On Wednesday night, we tuned in to see what the Top 10 Girls had to show off this week. Simon started off by advising the girls to lose their nerves — and he was so right. And as we watched, here’s what we found…
Crystal Bowersox, “As Long As I Can See the Light”
Maddie: Can I just say one thing right now? I love Crystal Bowersox. I just DO.
And how can’t you? As the judges pointed out this week, she’s just real. Her vocals are insane, of course, but it’s not even that: She’s genuine; she’s natural; she’s who she really wants to be.
And if that’s a harmonica-playing, subway-loving, Simon-showing, honest-to-God great singer, then America’s lucky to be able to cast their votes for Crystal tonight. She stayed fresh and current in her performance while giving of the gospel-esque vibe for which she was aiming, and there was never a moment when her voice felt anything less than above and beyond.
If America sends her home, then I’ll have to eat my remote.
Haeley Vaughn, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
M: Oh, Haeley. Why did you have to try out this year? I’m sorry, hun, but your voice just isn’t up to par — or at least not when you completely destroyed Miley’s first big hit. It was pitchy, lacking connection, pitchy and annoying — oh, and did I mention pitchy?
But even though I knew that she and her serious lack of vocal quality deserved criticism, I still felt sorry for the 16-year-old as the judges tore her apart. She legitimately looked like she was about to cry — and hey, if I was on national television being told that I had just sung a song about climbing and then “fallen off,” I probably would, too.
Haeley could be a potential cut this week — unless, that is, Vote for the Worst pulls through again like it did last week. But even the hate votes can only get a contestant so clearly lacking in talent so far.
On the bright side, though, Haeley knows how to make some pretty kick butt hair accessories — maybe she could open up a shop or something once her “Idol” dreams are crushed. I’d buy one if it meant getting her off the show.
Lacey Brown, “Kiss Me”
M: I’m telling you, this show started off fantastic but then dropped from bad to worse. Because who got to go after Beatles-Ruining Vaughn? Oh, yeah, that’s right: Lacey Brown, who possibly has about the most nasal-sounding voice that I have ever had the misfortune to hear.
I know that she can’t help that her voice is just so annoying, but then again, vocal performance probably isn’t the best career choice either, is it? I didn’t think so. And whose fault is that? I mean, seriously.
Her performance was mediocre. “Kiss Me” was an excellent song choice; it is probably about the only song that only sounds at all passable with a voice as high-pitched and nasal as Lacey Brown’s. But even with that, her rendition of the song was, as Randy pointed out, very karaoke and lacking the originality that catapulted Adam Lambert and David Cook into stardom in the last two seasons.
And I’m not even going to bother acknowledging what Kara said about Lacey’s tone of voice being what is “special” about her (um, are we on the same planet here, woman?) because that’s just a moot point.
But for all the talk about Lacey being a happy contestant, well, I’m just “happy” that I won’t have to see her perform for at least another week.
E: There’s something that I like about Lacey. I think it’s that she has the whole Texas look. She reminds me of Texas, and I like that a lot. She even has the Southern antique-loving interest as well. And I really liked Lacey’s song choice; it fits her and she performed well.
Katie Stevens, “Put Your Records On”
M: Poor Katie. The judges just don’t seem to be on her side at all these past few weeks.
Once again, the judges criticized Katie, 17, for the lack of youthful feeling in her performance; and last week, after she sang a Michael Buble song that did seem a little aged, I agreed. But now I’ve come to rethink that statement, at least to a certain extent.
Katie’s voice, it seems, is just not made to sound young, hip, exciting: what the judges want to hear. She easily has one of the strongest singing voices in the competition despite her young age, but that age does not reflect the maturity or tone of that voice. Katie sounds much older than 17, but it’s not because of poor song choice. It’s just her tone, and it’s probably not going to change. She’s got a beautiful voice, but not for what the competition calls: star power.
