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GRAPHIC - Leeanna Ellis

The girls took the stage for the first time.

Each chose songs from Billboard Charts hits. Song choice was weak. Only a few chose the right song for them. It will be interesting to see how the voting turns out. It could be close between all of them.

After the first performance, I'd have to put Lilly Scott out front, with Katie Stevens a near second. Even though Katie got a bad review from the judges, she definitely has a powerful voice that I think could carry her far into the competition.

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

Paige Miles (It's Alright Now) -- She started off the night with a bad song choice. She sounded better in the Hollywood week clip they showed, but she did have some nice moments in the song. I'd like to hear more from her because we haven't heard hardly anything from her.

Ashley Rodriguez (Happy) -- It was a bad imitation of Leona Lewis. A little whiny in spots. A couple of bright spots maybe.

Janell Wheeler (What About Love) -- Not a good song choice. She didn't really showcase her voice.

Lilly Scott (Fixing A Hole) -- The first to really get the song choice right. She showed off the bluesy sound she has.

Katelyn Epperly (Oh Darling) -- Good performance. A bit of a quirky sound. An interesting voice.

Haeley Vaughn (I Want to Hold Your Hand) -- A unique interpretation of the song. A bit screechy at times.

Lacey Brown (Landslide) -- It's a good song, but not when sung by her. I didn't like her interpretation. I felt it was all over the place.

Michelle Delamor (Fallin') -- It's a big song and artist to be compared to, but she did a good job of making it her own.

Didi Benami (The Way I Am) -- I totally disagreed with the judges. I thought it was the perfect song for her voice. She definitely knows herself as an artist.

Siobhan Magnus (Wicked Games) -- Great voice. She connected with the song. It's a hard song to sing and I thought it was great choice. I think people will remember her more for the Hollywood Week final performance though.

Crystal Bowersox (Hand in My Pocket) -- Not the song I would have picked for her, but she sang it well. I love the guitar/harmonica playing. She does the hippie chick thing well.

Katie Stevens (Feeling Good) -- She has an incredibly powerful voice for a 17 year old. The judges were right. The song was too old for her, but there's no denying she has an amazing voice.

Men are up next and they better bring it. Simon said this is the girls' year and he may just be right.


Here's what others have commented on this blog:

Idol Expert: 

Were you all as bored as I was? I heard some great voices, but song choice was horrible or indulgent as Simon would say.
Favorites - Lilly Scott, Siobhan Magnus and Crystal Bowersox. They really need to find more unorthodox songs. If they can deliver them, these are definitely your top three girls.
In trouble - Haeley Vaughn and Katie Stevens. Their age showed last night. They are talented beyond their years, but still have some growing to do. Lacey Brown's song choice was so wrong. But she definitely wasn't alone.
The rest - They were just O.K. No one stood out more than the other.
Have to agree with the judges for the most part. Too many of the girls (including my top three) sound too much like what's out there right now. These judges want to hear something different. Like Simon told Crystal, maybe choose a David Bowie song. They want to hear something familiar that sounds totally different but good. Example - David Cook and Adam Lambert. The one(s) who do that will then be given the big push by the judges.
P.S. How bored does Simon look to you? Definitely time for him to move on.

Leeanna Ellis:

Overall, tonight the guys were weak. Only a few stood out for me. It still comes down to song choice. I'm sure for those that make it through the next few weeks, they'll get better with their choices.

The favorites tonight were Casey James and Lee Dewyze. Both proved why they were chosen. The others... well they still have a lot to prove.

Todrick Hall (Since U Been Gone) -- Sounded totally different from Kelly Clarkson's version. I'm on the fence about it. Parts of it I liked, others I didn't.

Aaron Kelly (Here Comes Goodbye) -- Good performance. Great voice for just 16. He needs some confidence though.

Jermaine Sellers (Get Here) -- Started too softly then I felt like he was shouting.

Tim Urban (Apologize) -- Copycat performance and not as good as the original. Yikes!

Joe Munoz (You and I Both) -- Good performance but nothing really special about it.

