Round of 24: The Women - February 21
You've heard the guys. Only two of them stood
out. Hopefully the judges (and the host) are on their best behavior, because
it's ladies' night.
First songstress is Stephanie Edwards of
Savannah. The student had initial doubts in Memphis, and now look where she is.
She knocked it out in Hollywood Week, and now comes back with "How Come You
Don't Call Me" by Alicia Keys.
What they say: Randy: "America will see a huge
difference tonight with the girls than yesterday. That said it all." Paula calls
her a star. Simon called it a million times better than anything last night and
by far the best she's done. "Unlike yesterday, you came out and said 'I want to
win American Idol.'"
What we say: This is how the show SHOULD'VE
started yesterday. Stephanie really put her own soulful spin on a song that is
pretty difficult to sing to begin with. So yeah, welcome to the top 24... and it
only took one show. Beat that.
Going to the Coke Red Room with Melinda
Doolittle, who thought the guys were amazing and that the judges were
challenging everyone to bring their A-game. Antonella Barba says she needs to
calm down. Amy Krebs says she needs to calm down even more so... guess who's
next... The Seattle optometry assistant suffered in the group round, where Paula
said that she'd be remembered. We'll see if she's remembered for the right
reasons with "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.
What they say: Randy called it "middle of the
road." Way too safe. Paula agrees with him. "It's very sentimental. But you push
for it." Simon asks what that meant. Basically that she's better than the song
she chose. Simon still can't remember her, save as only a "candle".
What we say: It was very twangy. That irritates
me. Anyway, not only that, it's a bit bland and flat at points. Not the
performance of an American Idol. And Amy picked the absolutely wrong time to go
at it. As for Simon... a CANDLE?!
Next up, someone we at the 'net call Doctor Who
because of her lack of airtime, Chicagoan dogwalker Leslie Hunt. She got Paula
to... uh... sit. Is she a "Natural Woman"? Let's find out.
What they say: Randy was hoping for greatness,
but the song was too big for her. Paula thinks she did a great job, but...
"watch the songs that you pick." Simon: "You look embarrassed and ungamely up
there." Out of her comfort zone, as if she doesn't want to be there. Ryan
What we say: We needed some reason to remember
her... It was a good vocal, but we're still in need of a reason for her to be
remember. Part of it was the song. Kelly from season 1 spoiled us with her
rendition (which she duplicated at World Idol)... I wonder what happened to
her... hmmm... Right, okay.
Next, pro singer Sabrina Sloan, who wins the
prize for shortest distance traveled: from Studio City. Simon thought she needed
the best song in the world to make it to Hollywood. She delivered in Hollywood.
But how will she do at TV City? The song is "I Never Loved a Man" by Aretha.
What they say: Randy: "America, we finally got a
competition." Paula gives it a standing O. Simon calls it the best thus far, and
Sabrina a competitor.
What we say: That would be the song that you're
looking for. Congratulations. You found Waldo. But can you ride that into top 12
land? We'll see.
Next up, Antonella Barba of Point Pleasant, NJ.
She of the best friend who also got through to Hollywood. But unlike Amanda
whatsherface, she went to the final judgment. She validates herself tonight with
"I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith.
What they say: Randy shoots straight: "It wasn't
good." Paula: "It may not have been great, but it wasn't bad." Simon. "The good
news is you're attractive. The bad news is that it just didn't work. This has
seriously damaged your chances of remaining her another week."
What we say: That performance was everything
Sabrina's wasn't. Pitchy, out of tune, grandstanding, nasal, showboating, flat,
et cetera, et cetera.
What can she do better? Don't choose a song
that's too big for you.
Next, young Jordin Sparks, all of 17 from
Glendale, AZ. She hopes to grow out of just being "sugary sweet" back in the
auditions. She usually agrees with Simon. That'll play well. She goes from sweet
to saucy with "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman.
What they say: Randy calls out her natural
talent, but he follows, "Don't be afraid to challenge yourself." Paula says it's
a good song selection. Simon sees a big change. "Push yourself and you may
surprise a few people in this competition."