And don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love Katie Stevens, but I’m starting to realize that she may be limited in this competition because the tone of her voice is not meant to sound “young.” She’d be amazing on Broadway, but she could never try and sing Britney Spears. And most unfortunately, if you ask a lot of voters, they’d rather listen to a Britney CD than the “Wicked” soundtrack.
But that’s not to say that Katie’s time on “Idol” is done — far from it. The judges just need to realize that they can’t keep telling Katie to try to act “young”; it’s not who she is or who she will ever be. Her voice is just older — it ain’t young, dawgs!
Didi Benami, “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
M: Didi’s chances of moving through to the next week seem to be as limited as her variety of song choices: very, very little. I do like Didi’s tone of voice as a singer, but as an artist, I’m starting to lose interest very quickly.
She has a solid voice, but it sounded exactly the same (pardon the redundancy, but even that grammatically incorrect statement cannot emphasize her lack of originality) as her performance in the Top 24 last week. The only difference, it seems, was that she was singing slightly different words to slightly different notes.
And you know what made it even worse? It was whiny — or, to continue Didi’s theme of meowing before every performance, it sounded screechy — screechy like a cat, that is.
E: You just hit me as too old for this show. You seem super mature and at the same time spacey and ditzy.
A wanna-be cheerleader! So this season, we have a wanna-be pop star and a wanna-be cheerleader.
Meowing is something that we did in first grade at indoor recess when we were bored. It was: one in doubt, act like animals.
And there was a random stool on stage. Were you suppose to sit on that, Didi?I didn’t like this song for Didi. Didi did not do very well with this song.
I hate her voice. It’s a little annoying.
Not to compare her to Mitchell Musso, but he did this song, and there were little golden retriever puppies in the music video. This was like two years ago. I still remember that even though I hate this song. With Didi, I’m not going to remember this performance, especially the whinyness she had.
And then you were watery eyed, Didi. Really? You’re THAT low?! You were crying to try and get people to vote for you. It might have worked for Tim because he’s a “heartthrob,” but I’m afraid it won’t be working with you.
Michelle Delamor, “Arms Wide Open” by Crede
M: Michelle’s performance was pretty solid — and pretty boring. As I was watching it, I lost interest in what she was doing on stage quick enough that I ended up focusing on a bracelet that she was wearing instead of what she was actually trying to perform (the bracelet was actually pretty cute, by the way, so if you’re ever YouTube-ing the video of her performance, keep an eye out for it; it’s nice).
And here’s a hint: If I — who, not to brag or anything, is usually pretty good at staying focused if need be — lost interest that quickly, holding the rest of the “Idol” audience was most likely as task as well.
And here’s another hint: If the first comment a judge gives you is something along the lines of “I dig your outfit” (which, yes, was adorable, but that’s besides the point), you probably didn’t do as hot as you’d have liked. Just sayin’.
E: Michelle is very compassionate and understanding. That is something that an American Idol should have. She has the potential to get far in this competition.
She has a good voice. I could see her singing slower songs. i don’t know how she will be able to handle rock week, but she will be able to handle lots of other weeks.
As much as I hate to say it, I’m not going to remember this performance. It is getting washed down the sink along with Didi’s.
She also hit a the last note a little bad.
Lilly Scott, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
M: When it was first announced that my favorite plantinum blonde was performing “A Change Is Gonna Come,” I was hesitant. Just last season, after all, runner-up Adam Lambert completely rocked it to rave reviews — and my vote.
I’m not a fan of contestants repeating a song from a contestant from the previous season; it feels cheap to me, for some reason. That’s what actually turned me off to Lee DeWyze, who sang “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, the song that first turned the competition and my attention to Season 8 American Idol Kris Allen.
I later reevaluated my opinion on Lee, of course, but nevertheless, Lilly’s choice made me slightly nervous.
But I needn’t have worried. Lilly’s version of the song was not only stellar; it was completely uncomparable to Adam’s rendition last season. I should have known that if anyone would have been able to turn the song around to their favor, it would be the whimsical Lilly Scott.
