First, an admission: I basically watched this entire episode in fast forward, so I’m just going to give a few thoughts on what I saw and heard and move on. Ready?
Just a general thought about last night’s show that I can’t believe I’m saying: the girls weren’t as good as the guys. Which is weird to me because I kind of thought the ladies were a little stronger, and while that may be true, it certainly didn’t show last night.
Ta-Tynisa Wilson (“Only Girl” in the World, by Rihanna)
• I’m not Ta-Tynisa’s biggest fan, but I’m not going to lie: it wasn’t that great. Just OK, as Randy said, and just felt vocally off and under pitch a few times.
NAIMA ADEDAPO (“Summertime” by George Gershwin)
• I’m also not Naima’s biggest fan because I think she gets a bit shouty sometimes. Last night, her vocals were good, and she played into the jazz style her voice easily gravatates toward. But the whole performance felt like Vegas, as my friend Mindy put it. We thought she was different, but dressed strangely (cross between voodoo priestess and geisha girl is my best description), but her face was beautiful. It was an OK performance and probably one of the better ones of the night, but it didn’t serve it’s purpose of winning me over to team Naima.
KENDRA CHANTELLE (“Impossible” by Christina Aguilera)
• I really want to like this girl since she’s from Nashville, but I felt that the song choice was a little bland. She can certainly sing and she looked amazing, but sometimes when she goes up into her upper register notes, it’s just not altogether pleasing to my ear. I want to see her be AMAZING so badly and it just didn’t happen this week. I think she’s firmly in the middle of the pack and this song/performance was a safe choice for her.
RACHEL ZEVITA (“Criminal” by Fiona Apple)
• Rachel’s performance was the one I disliked the most last night. I felt like she completely destroyed the song. It was unidentifiable from the original (I’m all for making it your own, but completely obliterating the melody? Not so much). She looked pretty and had a nice “Chicago” the musical vibe going on, but the entire performance was WAY too Broadway or Glee-influenced. The vocals were OK, but she’s still middle of the pack for me. And pretend strip teases and theatrics don’t make me like her more. I’m looking for someone who can sing and captures me with the music. I’ll go to a Broadway show when I want theatrics!
KAREN RODRIGUEZ (“Hero” by Mariah Carey)
• She looked beautiful and sang in both Spanish and English, and it was technically very, very good. But Oh. My. Word. Celine? For reals? And dressing like her? And sort of having her hair from a few hairstyles ago? I have to say Karen was good last night. She was. The song was beautiful. But it was also really, really boring and incredibly overdone.
LAUREN TURNER (“Seven Day Fool” by Etta James)
• See, I have trouble remembering this girl is in the competition, but she brought it last night. She sang and she had fun. She performed the song and didn’t rely on some creepy Broadway-esque theatrics to sell it. Hated her outfit because it was unflattering, but great vocals and good performance.
ASHTHON JONES (“Love All Over Me” by Monica)
• I’m not a huge R&B fan, but I thought Ashton was good. But just good, not absurdly great. Nothing truly amazing happened. She looked pretty, even if I was confused by her pants, which I think should be best worn in the gym, but anyway. She’s good and I think she’s safe this week.
JULIE ZORRILLA (“Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson)
• Oh. My. Word. Wrong song choice. Complete wrong song choice. And wrong key or something. She picked a song that was in a weird vocal range for her and was under pitch and not really singing the melody for most of the song. For a girl I know can truly sing, this was disappointing. I think I fast-forwarded through some of her performance because I just couldn’t bear to watch or hear any more of it!
HALEY REINHARD (“Fallin’ ” by Alicia Keys)
• I thought this performance was pretty good. Honestly, I didn’t think Haley should have made it to the top 24 because she’s too inconsistent and relies way too much on the growling and doing vocal runs than actually singing. But she did a good job on this song and managed to infuse it with some spark.
THIA MEGIA (“Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara)
• Sang beautifully, looked beautiful and deserves all the praise she’s getting after that performance. But seriously, it was still WAY boring. It didn’t help that I did not know this song at all and fancy myself someone who pays attention to music, but I guess it’s in a niche I don’t listen to! I think she was nearly perfect technically, but she didn’t excite me.
LAUREN ALAINA (“Turn On the Radio” by Reba McEntire)
• It wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen her perform and it wasn’t without it’s problems, but girl was good. She performed, worked the stage, and sang with a confidence I wouldn’t have at her age. I thought her hair looked pretty good and that she was dressed a little better than in the past. She made me like a Reba song, and that’s something!
PIA TOSCANO (“I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders)
• Best of the night, hands down. This girl looked beautiful and sang the heck out of this song. I didn’t expect it, and she’s unexpectedly made a fan out of me. My friend Mindy disagreed with Pia’s decision with ending the song on the big note and I have to say, I agree with her. I think the more interesting thing to do musically would have been to end softer, but that’s not what she did. But that’s my only thing that I can pick on her about. Even though she stood centerstage at a mic for the whole performance, she sang that song with emotion and made me feel it with her.
Middle of the road:
Lauren Alaina, Haley, Ashton, Kendra, Lauren, Karen, Naima
In danger of going home:
Ta-Tynisa, Rachel, Julie
The fact is, some very good singers will go home tonight for the guys and the girls. I just hope my faves stick around a bit longer.