Creepy chair sidling by Kara, Simon making up words (misunderestimate, anyone?), Randy’s Mr. Rogers sweater, and Ellen’s dry wit…In the words of our esteemed Ry-Ry: Thisssss is Ammericann Idolllll! And I think we can ALLLL agree that the girls’ performances were far and away better than the guys’ could have achieved even if they all used Didi’s throat spray.
Crystal Bowersox – “Long as I Can See the Light” by Credence Clearwater
To show that Crystal Bowersox had bounced back from her trip to the hospital yesterday, she was given the dubious honor of performing first. I have this weird feeling about Crystal. Part of me loves her because she’s different from Idoloonies of yore and she has a comfort level on stage that’s really Kris-Allenic. I think she’s more talented than a lot of people this season and seems to be a clear front-runner for the confetti shower on finale night. However (and yes, there is a however) it’s almost like she has a slight arrogance about her that she’s too good to be on American Idol. It’s not overt, but it’s an attitude punctuated with statements. For example, her mild contradiction of Simon’s critique last week that he wouldn’t stop and listen to her outside of a subway (“some people DID stop”) combined with a shot at his two-story trailer. Not that I don’t like a good shot at Simon, but idda know. There’s something about her that isn’t jiving with me. It probably doesn’t help that her style of music isn’t really my cup ‘o vanilla chai.
Top 12 Potential: 10 out of 10
Haeley Vaughn – “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
Aha! The flower headbands EXPLAINED! She makes them herself! Phew. I was starting to think that one of the stylists had it out for her. Haeley channeled Miley Cyrus (or was it Hannah Montana? you be the judge) on stage tonight and I think she changed up the song enough from the original to stand out. Here’s the thing about Haeley. I never quite know what she’s doing in the middle of her vocal runs. Is she singing a bum note or two, did she mean to sing that note to make it different, or is she going flat? It’s always a little bit of a multiple choice question for me…and me without my scantron! I think she held her own and showed the power of her voice in the “money” sections of the song, but any time she didn’t have to power it out, she had a hard time holding on to the pitch. I don’t hate her or agree with Simon that it was an UTTER mess (maybe just a little cluttered–like me!), but I do leave every performance feeling a little confused. Probably not what she’s going for.
Top 12 Potential: 3 out of 10
Lacey Brown – “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer
I KNEW I liked her. Refurbishing antique furniture? I think Lacey and I could be friendship necklace wielding BFFs in real life. But let’s keep it real…does she have a southern accent or not? Anywhoo. Those first few notes were TERRIBLE, eh? But she pulled it together and made a super familiar song from my high school days fit her vibe instead of the other way around (I totally disagree with Randy and Ellen…there were changes to the song). In the words of the Dawg, I think she worked it out. There were some moments of weird vibrato, but they passed relatively quickly. All in all, though (and I hate to say it, but I gotta be fair) I think she might be gone this week. She just didn’t do enough these last two weeks.
Top 12 Potential: 2 out of 10
Katie Stevens – “Put Your Record On” by Corrine Bailey Rae
I LOVE THIS SONG (please don’t butcher it, Katie!). Aha moment #2: I think the reason the judges told her that the song last week was too old for her is that her voice sounds older than she is. Moving on…Katie did an awesome job! I didn’t hear any of the pitchy-ness that Randy did. I thought she made it through with charisma, style and with a good pitch throughout. I thought the judges were a little harsh, actually, but it seems like that is the theme of the evening. And, I don’t think that just because she’s 17 that she has to sing songs by people under the age of 20. Puh-lease!
Top 12 Potential: 6 out of 10
Didi Benami – “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
She’s so freaking awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I wasn’t even tempted to do the hand motions to this song that I learned in youth group! The judges are smoking something tonight…I don’t understand why they are coming down so hard on her. I think she rivaled Crystal for the best of the night. At least she has a friend in Ryan, who gave her a ginormous hug seeing that she was close to tears after the judges’ critique. Sheesh, people. In the words of the Black Eyed Peas, where is the love?
Top 12 Potential: 7 out of 10
Michelle Delamor – “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed
I like that she thinks the judges are impor-ant. I also like that she utilizes the smoldering squinty eyes move patented by Chad Michael Murray.
Poor Michelle started relatively strong, but faded fast at the end of the song. And by fast, I mean FAST. That last note was nothing to write home about. I think she has a strong voice and I did enjoy the fact that she scaled back Creed enough to suit her. One thing I have to say is that the judges are really hatin’ on the girls tonight. Michelle was the only girl except Crystal that actually got some relatively unqualified positive comments.
Top 12 Potential: 4 out of 10
Lilly Scott– “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
Hey! The American Idol coaches must have read my blog and taken my advice to Lilly! Way to go, guys. There’s no “I” in team and all of that. That said, I didn’t notice a huge difference in eye contact from last week. So, there’s that. Yuck. I hated the vibrato at the end. I didn’t love the song, but I love HER and I think she’s got major staying power. Gotta give the girl props, she pulled Randy out of his funk and elicited a happy sunshine statement from Mr. 200%.
Top 12 Potential: 9 out of 10
Katelyn Epperly – “The Scientist” by Coldplay
Ooo, Katelyn. Breaking out the PIANO! I like it. But, unlike some contestants, she didn’t hide behind the instrument. She definitely connected emotionally with the song and in my opinion, she did a bang up job. It was restrained, controlled and pretty much amazing. I think she’s my favorite of the night. I think we can also agree that I recognize corniness from a mile away. I’m usually the one manufacturing the corniness in any given situation. And there was no corniness in her performance for me. Not a kernal. Not even a huskiness to her voice. 🙂
Top 12 Potential: 9 out of 10
Paige Miles – “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson
I totally forgot this girl even existed. Maybe that’s a defense mechanism to help me lead a normal and happy life. And also, why is this season of contestants hatin’ on Kelly Clarkson? Another butchered Kelly Clarkson that wasn’t well executed and was all over the map vocally. I want her to leave immediately. And I think she might leave because she certainly didn’t do much to stay in her slot. On what planet was that fantastic, Ellen? Are you people even WATCHING THE SAME PERFORMANCES? I’m so confused at why this girl has the judge’s unbridled stamp of approval. Did I mention that I hope she goes home? Well, I do.
Top 12 Potential: (with any luck) 2 out of 10
Siobhan Magnus – “Think” by Aretha Franklin
Let’s face it, Siobhan is kind of like that weird college roommate that would have me sleeping with one eye open. She’s seems harmless and quirky, but with just a touch of the crazy. She’s awkward (otherwise known as a “funny little thing”). She’s got goals (a mohawk before she turned thirty), and she continues to befuddle me with her wardrobe choices. I personally think this song was a little too big for her and agree completely with Simon that there were moments that were bad but the big note was phenomenal.
Top 12 Potential: 7 out of 10
I’m noticing an interesting trend this season of contestants competing for the “church” vote. My count is up to 6 contestants who have referenced church and/or a ritual of praying before stepping onto the stage. So, that’s something to keep our collective eyes on. K?