by pat howard

IDOL VIRGIN | Top 12 girls perform

In Idol Virgin on February 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Tonight, I crossed the line into participant when I cast votes for American Idol contestants. It’s a slippery slope to carrying around a Coca-Cola cup and using “pitchy” in every other sentence. Watch for falling spoilers after the jump.

Can we talk about my first live episode of Idol? It really does come across, at its low points, as karaoke night in some bar that thinks it’s much nicer than it is. I’m sure we’ll move back to the Kodak at a later point, but this studio seems impossibly small for television’s #1 show. Maybe they’re trying to scale everything to Ryan, who did nothing to improve my impression of him tonight. The host gig here is probably thankless, but by the time we listen to four judges’ opinions, I’m not interested in Ryan chatting with or consoling anyone.

At the four-top, Ellen continues to deliver as I expected she would. She knows she’s not there as an entertainer, but she still manages to be thoughtful and pithy, which is more than can be said for Randy. Kara feels like a wild card judge, with the potential to be the swing opinion. And Simon’s reputation is finally shining through now that the editors can’t slice it out. I feel like I understand where Simon is coming from, and people would certainly think I was an asshole if I had his job.

Speaking of judging people, here are my notes on tonight’s performances:

  • Paige Miles has a good voice and not much else going for her so far.
  • Ashley Rodriguez is likable but was bland tonight.
  • Janell Wheeler had a great presence, especially given her position in the lineup.
  • Lilly Scott looks like Amy Poehler portraying Jewel on SNL. Of course the judges loved her; her song choice was authentic, but I don’t buy her “star quality,” which is either a criterion or at least an Idol buzzword.
  • Katelyn Epperly did a great job with her song and held my attention on her performance despite her distracting outfit. She had a Susan Tedeschi vibe.
  • Haeley Vaughn has passion. Sometimes passion can be screechy. This was not her best, but I expect she’ll make the cut.
  • Lacey Brown…is no Stevie Nicks.
  • Michelle Delamor was neither awesome nor terrible, but she will be safe this week.
  • Didi Benami picked the wrong song. Ingrid Michaelson has a unique style, and such a niche that there isn’t much wiggle room to be creative with the material without making it terrible.
  • Siobhan Magnus was unexpectedly engaging. This was the first performance tonight that I would consider downloading from iTunes.
  • Crystal Bowersox did a better job than some of her peers with another iconic female song. It will certainly be enough to put her through to next week.
  • Katie Stevens is technically superb, especially for 17, but her overall performance tonight was not as strong as she thought.

Twelve is far too many girls to keep tabs on, and I can’t wait to punt two of them on Thursday. But before that, our twelve dudes take the stage tomorrow night. Come to WTF at the set, stay for the ADD directing.

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