AI11 – The Girls Round of 12

Once again, I am here to remind you that I am not going to write up American Idol this season. And I plan on reminding you of that every week as I begin writing up another episode.

Onto the Top 12 ladies. . .

  • Chelsea ran out of breath singing a country song. And country songs this year mean you have to wear a certain style of mini-dress, as you’ll see Skylar go with later in a different color. Not strong enough. Good. Solid. But the Curse of Going First combined with nothing spectacular will sink her.

  • Erika Van Pelt is the mobile DJ who can belt. “What About Love” turns out to be a great song for her, and I hope America votes her through. We need a power rocker type.

  • Jen Hirsh: I’ve always liked her and she does well here, but nothing spectacular again. Finished strong, but the rest was passable. And, yeah, that’s the second Adele song of the week already, and it won’t be the last. Adele is the new Whitney/Mariah/XTina. Heaven help us all.

  • Brielle Von Hugel: Can’t leave fast enough. Awful rendition of that song. Shouted it. And then refers to herself in the third person.

  • Hallie Day: I’ve always liked her and rooted for her, but the second she started walking she started to lose her breath and control. If she stood still and sang a ballad, it might have worked better.

  • Skylar Lane: Forget Reed Grimm; for pure manic performance, she just beat him out, and with a better voice, too. Crazy. I want her on the show just for the entertainment value.

  • Bailey Brown: The first Crash and Burn of the season. Total trainwreck. Looks uncomfortable, never found the right note, and she and everyone else knew it. Pure cannon fodder. Too bad. You know it’s over when they’re only response to the judges’ criticism is “I had fun.” At least she didn’t ask the audience if they did, too, because she knew the answer wouldn’t be good for her.

  • Hollie Cavanagh: That’s a bad speed impediment. She’s worse than a New Yorker. She can’t make the “R” song when she talks, but it comes out just fine when she sings. And she’s got a ridiculously powerful voice in that little body. The shift from high to low is a little shaky, but that’s easily overlooked for everything else she does well.

So that’s Hollie, and we’ve already talked about Hallie, so we’re only left with —

  • Haley Johnson: Stay weird, Portland. This was another utter trainwreck. Horrible. Abysmal. Awful. Off tune, off note, off melody, off timing. She’s everything you’d expect a street performer from Portland to be, really. I’m sure they’d eat her up there, but she’s useless everywhere else. Except maybe Austin.

  • Shannon Magrane: She gets bonus points from me for singing a Kathy Tracoli song that was in regular rotation when I was on radio. I may have been part of a very small minority of Idol viewers who knew that song, and she sang it very well. Plus, we tall people have to stick together.

  • Jessica Sanchez: Starts with a Coca-Cola moment to set up how bad her vocal cords are, only to slay the song with every loud screeching power note. Made me want to drink a Diet Pepsi, that did. Still, very impressive.

  • Elisa Testone: Just found out before the show that she’s a local. And, sure enough, there was video of her in her package in front of Kinnelon High School, which is about 10-15 minutes up the street from here. Very exciting. Oh, and she’s good. Very very good. OK, so she won’t win points for doing an Adele song, but she made it sound good. Bonus: SHe’s a piano player. I’ll take all of those I can get.

So who would I like to see go through? It’s a little tougher with this show. I picked eight contestants on my first pass through. When it came time to eliminate two, I dropped off Jen H. and Hallie Day. I like them both and they’re both good, but they just aren’t strong enough compared to the rest of the competition.

That leaves me with, for my final Top 6 Girls picks:

  • Erika
  • Skylar
  • Hollie Cavanagh
  • Shannon
  • Jessica
  • Elisa

Now, it’s a Final 13 when all is said and done. Maybe Jen or Hallie might get there with a second chance, but I’d place my bets on those six. And I put Brielle in as my Dark Horse candidate for an America’s vote choice.