The 'American Idol' Watchlist: Get It Right This Time, Ladies. You've Had One More Day To Prepare.
The 'American Idol' Watchlist: Get It Right This Time, Ladies. You've Had One More Day To Prepare.
Thanks to that last-minute schedule swap, the guys performed last night... and the girls will perform tonight. In case you haven't seen what I wrote yesterday morning, here it is again, slightly tweaked.

I can imagine your reactions after the American Idol episodes last week: "what the heck just happened?"

Sure, it's their first live show, but unlike last year, when some of the frontrunners went to the stage and made us go "wow", this year's was a little more... should I say disastrous? There were some good performances but they weren't as memorable as past semifinalists. There were some really bad performances, running the gamut from overdoing a song to, well, overdoing a song. And there were the really unforgivable eliminations, giving more credence to the believe that this season is incredibly screwed up.

Or is it? After Ashley Rodriguez, Janell Wheeler, Joe Munoz and Tyler Grady's eliminations, we have twenty contestants left fighting one more week--and my expectations couldn't be higher, at least for some of them. I'm a believer in the slow burn (case in point: Kris Allen) and I think some of this year's performers are just taking longer than expected to grab us by the neck. Sure, some of you believe this is the worst Top 24 ever, but some of us think there's some untapped potential in there. We'll all just have to wait.

The set-up this week is the same as last week's: the girls perform tonight, the guys perform tomorrow night, and four get the boot on Thursday night. Last week, the girls weren't spectacular, but at least they're better than most of the guys, and I expect that trend to follow this week. As for my must-watches: just four of them.

Siobhan Magnus. First of all, thank you for not performing "It's Raining Men" last week. I am still searching for a reason to root for her, but after last week's surprisingly strong take on "Wicked Game", it seems that search won't take longer. Barring she wouldn't make a bad song choice, I expect her to take things one step further tonight, and maybe establish herself as a frontrunner in the ladies' race--or, at the very least, finally know what being a dark horse means.

Crystal Bowersox. First off, I'm glad to see you well. Fingers crossed nothing of the scary sort happens to you, or to any other contestant, for the rest of the season.

That said, am I the only one who didn't feel all that amazed by Crystal's performance last week? Yes, she's still an amazing performer, but she's still playing it a little safe. She still has a lot of elbow room tonight, and it wouldn't hurt her if she takes at least one step out of her comfort zone tonight. She was very safe last week, so there's no need for her to worry this week.

Paige Miles. We finally got a taste of how good she is last week, but compared against the other female contestant with virtually zero exposure, Michelle Delamor, Paige floundered a little bit. She's still in danger of elimination this week, so she's got to churn a very good (and very memorable) performance if she's to get closer to the Top 12.

Lacey Brown. Now here's an interesting case. Lacey's performance last week was a stinker, just when it shouldn't be. That's not a good lasting impression for the viewers, but it's obvious they gave her one more chance. She better not blow it. Lilly Scott's taken the front seat when it comes to taking a song and giving it her own distinct spin: Lacey's also known for the same thing, and she has to stick to that strategy if she's to survive another week. I can still hear her take on "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" during the auditions in my head. Can you be closer to that, dear?

All in all, tonight's show should be better than tomorrow last night's show. That, of course, is another watchlist altogether...

(Images courtesy of Fox)