Thursday, February 22

AI Semifinals - Top 12 Women

Ok, ok; I sit corrected. After tonight, last night's show seems very underwhelming, disappointing, and plain old meh! The girls pretty much blew the guys away. The competition. is. on!

We get a recap of last night... afterward Ryan asks Simon if he was mad about what Chris said. He said no, he actually likes it when contestants say things like that as it shows "spirit."

First up is Stephanie. We see a bit of her initial audition, "God Bless the Child." I don't know what she sings tonight, "How Come You Don't Call Me?", but it's awesome! She has very good vocals and a great stage presence (as, actually, do almost all of the girls). The crowd really loved it. Randy said there was some pitchiness, but the emotional connectedness was great. Simon said it was her best performance so far and that it was a million times better than anything last night. This one's definitely not cannon fodder.

Amy talks about how one learns a lot about oneself through an experience like this, and she seems to have a really good attitude. She sings "I Can't Make You Love Me" with a bit of country flair. It's good, but not exceptional. Randy thought it too safe; Paula said she impressed them early on with a bluesy R&B sound that wasn't there tonight; Simon said not memorable.

Leslie... seems to me a bundle of contradictions. She's a dog walker from Chicago who auditioned in LA. Her voice is low and earthy, but she's got a bubbly, bouncy (almost vapid at times) persona. She sings "Natural Woman" and is just way too... excited? for the song... neither her voice (too thin) or attitude are right for it. Randy said the song was too big for her; Simon said she looks uncomfortable on stage and ungainly. My least favorite of the night (and the last note made me cringe).

Sabrina says she's a professional singer and we see a bit of "Nothing at All" from her initial audition. With her hair up (in the interview) she reminds me of Gloria Estefan; with it down (during the performance) she looks like a black Barbara Streisand. This is another song I don't know: "I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You", but she is awesome! She can 'sang,' and is very emotionally 'into' the song. Randy says we finally have ourselves a competition!

Antonella... is way out of her league. She sings "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and is off-key a bit and just meh overall. Randy says it's not good, pitchy, & bland; Paula said she didn't sing it badly, but it was a poor song choice. She could (and should) be in trouble.

Jordin was one of my early favorites. She seems mature beyond her age (high school junior) with a good attitude and sense of humor. She sings Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" and is awesome!! So confident and I love, love her voice - powerful, soulful, & sassy. Randy thought it was a bad song choice but Paula & Simon liked it. Go Jordin!!

Nicole is a voice major and was in a Hollywood group with Melinda & Tami; I'd love to see that whole performance!! I'm not familiar with her song ("Stay"?) and I can tell that she has a very good voice. However, I don't like the way in which she sings it at all: she seems angry, like she's yelling at me or whomever that if we don't stay with her she's going to go all Fatal Attraction... and I'm skeered! ;-) Randy says the 'vibe' doesn't fit her and Simon says it was indulgent and aggressive (yes!). Paula is too wowed by her vocal range to say anything else. I think she could have potential with a different style of song, if she gets the chance....

Haley seems like another gal with a good attitude: she's pretty but doesn't seem overly self-confident to the point of being cocky, and says she's excited to be in a competition with so much good talent (and that it's sad so many haven't been discovered yet). She sings "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (again) and is very good, just not belting-diva good. Randy wasn't wowed; Simon said her voice is good but that it was boring & she sounded 40. I expect her to stick around for now, but she'd better bring her best next week.

Melinda was my other early favorite girl, and tonight she doesn't disappoint! One more song I don't know ("Since You've Been Gone"; the oldy, not Kelly Clarkson's), but she sings with great self-confidence and stage presence (uses the whole stage & interacts w/the audience), not to mention amazing vocals! The audience & judges loved it.

Alaina sings The Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket" (wow, I'd have never guessed that was the name of this song!) and is very meh. 'nuff said.

Gina impresses me tonight on "All By Myself." I think she could go far; she's the only white girl tonight who held her own in the ever-growing sea of divas, and with her 'rock chick' persona she's got a unique niche, which always helps. Her vocals are very good, including a glory note (which she did hit, regardless of Simon's disappointment in comparing it with Celine Dion's version). Randy & Paula loved it. Another I'm rooting for!

Lakisha closes out the night with, as Ryan introduces it, "the song that could win Jennifer Hudson an Oscar." Ambitious choice - but she pulls off "And I'm Telling You", and then some! Wow, wow, and wow! The audience & Paula gave her a standing ovation, and Randy said "Jennifer Hudson, watch out!" But Simon got the best line of the night: "I'm tempted to tell 23 people to book their plane tickets home." In another league, indeed.

So! 4 performances were amazingly awesome, and another 2 were very good. There were only 1 or 2 that were noticably off-key at all (as opposed to almost all of the guys), and only 2 I didn't like.

My bottom 3: Leslie, Antonella, Alaina.

My prediction to go: Leslie & Antonella (please?)

Tomorrow night: Fantasia!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Melinda Doolittle in her first-ever Nightclub engagement

November 17-21, New York City

FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, will debut MELINDA DOOLITTLE in her first-ever nightclub engagement from November 17 – 21. The “American Idol” finalist will perform an intimate evening of jazz standards, pop hits and Broadway classics, in addition to selections from her CD, Coming Back To You. All shows are at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit and