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It is the girls turn to
partyperform. The judges take their places and Ryan takes the stage.
Ryan: Welcome to the world famous American Idol stage, our home for the next three months.
JLo is upbeat about the girls’ performances; Randy (in the curmudgeon chair) reminds America that they are choosing the Top 10 (5 boys and 5 girls); Steven notes that a full moon will soon be upon us and he senses a little nervousness, but they have to sing for their lives tonight.
Ryan introduces the parade of girls and informs us that, like the boys, they can pick any song they want for this round. Formalities over, it is time to start the show.
Ta-Tynisa Wilson sings “Only Girl” by Rihanna
She comes out wearing one of those short tutu type dresses popular with a couple of the girls on top 24 judgment day. Strutting around the stage in high heeled white boots, her voice is, at times, overwhelmed by the band and she tries to end the song on something almost reaching a glory note. Almost.
Steven: Good way to start the show. The song sang you, you sang the song beautifully. I liked it a lot.
JLo: It’s good that it’s over now and you’re the first one, right? You started off a little shaky, but brought it all the way home.
Randy: I kinda differ from them. I think it was okay. You didn’t bring anything special or different to it. It kinda paled in comparison to Rihanna’s version. Had pitch issues.
JLo counters Randy’s assessment by saying that it is about moving the crowd, and she moved the crowd.
Randy: I was part of the crowd that wasn’t moved.
Naima Adedapo sings “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess (Gershwin)
As they are on the main stage, there is no Coke ® red room set aside for sit down chats so they get in their advertising with a back drop. Ryan sits with Naima in front of it and pretends he is back on the Red Carpet by asking, “Who are you wearing?” This turns out to be a glimpse into Naima’s package we have yet to see as she proudly tells us that she designed it herself – with the help of a seamstress. For those anxious to know what it looks like – it is a full length yellow with bronze pattern that has a long, wide slit up the front ending in a band of material for modesty purposes.As far as her singing…she gives the bluesy “Summertime” an upbeat pop flavor and is the first of the evening to step down to the judging table. Toward the end she goes to a minor key, but then reaches for a glory note that trails downward.
JLo: I love to see someone nail a note like that at the end. You’re like an exotic flower in a rose garden. Really good job. Congratulations.
Randy: It was a little bit lounge-acty with the arrangement and everything. (He brings up Fantasia killing the song, but he did enjoy the glory note.)
Steven: I do take you personally since I first heard you sing and it was like early Ella Fitzgerald. This is what America needs right now – a new old-timey thing that could be new. (Huh, Steven? What do we need?)
Kendra Chantelle Campbelle sings “Impossible” by Christina Aguliera
She struts out on stage in stretch black leather and tasteful chains. She shows off her range with a bit of a screechy riff at the finish.
Randy: I loved that vibrato. It reminds me of Lauren Hill. It makes me feel warm and connected to you. I really liked it.
JLo: I love that you have heart. You fought your way into the top 12 and you belong here. I feel that there’s more in you.
Steven: I always look forward to what your voice can do and you did it again: voice hot, clothes hot, style hot – the whole package; nice, beautiful.
Rachel Zevita sings “Criminal” by Fiona Apple
Rachel has been trying to make the main stage for four years and debuts draped in a silky black cape in front of a micstand. She immediately flips off the cape to reveal a sexy dress and a sexy pose. She vamps across the stage knocking over the stand on purpose (take that!) Carrying the mic she slides around the judging table and tries to seduce the audience but without the growl her performance implies.
Steven: I loved your strut; I loved your moves; a little too Broadway for me. Not that that’s a bad thing. Broadway could be your niche. (Rachel tells him that she’s never done that.) Steven, “Huh.”
JLo: I guess that is the question; how do you want America to see you?
Randy: It wasn’t great, it wasn’t good; it just didn’t work. I didn’t even recognize the song.
Karen Rodriguez sings “Hero” the Mariah Carey version
Karen tells us, “We need some more Latin stuff going in this competition.”
Wearing a long turquoise gown, she sings the ballad at a micstand interspersing Spanish and English. She breaks free to take it strong and finishes with a soft trilling riff.
JLo: WOW! WOWA! (She shows off her goosebumps – which is becoming one of her show and tell gestures.) I love that you showed what your flavor is…amazing.
Randy: I like that you made it you – not a sound-a-like. I even felt like the Spanish was better than the English.
Steven: Definitely a one of a kind singer. I loved it. I think you and Jacob Lusk should sing that song together. (Karen tells Steven that Jacob is her best friend in the competition.)
After the break, Ryan reminds us that we have another shot at choosing the ending to JLo’s music video. The final product will be shown on the results show Thursday night.Lauren Turner sings “Seven Day Fool” by Etta James (Jully Black’s version)
With JLo thinking that Lauren is the next Bette Middler, Lauren wears her hair Bette style and prances around the stage belting out the song. She gets so energetic that at one point she accidentally (not on purpose) knocks over the micstand.. Twice the camera highlights the backup singers then swings back to her sassy delivery.
