AMERICAN IDOL 7 - GIRLS ROUND 1: After a mediocre night with the Top 12 boys, I was hoping the girls would deliver the goods, but that wasn't happening tonight. Despite Randy, Paula, Simon and the producers trying to make us believe this Top 24 is the best ever, all evidence to the contrary. They did 60s songs again and it was pretty sorry all around. Some of the girls were sick with the flu and tried to use it as an excuse. As Carly Smithson put it, "sick is no excuse." Walk it off, ladies.
Kristy Lee Cook - She told the story - again! - about having to sell her horse to pay her way to auditions. Funny, not a mention of her singing career and album. Not that it actually matters. She sang a bland, forgettable version of Rescue Me. None of the judges really liked it, and Simon called it robotic and was unsympathetic to her bronchitis. I couldn't agree more. She'll never get that horse back if this is all she can muster.
Joanne Borgella - The plus-sized model screeched her way through Say A Little Prayer. She said people expect her to belt songs because she's a big girl, but she's not that kind of singer. Honey, you should be. This was wretched stuff. Simon called it a cabaret performance, which was being kind. It sounded like bad karaoke to me. The judges were not impressed.
Alaina Whitaker - She's one of the youngest contestants at just 16, but she has a nice voice. She sang I Love You More Today Than Yesterday and it was good, but she did get a bit shouty toward the end. The judges liked her, she's pretty, blonde, giant chiclet teeth -- she'll go far.
Amanda Overmyer - What kinda fucked up Cruella de Vil-meets-Amy Winehouse hairdo was she sporting? She sang Baby, Please Don't Go, but you couldn't understand any of the lyrics. The judges didn't really know what to say, except Randy who wanted a pair of her patchwork jeans. Even Simon had this flummoxed look on his face. She has a ton of stage presence, but she still sounds like Joplin. And, yeah, we know you were in a car accident. Jesus...
Amy Davis - Pack your bags, sister, you're going home. Her shaky, tragic cover of Where the Boys Are sealed her fate. Even Paula called her lackluster.
Brooke White - The self-proclaimed good girl and nanny -- who also didn't mention her previous music career -- sang a countrified version of Happy Together. It was good, but not fabulous. She's only 24, but looks about 10 years older. Simon said most of the girls looked like the kind of models you'd see in "washing up liquid" commercials in the UK -- all blonde, sunny, happy and vapid. She'll stay around for a few weeks, but really needs to step up.
Alexandrea Lushington - This local girl -- she's from Atlanta suburb Douglasville -- rocked out Blood, Sweat and Tears' Spinning Wheel. I thought it was one the best performances, Randy and Paula loved it, but Simon hated it. He totally got this one wrong. She was confident and totally belted that song. Ryan Gaycrest, showing a bit of attitude, reminded the grumpy Brit that he put all these girls through to the Top 12 when Simon began moaning about the lack of "wow" in the performances. Good point.
Kady Malloy - Oh, dear...this got a bit ugly when Simon compared her version of Groovy Kind of Love to "night of the living dead." None of the judges really liked it and they just kept yammering on until Kady looked like she was about to march over to the table and slap the shit out of them. It didn't help that in the clip intro, she did a pitch-perfect imitation of Brit Brit, but when she sang in her own voice, it was boring and forgettable. I've never seen such a murderous face on a contestant. She's probably going home.
Asia'h Epperson - We know, we know... your daddy died in a car wreck while you were on the way to audition. How many more times will that sympathy card be played? She did a soulful version of Piece of My Heart and has a unique voice. She'll probably make it to the Top 12. Word of advice, Miss E, smaller earrings. Those hoola hoops were about to give her a concussion.
Ramiele Malubay - The judges were practically licking her naughty bits and Simon called it the best of the evening. Say what? She butchered You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. I said it before, I'll say it again: Do not fuck with Dusty Springfield unless you can bring it. The judges must have realized the show is sucking serious ass and were trying to mind-fuck the audience. Sell that shit elsewhere.
Syesha Mercado - Tobacco Road was not a great song choice, but this girl can belt. She has a good voice and even managed to save herself when she got ahead of the music. Definitely in the Top 12.
Carly Smithson - The most controversial contestant (she had a major label, multi-million deal with MCA Records and the debut tanked hard back in 2001) and still my favorite, despite the fact that Simon hated her. I think he did it on purpose to take the heat off the "buzz" about her former career. She was so sick yesterday, she didn't even sit in the audience with the girls while the boys sang, but like a seasoned pro, she got on stage and sang Shadow of Your Smile. Great technique, beautiful tone. The best girl by a mile, but sadly there's really nothing to compare her to.
None of the girls blew me away. There was absolutely no "wow" factor tonight. The boys are definitely stronger. Two guys and two girls go home tomorrow night.