Well here we are again. It is time for America to vote and we are here live blogging the performances of the American Idol Season 9 Top 12 Girls. One 21 music features the Christian music artists performing on Season 9 of American Idol.
Tonight, American Idol Season 9 features four Christian music artists: Didi Benami, Lacey Brown, Ashley Rodriguez and Michelle Delomor. To learn more about these American Idol Season 9 Christian music artists see our articles on American Idol Season 9
The Christian music performers will be joined tonight by eight other American Idol Season 9 hopefuls: Siobhan, Magnus, Paige Miles, Lillly Scott, Crystal Bowersox, Haeley Vaughn, Janell Wheeler, Katelyn Epperly and Katie Stevens.
As we discussed in our American Idol Season 9 Top 24 preview we expect Katie Stevens to be a strong conternder all season and we would not be surprised if Haeley Vaughn and Siobhan Magnus struggle tonight.
A few changes for song selection in American Idol Season 9. Contestant performances will be available for purchase and download exclusively on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) the day following the performances. And for the first time, beginning with the Top 12, American Idol Season 9 show themes will be revealed in advance on iTunes along with playlists of original songs by the original artists from which the contestants may choose and which fans can preview and download.
This week the American Idol season 9 Top 24 will perform songs from the Top 10 Hits of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is a little unclear to me if this means the overall Top 10 or the Top 10 from each chart. Giving the American Idol Season 9 Top 24 only 10 songs to choose from seems a little limiting, but let’s watch together and see. The next two hours should be fun.
So we meet the girls for the first time live. For the next three weeks the guys and girls are going to perform seperately, we will eliminate two guys and two girls each week until we get to American Idol Season 9′s Top 12. The judges pontificate a little and we get to hear Ellen start to create her own set of catch phrases. She accuses Simon of being a bit of a groper and she has tape to support her case.
Paige Miles leads off. We don’t know her very well. She is a pre-school teacher from Houston by way of Naples, Florida. She is singing an oldie “All Right Now” by Free. Not a very good song for her. She can sing well and does a pretty good job, not great. Simon thinks she has the best voice but did not like the song. Kara disagrees, she thinks it was brilliant. They all agree she has a huge voice.
Christian music artist Ashley Rodriguez, our Berklee School of Music student from Boston, is performing “Happy” by Leona Lewis. Wow! When she let’s loose she blows us away. The song is kind of lame and doesn’t show her skills very well. I would have liked her more if she had done a more soulful song. Kara compares Leona Lewis to Mariah Carey? The judges think she did a good job but it did not show her skills very well. They want her to step out of her comfort zone and take a risk. Simon thinks she is going backwards. I agree with them.
Janell Wheeler is up next. She is a flower child from Florida. We are still trying to figure out her faith background. Tonight she is singing Heart’s “What About Love”. Well, she jumps into deep water right away and she does not really have the voice to sing this song. She cannot keep in tune. She may be in trouble tonight. The judges are about to pounce. Randy did not like the song choice. Ellen liked it, I don’t know why. Simon says she delivered only 65%, but the judges are very supportive.
I like the pace of the show. I am glad they decided to go two hours. The singers have time to sing and the judges have time to judge. So far so good.
Now we learn about indie rocker, jazz crooner Lilly Scott. We learn that she was homeless when she auditioned for American Idol Season 9. Interesting song choice. She is singing The Beatles’ “Fixing A Hole.” Her arrangement is great but is she off key? She is pretty good but 10 weeks of these affected performances will get a little old. Ellen loves it, the song choice, the arrangement, the voice and the performance. Simon calls it the best so far. Kara calls her believable and at ease.
I think the judges have been very good tonight, so far. Ashley and Janelle really reached to the limits of their abilities and it limited their creativity. Paige and Lilly chose off beat songs and delivered interesting interpretations.
Katelyn Epperly has the reputation as a formidable and intimidating musician. She is singing “Oh Darling” by the the Beatles in a country style. I like her voice but I don’t like the arrangement and I don’t like her look tonight. Simon called it messy and screamy but interesting. Kara says she knows her voice very well and uses it to good effect. Kara likes her with a more natural look. Randy likes her tone and melody.
Haeley Vaughn is a sixteen year country singer. We are trying to figure out her faith background. She pierced her nose when she went to Hollywood and here she is with nose diamond in tow. She is doing a very slow, interesting version of The Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. I may have underestimated Miss Vaughn. This is quirky and very well done. Kara points out the technical problems, but embraces her magnetism. Ellen loves her stage presence and enjoyed the performance. Simon thinks it was terrible.
One hour in and we are through six performances. Good pace for the show. I think Ellen is showing her weakness as a judge. She has not had any criticism at all.
Christian music artist Lacey Brown is up. She made it to Hollywood last year, but not this far. Lacey is singing Fleetwood Mac‘s “Landslide”. It starts a little rough trying to channel Stevie Nicks. I don’t know, it is hard to push through the back-up singers. Not great Lacey, I hope you aren’t in trouble. Randy thought it was terrible. Ellen thinks she is better than that. Simon was depressed.
Two Christian music artists next, Michelle Delamor and Didi Benami.
Michelle Delamor is a gospel singer and fashion hopeful from Florida. She is singing Fallin’ by Alicia Keys. This is a big risky song to sing. She does not stumble over the start, like many do. She pulls it off, but it is a pale comparison to the original. Ellen says it was fantastic and it seemed easy for her. Simon says it was close to the original but had no wow moment. Kara was a little more critical saying it missed in a few spots. Randy wants to see something new.
Didi Benami is a Belmont College who met her muse at this Christian music college only to see her die in a car accident. She is singing “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson. A very interesting 60′s jazz take on this song. I don’t know it so it may be an exact copy of the original, but it is very different from what we heard from her in Hollywood. Simon thinks she sounds like a lot of other singers. He is missing her spark. Kara liked her creativity with the song. Randy thinks there is no star factor. Even Ellen agrees that the song was underwhelming.
Siobhan Magnus is an experimental rocker, glass blowing apprentice from Cape Cod. She is singing Wicked Game from Chris Isaaks. The mix is horrible. We cannot even hear the band and she needs the band. This is a pale, karaoke version of this song. There is no danger in this dangerous song. Kara liked it? Randy thought it was a weak song choice. Ellen really loved it. Simon thought it was a bad song choice.
Bluesy, indie rocker Crystal Bowersox is a hardworking professional musician from Ohio. She is singing “Hand in My Pocket” from Alanis Morissette. It has been a while since I heard this song but Crytstal is mesmerizing. This is pretty brilliant. She is strong and original. Randy loves her honesty as a performer. Ellen thinks we are lucky she decided to audition. Simon thinks she is not original. Kara thinks she was good, but can be great.
We end the evening with 17 year-old Katie Stevens singing Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good”. This young lady is assured and talented. She is a little stiff on stage and this is not the best song for her voice, However, it is a statement of her demeanor. She announces that she is here to win. Ellen thinks it was conservative and wants to her to be more modern. Simon agrees and called it annoying. Kara thinks she was surprisingly pitchy. Randy thinks she was pushing too hard.
Most of the ladies were creative , but no one blew me away tonight. Join us tomorrow night when the American Idol Season 9 Top 12 guys perform live.