It's ladies' night and the feeling's right, oh yes it's ladies' night, oh what a night! Well, I certainly hoped that the ladies would bring us performances that were on the same level as the guys Tuesday night, and on the same level of awesome as the Kool and The Gang song I just quoted.
Before the performances, if I were forced to pick the Top 6, I'd have to choose Crystal Bowersox, Katie Stevens, Lilly Scott and Katelyn Epperly. Again, I was only able to name up to 4. Those fifth and sixth spots are confusing me. I find Haeley Vaughn positively tiring and annoying, Lacey Brown has no idea what kind of artist she is yet, DiDi Benami is a crying mess, Paige Miles is still a relative unproven performer to us; I keep wondering if Michelle Delamor, while talented, has "IT" and Siobhan Magnus is just plain odd.
Crystal was introduced last so that she could talk about her illness and hospitalization. I was so happy to see her and hear that she was was ready to sing! Oh my gosh--is Ellen wearing an ascot? Who does she think she is? Freddy from ScoobyDoo? Actually, I was kind of happy that she wore it, because I really wanted to make that joke this week, but Tyler Grady went home last week.
This IS American Idol!
Crystal is up first, and we find out that she has of twin brother, and of course he is a square! Everyone in Crystal's family is a square compared to her. She chose to sing Creedence Clearwater Revival's gorgeous ballad, "As Long As I Can See The Light", a song that just begs for a gospel arrangement. For the longest time, when I once daydreamed about a recording career, I wanted to record this song. And you know what? Bowersox did me proud. She even looked the part last night, aside from the brown boots with a mostly black outfit. Her skin was positively glowing. Her voice, her vocal style is so incredibly effortless that I could have wept from joy. If I was one of her competitors up in that red room, I would have been shaking in my stylish yet affordable boots at the prospect of competing against her. I seriously thought at the beginning of the judging that Randy was going to start preaching and call Crystal "The Way, The Truth, and The Light" of American Idol. And in a way, she is. Apart from Kelly Clarkson, has there been any truly original female artist on this show? I definitely think this could be the year.
Ohmygod! It's Haeley Vaughn and she, like, makes headbands and stuff! That's like soooo cool! *giggle* Good heavens, it must be exhausting to be her. Y'all, I like to think of myself as a happy, outgoing person with a positive outlook on life, but Haeley makes me tired. It's good that she chose a young, current song, like Miley Cyrus's "The Climb", but honestly, I felt like this song was too big for her. I would have given this song to Katie Stevens, who can handle those big notes without screaming. I was positively cringing through parts of this song, just when I was getting ready to begrudgingly compliment her for picking a relevant song. And for Pete's sake, please connect with your song! This song is about making your life's journey and having faith that your dreams will come true. It is not about giggling and making headbands. You absolutely cannot grin your way through that song. Did Haeley not bother to even think about the lyrics as she was learning them? And I have a question for Kara--who exactly is rooting for Haeley? Her family? Maybe? Her giggling girlfriends? Maybe? I don't think all of America is rooting for her, though.
Lacey Brown is up next, singing "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None The Richer. I was really concerned about the beginning of this song, but when the tempo picked up, so did my spirits. An improvement over last week, but still a little shaky. I really liked Lacey's pretty purple eyeshadow. I think I want to try that look. I'm with the judges, though, the performance was really nothing special, but being from Texas could really help her out.
Since the judges wanted Katie Stevens to sing something younger, I think that it would be hilarious if she broke out with "Single Ladies". That was not to be the case, and while she did sing a younger song, she still went the Lite FM route with Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On". You know, I used to wear my hair the same way Katie wore her hair last night--feathers and wings--but that was back in 1989. I was 11. Another thing Katie and I have in common is that we both like to jump up and down backstage before we go out. However, I do not tell myself that I am awesome. I was also really happy to see Katie show her goofy side. You don't see that all too often is someone who is both as young and talented as she. Most of the time, those people take themselves way too seriously. You know, in the last five seasons, I don't think anyone has sung a better version of this song. I almost forgot to write because I was busy listening to her sing. The judges still wanted her to go younger, but can you really fault her if someone else took the Miley song? Look at her options--Jonas Brothers? Demi Lovato? Selena Gomez? Not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to so-called "younger" artists. Maybe she should try Jordin Sparks or Taylor Swift. Then again, maybe next week will be the perfect week for Katie to roll "Single Ladies" out.
