One-sentence summary: White girls try to be soulful with mixed results.
The false idolatry continues with a recap of tonight’s episode of American Idol, featuring the top 10 girls. While there were a few dull performances, the girls as a whole were way better than the top 10 guys. Here’s how it went down.
Crystal Bowersox “As Long as I Can See the Light”: The sick chick went first. I’m pretty sure the producers are pissed at her for screwing with this week’s schedule by going to the hospital. She rocks the hell out of this Creedence Clearwater Revival song, but I have to wonder if teens and tweens know who the hell CCR are. I sincerely doubt she’ll win, but I’m rooting for Crystal because she isn’t the typical “beautiful person” and my friend Christian is convinced that she’s really a lesbian. Randy Jackson’s brilliant judgement was, “I love that girl! That girl is hot!!!” Considering that she was hospitalized 24 hours ago and put on one hell of a performance, the other girls should be scared. The two things going against her are looks — because let’s be real, the beautiful people get more votes than they ought to — and (possibly) song selection that might not resonate with the youngins. If America votes her off this week, I’m leaving for Canada or Thailand.
Haeley Vaughn “The Climb”: This 16-year old girl is super interesting. Unlike other Idol teens, she doesn’t seem like she was manufactured by a stage mom. She comes off as a genuinely goofy teen and it’s pretty cute. She’s also an African American teenager that loves country music; I can honestly say that I’ve never met an African American (of either gender) that enjoyed country. Haeley went with a Miley Cyrus song, which should help her get votes. She’s not shouting half the song like last week, but her vocals weren’t the best — lots of pitch problems and several moments of weakness. The judges dig into her, but tell her to keep smiling. Kara DioGuardi said that Haeley needs another year to “strengthen her instrument” because “it’s a muscle that needs to be worked”. How many men have heard the same thing from Kara…in private. Anyway, Haeley could be in trouble, but I think her cuteness will keep her around for another week.
Lacey Brown “Kiss Me”: This chick is beautiful, but she mangled “Landslide” last week and I’m a little surprised that she’s still here…then again, she’s really, really pretty and has great hair. I’m pretty sure a lot of teenagers want to be her. She put on a fun performance of this Sixpence None the Richer song from She’s All That. It was definitely better than last week and a much smarter choice (she does not have the pipes to pull off Stevie Nicks), but she’s just not that good. She sounded like a shopping mall performer. Only Ellen liked her, calling her performance “adorable”…which made me think, “You know Ellen, not all women with short hair are lesbians.”
Katie Stevens “Put Your Records On”: Here’s Wired.com Kohler’s favorite. Since she has a square-ish face and Kohler digs her, I’m going to call her Box Head. She can say “give me a kiss” in six languages. Can the tramp stamp be far behind? Box Head does a decent job and she makes out with camera nicely, but I keep hearing Megan Joy’s performance in my head. Megan Joy knocked it out of the park last season and Box Head’s version is a bloop single in comparison. That said, it was good enough to keep her on the show…well, that and her looks.
Didi Benami “Lean on Me”: Music aside, this is my favorite female contestant. She’s beautiful and her name reminds me of Konami’s Bemani games. Plus, she cries during greeting card commercials, when old ladies struggle to get off the bus, and when leaves fall — she can’t help it! It’s funny that I mentioned Megan Joy in the last paragraph, because Didi is like a less talented and less interesting version of Megan Joy. On the plus side, she doesn’t have all that nasty ink covering her right arm. Her version of this Bill Withers classic sounded like a white girl trying to sing like a black girl. It was decent in the beginning but was all over the place towards the end. It left me with a whole “wannabe” vibe. Naturally, Didi was tearing up and couldn’t talk after getting railed by the judges. Don’t worry Didi fans, she’s too sexy to get voted off at this stage.
Michelle Delamor “With Arms Wide Open”: Michelle works with kids, teaching them how to yell, “Whooooooo!!!” like Ric Flair. I didn’t know that was a job. I could do that. Before she started singing, I was worried about a woman of color singing a Creed song. I’m pretty sure it’s a law in 37 states that Creed can only be sung by white people. Michelle showed why this law makes sense. It was just…weird. She’s a good singer with great looks, but the song choice was all wrong. The judges were split on this one. Randy and Ellen weren’t into it, but Kara and Simon liked it. Kara’s a moron, but I was surprised that Simon approved.
Lilly Scott “A Change is Gonna Come”: Some of my friends like this chick, but I don’t trust anyone that dyes their hair white. Why the hell would you want to look older?!? Lily is rocking a twelve-string guitar for this brilliant Sam Cooke song. I was scared that she’d absolutely blow it, but she did really well — my second-favorite performance of the night behind Crystal. Unlike Didi Benami, Lilly managed to impose her own style on a soulful song. It was like a Lilith Fair performance (in a great way). The judges loved her, rightfully so. If she keeps this up, she’s in the overall top 10 for sure.
Katelyn Epperly “The Scientist”: To steal a joke from 40-Year Old Virgin, do you know how I know you’re gay Katelyn Epperly? You like Coldplay. *joke* On a side note, I love telling hardcore U2 fans that Coldplay is a much better band (I don’t really believe that). They get so flustered. Anyway, Katelyn has great stems, but her hair looks like a beehive. Still, she’s showing so much skin that it’s hard to look at her face…except when you focus on the beauty mark between her eyebrows. I really want to jab it with my finger for half an hour. As for her performance, she did a good job with a somber piano performance of “The Scientist”. The only issue I had was that her camera faces were kind of creepy. Ellen wasn’t into it, saying that it made her sleepy. Then again, Ellen thought she was playing a guitar, not a piano. Anyone else get a Brooke White vibe from Katelyn?
Paige Miles “Walk Away”: Picking a Kelly Clarkson song written by Kara DioGuardi — the ultimate kiss-ass move. This was absolutely the wrong song for Paige. It did nothing to highlight her huge voice. She didn’t do poorly, but it was totally forgettable. She’s good enough to stick around for a few more weeks, but she needs to start picking songs that highlight her awesome voice. Three of the judges conveyed similar sentiments, with Ellen the only one that was into it.
Siobhan Magnus “Think”: I’m always scared when American Idol contestants take on Aretha Franklin. It rarely works. For Siobhan it was half awesome and half horrible. It was a very strange performance — some of it was soulful and some of it was shrilly. On the plus side, she pulled off the season’s first Adam Lambert scream. The downers were pitch problems, poor phrasing, and spots of weakness (yes, everyone is weak in comparison to Aretha). Siobhan is super cute, but she makes ugly faces when she sings. Randy, Ellen, and Kara loved her. Simon thought it was part incredible and part terrible. She should stick around and I hope she sticks around because she has great potential.