We’ve certainly had our share of drama this week and we’re only at the Top 20! Tuesday, the boys performed rather than the girls because Crystal Bowersox was too sick to take the stage. Wednesday afternoon the bloggersphere was buzzing with speculation as to whether or not she’d be able to perform at all. Will she or won’t she? We’ll soon find out!
We’re going to live blog this one, so bear with me! This doesn’t always work out too well, but it’s fun and give you instant analysis. Let’s get this show on the road!
Ryan opens the show bathed in scary lights. Don’t see Crystal as Ryan comes down the stairs, but he does say there are ten girls. And there is Crystal at the end of the line!
Ryan pulls her out of the line and they talk. She says she feels good. “I’m a tough cookie.” I guess you are.
Ryan welcomes the judges. Randy boos Simon. Ryan asks Randy what he thought of the guys. He says they had the “fire in their eyes.” Ellen says song choice is “everything.” Ryan thinks Kara has been snuggling up to Simon this year and they have a cozy chat.
Simon tells the girls they have to show that they can deal with the pressure. The guys are on the sidelines and we are off.
Crystal Bowersox – “Long as I Can See the Light” (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Crystal tells us she has a twin brother Carl who is a “square.” She carries a little bag with trinkets that remind her of her favorite people. We get a quick review of last week’s performance. Crystal tells us she used to perform on the subway in Chicago.
The song has a gospel spin complete with organ opening. Her vocals are clear and crisp. It’s good. It’s a good choice in that it allows her to show off her mid-range and soulful side. She has some pitch problems, but all-in-all, it was a solid performance. Good for you, Crystal. Glad things worked out.
Randy says that in life, truth is reality, and that she does what she does. He loves that she is true to herself. “I love that girl.” Ellen says “That is pure, raw, natural talent.” She is so glad Crystal recovered and says she was so scared. “Please stay healthy, we need you here.” Kara says Crystal completely recovered from last week. She loves that the song came from her heart. “You hit a new level,” Kara finishes.
Simon acknowledges how sick Crystal was and says that what’s great about her is that she didn’t play the sympathy card. “I underestimated you last week. the vocal was incredible,” he begins, and then drops the bomb. “This was like the moment we realized with Kelly Clarkson we have a serious artist here. Congratulations.” Well all right! I totally agree. Crystal just stepped into first place!
Crystal says she was worried that she wasn’t going to be able to perform and is ecstatic and grateful to have been able to do so. It’s all about Crystal for me right now!
Haeley Vaughn – “The Climb” (Miley Cyrus)
Argghhh… Miley Cyrus. I am already wincing. Haeley tells us she loves to make hair accessories. She reflects on last week’s performance. She says she doesn’t know how not to smile. She seems fake to me. She says she’s going to try not to smile during the song.
I’m sorry, but I despise this song. And my opinion hasn’t changed. Haeley seems breathless and is lagging behind the band, while at the same time, rushing it if that’s possible. Her vocals are rough and it’s a hot mess. That being said, I think she actually sings this better than Miley, but that’s not really all that much to brag about. That was bad. Real bad.
Randy says it didn’t work for him. “It was excruciating.” He adds that it was so pitchy and so not right. “You had no connection to the song at all.” Ellen tells Haeley never to stop smiling, but didn’t feel Haeley connected to the song. Haeley looks like she’s’ about to cry.
Kara says Haeley has the “Alex Lambert” factor; people are rooting for her (yeah, VFTW). “Unfortunately, honey, you need about a year of strengthening your instrument.” She does think people are going to root for her because she is such a great spirit on the stage. Simon doesn’t want to make it any worse, but that it was “a complete and utter mess.” Simon says there’s an irony in singing a song about climbing when “you actually fell off.” Mean, mean, mean Simon, making cute little Haeley sad like that.
Lacey Brown – “Kiss Me” (Sixpence None the Richer)
Ryan asks Lacey how the switch was for her. She says it was good for her, but bad for the boys. In her video clip, she tells us she loves to refurbish antique furniture. Before she sings, she tells herself she was made to do this. We reflect on her butchery of “Landslide.” She says nerves played a big role.
Ugh, ugh… oh no, she’s’ singing so high and nasally, and there’s so much posing going on. Her voice is in the tone of Dolly Parton’s. She gets a little better once she gets into it, but it’s still unpleasant. She sounds like a windup doll and has no range at all. Awful, just awful.
Randy says it was a good choice if it would have worked, but he felt it was very karaoke. “You didn’t do anything special with it.” Ellen says she thought it was adorable and a good choice. “I like your personality and I like you.” Kara says the song brought back Lacey’s unique tone to the audience. She urges her to step it up. Simon says it was “marginally better” than last week. He thinks she is behaving as though she’s taking part in a competition and not showing that she’s an artist. He says she’d do whatever she’s told. He compares this performance to Crystal’s.
Lacey isn’t sure what Simon meant. I don’t think she’s got to worry, though, cuz that performance was a pretty sure ticket home.
Katie Stevens – “Put Your Records On” (Corinne Bailey Rae)
Ryan asks what her high school friends and they think it’s “awesome.” Of course they do! In her clip, she tells us she can say “Give me a kiss” in six languages. Well I can count to three in Arabic, so there. Before she goes on stage she jumps up and down, and tells herself she is awesome.
Megan sang this last year, remember! It’s a good choice for Katie and she does a great job. She’s got a little bit of soul in her voice, beautiful tone, and impressive range. She shouts a little at the end, kind of blows it, but overall, I think it’s very good.
Randy says there were some bright moments, especially when she went into her upper register. He says the first part wasn’t that interesting. He urges her to tackle bigger songs. Ellen thinks she has a big voice and she likes it. But, she still wants to see her sing younger songs. “I don’t want to hear something I would hear in my dentist’s office.” Ellen gets booed.
Kara agrees with Ellen. She’s frustrated and says Katie needs to pull everyone in from the start. She’s still waiting for that “moment.” Simon is also frustrated. He appreciates she tried a younger song. He isn’t seeing what kind of recording artist Katie wants to be. “It wasn’t a winning performance.”
Kara suggests choosing a song that reflects what she’s feeling right now.
Didi Benami – “Lean on Me” (Bill Withers)
Didi tells us that when she was in middle school, she was the mascot. Eventually, she made the cheerleading squad. She likes to meow before she sings. Didi hopes to bring up her “star meter” a little bit this week.
Didi’s voice is very rich right from the start. She has great vocal control and I love the tone of her voice. She really connects to the lyrics and sells it. That’s the difference. When you believe it, you can sing it.
Randy says he wouldn’t have chosen a song like that. He says it shows the imperfections and it wasn’t a good choice. Ellen says she loves Didi’s voice and that she has a great presence. She suggests “Lovely Day.” She hopes people will vote for Didi.
Kara says, “Didi, it wasn’t good.” She says she’s missing consistency. “It felt like a karaoke bar… we lost the uniqueness of your voice.” She’s still a fan, though. Simon says it was all over the place. “It was screeching, bad choice of song.” He’s frustrated with her too. He feels it was a wasted opportunity.
Didi is very hurt. She can’t even talk to Ryan at the end. I don’t know what the judges were listening to, but I think they missed the mark with this performance.
Michelle Delamor – “With Arms Wide Open” (Creed)
Michelle is a children’s choir director at her church. We see her doing scales with the kids. She wants to be real when she sings. Before she performs, she prays and meditates. She’s hoping to give them a “Wow” moment.
She’s still holding back and doesn’t dig into the song enough. I’m yelling, “Reach down in your gut, girl.” The arrangement isn’t right. The song is meant to be belted out and she’s not doing it. The song is so rich and she pauperizes it! Worse than karaoke.
Randy says there were some pitch problems, but he likes her outfit. He doesn’t think she did enough with it. “It fell flat to me.” Ellen says she looks fabulous and that for a few moments she forgot it was a rock song. She likes that Michelle tried to do something different. “It almost worked, but not quite,” Ellen finishes.
Kara says this is her favorite performance of Michelle’s ever. “It felt believable for once.” She bought it. Simon says he’s kind of with Kara. He liked the first half better. “You kind of got 80 percent of it right.” Vera Wang is in the audience, but the way.
Michelle is joyful. I am beginning to question my judgment here. The ones I like, the judges hate and vice versa. Am I losing it?