Y'all have no idea how happy I am that DiDi Benami was dressed like a normal person last night and lost that hideous vest she wore last week. I literally recoiled in horror when they showed video from last week when she wore the offending garment. She wears such strange clothes that you forget that in reality she is a gorgeous girl. The more I looked at that flowy floral top she wore last night, the more I liked it. It said 'hippy' without saying 'dippy' or 'hideous'. I think I want it. DiDi sang Bill Withers's classic song "Lean On Me" and I'm a bit torn. I like the tone of her voice, but the arrangement of the song, especially at the beginning, reminded me too much of the song she sang last week. Oh, DiDi. You just couldn't handle it, could you? I had been waiting on her to cry all night, just to see if she could make it a three-episode run, and I was not disappointed. The tears began to well just as Ryan began talking to her. You work it for those sympathy votes, girl!
I love Michelle Delamor's hair. It is so curly and springy and beautiful. Let's just say it--she is the prettiest girl in the entire competition. But, I really, really hated that outfit she wore last night. Yeah, it's all young and hip and whatever, but it's a prom dress over black skinny jeans! At some point, you just have to say 'no' to the Kool-Aid that the mall is offering you. She sang Creed's "Arms Wide Open" and I was very surprised. I love her voice, and like Katie and Crystal, I could just listen to her all night. I never get tired of their voices. She really connected with the song, and even though there were some problems at the end of it, I think people will overlook that and vote for the overall performance.
Oh, wow. I can't believe that Simon actually admitted that he knew that they as judges gave contradictory advice. That was amazing. Simon rarely admits fault for anything.
Was Lilly Scott wearing phoenix feathers as earrings? Or did she have them clipped into her hair? Were they a gift from Albus Dumbledore? I'm not sure, but I'd love to find out. Lilly's appearance is definitely her own, but I think that's part of her charm. I'm about to say something very uncharacteristic of me. Well, maybe not, because I like them on other people, but I just can't see them on me. Probably because my sister told me that you couldn't get sparkles in one. I like sparkles. Anyway, I love Lilly's treble clef tattoo on the inside of her left forearm. I have a necklace that matches it. Lilly sang "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke, and I thought at first too many people were going to compare it with Adam Lambert's performance last season. But this was phenomenal. She and Crystal Bowersox are the two most original artists this season. Maybe in any season. I hope that they both make it to the tour because they would be amazing to watch. Could you imagine what it would be like if they sang a song together? My little heart sparkles, just thinking of it. Her rendition was very passionate and I have to agree with the judges that this was her moment.
Call me crazy, but I really liked Katelyn Epperly's outfit. From the one-shouldered top to the glittery skirt, I loved it all. She looked liked she should have been walking a runway or in a magazine. I have never heard Coldplay's song that Katelyn chose, "The Scientist", because I'm not a Coldplay fan, but as I listened to her sing, I really got into the lyrics. It's a beautifully written song, even if she dragged it out a bit. I liked the performance in general. It achieved her goal of being an intimate performance, but it also felt very honest.
I will say this for Paige Miles--her outfit and styling this week were a vast improvement over last week's Mother of The Corpse Bride ensemble. This week, she actually looked like a stage performer. Her voice is really great, just like the judges say, and she chose the funnest song ever to sing, Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away". This is an awesome song to sing and dance to in your car, while people at the red light shoot you strange looks. Not that I know what that's like or anything. Paige was pretty faithful to the original, if the vocal did get a little choppy, and she made me wonder if she was running out of breath while she sang it.
Siobhan Magnus is one strange bird. Simon agrees with me. Ask him. I was a little caught off-guard by her choice to sing Aretha Franklin's "Think". I thought that the song would have been a little too mainstream for her tastes. Richie and I had a difference of opinion about this performance. He thought it was great. I didn't. Yeah, she has a big voice, but don't you think it came off as shrieky in places? And yeah, I'll concede that her last note was amazing. But the song can't be about the last note. Honestly, I cannot give a reason why I wasn't wild about her performance. Maybe it's her personality, even though I try to be objective each week. I promise that I do! It's a catchy song, and I have found myself singing it, so the producers were very smart to have her close the show.
In conclusion, I believe that the girls, like the guys last night, really upped their game from last week, which I applaud. Every week should be an opportunity to challenge yourself and improve.
Josie's Bottom Four: Lacey Brown, DiDi Benami, Haeley Vaughn, Michelle Delamor
Could Be Going Home: Lacey Brown, DiDi Benami