Vegas Semifinals: Part 1 - The Girls
been a season of new beginnings with new judges paring a
new class of singing hopefuls down to the top 40. Now
they take a new stage with a new challenge in the
Semifinal Round. One song. One shot. Who has what it
takes to sing for YOUR VOTE? Welcome to SUDDEN DEATH!
The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil Stage at the Mirage
Here's what's going to
happen. Tonight, 10 will sing, and five of them will go home. Tomorrow
night, same thing. Next week... SAME THING. Then in two weeks, we have
our top 20, and America votes for the top 10. Got it? Good.
In the even that the panel
is deadlocked, Jimmy Iovine, the season-long mentor and voice of reason
on this show, will act as a tiebreaker.
Here's tonight's 10, who
started a long road to the top five months ago.... AND THEY ARE!
- Jenny Beth Willis (17;
Owensboro, KY; HS student)
- Tenna Torres (28; Queens, NY; promotional model)
- Adriana Latonio (17; Anchorage, AK; HS student)
- Brandy Hotard (26; Port Allen, LA; psych nurse)
- Shubha Vedula (17; Mt. Pleasant, MI; HS student)
- Kamaria Ousley (29; Oakland; backup singer)
- Kree Harrison (22; Nashville; demo singer)
- Angela Miller (18; Beverly, MA; student)
- Isabelle (22; Duluth, GA; student)
- Amber Holcomb (18; Houston; student)
First up, it's Jenny Beth
with Trisha Yearwood's "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love".
THEY SAY: Keith didn't think
that was the best song for her, but she loved her confidence and range
at the end. Nicki didn't think she came alive until the end, thinking
that the audience was more excited than she was. Randy thought it never
got in sync. Mariah tells her to be a little more dynamic.
WE SAY: ... there are a
million country singers in this contest this year. Jenny Beth... is
simply one of them. For a song about heaven and hell, it was pretty down
to earth, milquetoast, weak, and with no real substance. And while the
end was good, it's not going to save you. Stay in school, kid.
Batting second is Tenna
Torres, who went to Camp Mariah when she was little. Will she always be
our baby with "Soulmate" by Natasha Bedingfield?
THEY SAY: Keith thought it
was a beautiful song to do, and deceptively big for her. He likes what
she did at the end. Nicki says she has control. Randy finally says that
the night has begun. I'm sure Jenny Beth is pleased to hear that. Mariah
thought that she meant every word she sang.
WE SAY: It's sharp, it's
cabaret, and she can't sing the song without flapping those arms of
hers? This is a song about true love. You shouldn't sing it while
looking like (and sounding like) you're lady parts are constricting upon
themselves. She finished very restrained and in timbre about the song,
but she started like she was about to fly the coop.
Next up, the first AI
semifinalist from Alaska, as Adriana Latonio delivers Aretha's "Ain't No
THEY SAY: Keith says NOW the
night starts, with her channeling all the soul of the songs. Nicki says
she commands the stage; there is no fear. Randy says that she was born
to do it. Mariah was happy for her.
WE SAY: NOW... the night has
begun. Very soulful, very heartfelt, and she commands the stage with the
grace of the song. The last note got away from her when she held it out
for weeks, but WOW.
Brandy Hotard was working
since 16 to be on this show. Funny, we haven't heard much from her.
We'll hear this from her now. It's "Anymore" by Travis Tritt.
THEY SAY: Keith says there's
"emotional connection inconsistency". That's Australian for "she sang
the song, she didn't tell the story". Nicki wishes that Keith would get
out of her head and stay out. "That was a pageant delivery of a song."
Randy makes it three. Mariah... tries to makes sense of it.
WE SAY: Nicki took the words
right out of my mouth. PAGEANT PERFORMANCE. Ironically, the lyric is
"I'm tired of pretending." I bet you are tired.
Shubha Vedula wants to be
seen as "unique". We see a unique take on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way".
THEY SAY: Keith says she did
a LOT with that song, calling it "confusing", yet empowering. Nicki
thought it was "comical", comparing it to "Christina Aguilera and the
Gangnam-Style guy." Randy said that she didn't have to overdo it.
Mariah... says things.
WE SAY: It was a
schizophrenic performance. Personally, I wanted to see more of the
piano, because it was a different. Yes she has the chops, and if she
gets chopped, it'll be close. But this needed a lot more consistency.
Kamaria Ousley has been in
the business for a while. She wants to step into the spotlight. Here's
her chance with "Mr. Know It All" by the ORIGINAL American Idol.
THEY SAY: Keith doesn't know
if it was a great song for her. Nicki thought it was a put-on that
didn't work. Randy thought it never caught on. Mariah just thinks she's
adorable. That's so nice.
WE SAY: This is why you're
only a backup singer. If you sang like that during the audition, no way
in Hell you get to this point.
Let's keep it moving with
Kree Harrison, who blends country and soul with "Up to the Mountain (MLK
Song)" by Patti Griffin.
THEY SAY: Keith calls her a
natural born singer. Nicki puts all the other country girls on blast,
saying that Kree "makes love to the song". Randy agrees with the panel.
Mariah calls it "unaffected" and "organic".
WE SAY: That was a natural
performance in every form and facet, and that's what being an American
Idol is about, being an original, celebrating who you are. And her range
isn't that bad either. A good start for her.
Angela Miller brought the
judges to their feet the last time. Can she do it again with "Nobody's
Perfect" by Jessie J?
THEY SAY: Keith tells her to
believe in her gift. Nicki calls her a top contender whose voice is
unmatched. Randy calls her "the real deal". Mariah says her potential is
WE SAY: This is what you
call emotion through the song. And Angela doesn't miss a beat all the
way through. No standing O's this time, but good nonetheless.
The former Christina
Pasqualone changed her name and her face to get into the contest, but
will she change her tune as well? Next up, it's Isabelle with "God Bless
the Child" by Billie Holliday.
THEY SAY: Keith and Nicki
pretty much bring every guy who ever rejected this lady to task. Randy
thought it was old-fashioned. Mariah tells her to keep things simple.
WE SAY: I forgot what the
name of it was, the thing that's almost like the thing you want, but not
quite... So we'll have to go with that.
Playing closer tonight is
Amber Holcomb (who was cut at this phase for being a wallflower) with
"My Funny Valentine" by Mitzi Green.
THEY SAY: Keith thought it
was technically amazing. Nicki thought it was A+++, BUT she's wondering
if the inner shine will shine for America. Randy thought that the most
important run was the greatest. Mariah can't wait to see what else she
has in store.
WE SAY: Simple song sung
simply. And she makes love to the camera and absolutely nails the last
bar like she owned it. PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT.
Now comes the hardest part.
FIVE of the ladies will make it to the public vote. The other five are
going home. LET'S PLAY... SUDDEN DEATH!
Should be noted that the
judges were unanimous. SERIOUS LIGHTS, SERIOUS MUSIC!
- Tenna Torres
- Kree Harrison
- Angela Miller
- Amber Holcomb
- Jenny Beth Willis
- Brandy Hotard
- Kamaria Ousley
That leaves us with Adriana
Latonio and Shubha Vedula. One stays, one goes. The one that stays... is
We're going to do this again
with 10 guys tomorrow...