We were promised the best of the best
this season, but after last week, could we possibly do any worse? ...
Ehh, probably not, but still, that won't stop another 12 from trying to
break into the top 12...
First up, Simon asks himself why he just doesn't pick the songs? As
Here's your lineup for tonight's festivities.
Von Smith (22; Greenwood, MO)
Taylor Vaifanua (17; Hurricane, UT)
Alex Wagner-Trugman (19; Studio City, CA)
Arianna Afsar (17; San Diego)
Ju'Not Joyner (26; Bowie, MD)
Kristen McNamara (23; Napa Valley, CA)
Nathaniel Marshall (18; Malone, NY)
Felicia Barton (26; Virginia Beach, VA)
Scott McIntyre (23; Scottsdale, AZ)
Kendall Beard (23; Austin, TX)
Jorge Nuņez (20; Carolina, PR)
Lil Rounds (23; Memphis)
First up, Von Smith, who has made a living off of shouting on YouTube.
Hollywood Week was sobering for him. Tonight, he'll show the real him
with "You're All I Need to Get By" by Marvin Gaye.
What they say: Randy says that this was the way to kick off a show. Kara
says he feels like that he knows what he's doing. "It's not about what
you can do, it's about doing it with meaning." Paula says she's quite
the showman. Simon is reminded of Clay Aiken, but spicier. He sang very
What we say: Is it me or does he look like the Ninth Doctor? There were
some moments that are kinda good, but others that were kinda... yikes.
But he picks the song, nails it when he has to, and he's a great
performer. Could've been better, but it's good enough to get him to next
Download your favorites tonight at iTunes.
But Taylor Vaifanua might have something to say about that. You remember
her as one of the many who forgot her words in Hollywood Group Day.
She's also humbled, but she'll take on a tiger with Alicia Keys' "If I
Ain't Got You".
What they say: Kara says she has issues, but she also has talent. She's
looking for personality. That performance left her a bit cold. Paula is
a little perplexed. She's looking for something new. Simon thinks that
she's forgettable, generic, and bland. (music) Dawgfather needs to talk.
"You didn't tell us anything special about you."
What we say: She's got a crazy case of the shakes. She's also shaky on
the volume. You have to modulate on this song, but you have to do it
correctly. It's an adequate performance, but we're past the point where
adequate will cut it.
Alex Wagner-Trugman seems a little dorky, so sayeth the Intertubes. He
says he's also weak. Will he be weak against Simon today? His only
weapon: "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" by Elton John. While
growling and kicking over mic stands... accidentally.
What they say: Paula says she got her money's worth, but she doesn't
know how much she'll spend. Simon? "The ridiculous growling halfway
through was just stupid. You're like a little hamster trying to be a
tiger." Randy agrees. "It was crazy in a buckwild way, the whole
dropping the mic stand." Kara just says... he's him.
What we say: Two words. Weak sauce. Wait... one more... Crazyass.
Wait... three more... Hamming it up.
Arianna Afsar. Cute. Controlled. Serious? We'll see. She's bringing ABBA
to the Idol stages with "The Winner Takes It All".
What they say: Simon calls the irony on that song, calling the
performance terrible. Randy didn't think it was that good either. Kara
wants her to be younger, less gloomy, and a little less serious. Paula
thought the song was a little old-fashioned.
What we say: It's a little wimpy to start, but she needs to have better
control from the chest to the head. She needs to pick something that
isn't bigger than she is. I'm just not compelled to pick up my phone and
cast a vote after that song. I think her problem is that she's not
accepting of the cute little button that she's fated to be.
Next up, Ju'Not Joyner, who auditioned with his son. He pimped his son
for a golden ticket, but the rest of the journey was all him. Can he
continue with the Plain White T's' "Hey There Delilah"?
What they say: Randy thought it was a smart choice. Kara thought it was
fluid, but she's waiting for him to just bust it out. Paula says that
the liberties he took paid off. Simon says it was better than he thought
it was going to be, thinking that he could've had a moment had he just
stripped it down.
What we say: Trying to jazz up a rock standard. It's not without risk.
But it just limps along. He's a good singer, but this is a BAD song for
him. It's way too draggy. he could've done Luther... He could've done
Brian... He could've done the Boyz from Philly.... Instead, he did this.
Going into the half, we've got Nathaniel Marshall and Kristen McNamara,
who were in the same group in Hollywood (the one with the drama). Her
strength has always been in her voice. And she'll be using her voice
with "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman.
