GRAPHIC - Leeanna Ellis

Simon made it clear tonight after Crystal Bowersox's performance that she is the clear cut favorite.

At this point, I have to agree with him. She's got the confidence she needed and she knows who she is as an artist. She should be recording an album now. She is definitely the one to beat. I don't think there's anyone even close to her, not even one of the guys.

Here's what I thought about tonight's performances.

Katie Stevens (Breakaway) -- I don't know what this poor girl has to do to please the judges. She's taken their advice every time. Tonight, she didn't sound old. Her voice is one of the best, but I think being in the number one spot and having an OK performance is going to put her in jeopardy.

Siobhan Magnus (House of the Rising Sun) -- She's powering her way to be one of the front runners and quickly one of my favorites. The beginning of the song was haunting and it was just a powerful, awesome performance.

Lacey Brown (The Story) -- Good song choice for her voice. A very cool sound. This is why she's here. Best performance to date.

Katelyn Epperly (I Feel the Earth Move) -- Not my favorite performance from her. It was a little boring. Standing at the keyboard was kind of cheesy. I hope she's safe though because I love her voice.

Didi Benami (Rhiannon) -- The style of song fit her voice perfectly. This is what she showed us during Hollywood week. Her best performance yet, but is it enough?

Paige Miles (Smile) -- It's a great song, but she just butchered it. I don't care how emotional the song makes you, if you can't get through the song you shouldn't sing it. It was weak. She just can't pick the right song. I think it finally caught up with her. She should be going home.

Crystal Bowersox (Give Me One Reason) -- Another solid performance from an already seasoned performer. Awesome.

Lilly Scott (I Fall to Pieces) -- I totally disagree with the judges on this one. I didn't get it. It seemed whiny and the squinty eye thing was kind of annoying. I like the original better. She's had way better performances than this one.

Top 3: Crystal, Siobhan and Didi.

Going home: Katie Stevens and Paige Miles.

Idol notes
* Simon Cowell was on "The Tonight Show" Monday night. He wouldn't confirm his engagement to girlfriend Mezghan Hussainy, but did say he thought Adam Lambert should have won Idol last season.
* A Los Angeles man has plead guilty to stalking Ryan Seacrest.
* Scott MacIntyre and Matt Giraud will perform on Thursday's kick off show.


What others commented on this blog:

Idol Expert:

Crystal, Siobhan and Lilly. There are your top three girls. As for the rest - yawn. It just doesn't matter because there is a huge gap between them and my top three.
Katie - she's young but has a voice beyond her years. But that voice still needs a bit more time. Plus her stage presence could use a lot of work. She has that deer in the headlights quality on stage - stiff and scared.
Lacey and Didi - last night we saw the best that they can give. I don't think they have anything else left to show. This program is about showing growth week in and week out. But one if not both will probably stick around for a week or two longer.
Katelyn - Wrong song. The best the judges could say about her is that her hair matched Carole King's. Her voice and delivery of the song didn't even come close. But again, she's safe for the time being.
Paige - She really blew it last night. There's nothing positive that can be said about what she did.
I loved what Siobhan, Crystal and Lilly did. Probably the weakest of the three would be Lilly because doing a Patsy Cline song is always a risk. But she stayed true to herself and it shouldn't hurt her too much.
Crystal is authentic and honest. Love her.
Going home - Paige and toss-up between Lacey and Katie.

JJ Morgan:
Gotta agree here.. Crystal, Siobahn were great, Siobahn's acapella opening to "House of the Rising Sun" was great..now, further down the line, she needs to go all Bo Bice on the field, and do the entire song acapella! Thought Didi was nice on "Rhiannon" as well.. Katie and Paige..buh bye!

Leeanna Ellis:
I don't know what some of the guys were thinking tonight when they sang, but right now they're all looking up at Michael Lynche. Big Mike blew every guy out of the water tonight, even some of the other favorites.

I felt most of the guys were playing it safe. And if they weren't, they just couldn't compare to what Big Mike had to offer.

Here's what I thought of the Top 8 guys:

Lee Dewyze (Firefly) -- Not as good as last week. He still made it his own and showed that rocker sound. He should be safe.

Alex Lambert (Trouble) -- He sounded good. He's got a distinct voice, but he still needs CONFIDENCE!!! Side note: I love his dimples.

Tim Urban (Hallelujah) -- His best performance yet, but others have done better with it. Maybe a little too late.

Andrew Garcia (Genie in a Bottle) -- He's been looking for that "Straight Up" magic and still hasn't found it. It was campy. Maybe he should try singing a song performed by a guy instead of all these songs recorded by women.

Casey James (You'll Think of Me) -- It was a sleepy performance until towards the end. Nothing really special, but he sounded good.

Aaron Kelly (I'm Already There) -- I couldn't really understand what he was singing at the beginning. It was very pitchy, but had some good moments. He'll be safe.

Todrick Hall (Somebody to Love) -- The falsetto at the beginning was weird. The rest of the song was great. He took a classic rock song and made it a gospel song. Very good. Simon's right ... I think he's a Broadway performer.

Michael Lynche (This Woman's Work) -- WOW. I'm mean what else can you say. He's put himself out there. He's the one to beat. The best performance on the show by anyone to date.

Top 3 -- Michael Lynche and way behind him is Todrick Hall and Lee Dewyze.

Going home -- Tim Urban for sure. I think Andrew Garcia should. His schtick is getting kind of old, but he'll be safe. I'd say it's between Alex Lambert and Aaron Kelly.

Idol Expert:
I'm so ready for this round of Idol to be over and so hoping that the Top 12 will be better. Won't take much.

I guess everyone LOVED Big Mike last night. I thought it was O.K. but I believe he has so much more in him. I'm waiting for that.

Also, I don't get the huge praise that Todrick got. He sang Freddie Mercury and I don't think he sang it as well or better (very, very few do). As for the gospel part, I didn't get it. He's a two range singer - he has a high range and a low range and nothing in between. I'm wondering if one of the judges will say tonight that after listening to his performance back on TV that he sounded not as good as in person.

I thought Lee held his own especially singing in the #1 spot. He's so cool and his confidence showed through last night.

As for what's left, there's not much separation between them. Yeah, Alex was better but he's stiff as a board and I just can't look at that mullet one more time.

I heard Tim's voice for the first time last night. Can he deliver that voice again? Not too many songs can compare to Hallelujah.

I didn't think Andrew's performance was all that bad. I like his reggae (I sure hope I spelled that correctly) vibe, but please choose a different 'gender' of song; maybe some Van Morrison. Possibly Moon Dance? Hope you're around to do that.

Casey is Casey. I don't think he will fare very well when theme nights come up. I think people will get bored with him quickly.

Aaron choose a song way too big for him. He had some fine moments but all in all he was all over the place. Like Katie Stevens, his best years are in front of him.

Now how did America vote? They probably voted with the judges and will keep Lee, Todrick and Mike.

Who goes home? Based on the past three weeks and not on just what happened last night, I hope Alex and Tim leave even though they did improve a bit. Just maybe a little too late.

Please save my Andrew. He's got the goods.

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