'American Idol' Recap: Top 10 Girls Perform
'American Idol' Recap: Top 10 Girls Perform
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The long, national nightmare of the American Idol judges is finally over and now it's time for America to vote. After two weeks of Las Vegas semifinals where the judges cut the field in half and made some rather questionable decisions, the power is stripped from their hands.

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Tonight the Top 10 girls will perform live and, on Thursday, the five with the most votes will move on. The rest will be cut, unless Nicki Minaj throws a temper tantrum and makes Nigel Lythgoe change the rules so Zoanette Johnson can stick around.

Once again, BuddyTV's regular American Idol recapper Bill King is on vacation, but he'll be back tomorrow night for the Top 10 guys. I'm a bit jealous because I'd rather watch Lazaro Arbos recreate the first half of The King's Speech for two straight hours than listen to Zoanette Johnson screech and Nicki Minaj rave about how she wants to be Zoanette's BFF.

I'll be here for the next two hours with my live thoughts on the Top 10 girls. THIS is American Idol!


The opening is hilarious as Ryan Seacrest proclaims that this is American Idol, then the camera pans up to show the British flag. Brilliant.

Oh Ryan, stop saying that ALL decisions are up to us. I'm sure we'll have a Judges' Save and some other stuff along the way. Randy Jackson claims this is the girls' season to lose, something they haven't said in a long time. Um, I feel like they say that EVERY year, then get proven wrong by the voters.

It seems Angela Miller is now Angie Miller. And Candice Glover is getting the pimp spot, not that she needs it.

Zoanette Johnson: "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner

Good, we're getting my archenemy out of the way first. Sorry, Zoanette fans, but I can't stand her and am still shocked that she made it to Hollywood, let alone the Top 20. And this performance isn't changing my mind. She sounds like she has a frog in her throat. Literally. Like, she's gargling and drowning on her own saliva the whole time. She tries to add a few big glory notes at the end to make up for it, but it's like putting a bow on a steaming pile of dog feces.

Judges: Keith Urban tries to be polite in saying how bad it was. And even Nicki Minaj didn't like it. That's how you know it's bad, when Zoanette's #1 cheerleader is pointing out that she wasn't on key at all. Randy Jackson calls it "a mess" about a dozen times. Mariah Carey wishes people could just hang out with Zoanette because she's so much fun backstage. I'm sure people like Jett Hermano are sitting at home, furious that Zoanette was put through over her.

Breanna Steer: "Flaws and All" by Beyonce

Thank you, Breanna, for wiping that bad taste out of my mouth. She has this beautiful, controlled voice and does a pretty good job with a slow, mellow song. It's just the perfect palette cleanser after Zoanette, but I'm not sure if a sorbet is the dessert you most want to be compared to at this point.

Judges: Keith loved it, but Nicki completely disagrees and didn't like it at all. Randy is probably right when he splits the difference and says the song was too safe and didn't give her the kind of big moments you want this early on in the competition.

Aubrey Cleland: "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie

Meh, I thought the verses were pretty, but when she got into the chorus, she just kind of shouted. Like Breanna, she's a pretty girl with a nice voice, but there's nothing particularly special about her.

Judges
: Nicki totally disses Keith. Yikes, is this the new feud? I feel like Keith wants nothing to do with it and Nicki just has a bug up her butt because her girl Zoanette tanked so spectacularly. They all love Aubrey, but there's surprisingly little commentary about the actual performance. Also, I'm kind of upset they don't rotate who starts the judges' commentary because if they do the same Keith-Nicki-Randy-Mariah order every time, there's nothing of any value left for Mariah to say.

Janelle Arthur: "If I Can Dream" by Elvis Presley

She's the country girl. Every single moment of her video package and her song is all about making sure America knows if they like country music, she's the ONLY hope they have. It doesn't matter that she isn't all that original or that she feels like a watered down Kellie Pickler, all that matters is that she's country.

Judges: Keith likes it and Nicki is somehow happy again and wants to eat this little marshmallow. The judges repeatedly call her "traditional," which is somehow better than "old-fashioned." The difference is subtle. Ryan makes an awful pun about how you should vote for Janelle if you want "s'more" of this marshmallow.

