'American Idol' - 'Top 12 Girls Compete' Recap

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 24th 2010 12:13AM
american idol top 12 girls
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:

Paige Miles

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.

Ashley Rodriguez

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.

Janelle Wheeler

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 Scott

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.

Katelyn Epperly

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.

Haeley Vaughn

'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."

Lacey Brown

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.

Michelle Delamor

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.

Didi Benami

'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.

Siobhan Magnus

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 Bowersox

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 Stevens

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."

Which of the Top 12 Girls Gave the Best Performance?
Paige Miles16 (1.4%)
Ashley Rodriguez17 (1.4%)
Janell Wheeler14 (1.2%)
Lilly Scott189 (16.1%)
Katelyn Epperly51 (4.3%)
Haeley Vaughn17 (1.4%)
Lacey Brown6 (0.5%)
Michelle Delamor29 (2.5%)
Didi Benami115 (9.8%)
Siobhan Magnus130 (11.1%)
Crystal Bowersox397 (33.8%)
Katie Stevens192 (16.4%)

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

American Idol is now very boring just like the Fox channel.

March 18 2010 at 4:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually really enjoyed Siobhan's perfrmance and she was my favorite. I also loved Didi and Lily though.

February 24 2010 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you rewind and look at the guys in the "dog pound" pit during Lacey's performance, they look like they're half asleep, and I'm right there with them. I mean, whelapso #DJS adlfjwoijgw. Oh sorry. Just drifted off there thinking about her depressing "Landslide" performance. I'm still pulling for you, Lacey. Get over those nerves, girl! And hey, don't disagree with the Sime. It does not bode well for you and your pretty eyes.

-Elizabeth (http://www.myrealitybit.com/)

February 24 2010 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm calling it now. After week 1. If a girl wins this season of American Idol, it will be Crystal. And I thank the "AI" producers for fixing up her teeth so quickly.

February 24 2010 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott's comment

im so glad someone mentioned her teeth! that was the first thing we noticed! i like her but yeah, her teeth were a little distracting but maybe because im super obsessed with teeth.

on another note, my least favourite has to be katie stevens. she just wreaks of cockiness. ellen was completely right, she needs to be youthful. from her outfit to her song choice it was way too old.

February 24 2010 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the bottom 2 will be Ashley Rodiriguez and Lacey Brown. I agree with Simon that Lacey was the worst of the night. My favorite two of the night was Katelyn Epperly and Didi Benami. I liked Didi performance of The Way I Am. After Katelyn this was my favorite of the night. I thought Janell Wheeler and Michelle Delamor performance was boring but they should be safe this week. I especially didn't like Michelle performance of falling.

I agree with Randy critique of Haeley Vaughn performance. I hope she last another week because I like her voice. However, I think she could be going home if either Ashley or Lacey don't.

Everyone else I think did ok but nothing exciting. I think Crystal Bowersox performance was ok but not that great. I think she is getting praise because she is different but not because the performance was great. IMO, the harmonica part didn't sound that good and could have been left out. Lilly Scott performance was ok and should be safe this week. I also like Katie Stevens performance.

Based on last night performance I don't think the girls will be that much better than the boys. I still don't see how a couple of the girls made it into the top 12 over Angela Martin.

February 24 2010 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was underwhelmed with the girls last night, maybe because I was really excited to see what most of them would sing. I think nerves got the best of them, and the fact that they weren't aboard the 'risk-taking' train. (I channeled Mary Murphy from SYTYCD for that one)

I ended up liking Crystal and Lilly the best, they both seem genuine and natural up on the stage.

I think Ashley totally choked and will most likely go home on Thursday. As for the other one going home, I think it's a toss up between Haeley (I thought my ears were going to bleed on her high notes), Siobhan (not a big fan base, too spacey last night), or Lacey (she choked as well, and will most likely be competing for votes with Lilly). It's possible Paige Miles would also be in this mix because of her lack of screentime and first person slot last night (but I think she did enough to advance to the next round)


February 24 2010 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know it's the first live show, but they REALLY need to do something to fix the sound mix. You can't hear that band (or what I guess they're calling the band), the vocals are WAY too up front in the mix (a little up front is fine, but geez)....it's as if these guys are singing with someone in the back playing a Casio synth with a drum machine....

It really makes it difficult to get a good sense of the song/performance (particularly when you don't hear what the judges are hearing)...I'm hoping they get it together a bit better tonight, because last night, Idol looked like amateur hour from a production standpoint....

February 24 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought I was going deaf for a minute there. I didn't agree with the judges at all. The ones they liked I thought were awful and the ones that I liked they didn't. Go figure. And then I almost fell off the chair when Simon said "Nice eyes" to one of the girls. What was that all about -- is he missing Paula too much?

February 24 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


- Ashley: Definite star potential.
- Lilly: Good but maybe too quirky for the long haul.
- Katelyn: I didn't like her "look," but to me, she has the most potential.
- Michelle: Definite star potential. (Though her sister in the audience is cuter!)
- Didi: She's like Megan Joy, only a little bit better.
- Crystal: Solid. Very solid.
- Katie: She's like Tatiana, minus the delusion.


- Paige: WTF song choice.
- Lacey: Boring delivery of a safe, overdone song.
- Janelle: Meh.


- Haeley: I rolled my eyes when her song was announced, but I was pleasantly surprised by what she did with it. I disagreed with Simon's comments, which almost never happens.
- Siobhan: Kona is spot-on saying she started too low. It was good after the beginning, but she might be a little much of an odd bird for America.

Overall comments on the show: Four judges is way too many, especially when there are so many so-so, not great performances. Their comments get as repetitive and boring as the performances.

I definitely think it's a girl's year. The guys all look like dweebs.

February 24 2010 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the judges are weirdly off this season, none more than Kara. The girl who sang I wanna hold you hand should be arrested for murder of a classic. the first girl was screaming the whole way through, Paige something. I don't even know how she made top 24.

Katie stevens was awesome and the judges skewered here.

February 24 2010 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners