xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

'American Idol': Top 12 women perform

Now, the 12 top women on American Idol -- including Fort Meade's Lakisha Jones -- perform for viewer votes.

First, we will revisit the guys' performances from last night. Ryan says that "Simon set the bar very high." No, Simon was being honest about how lackluster the performances were. Here's hoping 1) it was nerves and 2) that the women do better tonight.

Advertisement

Looks like Lakisha is closing the show this evening -- that's a good sign for her. It seems like they usually pick a strong contestant to anchor the show. Ryan gives the judges a tough time for telling them to take risks and then complain that their performances were too risky. What? If anything, they were mostly told it was too safe. Simon says he think the guys let themselves down last night, that no performances were that memorable.

Stephanie Edwards is 19 and from Savannah, Ga., and auditioned in Memphis. She says she wouldn't be here if her parents hadn't encouraged her so much. She sings "How Come You Don't Call Me." I'm glad her parents encouraged her -- she does pretty darned well. Randy says, "That set it off." He says it was a little off-pitch, but the conviction was there. Paula says she is a star and gave a great performance. Simon says she was a million times better than any of the guys' performance and it was her best performance so far, and that it looked like she came out and said, "I want to win American Idol."

Advertisement

Amy Krebs  says she is a little nervous but ready to get on the stage. She is 22 and from Seattle. She sings Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," and to my untutored ear, she sounds a little flat here and there. Randy says it was pretty middle of the road and kind of boring. Paula says she lost her bluesy edge. Simon says he still can't remember her, that she has the personality of a candle when she sings. Huh? Paula says she will stand out because she has it in her. Simon says even her outfit and her hair and everything is forgettable.

Leslie Hunt is a 24 year old dog-walker from Chicago. She says getting this far has been a boost of confidence she really needed. She sings Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman." Randy says he was hoping for definite greatness, but he thought the song was a little too big for her, and that it was just OK. Paula says she thinks she did a great job, but that she should watch the songs she picks. Simon says it wasn't great and that she looks a little embarrassed and ungainly when she's performing. (He brings up the dog-walking thing, but it's really peripheral.) Ryan says he actually understand Simon. Oh, darn it. Randy calls out the "dawg pound," aka, the guys. I hate that.

Sabrina Sloan is 27 and from Studio City, Calif. She says she is a professional singer. Hmmm, I didn't think pros could do AI. She says for her, song choice is always key. She sings "I Never Loved a  Man the Way I Love You." She has a little trouble harmonizing but is otherwise pretty good. Randy says they finally have a competition and that she is the one to beat. Paula gives her a standing ovation. Simon says she proved the difference between "taking part and having a desire to win." (Didn't he just say that about Stephanie?)

Antonella Barba is a 20-year-old student (at D.C.'s Catholic University) who tried out with her best friend. She sings "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing," which amuses me since Sabrina just went on about not wanting to do a ballad because she's watched five seasons of the show and knows ballads don't always go over. Randy asks what she's going to say, and she says that he could maybe see her nerves? He said it was "pitchy" and really not great. Paula pulls out the "amazingly beautiful girl" line, and that this song didn't suit her that well. Simon says: "The good news is, you're attractive. The bad news is, it didn't work." He says he thinks the song seriously damaged her chances of staying another week because the song was too big. She asks what she can do better. Simon says pick a pop song because that song ate her up.

Jordin Sparks, who is 17, is up next. In her audition, Simon told her she was too sugary sweet. She sings Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." Parts of it seem a little too low for her comfortable range, but she takes it higher at the end to get out of that problem. Randy says she should challenge herself because he doesn't know if there is any song too big for her. Paula says she agrees, that it was a great song selection. Which is the opposite of what Randy said, but whatever. Simon says he thinks she should push herself and she'll surprise a few people in the competition.

