Welcome back to the 2nd night of Top 24 performances. Tonight is ladies night. Out of the 12 ladies performing, 5 will be picked by the audience, the rest will have to hope that the judges save them with one of their 2 or 3 wildcard picks next week. But that's a story for tomorrow night when we learn who will get the automatic picks. Tonight is a clean slate for all the ladies, so let's get to it:
How Were The Contestants:
Ta-tynisa Wilson(Only Girl In The World): We really didn't see much of Ta-Tynisa at all during the audition rounds or Hollywood week, so tonight will be the first real glimpse of her. Ta-Tynisa sings a Rihanna song. For her to really sell this song as her own she has to make it sound and seem different than the original, but it turns out Ta-Tynisa can't do that. The performance has energy, and she sounds decent enough, but nothing spectacular. Steven thought she sounded beautifully. Jennifer thought she sounded shaky but brought it all the way home. Randy differs from the other 2. He thought the performance was just okay and that it paled in comparison. I agree with Randy.
Naima Adedapo(Summertime): Singing the song that easily won Fantasia the Season 3 American Idol crown is tough due to the instant comparisons, but Naima did a totally different style and avoided being compared. She made the song much more peppier and fun. Her performance proved she isn't afraid of the stage either. Jennifer thought she did great. Randy thought that the performance was a little lounge singer like. But thought it was interesting and enjoyed the second half. Steven thought she brought it and he loved her a lot.
Kendra Chantelle(Impossible): Again Kendra is someone we only saw in short snippets in the earlier rounds, but in the time she had during those snippets it was impressive. Tonight Kendra performed a Christina Aguliera song, Kendra doesn't have the pipes that Christina has but she did a lot with the song and sang it well. Randy loved Kendra's bravado and really liked it. Steven thought everything about the performance was hot. Jennifer feels that there is more in Kendra but that it was amazing nonetheless.
Rachel Zevita(Criminal): For about a minute or so I had no idea what song this was and I have heard this song hundreds of times over the years. She completely changed the way the song sounds and made it unrecognizable. I loved the original by Fiona Apple and this way makes it really cheesy. Steven loved her swagger but thought it was a bit too Broadway. Jennifer feels that although she belongs in the Top 24 she doesn't think we saw the real Rachel. Randy thought it wasn't great nor good. He also didn't recognize the song at all. Sometimes going too far away from the original isn't the best thing to do, Rachel proved that tonight.
Karen Rodriguez(Hero): We all remember Karen as the MySpace contestant, but she also wants to be the first Latina American Idol. She actually sings part of this song in Spanish. She takes this Mariah Carey song in a different way. It sounds like the original but she adds a lot of flair to it and adding the Spanish to the song is pretty cool and hasn't been done on this show before. Jennifer thought it was a "Wow" performance, she loved how she changed it from English to Spanish. Randy loved that Karen changed it up. Steven thinks that Karen is amazing, and tonight so did I.
Lauren Turner(Seven Day Fool): Not going to lie I don't know anything about Lauren, I only remember her from her getting picked in the Top 24. So tonight is the first time we will really get a good impression of Lauren, and I really liked it. This is a very old song by Etta James and she made it current and fresh. Randy loved it and loves the soul in her voice. Steven thought it was spectacular and loved it. Jennifer feels that Lauren needs to bring out her personality even more and not to hold back but that she sounded great.
Ashthon Jones(Love All Over Me): Ashthon has a very powerful voice and really plays with the crowd and owns the stage. She has tons of stage presence. Steven thought she had the "confidence of a queen" and feels they found one. Jennifer feels she has all the makings of a Diva (in a good way), and felt she was amazing. Randy didn't love the song but loved the performance.
Julie Zorrilla(Breakaway):She's cute, and very stylish but I'm not gonna lie she has sounded better in the past. She really stood out in the Beatles round but was just mediocre tonight. She didn't do anything that special to the song. Jennifer liked it but feels that she didn't bring it all the way and didn't connect enough. Randy feels that Julie sang it not nearly as good as Kelly Clarkson, and when there are only 5 spots you can't pale in comparison at this point. Steven thought it was a wrong song choice.
