Tuesday, March 09, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 16 - Final 8 Girls Perform

Now, that's how I like my American Idol folks!  Short, sweet and to the point!  I love when they get down to a manageable number of contestants to fit it into an hour.  Unfortunately, when we get to the top 12 it will be another 2 hour opus with long-winded comments from the judges.  But, let's savor in this brief episode while we have it!  Now, you may have heard a little rumor that I picked 4 out of 4 to be eliminated last week.  It is surely a feat not to be repeated this season.  There are some tough choices for who is going home on Wednesday.  Well, one easy pick and one difficult pick!  Let's get right into it shall we?   Ellen, get off Simon's lap and let's get started!

  1. Katie Stevens - "Breakaway" by Kelly Clarkson -  Katie already had a lot riding against her by picking the smash hit for the 1st American Idol winner.   It's bad when the only good thing I can think to say about her this week is that I liked her outfit!  There was really nothing to the performance that made it stand out.  To make it worse, she went first.   The judges brought up the great point that she is taking their advice and trying to improve.  And she is a very likable contestant.   So, I hope she gets in.  But, I just don't know.  I have always said that the 16 year olds are just not mature enough for this competition.  Maybe she's 17 now, but it's still young.  Jordin Sparks was an exception in a lackluster year (I always mention that too!)   Good luck Katie, and good luck to me with my pick!     
  2. Siobhan Magnus - "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals - So, this was a surprise performance for her Daddy.  Okay, great.  There is no question that Siobhan won over America last week with that crazy high note in "Think".  She will definitely be back for the Top 12.  She really does have an incredible voice, but I agree with Simon that there were no "WOW" moments in the performance.  Then again, it's tough to replicate a great Idol moment.  Just ask Andrew Garcia!   She'll be back and we can judge her more then. 
  3. Lacey Brown - "The Story" by Brandi Carlile  -  I went into this performance hoping Lacey didn't do well to make life easier for my picking!  (I know, I'm a cruel human being)   But, I do love that song and she gave a very good vocal, albeit boring, performance of it.   Kara wishes for more performances like this because this is when she sounds good.  Trust me, if Lacey does a sit down, acoustic performance so that we can hear all the nuances in her voice EVERY week?  We are going to get really tired of it.   But she may have done enough to keep her in this show.  She does really have a nice voice, but is she going to win anything with it?  No chance.   I think Lacey does NOT have the fan base that others might have, so this perhaps might be in Katie or Katelyn's favor.   I would count against her also that she didn't take the risk by singing the really big part of the song!  That's the best part! 
  4. Katelyn Epperly - "I Feel the Earth Move" - Carole King  -  Ummmmm, Katelyn what on earth are you thinking?  We definitely did the time warp on this song.  Yeah, it's great you can play that 70's organ thingy (the Wurlitzer? Thanks for the history lesson Randy!) but is that really what you want to do the week before the top 12?  She said she was trying to be less corny.  I think, if anything, she would be taken LESS seriously after that performance.   Don't get me wrong, it was a good vocal performance, but not memorable in the least.  The best thing she has going for her is that she's pretty.  Yikes, I don't know.  I've been supporting her but this may have been a rough choice for her.   
