Amanda Avila. She sings "River Deep, Mountain High" with cheesy wailing, but no genuine feeling. Oh, my ears hurt! But she's pretty, and she'll get credit for that. As Randy and Simon say: don't do Tina unless you can come close. You'll just look inadequate. And you did!
Janay Castine. I refuse to talk about her thoughts on the fact that she's a Libra. She's all off key. She looks great. Great image improvement -- maybe the best I've ever seen on the show. But she's singing just terribly! And she's got that look of terror on her face, which is to her credit: she knows she doesn't have it.
Carrie Underwood. She's way too into talking about her astrological sign. She's doing that hold-my-appendix Kelly Clarkson gesture. But she's abysmal. I can't recognize the song: "because you love me." Could a lyric be duller? Simon worries that she's "looking a bit old fashioned." They love her and expect her to make the final, but at the same time, they tell her she's a bore. Ryan's nice to her, and she acts natural for a second, and we kind of like her again.
Vonzell Solomon. Oh, how the women buy into the astrological crap! Why would you be all into the idea of being a fish? She sings "Respect," and she's dressed in cowboy clothes. She does one of the big "OH!"s really off. How sick I am of this song! She smiles sweetly at the compliments and that makes me like her and then hate myself. You've got to sing!
Nadia Turner. Should I care that she's my sign? Do I feel some affinity? Not based on astrology, but, yeah, I love her. She looks fabulous. She is the coolest looking person ever on the show, beginning with giant hair. They always straighten the curly hair on "American Idol," but I will rail and rail if they ever uncurl her hair. Nadia is the ultimate demonstration of the grandeur of curly hair. Oh! She's singing "Try a Little Tenderness"! She changes the words to "that same old funky dress." And she's herself wearing a funky dress, a short black thing with a pink tutu underskirt. Wow! She did Otis! She even has a distinctive way of smiling, biting into her lower lip. Nadia shines! So much more real than all the other "girls."
Lindsey Cardinale. "I could stay awake..." she begins -- as I feel like nodding off. No, no, no! She's wearing gaucho pants! This is just putrid! An outrage!! She does that knees apart, bobbing non-dance that is so common ... and ugly. Randy thinks it's "all right" -- but it's not! Paula bullshits. Simon insults her by simultaneously insulting Ryan. Stupid! She in no way got the trashing she deserved. Clearly, the worst of the night.
Mikalah Gordon. Dressed all in black, she eases into "Somewhere." It's weirdly nasal and off. Really off. She seems to be out of her mind, butchering this beautiful song. Possibly the worst performance ever on the show. They need to tell her! Randy: "You're a risk taker." Paula: "You like Barbra Streisand, don't you?" Simon (please, Simon, tell the truth): "The first part of the song was hideous... it's like you've gone into an aging machine ... you're losing what we like ... she's seventeen years old!"
Jessica Sierra. She sings some bluesy, rocky song I don't recognize. Randy thinks it's "hot." Paula: "Awesome." Simon makes some connection between her outfit (denim and velvet) and the song title, but I have no idea what song she sang, so his witticism flies over my head.
Clearly, Nadia was the best. But we've got to kick out two. Janay was awful and deserves to go, but the one I most want to eliminate is Lindsey. That was unforgivable. Mikalah was awful, but still, she is something, and I could see keeping her around. And I've been up for squelching Amanda for ever so long. Just keep Jessica and, of course, Nadia, and it will be just fine.
UPDATE: A reader writes:
Simon's comment about Jessica Sierra's song choice -- "The Boys Are Back In Town" -- was a crude reference to her low-cut top. I think he was implying her, uh, chest was about to pop out.
One more thing: I liked Nadia too but she reminded me of Tim Curry performing the last musical number in "Rocky Horror Picture Show." This is neither a criticism nor a compliment.
"Boys" for "breasts"? I'll have to check out the old "Rocky Horror" DVD to see if I agree about Nadia. That's quite an association!