In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a
nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country,
where the audience has the power to make or break you, and
where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line,
there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.
Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon
Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop
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of 16: The Women
The good news is that Crystal Bowersox is feeling
a lot better. However, 2 of the women, 48 hours from now, are going to be
quite ill. Will it be Crystal (doubtful) or some other ladies?
As always, our friendly GSNN columnists (Lee DiGeorge and Chico Alexander this
time) will be here for their thoughts, as we see 8 women get cut to 6.
We begin with Katie
wastes no time starting us off with Kelly Clarkson's 'Breakaway'.
The Good - She showcased the
nice pipes during the chorus section of the song. The held out note at the end
was nice, and her tone was really nice throughout the song.
The Bad - It was like
Haydn's Surprise Symphony, with the first part putting us to sleep before
getting to the bang out chorus. I don't think the song was too big for her,
but I do think that she did not put in the emotional passion you need to make
this song work.
The Lee - Judges were way
too harsh on a song sung well. She's better than they say. (B)
The Chico - Ellen is dead on
with her assessment. Fundamentally correct, but emotionally lacking.
Unfortunately, a subpar lyric flub and pitchy moments here and there will put
her in serious trouble. And you know if you're going to have a bad night...
you DON'T want to have a bad night tonight.
The Verdict - At the
beginning of the night, I had her battling against Didi Benami for the last
spot. If Didi blows the roof off the building, Katie could have some serious
issues getting to the Top 12.
Siobhan Magnus decides
to sing 'House of the Rising Sun' by The Animals. Can she rise to the
The Good - VERY different
selection than what she did the first 2 times out, and she performs it very,
very well. I finally got that emotional connect that I didn't have for her
first 2 performances, taking that emotion from Katelyn Epperly and
incorporating it this week.
The Bad - She may have taken
something from Katelyn Epperly that we didn't like; last week's excessively
slow start of the song that almost put me to sleep. And the flower in her hair
made her look less like a New Orleans inhabitant and more like a Japanese
The Lee - Humbly disagree
with Simon. She's the woman's big voice of the competition. (A-)
The Chico - Very
interesting. Pitch perfect, dead on with the passion... She believes that
she's got a chance, and that's important tonight of all nights. No troubles
that I can see here. That said, Simon's right. Didn't really do anything with
The Verdict -I also disagree
with Simon here. She needed to do something different, while staying with what
got her into the dance so far. The song helps her build a fan base, and I
think she did that.
Lacey Brown gives
us 'The Story' by Brandi Carlisle. Will we be seeing a happy or sad ending?
The Good - She does keep
improving, which is a good thing. I think that she picked a good song that
showed off her vocal range. And she did make some sweet love to that camera.
The Bad - VERY pitchy to
start. And I think the song is not a great choice because #1. It's not popular
with the American public and #2. The people who know the song may have fallen
asleep, since before you get to the high pitch part, it's like trying to tap
dance in a field made of marshmallows.
The Lee - Serviceable, but
completely forgettable and underwhelming. (C)
The Chico - This song may
plod along even when Brandi Carlisle sings it, but is a good song choice for
Lacey, and she stays true to herself... She needs to control her breathing,
though. Still may punch her ticket for next week.
The Verdict - It's the best
performance from her that I've ever heard. However, she's in the same
singer/songwriter genre as Lilly Scott, Crystal Bowersox and Didi Benami. If
Didi shows up, Lacey is going home, because they are not going to take 4
songwriters into the Top 12.
Katelyn Epperly feels
the Earth move. Carole King does, anyway. What will we feel when she sings
The Good - She didn't do
anything wrong with the performance. It was a nice, competent version of the
song. And the last note at the end was pretty, which matched her pretty hair.
The Bad - Which means, of
course, that she did nothing with it. Safe, safe, safe. Yuck. Where's the
vocal range, the passion, the creativity from last week? At least Siobhan did
something with her song, while Katelyn is putting the audience asleep with
ennui-like intentions. And don't dress like Carole King. It's the definitive
version of Karaoke, and it's that same error that sent Alexis Grace home last
season when she dressed up like Dolly Parton.
The Lee - After an
unforgettable "The Scientist", you followed that up with trash. Stop listening
to the judges, please. (C)
The Chico - Good choice of
song. A little sharp. Could stand to be a bit ballsier. I mean, this song is
supposed to be saucy the way she did it... and I didn't feel saucy. Yeah, what
Randy said. Very "put on".
The Verdict - A HUGE step
backwards from last week. I was about to put her as a lock, but if the
audience thinks she's safe from last week, combined with a fan base that knows
that both Katie and Didi are in trouble from last week, and she could see
herself on the outside looking in.
Didi Benami FINALLY
gets her guitar. She uses it to sing Fleetwood Mac's 'Rhiannon'. Is that going
to be good enough to keep her in the competition?
The Good - We finally get a
good vocal from her, after last week's mess. It's a great way to come back
after being viciously beaten last week. Nice recovery.