Tenna Torres: "Lost" by Faith Hill

This is less of a performance and more of an odd collection of vocal tricks. I don't really hear any connective tissue throughout the song. Also, she's got a nasty case of Crazy Eyes when the camera comes in for a close-up.

Judges: Keith thinks she got distracted by the camera. Nicki likes her hair and boobs. Randy is shocked and Nicki just slaps him down, saying "Randy, shut up, acting like some damn goody two-shoes." Yikes, do NOT get on Nicki's bad side. Randy liked that she didn't oversing it. I don't want to know what oversinging sounds like if that's not it.


HALFWAY POINT: OK, historically speaking, on night's like this, only one or two of the first five singers will move on and the rest will all go home. Thus far I'd say Janelle is the only safe bet to make the Top 10 and I could realistically see the other four all going home.


Angie Miller: "Never Gone" by Colton Dixon

Oh snap, she's singing a Colton Dixon original! As someone who LOVED Colton last season, this makes me like her even more. Smart strategy. It also seems like the name change is permanent and Angela is now Angie. She's also playing the piano, and I'm a sucker for that. She rocks so hard and so beautifully, and it's definitely my favorite of the night so far.

Judges: Keith raves about Angie and about how this show can produce such great songwriters like Colton. Nicki proclaims that Angie is DEFINITELY moving on to next week and she thinks Nigel Lythgoe should let her off the show so Nicki can buy her album right now. Randy and Mariah continue the lovefest.

Amber Holcomb: "I Believe in You and Me" by Whitney Houston

She's got a great voice, but she's just doing Whitney. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing because, damn, this girl can definitely sing. It's actually scary how close it is to Whitney at some moments.

Judges: Standing ovation from all four judges. Nicki calls it "a10 billion, katrillion, medillion." It makes me want some chicken medallions for dinner. Randy gives us the standard "She's in it to win it." So let's basically ignore the first half of this show, because the last two performances were way better.

Kree Harrison: "Stronger" by Faith Hill

She's happy to get to sing with professional musicians and the vocal coaches. It's sweet how much she genuinely loves this opportunity. Kree is just plain good. The performance is perfection. She's so comfortable on stage and is basically putting Janelle Arthur out of business.

Judges: Keith is obsessed with the specific notes she was able to hit. Nicki still thinks Kree is her wife. Randy says she's in it to win it too.

Adriana Latonio: "Stand Up for Love" by Destiny's Child

Alaska's sweetheart is simply adorable, but the performance isn't that great, but it's kind of hard to tell. Angie, Amber and Kree just set the bar so damn high and Adriana isn't even close to that league. If she went before those three, it would've been a lot better. But still not great.

Judges: Nicki disses Keith again and then says exactly what I just wrote, that this was not that good after the insane trio of Angie, Amber and Kree. The judges are really hating on it. Mariah claims she doesn't know what "that song is too big for you" means, but since she brings it up, she seems to understand EXACTLY what it means. Mariah also does verbal gymnastics to avoid saying it was a pageant performance.

Candice Glover: "Ordinary People" by John Legend

Another great performance. Her voice is just so smooth and brilliant, and she has this very cool vibe going on. My only real fear is that she and Amber are gonna split votes because they are both big, bold divas. I may be in the minority, but I preferred this over Amber because it felt more original and current as opposed to just sounding like Whitney.

Judges: Nicki says nothing, probably because even she realizes she went too far with Adriana. Randy claims that they definitely need a wild card because there are too many great singers. Um, by my count there are exactly five who deserve to move on and five who deserve to be cut. But I'm sure they'll be adding a wild card or two or three on Thursday night.


That's it! I'm going to be very interested in Thursdays results, because from where I sit, this is an incredibly easy decision. Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie and Janelle move on, the other five get cut. It's not even a little bit close for me. But will America agree? Find out Thursday at 8pm on the American Idol results show, but first check out the Top 10 guys Wednesday night.



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(Image courtesy of FOX)