'American Idol' Recap: And Now for the Ladies
Top 12 women take the stage, compete for Miss 'American Idol'
By Carla Patton
The Top 12 girls have a lot to live up to after the boys' performances Tuesday night. The Top 12 Boys produced some stunning, chilling performances, a couple just-okay ones and one glorious misstep. A few favorites faltered. Scotty McCreery violated us with his eyebrows. And other favorites earned their keep. How will the Top 12 Girls do?
Based on the set list alone, I haven't been terribly excited about this episode. It seems a little heavy on the ballads -- lots of songs about spreading one's wings, looking inside your heart, achieving what you never thought you could, etc. Not enough sass or cougin' for my taste. We'll see if the girls can earn their keep!
More: "American Idol" on BuddyTV | Bing: More about "American Idol" Season 10
Ryan promises us that the Top 12 ladies will be "fighting for your affection," which is a weird thing to say, especially because he said nothing of the kind about the boys. But that's just how Ryan rolls. I am obsessed with Jennifer's outfit tonight, and it is a travesty that we will only get to see the top half of it for most of the show. Those boots! She's rocking some luxurious hair, too.
Before making a surprisingly self-aware short joke, Ryan confirms that there will be five guys and five girls "fast-tracked" to the top however-many. Boo, gender parity. Randy asks us to ask ourselves, "Is this the American Idol?" when we're voting. I always do, Randy. Steven Tyler is looking especially like a creation from Jim Henson's Creature Shop tonight.
I'm gathering from the comments that there aren't a lot of Rachel Zevita fans out there, so you will be happy to know that she is dressed like she's auditioning for a role in "Hocus Pocus" tonight.
Ta-Tynisa Wilson is up first, singing Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)" -- an interesting choice. She's definitely working the stage, but the vocal performance isn't particularly mind-blowing. The arrangement wasn't very energizing, either, and her long note was flatter than Louisiana. "It's good that it's over now, isn't it?" Jennifer said. Yes, it is. Randy said it was "just OK" and that he didn't get it, and then Jennifer immediately negated it by saying, "Good job, baby!" Like Randy isn't entitled to his opinion!
Naima Adedapo gets her very first product placement. She designed her dress herself and chose "Summertime" because of her mother. I'm really wishing their clip packages were just a little longer, but I'll regret saying that when they start doing Ford commercials. She's singing it up-tempo and lounge-y. It's good. I don't have any problems with it except that we're not totally riveted. Oh, she killed that last note, though, and that could save her. Jennifer loved it, of course. Randy thought it was a little lounge-y, and liked the second half better than the first half. Steven likes that she's bringing "a new old-timey thing."
Let's get to know Kendra Chantelle. We don't know her very well yet, and she's singing Xtina's "Impossible" to help us. Work those leather pants, girl! In case you didn't know, leather is in for Season 10. I'm not a big fan of this song, but Kendra is singing it well -- again, good but not life-changing. Randy's feedback made absolutely no sense. I think he liked it? He noted that Christina Aguilera sang it and "did her thing." Whatever that means.
Rachel Zevita and her witch cape are up next. I'm just glad she didn't put on twenty pounds of accessories before she got on stage this time. Homegirl loves hats. Off goes the witch cape!
I love her dress, but the vocals are a little weak, mixed with shout-y. Not her best song choice, I think. If you close your eyes and put a beer in your hand, you may feel like you're at a karaoke bar. Randy said, "It wasn't great. It wasn't good. It just didn't work." Randy Jackson is my favorite judge. My husband, my other favorite judge (Don't tell Randy), said it seemed "forced and weird."
Karen Rodriguez is singing "Hero," and I just completely disagree with anyone singing this song unless they are in a 6th-grade talent show. She's even doing the song in two languages, which is a big hit in talent shows. I liked her high notes at the end, but it was sadly unremarkable (to me, Jennifer said, "Wow!"). Jennifer got goose bumps in English and Spanish. Randy liked it too, though, so I must just be feeling cynical watching this episode. I couldn't get over the song choice to hear how well she sang.
Have you voted for the ending of Jennifer Lopez's music video yet? Yeah, me neither. Unless the ending involves someone getting eaten by a dinosaur. I'd vote for that one.