All I can say is this: Lilly, you rock. And you need to come out with a CD. Like, now.
And to any executives who might be looking for a new star: Search no further. Lilly Scott is here to stay.
Katelyn Epperly, “The Scientist” by Coldplay
M: Oh, my God. I cannot believe I am saying this, but it cannot be denied: Katelyn Epperly was actually good.
Until Katelyn sat down at the large, white grand piano on stage and sang the ballad to her heart’s content, I had literally never enjoyed a single Katelyn Epperly performance. What can I say? She never caught my attention. In her first audition, my first impression of her was that she thought too highly of a voice that was mediocre at best. But after this performance, however, she has started to prove me wrong.
I’m still not completely won over, but I did enjoy her rendition overall. There were a few pitchy spots at the end, which Randy did point out, but beyond that, her vocals were solid. Somehow, I didn’t hate it as much as I though I would.
But you know what? It must have been a fluke. I still hate her.
Paige Miles, “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson
M: Paige’s masterclass vocals once again shine through in her rendition of the Kara-co-written, former-“Idol”-winner-performed hit. Her vocals made the song for me, and although I really enjoyed listening to her take on the song and the energy that she brought to it, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of originality that she put into the arrangement.
As someone who was obsessed with this song back in the sixth grade or so, I still know it by heart, and the overall song remained the same. Paige did add in a few runs here and there that aren’t in Kelly’s original version, but those felt unnatural when listening to the song; it felt like Paige forced those minor changes into the song just so that she could make it seem like she had changed the arrangement more than she had. She could definitely improve on her artistry for next week when she is hopefully still in the competition.
Hey, if she needs to get those creative juices flowing, maybe she can just pull out one of her coloring books. But she better not forget the markers — because at 24, she definitely doesn’t know how to color in the lines.
Siobhan Magnus, “Think” by Aretha Franklin
M: Oh, Siobhan, Siobhan, Siobhan. Where on earth to begin?
Or, should I say, where in the universe to begin? Because if there is anything that I took from Siobhan’s presentation this week, it’s that she confirmed my suspicion that she is an alien. Hey, maybe she and James Cameron can get together and talk about filming a sequel for “Avatar.”
Because, really, did we really need to see that she had a mohawk? I know that Siobhan is a bit of strange character, but I don’t need to know everything about her. I’ll admit, it would have been an interesting tidbit to leave in the audiences’ minds come voting time; it’s certainly a difficult thing to forget.
But therein lies the problem: I couldn’t forget the mohawk, even throughout her performance, which would have been stellar had it not been for the fact that I was constantly picturing her in a mohawk belting at Simon’s face as she sang. Siobhan has an amazing level of talent, but her personality is incredibly distracting.
It’s difficult to concentrate on her positives and take her seriously, after all, if I immediately associate her with a tatoos, glass-blowing (what even is that?) and a mohawk.
But then again, what more does America even need?
Now I am creeped out with the mohawk. Why is she showing us how to do a mohawk.
Who ever edited this has some issues. Why did they just show her lip trembling three times? Who wants to see that?!
She has a good voice, but there’s something odd about her that totally turns me off and makes me not want to listen to her or watch her.
The notes she is hitting, are they suppose to be a little off, or no?
This performance isn’t all that good. But the long note she hit was pretty good except there was a whining screaming sense to it. I don’t like that.
Ellen compared her to a snuggie. Odd.
E: An OK night. The girls weren’t really that good. I think the boys have more talent this year. I”m still waiting to see why the judges say the girls have so much talent.
Also what’s with all the girls wearing prints? What ever happened to solid colors. not floral prints.
What’s up with Randy calling Ellen, “E?” I mean, yes, I know that the first letter of her name is E, I’m not stupid, but it’s a lame nickname. Lamer than dawg. Randy, if you wanted to give me a nickname that required me shortening my name, just shorten it to Em.
The Hits: Crystal, Lilly
The Misses: Haeley, Didi
Who should go home: Haeley, Lacey
Who will go home: Haeley, Didi