The men were much better last night than they were last week, and I expect that this will be true for the females as well. The first night jitters won’t apply and they have all had a few chances to deal with the sound effects of the stage. I would caution anyone who understates the effect that this will have this week, and in the coming weeks. It’s very hard to hear yourself on a stage in front of a band. I didn’t see anyone using in-ear monitors last night. I’m sure Idol can afford them, so I don’t understand why they don’t use them.
The singers, the songs-
Crystal Bowersox, “Long as I can see the Light”, CCR-
Crystalcame from the hospital and delivered an understated but very, very hot version of a great song, and a great song choice. Did I say that there are no superstars?Crystalwas at maybe 80% of her normal capacity tonight. She seemed to be somewhat drawn, and her energy level was miles below normal for her. She blew the doors off of this song anyway, and her lack of energy actually led her to work on her more sedate side. That made the performance very sweet, almost sensual. It was a big step forward for a singer that was already right up there with anyone. I expect that, at the end of the show tomorrow night,Crystalwill be #1 in my power rankings. The one thing that I would say is that she needs to not look at her guitar while she is not playing it. It’s still a bit of a crutch to her. Get prepared for Janis comparisons down the road. Also it looks like they cleaned her teeth.
Haeley Vaughn, “The Climb”, Miley Cyrus-
I really, really like this kid. She has a beautiful voice and she is just cute, bubbly and very easy to root for. She tries like hell, and she is coachable. She is positive, almost to a fault. She is also probably going home tomorrow night unless two other singers really stink it up. I liked her performance tonight because I like HER, but it was sloppy in places where the professionals don’t mess up.
Lacey Brown, “Kiss Me”, Six Pence None the Richer-
I would love to hear Didi sing this, but Lacey did a decent good job of it. She was in tune, which is important. More importantly she was able to find the tuning fork, and make the song soar a bit. She is far from a belter, so she needs a song like this to show what she is good at. She isn’t going to last long, but if she leaves tomorrow she will leave on a high note.
Katie Stevens, “Put your Records On”, Corinne Bailey Rae-
Katie has a strong, rich tone in her lower range and a solid high range, but she shows her inexperience when she moves up and down very far in the melody. Unlike Haeley, who is a wild rough diamond of a singer right now, she is fairly polished in her phrasing and her intonation. She is green in many important ways, but she is also polished enough to make the tour. What a voice. She is going to be something amazing in a few years.
Did Benami, “Lean on Me”, Bill Withers-
To use the karaoke reference, this was one of those karaoke performances that would get everyone to stop what they are doing and clap and cheer for her. It was dynamic and artistic, but also kind of uneven. She was trying too hard. Her falsetto was not very good tonight, and her nerves obviouslygot to her. Please, Brooke White Syndrome, go away.
Michelle Delamor, “With Arms Wide Open”, Creed-
Michelle did about everything that she can do in this performance. She hit her highest notes, she pulled out her best trills and runs, and she sang it with as much emotion as she can. I respect that she put it all out there – but she is just not good enough. She can sing, don’t get me wrong. She reminds me of Diana Ross, but she gets tapped out and blocked in places where Diana would be just warming up.
Lilly Scott, “A Change is Gonna Come”, Sam Cooke-
She started out well….. then fell flat as a pancake. Who in the world signed off on this arrangement? The first 10 seconds of the song were terrific, but the last 80 seconds were boring and pointless. Lilly needs to be smarter than this.
Katelyn Epperly, “The Scientist”, Coldplay-
This was Katelyn at her absolute highest peak; as good of a performance as she is capable of. I’ve never been on her bandwagon, and I am not saying that she is going to suddenly be a contender, but wow. WOW. She didn’t do anything incredible on the piano, but her voice came out much more free and easy. She proved that she belongs.
Paige Miles, “Walk Away”, Kelly Clarkson-
Powerful performance. I don’t love her falsetto, but it isn’t horrible. Her full voice is vintage Motown soul, though I still hear the low oil metal on metal thing in there. Has she been sick or something?
Siobhan Magnus, “Think”, Aretha Franklin-
The verses were sedate and the tempo was a little bit faster that I would have liked, but she made up for it in the choruses. This kid has a HUGE voice. She hit the glory note perfectly, and left some for later. She has a lot left to learn as a performer, but she has that IT factor to me. She is definitely Cinderella at the ball now. What time is it?
I was impressed with the men last night in how much they improved. The girls called them and raised them tonight.Crystal, Sha-Von and Katelyn gave command performances. Several others were terrific.
Safe to in danger:
If I am to guess it will be Lacey and Michelle, because Haeley has such a strong support group. I would be fairly surprised if the two going home aren’t from the bottom three of this group, and that the other one will go home next week. The 64 dollar question will be who goes home next week from the top seven. I would guess that it will end up being Katelyn, but she was really good this week. Paige and Siobham will probably lose some sleep.