AMERICAN IDOL (2011) “Top 12 Girls Perform” Review

AMERICAN IDOL (2011) “Top 12 Boys Perform” Season 10 Episode 14 – Welcome to Day Two of…

THE AXE METHOD.

In case you missed yesterday’s “Top 12 Boys Perform” review, I grade each song on six different scales: Performance, Originality, Stage Presence, Appearance, Marketability, and Intangibles. I will award each scale from 1 to 5 points, so at the end, each performance will have anywhere from 6 to 30 points at the end. I will then rank the American Idol performers by the number of points they each accumulated. It’s easy.

Performance: Did they sing on key? Did they remember the lyrics? If they used a musical instrument, did it help the performance?

Originality: Did they “Make it their own,” or was this a karaoke copy of the original? The dreaded phrase “Song choice” plays into this.

Stage Presence: Did they command the stage, were they able to work the crowd? How did the audience respond to them? Did they dance like morons?

Appearance: How was the hair, the clothes, the packaged look? Was it appropriate to the song?

Marketability: Would I buy this version of the song? Does it help sell the performer as an artist?

Intangibles: This could be anything: general likability, connection, past history, anything. I will usually give notes on the specifics.

So let’s run through the ladies, shall we? Overall they were better than the boys, the highest scoring a 24 (one of the boys had a 23), and the lowest a 17 (two boys had 15’s). This of course means nothing, since American Idol has of late been male dominated, with the bulk of voting coming from impressionable and slightly-insane teenage girls.

No offense to teenage girls. But anyone who votes 50 times is slightly insane.

So … the girls!

Pia Toscano: 24

Song: I’ll Stand By You (Pretenders)

Performance: 5 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: I want to say I called it when I ranked her so high amongst all the other competitors, but I can’t because I didn’t rank her high enough. She’s the best pure singer. With a little more charisma, she can win all of it. Idol producers normally place the “show stopper” at the very end of the show (based on how they sound in their run-throughs), so it must have killed them to admit Toscano was better than Alaina. And she is, by a mile.

Naima Adedapo: 23

Song: Summertime (George & Ira Gershwin)

Performance: 3 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 4
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Fantastic yellow dress (which she made herself; this girl certainly has skills) and a unique take on “Summertime,” putting just a little island tilt into it. Very strong, but I expected her to be. She should cruise on through.

Haley Reinhart: 22

Song: Fallin’ (Alicia Keys)

Performance: 4 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: This is one Randy got dead wrong; I thought Reinhart was excellent. She has a unique voice, and I think she showed it. I will be disappointed if his singular wrong opinion (the majority of the crowd booed him lustily—even more so than they usually do) results in Reinhart going home.

Karen Rodriguez: 20

Song: Hero (Mariah Carey)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Not bad, did the Spanish switch-up, though that could get old fast. No matter what J-Lo says, she’s going to need to broaden her audience. She’s got the latin vote right now, which should get her through this round.

Lauren Turner: 20

Song: Seven Day Fool (Etta James)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 4
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 3

Notes: Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I rated this young woman lower than I should have. Bette Midler indeed; Randy said she sounds like Amy Winehouse meets Florence and the Machine, and Steven Tyler retorted, “You sound like Lauren Turner meets Lauren Turner.” I hope there’s a niche for her in this show. Her talent is in the top half.

Thia Megia: 19

Song: Out Here On My Own (Irene Cara)

Performance: 3 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: The first of four 19’s on my list. Very middle-of-the-pack, so it’s anyone’s guess which of the 19’s the viewers liked best. I thought the beginning of Megia’s song was nice, clear, and sweet, but she could have brought it to a more powerful place at the end.

Ashthon Jones: 19

Song: Love Over Me (Monica)

Performance: 3 Originality: 2 Stage Presence: 4
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Compared to Diana Ross? Not quite. J-Lo said she has all the makings of a diva, and I agree, but her singing needs to catch up with her ‘tude. She didn’t show us her vocal range, and that’s dangerous on a night when so many can get cut.

Lauren Alaina: 19

Song: Turn On The Radio (Reba McEntire)

Performance: 3 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 2
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: It was probably smart she chose a rocked-up version of a Reba song, since there are zero (read: none) rocker chicks in this crop. Idol rock is dead. But the performance was only average, no matter how all the judges fawned. Did you think they were going to do anything less? If Alaina doesn’t make the top 10 it’s a disaster for producer Nigel Lythgoe—and it makes them all look pretty stupid. If Alaina doesn’t make the cut, you can bet your tender vittles they’ll use the wild card vote to save her country butt.

Kendra Chantelle: 19

Song: Impossible Tonight (Christina Aguilera)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 3

Notes: Good voice, somewhat subdued performance. And what’s with the weird curtsey she keeps doing? Not sure about this girl, and don’t think she stood out enough amidst the other 19’s to advance.

Ta-Tynisa Wilson: 17

Song: Only Girl In The World (Rihanna)

Performance: 3 Originality: 2 Stage Presence: 3
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 3

Notes: Randy was right on this one. Sort of dull opening number. I could tell she was trying hard, so that bodes badly for any improvement.

Rachel Zevita: 16

Song: Criminal (Fiona Apple)

Performance: 2 Originality: 2 Stage Presence: 4
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 2 Intangibles: 2

Notes: Butchering Criminal was criminal. She sounded out of breath, rushed, and I didn’t understand half of the words of a song I know well. Very Broadway, but this ain’t the Great White Way. Seeya!

Julie Zorrilla: 16

Song: Runaway (Kelly Clarkson)

Performance: 2 Originality: 2 Stage Presence: 2
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 3

Notes: Bland. Zo long, Zorilla! I mean, she’s hot, I guess, and that was a pretty little (emphasis on little) chiffon dress … but this is going to continue Idol’s long tradition of seeing the boring Barbies get the boot before the “real” show begins. I certainly don’t want to see them on tour.

Not that I … go to those things.

Tomorrow: 5 boys, 5 girls, and 2 wild cards!

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