Here we are America, the Top 24, well half of them, are finally taking the stage and singing. Yes, singing! That thing that has been suspiciously absent for the entire audition process despite the fact that American Idol
is a show about singing. That all changes tonight when the Top 12 girls take the Idol
stage and serenade us with Hot Billboard Singles
from 1958-1972 and 2003-2010. Hopefully more of them go with our positive recommendations
, instead of sullying themselves with the song suicide that's among our worst picks
Watch along with me tonight as we're introduced to all of the Top 12 ladies and not just the ones with sad back stories or amazing legs. (cough, cough, Janell Wheeler)
If you were lucky enough to have avoided the Idol
audition process, not only am I extremely envious of you, I'm also a complete stranger. Since I'll be sharing your Idol
journey this season, here's a little intro about me
.Tonight it's all about the songs and not the sob stories, so if you want more information about Didi Benami's deceased best friend or Katie Stevens' Portuguese Grandmother, you're S.O.L. Tonight, finally, American Idol
is a singing competition and I, for one, couldn't be more excited.
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Before we get started, who do you think will dominate tonight's competition? Who's going to feel Simon's wrath?
Finally, we are on the big American Idol
stage, Ryan Seacrest says "This is American Idol
" as dramatically as he can muster in that tiny little body of his and this time he means it for real. None of that fake audition stuff. This is American Idol
. This is live. And these are the ladies. Out of this group, if we're to believe the buzz and Simon Cowell
, our winner is in here. I am so ready for this. Are you? The Cheer-o-Meter - Snap American Idol Audience Reaction:
Didi Benami got the loudest cheers for the ladies. Crystal Bowersox and Katie Stevens also got healthy audience appreciation.
For Ellen's official Idol
debut, she and Simon have been separated to opposite ends of the judges' table. We think this is because they are way too strong of personalities to share the same direct breathing air, but Ellen rehashes a joke she used on her show (and even a video clip from it) about Simon's crush on her and his case of wandering hands. This joke is already old, so hopefully it's the last time we hear it. My guess? None of us are near that lucky. Paige Miles
"All Right Now" by Free
Ah, Paige Miles, the invisible woman. Paige seems sweet in the pre-roll where she talks about being a pre-school teacher and kids' snot. Unfortunately, unless she completely wows us right now in a way that blows everyone else out of the water, she is in some serious trouble.
She starts out with a flat note, but gains confidence and swagger as she gets further into the song. However, it's a completely unmemorable vocal with way too much melisma for anyone's good. That said, Paige has that big voice that Idol loves so much and she hits a hell of a last note. Still, the whole performance stunk of casino cover band. Unless someone blows it, hard, I think Paige is in trouble.
Simon Says (Most Notable Judges' Comments):
"Out of all the girls, I think you have the best voice." The rest of the judges agree on everything but song choice, some of them loved the song choice, some of them hated it. I'm in the hate camp on that one.
Snap Judgment (will she be Safe, Shaky, or Should She Be Packing):
She should be packing her bags. (Unless the next hour forty-five is a total vocal snooze fest.)
"Happy" by Leona Lewis
It's a risky choice to sing a song by another Simon Cowell protege. But Ashley has the vocal chops to do it, what with her prestigious Berklee School of Music degree. Ashley has the huge pipes and the album cover ready looks that American Idol dreams about, so getting through night one should be a breeze. Or not...she struggles a bit in the middle and does nothing unique with the song. All in all it was a pretty solid performance that does nothing to change the notion that Ashley is a cover singer and not a stand-alone singer or star. She's the vocal equivalent of a body double.
"I thought it was clumsy, your version. I think you're going backwards, I don't feel you as a contemporary recording audience. Just somebody who sings somebody else's song and not very well. I think you could be in trouble tonight."
Shaky (much more so than expected)
"What About Love" by Heart
I love this song and I love Janell and I would have never EVER chosen this song for her. Janell adds a soft twang and rasp to this rocker, but struggles with the all important chorus. The size of this song kills the interesting bits of Janell's voice I love most. Still, for me, it's the best performance and arrangement we've seen tonight and yet still too much of a straight up cover.
"You gave it 100% effort and probably delivered 65%." Everyone but Ellen hated the song choice.