Wednesday, March 1

Top 10 Girls (2/28/06)

Tonight their video clips are about their "defining" Idol moment. Um, already?! Well, if we have to...

1st up is Katharine, who talks about rooming with Kellie and enjoying being goofy girls together. She sings "All Is Fair in Love." It was ok, the first of almost every performance tonight that I will describe as "good, not great." I didn't think her outfit (combined w/her posture) was flattering at all to her body, but her face is very pretty and she has definitely mastered the camera seduction expression! Randy said it was a safe song choice, not her best performance; Simon agreed & said it was forgettable & she didn't connect w/the audience.

Kinnik said she cried the 1st time she saw the big stage. Taking the place of Heather Ward (well, attempting to, anyway) she dons cowboy hat and sings a Gretchen Wilson song - I'm guessing it's called "Here for the Party." It was pretty good. Randy & Paula were entertained but said it doesn't showcase her vocal range; Simon acknowledged her attempt to stand out (be memorable) but said it was just Disney park quality.

Lisa said with her experience (Lion King) she hadn't expected to be nervous at all, but was, for the Hollywood rounds. Sang another song I don't know, apparently by The Jackson 5, called "Who's Loving You?" It was very good, but lacking something for me; I think it's that all of her gestures and performance seemed too rehearsed. Randy & Simon said poor song choice but Paula loved it.

In Melissa's clip she talked about having a hard time knowing what clothes to pack ("for 4 months"; girl is an optimist!) and how she always wears flip-flops at home in Florida & didn't expect the cameras to pan down to her feet in interviews, but they have, so she was embarrassed. She sings a song by Reba McIntire, "Why Haven't I Heard From You?" I think she looks fabulous (better than last week) and has a good, not great, performance, but probably the best so far. She had good stage presence and the audience was into it, at least. Randy said it was a great song choice & she got the first "Hot!" of the night, but Simon disagreed. While he likes her voice, he didn't think she connected w/the audience; she replied she responded to his comments last week that she lacked personality so she did something more 'fun.'

Heather said she was wowed by walking on the Hollywood strip, where she met a woman carrying a boa constrictor. [Insert obligatory show biz snake joke here.] She probably had the worst song choice of the night in Mariah Carey's "Hero," because she just doesn't have the 'chops' for it, despite the nice (and completely on key) glory note toward the end. The judges agreed: good, not great.

Brenna said the red carpet was her "craziest" experience so far. She sang "Last Dance," which never turns out well. (If she were a "stalker" of the show like Heather, she would know that songs about leaving turn into just that.) Randy, Paula, and I thought it was mediocre, and Simon thought worse. I also thought the short dress was very unflattering to her.

Paris loves the "Hollywood lifestyle" because she gets to be her fun, funky, fashionable self! She sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" standing still at the mic, and was dressed more elegantly/maturely than normal. She was very, very good & it really showed what an awesome voice she has. Paula didn't like her look, said she should capitalize on her youthful energy. Randy said the performance was "hot" but he & Simon pretty much agreed with Paula.

Here's where I'm frustrated, because I didn't get Ayla's performance (or judges' comments) on tape. And yes, this is (surprisingly) a frustrating thing, because I (surprisingly) thought she was very good! (TAR had started so I had turned off the VCR since the tv picture had gone wonky, & I turned it back on but since it was stopped instead of paused I didn't have the little "pause" symbol on the screen reminding me... and we got a phone call so I muted it and didn't worry that I was missing it because I knew I could replay it later! Sorrow.) I only caught the end of her clip but she said the experience was like a makeover for her because she never wore make-up or really tried to look nice before because she was so "athletic." Well she looks very nice now! She sang a Celine Dion song I'm not familiar with, "I Want You to Need Me"? What I heard was very good and my favorite of the evening so far. I didn't hear the judges comments at all; my husband caught a little & said they noted how she wasn't as naturally talented as some of the others but that they could tell she's a hard worker and improving.

Kellie did a great job in her clip showing us her nice shiny "naive country girl" box, talking about eating spinich salads & calamari for the first time. She sang "Something to Talk About" and was good, not great overall, though a few high parts at the end were great. I think she was trying to look less cute & more sexy - she tossed her hair to mess it up more part way through the song - and it worked a little, but Paula still talked about loving how cute she is. Randy loved the performance to death. Simon really emphasized her likability, repeating the calamari line just in case anyone missed that she's cute, naive, and don't forget cute. (But Simon, isn't this is a *singing* competition?)

Mandisa deservedly got the final spot-o'-pimpage. Her clip showed her playing what she called a "practical joke" ("dog jaw") on Ryan, partly to ease her own nerves, but I didn't think it was funny. However, she sang Faith Hill's "Cry" and was awesome. Not completely on key (which Randy mentioned), but as Simon said, when she's "on," she's the best vocalist there. Randy & Paula didn't like her song choice, even going so far as to say the night had a "country-western" theme, however: (1) Simon's usually the one who doesn't enjoy country & he loved it; and (2) since when does 3 of 10 make a majority or determine a theme?! Whatevah.

In the recaps I was pleased to see Melissa's clip seemed a bit longer than some of the others. (I still like her, but I didn't vote & won't be Patrick-sad if she goes.) And wearing my tinfoil hat of suspicion, I notice that for the final scene Ryan is flanked by Heather and Brenna, in all likelyhood the 2 most likely to get voted off.

All in all a disappointing, anti-climactic night, especially after seeing the guys last week. Hopefully they'll live up to the standards they set tomorrow.

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