Lauren Turner, my personal favorite, sings next. This is the first song choice that makes me happy and not nervous. I wish they would stop cutting over to Jennifer for reaction shots. She likes everything. Lauren is a powerhouse, and I like the way she sounds. I like my lady vocals a little scratchy. Randy gave her a "That's how you do it." He's excited by her whole bluesy flavor. Steven Tyler gave the first real, musical critique of the episode, talking about the "top floor" and how it was a complete sentence.
Ryan made another short joke! He's on a roll! A dinner roll ... to stand on or ride to work or something. Because he's short ... Nevermind. Forget I said anything.
Ashthon Jones is wearing a denim corset to sing "Love All Over Me." This is another song choice I feel lukewarm about. I actually like the way she sounds, though. R&B isn't a genre I know a whole lot about, but I'm buying Ashthon's performance. I even liked how she dramatically looked away from the microphone at the end of her song. Randy wasn't feeling the song, but he likes Ashthon. Randy and I are working the Vulcan mind meld tonight. The judges liked it, and Ashthon won me over with her J.Lo impression.
Oh god, Julie Zorrilla is singing "Breakaway" by "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson. She looks like she's going to prom. Also, she should open her eyes every once in a while, just for safety reasons. It was truly average, and not at all what we expected from J.Lo's pick to win it. Jennifer asked Julie, "Do you really wanna break away?" Think about that next time, Julie. It didn't quite work for Randy, either.
Please be good, Haley Reinhart. We'd ask her to sing something that's not "Fallin'" for once, but that's asking a lot of an "Idol" contestant. Haley is a brunette now, which confused me initially. I've liked Haley a lot in the past, but this performance is like a child beauty queen's best imitation of Jacob Lusk. It's a little nasally and over-growly and over-embellished for me. Randy said it didn't do anything for Haley, and that it was a little karaoke. And Haley pretended to gag. I don't know what that was, but it made me like her even less. I'm feeling salty!
Thia Megia, one of the youngest contestants, starts a cappella. She's singing that song from "Fame," and I approve of her choice to go minimal. Thia is effortless, and she sounds awesome. I thought maybe I was just in a bad mood, but Thia's sounding good made me realize that maybe the performances just hadn't been up to the standard the guys set, until now. Also, her dress was very pretty. Steven Tyler said her pitch is so perfect, it doesn't matter what song she sings. Is that a compliment? Randy said, once again, that "this is what it's about." I'm getting mixed messages from Randy on what it is, in fact, about.
I worry that people might already be getting tired of Lauren Alaina. That being said, I like her voice. It sounds like the better version of what Haley Reinhart is trying to do. I also like her song choice because it was fun and exciting and not something they would sing in a beauty pageant. The judges gush over her, of course.
Randy calls Lauren "Kelly Clarkson meets Carrie Underwood," and I totally agree. I think I've even said that. Get out of my head, Randy! Lauren calls Ryan Seacrest "Peaches." I'm taking that and running with it.
Pia Toscano is closing out the night with another pageant song, "I'll Stand by You," complete with pageant gestures. She looks gorgeous, though. I think a lot of people have counted Pia out, but she's bringing it harder than a pageant queen. At the end, she proved why she's here and why Julie Zorrilla is pretty much the poor man's Pia Toscano. Then they cut to Ashthon Jones, who was like, "Uh oh."
Randy told Pia, "That's how you do it!" So, update your instruction manual. Ryan Seacrest asked, "How do you pick your favorite?" in a weird voice, and it ended the night on a sour note. Now we can look back on the performances and determine who will move on to the interview round.
Who were your favorites? My husband is rooting for Haley because she "sang and danced the sluttiest." What a guy. Is it still a guy's season to win?
What did you think of Wednesday night's episode? "American Idol" message board
"American Idol" airs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
I think its sad that Kendra was voted out with her obvoius stand out performance on the wild card girls group. The two girls that made it were the worst of the 6 wild cards. Although they are good, they were not the best and it seems that the only reason Naima and Ashton made it was for Racial reasons. There were no African American girls in so lets just dash the dreams of the Caucasian girl to get a better profile on stage. Jacob who is African American is amazing and deserves it, so it is not with a racist heart I say this but as someone who heard their performances. Ashton couldn't believe she won because she didn't win and knew it. This is sad for my favorite singer of all time (Steven) to succumb to this tragedy. J Lo, Steven and Dawg you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Some people are saying that Randy is the new Simon... but the fact is, he's just the only one who seems to be giving good critiques. I agree with him 95% of the time, while the other two judges just seem to be there to pat the contestants on the back. Come ON.
