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Janelle Arthur Brings the Supremes Hit ‘Keep Me Hanging On’ to ‘American Idol’

Janelle Arthur

Country singer Janelle Arthur demonstrated once again the power of subtlety with her performance of the Supremes hit ‘Keep Me Hanging On’ on ‘American Idol‘ Wednesday night (March 27), turning in a rendition that almost made the classic original track look like it was the wrong arrangement all along.

Seated on a stool and accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, the 23-year-old singer used all of the tools at her disposal to craft her performance, subtly imbuing the song with a low-key cool that is very much in keeping with her strengths. Most younger female singers tend to over-sing in an attempt to impress, and Arthur is one of the few capable of differentiating herself by employing her lower register with the kind of restraint she displayed on Wednesday night. She built the track to a gradual crescendo that allowed her to show off both her controlled lower range, and her soaring higher notes without unnecessary showiness.

“Janelle at her finest!” Mariah Carey exclaimed.

Keith Urban agreed, saying, “That was beautiful. I love your fearlessness.” He added that her simple acoustic arrangement helped bring out the angst of the lyric in a different way.

“You always shine when you have your guitar in front of you,” Nicki Minaj stated, while Randy Jackson simply said, “I absolutely loved it.”

Arthur seems likely to move on to the next round after the results show on Thursday night (March 28).

Next: Janelle Arthur and Kree Harrison Duet on 'American Idol'

Watch Janelle Arthur Sing ‘Keep Me Hanging On’

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