The Top12 women on this season of American Idol
are, overall, better than the men. I'm pretty sure you can't even dispute that fact. Shortly after the Top 24 was announced, I ranked both sides, and while I think my choices for the men proved very accurate, the women were another story. After hearing these women sing, many for the first time, there are some very good singers.
Now, as I rank the performances from tonight's episode of American Idol
, I see that two of my top three were singers I predicted would be voted out in the first two weeks. I also notice that, going far down my list, I still want to hear more from nearly all of these performers. In fact, the bottom two are the only ones I think should definitely go home, which is something I couldn't say with the men.
Top 12 Women Live Thoughts
1. Syesha Mercado – “Tobacco Road” by The Nashville Teens
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Syesha has the deadliest weapon in any female performer's arsenal on American Idol
: a big, powerful voice. She absolutely nailed this song, and when it was done, I instantly decided she's my new favorite to win this whole thing. That decision was made easier when Simon Cowell
said this wasn't even her best. She'll be a force to be reckoned with as we go deep into this season.
2. Ramiele Malubay – “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” by Dusty Springfield
Another big voice from a little girl, not only did she deliver a great vocal, but she did a great presentation, starting slow and building it up as the song progressed. Initially I thought Syesha and Ramiele would cancel each other out with their big voices, but now, I think there's plenty of room for both of them to shine.
3. Alexandrea Lushington – “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat and Tears
Se has the Jason Castro
factor, an unknown arriving with a killer performance that makes you instantly fall in love with her. It was funky, soulful and was easily the most enjoyable performance of the night. Simon didn't understand it, but I think a lot of viewers did. She's definitely someone to watch.
4. Carly Smithson – “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Tony Bennett
As I said in my live thoughts, it really isn't fair that Carly Smithson is in this competition. The show even told us about a recording contract she used to have, which I thought made you ineligible for this show. She's the very definition of a ringer, but much as I hate that, she is a good singer. Well, of course she is. While Randy Jackson
was happy to pretend like she was this amazing undiscovered talent, Simon appropriately judged her on a different scale, and deemed it unimpressive from a professional.
5. Kady Malloy – “A Groovy Kind of Love” by The Mindbenders
I don't really understand why the judges didn't like this as much as I did. Kady sang beautifully, and while nowhere near as much fun as her killer Britney Spears impression, it showed the girl can sing. I suspect next week, due to criticism, she'll let her hair down and have a good time, and that will be the true test with how far she'll go.
6. Asiah Epperson – “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin
My pre-season pick to win it all, she did a great job, and the judges helped with their raves, but I was expecting more, maybe because my personal bar was set too high. Still, she's a solid singer, and I still believe she has one truly outstanding performance in her.
7. Alaina Whitaker – “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase
Compared to Chikezie Eze
's performance of the same song, this was brilliant. She's a sweet little girl who will continue to do what she does best, which is stay in the middle of the road.
8. Brooke White – “Happy Together” by The Turtles
Another copycat of a male performance, and similarly, Brooke's was better than David Cook
's, simply because she didn't get all weird about it. Much like a lot of the performances, it was just OK.
9. Amanda Overmyer – “Baby, Please Don't Go” by Van Morrison
I really have no idea how to judge this performance. It was so far out there, a jumble of rock, blues and scatting that came across as terrifying. It might be great, and to a certain audience, I can understand how this might be someone's favorite performance of the night. But she's going to have to tone it down just a smidge before I can get behind her.
10. Kristy Lee Cook – “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass
It was sad, because she started off the show, and this frail, emaciated white girl tried to tackle a big, big song. Horrible song choice and it absolutely killed her, but I thought it was light and airy enough that, given a much better song, she could actually be good.
11. Joanne Borgella – “I Say a Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick
Yikes. I can forgive it when a skinny white girl can't match up with a big song, but Joanne is the plus-sized model, the token big black woman in the mold of Mandisa
and Lakisha Jones
. She is neither of them. Maybe it was this super-flu Ryan Seacrest
kept talking about, but Joanne fought the song, and the song won. It was a four-car pile-up of a performance.
12. Amy Davis – “Where the Boys Are” by Connie Francis
This is the Luke Menard
principle: if you get little to no screentime during the auditions, the last thing you should do is underwhelm viewers seeing you for the first time with a boring song. From her name to her look to her singing, Amy Davis is a total blank, a black hole of charisma. Am I being too mean? Maybe, but it doesn't matter, because after tomorrow night, we'll never have to see or hear her again.
What do you think? Should Amy and Joanne go home, or were their others worthy of elimination? Was Syesha really the best, and are you on board the Alexandrea train? What of Carly Smithson, the ringer? Let your voice be heard. Tomorrow night, two men (Garrett Haley
and Luke Menard) and two women (Joanne Borgella and Amy Davis) will be sent home. Who will they be? Check back tomorrow to find out.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images courtesy of FOX)