Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 19: Top 16, Ladies

I loved last night's ominous opening. Ryan Seacrest offstage, doing his voice-over while the girls are standing on the stage, bathed in blue light. It was at once scary and beautiful.

Why was Ellen in Simon's lap and whispering what can only be assumed to be sweet nothings in his ear? Does Portia know about this? She is completely beyond silly, and I sometimes wonder if her silliness knows any borders. Though Ellen is quite silly, I do like that she brings that light-heartedness out in Simon, who takes himself so very seriously.

THIS is American Idol!

Last night's episode was only an hour, so I was totally unprepared for Ryan to be so speedy! He introduced Katie Stevens and I almost missed it! I had to figure out what she was singing all on my own. Katie definitely went younger, with the choice of Kelly Clarkson's song "Breakaway". And while I applaud her decision to go younger, I think she's still in the dentist's office. If she was going to sing Kelly Clarkson, she really should have gone with the only song that hasn't been sung this season, "My Life Would Suck Without You". It's upbeat and was recorded within the past two years. Katie's voice is as lovely as ever, but something is just not clicking with her and this song. Who is Katie? She's 17 years old--is her goal really to be on Lite FM radio? I'm beginning to question her taste in music. The only answer she can give Ryan is basically verbatim of what the judges have been telling her the past three weeks--she wants to be soulful and young. Unfortunately, that song didn't cut it. She really could do well in the competition if she'd pick better songs.

Siobhan Magnus was dressed relatively normal (for her) in a cute red dress, until I saw her feet and she was wearing socks and stilettos. Doesn't she know you only do that to stretch out your shoes? Even with the socks, she actually looks really pretty. It's like you can see her for the first time, even if she stood on that stage like she was expecting a greased pig to run through her legs. Close your business, girl! She sang "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals, and I have to admit, I have heard this song a million times and still have no idea what it's about. If anyone has a clue, please fill me in. I really liked the way Siobhan opened the song acapella. I liked the performance, period. Really understated and intimate. But, does she belong in the Top 12?

Cathryn watched American Idol with us last night, and it's always fun for us to hear her opinion. As soon as Lacey Brown came up to sing Brandy Carlisle's "The Story", Cathryn liked her, saying that Lacey reminded her of Alice from Twilight. Now, how Cathryn knows who Alice is, is beyond me. I haven't let her read the books or watch the movies. But, here we are, and Cathryn knows who she is. I also don't understand why Cathryn would want me to vote for someone just because they look like an imaginary character, but then again, I'm not 8. Anyway, to me, it just seems like everything Lacey sings sounds exactly the same. She has a nice voice, but I'm getting just a bit bored, you know? The judges loved it, though, and I guess that's why they're the professionals.

I do not like Katelyn Epperly's outfit. I thought it looked like something Lisa Turtle would wear to class on Saved By The Bell. She sang "I Feel The Earth Move" by Carole King, and it was just...boring. That's it. Nothing special about it. Parts of it felt really rushed, and the end was stretched out way too long. I also do not understand why she was standing there at the keyboard. It looked a bit awkward.

On the other hand, Cathryn and I both loved the way DiDi Benami looked last night, with her gorgeous pink one-shouldered dress. Maybe it was red, depending on what the lights were doing on the stage last night. Cathryn decided that DiDi looked like Taylor Swift, and I am inclined to agree. She took a big risk singing Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon", but I thought she did a great job. Definitely her best performance to date. It felt authentic. Also awesome? That DiDi is now 4-for-4 in the "Will she cry every episode?" investigation. Yes, tears of happiness count.

"Smile" written by Charlie Chaplin is a beautiful song, and I was pretty excited when Ryan announced that Paige Miles was singing it. Paige has such a gorgeous voice, and she could have really done something amazing with that song. Unfortunately, it just came off as sad. It's really a paradox, this song, as the words are so uplifting, but the melody is so melancholy, so I can understand why she was tempted to sing it as a sad song. Unfortunately, I think this might send her home.

Ah, Crystal Bowersox is a breath of fresh air, isn't she? I totally applauded her choice of song-- Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". She has yet to make a bad song choice. Crystal knows who she is, and she's not going to let anyone tell her different. Is there any song this girl can't sing? She has an amazing instrument, and she brings it to the stage 100% every week. She is absolutely head and shoulders above everyone else in this competition. I could have listened to her sing all night.

Does Ryan know that the Olympics are over? Because I think he was attempting to set a new world record in Speed-Hosting.

Lilly Scott is Crystal's biggest competition because she is also a head and shoulders above the other ladies in the competition, and she also knows exactly who she is as an artist. Wouldn't you love to see them both in the Top 3? Top 2, even? What an amazing show that would be. The song choices alone would be unparalleled. Speaking of heads and shoulders, it looks like moldy bunches of grapes were hanging from Lilly's ears as she sang Patsy Cline's "I Fall To Pieces". While this was an excellent rendition of this song, I don't think I would have put her performing after Crystal, but maybe the producers wanted to highlight another performer, and didn't want to show favoritism since Crystal opened the show last week, and closed it out two weeks ago. Really solid performance.

Clearly, as the judges pointed out many times last week, when it comes to the girls, we have a case of the haves and have-nots, as in those singers who have a clue as to what kind of artists they'll be, and those who have not the slightest idea. The haves: Crystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, Lacey Brown, DiDi Benami, Katelyn Epperly. The have nots: Katie Stevens, Paige Miles, Siobhan Magnus.

Josie's Bottom Four: Lacey, Katie, Paige, Katelyn
Probably Going Home: Paige, Katelyn

Guys sing Wednesday night!


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