Okay, it’s the Top 10 girls this time, offering up dedications to the ones they love. Will they be as dominant and powerful as they were last week?
Gina Glocksen: She kicked off the evening with a Heart song dedicated to her longtime boyfriend (“my rock”). Blech. Her unfortunate red dress looked disturbingly like a full-body legwarmer. I thought she was sharp and nasal throughout the song, and I agree with Simon that her whole image is a bit confusing. I think she’s a rocker wannabe—a poser. A telling moment: when they showed a clip of her audition tape, she was wearing a flesh-colored shirt that made it appear as though she had some serious ink, but it was all smoke and mirrors. Sorry, but one frilly tattoo on her ankle does not make her “edgy.” She’s got more ego than talent, and that’s a problem.
Alaina Alexander: She’s certainly pretty and has nice Mariah Carey-esque hair, but let’s face it, her voice is as light and flyaway as an Olsen twin in a windstorm. Randy’s assessment that her song was “a mess” was 100% correct. I don’t think she’ll last another week.
LaKisha Jones: Dedicated her performance of Gladys Knight’s Midnight Train to Georgia to her grandma, a sweet old lady with a walker. I thought LaKisha looked great (if not a teensy bit trashy) in her denim mini skirt and leopard-print Candies, but she lacked the “I’m Not Goin’” confidence of last week’s showstopper. It wasn’t her best effort, but a solid performance nonetheless.
Melinda Dolittle: Hmmm….there’s no denying the girl can sing, but something about her didn’t ring true for me this week. She dedicated her performance to her “Gayles” (as in Oprah’s bff), aka, her stylist and her voice coach. It’s odd how she tries to come across as so humble and meek, and yet, she already has “people.” Her unfortunate blue pantsuit made her look older than she is, but she redeemed herself by singing the heck out of “Funny Valentine” and hitting some killer notes that I wished LaKisha had brought tonight. Still, I think the “aw shucks, you really like me?” modesty routine is put on.
Antonella Barba: Was I the only one who got a creepy, Angelina Jolie “I am SO in love with my brother right now” flashback when Antonella talked about how much she adores her brother Vincenzo? She said she picked a song this week that was more “her,” and proceeded to massacre Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” I know they only have about 90 seconds to show their stuff, but the truncated version of the song was too rushed and shaky, not to mention pitchy. When the judges called her out on it, she started rolling her eyes and mugging for the cameras, and even took a weak jab at Simon re: his being wrong about Jennifer Hudson. Talk about ego. Listen, Jersey Girl: I know Jen Hudson, Jen Hudson is a friend of mine, and you, my That’s-Totally-Not-Me-In-Those-Internet-Porn-Pics hoochie, are no Jen Hudson.
Jordin Sparks: I like this girl, and with a voice as strong as hers, it’s easy to forget she’s only 17 years old. She dedicated Christina Aguilera’s Reflection to her baby brother, and was barely able to contain her emotions as she sang. It was a tear jerker moment, for sure, but not a strong showing vocally. She had trouble with her lower register, but her big notes towards the end were spot on. She has an America Ferrara vibe about her that’s very endearing.
Stephanie Edwards: She chose a tough song (Dangerously in Love) and didn’t do a very good job of it. The beginning was all over the place, and even though she hit some big notes at the end, I think it was too little too late. The rifs and runs were too breathy and chaotic. As Randy put it, “You sang your face off, but it was just Aw-ight. It was like Beyonce Lite.” Strangely, Simon agreed with Paula (wtf?) and said it was terrific.
Leslie Hunt: She dedicated a smoky rendition of “It’s a New Day” to her grandpa, complete with a scat ending that seemed awkward and out of place on such a wholesome-looking gal. It wasn’t a bad performance, just unmemorable. Simon’s critique that Leslie’s nonsensical runs were reminiscent of Paula’s unintelligible comments at the judge’s table were as mean as they were incisive. Ouch!
Haley Scarnato: She gets the award for the most unintentionally funny commentary of the evening. When she dedicated her performance to her fiancé Bobby, she sadly revealed that he’s “not good with her being away.” I instantly pictured poor, dejected Bobby, sitting at home forlorn and confused, surrounded by stacks of dirty dishes and grungy laundry. Her rendition of “Queen of the Night”—by far the worst song to come out of Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard soundtrack—was overzealous and, as Simon pointed out, “a little manic.”
Sabrina Sloan: Yet another Whitney Houston song, “He’s All the Man I Need,” dedicated to her glamorous 86-year-old Grammy. Great song choice, with lots of attention-getting big notes peppered throughout. Her final note was a bit off-key and pitchy, but it was drowned out by the premature applause, so I think she’ll sail through to the next round. If she’s smart, she’ll take Simon’s advice to heart: “Don’t confuse power with shouting.”
Tomorrow is the big results show. Who will go home? I’m betting Poser Gina and Painful Alaina will be packing their bags tomorrow night, with Annoying Antonella living to see another day.