Tyler Grady (American Woman) -- He's definitely got the 70s vibe, but it just doesn't jive when you don't have good vocals. BAD song choice.

Lee Dewyze (Chasing Cars) -- A nice surprise since we hadn't heard from him before. Great sound.

John Park (God Bless the Child) -- Didn't connect with the song. Not really that great. Mikayla Gordon from a few years ago did it much better.

Michael Lynche (This Love) -- I like him. He had a few nice moments, but eh... average.

Alex Lambert (It's A Wonderful World) -- No stage presence at all. Bad mullet. Not great... NERVES!!

Casey James (Heaven) -- One of the better performances of the night. Singing aside... I'm tired of the Kara/Casey thing... he just looks so confused about it and Kara just sounds pathetic!

Andrew Garcia (Sugar We're Going Down) -- He changed it up, but we've heard him sound better with "Straight Up" during Hollywood week. That could be hard to top.

Going home on Thursday:
Girls -- Lacey Brown and Haeley Vaughn
Guys -- Alex Lambert and Tim Urban

Idol Expert:

Yeah, I know, it's the first night. But what's up with this? What was that mess I heard coming from my TV last night? And no, I wasn't watching women's 2-man bobsled (at least, not until later).
Let me put it simply - only two performers I think are totally safe and they are Lee Dewyze and Casey James and even with them, there's plenty of room for improvement.
My guy Andrew Garcia - hey guy, really, really, REALLY bad song choice. You are the cream of this crop and you need to be smarter. Should be safe though.
Weakest of the night, let's see - probably the Urban and Lambert dudes followed closely by Sellers (who I had really high hopes for).
As for the rest - boring, boring, boring. Bring back theme nights quick! These guys (and girls) are choosing current music (for the most part) and not doing themselves any favors.
Next week we will see who took the critiques and used them to their advantage. That's when we should see who's in it to win it.

I agree that theme nights would probably push them to choose songs that might surprise everyone. They have basically given them the opportunity to choose any song they want, and that just leaves it too open. Theme night pushes them out of their comfort zone a little bit.
I sick of the judges, though. They tell them to change the song up and make it their own, but when they do that, the criticize.
Could Simon look any more bored? You can almost see the thought bubble above his head "Is this season over?", and all of the judges just seem to say the same thing every time.
Overall, I am disappointed in this season. If it doesn't get more interesting soon, they may lose this viewer!

Leeanna Ellis:
I would say I'm not surprised about who got sent home, but I'm more surprised as to who isn't going home. Tim Urban looked shocked when Ryan Seacrest told him to sit down, he was safe. He had a look of bewilderment on his face. America must have seen something in him to give him another chance. This is the second time he'll be performing when he wasn't supposed to be there at all. He better prove America right.
Going home tonight: Janell Wheeler, Ashley Rodriguez, Joe Munoz and Tyler Grady.
It's probably a good thing Tyler is going home now. His 70s act would have worn thin. It's too bad for Ashley and Joe. I don't think they got as much face time as the others. Janell just picked the wrong song and sometimes that will come back to bite you.
BTW... what was Allison Iraheta on? I enjoyed listening to her last year and her song tonight I thought was a little dark for someone her age. But she just seemed like she had too much caffeine or something.

Idol Expert:
Did it really matter who went home last night? Out of 24 contestants, I think maybe six of them have a real chance of winning this thing judging by how they performed this week.
I guess the most surprising elimination was probably that pseudo-rocker guy. I thought what he was trying to be would keep him around for a few weeks. His voice definitely wasn't going to.
The two eliminated girls had their moments earlier in the competition, but couldn't pull it off when it counted. But there were others who easily could have been in their place.
There's just one thing I hope for this year - that we are not going to keep the non-talented 'cute' ones around while the better performers are sent home. I'm afraid that could easily happen by what I saw last night.
Have to agree with you Heather though. If they don't step it up rather quickly, I will not be rushing to tune in each week. Here's hoping theme weeks will help with that.

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