I am beginning to think that dubbing this season the “most talented” ever was just a marketing scheme Fox used to get me to tune in. Next season, I won’t be so easily fooled. I’ve watched all the episodes and there’s no one as talented as Carrie Underwood, and most of them aren’t even as talented as Scotty Savol. But alas, someone—er, more like 327,892 bloggers—has to recap the most popular show on television, and it might as well be me. Last night, it was the ladies turn to fall incredibly short of the bar set by the publicity machine that is the Fox Network. Screw you, Mike Darnell, and your curly little hair too.
Kristy Lee Cook raises and trains horses for a living in Selma, Oregon, and she paid for her audition trip to Philadelphia by selling her favorite barrel horse. That should be a big red flag to all of her pets. It puts her pet care taking skills just one step above these guys. I thought she sounded good with “Rescue Me,” but quite small for the stage, and her eye movements were a bit weird. I think what she meant to be seductive turned out to be scary. And for an upbeat song, Kristy Lee was pretty muted. No doubt she goes through, though. Sucks to be ugly.
Joanne Borgella, everyone’s favorite plus size model, knows the general public will expect soul music from her, but she leans more towards Pop. Gee, Joanne, whatever gave you the idea we’d expect that? I honestly had no opinion on “I Say a Little Prayer.” I basically just listened to her shaky voice with an eyebrow raised. Simon gave her no credit, calling it “a cabaret version of a cabaret song.” Sounds about right.
Alaina Whitaker is the show’s youngest contestant at 16. Despite her age, she came out with a nice slow start to “More Today Than Yesterday.” What a night and day performance to Chikezie’s last night. The gap between the two performances is about the same size as the income gap between the Waldorf’s and the Humphrey’s. Alaina was either nervous or stupid, or both, because she wasn’t making much sense when Seacrest questioned her at the end. We’ll chalk that up to her age.
Amanda Overmyer was up next with her Crazy Hair (I know you guys aren’t buying into it, but I swear hair sways voting. This is the election scandal they should be talking about this year), singing “Baby, Please Don't Go.” If anyone says they understood that performance they’re lying. I could not make out a single word. I haven’t struggled so hard to comprehend something since I heard this song. She’s gotta dial it down. It was way too much screaming. Randy and Paula praised her originality, and even Simon called her authentic. Amanda’s greatest quality is that she is comfortable with herself, as evidenced by her admitting that she hated dancing in front of the camera at auditions. She went on to apologize for pulling out in front of a semi-truck while driving in LA, which totaled her car. You haven’t lived in LA until you’ve been in an accident. Or seen a mobile home on the side of the 101.
Amy Davis was brutal with “Where the Boys Are.” You really wanna know where they are, Amy? They’re running from your voice. If you sound that bad to me, you are way out of tune because I’m tone deaf. The best part of her whole segment was her father’s facial expressions when she made it through to Hollywood. I couldn’t tell if it was excitement for his daughter’s feat, or utter shock that she completely fooled the judges. Seriously, it’s a coin toss.
Brook Davis was next, singing “Happy Together.” Here’s another night and day performance. Brian Cook killed it last night, but Brook struggled to fill out the song’s tempo. Simon cannot stand how nice and G Rated Brooke is, saying “you’re pretty much going to be nice all the time, huh?” You could tell he wants a “saucy minx,” like Pickler.
Alexandrea Lushington sauntered down the steps with “Spinning Wheel,” doing really well with the song, despite being dressed like Punky Brewster. That was easily the most confident performance so far among the ladies.
Simon called Kady Malloy’s original audition the best they saw, and her Britney Spears’ impression was spot on. By the time she started “A Groovy Kind of Love,” I had a feeling she could dominate the competition. She sounded as big as the stage the whole time, effortlessly. Finally, I found my overall favorite. If I were doing a fantasy draft, I’d take her with the number one pick. The judges all called her pretty boring, but with the right song choice, she can break that mold, I’m sure.
Asia’h Epperson was next with Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Overall, it was a solid update with a bit of an urban flair. She even had Simon calling it his favorite.
Ramiele Mullaby is my other early favorite. I think she made a big mistake by going with “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.” Such a slow tune. It was lounge act-y, and she missed a real opportunity to distance herself from some of the competition. But, nonetheless, it was a solid performance. And what did Ramiele snack after receiving praise from all the judges? That’s right, humble pie.
Syesha Mercado, a “working” actress in Miami, gave us a surprisingly rocky version of “Tobacco Road,” and I liked it for the most part. I also liked how she distinguished herself from all the other non-working, hack actresses out there.
Carly Smithson, the Irish Lassie, came to the states with a record deal, but the company fell apart and now she owns a tattoo shop in San Diego. Since she was once a professional singer, I find it hard to believe she’d choose “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Tony Bennett. For those of you who don’t know, I hate Tony Bennett. Just die already. I’m so sick of seeing him sing duets. You’re never going to be Sinatra buddy, just get over it. But I digress. The song started out brutally slow, but she sang it really well, and I think Carly, the Irish Lassie (get used to it, I’m going to call her that from here on out), can go far. While Randy called it the best vocal of the last two days and Paula called her a “lucky coin,” Simon said he’s not buying the hype. Could be a British vs. Irish thing going on here. We’ll have to see how this plays out over the next several weeks.
My top four of the evening were Alaina, Alexandrea, Ramiele, and Syesha. There is no doubt Amy and Joanne are going home. Toodles, ladies.