Nicole Tranquillo is 20 and from Warnersville, Pa. She is a voice major and says she thrives on being super busy. She says her favorite part of the competition was the group performance. She sings, and I'm not going to try to guess the title. She's a little screamy and screechy for a lot of it, and her dad, in the audience, has no rhythm, but it's cute. Randy chuckles and says it was a little bit of the Chaka Khan version, a little of the Erykah Badu version, and that it didn't work for him at all. Paula says she doesn't know how many people can hit the notes she just hit, and she says it was out of this world. Simon says it was indulgent, aggressive and looked unnatural and fake. Randy adds that it was the wrong vibe.

Haley Scarnato is 24 and from San Antonio, Texas. She tells Ryan going later the night is good because it inspires you. She sings Celine Dion's "All Coming Back to Me Now." Is that the right choice to prove you aren't too cabaret, which Simon said in her first audition? Randy says she brought it in Hollywood, but that this was OK, even though it was a good choice for her "Broadway-ish" voice. Paula says she did a nice job, but she was hoping for a different song since she sang it in Hollywood. Simon said it was like being at a reasonably good hotel and that's the last song of the evening, and that she sounded too old and too boring. Randy and Paula both said, "yeah," at Simon's comment that it was a little boring.

Melinda Doolittle, the former backup singer, also tackles some Aretha. She says that at this time last year, she was thinking she was going to try to become a backup singer on AI. She sings "Since You Been Gone," and not to be all Paula on you, but she owns it. Randy says she "blew it out the box." Paula says she is a front-runner and a firecracker. Simon says a lot of people have come up with little talent and a lot of arrogance, and she is the opposite, great talent with little confidence, and that she is amazing.

Alaina Alexander says she is sensitive and passionate, not emotional, but apparently she cried a lot during her audition process. She is 24 from Redlands, Calif. She sings "Brass in Pocket." Randy says it wasn't really great and that she didn't really do anything with the song. Paula says she didn't go for it or put her oomph into it. Simon says, "You kept singing that line 'I'm special,' and it really wasn't." He says there wasn't a wow factor. He adds, "You are going to be relying on your looks tonight." She says, "Nice." Simon asks Ryan if he is trying to date this girl after he asks the judges what she can do better. Clearly, he is trying to fill some time. It's his job! Helloooo!

Gina Glocksen is a dental assistant who made it to Hollywood season five and got cut the last day. She sings "All by Myself." She hits the chorus, and her mom starts bawling in the front row. Dude, I don't really like that song, and I got goosebumps. Randy says she got it even though he wasn't sure at first. Paula agrees. Simon says he doesn't think she quite nailed the big note, but we'll see.

Advertisement

Lastly is our local girl, Lakisha Jones. She says she is from Flint, Mich., but she currently lives in Maryland, so we're still claiming her. She sings "And I'm Telling You," which former Idol Jennifer Hudson sings in Dreamgirls. It's a big, big, big song, but she's got it. And there are the goosebumps again. Randy says, "Let me just say something to you right now: I do love you. You remind me of one of my favorite singers, Karen Clark Sheer. You laid it out on that stage. Jennifer Hudson, watch out!" Paula: "Lakisha, you have so much to be proud of. ... This is where you belong honey, this is where you belong." Simon: "Just to correct someone earlier, that's the right note. I am very tempted to say to 23 other people, 'Book your plane tickets home.' Well, I'm sorry, that was in a different league." I think they liked her! Ryan asks how she is feeling, and she says nervous, though she didn't show it at all. He asks about her daughter, and she says it's her birthday, turning 4 today.

Advertisement

Ryan asks if there wasn't the 50-50 split for the finals, how many guys would Randy put through to the finals. He says based on the past two nights, about four guys and eight girls because "the girls blew it out the box." Paula says she is proud of everyone and that some people will sleep well. Simon says there were three or four people who were in a different league and that Lakisha has "thrown down the gauntlet; I like that."

Advertisement

I think the women were mostly way, way better than the guys. Lakisha was amazing, as were Melinda, Sabrina and Stephanie. It will be interesting to see who goes home.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement