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American Idol Rundown: The Top 12 Girls

Maybe it was all the hype about this being the best Top 24 ever. Maybe it was all the promises about things being different this year. But after watching the first two performance nights of this season's American Idol, I'm awfully let down. Maybe there's still some great talent hidden away in there — and it is possible, if the voters do the right thing in these early rounds, that we'll end up with a strong Top 12. It's just that after the boys failed to wow me on Tuesday, I wanted something more from the girls on Wednesday, and I didn't get it.

There were some good performances tucked away in there, though, among all the disappointments. Speaking of disappointments: With all the hype about Carly Smithson's former career (which might have even included working with Randy Jackson), why did Idol decide to give her the prime spot at the end of the night last night? You'd think they'd be a little more careful about how that might look.

Don't forget to vote for which girls are going home, and to see my take on the night's performances, just


Kristy Lee Cook — First of all, she's been really styled up since her audition. She looks good! Her rendition of "Rescue Me" was very cutesy, though, with a lot of twitching and winking and playing to the camera. It also wasn't a song that required much from her voice, and she seemed to only give it the minimum. I know she was sick, but she still hasn't wowed me since her audition. Randy said it wasn't great, Paula said part of being a performer is making sure to never show how you really feel, and Simon said there wasn't much to remember her by.

Joanne Borgella — I was looking forward to hear her take on "Say a Little Prayer," even though it seems like a song for a soul singer (which is exactly what she said in her interview package that she's not). Parts of it were OK, but it was hard to hear her on the quieter and lower parts, and her voice didn't have much richness to it. Randy said she seemed nervous, Paula seemed to agree, and Simon thought the beginning was OK but hated the end. Of course, Randy hated the beginning and loved the end, so thats not much for poor Joanne to go on.

Alaina Whitaker — I didn't remember her from the early rounds, and she seemed very young talking to Seacrest, so I was worried about her taking the stage. I didn't need to be. Her rendition of "I Love You More Today than Yesterday" — a holdover from guys' night; are there only 20 songs from the '60s? — was energetic and fun, and she can really belt it out more than I was expecting. The judges just seemed happy to see someone look alive up there, with Simon ragging on the song but saying if she can make an awful song good, she'll be great with better material.

Amanda Overmyer — Amanda's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but I really like her, and I'm glad she took a risk on this first night. Her song was a little weird, with a lot of muttering and scatting, but I don't think that was her fault, and she seems really committed to her rock-ness (ahem, Robbie Carrico). Randy liked her bluesy rock voice, Paula called her the real deal, and Simon thought it was all over the place but praised her anyway. Also, her talking about her awkward dancing in the Top 24 video made me a fan for life.

Amy Davis — Ohhh no. At the risk of sounding like Paula, Amy is a gorgeous girl, and she had this cool swoopy hair thing going on, and I'm sure she's very nice, but this song hurt my ears. She always seemed just a little off the note, either too high or too low, and it seemed to go on for five minutes. Randy called her on the pitchiness, Paula babbled about her looks, and Simon said it was dull and cabaret.

Brooke White — Quick poll: Is Brooke's good-girl attitude cute or grating? I'm leaning cute so far, but I could see myself shifting to the other side. Her "Happy Together" was way peppy, with a cool twangy thing to her her voice; I just wish she'd moved around and really tried to sell it rather than staying put at the mic. Randy said she made him like it by the end, Paula said she knows Brooke is an original, and Simon praised her but said he doesn't want her to be so nicey-nice the whole time.

Alexandrea Lushington — So, OK. I'm of two minds on this one. On the one hand, after seeing so many nervous singers, I'm glad Alexandrea decided to really go all-out with her performance, from outfit to intro to strutting around the stage. On the other hand, I kind of wish she'd just been a little more still, because her voice is definitely unpolished and I'm not sure she was concentrating on the singing. Randy loved it, though, and Paula was glad Alexandrea thought out how to present the song. Simon came down hard, though, saying it reminded him of a bad '60s musical.

Kady Malloy — Impersonation girl! She started in a chair, because nobody's listening to me when I say that's the ultimate Idol red flag. Just don't sit down, OK? It's always bad news. She actually started out fine, but about halfway through the song seemed to go very, very wrong and pitchy and warbly and weird. Randy said it seemed like she lost concentration, Paula said she's still looking for Kady's real personality, and Simon said it's weird that Kady has so much energy impersonating others but the only thing that could impersonate her was "a pencil." Oof.

Asia'h Epperson — Can we talk about her high, high hair in the interview package? OK. She toned it down on stage, though, and I really liked her energy on "Take Another Little Piece of my Heart." Her voice isn't what I expect to come out of her, but it's very husky and deep and cool and made "heart" sound like "art." Randy was impressed that she did her thing with the song, Paula was into it, and Simon was glad to see her let go and called it his favorite of the night.

Ramiele Malubay — I wish I'd recognized this song sooner, because I spent the first half just trying to figure out what she was singing. She seemed competent enough on the verse, though, and by the time the chorus kicked in, she was definitely on. I get the whole "big big voice in teeny teeny body" thing, and it's going to get old, but I bet she'll be safe for a good long while. Randy love-loved the way she held back at first before the power notes, Paula called her a force to be reckoned with, and Simon said she outsang everyone else on stage.

