Let’s get right to it — Kristy Lee Cook decides to forgo ‘Amazing Grace’ again and goes with ‘Rescue Me.’ If she wins Idol, the first thing she’s going to do is buy her horse back. So America, if you want Kristy to have her horse back, get to dialing. She does this weird wide-eye thing to emphasize things. She does a lot of ‘mmmm-mmmms’ which sound appropriate, but it also sounds like she forgot something. Randy calls it rough around the edges. Paula credits her for being sick, but notes that she can’t use it as an excuse. Simon says she didn’t really give anything with her performance or song choice.
Number two is Joanne Borgella singing ‘I Say A Little Prayer.’ It’s ok, but I expect to see Dionne Warwick with the bowl haircut, flowy dress and really skinny microphone. Randy calls the performance unsure. Paula comments on previous auditions and her confidence and tells her she needs to pull it together. Paula likes it, but doesn’t love it. Simon’s not loving it — he calls it an average cabaret version of a cabaret song.
It’s Alaina Whitaker’s birthday, so she doesn’t want to go home & feels that we should all vote for her since it’s her birthday. We finally get to see her audition. It’s ok — nothing really earth-shattering. She sings ‘More Today Than Yesterday,’ the same Spiral Starecase song Chikezie did last night. I think she’s a bit more ‘current’ with it than he was. Randy loved it, Paula loved it, and Simon thinks she’s very good. Simon hates the song, but thinks she’s sailing through to the next round.
Amanda Overmyer has sworn off singing Janis Joplin. She has not sworn off going all Amy Winehouse/Elvira fabulous with her hair. It’s like a growth. She sings ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and other than the words ‘baby, please don’t go’ I can’t understand a word she’s saying. Yes, I’m old. I don’t know if it’s her or if it’s more the song. Randy comments on her scatting, which of course reminds me of Scat Girl. Randy and Paula are loving on her. Neither one of them is really commenting on the singing, though. Simon likes her, too, because of her authenticity, even though it wasn’t the best performance vocally.
Amy Davis is a trade show model. She’s one of those babes in the low-cut ‘suits’ at trade shows. One of those girls where, if you ask her what the features of the software are, she’ll give you that blank stare & little giggle. She’s not there to tell you about the software, and she’s definitely paid to talk to another girl. She’s singing ‘Where the Boys Are’ and to her credit, she hangs in there, even when she sounds just wretched. I think she was the sacrificial lamb on the girls’ side. Randy calls her on the pitch problems. Paula wants to stay positive, so tells her that the camera loves her. Simon rips just about everything about it. Except the way she looks.
Brooke White will not go to the dark side, so she sings ‘Happy Together.’ Does she know that this song was the ‘theme’ of the movie ‘Imagine Me And You’ and that it’s about a couple of girls getting together? Probably not, ’cause I think it was R-rated, even though it was exceedingly tame. Randy says in the back part of the song she was ‘slaying’ it. Paula loves her & comments on her originality. Simon also thinks that she picked the right song, but he also feels like he’s in a ’60s washing-up liquid commercial. That reminds me of the ‘How Clean is Your House Ladies.’ I love them. Simon’s not ok with her being so darn nice.
Number 7 is Alexandrea Lushington. Wait! I thought we hadn’t seen her before, but I remember her grandmother, so we at least got a glimpse of her during auditions. She loves that ‘military’ shirt she keeps wearing, doesn’t she. She’s singing ‘What Goes Up’ and looks like she’s in the ’80s doing a ’60s song. I can’t tell if she sounds good or horrible. Really. As Simon would say, I’m a bit puzzled. Randy thought it was hot, so I guess she sounded good. Paula loves her outfit. Paula was big in the ’80s — therefore, I think I was right about the ’80s retro. Hooray! Simon didn’t get it! I feel victorious. Ok, she’s high strung about her name pronunciation. I suppose I would be, too, but I use mispronunciation as a way to know it’s a telemarketer on the line.
By the way, during this recap, I keep getting up to check on the lunar eclipse. It’s humming along nicely.
We’re moving on to Kady Malloy at number 8. She’s the girl who can do fun impressions of other singers like Britney Spears. It’s actually quite entertaining. She’s singing ‘Groovy Kind of Love’ and sounds way better than Phil Collins. I know, it’s not hard. She’s got an ok voice, but it’s hard for me to tell ’cause I don’t really like this song. Randy calls her on not powering through the song. Paula first calls her pretty, which is kind of like the kiss of death. Simon calls it Night of the Living Dead and tells her to lighten up. She’s doing the pretty girl, ‘I’m-going-to-bounce-so-I-don’t-cry’ thing.
Number 9 is Asia’h Epperson, the girl who lost her father right before the audition. She’s singing ‘Another Little Piece of My Heart.’ I did not recognize the song at all when she started. She’s got one of those voices that sounds a bit dry, like the sound drops out completely on some notes. The judges are loving it, even Simon, mostly because she had fun. She did look like she was having fun, but I don’t think she’s the best singer.
Ramiele Malubay comes in at number 10 and goes with a dramatic ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.’ It really fits her voice and she builds the song well. The production people love her as well with a bit of funky camerawork. I’m also digging the semi-beehive she’s got going on. Simon admits that he didn’t like her at first, but now she’s out-sung every other girl before her.
Number 11 is Syesha Mercado. She’s way into looking at the camera while she talks. It’s a little unnatural. She should stop that. Ah, she’s a working actress. She needs to stop that while on Idol. She’s singing ‘Tobacco Road.’ She powers through the last note, but I don’t know if she builds up to it effectively. Doesn’t matter because she’s really good in comparison to the other girls. And the judges love her.
Carly Smithson is the performer who wins the sweet spot — going last. Are we surprised? Goodness, no. She’s singing ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ and to me starts off a little weird. I’m a bit surprised she doesn’t do something more upbeat. She’s got a great voice, but when I hear that song, I hear Frank Sinatra, and she’s not Frank Sinatra. Randy calls it the best performance of the top 24. Paula gets all misty when talking about ‘how hard this week was’ for her. Ok. Simon calls her on the hype — everything was a let-down: her mike technique, her song choice.
Randy thinks overall the girls might have been a little hotter than the guys. Paula knows everyone is going to be nervous. Simon thinks Paula’s sentiments are beautiful. This, is American Idol. Let’s get to the cutting.