Wednesday, March 03, 2010

American Idol Season 9 Top 20 - Final 10 Girls Perform with a Vengeance!

Hello Idol Watchers!  Well, I feel better tonight than I did last night watching the show.  Granted, no LOST to compete with it tonight, but still the girls managed to bring a little more to the table.  Maybe we can chalk some of it up to an extra day to practice.  Or maybe we can chalk it up and thank our lucky stars that Crystal Bowersox was able to make it to the competition (barely, but she was there!)   There were a few performances that I would say solidified some Top 12 slots.  And there were some real clunkers out there as well.  For some of them, I think it was a little bit of "OPPOSITE DAY" going on with what the judges were saying and what we were hearing at home.  Maybe it was just me, but we'll find out together!  

So let's dive in and talk about the performances.  Once again we learned the contestants' deep dark secrets, and I have turned them into fun nicknames some!  You can thank me later!

Note to Randy:  Booing Simon during the intros?  Still not funny this year, dawg.  
Note to Kara: Now that you're in on the joke of cozying up with Simon, not funny to play it up even more!

  1. Crystal Bowersox - Has a Twin brother named Carl who is Square (nothing fun to make a nickname out of!)  -  What can I say about Crystal's performance?  Well it solidified for me that she is my favorite contestant this year.  I'm glad she took care of her yellow teeth.   Her performance of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "As Long As I Can See the Light" was amazing.   Best performance of the night, although there were some highlights for others as well.   Look for additional commentary and a video of her performance here!   Ugh, and another notch on the "I hate Kara" tally, she start commenting on Crystal's performance of Alanis's "You Oughta Know" last week.  It was sooooo "Hand in My Pocket"!  At least Ryan corrected her.  But she makes so many mistakes when she's on that show it drives me crazy!    I loved Crystal correcting herself when she put up the peace sign and her phone number for the night ended in 1.  Good times!
  2. Haeley "Headbands" Vaughn -  I will say that the girl is really sweet.  But I think she is way in over her head in this competition.  Picking Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" did seem like a good song choice for her.  But all I heard was vocal warbles on every note (is warbles a word?).  She was clearly nervous and I'm sure the she-devil (Kara) is right that people may be rooting for her.  But based on the competition tonight, I think she might be in danger.   Of course Simon totally coming down on her at the end of the remarks (when promising not to make it worse) may cause some sympathy voting.  We'll see!
  3. Lacey Brown - The Antique Furniture Destroyer! - And she destroys them for profit.  Okay, talk about unoriginality.  I know she defended the song choice saying she wanted to do it anyway, but Kara suggests Six Pence None the Richer "Kiss Me" and she decides "okay, that's what I'm going to do"   Of course it's going to come off like you don't know what you're doing and that you need your hand held!  After hearing her perform practically a carbon copy, I was already thinking what Simon was going to say.  Yeah, she sang it okay, but comparing to Crystal who had already performed put her in a separate amateurish league.   And in my head, I just started thinking "What's the point?"  She may as well just go home because she can't compete.  But we do have a process of elimination.   I would put her in the lower tier on the chopping block though.  We'll see who is there when we get to the end!
  4. Katie "Kiss Me" Stevens -  Yep, you heard it here first.  If she is traveling the world, she will never be short on kisses as she can request them in 6 different languages.  Why she decided to learn these and share with 30 million people?  We'll never know.  But we like Katie Stevens, so we'll let her slide!   She sang Corrine Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" in response to the judges' request for her to be more her age.  Okay, this was the first one where I was hearing something totally different than the judges.   They really came down on her.  To make it worse, Randy started commenting on a bad FIRST half of the song.  I thought the first half was the best part.  She has an amazing lower register.   I thought the higher notes were lacking some power but she was still hitting them.   There are far worse people in this competition to be coming down so hard on Katie.   Maybe they heard something different LIVE than we heard on TV, but I thought it was pretty darn good.   And Kara's advice, what?????  She said that Katie opened up and started doing whatever she wanted with the vocals at the end of the song.  She suggested that Katie do that the entire song.  WHAT?   So you want to create a version of the song that is unrecognizable to the original?   You realize you criticized people for that very thing last week right?   I know I'm being too literal, but I'm allowed to be because I CAN'T STAND KARA!   I'm telling you, if Simon is gone next year and she is still there next year, I'm out!  Can't handle it.