  5. Didi Benami - "Rhiannon" Fleetwood Mac - Well, my wife and I disagreed on this one.  I bring this up because this is her surprise pick to get eliminated this week.  And I'm gonna hear it if it happens!   I just can't help it.  I really love her voice.  There are 3 people with similar voices in the competition.  Didi, Lacey and Lilly.  Lilly is definitely the best of the 3 of them.   I really haven't bought into the whole Lacey thing, but maybe others have.   But Didi, I still like her.  She won't be taking home any 1st place trophies either this year, so it probably doesn't matter in the long run.   The judges were very impressed with her.   Simon thought the whole performance was a "wow" moment for her.  Kara equated it to her great performance of "Terrified".  Then again who cares what Kara thinks?  I can see Didi in the situation where the judges praised her so much that she may get forgotten due to voters assuming she's safe.   Here is the biggest compliment I can give her though.  Taylor Swift, the world's biggest star right now and arguably worst singing voice to accompany her star power, butchered this very same song on the Grammy's while singing with Stevie Knicks herself.   Didi, was far better than Miss Swift ever would be on that song.  (did I just lose my teenage readers?!)  Granted, Swift is a good songwriter which keeps her in the biz of selling lots of records.  So, that's where my comparison ends.   I think Didi is safe, just don't tell my wife if you agree! 
  6. Paige Miles - "Smile" - Charlie Chaplin - Would you believe me if I told you that when Paige went on and on about how this song means so much to her that I thought out loud "Yep, you're definitely talking about because it was sang at Michael Jackson's all-star Memorial Service!"   And wouldn't you know it, it's all she could come up with to explain why it meant so much to her.   Well she didn't say exactly that but she did name drop Michael.   WHAT!?!?!?!?!?   Wow, talk about one contestant getting it wrong 3 weeks in a row.   And this was the worst performance of all 3.  I don't even think sympathy voters could get the strength to dial the number to support her.   There was warbled runs all through the song.  There was snooze inducing low vocals through the whole thing.  I've said this about other performances in other weeks.  No redeeming qualities whatsoever.  If there is anyone locked to get booted this week, it is Paige Miles.   By the way, how bad is it that I have been calling her Paige Davis for weeks now and never thought to double check her name?   Ahhh Trading Spaces.   
  7. Crystal Bowersox -  "Give Me One Reason" by Traci Chapman -  When a contestant has the goods, it's hard to even write about it without sounding repetitive.  Crystal is definitely the one to beat right now, as Simon also acknowledged.  She just goes out there every week and kills it.  (well 2 weeks in a row at least).   She changed up the song enough to give it a life of its own, and to showcase her vocal chops.   I will probably post a video of her performance as I have the past 2 weeks.  Loved it!  At this point, I don't see anything stopping her from getting very far in the competition (I don't want to declare a winner yet, but top 2 is definitely in the sights right now).  But we'll see.  
  8. Lilly Scott - "I Fall to Pieces" Patsy Cline - Did anyone else roll their eyes when Kara made another one of her comments where she was looking around trying to get people to agree with her?  "Don't know how you did it but you actually made Patsy Cline feel CURRENT!!"   Wow, I cannot stand her.  First of all, Patsy Cline is timeless!   And 2nd of all, the fact that Lilly took on Patsy Cline, like Simon suggested, was a very risky thing to do.  He meant it as a warning, I mean it as the utmost compliment.  I still really like this girl.  Her voice is wicked cool!  (yep, I said it)   You guys remember that song "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star?  I kinda get that vibe when she sings.  But she was singing Patsy Cline!  And it sounded cool.  Yeah, it started off a little shaky, but she finished real strong.   Love this girl and can't wait to see what else she has.  Definite Top 12er.   Nice Mandolin playing too.  
Okay, so I'm all out of contestants to review!  Better move on with the program here.  Let's do our process of elimination!

