Last night’s American Idol competition was “The most important night in their careers’, as judge Simon Cowell put it. OK, that may have been a bit of an overstatement, but it was important as the final six girls will be selected to move on to the coveted FINAL 12.
So, which two girls will we be bidding adieu to? According to the judges, there could be several candidates who didn’t supply enough “Wow” factor to take them to the next round. As always, song choice was an issue for a couple of the singers, but not as much of a problem as in past weeks.
There were some average performances that could go either way, depending on the mood of the voters and how they feel about past performances. There were also a couple of fantastic performances, and a couple of pretty bad ones. But, you never know what the American public is going to do. They are a fickle bunch. Often, what they should do and what they do are two entirely different things. Thank God they voted off Haely Vaughn before it got out of control. I was honestly worried that she was going to be around for a while.
Anyway, here’s how I saw last night’s performances:
Crystal Bowersox – Apparently now fully recovered from last week’s illness, Crystal had last night’s top spot with Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason. To be honest, I really don’t like this song all that much, but I was into it last night. That’s how good Crystal was. She made me like a song that I normally don’t. I guess that’s saying something. Simon told her that she’s the one to beat and she has been since this competition started.
Siobhan Magnus – Siobhan just gets better every week. Last night she sang The Animals’ super hit House of The Rising Sun and without question made it her own. She started out in a deep a cappella that was sensational in its own right. When the guitars come in for the second verse she doesn’t change a thing and stays in the same pitch and tempo. Absolutely brilliant performance. I don’t think she missed a single note. And, her voice is strong enough to get to the low registers that the song takes you to and then comes right back up with no effort at all.
Lacey Brown – Lacey finally picked a song that fit her voice, going with The Story, by Brandi Carlisle. For her, for this type of music, it was very good. However, Lacey’s biggest problem is her voice just isn’t strong. It sounds nice, and it has a very nice tone to it that’s a little different, but there isn’t much power behind it. If she makes it through to the next round, it won’t be long before we really see her weakness and she gets voted off.
Katelyn Epperly – Katelyn had no pep in her performance last night as she mailed in Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move. She sang it just fine, she wasn’t really out of pitch, or out of tune, or even off key at all. Technically, it all seemed to be there. The problem was, Katelyn didn’t seem to be there. She should have a big enough fan base by this point that one mediocre performance shouldn’t kill her. She needs to bring it next week, though. People won’t stand for two weeks in a row of complacency.
Didi Benimi – After last week’s destruction of Bill Withers’ Lean On Me, Didi came back strong this week with Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon. A bit slow for my taste, but her voice was clear as a bell and very much in tune. And, the judges loved her. A very different story than last week when they tore her apart like a pack of hyenas on a gazelle carcass. I still want to hear her sing some Carly Simon. Will someone please make her sing some Carly Simon?
Lilly Scott – One of my favorites this season, Lilly wasn’t great last night. But, she was pretty good. She took on the Patsy Cline standard I Fall to Pieces, and as Kara said, somehow made it contemporary. The beginning wasn’t good, at all, but as the song progressed there was definite improvement. It was almost as if she wasn’t really sure she was doing the right thing until about a third of the way into it, then said, “Screw it, I’m here, I’m going for it.” Next up for Lilly has to be something more current. That’s three songs in a row from the 60’s (2 Beatles songs and a Patsy Cline). I’d love to hear her try some Matchbox 20 or Maroon 5. I’d even take some Melissa Ethridge.
NOT SO GOOD
Katie Stevens – At the end of Katie’s performance, Simon gave her a lot of praise, but it wasn’t for her singing. It was for her effort, and it was for her attempt at taking the judges advice, and it was for her attempt at trying to select a younger song. She did all of those things. And sadly for Katie, none of it worked for her. She picked Kelly Clarkson’s Breaking Away, and it just didn’t work out. She couldn’t find the right pitch, or the right key. She got off to a bad start and never recovered. Kara hit it perfectly when she said that Katie’s voice is too old for her. She has a perfect voice for singing Buble’ songs, but she’s too young to sing them. She needs a couple of more years of maturity. It really is a shame because she has a great voice. She just never picked the right song.
Paige Miles – Like Katie, Paige has a fantastic voice. Also like Katie, Paige never picked the right song. Last night was no exception. She sang Michael Jackson’s version of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile. This is a beautiful, heartfelt song, but her pitch was allover the place as she let her emotions get to her and she appeared to come close to losing it a couple of times. Last week’s version of Kelly Clarkson’s Walk Away was OK, but not great. This week was a definite turn in the wrong direction and could signal the end for her.