- Ta-Tynisa Wilson - "Only Girl in the World" - Really didn't expect much from Ta-Tynisa after seeing her last week for what I felt was the first time. Haven't been a big fan of this Rihanna song either. Tats was all over the place with the song rarely hitting anything that could be considered the RIGHT note. Not really sure what Steve and J-Lo were smoking. I guess they signed something in the "LIVE SHOW JUDGING CLAUSE" that suggests they must praise the first couple contestants each night. No fear...Randy "DIFFERED". That's great that Randy is going to fill in for Simon on these eps, but I really do miss Simon ripping these contestants a new one! That doesn't make me an awful person, does it?
- Naima Adedapo - "Summertime" - I have always adamantly spoke out against Fantasia and the success she had in season 3. Granted, there wasn't much standing in her way. I guess Jennifer Hudson, in hindsight, may have been a better contestant. Certainly not Jon Peter Lewis or Matthew Rogers (HELLO!!! I just dropped some Idol Knowledge on you all!) But for Randy, Simon, Paula and Michael Slezak (formerly EW.com now TVline.com) to go on and on about how "Summertime" was the greatest performance EVER on American Idol, NO. It wasn't. I always will say that Kelly Clarkson's performance on Big Band night was THE best Idol performance that showed she was going to be a STAR coming out of the show. Hey, maybe it's because I knew Kelly knew how to read and she would be a better role model for aspiring young singers than craptasia. But what do I know? Anyway, to make a long story less long, I thought Naima did a pretty good job! Sure, it was a little "Won't you Let me Take You on a Sea Cruise" but who cares?! It was fun and a lot less melodramatic than Fantasia's version. Granted, she went 2nd and there was lots of great performances at the end so it may get lost in the shuffle, but I thought she did a good job. Nice voice, seems like a nice girl.
- Kendra Chantelle - "Impossible" - I was really impressed with Kendra's voice. I don't think I ever heard Christina Aguilera sing this before which may have helped me judge Kendra unbiasedly. She really did some crazy singing in there. Very surprising voice that seemed pretty effortless as many of these girls did. Not sure if she'll stand out with the heavy hitters and girls that got more publicity but I wouldn't be upset if she did.
- Rachel Zevita - "Criminal" - Okay, I totally understand the idea of "making a song your own" and why the judges hammer this point home. If you're going to take a well known song, you don't want to perform a carbon copy of it on the Idol stage. Granted, while I am well versed in Fiona Apple tunes, I don't know if all of America is. But that's not the point. Rachel turned this song into something completely different than the original recording and it was entertaining. I think she's a really bizarre cat but I didn't understand all of the hate. American Idol totally became hypocritical in season 8 when they NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER called Adam Lambert "TOO BROADWAY". So, what did Rachel do wrong to get that kind of feedback? I think the show would benefit from having a girl like her willing to take chances with her performance. Hopefully, America will give her another shot. Am I totally off base on this one? Did I hear something different than the rest of America? Don't get me wrong, not a pitch perfect performance by far but I really liked what she did with it. Oh well.
- Karen Rodriguez - "Hero" - And then the judges go ahead and praise Karen for being bilingual? WHAAAAT? How about how boring the performance was? Yes, she sang it note for note perfect, but it had NO energy and it was "HERO", one of Mariah's most boring songs and inspirational glop. Is glop a word? It is now! Yes, there was a time when American Idol was looking for the next 90's Mariah Carey, 80's Whitney Houston or 90's/00's Celine and maybe it would still be great if they found a modern version of that. But THIS was not the way to do it. Some of those ballads just did not stand the test of time. "Hero" is one of them. Man, even Enrique's "Hero" would have been better, if not for the comedy of it all (all I picture is Jimmy Fallon with a mole - fast forward to 5:40 on videoAMERICAN Idol. Except maybe the ever growing Spanish speaking population in America. I think Karen is talented, but I just don't think this was the right performance for her. But, maybe I'm hearing things wrong again.
- Lauren Turner - "7 Day Fool" - She hasn't gotten much exposure on the show since her audition but I thought she did a bang up job here. She was exciting, she worked the stage, she sang with soul, she has a great voice. But there are a lot of girls that had "REALLY" good performances so it's going to be tough to figure out who America will vote through. 5 of 12 is really tough to pick, don't you think!?
- Ashton Jones - "I've Got Love All Over Me" - Randy stole my line on this one. I was thinking that she is a really great singer, but I really wasn't thrilled with the song choice. Of course, it was better than singing "HERO" but it's still not my cup of tea. Actually, TEA isn't even my cup of tea so I'm not sure where I'm going with that! I agree that Ashton has a very high ceiling and could be really good. She already is really good, but she needs to pick a song that will connect with the masses. I think she has a strong shot of getting America's vote, but even if she doesn't I feel pretty certain the judges will send her through.
