urban didn’t feel it was a great song choice, saying, “I don’t know that I would put ‘Dumb Blonde’ way up in the Dolly Parton songbook.”
Nicki Minaj was more to the point, saying she felt that Arthur was in danger of going home as a result of the performance — but she added that Arthur is so appealing as a performer that it’s no reflection of how far she can go in the real-life marketplace.
Arthur will learn her fate on the results show Thursday night (April 18).