American Idol Season 9: Top 20, Girls Night

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

I swear, every time Ryan says "THIS... is American Idol," he tries to one-up himself. I see that Crystal Bowersox is alive and (questionably) well, and thankfully, she has no desire to whine as Ryan asks her how she's feeling and she claims she's a tough cookie and she's ready to sing.

Ryan also wonders why Kara is sitting so close to Simon these days.

Crystal is up first, presumably so she can go back to the hospital as soon as possible. She tells us that she has a twin brother, and that tonight she's doing a gospel version of "Long As I Can See the Light" by CCR. It is boring, and she keeps her eyes closed the whole time. I do not like her upper register one bit.

  • Randy gets all Paula on us about "truth" and "reality" and "love" and I don't know.
  • Ellen says she is "pure, raw, natural talent."
  • Kara thinks this is definitely who Crystal is. Get in your box and stay there, young lady!
  • Simon is glad Crystal didn't play the sympathy card, and confesses that he has underestimated her. He compares her to Kelly Clarkson in one way or another.

Crystal has a touch of the Julia Stiles about her.

Haeley Vaughn is singing Miley Cyrus this week, OH JOY. I BET I KNOW WHICH SONG. But first, the thing we might not know about Haeley is that she likes to make things, particularly headbands and hair accessories. Also she doesn't know how to not smile. Oh good grief, I want to push her over. And then, yep... "The Climb." With a lilypad on her head. I notice more bad notes than good ones, but let's kick it to the pros:

  • Randy calls it excruciating.
  • Ellen didn't feel that Haeley connected to the song.
  • Kara thinks that people love Haeley and she's a good performer, but that she needs a good year to improve. See, that's why I didn't think they should have put her through to Hollywood in the first place. These people should ask me my opinion more often.
  • Simon agrees with all of the above, except for the part about my opinion.

Lacey Brown, whom I still maintain was phenomenal last week, likes to refurbish antiques. That requires way more patience than I possess. Lacey is singing Kara's suggestion from last week, Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me," although she says she was planning to do it all along. And see, if she had done this last week, I would be less inclined to like her. I think this is boring, even if she does have a couple of really cute moments (vocal- and performance-wise).

  • Randy says that except for one or two moments, he was looking for the words on the bottom of the screen like at a karaoke bar. Aaaand my roommate mentioned karaoke in reference to her performance as well, so I guess we could judge the show just as effectively. Maybe next week I'll mute the judges and transcribe us instead.
  • Ellen thought it was adorable.
  • Kara thinks the song suited Lacey's unique tone very well (of course), but she could have pushed it further. Kara also wants Lacey to stay in the happy, cheerful box, instead of the horrible, depressing "Landslide" box. My eyes, they roll.
  • Simon says she wasn't memorable.

Katie Stevens doesn't understand irony, but she does understand that she should be embarrassed about the fact that she knows how to say "Give me a kiss" in six languages. She's singing "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. You know, she has got a serious voice on her, this girl. But she does so much neck-snapping and finger-snapping and smirking when she performs that I have trouble taking her seriously.

  • Randy thinks Katie had some great moments but was pitchy in the beginning until she really went for it; she should tackle bigger songs and believe in herself.
  • Ellen still thinks Katie's singing too old, i.e., she should not be singing songs Ellen would hear in her dentist's office.
  • Kara agrees and is frustrated that Katie isn't living up to her potential. She needs to pick better songs that she can really perform.
  • Simon says she needs to give them a better understanding of what kind of recording artist she wants to be.

Here's Didi Benami, middle-school mascot, with the hippie-girl version of "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers. I assume the judges will hate this because it is such an old song, but the fact of the matter is that her vocal is amazing and therefore she wins.

  • Randy wouldn't have chosen a soul song for Didi. Because she is a little white hippie girl.
  • Ellen loves Didi's voice but didn't love the song choice. I am shocked. Shocked, I say!
  • Kara simply says it wasn't good. Well now that is just a lie, Kara. Then she babbles for awhile, the gist of which is, "Didi, get back in your damn box already."
  • Simon thought it sounded like screeching cats. He's mad (as in angry).

Didi is sad and Ryan comforts her because that's just what Ryan does.

