American Idol: ships passing in the night

Yeah, “Ships passing in the night” is a weird title for a recap of “American Idol.” But what I mean is, some of the ladies’ performances on Wednesday were incredible or at least really good, while others were worse than last week. Some of the women keep climbing, while others are barely hanging on and risk falling off the ladder entirely tonight. Now that I’ve explained myself, let’s get on to the recap of the performances….

THE REALLY GOOD

Crystal Bowersox landed in the hospital Tuesday with an undisclosed illness that apparently almost forced her to resign from the competition. But not only did Crystal rebound and show up, she SHOWED UP. She chose Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long As I Can See Light” and it bordered on mind-blowing. I haven’t been the biggest fan of Crystal until now, but I’ve consumed a few pitchers of the Kool-Aid. There is no pretense with Crystal–what you see is what you get, and that performance last night may vault her into the Top 5 or so all on its own. Randy said he loves that Crystal does what she does and doesn’t try to be anything or anyone else….Ellen said Crystal has pure, raw, natural talent….Kara said that not only did Crystal recover from the week before, but she hit a whole new level…and Simon said he appreciated that Crystal didn’t play the sympathy card, and that maybe the judges have underestimated her. He added that her vocals last night were “incredible.” Let’s just hope she didn’t peak too soon.

THE GOOD

Siobhan Magnus ended the show and bookended last night along with Crystal, the two of them having the best performances. Siobhan launched into a video about how she had a mohawk a few years ago while fronting a band, and how she does these weird “motorboat” things with her lips to help warm up. This girl is strange, but she’s also extremely likeable. Well, Siobhan took on Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” and we were all cringing, expecting nothing close to the original. But she got as close as you can get. Sure, the last note was phenomenal despite sounding like an Adam Lambert screech, but the overall performance was damn good. Randy said he couldn’t believe Siobhan picked Aretha, but that it was “dope”…..Ellen also loved it….Kara said she couldn’t believe the “note”….and Simon said that parts of it were terrible and parts of it were incredible, but that there is no doubt Siobhan is interesting and talented. Yep, she is still a dark horse here…or maybe more than a dark horse.

THE PRETTY GOOD

Lilly Scott took on Sam Cook’s “Change Is Gonna Come” and it was good, but I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing with the performance. As with the guys the night before though, Lilly looked even better because most of the performances were mediocre to bad. Randy said it was unique and his favorite of the night so far (she went 7th)….Ellen said that Lilly has “it” and that it was amazing….Kara said we’ve now had our first “moment” on the show. Um, no Kara, Crystal’s was the first “moment”….Simon said it was good, but he wasn’t as crazy about the performance as the other judges were, and he even said he liked Crystal better last night. Yes!

THE IN-BETWEEN

Katelyn Epperly played piano and did Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” It wasn’t horrible, but the tempo was super slow, and literally put Mrs. Mike to sleep. Randy said he liked it but that it was too slow and the last few notes were off pitch….Ellen said it was so slow she almost fell asleep (ha!)…..Kara said, “I kind of love you.” Um, for real? Katelyn was good, but I think for Kara to say that proves she is a bit delusional….Simon said the version was identical to Natasha Bedingfield’s, that it was a little corny but also that Katelyn was a million times better than last week.

Paige Miles said in her video that she likes to “color,” you know, like, in a coloring book. I think she’s in her mid-20’s, so yeah, that’s a little odd. Paige sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away” and it wasn’t bad but I found myself a bit bored by it. Randy commented that Kara actually wrote the song (of course she did…she writes all that pop schlock) and that he liked it but didn’t love it. Randy also said he didn’t like that the song had too many words and therefore Paige couldn’t showcase her voice….Ellen loved it and said Paige has one of the best voices in the competition….Kara said she could see Paige having a hit with the song (well duh, cha ching), but she didn’t like Paige’s interpretation of it….Simon said that he didn’t like it, and that for two straight weeks Paige has chosen the wrong song, and she can’t keep making bad decisions. Ouch.

THE PRETTY BAD

Katie Stevens was told last week to “get younger,” so she took on Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” and the song was a bit too big for her and quite pitchy in spots. Randy said it had some bright moments and got better as it went along….Ellen said Katie has a great voice at just 17 years old but that she still wants Katie to pick “younger material”….Kara said she sees so much potential in Katie but that she was almost in the wrong key last night, and also that the song she chose was the kind of song that sounds better on the radio with all the production than it does on stage….and Simon said he was frustrated with Katie, because he knows she could do better and that last night she just was not very good.

Didi Benami also had a weird video clip, saying she “meows” to warm her voice up. There are so many snarky reactions going through my head right now, but I’ll just let the meowing speak for itself. Didi chose Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” a weird choice for her and one that made her sound like she was at a karaoke bar. It was also pretty pitchy in spots. Randy said it wasn’t a good choice and showed what Didi can’t do rather than what she can do…Ellen said she loves Didi’s voice and presence but that she also didn’t like the song choice…Kara said it wasn’t good and made reference to the karaoke bar, just like I had already written down (I swear!)….Simon said it was all over the place and screechy, and that he was frustrated with Didi at this point.

(ed. note–the frustration stems from the fact that the judges did a lousy job of choosing the Top 24….at least in several cases).

Michelle Delamor chose Creed’s “Arms Wide Open” and all I kept thinking is that it must be really hard to try and polish a turd. It also wasn’t a very good polishing job, and was quite pitchy. Randy said he liked Michelle’s outfit but not the song, and that she did not do enough with it….Ellen disagreed and thought Michelle DID do a lot with it….Kara said it was her favorite performance so far of Michelle’s and that it was believable (really?)….and Simon said he agreed with Kara. I am with Randy on this one.

THE REALLY BAD

Haeley Vaughn chose a song that mirrored her own youth–Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” Haeley’s next climb should be up the steps to an airplane, because this was horrible. Randy said it didn’t work for him, had no connection and that it was (to steal a Simon term) excruciating. Wow, I didn’t know the dawg could be so cruel, but he was right!…..Ellen said she didn’t feel a connection with the song, that it felt too “memorized”….Kara said it wasn’t good but that, just like Alex Lambert, people will be rooting for Haeley (um, I’m not sure about that, Kara). Kara then commented that Haeley maybe needs another year of seasoning. Well, duh! I am pretty sure I said that when they selected Haeley into the Top 24. I’m thinking about you right now, Shelby Dressel…..Simon called it a “complete and utter mess,” and added that it should have worked “in theory.” True!

Lacey Brown did a lousy job last week of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” and after Kara suggested she try something like Sixpence None the Richer, Lacey chose “Kiss Me” by, um, Sixpence None the Richer. But it was off-time and extremely karaoke-ish. Lacey, I’m sorry, but you just don’t belong here. Randy said it was a good choice but like karaoke and too much like the original….Ellen said Lacey is adorable and that it was the right song….Kara said that Lacey had better tone this week but that she needs to “step it up”….and Simon said it was marginally better than last week, and that it was not memorable. He also said that there was a “massive difference” between Lacey and Crystal last night. A-freaking-men.

Okay, so overall, the ladies were a tad better than the guys. But there were some real polarizing performances last night. As for who will and should go home….look no further than my bottom two of Haeley and Lacey…but then again, I picked them both last week and was wrong. Other possibilities are Didi, Michelle, Paige and even Katelyn.

So my four picks to go home, officially….Haeley Vaughn, Lacey Brown, John Park, and Jermaine Sellers. And we’ll be back here tomorrow morning with a recap of the results….and of Danny Gokey’s return performance!

  

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