  5. Didi "MEOW" Benami - She was a mascot in middle school as well but the MEOW thing was just so bizarre.  Anyway, this is part 2 of "Judges what were you listening to?!"   Yes "Lean on Me" may be a simple song but it's a catchy song and Didi was able to really sing it up!   I thought she sounded REALLY good on it.  I do not understand why the judges were so hard on her.  Everyone loves "Lean on Me".  She is trying to showcase her voice and give the people a chance to hear what she is all about.  It was good!  I stopped listening to Kara when she called Didi singing all over the place and showcasing her vocal skills "KARAOKE".   Does she even know what comparing to Karaoke is?   It is just singing the words of a song and adding nothing to it.  Yeah, you sound good on it, you may sound good on it but you bring nothing original to the table.  Didi couldn't have been MORE original with it.  Well, she could have but that's not the point.   Poor thing, she was going to cry after the judges crushed her.  She wasn't that bad!   Now yes, there are better girls in this competition but she, in no way, deserved what the judges did to her.
  6. Michelle Delamour - The Children's Choir Director - Again, opposite day in effect.  The judges, besides Randy, actually praised Michelle for "TAKING A RISK" with Creed's most bland ballad of them all "With Arms Wide Open."   Really?!?   She sang it like a ballad.   I think it's really a stretch to say that she converted it from a Rock song to a Toned Down Slow Ballad.  It IS a ballad!  She brought nothing to the song.   It was, dare I say it, AWFUL!  It was boring.   What does this girl have that they like so much?   After that forgettable performance, I had her in the bottom 2 and ready to be shipped home.   And I might still!  I'm so confused.
  7. Lilly Scott - Instrumentalist Extraordinaire - Loved Loved LOVED Lilly as well.  It's early to tell, but I could see a final 2 battle between the 2 indie Rocker girls. Lilly vs. Crystal.  They both are that good.  I thought Crystal was better tonight, but Lilly also picked a great song in Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come".  She whipped out the 12 String Guitar and showed some very nice rhythm guitar skills while she did a very different and awesome version of the song.  I was very happy though that Simon took her ego down a notch when Randy, Ellen, Kara jumped on the BEST OF THE NIGHT bandwagon.  Yes she was good, but she needs motivation to elevate her game.  I am getting semi-excited of watching Crystal and Lilly try to one up each other.  I should go on record saying they bring 2 very different qualities to the guitar playing and singing, but at the same time they both are very good musicians and very good singers.  Let's see where this goes!
  8. Katelyn "Mix Master" Epperly - It's hard not to like Katelyn.  And we're learning a little more each week that this girl is more than just a pretty face.  She did some nice piano playing tonight when she took on Coldplay's "The Scientist".  Yeah it wasn't Chopin or anything, but I kept thinking she was just playing for the sake of playing an instrument, but I heard her playing some really nice chords.  And Coldplay is all about the crazy Chords in their tunes.  I knew the judges would comment on how slow the performance was though.  How could they not?  It was SUPER slow.  But it was also very nice at the same time.  She was able to showcase her great voice.  Now, we didn't Kara going on her whole love fest for Katelyn or whatever she was going.   But, it was quite good.  I'm glad to see that she's most likely going to make the top 12.
  9. Paige "I am 5 Years old" Davis - Yes, you heard it right.  She likes to color in coloring books kids!  I have no other comments on that than I already gave.   So, she somehow got it in her head that the judges really liked her last week so she decided to bring more of the same.   And she dared to take on Kelly Clarkson's "Walkaway" (which .....YAY...was written by Kara).   I was hoping that, like the song title, this song would be Paige's exit cue.  And I guess it can be, but she didn't sound too bad on it.  The judges were so so with it.   Simon thinks she failed to pick the right song for her 2 weeks in a row.   I really have no idea why they think she has the best voice in the competition or what they WANT her to sing because we really didn't hear much of her until last week.   Randy wants big notes and long melodies.  Okay, whatever.  I have no sentimental attachments to Paige and am fine if she just walks away!   So, I'll go with Simon's expert opinion on this one!
  10. Siobhan "Mohawk" Magnus - Can this girl be ANY weirder?  I mean, she is totally weird.  And I love that Simon doesn't hesitate to say it either.  I fully wanted to hate her performance of Aretha's "Think" and kept looking for things that I could bash her on.  I just couldn't find anything!   She has a REALLY good voice.   An amazing range, and that high note sealed the deal for her to get a top 12 spot.   That was unbelievable!    But then she had to go and explain how she was able to sing it and she gave credit to singing Kelly Clarkson in the shower and then awkwardly wanted to thank Kelly for it.   Sorry Siobhan, Kelly was sleeping during American Idol in Germany!  (Yep, she tweeted it, I read it.  I'm a nerd, leave me alone!)   So, Siobhan looks to be the WILDCARD in this competition.  We never know what she is going to bring, but she can be a threat at any given time.   And we can expect some very weird things to come out of her mouth.  Maybe this season is shaping up into something after all?  We'll see! 
So that's it.  Some great performances, some so-so performances and some End of the Road performances!  Let's do the math! 