Haley Reinhart(Fallin'): Haley had some ups and downs during the Hollywood rounds. She was very good at some moments and then had some really rough times as well. Tonight she decided that singing an Alicia Keys song was the way to go. I don't think it was. I couldn't get a really great sense of her voice except in a couple small spots. In those small spots she sounded really good but she didn't have enough of them. Randy feels that the song didn't do anything for Haley, he thought it was kind of karaoke. Steven thought she had a lot of style to it. Jennifer agrees with Steven on her voice but feels she needs to get out of her head.
Thia Megia(Out Here On My Own): Not having any band accompaniment in the beginning of the song is scary and takes a lot of guts. I don't know if she pulled off that big of a moment but she sounded pretty. Steven thought Thia's pitch was perfect and can't believe she is only 15. Jennifer thought it was beautiful and provided a quiet moment and was captivating. Randy thought Thia's tone was unbelievable and feels that "this is what hot singing is all about". I wasn't as impressed but she definitely stands out a bit tonight in a night of middle of the line kinds of performances.
Lauren Alaina(Turn On The Radio): Super judges and producers favorite Lauren has a lot to live up to. I didn't realize she had such a country sounding voice. I thought she was more Pop than Country but whatever it was, it was beautiful. Lauren really did sound like she was 26 instead of 16. She sounded great. Jennifer feels that Lauren doesn't even have to try and that she is effortless and is a natural. Randy feels that Lauren has a natural gift and feels that there is so much more than what she had tonight. He feels that Lauren is a great mix of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Steven doesn't think this was her best but thinks she is still the best. Lauren is very comfortable on stage and I think she knows that she is a front runner. Even if for some reason Lauren isn't picked by the audience there is no doubt that the judges will save her with one of the wildcards.
Pia Toscano(I'll Stand By You): Going into this performance Pia was one of my favorites but when we get to "live" performances a lot can change. This particular song has had so many different versions to it over the years but Pia's version was a beautiful choice. Her voice is pure and sounded great. She started a little slow but picked it up in the middle through the end. She even got a standing ovation by all 3 judges. Randy thought it was one of the top performances in 10 seasons. I don't know about that but it's a great compliment. Steven thought it was gorgeous and unbelievable. Jennifer knew that Pia was a standout before but really brought it all out tonight and thought it was out of this world.
How Were The Judges:
Steven: So far Steven is very fun and cool but hasn't brought that much to the table. I still feel he is getting used to the instant feedback he has to provide. He adds his quirk to the remarks but nothing really memorable yet.
Jennifer: You can tell that Jennifer is pretty comfortable in her remarks. She might not say anything overly mean, and tends to lean towards the positive over remarking about the negative, but she is right on with her points. So I give her credit for that.
Randy: I like that he doesn't just follow Jennifer or Steven, he says what he feels and doesn't shy away. He might not be as critical as Simon Cowell, but he makes his opinion known even if it differs with his fellow judges. No matter what, he has done this for 10 years, so I do value his opinion a lot even if it is somewhat nonsensical and repetitive.
How Was The Show:
I liked that they switched up the order in which the judges gave out their critiques. Last night they went Steven, Jennifer then Randy, tonight they rotated after each contestant. I think it's better when they do this. It just provides a different dynamic.
I don't think the girls were nearly as strong as the boys were yesterday. There were a couple of standout performances but the boys definitely had more of them. The girls that were good were really good, the girls that were bad were really bad. Thus, it makes voting a bit easier and clearer for the audience. A lot of the boys fell in the middle so it's tougher, this one looks to be easier to pick.
My Favorites: Pia Toscano, Karen Rodriguez and Lauren Alaina
My Least Favorites: Rachel Zevita and Julie Zorrilla
Come back here tomorrow night to learn which 5 guys and 5 ladies will make it in the Top 12 right away. We will hopefully also learn what the wildcard rounds will be comprised of. So come back here tomorrow night for all those details and more.