The Bad - I hated the song
choice, because there's no vocal range whatsoever for the first 75% of the
song. This is American Idol, not American Nytol. This song is so dark and
ambient that I may have been served some warm milk and Benadryl as an
accompaniment. What's up with all the sleep-inducement this week? You do need
the voters to be awake to vote.
The Lee - I was much less
impressed than the judges were. She seemed to be all over the place. Maybe I'm
The Chico - This is the Didi
Benami we met back in Hollywood. This is the Didi that we've been looking for
all this time. This is the Didi who's going forward to next week. No moment,
but she did what she needed to do. She sang smart, not hard.
The Verdict - That
performance is going to get Didi into the Top 12. It's also going to put
Katelyn in deep trouble.
Paige Miles decides
to 'Smile', by Charlie Chaplin. Can she do it while her heart's (and hopefully
our ears) not aching?
The Good - Umm...she looked
The Bad - This was terrible.
Crappy arrangement, Off pitch, off-tempo, mangled words, and voice cracks all
over the place. it sounded like I was hearing her at a dinner banquet for the
Academy Award losers while they were going up to the buffet and get one of
those ice cream scoops with Bosco syrup in a faux glass pudding cup. And this
is one performance that I WANTED to fall asleep to, but the acrimonious notes
kept me painfully awake and cranky.
The Lee - By far, the worst
performance of the night. That was completely unlistenable. (D-)
The Chico - Wrong tone.
Wrong pitch. Wrong song. Wrong everything. I think Katie just got a save. And
one parting note... Indulgent much? Bye bye Paige.
The Verdict - Just a
reminder that just because you like the song doesn't mean we'll like you
performing it. And this time, we didn't. A bad time to pick a bad song. I
thought she'd be safe because she'd get the departed Haeley's R&B vote, but I
think that vote is going to go to Siobhan, which means Paige could be
departing right after her.
Crystal Bowersox wants
to stay on the Idol set. She's going to try to give us lots of reasons, as she
sings 'Give Me One Reason' by Tracy Chapman.
The Good - Not only did she
sing the song well, but she ad libbed and riffed on it, something we didn't
hear her do the previous 2 performances. She also had an emotional punch that
we saw a glimpse of last week, and watching it manifest this week.
The Bad - That last warbled
note gave me one reason to stick ice cubes in my ears to get that sound out.
The Lee - Keeps on singing
in her wheelhouse, and not leaving it. Is that what the Idol judges mean by
"knowing yourself?" To me, it's beginning to grate. Go out of the box, girl.
Solid, but she needs to be more risky. (A-)
The Chico - This is why
Crystal is a favorite. Because she takes a song that's already in her
wheelhouse, and she adds and enhances. This is why she's a lock.
The Verdict - If she keeps
doing this, she'll be a threat to win the whole thing. There's no way she
doesn't make the Top 12.
We are hoping that Lilly
not fall to pieces, when she sings Patsy Cline's song of the same namesake to
end the show.
The Good - Her vocals save
this arrangement. She's got a great voice, which really carries her through
The Bad - Usually the song
arrangement is a hit. This time, it's a miss, because the background sounded
like something I would be hearing while at a Hawaiian Luau. And the mandolin,
which took me to Hawaii, did her no favors.
The Lee - I still don't find
it contemporary. It's quirky, but it wouldn't sell. At all. Seriously. Sung
well, but... bleh. (B)
The Chico - The song didn't
do her any favors and the lower register is out of her range. The GOOD news is
that she's not in any danger of leaving.
The Verdict - I completely
agree with Simon. There was no wow factor and it bordered on hokey. She'll
make the Top 12 easily, but she won't add to her fanbase this way.
Overall Verdict - This is
the best so far this season. We had 4 very good performances, and we had 4
Trouble: Katelyn Epperly,
Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens, Paige Miles
Let's assume that Lacey is a goner. Now you would think that Paige would be a
goner with her, and in most situations you'd be right. However, You have only
1 R&B Singer and 5 singer/songwriters. For that reason alone (and for the
sympathy vote that has been very prevalent early), Paige stays. And we get rid
of 2 singer-songwriters.
OUT: Lacey Brown, Katelyn Epperly
Top of the Class: Magnus,
Middle of the Class: Scott,
Bottom of the Class: Epperly,
Brown and Miles
Going Home: Paige Miles and Lacey Brown
The Chico: Katie didn't have
a strong start... but she's memorable. So she'll get into the final 12.
Katelyn, same story. She wasn't so much bad as everyone what just better.
Paige, on the other hand, was simply out of her depth, and Lacey's been in
trouble for far too long with far too underwhelming a performance.
TROUBLE: Katelyn Epperly,
Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens, Paige Miles.
OUT: Lacey Brown, Paige Miles.
Join us in 24 hours for the guys.
To see this episode in its
entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.