The Top 12 Girls have a lot to live up to after the Boys' performances last night. The Top 12 Boys produced some stunning, chilling performances, a couple just-okay ones, and one glorious misstep. A few favorites faltered, Scotty McCreery violated us with his eyebrows, and other favorites earned their keep. How will the Top 12 Girls do? Watch with us tonight and find out!
Based on the set list
alone, I haven't been terribly excited about this episode. It seems a little heavy on the ballads; lots of songs about spreading one's wings, looking inside your heart, achieving what you never thought you could, etc. Not enough sass or cougin' for my taste. We'll see if the girls can earn their keep!
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Ryan promises us that the Top 12 ladies will be "fighting for your affection," which is a weird thing to say, especially because he said nothing of the kind about the boys. But that's just how Ryan rolls. I am OBSESSED with Jennifer's outfit tonight and it is a travesty that we will only get to see the top half of it for most of the show. Those boots! She's rocking some luxurious hair, too, though.
Ryan, before making a surprisingly self-aware short joke, confirms that there will be 5 guys and 5 girls "fast-tracked" to the Top However-many. Boo gender parity. Randy asks us to ask ourselves, "is THIS the American Idol?" when we're voting. I always do, Randy. Steven Tyler is looking especially like a creation from Jim Henson's Creature Shop tonight.
I'm gathering from the comments that there aren't a lot of Rachel Zevita fans out there, so you will be happy to know that she is dressed like she's auditioning for a role in Hocus Pocus
tonight. Ta-Tynisa Wilson
is up first, singing Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)." an interesting choice. She's definitely working the stage, but the vocal performance isn't particularly mind-blowing. The arrangement wasn't very energizing, either, and her long note was flatter than Louisiana. "It's good that it's over now, isn't it?" Jennifer said. Yes, it is. Randy said it was "just okay" and that he didn't get it, and then Jennifer immediately negated it by saying, "good job, baby!" Like Randy isn't entitled to his opinion!Naima Adedapo
gets her very first product placement. She designed her dress herself and chose "Summertime" because of her mother. I'm really wishing their clip packages were just a little longer, but I'll regret saying that when they start doing Ford commercials. She's singing it up-tempo and lounge-y. It's good, like, I don't have any problems with it except that we're not totally riveted. Oh, she killed that last note, though, and that could save her. Jennifer loved it, of course, and Randy thought it was a little lounge-y and liked the second half better than the first half. Steven likes that she's bringing "a new old-timey thing."
Let's get to know Kendra Chantelle
! We don't know her very well yet, and she's singing Xtina's "Impossible" to help us. Work those leather pants, girl! In case you didn't know, leather is IN for Season 10. I'm not a big fan of this song, but Kendra is singing it well. Again, good but not life-changing. Randy's feedback made absolutely no sense. I think he liked it? He noted that Christina Aguilera sang it and "did her thing." Whatever that means.Rachel Zevita
and her witch cape are up next. I'm just glad she didn't put on twenty pounds of accessories before she got on stage this time. Homegirl loves hats. Off goes the witch cape!
I love her dress, but the vocals are a little weak, mixed with shouty. Not her best song choice, I think. If you close your eyes and put a beer in your hand, you may feel like you're at a karaoke bar. Randy said, "it wasn't great, it wasn't good. It just didn't work." Randy Jackson is my favorite judge. My husband, my other favorite judge (don't tell Randy), said it seemed "forced and weird."
Karen Rodriguez is singing "Hero" and I just completely disagree with anyone singing this song unless they are in a 6th grade talent show. She's even doing the song in two languages, which is a big hit in talent shows. I liked her high notes at the end but it was sadly unremarkable (to me, Jennifer said, "WOW!"). Jennifer got goosebumps in English and Spanish. Randy liked it too, though, so I must just be feeling cynical watching this episode. I couldn't get over the song choice to hear how well she sang.
