American Idol – Top 12 Girls

I don’t want to overstate my excitement about the new season or anything, but I’m pretty sure I just felt shivers all the way down my spine when Ryan Seacrest said, “THIS. IS AMERICAN IDOL.”

Of course, considering that we’ve been subjected to approximately 471 rounds of audition shows, it’s no wonder that I’m experiencing a slight degree of anticipation. After all, it’s always fun to get to your destination after you’ve been in the car for SIX SOLID WEEKS.

Paige Miles – “It’s All Right Now” – At the beginning she sounded a little sharp (or flat? or just off?), but she seemed to get more comfortable after the first verse. She can definitely sing – but I think maybe a different, less karaoke-ish song would have been better. She’s one of the contestants we didn’t see very much during the audition shows, and I appreciate that she went for a little bit of a rock-ish vibe. I like her.

Ashley Rodriguez – “Happy” – I always feel like a ballad is a bad call on the first show. It’s like being at a wedding where there’s a really long solo during the lighting of the unity candle and everybody ends up shifting uncomfortably in their seats while the bride and groom stare at each other. Good times. So while I think Ashley can sing, I think she needs to sing something that shows off her personality next week. Not that anyone cares what I think, of course.

Janell Wheeler – “What About Love” – I’m seriously not trying to be a Nellie Negativity, but I think Heart songs are tricky for this early in the show – it’s a whole lot of earnest for this early in our “Idol” relationship. Plus, Janell always struck me as sort of quirky and eclectic during auditions, and this song was a completely different direction. Good voice, though.

Lilly Scott – “Fixing A Hole” – I’ve never heard this song in my life, and I think it’s a little weird, but I don’t mind it so much because I really like her voice. It was a little rough at the beginning, but I feel like she stuck with the music she loves, and it totally worked for her. The weirdness of the song was just a little bit off-putting – but in the most charming way.

Katelyn Epperly – “Oh, Darlin'” – Confession: I rolled my eyes a little bit when Ryan announced her song. I worried a little bit that it was going to sound like something from a high school talent show. But she absolutely surprised me. She took command of the stage, and she has a big voice. Definitely one to watch.

Haeley Vaughn – “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” – She reminds me so much of Sarah Jessica Parker in “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” that I CANT STAND IT. Cute as a button. I thought she started off strong, but the problem was that she didn’t have anywhere to go after the first verse – she’d sort of maxed out volume-wise – which led to a very shrill-y chorus and second verse. She’s so infectious, and I loved the arrangement – but I thought the vocals were lacking a little bit.

Lacey Brown – “Landslide” – I adore this song and am tempted to make an exception to my no-ballad-on-the-first-show rule for it. HOWEVER, I thought this performance was odd. It felt like she was about a half a beat behind the music the whole way through. I just never felt any real connection between her and the song. Her voice is normally so lovely and unique, but on this particular song it just sounded shaky. Bless her heart.

Michelle Delamor – “Falling” – Songs like this one are a little bit of a trap – because it’s one of those songs that’s so associated with the person who recorded it that you almost have to completely re-do the arrangement to avoid the karaoke label. And sadly, I think karaoke applies here a little bit. She has a good voice, but it felt like she was singing like Alicia Keyes instead of singing like Michelle. If that makes any sense at all. Which it probably doesn’t. But at least I understand myself. Sort of.

Didi Benami – “The Way I Am” – This performance was weird for me, because as much as I love her voice, her performance made me nervous because I felt like she didn’t know what to do behind the microphone. Maybe a guitar would’ve made her feel more comfortable? I really like her whole vibe – I just felt like she needed a hug.

Siobhan Magnus – “Wicked Game” – Her voice was absolutely beautiful on the chorus, but I thought it was one of the strangest song choices of all time. It’s not exactly a crowd-pleasing song, but it definitely showed her range and how well she can control her voice. I’m intrigued.

Crystal Bowersox – “Hand In My Pocket” – I think she’s something special. And I would listen to her sing just about anything. The end.

Katie Stevens – “Feelin’ Good” – She has a good voice, but she never really found her place during the last half of this song. It felt a little over-rehearsed and pageant-y to me – much more like the talent portion of Miss America than something a teenager would sing on “American Idol.” (Hey! Simon just used the word pageant-y, too! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?)

What did y’all think? Who were your favorites tonight? I really liked Lilly, Katelyn and Crystal the best in this round – but in fairness I have to say that I think it’s an unusually strong group of girls.

(And if anyone’s interested in linking to your own post about tonight’s Idol, let me know in the comments and I’ll add a Mr. Linky to this post ASAP.)

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  1. TOTALLY with you on Crystal Bowersox…agree, agree, agree, in the words of Randy, a billion percent! ;) Now, bring on the boys!

  2. Crystal and Katie are my two favorites.

  3. I can never remember how to pronounce Siobhan. Shuh-BONN?

    LOVE Crystal. My girls were so jealous of her harmonica skillz.