Top 12 without a doubt: Crystal, Katie, Katelyn, Siobhan, Lilly
Middle of the Road: Lacey, Didi, Paige
Should go Home: Haeley, Michelle

My Elimination Picks: Haeley Vaughn, Michelle Delamour  Bonus Pick: Lacey Brown

Yikes, this is a tough call.  It could be 1 of 5 people, but I'm pretty confident it will be 2 of the 3 I narrowed it down to.   I'm pretty confident the 5 I mentioned will make the top 12 so of the 5 remaining I'm not sure who gets that spot.  Maybe Didi maybe Paige.  I would think they have the strongest shot.   And the only thing they have going for them is a weak group of guys to possibly get the boot before them once we start the top 12.   Anyway, I could ramble on forever.  I think we have done enough for the night!   I will be back after the elimination with more recapping goodness!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you after the results! 

Ending Credits

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Ian said...

I'm with you on Didi and Michelle. I though Didi was pretty good and Michelle wasn't. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

I agree that Lilly and Crystal are the two strongest girls, but I have a feeling they'll be splitting votes at some point.

It seems like there's always a "shocker" elimination in the cut between Top 16 and Top 12. I could see that being Katie this year. She hasn't impressed me to the point that I'd consider her a lock. She's likable, but after three weeks performance can override pimping.

Jenn said...

It's really disheartening, but it's become pretty clear over the last couple of seasons that the judges are not there to judge the actual performance, but to nudge the voters toward their favorites (see Meghan Joy) or the contestants that they think can sell the most records. I'm with you, Kara is making less sense than Paula! She's all over the place with her comments. I could hardly concentrate on what she was saying because I was so distracted by that hairdo - she was definitely channeling her inner Snookie last night.

Mike V. said...

Ian, I could definitely see a shocker elimination happening. And maybe you're right on katie. I don't even think the judges were pimpin her too hard last night. I just thought she was pretty good!

Maybe Lilly and Crystal will split votes, but I really think they are 2 separate styles. Yeah the guitar makes them similar...but they do different things with it. And I think Lilly will mix it up a bit with other instruments eventually. And we know Crystal has the whole harmonica thing in her pocket! We shall see.

Jenn, could call on the Snooki thing! lol It's not even the hair for's her whole attitude. Like she's too cool for school and she thinks everyone is in it with her! She adds no value to the show in my opinion. I hate when she says stuff I agree with! lol In fact, I still don't get why we have 4 judges. I think Randy, Ellen and Kara have morphed into pretty much the same opinion on things. Yeah, sometimes it differs...but what it stil boils down to is SIMON'S opinion. It makes or breaks the whole critique. Even if I disagree with him I'm still waiting to hear what he says. And if he thinks something differently, I think "well maybe it sounds different live" I just don't know how they're going to replace that.

Anonymous said...

Very depressing night and I didn't agree with the judges on most of the comments.

Crystal performed great, no complaints. I'm curious to see how she'll tackle Broadway or Country night.

Haley ... *shudders* I'll give her props for listening to the judges; However, she can't tackle a song with that much range. She entered the competition at least a year too early.

Lacey ... Absolutely predictable performance and it wasn't very good. I want her to go home, but after what happened last season ... I don't see it happening.

Katie ... Great singer and couldn't disagree more with the judges. I think that she has a "problem" in that she seems really mature for her age, so she can't fit into the box that the judges are forcing her into. She'll definitely make the Final 4 though

Didi ... Thought that the judges couldn't have been more wrong. GREAT performance, loved her vocals, she listened to the judges and was absolutely slaughtered. She could have easily lost it on stage and started the waterworks, but manage to keep herself under control. Another case where the judges are trying to force her into the folksy box and she's browbeaten when she strays.

Michelle ... I thought that this performance was complete and utter crap. The second half of the song was atrocious.

Lily ... I know that you can't compare her performance to those of Syesha and Adam Lambert, but I thought that it was absolutely heinous. Her style doesn't appeal to me at all.

Katelyn ... Song was too slow, but I like what she can do with her voice. She has great control and I enjoyed her performance.

Paige ... She runs the risk of becoming Mandisa v. 2.0. I think that she should stick to her guns because once she goes into the belter box, the judges will never let her leave.

Siobhan ... Solid performance and that note was A. Mazing.

Greg Pickens

Mike V. said...

Greg, I think from what we saw of Crystal, she could probably swing something on theme nights like that. But we'll have to see!

Final 4 for Katie eh? wow...pretty bold prediction. I think she's good to go for the 12 but going as far as 4 might be a stretch this early. But hey, it's a prediction! lol

sounds like we were pretty much on the same page for all of the contestants and where the judges got it wrong. We'll see if america got it right tonight!