This is going to be hard. I honestly can say that ten of these girls could really have a shot at getting voted in. There was an interesting variety of song choices, and overall another great night of music. I’m sort of sad that I won’t get to see more of some of these girls, but overall I think there are a variety of ways this could go without making me unhappy.
I’ll go again in the order they sang.
Tatynisa Wilson: “Only Girl in the World” This is a shouty song to begin with, and Tatynisa did little to change that. It was pitchy, even if sung with convinction. Once again Randy was the voice of reason, pointing out the flaws of the performance (in a constructive way no less.) Verdict: out.
Naima Adedapo: “Summertime” I’m going to pretend that I’ve never heard of Fantasia Barrino for a moment and attempt to judge this objectively. While her vocal was excellent, she sort of missed the point of the song. But I’m going to appreciate the fact that she chose to do interesting things vocally, and really worked the stage with confidence. Verdict: Possibly in, possible wild card.
Kendra Chantelle: “Impossible” She really dug into this song, but I’m not sure this was the right thing to sing to make a great impression. I do appreciate that she sang Christina Aguilera with great vocal control, and didn’t try to outsing Christina in any way.However it is a problem that I’d forgotten almost everything about this performance by the time Karen came on stage. Verdict: Probably out.
Rachel Zevita: “Criminal” I love this song a whole, whole, whole lot. I wasn’t entirely sure about the rearrangement, and Rachel’s voice wasn’t 100% on this. But I have to give her points for not only being original, but for completely owning the audience and the stage. Verdict: I really want her to be in. But I think she’s going to need a wild card spot.
Karen Rodriguez: “Hero” Now nine time out of ten, one should never sing Mariah Carey on Idol (except somehow, that was one of the best nights of season 7, but I digress) I liked how she switched up the languages. She also delivered a solid vocal with a gorgeous note on the key change. And the high notes at the end were simply amazing. (Although if she goes the Syesha sing a ballad at every opportunity route I may not like her so much.) Verdict: In.
Lauren Turner: “Seven Day Fool” Have a math formula: original song choice+excellent vocal+professional stage presence= pure Idol gold. We haven’t seen much of Lauren 2.0 this season and that is a shame because if I was a producer, I’d be pimping this Lauren. Verdict: If she’s not in, I want to quit. (although her lack of screen time may hurt her)
Ashthon Jones “Love Over Me” I’m not sure what to say about this. She sang it well, although it seemed just a hair off pitch in places, although I can’t exactly say how. To quote Rndy: for me for you, it just didn’t work. Verdict: Probably out.
Julie Zorrilla: “Breakaway” There’s nothing worse than when someone sings a former Idol’s song on Idol. (I think Matt Giraud is the only one who has really succeeded.) I think Julie got lost in the beginning and was trying really hard to do something, but sort of failed. I don’t think even her early screen time will save her. Verdict: out.
Haley Reinhart: “Fallin” Talk about songs you shouldn’t sing on Idol. The beginning was gorgeous, and overall for her it was vocally restrained. I don’t think she brought anything new to the table, and her affectations are a little annoying. Verdict: Most likely out.
Thia Megia “Out There On My Own” My problem with Thia has always been that her voice sounds just slightly off, as if someone else is singing for her. However tonight she completely slayed it, by singing a song and singing it well. Vedict: In, except maybe her personality may work against her.
Lauren Alaina: “Turn on the Radio” This was young, fun a vocally spot on. (Although she could do with a little less make-up, please and thank you.) She seems like a fun bubbly teenager with a really good voice. I just wish the Idol machine would back off telling me I have to love her. Verdict: In
Pia Toscano “I’ll Stand By You” I think what Pia did was take a pretty standard song and infuse it with a healthy dose of emotion and fabulous vocals. I haven’t been completely sold on her, but tonight she delivered in a big way. Verdict: In.
So I’d say Pia, Lauren Alaina, and Thia Megia are locks. I’d love for Lauren Turner and Naima to round that out, but I think that Karen and Haley have a shot (with Kendra and Rachel not far behind.)
So tomorrow night we’ll get the usual heinous group song, a music video from Jennifer Lopez and the debut of the Idol boot song for this year. (It was revealed as “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” as covered by season 7 winner David Cook)