'American Idol' - 'Top 12 Girls Compete' Recap
by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 24th 2010 12:13AM
Finally! We get the live show and our first chance to vote. How has everyone changed since Hollywood week? Are they already jaded Hollywood types? Can they sing in front of a television audience of nearly 30 million people? These are all things we'll find out tonight during the real beginning of 'American Idol.'
Other things we find out? This season's contestants really like The Beatles, and I may or may not be completely drunk right now, as my critiques match up with the judges way less than they usually do. So let's continue to see who your opinions match up with!
I always feel so badly for the contestants when they have to mug for the camera as they come on the stage. They invariably look completely stupid, and it's certainly not their fault.
However, this is quickly forgotten when we see the fantastic sexual harassment video that Ellen is using to explain why she's sitting on the opposite end of the table from Simon. He really just needs to understand that no means no!
Let's get started with the performances:
Oh, Paige. She sings 'All Right Now,' by Bad Company. It's nice to kick the show off with a song we don't hear every single season, but I really wish Paige would have listened to what Ellen said right before she went on. Ellen basically told the contestants that it was important to keep the viewers interested, so they're not just waiting for the next singer. Unfortunately, I found myself concentrating on my dinner, looking on the computer, things like that. She didn't captivate me. Her performance was forgettable even as it was going on. Simon really surprises me by saying that she's the best female singer in the whole group. Not that she's bad, but still. I'm surprised. Randy doesn't like the song choice, but is positive overall. Basically, I must be drunk, because the judges pretty much loved her.
I've always been a fan of Ashley Rodriguez, but this performance of Leona Lewis' 'With Happy' definitely has some issues. She has some problems with the mic throughout, and she kind of falls apart a little bit toward the middle. It's certainly not her best performance. The judges seem to agree with me on this one. They call the song choice predictable, and Simon even tells her that she's going backwards. Kara thinks that she'll stick around, while Simon believes that she may be in trouble.
Even before she opens her mouth, I know that 'What About Love' by Heart is a good song choice for her. She's a little shaky toward the beginning, and you can definitely tell the nerves are getting to her, as the microphone is shaking pretty badly by the time she gets to the final note, but overall she pulls it off. Again, she hasn't knocked my socks off, but it's a decent performance. However, she appears to be wearing leggings, so boo. Randy completely disagrees with me and says that he thought it was a bad song choice and she wasn't original enough. However, Ellen loves the song choice. She and I are alone though, as Kara and Simon don't have very many positive things to say about the song or her performance.
Lilly is one of this season's strongest performers, so I really hope that she doesn't fall apart tonight. She's taking advantage of the fact that The Beatles' catalog is now available to 'Idol,' and is singing 'Fixing a Hole.' She does it in such a way that if you didn't already know this as a Beatles' song, you would have no idea. She's the first performer all night who has actually put herself into the song. Ellen praises her effusively, and Simon tells her that she's the best they've had so far. However, he's not feeling a whole lot of star power right now. However, Randy and Kara praise her, so she's pretty much a lock.
It actually looks like it's going to be a Beatle-filled night, as Katelyn is singing 'Oh Darling.' It's a bluesy rendition, and she does a great job, and maybe it's the outfit, but there's something about it that just seems really affected to me. Overall, she's pretty good though. Simon also has some issues with her, but he likes her a lot. Kara tells her that she knows her voice, which I definitely agree with. Randy thinks she has a big voice, and Ellen tells Katelyn that she kept her interested.
'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' is certainly not the first Beatles song I would have thought of for Haeley, but that's probably why she chose it. She definitely switches up the song from the original, and while she gets a little screechy at the beginning, it's a fun performance, and she certainly keeps it interesting. However, she would have benefited greatly from dialing it back just a notch. The judges love her unpredictability, but agree that she has some technical issues. Ellen enjoyed it "just as someone who likes music." Simon, on the other hand, says it was "verging on terrible," and calls it a "complete and utter mess."