Lilly Scott – “A Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
Lilly plays lots of different instruments. Before she goes on stage she uses a throat spray. Interesting song choice. Lilly sounds like Maria Muldaur. Her voice is sweet but gritty. It’s’ an interesting arrangement, modernized and femalized, but still managing to retain the quality. She’s a little nasally and has some rough moments, but I really like what she’s done with this song. I like this girl!
Randy says he loves that this season has a lot of unique contestants and that’s what he loves about Lilly. “My favorite performance so far of the night.” Ellen says Lilly has “it.” She says she forgot she was at a singing competition. “Best performance of the night.” Kara says, “You just had your first moment… thank God you tried out.” Simon says this makes the point they’ve been trying to make. “I thought it was good; I wasn’t crazy about it.” He thinks Crystal was stronger, though.
Katelyn Epperly – “The Scientist” (Coldplay)
Katelyn tells us she was studying how to become a recording engineer before she came to Idol. Before she performs, she likes to goof off. She hopes she can move people with this performance.
Katelyn is playing a white baby grand piano. She moves me. There’s something in her delivery that’s honest and pure. Her vocals aren’t perfect, but it’s’ totally believable.
Randy says he really liked it. “It was great until the last couple of notes.” Ellen blunders that she liked that Katelyn was playing guitar. She says she fell sort of asleep because it was way to slow. “If I’m at home babysitting, the baby’s asleep.”
Kara kind of loves Katelyn. “You have an incredible instrument and you can do a lot with it.” But, Kara says she’s been all over the place. Simon wonders if Katelyn has ever heard the Natasha Bedingfield version. She has not. Simon thinks Katelyn becomes quite corny but that it was a million times better than last week.
Paige Miles – “Walk Away” (Kelly Clarkson)
Paige likes to color. How old are you, Paige? Risky song choice, but Paige has found her “sweet spot.” It’s a little close to Kelly’s version, but Paige has a different inflection in her voice and changes it up enough so that it’s not karaoke. She’s comfortable on the stage and seems to be having a lot of fun with this. I enjoyed it.
Note: At one point during Paige’s performance, the camera cuts to the judges’ desk and Simon appears to have his head either on the desk or under it!
Randy wonders if Paige knows who wrote that song (Kara). He liked it, but wasn’t over the top in love with it. He really wants to hear her hit the big notes. Kara pouts. Ellen disagrees with Randy. She liked everything Paige did with it. “I thought you did great.”
Kara says she could see Paige having a hit with that song. She talks about the meaning of the song as being a bit angry and that she wouldn’t have been smiling. Simon agrees with Randy. He says that two weeks in a row she’s chosen the wrong song and she is getting lost in the songs. “You’ve gotta come on that stage next week and nail it.” He calls it forgettable.
Paige agrees with everyone. I really like her. She reminds me a little bit of Kimberley Locke.
Siobhan Magnus – “Think” (Aretha Franklin)
She likes to do some weird things with her mouth before she performs. She could be doomed. Totally not the right song. It’s in the wrong key, just awful. She shouts, she screeches, and prances about like a beauty contestant. She belts out the glory note and glass shatters. Why are you yelling at me Siobhan?
Randy says she was so bold and fearless, and it was “dope.” He loved it. Ellen loved it too. Kara can’t get over the glory note. Siobhan thanks Kelly for that note. Simon calls her strange. He says there were parts of the song that were horrible, but the note was incredible. “You are very, very talented.”
This was a strange show for me. Other than Crystal, it seems that everyone I liked, the judges didn’t like and vice versa. But I’m sticking to my guns!
Best and Worst
Best of the night – Crystal. Period. I think she could win this thing. There, I’ve said it! My second favorite was Paige, followed by Lilly and Katelyn. Although I’m not a fan of Katie, her vocals on the song were good. I also liked Didi, but do agree she should have picked a different song. Michelle was probably better vocally, but she bores me. I’ll include her in my good pile, though.
Of the rest, I can’t really decide who was actually the worst. Haeley Miles “The Climb” was truly awful, but was it worse than Lacey Brown’s “Kiss Me?”And then we have Siobhan. I don’t care what anyone says, that was painful to listen to. As for who’s going home, Haeley has VFTW behind her and that should save her for another week. Lacey and Siobhan should get the boot, but I’m thinking Michelle’s time has run out. Not sure why, but I’m picking her and Lacey.
Results Thursday. Danny Gokey is singing. Whooptee doo.