Ok, I am running behind by a whole day now since I didn't get to watch the girls sing last night. My husband and I were at a taping of the PBS show Austin City Limits watching the incomparable The Civil Wars perform. They were amazing. I will post a review and pics of this performance either Friday night or maybe Saturday, but first, I need to get this week's Idol squared away. So, without further ado, here's the lowdown on the girls.
Ryan starts us off asking if one of these ladies will be the first female winner in 5 yrs. Well, that all depends if there is a really good looking teenage guy in the pac or not and if the girls can actually sing.
Chelsea Sorrell- "Cowboy Casanova" Carrie Underwood. Not a great song choice. Song is too big for her. She has a good country voice but I don't think she has enough power to take on Carrie. Randy didn't like the song choice. JLo said she sounded nasally and it sucks going first. Steven tells her to watch her phrasing. Ryan asks if she is having problems breathing.
Erika Van Pelt- "What About Love" She sounds good and seems confident. ST agrees with me on confidence. JLo thinks she could have done more. Randy says she is showing an Adele style. Call the fashion police- they have ruined her hair. It's too straight and flat and the outfit looks matronly. Help her, Jennifer.
Jen Hirsh- Adele "One and Only" is not a great choice for Jen. It's just ok for me. Not enough power. I didn't connect to it. JLo says Jen is confident but had problem at the end. Randy says he loves her voice and she is one of the best singers this year.
Ryan asks Randy to comment on the guys performances the night before compared to the girls so far. Randy is having a reality show check and admits that the judges went a little too easy on some of the guys. After watching at home, not everyone was as wonderful as they heard in the studio. OOPS. Looks like the audience vote did not go as they had hoped and its time to cover their backsides.
Brielle Von Hugel- One comment on her back story. She's a high school cheerleader. That explains a lot.
Otis Redding "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" is an interesting choice. The start is too low and really shaky. She improves when she changes keys and stands and walks around. Though her dress is cute, I don't think t is appropriate for the song or for moving around on the stage. Steven tells her she has a great sense of the blues. JLo says she is a true performer and she is severely underestimated by all. Randy says the key was too low at the start, but the middle was better. (That's what I said!)
Hallie Day- "Feelin' Good" I like the slower start, very bluesy, soulful. I like the song but I'm sure a younger audience will not find this interesting. JLo says she looks and sounds beautiful, but she lost it in spots. ST says her voice is old-timey and he likes it and hopes the style is coming back, like with Adele. Randy doesn't comment but instead asks Hallie where she sees herself fitting in as an artist. She says Soul and R&B.
Skylar Laine- "Stay With Me" She is sassy, confident, and totally rockin' the stage. This was really impressive for so early in the competition. This girl knows who she is. I really like this girl. She just might win it. Randy calls her a rockin' country girl and says she's a mix of Reba and Kelly Clarkson. JLo says she loves her energy and her twang and the song and calls her a country Tina Turner. ST calls her a pistol. Skyler tells Ryan that she can't breathe in her dress.
Baylie Brown- "Amazed" by Lonestar. Baylie is stunning. This is a beautiful song that I happen to love and I'm sorry to say that Baylie is totally murdering the song. Off key for a lot of the song. She is really struggling. I don't think her beauty is going to save her unless the American Idol voting public is suddenly all teen and twenty something guys. St tells her she is pretty but this was not the best song choice and he has heard her better. JLo says she's beautiful but the nerves got her. Randy says shaky, pitchy in spots (like the whole thing)- not great.
When we came back from commercial Ryan tells us that Baylie said she couldn't get her heart to stop racing. Her dress was too tight to breathe properly. Ryan asks Jennifer what she could do about that and JLo responds "wear looser dresses." And on a personal note, Ryan needs to shave.
Hollie Cavanagh- Christina Aguilarra "Reflection" Such a big song for such a little girl but she does a decent job. Seemed a little off at the beginning but she really improved at the key change of the chorus. ST tells her she hit the high notes perfectly. He also wants her to let her hair down next time. (She had her hair pulled up in back making her look old. JLo loves her and thinks she could win the whole thing. Randy says it was hard to take on that song. Part were a little rough but many parts she slayed.
Haley Johnsen- "Sweet Dreams" Not a dream at all. Terrible. Sounds like she is singing in a different key than the band and backup singers. JLo is kind and says she isn't sure this was the right song. ST says it wasn't perfect but she had good stage presence. Randy is the only one with any guts tonight. He says it was a nightmare not a dream. It was a train wreck. Randy is right.
Shannon Magrane- "Go Light Your World" by Christian artist Cathy Tricole. Wow. For a 16 yr old she is really stepping out on a limb with this song. It is a beautiful power ballad and she nails it. Randy says she is calm, cool, collected. "I'm a fan." JLo says for someone so young, she sings with such passion and the performance gave her goosies. ST says "you started out low and gospel-ly and then my reality check bounced (What?) Ryan asks why this song. Shannon tells Ryan that she knew it was a risk but it was in my soul, my gut, I had to sing it.
Jessica Sanchez- Tells Ryan that she has been having throat problems all week and doctor told her vocal chords are swollen and she is worried about singing this time. "I Love You, I Do" is not a song I know. it sounds old. No problem for Jessica. She is hitting all of those notes. she gets a standing O from the audience and the judges too. Randy says "that girl can sing" and one of the best of the last two nights. JLo says she has swag and attitude beyond her years. ST tells her she has exceptional timing.
Elise Testone- Adele's "One and Only" This is not an original idea as Jen sang it earlier. Elise does a much better job all around.Started out with Elise on piano then she is up and powering through the song. I like this much better than Jen's rendition. I feel her connection to the song. She gets a little emotional and cuts the last note short, but really good job overall. ST says she blew it out of the water. JLo says Elise might be the best singer this season. Randy says she is a force to be reckoned with, but in the next breathe e tells her the this was not her best performance. When Ryan asks Elise about the flowers in her hair she tells him that the flowers are from the expensive room service trays.
Well, there you have the girls for season 11. I'm not sure why, but I am not feeling a strong connection to many of these girls. Here's my favorites of the night in no particular order: