Up first, Stephanie Edwards. “How Come You Don’t Call Me.” Alicia Keys is risky, but she’s up to the task. Ten seconds in, and she’s already better than any of the guys from last night. Forty seconds in, and she hits the high note. She emphasizes the “down on my knees” line by actually getting down on her knees, which is normally a surefire way to make oneself look like a huge ass, but it works here. Yeah. This was 100 times better than any of the performances from last night. Paula is doing her baby seal clap. Why does she clap like that? Paula is five years old. The judges liked it. Ha. Simon says it was “a million times better than any performance we saw last night.” Simon would be lost without hyperbole. Stephanie looks really happy, and it’s very cute. Ryan talks.
We’re back in the Red Room. Conversation is awkward. While I think the girls are probably more talented in general than the guys this season, they comment that watching the guys get ripped to shreds last night encouraged them to do better tonight, and that’s probably true.
Amy Krebs. “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Man, these kids plucked out from the middle of nowhere sure are awfully good at following the camera. She blows the little run at the end, but in general it’s a solid performance vocally. Randy thought it was too safe, which is true. Paula agrees. Okay, maybe Paula is a little bit high. But not too bad. Simon says she’s uninteresting. Ryan. Oh, my God, he comes up to her shoulder. In his defense, she’s wearing really high heels, but it looks ridiculous.
Leslie Hunt. “Natural Woman.” Singing, singing, singing … she reminds me of someone … holy shit. It’s Tiffany. From malls. She is the reincarnation of Tiffany. She’s peppy, she’s fun to watch — ooh, I have her necklace, but in gold — she isn’t amazing vocally, but she’s having a blast, and I’m digging her. It’s a very Mickey Mouse Club sort of emoting. I think that’s why I like her. After covering BritneyWatch for the past couple months, and especially the past couple weeks, she takes me back to a simpler, happier time, when our pop idols sang and danced and smiled brightly on stage, rather than on tables at Hyde. You know, if they’re gonna keep cutting to the background singers, the one on the left should stop sticking her finger in her ear. Randy thought it was “just okay.” Paula thinks she did a great job. Simon’s not impressed. He thinks she’s out of her comfort zone, and seems awkward on stage. Maybe that’s why I get the Mickey Mouse Club vibe from her.
Oh Jesus. Randy’s going to do the Dog Pound thing again this year. I’d hoped we’d moved past that era.
Sabrina Sloan. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).” She kills the vocals. She does like six different runs and nails each one. Randy loved her. So did Paula. Seal clap. Ooh, I get it! Paula claps like that because it pushes her breasts together. That’s actually a good idea. I may start doing that. Simon basically performs cunnilingus on her. And, to top off a fabulous performance, she’s shorter than Ryan! Her nose is kind of like a beak, but, aside from that, she’s great.
Antonella Barba. She of the potty pictures. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” She sucks the whole way through. Sucks hardcore. It’s boring, it’s flat — ha, they cut to her parents looking very concerned and whispering to one another. Man, this is really bad. Like worse than any of the performances from last night, even. She actually bails on the belted high note on “rest of time” and decides to bring it down an octave. That was probably smart. Ha ha! Randy’s like “What do you think I’m gonna say right now?” She thinks it may have been her nerves. Randy said she sucked. Paula says it “wasn’t bad” and Randy shakes his head. Paula says she’s a beautiful girl. Simon’s all like “the good news is you’re attractive,” and he doesn’t think she’ll make it through to next week. Ryan hates Simon, Simon hates Ryan.
Jordin Sparks. Reppin’ AZ, baby!!! “Give Me One Reason.” Starts off decent, but she rocks it out in the last 20 seconds or so. Follows the camera like a pro. They must have a class on that. Judges liked her. She’s a bigger girl, although not fat, but she’s like twice the width of Ryan, and half a head taller. I don’t know which of them I’m more embarrassed for.
Nicole Tranquillo. “Stay.” No, not that one, the Chaka Khan one. I start off bored with her, and then she grows on me. She’s a very aggressive performer, and at first it just seems like she’s just making funny faces, but she has the voice to back it up, so I can get behind this. Randy didn’t like it at all. Paula loved it. Simon thought is was “indulgent” and “aggressive.” Wow. I’ve never heard Simon use the word “aggressive” like that before, so I feel kind of special that I typed that before he said it. We are on the same wavelength. He thought it looked fake and over-rehearsed. Ryan is taller than she is.
Hayley Scarnato. “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Celine Dion is probably the worst female singer to cover on this show, after Aretha. Hayley falls ridiculously short. After five years of this, how do these people not know this? Like, generally, if someone is considered one of the greatest singers of her generation, it’s probably not a good idea to show up and do one of her all-time hits. Because odds are you’re not going to do it as well. Randy thought it was “just okay.” Paula thinks she did a “nice job.” Simon thought she “sounded forty.” She and Ryan are the same height. Aren’t you glad I’m keeping tabs on this?
Melinda Doolittle. “Since You’ve Been Gone.” No, not that one, the Aretha Franklin one. And, in stark contrast to Hayley, she totally pulls it off. She’s amazing and I love her. And she’s wearing really remarkable base. Her skin looks great. I want to know what brand that is. Judges love her because she rocked. Simon is way nice to her. Ryan is taller by a quarter-head.
Alaina Alexander. “Brass in Pocket.” I love this song. She must hate it. Because she is being mean to it. Ha, she totally emphasizes “eee-magination.” Which is good because when I was younger my friends and I thought that line was “vagination.” Like, “gonna use my vagination.” And with the viewership this show gets, it is totally possible we could have a whole generation of 13-year-old girls like, “Did you get past second base with him?” “Yeah, I totally used my vagination on him.” I’m glad she was careful with that. It is the only thing she was careful with. Because she’s not being very meticulous about, say, singing the right notes. Randy and Paula are unimpressed. Simon is mean. Ha, cut to Antonella in the Coca Cola room making an incredulous and angry face. The fact that Antonella could think that was a good performance explains a lot about her own. Cut to her parents. Her father looks exactly like Odo from Deep Space Nine, which I’m sure makes Rene Auberjonois really jealous after sitting in four hours of make-up each day for seven seasons. Ryan is taller and being nice to her. Simon’s all like, “Are you trying to date this girl?” and Ryan’s caught off-guard for the first time this season. He stutters for a bit, then he’s like “That doesn’t even deserve a response.” That was weird.
Gina Glocksen. “All By Myself.” Aw, her mother (grandmother?) is crying already. She’s kind of boring but decent. Totally fucks up the first high note, then rocks the second and the third. Randy thought it was decent. Paula liked it. Simon wasn’t too impressed, but he’s not too mean. Ryan’s just a little bit smaller than her. Someone needs to talk to her about her eyeshadow. When Jamie Lee Curtis told Anna Chlumsky that there’s no such thing as too much blue eyeshadow in My Girl, no one footnoted that with the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis was born a hermaphrodite and has no idea what she’s talking about, and I feel like a whole generation of women is still paying the price.
LaKisha Jones. “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” Ha ha, her eyes get really big toward the end and it’s kind of scary, but other than that she killed this song. Very impressive. Randy’s turn to perform cunnilingus. Paula likes her. Simon loves her and pegs her as the front-runner at this point. Ryan is way taller than she is. Aw, it’s her daughter’s birthday today!
Everyone agrees that the girls kicked the boys’ asses tonight.
So we’re saying goodbye to Alaina and Antonella tomorrow night.