American Idol: Episode 17 of Season Nine--The Top 10 Women

3/04/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 17 of Season Nine--The Top 10 Women

The Top 10 Women Get Serious

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

This week, the girls put their game faces on. Despite trimming two quality girls last week, the remaining 10 took the judges’ criticism to heart and for the most part, gave markedly better performances than ever before. Some will skate by based on a history of past strong performances, but I think that moving forward, they need to sing big in order to stay. That said, some proved tonight that they are serious contenders.

My favorite of the night was Lilly Scott, who I think has solidified herself as the dark horse of the competition. Her past two performances prove that the girl can sing, and the girl can play. Singing a song as classic and as difficult as Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Going To Come” is a risky move, but Lilly put her quirky spin on it while retaining what makes the song so beautiful. Kara told her she’s going to change the game, and I agree--I love this girl and I think she’s the real deal.

The first performance of the night was Crystal Bowersox. Given the news that she has recently been hospitalized, I was ready to consider this a bye week. I was wrong. She sang incredibly, and gave no indication she was ill. That’s what makes you a good artist. Crystal Bowersox has raw talent and that is rare. She put a soulful spin on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s amazing song “As Long As I Can See The Light” and will be performing deep into this competition.

Siobhan Magnus is another one of those contestants who came out of nowhere. I shook my head when they announced she was singing “Think” by Aretha Franklin. I asked myself “In nine seasons of this show, haven’t they learned never to touch Aretha?” and braced for the judges to come down hard on her. But week after week, Siobhan’s voice blows me away. She comes across as unassuming and a bit weird, but proved just how spectacularly huge her voice is. Her performance was big and bold, and I find myself agreeing with Simon--there were some really pitchy moments, but there were some incredible moments, especially that one big note. It wasn’t the best of the night, but it was the most memorable, and she’ll be lasting quite some time.

Choosing to go a very contemporary route, Katelyn Epperly and Paige Miles both gave good performances. I find myself forgetting these two girls, but then remembering just how much I like their voices whenever they sing. I loved Katelyn’s performance of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and consider it one of my tops of the night. Sure it was a bit too slow, but with the piano and her minimalist look, it worked for me.

Paige Miles, on the other hand, sped things up with Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away.” As great as her voice is, I felt she was a bit off this performance, especially when I heard the snippet immediately after Katelyn’s great performance. But I think she’ll be around, although I feel because of her lack of publicity, she needs to give a huge performance next week to stay any further.

As much praise as Ashley Delamor is receiving by the judges, I can’t seem to get behind her just yet. I think she has a good voice, but not one of the best, and certainly not one of the most unique. I think she is a very run of the mill performer, and her rendition of Creed’s awful song “With Arms Wide Open” solidified that for me.

Like so many of the other females, Katie Stevens showed she listened to the judges’ criticism, and she attempted, and in my opinion failed, at choosing to sing a younger song. As great a song as Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Girl Put Your Records On” is, I don’t think it’s young enough, or big enough, for Katie to sing. Every college a cappella group in the country sings a version of his song similar to Katie’s and does a similar job at it. She sang it well, and I love her voice, but she’s not doing it for me anymore. Like Siobhan, Katie is a girl capable of singing a powerful diva song, and I’d love to see her pulling out some old school Whitney Houston with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

I felt the worst of the night was Didi Benami. And it really, honestly pains me to write that because of how much I’ve loved her. “Lean On Me” is an incredible song, but it’s not right for her voice, and I didn’t care for the arrangement. As bad as she was, she is one of the most talented girls in the competition, and she deserves to stay based on her past performances--although she really needs to pick it up.

The two girls I feel that deserve to be kicked off are my same two from last week: Haeley Vaughn and Lacey Brown, and until they go, I think they’ll always be in this hot seat. While both gave better performances than last week, which to me doesn’t say much, I don’t think either are particularly talented. It’s really shocking, because in a season riddled with poor choices, these two girls made perfect song choices and just executed them poorly.

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