Wednesday, February 29, 2012

American Idol Top 24: Final 12 Girls Perform

Hello America!  Okay, so the girls were much better tonight than the guys were.  Some really amazing performances.  Hopefully, this is the year that they beat the teenage texters out there and get us a strong female Idol winner.  They have been the most successful, after all!  We have the potential to have a really strong top 13 this year.  Naturally, there were still some pretty lousy performances tonight and I guess the judges got the feedback that they were incredibly too nice Tuesday night.  We saw the claws come out a little more.  Anyway, here's my brief recap and picks!


  • Jen Hirsh - "One and Only" - Lots of Adele love tonight.  Rightfully so, Adele is pretty awesome. Jen was one of my favorites from the earlier rounds and I thought she did great tonight.  Maybe a little too much "EMOTING".  She reminds me a lot of Leah Michelle (Glee), but she does have an amazing voice.  That high note she held out at the end was fantastic.  I don't know why AI let 2 people sing the same song, but Elise's version at the end pretty much stole Jen's thunder a bit.  Still really good though.  
  • Hollie Cavanagh - "Reflection" - With JLo reminding us how she told someone last year that if they audition again they could win this thing, it all came rushing back.  I remember Hollie's ousting from the top 24 last year.  She really nailed this performance.  There were some rough low notes, but most of them can't hit the low register.  That high register though?  AMAZING.  As Randy said, the brilliant parts of the performance were GENIUS.  She's definitely one to watch in this competition! 
  • Jessica Sanchez - "Love You I Do" - Ahh yes, we got the yearly story of how one of the contestant's vocal cords were swollen and they weren't sure if they would be able to sing.  And then they come out and SLAY whatever song they're doing.  Meet Jessica Sanchez.  Every clip we have seen of this 16 year old performing has been ridiculously good.  And once again, LIVE, she nailed it.  I used to be totally against these 16 year olds being in the running for Idol.  But I guess 11 years ago (when Idol started) she was 5.  These parents probably got these young'ens started with vocal training really early so that they could compete on this show.  I mean, I've never seen such a polished performer at 16!  AMAZING. 
  • Elise Testone - "One and Only" - Always love a good pianist combined with a great vocal.  A tormented vocal.  Elise really felt those Adele lyrics and brought the raspy voice out to bring it to another level.  It was one of those chilling performances.  Really great stuff.  The judges say she probably has the best voice in the competition.  I wouldn't hesitate to agree with them right now.  Really strong girls this year. 


  • Erica Van Pelt - "What About Love" - Hopefully, Erica doesn't get lost in the mix.  You can tell she has some good life experience to back up her singing.  Her rendition of the Heart classic was good, but there wasn't much memorable about it.  It was early in the night, and it seems like it will be easily forgotten.  I guess we'll have to see what America is looking for! 
  • Brielle Von Hugel - "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" - She's a good singer and she has great stage presence, but something about her just irks me a bit.  And the mother has gotten way too much screen time.  I'm indifferent to her staying in this competition! 
  • Hallie Day - "Feeling Good" - I was on the verge of putting Hallie in the "amazing" category, but I just thought the other performances were a smidge better.  Pretty crazy though.  Her personality on those pre-performance videos was pretty lousy.  But once she had the mic in her hand and she was singing, she was a totally different person.  Really good voice and she nailed the bluesy classic.  It will depend on if America liked what they saw!   
  • Skylar Laine - "Stay With Me" - Skylar was really good and she really rocked it out.  But, I hate that she is kind of taking credit for a performance that she didn't really come up with.  I also hate that the judges keep comparing her to Reba.  She acts like she is the 2nd coming of Miranda Lambert.  I could tell in her audition before she sang a single note who she wants to be.  Then she auditioned with a Miranda song.  And "Stay With Me"?  Guess who covered it at the CMA Music Festival and put it on her award winning Revolution album?  You guessed it, Miss Miranda Lambert.  Every note, every adlib, even her dancing on stage was completely taken from Miranda's performance.  And since none of the judges are really country fans, they will consider this stuff original.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Skylar and she sings well, but give credit where credit is due girl! 

  • Shannon Magrane - "Go Light Your World" - Well JLo got her goosies, so I guess that means she was awesome, right?  She wasn't awful, but I found the whole thing very "pageanty".  Shannon defended her song choice at the end saying she needs to feel what she's singing.  Good for her, hope it works out for her.  But that's not always going to get you votes! 

  • Chelsea Sorrell - "Cowboy Casanova" - Yes, JLo, it does suck going first.  And Chelsea sure proved that.  She definitely can sing but she had some very bizarre enunciation too.  I don't think I could understand her too well when she was talking either.  I think Skylar will be our country girl this year.  Not much room for anyone else based on the performances. 
  • Baylie Brown - "Amazed" - It's great that she auditioned again years later and got this far, but why on earth would you pick that song?  It was NOT very good.  Her voice was all over the place from a pitch perspective and you could hear her struggling to hit those high notes.  The arrangement drowned her too.  Actually, there's only one reason I didn't put this in the AWFUL category. 


  • Haley Johnsen - "Sweet Dreams" - Because nothing was worse tonight that Haley's performance!  From the first note to the end, my eyes were popping out of my head with my jaw dropped at how bad it was.  The runs that JLo raved about were the worst part!  There were absolutely no redeeming qualities of the performance.  And I'm glad Randy called it a nightmare!  The best part was when they came back from break, Haley refused to believe she did badly.  Hopefully, she'll watch that back tonight and be singing a different tune come results night. 
I'm going to guess that 2 of the 3 wildcards wil go to the girls.  I guess it could be all 3 of them actually, but I think they'll use one on the guys.  The girls were just stronger, in my opinion.  So let's see who is getting in! 

VOTE GETTERS:  Elise Testone, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Hallie Day

Wildcards: Jen Hirsh, Erica Van Pelt Bonus Wildcard: Shannon Magrane 

I wouldn't be surprised if Jen gets voted in, but I really think Elise showed her up at the end.  I think Elise, Jessica, Hollie, Skylar and Jen will be there regardless of if they all get voted in or not.  And the rest, we'll see what happens! 

That's all I have for now.  I know the discussions on here have died out and that's cool.  But, if you want to talk about the results, we can just do it in the comments here.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!  

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