Wednesday, February 24, 2010

American Idol: Top 12 Ladies Perform

Paige Miles (24) is a pre-school teacher. I don't really remember her from the auditions but she appears to have a gospel vibe from the clip we see. She decides on "It's All Right Now" which is an interesting and frankly poor song choice. I'm not sure what is going on with this performance but it's pretty bad. When Paige gets to the chorus she sounds shaky. Aside from a few good notes and runs, the judges are going to eviscerate her. Let's listen, shall we? Simon thinks she has the best voice BUT hates the song for its wedding singer qualities. Kara disagrees and steps into the Paula role immediately. She thinks Paige was awesome. Randy agrees with both of them and continues his downward spiral. Ellen is looking gaunt these days, isn't she? I think it makes her look older. Unlike me and Simon Ellen thinks Paige pulls it off.

Up next is Ashley Rodriguez (23) from Cambridge. Ashley is one of my top picks. Let's see how she does. She picks a song from a Simon protege Leona Lewis, "Happy." Another interesting song choice. Ashley does a nice job but she's kind of boring. Perhaps she's afraid of peaking too early? Kara starts off first and mentions nice moments mixed with some criticism of the arrangement. Randy agrees. Ellen agrees. And apparently I am old because this is a hit? Simon calls it clumsy. Ashley has a lot of room for improvement and suffers from not being featured in the audition rounds. So she could be in trouble.

Janelle Wheeler (24) is another favorite of mine. She picks, "What About Love" by Heart. A classic and hard to do well. Another shaky start. It's a bad song selection for her type of voice. Simon is totally going to call it karaoke. These girls are really disappointing tonight. The judges are going round robin so Randy starts. He agrees with the poor song selection. Ellen loves the song and thinks Janelle sung it well with a couple of missed notes. Simon called it 100% effort and 65% excellence. Kara likes Janelle but the song was too big for her. I think that Janelle's niceness and blondness will get her through to next week.

We didn't see faux Stevie Nicks, Lilly Scott (20) until the end of the auditions. I'm vibing her and she selects "Fixing a Hole" by The Beatles and accompanies herself on the guitar. It's a nice song selection for her jazzy voice. Ellen really likes it and comments on Lilly's distinct voice. Simon calls it the best so far (not a high bar). He's also concerned that she isn't demonstrating star power. A good point. Kara calls her believable. Randy says Lilly is an indie artist.

"Oh Darlin'" Is the song selection by Katelyn Epperly. She looks vampy with her big hair, black hair ornament and black faux leather mini dress. Unlike most of the other performances Katelyn seems very comfortable on stage and polished. She could go far. Simon thought the performance was messy (should I clean my ears out?) and likes her. Kara thinks that Katelyn really knows her voice but doesn't like the makeover. Randy compliments her tone. Ellen thinks she has a great voice and a lot of personality on stage.

Country girl Hayley Vaughn (16) got her nose pierced as a reward for making it to Hollywood Week. She decides on the awesomeness that is "I Want To Hold Your Hand." And makes very poor arrangement and vocal decisions. I have never really understood why the judges have fawned over her. So this performance is not changing my mind. DH says if she makes the Top 12 Hayley will be his first elimination pick. I wish she wouldn't make it through to next week but she's young, cute and will have the tween vote. Kara thought the performance was a mess but Hayley's stage presence makes up for it. Randy loves her because she's 16. Enough said. Randy also nicknames Ellen "E". So "E" thinks Hayley shined. Simon thought it was verging on terrible. Word.

An hour in and Lacey Brown boldly selects, "Landslide." Considering I just heard the Stevie Nicks version on my iPod this afternoon I can't help but unfavorably compare Lacey's performance. She also does a weird slurring of words and makes it seem like she has a lisp. Seriously, go back and listen if you don't believe me. Randy dings Lacey on the song selection and said it was pitchy and terrible. Ellen thinks Lacey was better than that but expresses doubt she will be back next week. Simon called it depressing and indulgent. Given the harsh criticism I'm surprised that Lacey's not crying. Kara gives some advice on future song selection and says she hopes Lacey will be back.

Michelle Delamour picks "Falling" which is one of the better song selections tonight. Her vocals aren't as good as Alicia Keyes but she does a respectable job. DH calls it the best of the night. Ellen calls it fantastic but a little safe because it seemed easy for Michelle. Simon thinks it was professional but not a "wow" performance. Kara slips into her Paula shoes and thinks Michelle looks great. Randy says that it was great but she needs to take some risks. Totally safe.

Didi Benami decides on "The Way I Am" and cements the Brooke White comparison for me. With a dash of Meghan Coarkery thrown in for good measure. Good song and a good singer but a bit boring. Simon called it indulgent and trying too hard to sound like Duffy. Kara thinks the arrangement was nice. Randy agrees with Simon that Didi lacked a star factor. Ellen also thinks for a first impression song that it was a little too low key. I think Didi will be just fine.

Siobhan Magnus is the glassblowing apprentice. Love that. But I hate (even though I know it's the traditional Irish) the spelling of her name. She goes for the classic, "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaac. Remember how hot that video was? If I remember correctly Chris ended up dating or marrying that model. The flower in Siobhan's hair makes me think of Jasmine and it's a bit incongruous for her style. Siobhan does a nice job but it's a bit boring. Kara wouldn't have selected that song but liked it for Siobhan. Randy negatively compares it to her Stevie Wonder performance in auditions. Ellen loved it. Simon calls Siobhan a "funny little thing." He agrees with Randy but still liked it.

Crystal Bowersox (aka tattoo mom) goes for Alanis Morrissette's "Hand In My Pocket." Bold choice and a great fit for her style and voice. Crystal accompanies herself on guitar and harmonica. Unlike every other performance we've seen tonight she absolutely nails it. I see her going very, very far. Randy loves her originality but thinks it wasn't a good song selection. I disagree with the latter part of that statement. Ellen is a fan. Simon disparages her back story and thinks it wasn't very original because it was too close to Alanis' performance. He gives excellent advice for Crystal to become more like Adam Lambert and David Cook. Kara thinks Crystal has the ability to be great but isn't quite there.

Katie Stevens (17) decides on "Feeling Good." Not to channel Randy or anything but Katie's voice is really amazing for her age. Great control and big range. I think she'll easily make it to the Top 12. Ellen thinks it was great but the song was conservative for her age. Simon agrees with Ellen that Katie should pick a song more suited to her youth. Kara says the song was pitchy...I guess I need a hearing check because I didn't hear that. Randy thinks she has a big voice and will do better next time. The judges were a bit harsh but I think she will be around for many weeks to come. After all, Katie got the money spot for a reason.

So who's out? Lacey for sure. And I hope Hayley. Other than that, it's a crap shoot.

SJ out.


T. said...

In retrospect, the girls, for the most part, were pretty good, compared with the awfulness that was the boys. Haeleyhas GOT to go - absolutely horrendous. Bad song, bad vocal, annoying to watch.

Amanda said...

I'm not impressed with either the girls or the boys yet. But I think the first week is always terrible, they never pick the right songs. I'm going to root for Chrystal though, I like her.

Jordan said...

HA! We both hate Siobhan's name in independent posts. Not bad.

Working Mom said...

Not fond of any of them yet, girls or boys. But is Simon getting soft? When he critiqued Lacey's "Landslide", he added, "but you have nice eyes".


WhisperingWriter said...

Sounds like an interesting group.

Mrs.No said...

The result night always stresses me out - I just keep screaming at the TV - WHAT?!

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