At least she's not doing The Beatles. Instead, Lacey is singing the oft-covered 'Landslide,' by Fleetwood Mac. It's a nice rendition, but it's not the most original version I've heard. Technically, she does a good job, but it just doesn't stand out for me against the other people who have covered it. Randy doesn't think it was a good song choice at all, and says that it was actually terrible. Even Ellen doesn't have a lot of positive things to say. Simon calls it depressing and indulgent, and while I don't feel that this was the worst performance of the night, it's certainly getting the most negative reviews. Simon tells her she has nice eyes though, so that's ... something, I guess.
I really thought that by season nine, we would be finished with people choosing 'Fallin'' by Alicia Keys, but clearly Michelle is here to prove me wrong. She says in her interview that she was a corporate singer, and I'd be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that she chose this song because it was a popular choice from her corporate repertoire. She does a fantastic job with it, don't get me wrong, but I am so sick of hearing people sing this song. Ellen tells her that it was fantastic but that it seemed safe. Simon doesn't think that it made her different enough, but is generally positive. Basically, they all agree that she needs to be a little bit more daring.
'The Way I Am' by Ingrid Michaelson is a brilliant song choice for Didi. It's a ridiculously difficult song, not because it's technically hard to do, but because it's so stylized that it's not easy to inject your own personality into it. It's way too easy to make it purely into a karaoke song. However, while it may not be 100% successful, Didi does an admirable job of putting her own personality into it. Simon, however, calls the performance indulgent and dreary. However, he likes her and her voice. Kara isn't over the moon, but she praises Didi for her creativity. Randy doesn't see the star factor, while Ellen thinks she's great but maybe a bit too low-key.
Chris Isaac's 'Wicked Game' is a crazy-sexy song, and I'm not sure Siobhan has the maturity to pull it off. She starts off way too low, and while she improves later in the song, she doesn't really seem to be able to access the emotion behind the song. Plus, she doesn't do enough with it to make it original, making the end result a very nice karaoke version. Kara, however, enjoyed the performance, as did Randy and Ellen, who was downright effusive in her praise. Simon calls her "a funny little thing," and tells her that he liked the song, but didn't love it.
Crystal starts off by saying that she's never really watched the show, which doesn't surprise me even a little bit. I love that, though. It's tough when you've had several seasons of a reality show, because everyone comes in with strategies and knowing what to expect, so it's refreshing to have a newbie on the stage. She's singing "Hand in my Pocket," by Alanis Morrisette, which is an interesting choice. However, I quickly remember the harmonica part in this song, and it all makes sense. She's the first one to get on the 'Idol' stage and do the two instrument thing, and it certainly sets her apart. She starts off a little boring, but she has a super-strong finish, and I love it. Randy isn't sure about the song choice, but loves her anyway. Ellen loves her, as well, but Simon tells her that there are thousands of people outside of subway stations doing the exact same thing she is, and challenges her to be different. However, he tells her that he really, really likes her. Kara says she was good, but that she has greatness inside of her.
Katie has chosen 'Feeling Good,' by Michael Buble, which is a great song. Little Katie Stevens totally brings it, too. She is one of the few contestants tonight who actually looks comfortable on the stage. She's certainly the only one who actually owns it. She's such a good performer, in fact, that you can overlook a couple of the more awkward notes. She definitely ends the show on a high note. Ellen thought she was great, but that the song was a little old for her. Simon totally agrees with Ellen and calls it very "pageanty." Kara says she was a little pitchy, but that she has "ridiculous chops."
|Paige Miles||16 (1.4%)|
|Ashley Rodriguez||17 (1.4%)|
|Janell Wheeler||14 (1.2%)|
|Lilly Scott||189 (16.1%)|
|Katelyn Epperly||51 (4.3%)|
|Haeley Vaughn||17 (1.4%)|
|Lacey Brown||6 (0.5%)|
|Michelle Delamor||29 (2.5%)|
|Didi Benami||115 (9.8%)|
|Siobhan Magnus||130 (11.1%)|
|Crystal Bowersox||397 (33.8%)|
|Katie Stevens||192 (16.4%)|