American Idol Season 9: Top 16, Girls Night

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

We're gonna be whipping through these kids in just an hour, so brace yourselves.

Judges intro: Ellen is macking on Simon.

Katie Stevens! Kelly Clarkson! "Breakaway"! I already have whiplash! Vocally, it's... not as strong as I would expect from Katie. Flat flat flat. Also... someone already sang Kelly last week, Katie -- there are other young artists who make non-crappy music that you could sing.

  • Randy didn't get it.
  • Ellen thinks it was a good song choice but that Katie didn't connect.
  • Kara says she has a good radio voice, but she needs more time to mature. Well then don't put her in the Top 24! Good grief.
  • Simon says she's doing well at taking their advice but she doesn't know what kind of artist she wants to be yet.

Siobhan is singing "House of the Rising Sun" as a surprise for her dad, who's in the audience tonight. Well, that's just great. This concept did not excite me, but then it's like this amazing, perfect thing and I feel like explaining it is going to taint the amazingness of it, but here I go: she starts out a cappella and hits every note so dead on that I get shivers tip to toe. When the instruments kick in, they're sparse and then they build a bit toward this killer end, and it's just... It's just GOOD. So good.

  • Randy likes the risks she takes and tells her to keep not listening to the judges.
  • Ellen says she was moved.
  • Kara says the a cappella was a brilliant choice (yes) and she lauds Siobhan's uniqueness (yes).
  • Simon wasn't a fan of it and he thinks she's weird. Oh, Simon. You're just freaked out by how much you love her weirdness. He says there were no "moments" in that performance: HA! Wrong.

Lacey's doing Brandi Carlile's "The Story," which if you ask me is right up her alley, but it's one of those songs that not a lot of people know (except maybe as background music on some primetime soap or another), even though THEY SHOULD because Brandi Carlile is one of the great songwriters of our generation. The performance is nice enough but I am not sure if I would call it captivating.

  • Randy thought it was her best performance in awhile.
  • Ellen says the song choice was perfect.
  • Kara explains that this is why Lacey got this far. (Probably just in time to get booted, alas.)
  • Simon didn't love the song but thought she sang it really, really well.

Katelyn is singing "I Feel the Earth Move" and she is playing a Wurlitzer so she gets extra Cool Points. As far as I'm concerned, she has arguably the best voice, best tone and best control of all these girls. She is also the most comfortable on stage. This is a really relaxed performance and I completely dig it. (I love to sing this song while puttering around the house, so that might have something to do with it.)

  • Randy talks about how she did her hair like Carole King, but RANDY, that is just her HAIR. I think that overall he did not care for it.
  • Ellen isn't sure it was enough.
  • Kara says she didn't feel like Katelyn was competing tonight -- detached, I think, is what she's aiming at. Katelyn counters that she was trying to be less corny.
  • Simon thought it felt like she was playing in a restaurant or something.

Didi is doing "Rhiannon." Oh, Didi. Where did your song choice train go wrong and how can we get it back on track? And it's not that I don't LOVE this song (I do), and it's not that she doesn't do a fabulous job of it (she DOES), and it's not that she doesn't look especially amazing (oh, she does), but this isn't going to help win votes... is it?

  • Randy says she was a whole lot better than last week.
  • Ellen thought it was lovely.
  • Kara thought it was one of her favourite moments of the show this whole season. Aw, well that is nice. She worried that Didi was out of her mind picking that song, but she was pleasantly surprised. Kara's hair looks so pretty and shiny tonight.
  • Simon agrees with Kara. I am glad! I like Didi! I want her to succeed and stick around for a very long time! But to pick songs that were written in the past decade or so! Just once in awhile!

Paige has opted to sing "Smile," which is originally by Charlie Chaplin. AGH. What is with retro night? I AM BORED. This is boring. She is boring.

  • Randy loves that song but says it didn't work.
  • Ellen doesn't think it was the right song choice.
  • Kara says it was all wrong, and asks Paige if she knows that. Paige quibbles with her answer.
  • Simon dittos the rest of them.

You know, suddenly I am looking a great deal more positively on Lacey's song choice and performance.

Crystal Bowersox is doing Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." This... is another one I love to sing around the house. Crystal is playing the electric guitar tonight and I think this is my favourite of her performances so far. I still have a couple of issues with her voice, but I can't put words to these objections yet, so, you know, look for that in future weeks!

  • Randy loved it.
  • Ellen needs new adjectives, she says. Best of the night.
  • Kara explains that Crystal is sort of the definition of "knowing who you are."
  • Simon declares her one million billion percent going to the Top 12. Thanks, RandySimon.

Lilly's last with Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces." Oh! You guys! There is a mandolin in Lilly's hands! However, this is maybe my least favourite of Lilly's performances thus far and her various affectations do nothing for her in this situation. Still, she is better than all of the guys on the show so I can't complain too hard.

  • Randy loved it.
  • Ellen loved it.
  • Kara says she made Patsy Cline feel current.
  • Simon calls her brave and thought it was cute and quirky, but didn't think the wow factor was big enough for a night like tonight.

In summation, my favourites from most to least: Siobhan, Didi, Katelyn, Crystal, Lacey, Lilly, Katie, Paige... And I think Katie and Paige will go.

Well, that was delightfully brief! See you tomorrow night for the guys. (Ugh. Casey, please be awesome.)

Tags: american idol, recap

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