Have you voted for the ending of Jennifer Lopez's music video yet? Yeah, me neither. Unless the ending involves someone getting eaten by a dinosaur. I'd vote for that one.
Lauren Turner, my personal favorite, sings next. This is the first song choice that makes me happy and not nervous. I wish they would stop cutting over to Jennifer for reaction shots. She likes EVERYTHING. Lauren is a powerhouse and I like the way she sounds. I like my lady vocals a little scratchy. Randy gave her a, "that's how you do it." He's excited by her whole bluesy flavor. Steven Tyler gave the first real, musical critique of the episode, talking about the "top floor" and how it was a complete sentence.
Ryan made ANOTHER short joke! He's on a roll! A DINNER
ROLL ... to stand on or ride to work or something. Because he's short ... Nevermind, forget I said anything.Ashthon Jones
is wearing a denim corset to sing "Love All Over Me." This is another song choice I feel lukewarm about. I actually like the way she sounds, though. R&B isn't a genre I know a whole lot about but I'm buying Ashthon's performance. I even liked how she dramatically looked away from the microphone at the end of her song. Randy wasn't feeling the song but he likes Ashthon. Randy and I are working the Vulcan mind meld tonight. The judges liked it, and Ashthon won me over with her J. Lo impression.
Oh god, Julie Zorrilla
is singing "Breakaway" by American Idol
winner Kelly Clarkson. She looks like she's going to prom. Also, she should open her eyes every once in a while, just for safety reasons. It was truly average, and not at all what we expected from J. Lo's pick to win it. Jennifer asked Julie, "do you REALLY wanna break away?" Think about that next time, Julie. It didn't quite work for Randy, either.
Please be good, Haley Reinhart
! We'd ask her to sing something that's not "Fallin'" for once, but that's asking a lot of an Idol
contestant. Haley is a brunette now, which confused me initially. I've liked Haley a lot in the past but this performance is like a child beauty queen's best imitation of Jacob Lusk. It's a little nasally and over-growly and over-embellished for me. Randy said it didn't do anything for Haley, and that it was a little karaoke, and Haley pretended to gag? I don't know what that was but it made me like her even less. I'm feeling salty!Thia Megia
, one of the youngest contestants, starts acapella. She's singing that song from Fame
, and I approve of her choice to go minimal. Thia is effortless and she sounds awesome. I thought maybe I was just in a bad mood, but Thia being good made me realize that maybe the performances just hadn't been up to the standard the guys set until now. Also, her dress was very pretty. Steven Tyler said her pitch is so perfect it doesn't matter what song she sings. Is that a compliment? Randy said, once again, that THIS is what it's about. I'm getting mixed messages from Randy on what it is, in fact, about.
I worry that people might already be getting tired of Lauren Alaina
. That being said, I like her voice, it sounds like the better version of what Haley Reinhart is trying to do. I also like her song choice because it was fun and exciting and not something they would sing in a beauty pageant. The judges gush over her, of course.
Randy calls Lauren "Kelly Clarkson meets Carrie Underwood," and I totally agree. I think I've even said that. Get out of my head, Randy! Lauren calls Ryan Seacrest "Peaches." I'm taking that and running with it.Pia Toscano
is closing out the night with another pageant song, "I'll Stand By You," complete with pageant gestures. She looks gorgeous, though. I think a lot of people have counted Pia out but she's bringing it harder than a pageant queen. At the end, she proved why she's here and why Julie Zorrilla is pretty much the poor man's Pia Toscano. Then they cut to Ashthon Jones, who was like, "uh oh."
Randy told Pia, "THAT'S how you do it!" so update your instruction manual. Ryan Seacrest asked, "how do you pick your favorite?" in a weird voice and it ended the night on a sour note. Now we can look back on the performances and determine who will move on to the interview round.
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Who were your favorites? My husband is rooting for Haley because she "sang and danced the sluttiest." What a guy. Is it still a guy's season to win?(images courtesy of FOX)