American Idol: Season 10, Top 12 Girls – “After a Monday and a Tuesday, even a week says WTF.”

American Idol: Season 10, Top 12 Girls – “After a Monday and a Tuesday, even a week says WTF.”

Time for top 12 girls to take the stage and perform.  After a brief intro, Ryan brought out the judges (again with the “Ripley’s” announcer – that’s going to get old pretty quickly).   Here’s a question for eveyone, did Jennifer raid Ace Frehley’s closet for her dress?  Just curious.  Ryan and the judges chatted for a bit, but the night was really about the girl’s performances.  So, in the interest of time and efficiency,  let just dive right in:

Ta-Tynisa Wilson – “Only Girl (in the World) by Rhianna

When did Tatynisa become Ta-Tynisa?  I guess when you hope to be a big star you can add a hyphen to your name when you want to.  Unfortunately it didn’t help Ta-Tynisa’s performance.  It was something that would have been more at home on Solid Gold.  For a moment, I thought I had stumbled onto Canadian Idol circa 1987, and the next contestant was going to be Robin Sparkles.  Steven and Jennifer gave Ta-Tynisa good feedback, but Randy was, once again, the only voice of reason.  Jennifer argued that Ta-Tynisa connected with the audience and moved them. Randy fired back, “I was a part of the crowd and I wasn’t moved”.  15/Love – Randy.

Naima Adedapo – “Summertime” by Elle Fitzgerald

Naima sang the song well, but I didn’t care for it.  I’ll give her props for trying a different arrangement – the problem was, the arrangement she did was not that good.  Naima put a lot of theatrics into the performance (too much for my tastes), but once she hit the money note, the crowd loved it.  Randy nailed it AGAIN – calling it a “little lounge act-y”.  He also reminded everyone that Fantasia set the gold standard on this song back in season three.  In a comparison between Naima’s and Fantasia’s performances of “Summertime”, Naima loses every time.  We’ll see what the public thinks – she could be on the bubble.

Kendra Chantelle – “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera

I still don’t remember much of Kendra from the auditions, other than her duet with Paul McDonald on “Blackbird”.  I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw she had stolen her outfit from Olivia Newton-John’s finale at the end of “Grease”.  Here’s the thing though – she sang the lights out.  She had great control, with a sneaky good high register that showed great restraint.  I was really impressed.  She might be a dark horse for the girls.  The question is, can she make a big enough splash with just one performance?

Rachel Zevita – “Criminal” by Fiona Apple

I really didn’t know what to make of Rachel.  She has a very classic Hollywood sense about her at times, and seems to sing with an old soul.  When she came out, I really thought she was going to do a burlesque routine for a minute.  It came close.  Who knew Rachel could be so sultry?  The crowd loved it, but the judges were a mixed bag.  Steven told her, “I loved your strut, I loved your swagger, I loved your moves [but] a little too Broadway for me”.  I have to agree.  I’m not sure it was the right risk to take for the top 24 show.

Karen Rodriguez – “Hero” by Mariah Carey

I’ll say this – whatever stylist got ahold of Karen did a great job.  She looked night and day better from the audition.  She chose to sing “Hero”, a big song, and – oh look – she sang some in Spanish.  Did she mention she was Latino?  If you missed it – just wait- she’ll mention it again.  And by the way, she also happens to be Latino.  She did okay, but I don’t really think her voice was anywhere close to big enough to pull of that song.  Jennifer loved it.  Randy liked it.  Steven loved it.  America might love it.  Me? Not so much.  But have you heard she is Latino?

Lauren Turner – “Seven Day Fool” by Etta James

Lauren is another singer that didn’t get a ton of attention during the auditions.  We saw her a bit, but not enough to stick with me.  As she started the song I wondered, “Is everyone going to throw down the mic stand this year?”  Just wondering.  I wasn’t really hooked by the performance until the very end.  When Lauren went for those high notes, she had a bluesy rasp I didn’t hear in the rest of the song.  It was the best part of the night for her.  Can Lauren stay in the competition? I would have to call her a dark horse at this point – but she has a chance, based on her voice.

Ashthon Jones – “Love All Over Me” by Monica

If there is going to be a diva this year, it will have to be Ashthon – at least in her own mind.  I still don’t care for her voice.  It’s too thin and shrill for me.  She was obviously listening to the judges advise Lauren Turner to work the camera more; pointing at the camera not once, but twice, at the end of the song.  Jennifer told her she had all the makings of a diva.  I would agree, with the exception of one small, but important detail.  She just doesn’t have a diva’s voice.  Seems like that would be a big piece of the puzzle to me…

Julie Zorilla – “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson

I’ve said from the start that Julie has tried to bring a Lea Michele vibe to herself – but she’s no Lea Michele.  Her entire performance had the feel of a bad beauty pageant.  (And she wore yet another poufy skirt.  American Idol Barbie, anyone?)  I wanted to like Julie but there was absolutely nothing memorable about her performance at all.  The judges looked like they were back in the first round auditions – bored out of their skulls.  Julie is a beautiful girl with a good voice – but is she a star?  I don’t think so.  Tonight she was more like – filler.

Haley Reinhart – “Fallin’” by Alisha Keys

Did someone forget to announce it was lounge singer night?  I was already turned off by Haley’s excessive vocal gymnastics in the past.  Adding the physical gyrations and goofy faces to the performance didn’t help.  She sang (and growled) her way through the song on key, but it didn’t resonate with me. Randy was again the most insightful, saying – “I didn’t really get it”.  Steven and Jennifer both loved it – proving they both still have a ways to go with judging live, in the moment.

Thia Megia – “Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara

Next up was Thia Megia (hooray!)  I’ve said all throughout the auditions – I just don’t understand all of the fuss around Thia.  I still don’t think her voice is one that can win the competition, but I have to give her her due tonight.  I LOVED that arrangement of “Out Here On My Own”.  Wow.  It was a phenomenal performance – one of the highlights of the night.  Randy told her the tone of her voice reminded him of Michael Jackson.  I don’t quite hear that, but there is no question Thia shined in her performance.

Lauren Alaina – “Turn On the Radio” – Reba McEntire

I still love Lauren’s voice, and this song was exactly the right choice for her.  It was full of attitude, full of fire, and full of life.  The judges always tell younger contestants to make sure they don’t lose touch with their youth in their performances.  Lauren did exactly that.  She was comfortable on the stage but still exuded a youthful exuberance that made the performance fun to watch.  It was clear Steven has as big a crush on her as she has on him.  Randy set the bar really high comparing her to both Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood – but I can see where he was coming from.  It was a good night for Lauren (and she gets bonus points for calling Ryan – “Peaches.)

Pia Toscano – “I’ll Stand By You” – The Pretenders

I was surprised to see Pia got the “pimp spot” – after not hearing much from her during the audition shows.  Carrie covered this song for Idol Gives Back a few years ago, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Well – Pia nailed it, getting a standing ovation from both the crowd and the judges.  It was a strong, confident performance tailor made for the Idol stage.  No doubt, with that one performance she sang herself into the top ten.  Steven summed it up best, – “After a Monday and a Tuesday, even a week says WTF”.

And that was the end of the show.  All in all, it was a good showing by the girls.  There where highs and lows, but no utter train wrecks.  Next up is the results show, where America gets to choose the top 10 and the judges have the chance to put through a few wild card singers.  Who will live to sing another day?  We’ll have to find out together.  Until then – Word Zombie out.

© 2011, The Word Zombie. All rights reserved.

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