    And Lilly. And Didi.

    I mostly like unique, and I hope they’re even uniquer next week.

  4. Hey Boomama! I’d love to link up, but if it’s just me… Well, that might be silly. :)

    I’m SOOOOO excited too! Finally! And how exciting that all of the girls are so awesome! I love that there is a lot of originality with the gals this year! I heart Crystal too. I think she should just make an album now. Here’s my 10$. Where do I download it?

  5. Hey, how’s this for weird? My 12 year old son immediately piped up with “Oh, that’s a Beatles song!” when he heard “Fixing a Hole.” He told us it’s from the Sgt. Pepper album, and it is. I’d never heard of it.

  6. I LOVE the linky party too! And I totally agree with you – Crystal is a special one!

  7. Honestly, I thought they were all horrid. I hope the boys are better.
    But I’ve had a really crappy day, so maybe it’s me. lol

  8. I’m fixin’ to throw up my post. A linky party would be fun.

  9. I just started to watch the top 24. I could only watch the first 4 or so cause hubby had to turn to LOST. Honestly I wasn’t impressed with the first few I saw.

    I hope i can watch the rest on hulu or something and I hope they’re better! or the boys!

  10. I am totally behind Crystal!! Love her authenticity!

  11. I have to confess. I spent the night flipping channels. I could hardly stand to watch any of the girls. What’s with that? Maybe I’m over American Idol this year? I didn’t even watch the Hollywood round. I’ll probably come here for a recap every week. That’s what happens when listening to someone sing actually causes your eyes to water and your face to turn red.

  12. I’m not an idol watcher but how can I get a Beloved Button?

  13. I liked Didi and Crystal. I like little Katie too but not so much this performance.

  14. Crystal is my favorite. Something about her is really special.

    The majority of the performances seemed off. I don’t know if they didn’t have enough rehearsal time, or the acoustics were off in the venue, or what… but only a couple of them blew me away DAWG!

  15. This is my first time to really be interested in AI, but my husband dominated the remote last night since he has decided to record EVERY LAST BIT of the Olympics, and then of course LOST ….so I only watched a few girls, namely Lacey Brown since she’s from my hometown…..and I was so disappointed.
    Your recap was great!

  16. Well. We were being pummeled by snow last night. a-gain. Big sigh. I knew it was just a matter of time before the tv lost its signal and sure enough, about halfway thru it vanished. Arggh!

    I love Crystal-she’s my favorite so far. Awesome voice.

  17. For such a strong group of girls, I was very disappointed in last night’s performances. I keep wondering why the contestants don’t do a little research to see what kinds of songs were successes on “Opening Night”! Weird song choices and underwhelming performances from where I was sitting…in my recliner.

  18. I am so right with you, I felt like I could have written this post. There’s something about Crystal’s honesty about why she’s in the show that makes me want her to do well, also.

    And Katelyn is from a town about two hours from me in Iowa, so I’m totally biased about her. And I love her big curly hair. Yes, that has nothing to do with her good singing, but I like it nonetheless :)

  19. Siobhan.

  20. My Dear Dear BooMama,

    I am a longtime lurker, first time commenter. I LOVE your posts, they are a highlight to my day. But honey, HONEY, you have never heard of “Fixing a Hole,” really? But then again, I cut my teeth on all things Beatles. So much so that I am shocked when people haven’t heard of one of their songs.

    Anyway, love your posts, and I’m definitely looking forward to tonights post! ;)

  21. Crystal & Lilly – love their stories, their voices, their look

  22. I think Crystal could sing the phone book and make it sound good ;) And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who has never heard the song Lilly sang!

  23. I was really disappointed in last night. I didn’t think anyone did well really, and wondered how they sounded so awesome during Hollywood week and so completely average now.

  24. YAY for anther season of AI!!! Loved your take on it, pretty much agreed with you. I am leaning towards the guys right now though so we’ll see!! Whoot. :)

  25. I have been SO looking forward to the live shows. And I thought these girls sounded great during Hollywood week, but last night was ROUGH. I cringed more times than I can count, and I agree with other commenters who thought something just seemed OFF last night. Could they not hear themselves? I don’t know. And their song choices! Oy. How many times have the judges emphasized the importance of song choice? And not to do something like “Falling” because you are NOT going to do it as well as Alicia Keys. Yikes. Hope the boys do better! Love your recap!

  26. Your description of Ashley Rodriguez’s performance had me laughing out loud and I didn’t even see it! Its almost more entertaining to read your color commentary then watching it! :)

  27. Loved reading your review. I was SO looking forward to the start of the real singing, and was SO disappointed in the girls. Seemed like a lot of weird songs, a lot of out-of-tuneness, a lot of wincing on my part. I do love Chrystal and Didi so far. Hope they settle down for next week, as they are all good singers.