It’s late; I’m tired; yet I’m watching American Idol on the DVR. For you. I want you to remember it.
Or I want to at least be able to bring it up when we’re in the middle of a fight in order to prove how self-sacrificing I am.
It appears all the ladies are here. Ryan talks with Crystal who looks beautiful and is performing first, apparently. Good move, AI! Very compassionate. (I’m truly not being sarcastic; I think it’s nice!)
So, Crystal Bowersox. Crystal talks about having a twin brother, which makes me like her. Because I love my twin brother, too. A lot. She’s singing some CCR and wants to put a “gospely, church spin” on it, according to her interview. Crystal has amazing control of her voice and a very pure quality that you can’t fake. The performance didn’t make me jump up and down, but it was beautiful singing and the girl’s got talent. I still think she hasn’t shown us her best, though. Randy talks a lot about truth and reality and says he loves her; Ellen compliments her “pure, raw, natural talent;” Kara says Americana/rock is what Crystal should do; Simon says his “misunderestimated” her last week (misunderestimate isn’t a word) and says she’s a serious artist. I do think Crystal was good last night and after watching the rest of the ladies, one of the best, but I also think the judges comments were influenced by the fact that Crystal had been really sick.
Haeley is next. I fastforward through the commercials feeling a little nauseated as I pondered what Haeley will do next. Haeley was TERRIBLE last week, and I’m wondering what is going to happen this week when she’s singing a Miley Cyrus song. Ryan’s entire interview with Haeley makes me want to remove the word “like” from all teen’s vocabulary and while all the world may think she’s cute and hilarious, Haeley annoys me—and uses a baby voice too much. I will say this: Haeley’s song choice is more appropriate this week and the performance is better. But I still don’t think she has the vocal chops to be the American Idol, and she proved it in the climax of the song/chorus when she wasn’t on the right notes or even in the same zip code as the right notes. Oh, Haeley. You’re sweet and all, but that wasn’t good. Randy says it didn’t work; Ellen says Haeley had no connection to the song; Kara says a bunch of stuff and then tells Haeley she needs to work on her voice; Simon calls it a “complete and utter mess,” which it was.
And now it’s Lacey Brown. Lacey is wearing a really strange outfit, including a shirt with weird, pointy shoulders and some beads she may have once gotten in a Mardi Gras parade. She’s taking Kara’s advice from last week and doing Six Pence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me.” I’m not sure if the judges will like it that she’s letting them dictate her song choice. I know Simon won’t. The synopsis: she sounds very similar to Lee Nash (who also dresses oddly, if you saw her at the AP Christmas show). Lacey seemed a little uncomfortable on the stage, but the performance is one million times better than last week, even if her versio of the song was pretty much a carbon copy of the original. Randy compares the performance to karaoke; Ellen says it was great; Kara compliments Lacey’s tone and tells her to push the songs further; Simon calls it “marginally better” and basically tells Lacey she’s not an artist. I wonder if he might be right. I want to like her; I want her to do well; I’m not sure that she is more than just a good church singer.
And now it’s Katie Stevens. She’s singing “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Ray, which makes me nervous, because this song is great and I wonder if a teen can handle it. The first words out of Katie’s mouth prove me wrong. She can handle this song and sounds great. I’m impressed with Katie. Randy says there were “bright moments” and says she was pitchy, which I don’t agree with; Ellen still wants Katie to sing younger songs; Kara agrees and says she’s still waiting for Katie’s big moment; Simon also calls her performance frustrating and that Katie needs to figure out what kind of artist she wants to be. I agree, Simon. She is just trying on styles at the moment.
Next: Didi! Her video package annoys me a little with the meowing, but I’m around a lot of singers and they all do weird things. Didi sings Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.” I’m not sure about this song choice. Maybe if she had taken it and made it drastically different than the original and the 400 remakes of this song. . . but it’s pretty clear from the beginning that she hasn’t done that. There are a few pitch problems early on and while Didi tries really hard to sell the performance, it’s still boring and old-fashioned. Oh, girl. I like you, but wow, don’t do that anymore. Randy says it was a bad song choice; Ellen compliments Didi’s voice but says the song choice was off; Kara flat out says it wasn’t good (which it wasn’t); Simon says it was screechy, a bad choice of song, and frustrating.