What they say: Kara says she's a great singer with a great tone, but she
can see her as a rock edge. Not the perfect song, but shows that she can
sing. Paula says she's safe, but she has a hell of a range. Simon is
puzzled, but he thinks that she doesn't know who she is... same with
Randy, who thought she was karaoke.
What we say: Probably the most genuine-sounding female on stage tonight
so far. Takes a simple melody and sings it straight, and we really see
who she is through her extrapolations of said melody. The ironic thing
is that right now, she's just a blank canvas style-wise.
And now... Nathaniel Marshall's side of the story, which basically tells
the story of a drama queen who has groveled his way to the stage
tonight. And, in honor of Paul Harvey, God rest his soul... "now you
know the rest of the story." Here he is with Meat Loaf's "I Would Do
Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".
What they say: Simon says that some people would like it, but he called
it excruciating, but he's memorable. Randy worries about the song
choice, which Nathaniel called one of his favorites. Simon thinks he can
do a headband set of physical exercise videos. Kara wants a different
side, saying that he's her Karaoke buddy.
What we say: If you're 'fun', and you decide to select a non-fun song
because you 'like' it, that's the definition of indulgent. Wrong choice
of song and while Nathaniel's aunt and grandma may both like it, they
may be the only ones in America who will vote for him.
Felicia Barton is where Joanna Pacitti would be if Joanna was still in
the competition. She isn't, but Felicia performs "No One" by Alicia
Keys to show that she belongs.
What they say: Paula is glad that she gets brought back and wants her to
continue to return. Simon liked the first half better and thinks it was
copycat. Kara says that it was her best performance to date. Randy likes
What we say: The performance aspect proves that she should be in the Top
36. The lack of pitch in the song dictates that she should go no
Scott Mitchell takes one of my favorite songs ever - "Mandolin Rain" by
Bruce Hornsby & the Range - and sings it to us. He also walks around, which is not
bad for a visually impaired person to do.
What they say: Randy thought there were some problems, but the great
parts were really great and passionate. Kara says that the vocal doesn't
matter when it comes from your heart. Paula says that they have been
blessed with his gift. Simon didn't like the lyrics, but he's growing on
him because Scott's believing in himself.
What we say: It's a good performance. Not top 3 worthy, but the back
story and high 5 with Ryan Seacrest should more than make up for it.
Kendall Beard wants to bring some country twang to this stage. She sings
that "This One's For the Girls", by Martina McBride, and she's looking
for girl relatability - as well as an alligator dance from her dad if
she gets in.
What they say: Kara says it's the right song, but she had some pitch
problems. Paula loves the outfit and hopes she enjoyed the moment. Simon
says that Kendall did the right song - but wanted it to end because it
sounded shrilly. Randy thought everything was good - except the vocal
What we say: The only dancing with an alligator we're going to see is if
Kendall abducts Simon after tomorrow's results show and feeds him to it
after she finds out she's not advancing.
The last male of the evening is Jorge Nuņez, who has 2 objectives
tonight: 1. Sing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John well,
and 2. Work on his accent, which he's spent months trying to correct
with a dialect coach.
What they say: Paula gives him a standing ovation and says that she is
proud of him for fulfilling his dream. Simon says to be who he is and
calls him a very good singer. Randy called it a really good vocal,
adding that while Hollywood week was rough, he was smooth. Kara adds
that he was born to sing and he's a singer.
What we say: He has a great voice, but I think the song choice was
terrible. If America doesn't put him in, the judges almost certainly
will, if not to justify their reason of going to Puerto Rico to begin
Finally, Lil Rounds ends the show with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You".
She doesn't want the audience to be without her, so she sings, "Call The
Show If You Can't Be Without Me Babe". Heh.
What they say: Simon calls it brilliant and says she has great prospects
in this competition. Randy loved that she rolled despite the bad. Kara
calls her a powerhouse. Paula thinks that she's going to be around for a
bunch more 'Lil Rounds'.
What we say: If the band didn't let her down, this could have been a
real memorable performance. As it is, it was the best female performance
of the evening. And 'Call The Show If You Can't Be Without Me Babe' was
We hyped that this group would be the best of the bunch. The show lived
up to the hype, and we could only wonder what could have been for some
of these people if they weren't stuck in the same bracket against each
other. But some people have to be better than others, so here's what we
Can't Be Without You: Lil Rounds, Scott McIntyre
With or Without You: Von Smith, Ju'Not Joyner, Jorge Nuņez,
Probably Will Be Without You: Taylor Vaifanua, Felicia Barton, Kendall
Can't Be With You: Alex Wagner-Trugman, Arianna Afsar, Nathaniel
Join us in 24 hours to see who will be with us next week.
footage from this episode, visit the
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