Top 12 Girls Perform

Ok guys–the gals just pwnd you tonight–you know that right?   A much better night of performances, although there were some clunkers.   I can feel the ghost of Season 3 lurking over my shoulder.   There are several talented soul singers on the girls slate.   So good,  most will  make it to the Top 12 and then start cancelling each other out.   You’ve got your 3 Divas of Season 3, and now your  5 divas of Season 6…

First, tonight’s ad (moola)  report, courtest of reader Claire (thanks Claire!):

85 ads
9 breaks
average ads per break: 9.5

First hour: 51 ads.
Second hour: 34 ads.

Out of the 85 ads only 2 Wendy’s ads, 2 Coke
ads and 4 Cingular ads were repeats, leaving   77 uniquely different ads…

Now, on with the show.

Stephanie Edwards – “How Come You Dont Call Me by Alicia Keys  –  I wasn’t as bowled over by Stephanie as the judges were. I thought she would be called out for being “old fashioned.”  Indeed, her performance was very old school.   It was a little pitchy, and when she sunk to her  knees at the end of the song, I thought it was a little  over the top.   Still, a solid effort.    Simon said,  “It looks like you came out and said ‘I want to win American Idol’ and that’s what it’s all about.”

After the break, Randy chats with the girls.   Melinda said, “I thought the guys were amazing tonight.” Yeah, what else was she going to say?   Antonella says she’s really nervous.   No kidding.

Amy Krebs – “I Can’t Make You Love You” by Bonnie Raitt –    Paula finds Amy’s Hollywood audition “refreshing”.  That’s never a good sign.   Amy is deadly dull, which is the kiss of death in the Idol world.   It’s better  to suck outright than to be boring.   Nobody will vote for Amy, because nobody will remember her.   She sings the song in a little-girl voice.   Her attempt to spice up the tune with some off-key runs  is not a good idea.   Simon says Amy will have a problem in the competition unless she does something in order to stand out.   I think Amy is in danger tonight.

Leslie Hunt – “Natural Woman”   by Aretha Franklin – This song  is probably a “little bit too big” for Leslie, as they say.   She’s got a great tone–she reminds me a bit tonight of the soulful 60’s pop chanteuse Dusty Springfield.   However, singers like Leslie, who don’t have a huge voice, suffer a bit on the Idol stage.   She needs to pick songs that suite her particular style.   Certainly, picking soul tunes while competing with so many big-voiced soul singers is not the way to go.   I hope Leslie lives to see another week.   I think she’s got something special–but she has to break from the pack and distinguish herself at this point.   Simon says that Leslie looks “embarrassed and ungainly.”   Her  dad looks like he wants to deck him.

Sabrina Sloan – …I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You by Aretha Franklin –  Sabrina comes out of nowhere to rock the house tonight.  Besides spot-on vocals, she has a confident stage presence.   If she can develop momentum, she could be a dark horse to make it into the Top 12.   The judges love it.   Interestingly, when the Ryan asks her about song choice, Sabrina says that after watching the show for 5 seasons, she knew what kind of song she needed to pick.   Now that’s called “doing your homework.”

Antonella Barba – …I Dont Want Miss A Thing  by Aerosmith –  Oh dear.     Antonella is nervous, nasal and off-key.  Randy says she was bland.   Paula tells her she looks great, which is her stock remark when she doesn’t want to hurt a contestant’s feelings.   Simon says, “The good news is you’re attractive, the bad news is, it didn’t work. It was way,  way, way too big for you…I think this has seriously, seriously  damaged your chances of remaining here another week.”   Antonella easily has the worst performance of the  night.    However,  she’s already got a fan base–she’s had tons of screen time already.    Coupled with Simon’s harsh words–the fanbase and the pity votes will get her through to next week–probably at the  expense of a more  deserving contestant.

Jordin Sparks – “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman – Jordin impresses me much more than she did in her initial audition, where she went wildly off pitch on the high notes.   She’s very confident for a 17 year old.   I really like her song choice tonight.   Rather than pick  the typical  Top 40 R&B hit, she goes for some acoustic blues–a really smart way to distinguish herself.    Jordin  uses   her big voice to  excellent effect here.  The judges all approve.   I think Jordin has a good shot to make it into the Top 12.

