American Idol: Episode 19 of Season Nine--The Top 8 Women

3/10/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 19 of Season Nine--The Top 8 Women

The Top 8 Women: Or, The Top 4 and the 4 Runners Up

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

In an episode touted as “do or die,” half of the remaining eight girls may as well be on life support.

The final eight females competed Billboard hits in the final week of the competition being separated by gender. As stated before, next week they meet the guys and the "American Idol" finals swing into full gear. Judging by this batch of performances, coupled with past ones, only four have done what it takes to ensure their progress onto the next step.

While she gave a very weak performance last week, nearly putting her on the chopping block, Didi Benami redeemed herself in huge ways, giving perhaps my favorite performance of the night. I was nervous to hear her slowing down the Fleetwood Mac hit “Rhiannon,” but for the first time this season, someone did justice to a great Fleetwood Mac song. I was glad to see her with her guitar, and believe that maybe her instrument gives her more confidence. Regardless of what it was, Didi proved that she’s a contender and deserves to progress into the Top 12.

Siobhan Magnus sang a brilliant version of “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. Siobhan has one of the most, if not the most, beautiful voices of the competition, and that talent, coupled with her unique style, makes her a sure bet to see next week. Why I like having Siobhan around is because she’s inclined to step outside of the box in choosing her songs – you probably won’t get a clich├ęd "Idol" favorite from Siobhan.

Crystal Bowersox again let America know that she may very well be the one to beat this year. Her rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” was flawless, and for her stripped down style, her voice and her guitar skills, it was the perfect song choice. The reason why Crystal is doing so well, tremendous talent aside, is because she knows the artist she wants to be, and she knows the songs she needs to sing to do that. My only worry with Crystal is that to me, she’s becoming a bit of a one trick pony. I felt this song was perfect for her, but also safe and expected. Starting next week, Crystal will be thrown themes that will throw her off her game, and I’m worried to see how that affects her performances.

Week after week, I am reminded why Lilly Scott is one of my favorites of the competition. Monday was no different. In choosing “I Fall to Pieces” and singing while playing a mandolin, Lilly put an updated, modern spin on a Patsy Cline classic. Aside from showing the depth of her talent, Lilly shows her originality, her willingness to make strides in her song choices every week, and I think she’ll develop into one of the best of the season.

It shocks me to put Katie Stevens in the bottom four, but it needs to be done. I find myself growing more disappointed in Katie every single week. Katie Stevens has a true gift in the quality of her voice, and many of the contestants that are doing better than her can’t match her vocal talent. But Katie is failing in this competition, and quite honestly, I don’t see her recovering. This week, Katie listened to the judges, and chose a “younger” song in Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Breakaway.” I think it was a terrible choice, and the judges should’ve also included the caveat “younger AND upbeat and fun.” Katie Stevens has zero personality, zero charisma, and zero energy, and that’s sad, because based on vocal strength alone, she should win the whole thing. But it’s clearly not just about that.

Katelyn Epperly failed to re-create last week’s high. I thought that her singing Carole King’s “I Feel The Earth Move” was going to be a great decision; I felt that Katelyn had the talent and personality to make that song choice work. She didn’t. The performance was weak, boring, and totally unimaginative. However, I think she’s done enough to barely squeak her way through.

Every week I’ve expressed shock for Lacey Brown still competing. This week, that won’t be happening. Lacey gave the performance of her life tonight, but was it too little too late? Fans seem to be supporting Lacey, since there’s no reason she should still be around, so will they pull her through a third time?

After being told she picks exceptionally bad songs, but has tremendous talent, Paige Miles went and picked her worst song yet. I just don’t understand that. I tried wrapping my mind around why someone constantly criticized for poor song choices would choose to sing “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin, and I haven’t been able to come up with a logical answer.

I think the two sent home will be from the grouping of Paige Miles, Lacey Brown and, dare I say it, Katie Stevens.

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