- Julie Zorrilla - "Breakaway" - Hands down worst performance of the night, right? Maybe it's a tie between her and Ta-Tynisa. Whenever I hear someone attempting a Kelly Clarkson song on the Idol stage, it usually ends up with me just remembering how great she really was and still is. Julie took the advice from the judges to heart to try and CHANGE UP a song. She rarely sang the melody of Breakway trying to put her "SPIN" on it. And she ended up just sounding foolish in the process. She's a good singer too, but did no favors for herself with the song choice or the rendition of said song choice.
- Haley Reinhart - "Fallin'" - The last couple Hollywood episodes put a very bad taste in my mouth for watching Haley perform. She is so obsessed with fitting any possible run of notes into her singing to prove that she can sing, that the song becomes almost incomprehensible. And she mumbles some of the words in her "GROWLS" so that adds to it. I actually understood what she was singing on Alicia Key's tune, but that's probably because I've heard every Diva Wannabe on idol attempt the hugely popular hit before over the past 8-9 years of the show. The runs WERE good though and she definitely CAN sing, but the girl does irk me at the same time. And I know what we're going to get with her. The judges were split on this one. Randy DIFFERED again. But the best thing to come out of this performance was Steven's "If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong." Thanks John Madden! In order to win the game you have to score more points than the other team! I wouldn't be surprised if people like her and vote her in, but I'm not too thrilled with her for now.
- Thia Megia - "Out Here On My Own" - Man, for 15 years old Thia is already impressing with her strategic thinking. She busted out the a cappella in her first live performance. Lights turned down low grabbing the audiences attention and then brought in the piano and nothing else. If you're gonna do a ballad and you want to showcase your voice, do something like THIS instead of what Karen Rodriguez did. Thia was fabulous and since she is already pretty well known from the earlier rounds, it should be an automatic "IN" for her to the Top whatever. Of course, the irony of all of this is that the song was from the musical FAME, but Rachel was the one that was too broadway. Ahh good times!
- Lauren Alaina - "Turn On the Radio" - Well, I have been pretty hard on Lauren Alaina through the audition rounds and Hollywood rounds. It's for various reasons. 1.) She was a major kiss up to Steven every time she has been on screen. She already seemed full of herself at 15, now 16 years old. 2.) Nigel Lythgoe (returning this year as executive producer) tweeted that she was someone to look out for even going as far as comparing her to Kelly Clarkson. Clearly, American Idol has picked one of their favorite contestants and who they're rooting for in this competition. But damn it all if she didn't sell me on this performance! First of all, she went all POP-Country on us which was unexpected. This is Reba (formerly Reba McEntire)'s latest hit. My wife and I always joke about the music video where 55 year old Reba struts her stuff around a 30/40 something year old man talking about Twitter and Texting. It just didn't fit! This song just fit Lauren a lot better and was a good time! I almost started nodding along when they called her a hybrid of Kelly and Carrie, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I really want to fight the urge to root for her because that's what the marketing Idol machine wants me to do. So I'm going to be cautious on this one. But it was hard not to like her after that performance. Even if she stole some extra screen time at the end to call Ryan "Peaches" in front of America. Weird.
- Pia Toscano - "I'll Stand By You" - I knew Pia had the anchor slot, but I really wasn't sure if I should expect anything special from her. I know we have seen her a lot in previous rounds but I just figured she was another pretty voice with a pretty voice. I had NO idea she had the range, power and control of her voice that she has. I mean those last few notes were incredible. Ironically, I was talking above about finding the next Whitney, Mariah, Celine. Um, we may have a Celine on our hands here. That was crazy good! So, not factoring Pia into a top whatever, and now HAVING to factor her in it makes me really wonder who will move on tomorrow. So let's get to it!
I don't think there is any way that Thia, Lauren and Pia will not be in that top 10. So, then that leaves 2 slots and then wild cards. Where is this going to go? I have no idea. But, tonight has me feeling a little more excited about the girls than the guys, I must say. But once you mix in Paul, Casey, Josh Turner (err Scotty) and Jacob into that mix, it could be a really exciting top 10/12/14/whatever. I think we say it every year, and more recently I just keep ending up disappointed. So, we'll see! Let's do some picks.
Top 5 Girls Picks: Pia Toscano, Lauren Alaina, Thia Megia, Ashton Jones, Lauren Turner
Wild Card candidates:
Rachel, Haley, Naima, Kendra
Yikes, that's really tough. I like it more just picking 1 contestant to go home! I think 3 of the 5 are a given like I said but after that it's anyone's guess. I guess we'll just have to see what happens on Thursday night! Like I mentioned before, I'm going to skip recapping Results shows this year. So, if I have anything to say I'll be posting it in the comments here. So feel free to discuss if you agree, disagree or whatever with me! I don't mind people disagreeing! Makes things more exciting when I'm right! Just kidding. Next week, I can't promise that I'll be recapping on Wednesday night but I'll get some kind of post up before the results so just be patient. I'll do my best! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!
CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOG!
I've been recapping any and all TV over at the TV Addicts Blog(www.tvaddictsblog.com). Mainly The Event, Fringe and The Walking Dead. Occasionally, I'll comment on other shows I'm watching. I'm already looking ahead to some other returning shows this spring as well as some potentially big shows in Fall 2011. Keep tuning in and join the discussions!