American Idol continued on Wednesday night with the women taking the stage. The big question leading up to the show was “Will Crystal Bowersox perform?” She not only sung, but she started off the night without exhibiting any signs of her illness. The women got an extra day to practice because of Crystal’s hospital stay, but in the end it probably didn’t make much of a difference.
Simon was critical as usual, but it was good to hear some honest feedback and not just someone trying to make a singer feel good about a less than stellar performance. It helps that Simon has a lot of credibility, but that will be a hard act for his replacement to follow. Even though it was difficult to get used to seeing someone other than Paula sitting in the judge’s chair, Ellen seems to be filling the same role of the empathetic female who provides constructive criticism. Chances are that will be the case with Simon’s replacement, as long as he fulfills the same role of the honest-to-a-fault Simon.
Some of the contestants needed the constructive criticism tonight. When Haeley Vaughn said she was going to sing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” there was probably a collective thought of “oh no” running through the minds of the audience, which was justified by the not-so-impressive performance. Many of the contestants really took the judges’ suggestions from last week to heart. Lacy took Kara’s advice and sang “Kiss Me.” It wasn’t an awesome rendition, but it was much better than last week.
There was a couple of confusing calls by the judges, however. Didi seemed to do a good job, but the judges didn’t seem to think so. On the opposite end of the spectrum Simon and Kara really liked Michelle’s version of “Eyes Wide Open”, but it didn’t seem like a performance worthy of Simon’s praise. One thing the judges were right about, contestants are still having a hard time picking the right song and finding their style while still trying to appeal to the audience.There were more risk takers this week. The rendition of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” by Katelyn Epperly was really touching, and the piano was a different change of pace from the guitar playing you typically see. The highlight of the night though was definitely when Siobhan Magnus hit a high note (literally) when singing Aretha Franklin’s “Think.” She was shaky to start with but really pulled it out in the end. I think it’s safe to say that she’ll be around for a bit longer despite coming off as “weird” as Simon puts it. Let’s hope that the performances continue to improve as they have over the past couple of weeks.