Tonight, the Top 10 women take to the stage on American Idol, and, as with the guys, I am hoping for some improvements over last week.
Crystal Bowersox, who is out of the hospital and feeling OK, shares that she has a "square" twin brother named Carl. She is singing Creedence's "Long as I Can See the Light" with a "church spin." She plays the guitar, and she's definitely not singing like she was in the hospital last night. She sounds strong and clear, albeit not exactly super exciting. But good for sure. Randy Jackson says that she isn't try to be anyone but exactly who she is, and "I love that girl." Ellen DeGeneres says "that is pure, raw, natural talent." She pleads with her to stay healthy and stay here. Kara DioGuardi says she is recovered from last week's boring performance of "You Oughtta Know" (which isn't the song she sang; it was "Hand in My Pocket"). She says she is centered and focused and calls her Americana rock. Simon says it's great that she didn't play the sympathy card. He adds that he "misunderestimated" her and that she just proved herself. Ryan kind of goofily/meanly points out Kara's error in his post-singing interview.
Haeley Vaughn is taking on a little Miley Cyrus tonight, with "The Climb." Haeley's random fact is that she likes to make things, especially hair accessories and headbands. Oh, she is so 16. Anyway, her performance is OK. She adds a little extra twang to it, but kind of inconsistently, and to my ear, she's having a fair number of pitch problems. Randy says it didn't work for him; in fact, "it was excruciating." He says she didn't connect to the song at all. Ellen tells her not to stop smiling and that she wouldn't worry about that, but she didn't feel Haeley connected to it. Kara says a lot of people at home are rooting for her and that she's a good performer, but she needs about a year of strengthening her talent. Well, bummer, they should have given her that year. Simon doesn't want to pile on, but he says it was an utter mess.
Lacey Brown shares that she loves antique shopping and refurbishing old furniture. Last week, Kara said that Sixpence None the Richer is more her vibe, and he it turns out that she was already thinking about singing "Kiss Me." So she goes for it. Kara was right about this song. It was much more energetic and cute, but she still sounds kind of weird with the backup singers. Randy says that for most of the song, it felt like karaoke. Ellen says she didn't change it up, but it was adorable, and it sounded like the right song. Kara says this song brought her unique tone back to the audience, but she needs to push it further. Simon calls it marginally better. He also says, though, that she is taking part in the competition instead of showing off who she is as an artist.
Katie Stevens shares her random talent, which is saying "Give me a kiss" in six different languages, but she is really embarrassed about it. Her song tonight is "Put Your Records On," and she adds that she's doing what the judges asked of her, so she hopes that they like it. Her performance is nice, and the song shows off her tone well, at least in parts. There are places where it gets a little "talky," but that happens in the original, too. Randy says there were some bright moments, especially when she went into her upper register right after the bridge. Ellen says she has a great voice, but she says she wants her to take on something more hip, "not something I would hear at my dentist's office." Kara says she's frustrated because she has so much potential. She wants her to find songs where she can open up more and have more impact. Simon says she isn't showing them what kind of recording artist she would like to be.
Didi Benami says that she was her middle school mascot for two years. Her pre-stage ritual is to pray and to ... meow ... to open up her vocal cords. Her song for the evening is Bill Withers' "Lean on Me." It's OK ... a different interpretation, but it sounds like the key is off or something? Randy says he wouldn't have picked a deep-rooted soul song for her because it reveals what she can't do rather than showing off what she can do. Ellen says she loves her voice, and she has a great presence, but this didn't quite work. Kara says it wasn't good and that she is being inconsistent. Simon says it was screechy and a bad choice of song. Ryan tries to talk to her, but she is just barely holding back tears.
Michelle Delamor shares that she is a children's choir director and that she prays and visualizes her desired outcome before each performance. She's singing "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed. (Ewww, Creed?) She hopes she's taking a risk, and yeah, it's a risk, but not in a good way. The audience is wowed. I am not. Randy says she didn't do enough with the song, and he's frustrated because he feels like a broken record. Ellen says she did do a lot with the song, and she forgot it was a rock song a couple of times, but it almost worked, though not quite. Kara calls his her favorite performance of Michelle's ever because it felt believable. Did she hear the last note? Simon says the first half was stronger than the second half. He says that she didn't choose a safe song and she tried to make it her own, and she got about 80 percent there.
Lilly Scott says she plays a lot of instruments, including a few I haven't even heard of. She's singing "A Change is Gonna Come" and playing the 12-string guitar. She says she wants to be an indie artist, but she is singing a lot of classics. But it still seems to work for her, most of the time. Randy says she worked out the song and that this is his favorite performance of the night so far. Ellen says she doesn't know what "it" is, but Lilly has "it." She says she was just a fan in seat watching a performance. Kara say she just had her first moment in the competition, that she was riveting. Simon says he thought it was good, a little oversung, but he isn't as crazy about it.
Katelyn Epperly was studying to be a recording engineer before she left to audition for Idol, and someday she'd like to open a studio. She's singing "The Scientists" by Coldplay and playing piano, too. When I heard she was doing Coldplay, I was terrified, but she did well with it. It is pretty slow, but still good. Randy says he isn't over the top about it, but he liked it. Ellen says it was so slow that she fell kind of asleep. Kara says she understands where Randy and Ellen are coming from, but she kind of loves Katelyn anyway. She says she has an incredible instrument but she is all over the place. "But you're really good." Simon asks if she has heard the Natasha Bedingfield version of the song, but she says she hasn't. He says she needs to be careful she doesn't become corny during her performances.
Paige Miles shares her random fact: She likes to color. Like in coloring books. She's singing "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson. She has fun with it, and it seems like it's in her range, but it's kind of soundalike. Randy points out that Kara co-wrote it. Anyway, he says he wasn't over the top about it because it has so many words that it didn't show off her voice. Ellen totally loved it and thought it was fantastic. Kara says she had fun with the song, but that the song is actually really angry and she was missing that. But overall she liked it. Simon says she's failed for two weeks to pick the right song, and the songs are overtaking her. (He doesn't point out that she is already at a disadvantage because she got zero seconds of screen time before the Top 24.)
Siobhan Magnus is closing the show. She is ... kinda wacky. She's singing "Think" by Aretha Franklin. She sings the heck out of it, but her big note is basically a scream. Randy says she picked the biggest singer of all time, and she's bold and fearless, and she slayed it. He loved it. Ellen says she loved it too, even though one would say that you shouldn't take on that song. Kara can't believe she hit that note. Simon says her film made her look really weird, but it was unique and interesting and memorable, and also, he loved that note. I guess my ears are on another plane or something.
What did you think of the performances tonight? You can leave a comment or vote in the poll below. Or both!