Michelle takes the stage next, and she’s wearing a really weird dress/legging combo. She also doesn’t say all of the consonants in the word important. There are two T’s, girl. IM-POOR-TANT. But I digress. She’s a nice girl. A nice girl wearing a dress made up of tulle and toilet paper and singing a Creed song. Creed, really? I want to like Michelle. She’s talented; she’s beautiful; she can absolutely sing. But she hasn’t impressed me yet and I think she’s more of a good singer than an actual artist. Plus, there are pitch problems with her song, and it ends on a bad note that’s full of vibrato. Randy points out the pitch problems and complements her outfit (what?); Ellen also says she looks fab, did change the song up some, and had some pitch probs; Kara says it was her fave performance of Michelle’s ever b/c it felt believable (not to me); Simon agrees with Kara and compliments the outfit. Am I the only person who hated it?
And now it’s Lilly Scott. I am still freaked out by her hair and the fact that she’s doing “A Change Is Gonna Come.” I like Lilly simply for the fact that she already knows who she is as an artist and the kind of music she wants to make. She’s knows her voice and how to display it for the best effect. Good performance, even if I wouldn’t buy her record! Randy praises Lilly’s uniqueness; Ellen says Lilly has “it;” Kara says it was good and talks a lot; Simon says it was great.
And now it’s Katelyn and she’s singing “The Scientist” by Coldplay. This scares me a lot, because Coldplay is so identifiably Chris Martin and I don’t really want to hear a female voice sing this song. But I do like the richness and depth Katelyn’s voice adds to the song. I believe that this song means something to her and she does all she can do to convey that. But in the end, she almost makes this song too pretty and too slow and dreamy. Part of the appeal of Chris Martin’s voice is the pure falsetto with rough edges, and Katelyn’s version doesn’t have rough edges. I kind of like music that gets a little “ugly” in the emotional parts because it rings true to me. Think Glen Hansard and Damien Rice. Randy liked it but felt it was really slow (agreed); Ellen says it was too slow; Kara says she “kind of loves” Katelyn and starts talking like Paula about Katelyn’s instrument; Simon thinks her version is contemporary and advises her not to become corny when she performs.
Next is Paige, who likes to color. I think she probably should have kept that to herself. Tonight she’s singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away.” I may be in the minority here, but I think Paige has enunciation issues. Sometimes she doesn’t sing the lyrics clearly enough for me to understand what she’s saying. Paige can sing and has a great voice, can hit high notes, and seems to be having fun, but she doesn’t do much for me. Decent performance, but I don’t buy that she’s a legitimate rocker. Randy says he liked it, didn’t love it; Ellen disagrees and loved it; Kara says that the song needed anger, not happiness (cause Kara wrote the song); Simon questions the song choice and that she gets lost in the songs. (Wait, last week he said she had the best voice in the competition!) But I do agree she’s trying on divas rather than going out and confidently declaring who she is as an artist. That appears to be running rampant this season.
Last girl of the night is Sibhan Magnus. She’s different, y’all. She’s a free spirit and I have no idea what to think about her. She’s doing Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” I’m not sure about the song choice and she’s a little sharp in places. I mean, the girl can sing, but her song choices and her interests are ALL over the place. I don’t know what to expect from her. What kind of artist is she? What kind of record would she record? Would it just be a collection of eclectic songs? The performance is good, even if she doesn’t get all the notes. Randy says it was dope; Ellen loves it, too; Kara is impressed by the high note Sibhan hit; Simon says she’s strange and that there were terrible and incredible parts to the song (completely agree).
Best of the night: Crystal and possibly Lilly, just b/c she’s true to herself.
Going home: Hopefully Haeley. Didi wasn’t good, Michelle needs to step it up a notch, and Paige is forgettable.