The Top 10 guys from American Idol stepped it up last night, delivering much better performances than last week. Will the women match it? Also, and perhaps more importantly, who will falter as the women take on songs of the 1970s? Last week, everyone who watched the performances instantly knew which two women would be eliminated, and we were right. Will we have another easy night of predictions? All we know for sure from the official FOX photos is that one lady picks up a guitar, which thus far has proven highly lucrative for the guys.
Ryan Seacrest is super casual tonight, no suit or tie, just a tasteful shirt carefully unbuttoned at the top. Randy Jackson has a size 13 shoe. In the words of the late, great Madeline Kahn, "It's twoo, it's twoo!"
Carly Smithson is first, and her secret is that, in addition to owning a tattoo parlor with her husband, she works at an Irish bar. That's two stereotypes right away! The song is Heart's "Crazy On You." It's pretty good, and for the first time, I start to see signs of a potential star, like Kelly Clarkson. We know she can sing, but she needs to work harder to become a superstar. I do like that she says this is her favorite song ever; that kind of attitude makes her seem very humble and genuine. Simon Cowell agrees with me, saying she needs to find that one song that gives her "the moment," a la Fantasia Barrino's "Summertime."
My pick to win this whole competition, Syesha Mercado, is a commercial actress. "Me and Mr. Jones" by Billy Paul is the song, and it's another solid performance, making it pretty with the slow parts, but also showing off her big, powerful voice in the chorus. Randy wants her to just sing big songs.
Brooke White is a beauty school drop-out. The song is "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Awesome. She's got her guitar and plays along, to great effect. Allowing musical instruments is interesting, because, even if it's bad, it sets you apart and makes you memorable no matter what. I wonder when more people will learn this and we have an all-instrument night. I really liked it, and the judges think the song was directed at Simon. She successfully found her wheelhouse, and Simon "absolutely loved it."
Ramiele Malubay is up next, and she's as adorable as 5,000 kittens. She can Hula dance, so I guess that makes HER the new Sanjaya. She's getting her disco on with Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way." The song is totally awesome in a completely disco way, and she sings it well, but she doesn't have nearly enough fun with it. She's great and cute, but too stiff, especially with such a fun song. The judges criticize the song choice. She chose it because she was against a ballad as people would start calling her "Ramiele Lullaby." I assure you, American Idol viewers aren't that clever.
Something we don't know about Kristy Lee Cook is that she's a tomboy who loves fishing and softball. She sings "You're No Good" covered by Linda Ronstadt, and it's good. It was an improvement from last week, but I still don't particularly care for her. Simon tries to convince her to be the country singer.
Amanda Overmyer scares me. The fact that she's a nurse is even more terrifying, as I can imagine a death metal music video with her coming at me with a syringe. She's a bookworm who loves rock star biographies. Ha, both the real rockers this season are very literate people. The song is "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas. I guess it rocks as hard as it can, but it also shows off the fact that her voice just isn't that good. Paula Abdul talks about her dance moves, which is a clear sign she didn't like it, then implores her to ignore that "No Janis Joplin" rule she imposed on herself.
Alaina Whitaker's secret is that she doesn't like her food to touch. OK, so she has OCD (aka the OC disorder...don't call it that). She's singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You" from Grease. Oh sweetie, no. This isn't that crappy NBC reality show from the summer. She really struggles on the big notes. She better pray America loves Grease more than I do, or she's totally gone.
Alexandrea Lushington was a poster child for the Atlanta Fire Department because her daddy was a fireman, and she sang at Ground Zero. She sings Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now." After last week's funky tune, hear she shows off some real singing chops. The girl has quite a range as an artist, that's for sure. Randy calls it safe, but at least it's not bad.
The secret of Kady Malloy is she's also an opera singer. If the Britney Spears impression didn't make you fall in love with her, this should. She sings "Magic Man" by Heart. I really like her, so this pains me to say, but that was horrendous. Maybe she couldn't hear the band or something, but there was not a single part of the entire performance I liked. Randy agrees, saying she never found the correct notes.
Sidenote: Did you see that ad for The Moment of Truth where they talked about destroying people's lives and how the host thought the episode shouldn't have aired? That show makes me throw up in my mouth, and anyone who enjoys watching it is going straight to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.
Finally, Asiah Epperson was a cheerleader. She sings the very definition of a power ballad "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen. She goes really loud for the glory note, but overall, it's just OK. But like Luke Menard, she gets the degree of difficulty award.
Tomorrow night, two men and two women go home. I'm saying Alaina Whitaker and Kady Malloy will need some miracles to survive. If they're lucky, Amanda Overmyer or Asiah Epperson will be shockingly booted.