Last Stop Before Top 12—AMERICAN IDOL Season 9 Top 8 Girls Perform

by Jason Matthews

This intro was originally planned as a complex breakdown of the remaining eight girls, detailing the pros and cons of sending each to the Top 12, analyzing why each were or were not vital to the show.  It was full of Idol factoids, complex mathematics and fun jokes at the expense of Lilly Scott’s total witch troll hair.

Sadly, that paragraph will never see the light of the Internet, because it just isn’t required. Katie Stevens and Paige Miles so sung themselves out of the competition that even attempting to drum up tension is like dancing about architecture. Let’s just break the performances down, say some fun stuff and get the guys out of the way, so the real competition can finally begin.

Here are the reviews of the performances, from best to worst.

Crystal Bowersox – “Give Me One Reason”

Photo: Fox

Crystal doing Tracy Chapman is like catching fish with dynamite—it’s just not fair to the other girls.  She’s basically Will Hunting up there, burning pages of perfectly solved, impossible math proofs, cause it’s just too easy. Her talent is effortless. She looked amazing in the black, her dreads were actually appropriate for once, and she has the Rockstar moves down pat. I also loved her full-on pitching a squat on her amp during the judges’ comments, and then making Ryan join her, instead of getting up. When you got her kind of skills, you get to sit, while the rest of us stand.

Siobhan Magnus – “House of the Rising Sun”

She is utterly mesmerizing in every way. How in the world did she become everyone’s extra special Idol favorite? And Siobhan had the Superstar hair on “blast” tonight! The a capella was riveting, her tone was amazing, and the arrangement was perfectly suited for her. Even though the performance was a touch low-key, she was still riveting. This girl can do THINGS with her voice, things we might not understand for a long, long time.

Didi Benami – “Rhiannon”

From jump street, ten million hundred thousand times better than last week. You could tell when she stepped on stage that she was gonna make it work. Didi brought back her perfect, lovely tone; her voice was a Tony the Tiger-style grrrrreat match for Stevie Nicks. I wanted to hear something a bit bigger from her, a bit crazier. At some point we need to hear Didi get LOUD! But it is nice to see and hear her return to the captivating, emotional work she showed us in Hollywood Week.

Lacey Brown – “The Story”

You shouldn’t get credit for not sucking at singing a perfect song. Oh, did you do good karaoke on this national karaoke contest? Whaddaya want, a cookie?! Brandi Carlisle should demand a residual from that performance. She sang it well, as the judges said, but there was exactly ZERO dynamism to her personality or performance. What does she bring to this competition? What is unique to her beyond the crazy cool burgundy hair? More than two girls were worse than she tonight, but it still feels like she’s stealing a spot in the Top 12.

Katelyn Epperly – “I Feel the Earth Move”

That is what an American Idol performance on auto-pilot looks like. Everything is as it should be, the notes were fine, the melody was fun, the arrangement was bouncy, she looked super cute, but the whole thing was completely hollow. She made a less-than-zero connection to the music; it was practically an anti-connection. Did she have somewhere else to be tonight? Was she worried about what might happen to Ben on Lost? Something was going on in her head, and it wasn’t competing on American Idol.

Lilly Scott – “I Fall To Pieces”

I guess this is what it’s like to go to a Bjork concert. It was technically masterful, had a funky arrangement, fascinating vocal…and utterly crazy to watch at all times. She doesn’t have nearly the best voice of the girls, let alone the whole group, and she will be an afterthought in the Top 12.

Katie Stevens – “Breakaway”

A pyrrhic victory for wee Katie. She finally picked the right song and it’s the last one she gets to sing.  Even with her big voice she couldn’t match Kelly’s power or spirit. There was something so clearly defeatist about her. She knew she was going home before she belted note one, and you could read it on her face. Poor kid—at least there’s a lucrative Disney contract waiting for her. I look forward to hearing her voice a colorful talking elf in the next princess movie.

Paige Miles – “Smile”

There was nothing to like here, save the hair and makeup. The entrance was misguided, the arrangement was maudlin, and she was boring and ineffectual with her vocal. She knew, we knew, the judges knew, AMERICA knew she was done. Hard to watch, knowing how done she was. It’s possible Paige printed her boarding pass for her flight home during that performance. And who would have noticed? We certainly weren’t paying any attention to her.

Are you pleased with the 6 girls being sent into the Top 12? Who do you think has the chance to win it all? Sound off in the comments.



  • Reply
    March 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Ain’t nobody stopping Bowersox now! Give me one reason why she shouldn’t win. Ha!

    The guys are going to look like little baby amateurs tonight compared to her.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    CRYSTAL BOWERSOX – When it comes to Crystal Bowersox, it seems silly to not just call her the winner already. She is head and shoulders above everyone else. It’s like the others are all trying out for a high school variety show and Sheryl Crow shows up to sing. It’s laughable!! Even if the people who decide who wins screw it up and let someone else win, Crystal Bowersox will be the only one whose cds you will buy. Send her to the recording studio already!!!

    SIOBHAN MAGNUS – Does this woman have any clue what she’s singing about? The House of the Rising Sun is a whorehouse!!! She is clueless.

    DIDI BENAMI – Hated that song when it came out all those years ago. Didi needs to sing either Dear Prudence or Bizarre Love Triangle!! Dang, she’s pretty!!

    LACEY BROWN – What? She’s still here?

    KATELYN EPPERLY – Seriously? Really?

    LILLY BROWN – Still have no clue who she is…

    KATIE STEVENS – Something is off about this girl. Like she’s a part time witch or something.

    PAIGE MILES – take away her contacts (at least I think they’re contacts) and there’s nothing there. Don’t know how the heck she made it this far.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      Bizarre Love Triangle? Maybe the Frente acoustic version. Not the original one I hope!

      • Reply
        March 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

        Yeah, sorry, Mr. Bizman5, the acoustic version by Frente is the one I meant.

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          March 10, 2010 at 5:43 pm

          You’re a fellow Frenté fan?! That version of BLT would be perfect for Didi to sing!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Guess I’m the only one who thinks Bowersox should be thrown off, huh? Thrown off to START HER CAREER ALREADY!!! OMIGOD!!! She is freakin’ awesome! I can’t believe she hasn’t topped the charts already.

    Where is her competition? I don’t see it!!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      March 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

      After reading your first sentence, I was going to punch you, but then read the rest and you’re OK!

Leave a Reply