Wednesday, March 3, 2010. The girls were great tonight on American Idol. Crystal Bowersox who was hospitalized on Tuesday for the serious health issue of diabetes complications has recovered and gave a stellar performance. She and other stars are emerging; lesser singers are crashing and burning. Here are the performers in order of appearance.
1. Crystal Bowersox, 24, Elliston, Ohio. Mega talent, dynamic voice, immediate lasting presence- that almost sums up Crystal Bowersox who sang as ‘Long As I Can See the Light’ by 60s/70s rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival. After her illness, Crystal said she was ecstatic to be able to perform tonight. Her fans were also ecstatic. And so were the judges.
Randy said, “I love that girl.” Ellen told Crystal Bowersox that she was pure, raw, natural talent. Kara said Crystal is the essence of American rock. And Simon said American Idol had found a serious artist comparable to Kelly Clarkson. How many of us thought that in her first audition. Everyone? Is anyone not a Bowersox fan? Crystal is the frontrunner for winning American Idol 2010.
2. Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, Colo. Simon was cruel enough to tell Haeley Vaughn that the song was about a climb and she had fallen off. Haeley was sweet singing ‘The Climb’ by Miley Cyrus. She shines on stage with her smile and presence. But her vocals need some serious work. They are pitchy and choppy.
3. Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, Texas. Lacey Brown was charming singing ‘Kiss Me’ by Jewel. She has a great look and a great smile. Ellen called her adorable and Kara said she was good. Yet, Lacey’s performance was not a standout. I like her but not as much as I like a few others.
4. Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, Conn. Katie, Katie, Katie, Katie. Katie Stevens has this great voice but neither knows how to use it nor what to do with it. She sang ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae. Her version was not as fun as Megan Joy’s in Season 8 of American Idol. I fear that Katie will soon be gone.
5. Didi Benami, 23, Los Angeles, Calif. Didi Benami sang ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. If she ever recorded it, it would not be a hit for her. ‘Lean on Me’ is a great song that takes a great performer who sings from the gut, the heart, the soul. Didi didn’t convince anyone to lean on her. She’s falling by the wayside in the star race.
6. Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami, Fla. The judges almost welcomed Michelle Delamor ‘With Arms Wide Open’ by Creed. Simon summed up what they all thought- that Michelle was 80% there. She was riveting when she started out but by the end, she had lost her magnetism. Still, the church choir sweetie who loves children will be around next week, most deservedly so.
7. Lilly Scott, 20, Littleton, Colo. Lilly Scott was her unique self with ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke. Ellen thought her performance was the best of the night. I think Ellen forgot about Crystal Bowersox. But Lilly’s performance was star quality.
8. Katelyn Epperly, 19, of West Des Moines, Iowa. Randy Jackson was in an unparalleled universe this evening. If he’s trying to be as cranky as Simon Cowell, he’s not pulling it off. He didn’t like this Wow! performance of Cold Play’s ‘The Scientist’ by Katelyn Epperly, who has gorgeous tones in her beautiful voice. Katelyn played the piano and sang with her heart à la Carole King but in a different way. Thank goodness Kara said that it was ‘seriously good’.
9. Paige Miles, 24, Naples, Fla. Paige Miles sang ‘Walk Away’ by Kelly Clarkson. The song was penned by Kara DioGuardi. Paige did a great job. Randy liked it- welcome back, Randy- Ellen loved it, and Simon thought it was a good song choice. Kara, however, said that Paige shouldn’t have been smiling so much because she, Kara, had written it about a relationship she’d had that had gone bad. Paige responded that she’d had a bad relationship and was smiling because she was glad the relationship was over.
10. Siobhan Magnus, 20, Cape Cod, Mass. Daring Siobhan Magnus fearlessly took on ‘Think’ by Aretha Franklin and made it work for her, especially when she hit an insanely incredible note reminiscent of Adam Lambert’s vocal gymnastics. Siobhan is an ancient soul in a young body. Even Randy said it was, “Dope!” Ellen loved it. She said, “Man, that was good!” Kara liked it. Simon joined everyone on the praise-Siobhan bandwagon.
Summary. A singer who can take a great song and make it resonate with an audience for a timeless riveting moment is an artist. Four girls were artists tonight- perhaps not perfect ones but still artists. They were, in order of success- Crystal Bowersox; Siobhan Magnus; Katelyn Epperly; Lilly Scott. Hence, they are my four favorites for the Top 10 mix (girls and guys). The fifth girl for the Top 10 might be Michelle Delamor or Paige Miles.
After America’s votes are revealed on Thursday, the two girls going home may be Katie Stevens and Didi Benami. To find out about the Top 10 guys on Tuesday night of this week, click here.