Tonight on American Idol, the women take on the songs of the 1980s. So let's get to it.
The judges' interchanges with Ryan Seacrest are weird and awkward tonight, no? There's like zero audience response and lots of weird silences. Huh.
Asia'h Epperson says her most embarrassing moment (that's the question of the week) was being an extra on a movie about roller skating and totally falling in front of everyone. On stage, she sings Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." The song really suits her voice, and she's having a good time, but she's definitely not doing anything new with it. Randy Jackson says he recorded that song with the great Whitney Houston and that even though it was a tall order for her to take on that song, "It was hot." Paula Abdul says she wondered whether she could pull it off, and, "You nailed it." Simon Cowell says he isn't quite as enthusiastic and that "at best it was second-rate Whitney Houston." But, with Ryan's prodding, Simon says he thinks it was good enough to get her through to next week.
Kady Malloy tells Ryan that she was certain she was going home last week, and it was intense. She says her most embarrassing moment was ruining the song "Beautiful" at the ninth-grade talent show, followed by tripping over the microphone cord and setting off a lot of feedback. On stage, she sings Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever," but it's really rough at the beginning and way too subdued. After a bit, she gets a little more into it, but the energy never really kicks in. Randy says it's a "very interesting" song choice and that she did a "pretty good" job with it. Paula says this was her best performance to date. Simon says it was better than last week, but, "I'm still having issues with your massive lack of personality." He says she's like a robot when she sings and that she might be in trouble.
What song will Amanda Overmyer slaughter tonight? Her embarrassing moment is burning down her backyard pool by accident. Her song is Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You." It's OK, but sounds the same as usual. Randy says this is the kind of song she should sing; "well done." Paula compliments her face and hair and tells her this is her niche. Simon says, "I thought it was fantastic. I thought you absolutely nailed that song. In a way it was one of my favorite girl performances of this part of the competition." I thought it seemed kinda karaoke, but I'm not in charge.
Carly Smithson says her embarrassing moment was getting her leg stuck in a railing at the bar next door during a break from work. She sings "I Drove All Night." Or rather, she belts the heck out of it, and it's pretty good. Randy says she's smashing it every week; "I loved that." Paula says, "You are like a dependable dog." I think she's making fun of Randy's dude/dog. Simon says he still doesn't think she picked the right song; "You are million times better than that song. I'm trying to be constructive."
Kristy Lee Cook says when she was 7, she used to pretend to be a dog, like all the time. Her song this week is Journey's "Faithfully." The song works better with her voice than I would have expected, but she needs to open her eyes more. Also, the very last part of the song is a tad ragged. Randy says she brought up two things close to his heart: dogs and Journey. He says it was cool with a country lilt to it, and he actually really liked it. Paula says this could be a country hit for her. Simon says it was good they heard a country influence, but, "I still think your problem is that you're forgettable. ... At best, I can see you coming in 10th."
Ramiele Malubay says her embarrassing moment was riding her bike to her crush's house when she was a little kid and leaving her picture at his house, and then watching from afar as he and his mom laughed at it. On stage, she sings "Against All Odds," and she's great. That's all I have to say. Randy says it was another big song with big vocals, but that she needs to find her confidence and just go for it vocally. Paula says she has such pure voice, and it's lovely. I'm leaving out the part where she starts babbling about mutts. Finally, she cuts to the chase: "You deserve to be in the Top 12." Simon says it was very old-fashioned and that he would have liked to hear "a big-money note." He adds that he found it a little predictable and isn't jumping out of his chair. Ryan tries to get her to tell her personal inspiration for the performance, but she won't go there.
Brooke White talks about running out of church and throwing her arms around her dad's back and it wasn't him. How embarrassing. I don't really love these interview questions. Anyway, she sings an acoustic version of "Love is a Battlefield." I was afraid it would be really boring since she is not remotely a rocker, but it was actually really nice and better than I expected. Randy says he really liked it, even though she didn't bring anything new to it, which is weird because her take on it was pretty different. Paula says it was "a very wise choice." She says it would have been nice to have incorporated the band more and built it up. Simon disagrees and says that it worked because it was pure and simple and didn't involve the band. He says she did the right thing for the second week in a row.
Syesha Mercado is closing the show tonight. But first, she talks about giving a note to a boy she had a crush on in the second grade. Her song is Whitney's "Saving All My Love for You." She does a nice job with it, but still, taking on Whitney is always a risk around these parts. Randy: Good, good." Paula: "Sophisticated, lovely." Simon: "Predictable but good." Methinks they are out of time.
Who do you think is in danger? I think Kady for sure. Other than that, who knows? This was a big step up for the women over last week.
(Photo of Asia'h Epperson courtesy of Fox)