Nicole Tranquillo – …Stay  by Rufus and Chaka Khan – Nicole’s performance  is screechy, strange and all wrong.   Chaka is hard to cover–her wandering vocals are not easy to duplicate.   Simon put it well, he said it was, “Indulgent…aggressive…it looked unnatural and over-rehearsed.”  If Nicole isn’t eliminated tomorrow, she’s going to have to pick songs that don’t overwhelm her.   Again, with so many talented soul singers in this competition, Nicole should  choose songs that will set her apart from the rest rather than tunes that highlight her weaknesses.

Haley Scarnato – “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Meatloaf –  I love this song, but not Haley singing it.    As Simon would say, it’s all  very cabaret.   She smiles through the song without conveying the underlying passion.   Meatloaf is another tough one to cover in my opinion, because nobody can sing his songs like he can.   Haley, in particular, has very sweet, well controlled vocals.  Her style is not suited to big power ballads.  The judges  are unimpressed, and so  am I.

Melinda Doolittle – “Since You Been Gone” by Aretha Franklin –  Mild mannered Melinda comes alive on stage in a way that’s neither forced or overbearing.   She has so much natural ability, she makes it all look easy.   I see  Melinda as this year’s  Elliott Yamin–a contestant who isn’t quite aware of  how good they are.   If Melinda makes it into the  Top 12, and I suspect  she will,  we’ll have the pleasure of watching  her terrific talent blossom.   Simon says, “I have seen people come out here with little talent and a huge amount of arrogance, and you’re the opposite.”

Alaina Alexander – Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders – Alaina just does not  posses the musical chops to be in this competition–that was clear in her initial audition.   She was advanced through the rounds anyway, I suspect as eye candy/cannon fodder.   So, really, the judges should not be surprised that she mangles the great Chrissy Hynde classic,  “Brass in Pocket.”   I actually feel bad for Alaina.   She’s a victim of a classic Idol stunt.  She gets nothing but praise and support as she’s advanced through the preliminary rounds.   But once she hits the Idol stage, the tables quickly turn and the judges tear her down.   Simon, who took a particular shine to her during the auditions says,  “…I thought it was a mess…you lost it half way through…you are going to be reliant on your looks at the moment, not your voice.”    “Nice” she answers icily.  Poor Alaina, learning Idol lessons the hard way.

Gina Glocksen – “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen. Ok, I know the most recognizable version is Celine Dion’s, but I always think of the original when I hear this song, so indulge me.   Gina’s performance starts off reasonably enough–she sounds good in her lower register.   However, she can argue with Simon all she wants, but she definitely did not hit those high notes.   Really, she needs to watch her own performance.   Getting snotty with the judges will only get her the “bitch” label. And for an Idol contestant, particularly a female, bitchiness is a fast track to elimination.   Well, unless you are the only girl standing. Ahem.   If Gina can reign in her inner bitch and stick to songs that are in her range, she could earn a spot in the Top 12.

Lakisha Jones – “And I Am Telling You” from the musical “Dreamgirls”  – Only somebody really insane or really talented would attempt to tackle this huge song on the Idol stage.   Lakisha is the latter.   She nails it.  She gets the emotion of the song down without oversinging it.   The praise  from the  judges is effusive. Randy says, “Jennifer Hudson, watch out”   Well, I would not go  that far.  Randy and Simon agree that Lakisha is in a different league. Quick cut to the girls looking stupefied.   And to top it off, it’s Lakisha’s daughter’s 4th birthday today.   Not only will she advance to the next round, there’s now talk that she could win the whole shebang.

In my opinion, it’s too early to handicap a  front runner.   Lakisha needs to show she has range–that she can do more than belt a tune.  Like Mandisa did last year, Lakisha  could falter in the weeks to come when she’s expected to sing different genres.   Unless,  if the producers want her to succeed bad enough, they  tailor the themes to her strengths.   Only time will tell.

About mj santilli 34244 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!