The boys are in trouble!
Good But Forgettable: Amy Krebs's rendition of "I Can't Make You Love Me" was just fine, if a little ornamented and Idol'd up. Haley Scarnato is cute, identical to Nicole suddenly, and sang "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" as though it were all turning immediately and leaving through another door as soon as it had come back to her.
Horrible: Antonella Barba ripped "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," a song I hate, to shreds. She's a screamer, which God hates, and simultaneously sounded scared and kittenish. Worst of the night. Nicole Tranquillo seems to have borrowed some of Paula's meds or sizzurp or something, because she sounded really intensely crazy and scary. It was like an entire episode of House in three minutes. Alaina Alexander totally ruined "Brass In Pocket," a.k.a. the song about how I'm going to make you, make you, make you notice. What I noticed is that no matter how adorable I find her, she still is one of the weakest singers. Hopefully she'll learn to bring it sometime soon, because she's great to watch.
Balanced By Other Factors For Good Or Ill Depending: Sabrina Sloan still looks like a visiting cast member from Rome and sang a very determined "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You," which usually sounds the same all the time. Lakisha Jones, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going": Yes, it was wonderful, yes I believe it, but Simon's tongue bath is doing her no favors. She's already an underdog in many ways and having him tell her she's the best of the 24 is a really good way to ruin that. She looked really cute, though. Meanwhile Gina Glocksen singing "All By Myself" is like hearing paint cry.
Amazing: Leslie Hunt's "Natural Woman" rocked out, like I was sure it would. She's so weird and neat, but I think she'll be okay. She should try some wigglier stuff instead of going for soul: think about her singing Victoria Williams or Regina Spektor, or even that lady with the harp. Jordin Sparks proved once again with "Give Me One Reason" that she's one to watch this year. It built really well and ended as one of the better performances of the night. She's so mannered and confident, a joy to watch. Stephanie Edwards started the night with "How Come You Don't Call Me?" and sang in a frenetic manner, like Fantasia without the scary aspects of Fantasia -- and I'm not just saying that because of the hair, she's an original. Melinda Doolittle sang Aretha's "Since You've Been Gone," and proved to be maybe the most likeable person ever to perform on this show. Amazing voice, and the kind of good vibes that make George Huff look like Murky Dismal.
Should Go Home: Nicole and Antonella.
Will Go Home: Antonella and Alaina.
Ryan works his way down the girls lined up on the steps, giving them high fives and critiquing their outfits -- "Love the earrings, love the red" -- and hugging Lakisha quickly before he hits the camera to tell us about how the boys were kind of sucky last night, and then there's a long, long redux of the guys' performances, which we are able to see for ourselves were mostly kind of sucky, as stated. Ryan enunciates a whole lot and then the girls go running past the camera all cute and Ryan goes, "What up girls?" Then he exhorts us to have some fun. There will be fun, to a certain extent. Not two hours' worth of fun, really, but when has this show ever fit snugly around the volume of fun it contains? Never. He dicks with Randy for complaining about being unoriginal and then complaining about them taking risks, and Randy calls him "baby." Paula tells the Dawg Pound that they did not let her down, but that they were kind of sucky. Simon is very nice about Paula and Randy's opinions, and then he and Ryan kind of make out a little bit. Simon says that Chris Sligh being a dork to Simon last night made him happy, in a way, and Ryan keeps poking and poking about how it broke Simon's heart and shows a picture of Simon being pissed. Simon asks politely that Ryan leave him the fuck alone and stop being bratty; Ryan does not understand this request.
Worthless montage of them not actually auditioning but jumping around and screaming the word Hollywood and then Ryan getting kind of Cory Kennedy at the camera while a gay house dance remix of "Breathe Me" plays, for some reason. Which reminds me: Patrick Wolf rules. Find a way to hear some Patrick Wolf this week. It's trippy and unending, this sequence, but not interesting at all. When we return to the show, to quote "get the party started," we see Stephanie Edwards.
Her deal is that she sang "God Bless The Child" and is 19 years old and has a very expressive, cute face. She likes the color red as much as I do, so I feel warmly toward her. Simon called her reminiscent of a '30s jazz singer at her audition. She tells us that this was the last straw, and then cries because the judges believe in her. Then she sings "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore," by Prince, and her pronunciations of words are very church choir and sweet. She's a total professional, giving a bunch of crowd patter and emoting the words of the song. Like she really doesn't know why you won't call her anymore, but she's interested in finding out more about the situation, even to the point of getting on her knees, if that could possibly help. I think...the only reason I would not call her is that there are still eleven people to go, and this show gives me kitty-cat memory. Randy loves it, finding her pitchy but also that she "set it off" and made him go "whoo." Paula is amazed by her showmanship, and I agree, if it's a little by the book "I'm a performing lady! Performing!" Simon says she did better than all the boys, and also better than herself previous to this point: "It looks as if you came out and said 'I want to win.'" Ryan congratulates her on setting the tone and calls her "fearless," and she talks about the awesomeness of the audience. She's cute and grownup and a hero of mine. Her hair looks kind of like William Shatner from right around 1972.