Syesha Mercado — I initially had a theory that either Syesha or Asia'h, but not both, would make it to the Top 12. Now I'm starting to think there's room for both. I still think Syesha gets screechy on the power notes, but "Tobacco Road" as interesting and even got Paula drumming at the end. Randy said it wasn't his favorite but was still good, Paula applauded her for being consistent, and Simon called her one of the most talented in the competition.

Carly Smithson — As I mentioned, she got the pimp spot, and it seems like a bad idea, because what a letdown. She seemed like a lounge singer (or, worse, a hotel bar singer), and she seemed to be missing some of the bigger notes (but I've thought that about her the whole time, and the judges haven't said anything about it, so maybe I'm wrong). Randy called it "the best vocal of the Top 24," which is enough to make even a non-conspiracy theorist into one; Paula also said everything was perfect. Thankfully, Simon said he didn't get it and was let down.

My favorites: Alaina, Amanda, Asia'h, Syesha

In trouble: Kristy Lee, Joanne, Kady, Amy

Going home: Joanne, Amy

Photos courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I can't believe they are supposed to be the ones with the most talent! Most of them are really boring and have no personality.
boilergirl boilergirl 9 years
Amanda, all the way!
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
I know, right? What happened to the "Best talent" ever?
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
I'm feeling pretty let down right now, too. After all the hype, I expected both the guys and the girls to be outstanding. And they weren't. I think a lot of it was song choice. There are so many great songs from the 60's that they could've done, and they didn't.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 9 years
I couldn't stand Amy's performance, she butchered a song that I really like. I was pleasantly surprised by Alaina, I think she did really well. I'm really disappointed with the girls - half of them I would never have put through to the top 24. Don't even get me started on Kristy, lol.
sumnboutme sumnboutme 9 years
I liked Ramiele and Asia'h. Alaina was ok too. As for my picks to go home, I'll go with Buzz on this one and say Amy and Joanne (I still can't believe they picked her over Cardin).
xrawk_starrx xrawk_starrx 9 years
Asia'h sucked. Why does everyone like her? She sounds like she has speech impediment and she sounds nasally. Ramiele was so BORING. Alexandrea is annoying. I think Syesha has a good voice and I like Amanda. All the rest bored me.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I liked Asia'h, Amanda, and Ramiele the best. I thought Alexandrea did well, too. She really surprised me as well, phasekitty. I used to like Carly Smithson, but she's beginning to annoy me. It's not because she had a recording contract before (some other contestants have a decent amount of experience, as well). It's her whole attitude, like when she said, "sick is no excuse." No one else really tried to use that as an excuse! The judges brought it up with some other contestants, but no other contestant brought it up! I just thought the way she said it was rude and it was a dig at the other contestants. And one of the things that I've always thought was fun about Idol is that the contestants seem to genuinely like each other and form some good bonds, even though they are competing against one another.
askmetostay askmetostay 9 years
i was impressed with alaina...and i didn't really like her at the beginning. all i can think watching ramiel is how i wish she was a funny as christian siriano. she's got the 'do, but that's it! alexandrea cracked me up telling ryan he said her name wrong. and syesha and a'siah both surprised me....i have a much better feeling about the girls than i did the guys. i'm with the other girls, i wanna hear carly really SING...i bet she's good. and brooke white is my fave. love her!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
Ugh- I've loved Carly up until this point, but was so let down by her performance last night! Asia'h is so hard for me to like. I HATED her in her audition because as much as people will hate my for saying this- she pulled that sympathy card HARD with her dad's car accident. But then she came to Hollywood and freaking blew me away, so I just have to ignore her, and focus on her voice, to like her. Alexandrea! Where did she come from?!?! When they showed her package I remembered her and remembered being unimpressed, but then she burst on stage with her kicky little hairdo and cute little outfit and I thought her performance was awesome. She's a new fav for me. Syesha's pretty awesome, but I hate her personality. She's got that "I'm an actress" drama queen thing going for her and I've hated it since she "lost her voice" in Hollywood week. She reminds me of a high school drama student. Kristy Lee!!! I loved her audition and have a big crush- and I really kind of liked her performance last night. Maybe I'm biased because I like her so much, but I'm hoping it's too early for her to go home. She can still redeem herself! I know that she's a strong favorite, but I didn't like Amanda Overmeyer last night. I want to hear her sing- like really sing. Her muttering and yelling is starting to irk me. I thought it'd be Alaina and Amy headed home, but it seems people liked Alaina more than I thought. Buzz, you might be right about Joanne, I just hate to see her go home because she was nervous her first time out.
ms_dior_cherie ms_dior_cherie 9 years
Amanda Overmyer is my pick all the way
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Asia'h is ridiculous you almost have to look away when she sings to really appreciate how great her voice is because it's almost distracting seeing that voice come out of her! Alexandrea also AWESOME, I mean hello that voice is coming out of a sixteen yr old girl! WOW Ramiele she's one to watch for sure! Syesha, another amazing voice! Amanda Overmyer, her voice is so unique I think she'll be a star outside of idol. Carly Smithson, talk about a let down. She SUCKED! Then he had the nerve to say she was the best. Definitely something shady going on about that and I hope the producers talk to Randy about it!!! The rest aren't even worth mentioning!
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