Randy: That’s how you do it, man. I love the whole power. I just love that whole bluesy soul flavored thing in you, man; very nice, very nice.
Steven: That was spectacular. End of the song was upstairs and it was beautiful.
JLo: Your voice is undeniable. With that type of song you need to get in the camera’s face. If you would have done that, it would put you over the top. No holding back.
When we come back from the break Ryan is revealed standing in the lower section of the boy’s seats. The tall James Durbin stands in the upper row and places a hand on the shrimp’s shoulder, which gives way to a small comedy moment; but, Ryan has a message to impart.Ashthon Jones sings “Love Over Me” by Monica
Ryan: Tomorrow we bring you the results and name your Top 10; the judges will also be choosing wild card picks.
She moves around the stage to include the audience using expressive hands and a belter’s attitude. A Diva is born.
Steven: Jonesy – you’ve got the confidence of a queen. (Ashthon – Thank you, baby.) It was a beautiful thing. We found one.
JLo: You have all the makeup of a Diva – body, hair, movements, composure…he is right. (Ashthon – I get it from you.) Honestly, amazing, really, really good.
Randy: I like you, I think they’re both correct; you‘ve got that confidence. You can stay present. I didn’t like the song. I think you can take on more challenges – Diana Ross, baby, Jones and Ross.
Julie Zorilla sings “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
Overwhelmed by the band and singers, she stands in one spot in a prom dress and tries to belt it out.
JLo: Hi Julie. How you feeling, there? I liked it but I didn’t feel it was the best thing we’ve ever seen you do. We still haven’t seen you sing from the heart.
Randy: I love that song, but once again you didn’t bring anything different or new to it. You sang it not nearly as good as Kelly. It didn’t quite work for me, bro.
Steven: Great chorus on that song, but wrong song for you. If you took it up a couple of keys, it would have been better. You’ve got such a great voice.
Haley Reinhart sings "Fallin” by Alicia Keys
In front of a black background, dressed in a short black dress, she stands center stage holding a mic and goes a cappella with a riff. Once the band joins in, she uses gravel in her voice as she vamps the stage.
Randy: It’s a great song – Alicia does a great job – but it doesn’t do anything for you. What we loved about you is that husky tone…we heard a little Janis in some things. All that has gone away and it’s almost like a Karaoke kind of thing. I didn’t really get it.
Steven: You know, man, I didn’t hear that at all. I just heard the right amount of style, the right amount of sexy. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong. Where you took it with the rasp, it was just great.
JLo: I agree with Steven. I think we saw a lot of different colors in your voice right there – when you start that growl and play with the notes in between. You need to get out of your head when doing stage moves.
Thia Megia sings “Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara
Like Haley, she stands on a dark stage, but she has a single bright white spot behind her. She also begins a cappella, though softly. Piano and drum add back up to her vocal as she moves into a power finish.
Steven: You know, Thia, sometimes a person’s pitch can be so perfect it doesn’t matter what song they sing, and you just did that. I can’t believe you’re 15 years old. That was beautiful.
JLo: Perfectly said. It was such a quiet moment in the middle of all these big performances; to come out, stand still and captivate every single person in this room.
Randy: The mark of a great singer is the quality of the tone of the voice – not the runs, not the power, but the quality of the tone. Your tone reminds me of Michael Jackson and I like it. It is infectious. It doesn’t matter what age you are – this is what hot singing is about!
Lauren Alaina sings “Turn on the Radio” by Reba McIntyre
Strutting on stage to low-down music and, with a red patterned scrim behind her, she moves with rock attitude and kills it.
JLo: My little Lauren, you don’t even have to try. It’s crazy when I watch you up there. Your voice is effortless. I know you are 16, but it’s amazing how much of a natural you are; so great to watch.
Randy: You have that natural talent, but I don’t know if you know how good you are. I have been dropping names all evening, but I have to say you are Kelly meets Carrie. I am a fan.
Steven: Just because someone like you can sing in the stratosphere doesn't mean you should do it every time, and you didn’t do it on this song. You kill me. You’re the best and they haven’t seen the best of you yet.
Standing next to Ryan, Lauren Alaina introduces him to the audience as “Peaches” because he is from Georgia like she is. Randy likes the name, though Ryan makes threatening gestures.Pia Toscano sings “I’ll Stand by You”
Dressed in black she stands at a micstand on a dark, spotlighted stage for the entire performance. She builds the song from soft ballad to an emotional high, closing with a riff to a standing ovation from the audience and the judges.
Randy: YO! Our first standing O of the new season. You just put yourself in the top of 10 years of amazing performances. That was unbelievable. That’s how you do it!
Steven: WTH! That was so over the top from here to there. That was gorgeous. Congrats.
JLo: I know that you were a stand out, but I feel that you are a little tricky because you were saving that. It was out of this world!
The review of performances at the end highlights the differences between tone and style of each contestant, but one thing that didn’t show was nerves. As Ryan says, “Now we have a problem. How do you pick your favorite? It’s going to be tough tonight. Good luck.”
MsFroggy will bring you the highs and the lows of the votes for the five girls and five boys along with the judges’ wild card picks.