It's finally here. The Top 24 perform. The top 12 girls performed tonight, and the top 12 guys will perform tomorrow night. Results will be on Thursday.
For the next three weeks, the contestants will be singing songs from the Billboard charts (so basically, anything they want).
Paige Miles sang "It's Alright Now" by Bad Company. My initial reaction was that I was not impressed. The song was awkward and kind of all over the place vocally. She has a powerful voice, but I was confused by the whole performance. Simon said that Paige has the best voice out of all the girls, but she made a poor song choice tonight. Kara disagreed with Simon, saying Paige made a brilliant song choice. She said Paige put soul into a rock song with her impressive dynamics, but she struggled in the chorus a bit. Randy said it wasn't the right song, but it showed off her powerful voice.
Ashley Rodriguez sang “Happy” by Leona Lewis. I thought it was a good performance over all, possibly a little too low for her in the beginning, but good. That being said, I wasn't super impressed. Kara said there were great moments, but she wants to see Ashley do something different. Randy said diva songs will always be compared to the original, making it difficult to stand out. He said the song choice didn't define who Ashley is as an artist. Ellen said Ashley should take a risk. Simon said it was clumsy and lacked originality.
Janell Wheeler sang “What About Love” by Heart. She was really nervous, and it showed. Her hands were shaking, her voice was shaky, and the song only got worse as it went on. It wasn't a train wreck, but her nerves definitely got the best of her. Randy said the song choice didn't work, but he likes her voice. Ellen liked the song choice and said that Janell moved easily on the stage. Simon said Janell gave 100% effort, but only delivered 65%. Kara said the song was too big; it took away from the distinction of her voice.
Lilly Scott sang “Fix A Hole” by The Beatles. She played guitar. Lilly has such a unique voice. I'm definitely intrigued by her. I want to hear her do more. I thought the song choice was a bit strange, but fitting. Ellen said, "Now that's what we're talking about!" She thought it was a random song choice, but Lilly did a great job and has a very distinctive voice. Simon said it was the best performance thus far. He said the song portrayed Lilly as an artist, but he's not feeling much "star power" from her. Kara said that Lilly is believable; she sings from the heart. She thought Lilly looked at ease on stage and the performance was memorable. Randy said that Lilly is a real indie artist, and he likes her honesty.
Katelyn Epperly sang “Oh Darling” by The Beatles. This was my favorite performance of the night. She was genuine and caught my attention. Simon thought Katelyn screamed a bit and that it was a messy performance, but he likes her over all. He thinks she's quirky and interesting and made a brave song choice. Kara said that Katelyn knows her voice very well. She knows what she's doing, and she improved the song. Randy said that Katelyn paid attention to the tone and melody, instead of just trying to impress with runs. He believes she can go places. Ellen thought Katelyn has personality and made her want to pay attention.
Haeley Vaughn sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles. She also played guitar and put her own twist on the song. I liked it over all. I think she knows who she is as an artist, and she stayed true to that, but the dynamics were a little overwhelming. She's young, but she needs to learn better vocal control. Kara said there were technical issues, but Haeley had fun and everyone felt it. She said the performance was pure and from the heart. Randy said that Haeley made a bold song choice, but the high notes were "not pleasing." Ellen said that Haeley shines on stage, and she enjoyed the performance. Simon said it was verging on terrible and that she looked like "a wind up doll that never stopped smiling." He called her performance and "complete and utter mess."
Lacey Brown sang “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. It was a terrible song choice, an awful arrangement, and just a bad performance. I was really disappointed by Lacey because she's a Texas girl, so I was rooting for her. It was the worst of the night. Randy said it was terrible, pitchy, and the song didn't suit her voice. Ellen believes Lacy is better than that, and she's pulling for her. Simon said it was depressing, indulgent, and boring. He said she's trying to be an artist instead of just being an artist. Kara said she hopes America gives Lacey another shot because tonight was not an accurate portrayal of Lacey's talent. She thought Lacey should have sung Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me."
Michelle Delamor sang “Falling” by Alicia Keys. She tried to make it her own and has a good voice, but the song didn't wow me. Ellen thought it was a fantastic performance, but believes Michelle played it safe tonight. Simon said the song was too close to the original (but not as good), but that it's enough to get her through to the next round. Kara said that Michelle is very commercial, but she needs to feel the song more. Randy said Michelle did a good job, but she has more in her and needs to take some risks.
Didi Benami sang “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson. I thought it was a great song choice. It's a difficult song, but Didi pulled it off. She has great vocal control, and she tweaked the song just enough to make it her own. Simon said that Didi is a good singer, but there are too many people on the show trying to sound like the same person (Adele, Lily Allen, etc.). He thought the song was dreary, dull, and indulgent. He said he's missing a spark from Didi. Kara said it was a good song, and she thought the changes Didi made showed off her creativity. However, she said the song was a bit pitchy. Randy said he's looking for the star factor in Didi and thought the song was sleepy. Ellen thought the song choice was too low key for a first impression on the show.
Siobahn Magnus sang “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. I don't know what it is about this girl, but I'm not a fan. She has a weird tone and strikes me as overly dramatic. She kind of reminds me of Adam Lambert a little. But she does have a strong voice. Kara liked the song. She said Siobahn is quirky and nasally, but she sings in the moment and is real. Randy said Siobahn has a great voice, but she needs to reach for bigger things than this song. Ellen loved her performance. She thought it was entertaining and mysterious. Simon said tonight's performance was not as good as her Stevie Wonder audition from Hollywood and that it was a dark song. He didn't seem to know what to say.
Crystal Bowersox sang “Hand in my Pocket” by Alanis Morisette. She played guitar and harmonica. I thought it was a great song choice, but she should have showed her artistry more. I love Crystal. She knows who she is as an artist, and she stays true to herself. It was risky to take that harmonica solo when she could have been showing her vocal talent. Randy said Crystal is one of his favorites because she's original and honest. Ellen said Crystal adds something fresh to the show. Simon disagreed with Randy; he doesn't think Crystal is original at all. He said she performed a sound-alike song and suggested David Bowie instead, but he finds her refreshing. Kara said it was a good performance, but Crystal has the ability to be great.
Katie Stevens sang “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé. Her voice still surprises me. She has such a full tonal quality at such a young age. She's a definite alto, so it will be interesting to see her compete with the divas of the show. I thought it was a good performance over all, and the ending was strong. Ellen said Katie has a powerful voice, but thought the song choice was too conservative for a 17-year-old. She wants to see Katie be young and current. Simon agreed with Ellen; he thinks Katie needs to become a young recording artist. He thought the performance was annoying and pageanty. Kara said the song was pitchy and all over the place, but Katie has a natural gift and "ridiculous chops." Randy said Katie was pushing so hard that the notes went sharp. He also agreed that the song was too old-fashioned for Katie.
My favorites of the night were Katelyn, Didi, and Crystal.
I think Lacey and Janell are going home.
Tune in tomorrow night to see the Top 12 guys perform!
All photos from http://www.americanidol.com