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American Idol
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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 Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Simon Cowell
Ellen DeGeneres
Kara DioGuardi
Randy Jackson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Tues & Wed, Fox
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Round of 16: The Women
March 9

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 Stevens, 
who 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 occasion? 
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 Geisha. 
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 song.
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 that song? 
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 crazy, (C+)
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 pretty? 
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 Scott 
does 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 song. 
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 of...well...this:

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 

The Lee: 
Top of the Class: Magnus, Bowersox
Middle of the Class: Scott, Stevens, Benami
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.