Michelle Delamor is a children's choir director, and she has bizarrely chosen to perform Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" in tight black pants (possible jeggings), a white bridal minidress, a black leather jacket and fingers-only leather gloves. As you do. Oh goodie, it's the R&B ballad version of Creed -- admittedly not any worse than the original. She does not rock this business out at all and I feel depressed.

  • Randy comments on some pitch problems but he thinks her outfit is hot. He WOULD.
  • To be fair, Ellen agrees on the outfit. (And so does my roommate.) She likes that Michelle tried to be different and thinks it almost worked.
  • Kara says it was her favourite performance of Michelle's ever. That's nice, but we've only seen, y'know, two so far.
  • Simon liked it too, even though Michelle struggled with some of the notes.

Lilly Scott supposedly plays a lot of instruments but she only tells us about five, and all are guitar- or piano-based. Lilly looks awesome tonight in a dress and boots I covet, and she's singing Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" while playing a 12-string. My one criticism is that perhaps her voice is not big enough for this song, although she throws way more passion into it than Michelle just did with Creed, so consider my complaint negated.

  • Randy's favourite performance so far tonight.
  • Ellen thinks she has "it."
  • Kara calls it a ~*~*moment*~*~ for Lilly, and says she's a game-changer.
  • Simon says she proves their point about being relevant, even though he thinks Crystal was stronger tonight.

Ryan and Lilly have a bizarre conversation about the prompter that I don't even understand. Do... any of you know what they were talking about?

Next up, the most anticipated performer of my night: Katelyn Epperly. Hey! Katelyn was studying to be a recording engineer! That's what I did! Katelyn will be singing "The Scientist" by Coldplay. I think I am glad that they've got the rights to Coldplay this year, but I am DESPERATELY hoping for Katelyn to do well at this, especially since she's going to be playing the piano, which is also my main instrument. Dude. SAMESIES.

They let her play a white grand, which is fun, and overall I am a fan of the performance, although it definitely had certain moments that were better than others, if you know what I mean. It's especially sweet when she hits the chorus, but what she does with the last note is exactly the opposite of what I wanted her to do -- I was hoping for a whispered low note, but she went for the glory note and scooped into it most unappealingly.

  • Randy really liked it even though it was way slow.
  • Ellen thought it was too slow.
  • Kara kind of loves Katelyn. Hey, me too. Because we're samesies probably mostly. Kara wants Katelyn back in her box, though.
  • Simon is floored that Katelyn wasn't doing the Natasha Bedingfield version of the song, which she claims she has never heard, and he thinks it was a million times better than last week and that Katelyn's back in the running.

Paige Miles is next. She likes to colour, like in colouring books. She is singing "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson, "the original American Idol." I wasn't excited by the idea, but by the first line I'm way into this. Simon, however, is digging for something on the floor by his feet. I... this may be sacrilegious of me, but I think it's better than Kelly's. I'M SORRY KELLY ILU. (Um, ok, except for the glory notes, which are not better than Kelly's.) Oh hey, I forgot that Kara co-wrote this song. Thanks, Randy.

  • Randy thinks it was a poor song choice, but I can't really tell why. Oh wait, because Paige is NOT IN HER BOX, BAD PAIGE.
  • Ellen disagrees with Randy and totally loved it, every part of it.
  • Kara talks about how much she hates the guy she wrote that song about, so Paige should have been madder when singing it.
  • Simon says the songs she's choosing are overtaking her.

Ok, one more, let's get on with it: Siobhan Magnus, wearing God knows what. Her thing is that she had a mohawk. Tonight? "Think" by Aretha Franklin. HELLO. That's bold. And I mean, it's not terrible and it's certainly big, but Siobhan is no Aretha.

  • Randy wants you to check it out: Siobhan is bold, fearless and dope.
  • Ellen loved it too.
  • Kara is in awe of the big notes.
  • Simon just loves what a weirdo Siobhan is.

So there you go. Here are my favourites from tonight, best to worst: Lilly, Katelyn, Didi, Siobhan, Paige, Crystal, Lacey, Katie, Michelle, Haeley. I would like to see, well, Michelle and Haeley go. I think it might be Lacey and Paige, though. See you tomorrow for the results!

Tags: american idol, recap

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