Now we can finally vote, and we see the females, two of whom will be eliminated this week.
Mandisa sings Heart's "Never." I thought it was tasteless and ugly, but Randy and Paula rave. Simon? Oh, he's raving too. What nonsense! They are lavishing praise on her, it seems, to suck up to all the many plus size "American Idol" fans.
Kellie Pickler: "I don't really have a love life." But she's going to do this song -- "How Far," a sexual song -- for her dad. Kind of icky. But we're reminded again that her dad is in prison, and she is a woman of sorrow. It's atrocious, and she's doing that "American Idol" pose I so detest, planting her feet wide apart and doing shallow knee bends. It's so crotchy -- but sexless! They tell her she has the likeability factor. "You're a nice girl," Simon says.
Becky O'Donohue, she's the girl with the miming twin. I detest her. Much as I feel for her muted twin, I find her intolerably phony. But she's doing "Because the Night." That's something. Let's listen. Yikes! She's doing Patti Smith, cornball style. She's gesticulating in a way that says: you must find me sexy. Patti would never do that! I'm horribly nauseated! Simon: "Visually, you are a 10, but..."
Ayla Brown, the beautiful basketballer. She motivates herself by thinking about how Simon called her "robotic" and "empty." She's singing some cheesy song in a horribly cheesy style. Oh, it's something like "Reflection." It's harsh and abominable. She puts that pop-groan into it, but I'm not embarrassed for her, because she's so pretty and so tall. When she's done, she says, "I just feel so complete," as if she'd just had sex with herself. Appalling! But will the judges complain? Again with the praise. Is there no relenting? Simon calls her a "hard worker" with "a limit." But he credits her with "some emotion." Disgusting overpraise!
Paris Bennett: she's one of the very best from the auditions, and she's going to sing "Midnight Train to Georgia." Great! But the song seems to be in the wrong key, and the singing is so unmusical compared to the audition. Judges? Randy: "Whoa!" Paula: "You're my idol!" Simon: "It's a performance everyone's going to remember."
Stevie Scott, a special favorite of mine. She's the one who's studied opera. And quite aside from that, I'm getting a nice "Joan of Arcadia" vibe from her. She's singing an opera song, "From Where You Are." Ooh! She does the Kelly Clarkson stomach grab! She's breathy and sweet. Randy: "Dude, I found myself daydreaming." Paula: "Very intimate." Simon: "You completely and utterly messed that up... It was like being at some Sunday lunch and some child gets up to sing." Whoops! Afterwards, she apologies and indicates she can do what they want. Crash! And now she's desperately acting sexy with Ryan. Noooooooo!
Brenna Gethers, the biggest ham. Ooh, she's squirming her body up against Ryan Seacrest! You don't want to see that. Aw, but she's singing "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." She has five different voices, and she specializes in sticking out her ass and slapping it. Simon: "That was horrible, completely and utterly..." The problem is the safe song, when she's supposed to be a wild cat.
Heather Cox is singing some damned "American Idol" song. Apparently, she wants to pull the stars down from the sky. Despite her lovely chest, she's horribly unmusical and off-key. Please, make her go away. Randy only calls her boring. Paula says it's not great. Simon only calls it "forgettable," but then redeems himself with an honest word: "horrible."
Melissa McGhee. She's weak and dull. "When the Lights Go Down." This is so ugly that I have to ignore it. Somehow, Paula thinks it was a "shining moment."
Lisa Tucker. She's adorably 16. I love her. The audience is screaming. She sings in a beautifully mature style -- "I'm changing" -- that makes all the other girls seem lightweight and ordinary. Lisa!
Kinnik Sky. "Get Here," a song I associate with Justin Guarini. She has a heavy, overbearing voice. Paula: "Sharp notes? A few. So what!" Simon sneers, "Very cabaret."
Only one more. They usually save the best one for last, and it's the one I remember as the best from the auditions:
Katharine McPhee! She sings "Since I Fell For You," which she imagines was originally sung by Barbra Streisand. "I get the blues most every night." Randy: "Wow, wow." Paula: "Fantastic. I think you're going to go all the way." Simon: "There were four very, very good vocalists tonight, and you were the best."