First things first. Trying to write a name for this post that wasn’t “Ladies’ Night” was, for some reason, incredibly difficult for me. So, there’s that.
Secondly, it’s clear to me after watching last night’s episode that the producers REALLY REALLY want a girl to win this year. I get it–they want to make a statement that tween girls don’t drive the Next! American! Idol! winner. And there are several people in my life that are pulling for a female contestant to take the Idol crown this year. I myself could go either way. I’m kinda of the “let the best person win” mentality. I can speak authoritatively about this because:
1. Clearly, my powers of perception are epic in their proportions.
2. The guys didn’t get the “after performance” interview opportunity like the girls did. Ding! Unfair advantage, party of 12? Although, in all reality, the girls kind of turned this into an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot.
Let’s start with the judges, as our beloved host Ry-Ry did. J.Lo’s formal top matched with shorts kind of threw me for a loop, but then I saw that the Dawg was sporting yet a nother polka-dot inspired ensemble. Maybe it’s a nod to the circus that American Idol has become? Speaking of the circus, I have no idea how to begin to comment on Steven Tyler’s wardrobe, so I just won’t try.
The judges started out by touting Scotty McCreery’s accomplishments, which I think is appropriate. But I think the statment was something along the lines of: “American Idol can take a high school student and turn him into a platinum-selling artist.” And that’s a true statement, but I just don’t want Eben Franckowitz to get any ideas.
In other preamble-y news:
- I’m loving the new stage! Pretty cool new digs for the Idol extravaganza.
- I feel like Ryan is taking care to kick his appearance up a notch, which I can appreciate. He’s either taking a page from Stefan Salvatore and darkening his hair, or he’s just stopped trying to lighten it. Either way, it’s definitely befits this auspicious season. Or something.
- The camera guy panning over the contestants has been a little slow the last few nights. The name called is definitely not the person we see on the screen, so there’s clearly some communication that needs to be worked out. Or maybe the camera guy just needs to hit the gym or something.
- The wide view of all the female contestants kind of looked like a line-up for a Miss America pageant of some sort. I half expected Mario Lopez to waltz on stage and take over.
Name: Chelsea Sorrell
Song: Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood
Why you remember her: I don’t remember her at all. Not one little bit.
- She showed personality and poise on the big stage, but I wouldn’t say she was very memorable. I think poor Chelsea will fall victim to the lack of screen time during earlier rounds.
- Her performance of the song was very one-level..not many dynamics at all.
- I’m not exactly sure that her opening deserved all the drama that the open doors gave her, but whatever.
- I felt like she was on the verge of baby talk during her intro video. Ew. And double ew.
[Side note: Has anyone else noticed how coherent and insightful SteTy is this season?! I’m kind of blow away by it.]
Song: What About Love by Heart
Why you remember her: She’s a mobile DJ. I don’t feel like we saw much of her during the audition rounds. I think I would have remembered her hair, at the very least.
- With her name I feel like she should either be singing 80’s hair band songs, or trading for furs in the old west. I like that she calls her mom “Mama VP”.
- If I closed my eyes I might not been able to tell she was a girl
- The song showed the power of her voice, but not her creativity as an artist. It was a pretty straight rendition.
- I have no idea why Randy is comparing her to Adele. That makes no sense to me. You crazy, RaJax! You crazy!
Name: Jen Hirsch
Song: One and Only by Adele
- Her family has a vineyard. Maybe she’s met Bachelor Ben! For her sake, I hope not.
- She calls her poodle her dog-ter. No. Just no.
- I like her because she seems like a normal girl with a big voice.
- I’m concerned because I feel like there’s nothing that unique about her voice. I feel like she could be the Pia Toscano of season 11…minus the awkward bedroom eyes.
- Very solid performance. She took control of the song and gave it everything she had, which I can respect.
- I agree with Randy, that she sings runs very well.
- Whoever put her in that tablecloth dress should be shot. I’m just sayin’.
[Side note: Thank goodness that the judges said they were soft on the guys! There were some major MAJOR performance blunders and I was starting to doubt their ability to hear.]
Song: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
Why you remember her: Honestly, I feel like I remember her mom more than her! Brielle first showed up during the Hollywood group round and proceeded to declare herself defacto leader and push her will on her unfortunate fellow contestants. Her mother told the camera that the first guy to sing was the weakest singer, and it was clear to see where all her diva-ness comes from.
- She was REALLY pushing the sultry vibe and it came off as a little forced.
- I really wanted to dislike her performance, but I actually think I like her voice and how she approached the song. I just wish I liked HER a little more.
Name: Hallie Day
Song: Feeling Good by Michael Buble
Why you remember her: I’ve probably listened to her audition (I Will Survive) half a dozen times. I also think her relationship with her husband is really sweet and he seems to push her towards following her dreams, which I love. Hallie reminds me of an updated version of old Hollywood glam.
