Its about time... finally, after the good and bad auditions, after the Hollywood Week, after Ryan Seacrest talking incessantly, after America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres has more than successfully taken the reins from Paula the Flake, after Randy the Dawg spits out about 1,092 "dawgs"...
The chicks are here! Tonight, the first half of the Top 24 will compete... Paige... Ashley... Janell... Lilly... Katelyn... Haeley... Lacey... Michelle... Didi... Siobhan... Crystal... Katie... for the next three weeks, six of these chicks will go away. Seacrest asks Randy the Dawg to give the chicks some advice, to which The Lovely Steph Leann laughs and says, "Yeah... asking Randy for advice... words of wisdom. Yo."
Tonight is songs from the Billboard charts... Up first is Paige Miles, 24, from Naples, FL. This is a chick that we know very, very little about... let's see what P-Miles can do.
"It's All Right Now" by Free... a sista' taking on a 70s rock hit. Interesting. She sounds okay... but in the middle of it, out loud, I involuntarily went, "Eh". Because really? It's Eh. Just eh. At least she does the over the head clapping thing, getting the audience involved. Even the final note wasn't all the great.
Simon the Cowell tells her that he thinks she's got the best voice, though he didn't like the song choice. Kara the New Hotness said it was fantastic. She loved it. Randy the Dawg said the song was wrong, but she showed up during the chorus. Ellen the... well, the Talk Show Host agrees and disagrees. She loved it.
P-Miles then admits that she's sewn into her outfit, and she's had to pee for five hours. Ha!
Up next is my sista' from a Mexican motha'... Ashley Rodriguez. Yes, expect lots and lots of Lorna Road and landscaping jokes as long as she stays in this competition. She tells of her love of "Battlefield" by Jordin Sparks, which I liked better when Pat Benatar sung it...
Leona Lewis, "Happy" is her song. Pretty girl, that A-Rod. She looks like Eva Mendez and Jordin Sparks had a baby together, and let's face it, with Ellen the Talk Show Host on board, that's not out of the question. During the song, The Lovely Steph Leann looks up from her blanket over at me and grimaces. I grimace back. She says, "Wow. I hate this. This is terrible. Is she even on key?"
Kara the New Hotness said it was a few nice moments... but she didn't like it. Randy and Ellen agree, while Simon said it was clumsy, the arrangement was bad and that he thinks A-Rod is going in the wrong direction.
Janellybean comes roaring out of the gate with the song, which is a great tune from the 80s. It fits her, and though she does sound a bit shaky here and there, overall its strong. The Lovely Steph Leann chalks it up to nerves.
Randy the Dawg didn't like the song that much, but he still likes her. Ellen liked her performance. Simon said "You gave the 100% effort, and delivered 65%" and said she was little off-key. Kara the New Hotness liked her, but thought the song was way too big. I liked her quite a bit, darn it.
Here comes Lilly Scott. Only, if only, her last name was White, how fabulous would this be? Lilly is 20, from Littleton, CO, and was living out of her car and playing on the street, but now, here she is!
She's doing "Fixing a Hole" by The Beatles. Guitar in hand, she's strumming in front of the mic stand... and as much as I wanted to like Janellybean... I gotta say, I'm digging me some Lilly Scott. She's got this distinctive voice that reminds me a little of Leigh Nash, or maybe Feist or Lily Allen. Lovin' it.
Ellen the Talk Show Host says, "That's what I'm talking about, right there." Simon the Cowell says it was the best so far. Kara the New Hotness called Lilly Scott believable, and from the heart. Randy the Dawg says she is more like an indie artist than anything else.
Katelyn Epperly, 19, from West Des Moines, Iowa, has this weird, yet cool, dot between her eyes. I think its a mole, but she almost looks like a white Indian. "Oh Darling" from The Beatles is her song, and if this were a movie in 1987, she would fit in perfectly. Don't get me wrong, she's really pretty, with really pretty hair, but it looks like that really pretty hair has met a really pretty crimper. Bright red lipstick, sleek black dress, she's got the best outfit of the night. And she sounds good.
Simon the Cowell says at some points, she was screaming the song, but still, he likes her. Kara the New Hotness compliments her on how well she knows her own voice, and she even comments on the makeover. Randy the Dawg likes the makeover, and he likes her tone in the song. Ellen thought the song was a bit pushed, but liked the whole thing. Seacrest inquires Katelyn about the makeover, Kara the New Hotness mouths a bad word.
Haeley Vaughn, 16, from Colorado, and I'm kinda not excited about her in the show, mostly because its hard to spell her name on the first try. I always go to "Haley"... she's singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles.
Holding her guitar, she's sounding a little screechy to me. The Lovely Steph Leann shrugs and says that she kinda enjoys it. I do like the arrangement, its kinda fun, but I didn't think the performance was all that great. Kara the New Hotness says it went all over the place, the notes were off... but, she really likes her because she really dominates the stage. Randy the Dawg says that he likes the originality, but he doesn't like her when she tries to hit the high notes. America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres says that Haeley shines, just shines. Simon the Cowell speaks my heart--"If I'm being honest, it was borderline terrible, and a complete and utter mess..." Thank you, Simon, thank you for the voice of reason.
