American Idol Season 11 Top 12 Girls

Wow, after a hot night of performances by the guys last night, the American Idol Season 11 gauntlet has been thrown down.  The question for us is, which of our favorites will go home on Thursday.  Joshua Ledet, Colton Dixon, Aaron Marcellus and Phil Phillips were stand outs for us last night.  I will be ecstatically surprised if those four are on the show next week. Christian musicians lead the pack last night with five of the top six performances, but the evening’s pinnacle was delivered by Christian musician Joshua Ledet with “You Pulled Me Through”

But onto the girls.

Tonight, the American Idol Season 11 girls will try to match the consistency and artistry of that group of guys.  Will anyone take the risks that Colton Dixon took last night?  Are any of the girls capable of standing in the middle of the stage and just dominating the room like Joshua Ledet did last night.  Join us for the next two hours as we watch these girls start their quest to break the string of guy winners on American Idol.

Baylie Brown
Brielle Von Hugel
Chelsea Sorrell
Elise Testone
Erika Van Pelt
Hallie Day
Haley Johnson
Hollie Cavanaugh
Jen Hirsh
Jessica Sanchez
Shannon Magrane
Skylar Laine

There is a lot of blond hair on the American Idol stage tonight.  They kind of blend into the new stage colors.  It sounds like each of the judges will get a “judge’s pick” so it looks like we will 13 finalists next week.

First up is Chelsea Sorrell, who is a real sharp shooter with a handgun.  Chelsea is singing “Cowboy Casanova”. She is singing pretty well but the song is kind of a nothing and the mix is a little muddled.  No great vocal moments to catch America’s attention.  I agree with Randy that she could have sung something that showcased her better. The judges are coming out throwing punches tonight.  I think Chelsea Sorrell has little chance to make it through tomorrow night’s results show.

Mobile DJ and professional wedding singe Erika Van Pelt is next singing “What About Love “. First of all, Erika looks the best we have seen her this year.  More importantly, she is delivering a big brassy version of this song.  Her deep alto voice is perfect through the entire music and she comfortably glided through her range.  No missteps for Erika tonight.  The judges heard that they were not critical enough last night so their criticism, even in praising Erika, is a little more pointed.

Jen Hirsch, one of the biggest singers on American Idol Season 11, takes on “One and Only”. Why do these kids wander into Adelle‘s world.  It is so treacherous. And sure enough this big singer sounds thin and tinny compared to Adelle.  And that is why you don’t do that because you get compared to Adelle. I agree with J-Lo that Jen did a really good job, just not a killer job and tonight needs to be killer.

So far none of the first three girls would make it into the top 10 from last night.  Come on ladies!

Brielle Von Hugel is a typical teen age girl from Staten Island.  Well, not really, she is singing on national television in front of millions of people.  Tonight she is singing “Sitting On The Dock of The Bay”. How does a 17 year old girl make us believe she has any connection to this song. This is a silly, clumsy arrangement of this song that proves, without soul, this song is just a song.  Stephen and J-Lo love the performance. I disagree, I think she oversang this song without the hopelessness of its mood.

Former rocker Hallie Day is singing “Feeling Good “, uh oh. This young lady has fought back from a suicide attempt to build a life with her husband and her church.  We are rooting for Hallie. I had high hopes but Hallie never really reached out and grabbed the song.  It was good but not spectacular.  She slinked around the stage like a star but I wonder if that performance with that song is enough to stick around.

Who is going to step out and stake their claim to this night.  Only seven more girls left to sing and no one is a slam dunk for my top 5. What is going on tonight?

It is country time with the Skylar Laine/Baylie Brown show.

First up, teenager Skylar Laine sings “Stay With Me “. The country girl turns a rock classic into a country romp. Skylar certainly has no problem with stage pressence as she stomps amd prances around the stage in a shiny, fringy dress. Finally, a big confident performance with sass and a big booming voice. Yep, Skylar Laine just put her stamp on tonight’s show.  Randy loved it, J-Lo loved it anc compared her to Tina Turner. J-Lo called it a great performance.

Now cool country crooner Baylie Brown must follow that great performance.  She tries to make her statement with “Lone Stars Amaze”. Well, this turns out to be a tough placement for Baylie Brown.  This performance is a little bland and pitchy.  Sorry Baylie we have been waiting a long time for you but I don’t think you are going to be around for long.  The judges really rake her over the coals.

Now the pride of McKinney, Texas, Hollie Cavanaugh brings “Reflections ” to the American Idol Season 11 stage.  Wow, we have another contender.  After a slightly shaky beginning Hollie just stands her ground behind the mike and belts out this Christina Aguilera number.  That, everyone, is singing with a capital “S”.  I think we have a little blond stick of dynamite. J-Lo calls her one of this year’s front runners. I, for the first time, agree.

Now let’s see what Haley Johnson can do with “Sweet Dreams.”  She starts with the perfect tone, let’s see where she goes from here. Wow, Annie Lennox is a really good singer.  Haley tries to bring emotion to this song through a shouty vocal and this is not a shouty song. I don’t think this was the best song for Haley.  J-Lo is begging America to vote for Haley and Stephen groped for good things today.  Randy called it a nightmare rather than a dream.  This is really the tale of two judging nights.

Shannon Magrane now takes her turn with Mr Hyde judges. She is singing “Go Light Your World”. Well Shannon makes a great song choice.  I believe she believes these lyrics.  This is a really solid performance with a big finish.  That gets her to next week. Good job Shannon.  J-lo pegs it that Shannon sings with so much passion. One of the best of the night.

Jessica Sanchez is one of my favorites to win American Idol Season 11. Let’s see if she delivers on her promise with “Love You, I Do “. Sore vocal chords and all and Jessica Sanchez stakes her claim as the front runner.  Great dynamics, tremendous technical  skills, timing , stage presence she’s got it all.  A big, professional performance that brings everyone to their feet.  That is how it is done. Guys, this is your competition.  The judges bow at Jessica’s feet.  I want to see a Jessica/Joshua duet.  Come on America!

Elise Testone ends this party tonight. Sorry you have to follow Jessica.  She is singing “One and Only “. Two people singing the same song.  From behind the piano Elise delivers the right bluesy, rapsy opening to this song.  Great dynamics and punctuation.  It looks like we are going to have big finish. Completely comfortable on stage, Elise Testone just captured the audience and the judges.  Great, great ending. Yep, Stephen she blew it out of the water.  Elise answered Jessica’s challenge.

So a night that started out very slow, continued to be shaky through the middle, finished with a big bang.  The triumvirate of Shannon Magrane, Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone dominated the night.  Skylar Laine‘s very savvy choice of a rock song, spectacularly executed, gave us hope in the middle of the show.  Based on tonight’s performances, these four ladies should move on to the Top 12, joined by Hollie Cavanaugh. If that happens the judges will add either Brielle Von Hugel or Erika Van Pelt as the sixth girl.

Join us this weekend as we analyze this week’s results and start to handicap the field in American Idol Season 11.






  1. Jim Richardson says:

    I agree with your top 5 Chuck. Maybe we might have to add Shannon to the Christian list? None of the other 3 Christian girls will make it. Of course, I thought Stefano might have been a Christian last year with his awesome Smokey Norful song, but nothing after that backed that up with his actions .

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