Randy is not the new Simon though. Simon would say things like "That was incredible. You are the contender to beat." and people would believe him and respect his opinion because he was right. Simon would point out which contestants had IT - the X-factor. Randy just has a good ear and can give good technical critiques, which any trained vocalist could do.
Faves: Haley, Lauren A., Kendra, Pia
Need to step it up: Karen, Lauren T.
Pushin' their luck: Naima, Thia, Ashthon
PLEASE CUT NOW: Rachel, Ta-Tinysa, Julie
Audience, please, STOP BOOING RANDY, he is very honest.
We been watching 4, 10yrs now. their r 5 or 6 great girls and maybe 2 boys. That's the show. the rest of them r so bad. it looks like "UHHHHHH", can't really explain it's so bad. Simon has to come back or J-Lo, Steven n Randy,you can't worry about your personal reputations, you have to tell them the truth.
Carla you are killing me here! The commentary alone is just too HILARIOUS! I will be checking in each week to get your recaps, and off beat notes, they're too funny! The witch cape and reference to "Hocus Pocus" was funny, too!
Okay, I am going to just pick my Top 5 right now and leave the rest, for the obvious reasons.
Kendra Chantelle - Liked her when she sang with Paul McDonald during Vegas, Blackbird. Her range in that song was amazing. This performance was just so-so, but if she can the 'vehicle' (songs) that showcase that voice, she can take it to the Top 3.
Karen Rodriguez - 'Hero' - Not the best song choice, however I missed the Spanish version of her singing that . She has a career in the Latino market! If nothing else, she wasn't great, but she wasn't awful. Top 5/will get cut if she doesn't get it together!
Lauren Alaina - 'Turn On The Radio' - Great voice, works the stage a little too much, wish the cameramen would stop 'oogling' over ****! Too man **** shots! BOYS! Can sing, but enough with this COUNTRY CRAP! Expand the range of songs ... Top 5 might make it to 3.
Pia Toscano - 'I'll Stand By You' (The Pretenders) - She is going all the way, because she can sing, she can hold a note and she has personality and they like her. It will be interesting to see what GIRL makes it to the Top 3.
I am going to WILDCARD my 5th because I missed alot of the show due to having to watch The Middle first, before I turned channels. If I had to say this - the girls once again are not OVERLY impressive, but these 4. The men are the talent once again. But it would be nice to have a girl win it again, after all these seasons later. I am not sure why everyone fell in love with Bowersox from last season? SNOOZER!
The men have it locked I am afraid, unless the girls performances don't start picking up and getting better and start showing range. I agree too that the GLAM is OVER DONE and they need to get organic in the 'costuming dept.,' because it is the VOICE not the CLOTHES that they are selling and what we're voting for!
Man, what a snoozefest the show was last night!!! The girls are so dull this year! However, the author of this article had me cracking UP : "Have you voted for the ending of Jennifer Lopez's music video yet? Yeah, me neither. Unless the ending involves someone getting eaten by a dinosaur. I'd vote for that one." TMade me laugh out loud at my desk at work.....it's funny BECAUSE IT'S TRUE!!
Seems like the girls are all teeny boppers trying to pick the 'purtiest' prom outfit to wear and throwing pizzazz and song choice to the wind. Hmm, too bad we cant keep the guys and girls separate forever...i would definitely only care about watching the guys' night.
For those of you who think that Thia is too young, well, how about Lauren Alaina?
She is 15 yrs. old too! The only difference between Thia and Lauren A. is that Lauren looks sooo much older and that fools everybody.
I kept asking the family, "Why are they all singing ballads? I'm voting for the first person who doesn't do that!" - then it was Lauren Turner. I know I should like her and I want to, but I just don't. Good voice and all that...I don't know, it's just something - maybe she'll grow on me.
Thank goodness Lauren #2 brought something upbeat. I think viewers were getting emotional because everything was so sad and sappy! Thia has a great voice but her situation reminds me a little of Allison Iraheta's (great voice but so young). Pia did a terrific job, but I love that song. Does anyone else think of Glee when they hear it??