"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac is her song... Stevie Nicks singing this song is good. The Dixie Chicks singing this song is amazing. Lacey Brown singing this song? Not bad. Not good either. Just... well, eh. I really like Lacey B's voice, but this isn't as good as I wanted it to be. I look over at The Lovely Steph Leann who just shrugs and says, "Well, I don't really understand this song anyway..."
Randy the Dawg didn't like it, and flat out says, "Terrible." Ellen the Talk Show Host also says "not good". Simon the Cowell says, "Depressing and indulgent." Kara the New Hotness says, "Forced" and tells her to try Sixpence or something.
Now, Michelle Delamor, 22, from Miami, FL, and gets my vote for the hottest Idol chick so far. That might change, but first, we'll hear her sing "Fallin" by... Alicia Keys. Wow, she's taking on The Keys.
I was really, really worried about anyone singing Alicia Keys, but I'm diggin' it, totally. Michelle My Belle hits the high notes, and even ends it with a huge note... awesome.
Ellen says, "Fantastic", probably after reading my blog. She said it almost seemed safe, only because the song seemed easy for her. Simon the Cowell liked her lots too. Kara the New Hotness said it was great, but there were a few not-great moments. Randy the Dawg said it was good too.
Didi Benami, 23, admits that singing Kara the New Hotness' song "Terrified" while in auditions was nervewracking... she's the one with the friend that died. She's singing one of my favorite songs, "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michelson...
Didi sounds great. Seriously, this is such a fun song to sing, and she looks like she's having fun with it... she's got this fun outfit on, and she's got this slightly unusual, cool voice. Loved it.
Simon the Cowell says, "You sound great, but tonight, too many people are trying to sound like Adele and Duffy". Yep, I can see that... though I did like the song. Kara the New Hotness liked the song, and liked the changes made to the song. Randy the Dawg is still waiting for the star factor from her, or anyone. Ellen the Talk Show Host says it was the wrong song to open with.
Siobhan Magnus, which might have the coolest name of the show, is up next. She's 19, from Cape Cod, MA, and is a glass blowing apprentice. I went out on a date with a girl named Siobhan, once. I think it was... 1994, maybe, on my birthday, and I got a speeding ticket. She and her eyebrows will be singing "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak. I can tell you, before she starts, this won't be good.
This song just doesn't seem right without a video of two hot people making out in the sand and surf behind her. I think this is the first time this song has ever been sung on Idol. Ya know, I love this song, and Chris Isaak does it awesome... its like a white version of a Whitney or Aretha song... its also sort of creepy to have a 19 year old sing this song.
Kara the New Hotness liked her singing... Randy the Dawg says she's got some big pipes, and that she should reach for bigger songs... Ellen loved it... Simon liked, but not loved, the song.
Crystal Bowersox is also an early frontrunner. She's 24, from Elliston, OH, and is a musician and a mom. She's got this cool, dreadlocky, lip ringy, dreamcatcher earringy look about her... singing "Hand in My Pocket" from Alanis.
Randy the Dawg loved it. America's Favorite Lesbian Ellen DeGeneres says she'd be voting for her if she could. Simon the Cowell likes the story, likes the baby, likes the song, but says, "there are thousands of you performing outside subway stations... choose a song and make it yours, don't be a sound-alike." Kara the New Hotness says "Bosox, you were really good tonight."
And, rounding out the night, Katie Stevens, 17, from Middlebury, CT, and she's a high school student. She seems like the most normal, down to Earth of all the contestants... and I'll probably find her a bit annoying later, but for now, I like Katie.
She's taking on "Feelin' Good" by Michael Buble, and though his is a good version, if you want great, you go to Nina Simone, who's version is on my 100 songs of all time. Katie Stevens, at 17, is trying to be seductive and sexy... because this is a seductive and sexy song.
She also seems like one of the most marketable Idol hopefuls... her name is Katie Stevens, alot easier to remember than "Janell" or "Bowersox". She sounds really good, by the way. Not my favorite, but good enough to keep her around.
Ellen the Talk Show Host says the song was a little conservative for a 17 year old to sing... Simon the Cowell agrees with Ellen the Talk Show Host, even using the word "Annoying" (probably after reading my blog)... Kara the New Hotness calls her pitchy, but still having ridiculous chops... and Randy the Dawg said she pushed to hard on the song.
For my money... Lilly Scott... C'Bosox... Michelle My Belle... Didi Benami... Katelyn Epperly... Katie Stevens... Janellybean... Siobhan Magnus... P-Miles... Lacey B... Haeley Vaughn... A-Rod...
If I'm choosing right now, based on what I saw tonight and what I've seen before, in the Chick Six I'm putting in Lilly Scott, C'Bosox, Didi, Janellybean and Katelyn Epperly for sure, and then a toss up between Katie Stevens, Michelle My Belle and Lacey Brown.