That leaves just Carly Rose Sonenclar, even though Britney messes up and starts to introduce Arin again instead. She's singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for her older brother, Russ. We hear a story about how Carly was ten years old and traveling alone with her mom when her mother suffered a stroke. Not sure how her brother fits into that story, but when it's tear-jerking week you don't leave something like that out. Like Beatrice before her, Carly explains how her sibling couldn't be here this week, but then gets surprised by him anyway. Or "surprised," as he walked up behind her when she was just standing and staring into space, as though these kids get five seconds to do that, ever. Carly sings the song all torchy-like, beginning a cappella and quickly building up to the swelling strings and everything. These two might just be the closest brother and sister since that coffee commercial. Great singing, though, no argument there. She even gets tonight's second four-way standing ovation from the judges. L.A. says she's a force of nature, and that she pulled out two big notes when she only needed one. Demi asks to see a school ID and accuses her of being an alien, because nobody who's thirteen can sing like that. Simon says she's the best alien he's ever heard, and that this was one of the best versions of the song he's ever heard, and announces that he's changed his mind about who's likely to be number one this week. And Carly's mentor, Britney? Agrees with everyone. Possibly the most impressive thing about Carly is that she's doing this all by herself.
After the mini-clips of tonight's performances with the voting numbers on the screen, Mario reminds us they're all 855 numbers, so "Watch where you put your fingers." Yes, we're looking at you, Simon.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.