Who is in the Top 12 with no doubts?  Crystal, Lilly, Siobhan  
Who is out of the Top 12 with no doubts? Paige
Who had a good performance but might get overlooked?  Didi
Who had a rough performance, went first, but people like? Katie
Who had made a bizarre song choice but is pretty?  Katelyn
Who did I forget?  Lacey

Elimination Picks: Paige Miles, Katie Stevens  

Bonus Pick:
Lacey Brown  Double Bonus Pick: Katelyn Epperly

Yikes, really tough week folks!  In the end, I felt I was overthinking it so I went simple.  Katie went first and gave an unmemorable performance.  And Paige is going home.  Nothing more to say about it.  I think the thing that is important to note here is that if it's Katelyn, Katie, Didi, or Lacey it really doesn't matter.  I don't think any of them have a shot to win it.  But I have been wrong in the past.  I was pleasantly surprised week after week with Kris Allen's run to the finish (Did I lose my Adam Glambert readers?  At least I got you to the end!)   Anyway, I don't expect to go 4 for 4 two weeks in a row, so I'll play things safe and we'll see how it goes.  But definitely count on me gloating if I do it again!   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you next week!

Ending Credits

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Ian said...

I picked Katie and Paige to go home too. Thinking the same as me may or may not be a good thing. I liked Lacey. I don't know why, but there's something very enjoyable about her. I kind of hope she goes far, though I too doubt she has the fanbase.

Anonymous said...

Is Randy going to sit in Simon's lap next? Honestly...

Katie... has been like a balloon slowly leaking air week to week and by the end of "Breakaway", she was now the lifeless one with a string tied to it left to clean up after a party. To me, her voice just wasn't ROBUST enough to handle a Clarkson ballad and really? Since there's no way in hades that Katelyn and Lilly are both leaving, I'd kinda like to see Katie go now in a realistic outcome.

Siobhan... I just really don't know what to make of her. She's been from Chris Isaak to Aretha back to the 60s which should bode well for her to adapt to the rotating themes of the finals. I thought this was good but there's something about her performance style that makes me uncomfortable and I can't put my finger on it.

Lacey... Look, I was calling for her head after last week - especially imo since she unjustly outlasted Michelle - but talk about making the most of a second chance? I actually thought it was BEAUTIFUL - airy, light and she did change the song in that she knew better than to go for the wailing that Carlisle does at the end. Loved it.

Katelyn... Wow - boring, lifeless, MORE "corny" than ever before imo, and outsung by KimberMe Caldwell from S2? Remember that? If that doesn't get Sideshow Bobette kicked to the curb, I don't know what will. The judges were actually charitable in my view. Hated it.

Didi... Huh? They REALLY want Benami in the top trio of ladies, don't they? I mean - yes - it was much better to me too than her corny, AI-the-videogame inspired performance from last week and I thought it was her best of the live shows. That should earn her a spot in the top 12 but I think she hasn't got much left in the tank, to be honest with you.

Paige... OMG girl - what in the world is wrong with you? You chose basically a dirge (regardless of what Ellen was yapping on about) and one that AI golden-child Ruben had hand-picked for him by Simon at that. She basically "sleepsang" her way through it. (Wait! Was that a word? LOL...you can borrow it MikeV!) THEN, when explaining why it was emotional for her, she didn't invoke the death of a close friend or anything really relatable but instead, the death of Jacko? Really???? I can't even use her "potential" as reason enough to pick up the phone despite the Toni Braxton vibe I get from her. Goodbye. Get off my TV!

Crystal... This is going to get me stoned, but as far as AI-land goes, I enjoyed Jordin Sparks' version of this song better in S6 immensely more. Sorry. While I loved Crystal last week, this seemed lazy and very Taylor Hicks-ian with a bunch of fooling around in the middle of the song then a "blue-sy, soulful" whatever-type ending. I like her in general but this to me was just not great.

Lilly... God, I just hate this chick - everything about this was awful. The "quirky" phrasing, the damn mandolin, the awful performances ticks were all just a disaster. I felt like I was at a luau themed party on a cruise ship and yet there was no damn pineapple anywhere to be found.

Who I wish would go: Katelyn and Lilly; who should go: Paige and Katie; who will go: Two of Paige, Katelyn, and Lacey's luck will probably run out.

Drew G.

Anonymous said...

Siobhan Magnus: A
Crystal Bowersox: A
Didi Benami: A-
Lacey Brown: B+
Lilly Scott: B-
Katelyn Epperly: B-
Paige Miles: C-
Katie Stevens: C-

Send Paige and Katie home...now!

Michael S.

Unknown said...

Tonight was the best night of idol so far! Finally! I only FF through Paige and Katelyn who I think will be going home. Katie was bad but I think people like her more.

Mike V. said...

man i'm falling behind....it's tough with LOST and Idol on the same night!

I can totally see Katelyn going home instead of Katie....i really just dropped a name down as a wild guess because I had to start the LOST blog! :-)

Drew - nice word! "SLEEPSANG" perhaps I'll give it a shot some time lol Good recaps We'll see how it goes!