What we say: Definitely not as saccharine as the
previous tries. Definitely spicier. And the voice for a 17-year-old? For anyone,
really... The tone matched up with the song, but she may want to be careful not
to draw the weapon on all calls of "fire", lest she want to overdo it.
Next, Nicole Tranquillo, a voice major from
Pennsylvania who thrives on getting no sleep. She was part of the best group in
Hollywood Week. She sings "Stay" by Chaka Khan.
What they say: Randy doesn't think it was her
vibe. "It went right over my head." Paula doesn't know of anyone who can hit the
notes that Nicole hit. May not have been the right song, but out of this world.
Simon called it unnatural and fake.
What we say: That was an indulgent performance,
like, yeah, I'm here, who gives a crap about the audience. Well guess what,
honey. You don't care about the audience... the audience will not care about
But Nicole likes the song. Good for you. But
remember, it's no longer about you, so much as it is about the audience.
Next, Haley Scarnato, a San Antonio musician. She
started as "a bit cabaret". She was ready to bring it. And bring it, she did.
She tries to bring it again with "It's All Coming Back To Me" by Celine...
What they say: Randy thought it was just okay,
albeit a good choice. Paula said it was a good job. Simon says 24-year-old Haley
What we say: she looks like she was preprogrammed
to sing this sort of song. That said, she circled back to cabaret, and down the
road, that can be downright scary. Oh yeah, and watch the vibrato. That can be
your own worst enemy. We're looking for a pop star, not a Broadway diva. THAT...
Fantasia will return to the Idol stage
tomorrow... Meanwhile, time for Melinda Doolittle, a background singer from
Brentwood, TN, to step out in front. She actually wanted to be a background
singer on American Idol. Now she's a background singer... on American Idol...
singing in front "Since You've Been Gone" by Luther Vandross.
What they say: Randy: "If you got it, show it.
You blew it out the box. That was the bomb." Paula calls her a firecracker and a
frontrunner. Melinda, according to Simon, is simply fantastic.
What we say: We could have another case of
Dreamgirls this season, like we did back in season 3, that fateful week that
Jennifer Hudson was eliminated.
Next up, Alaina Alexander, who cries when she's
happy... and when she's sad... The pizza maker from Redlands, CA was waiting for
an insult from Simon when she made it... over the block to Hollywood. She sings
"Brass in Pocket" by the Pretenders.
What they say: Randy thought the song was "okay",
but she didn't really do anything with it. Paula wanted Alaina to go for it.
Simon points out the irony in the lyric "I'm special."
What we say: How much does this has to really
suck to say that Scarlett Johannson did a better version in "Lost in
Translation"? Okay, perhaps I'm being too harsh, but there was nothing "special"
about that performance.
Next up, Gina Glocksen, a dental assistant from
Illinois who had to wait from LAST year to get to 7800. Goes to show you...
remember your lyrics. "This is my time.... I'm TIRED of auditioning for American
Idol." She's "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen.
What they say: Randy thought it was pretty cool,
but he forgot about the big instrument she possesses. Paula notes that that was
the right song. Simon is surprised pleasantly, but... "I don't think you hit the
What we say: big girl, big voice. Great emotion.
We'll see how far it goes.
And last but not least is LaKisha Jones, the good
old-fashioned belter from Fort Meade, MD. The one-time banker is looking to
close the "deal" with "And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going)" by Jennifer Holliday
What they say: Randy gives her the "we're not
worthy" motion. "I do love you. You laid it out onstage. Jennifer Hudson, watch
out!" Paula says she has so much to be proud of. Simon... "Just to correct
someone earlier on, THAT's the right note." He's got half the mind to book 23
flights out of LA.
What we say: aside from the fact that this song
has been done quite literally to DEATH, and we're all sick and tired of it...
she's in a class by herself.
So to sum up...
Queens of the night: Stephanie, Sabrina, Jordin,
Ladies of the evening: Leslie, Haley, Gina
Just plain hoo-res: Amy, Antonella, Nicole, Alaina
So ... given. LaKisha stays in another week. So
who goes? Gordon and the live team have that and Fantasia on stage... right now.
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