- She was very subdued in her intro video, I get the feeling that she’s not as confident as she should be with the voice she has.
- I thought she started a little vibrato-heavy, which wasn’t my favorite
- I’m SO SAD! She didn’t take as many liberties with the song as I wanted her to and the power wasn’t all there, either.
- On the bright side, I’m giving her the best outfit award of the night.
- She was so sweet to thank the audience for helping her feel more comfortable. I heart her spirit and temperment.
Name: Skylar Laine
Song: Stay with Me by Faces
Why you remember her: She’s been called a “little Reba”, her family owns a general store that she works at.
- Love green nail polish!
- She came out strong and gave the song all the gumption energy it required
- I think we all know how I feel about country, but I’d not be opposed to watching her for the next several weeks. Her personality is very sparkly, which I like, unlike the ice capades nightmare of a dress she was wearing last night.
- For such a teensy, tiny, small person, it was an amazing feat that stage didn’t swallow her whole.
Name: Bailey Brown
Song: Amaze by Lonestars
Why you remember her: She auditioned for American Idol about 5 years ago or something. Randy remembered her, which I give him props for.
- Her grandpa was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Can we please put HIM in the top 12?
- What a pitchy, slidey intro. You know where people slide up to the note and it sounds awkward all. the.way. there? It’s supposed to be a stylistic choice, but I say “VETO!” The intro was all slightly under pitch.
- Boy, the background vocalist just totally swallowed her at the chorus
- Some of her changes worked. Okay, one of her changes to the song worked. Most of them were an epic fail.
- To be completely honest, she was one of the only ones I wasn’t excited to see make it to the top 24.
Name: Hollie Cavanaugh
Song: Reflection by Christina Aguilera
Why you remember her: I was so bummed that she didn’t make it last year! She was one of my favorites. This year, though, I barely knew she was in the competition. We didn’t see her until the final judgement.
- I hope she can reverse the trajectory of this song! It’s never been done with very good results…Thia Megia being the last one to attempt it.
- The music was very light in the intro and I thought she held down the melody, but I wish she would have chosen a different song.
- I’m not sure what it is about her, but she triggers the “underdog” emotion in me. I want so badly for her to do well this season! Am I alone?
- Yikes, I’m not sure about that big note, but at least she ended well.
Name: Haley Johnsen
Song: Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox
Why you remember her: She had some good moments during the audition rounds, but I only remember her bangs.
- So many girls seem to be sporting the low throaty approach
- Not the right song for her at ALL especially not with the outfit, stage presence. Cringe. Oh, this is bad.
- To borrow from Simon, this was very karaoke
- The song had control of her, she definitely did not have control of the song
- Um, the “intricacies”, J. Lo, were an intricate train wreck. Thank you, Randy Jackson for being the unexpected voice of reason and telling it like it is.
Name: Shannon Magrane
Song: Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccolli
Why you remember her: SteTy made a trashy comment about his daughter in the audition to crickets. She impressed me throughout Hollywood week, especially with this performance of Wonderful World.
- I feel a kinship with her because she’s a volleyball player. She’s probably better than me because, well, she can touch the top of the net and I have some, shall we say, vertically-challenged issues.
- Poor Shannon thought she was going to a Roman-themed prom.
- Every time she sings, I’m amazed that she’s only 16. She’s got such a mature voice.
- I don’t know that she should have done such a little-known song, but it was a completely solid performance
- J.Lo, please never say “goosies” again. And while you’re at it, please tell Rachel Ray to stop saying “sammies”.
Name: Jessica Sanchez
Song: Love You I Do by Jennifer Hudson (from Dreamgirls)
Why you remember her: Her Vegas group round is the first time I remembered her and took note (no pun intended :)).
- Ooo! I like her! She’s my favorite so far!
- The Ryan sit down and plea for the sympathy vote was just so unnecessary with the showing she gave last night. C’mon, Jessica. Rise above it!
- I’m so in love with her voice and tone. She killed that song much like Jennifer Hudson did in Dreamgirls.
- She was so cute when the judges/audience responded to her performance and I love that the guys were so encouraging.
Name: Elise Testone
Song: One and Only by Adele
Why you remember her: I got nothin’.
- I’m really glad that she’s on American Idol and not on America’s Next Top Model, because Tyra would probably tell her that she photographs old. She seems much older than the other contestants…and older than me! But she’s not. She’s 28.
- I can’t believe they let two girls sing the same song! Boy, is this the year of Adele.
- Eben Franckowitz, please sit up and take note that this is what an Adele song should sound like.
- The voice! The layers! Love it.
- She really seems like a professional when she performs. I think she comes off as very believable as an artist.
If wishing made it so, the top 6 girls would be:
- Jessica Sanchez
- Hollie Cavanagh
- Hallie Day
- Elise Testone
- Skylar Laine
- Jen Hirsch or Shannon Magrane