Home > Uncategorized > American Idol Season 11 Recap – Top 24 – The Girls

American Idol Season 11 Recap – Top 24 – The Girls

Let me begin tonight by saying once again that I refuse to believe that no African-American women were strong enough to crack the top 24.

As I expected, the women on the whole had a much, much, much better showing than did the men last night.  And of course, the judges chose tonight to decide they were being too easy on folks and spent most of their comments criticizing the far superior women.  It seriously made it crystal clear how ridiculous the commentary was last night.  Randy even admitted flat out that they were too soft on the boys last night.

Anyway.  On to an evening of Hayley, Hallie, and Holly, and blondes, blondes, and more blondes.

Chelsea Sorell – “Cowboy Cassanova” – Carrie Underwood
First – Boobs.  OK.  That being said…ballsy to choose a Carrie Underwood song for your premiere to America.  Just inviting comparison.  And…there it comes from Randy.  Annoying, but she asked for it.  She was really pretty good, though overshadowed by the band, I think.  But I still think stronger than most of the guys.  But the judges didn’t pop whatever they popped last night and they were flowing with the criticism.  She shouldn’t actually let us her her speak, however.  Sounds like she swallowed helium.

Erica Van Pelt – “What About Love” by Heart
Props for choosing a Heart song.  And I thought she was terrific.  So did Steven.  JLo thought she could have pushed even more.  I tuned Randy out.

Jen Hirsch – “One And Only” by Adele
If Jen were a stunner, I would say she could be the front-runner in the competition.  She reminds me of a not-as-pretty Lea Michele.  In contrast to Eben, Jen’s decision to sing an Adele song was not a train wreck.  Hardly.  She is an incredibly talented musician.  The judges agreed.

Brielle Von Hugel – “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” by Otis Redding
Oh boy.  First, I need to get past the fact that she has the worst stage mother in recent memory.  Second, I need to get past the fact that she’s from Staten Island (sorry, Tracy Pattison!).  Then I need to get past the fact that she got a bunch of the boys to surround her for the beginning of the song.  Finally, I need to get over the fact that she looks like a slightly less guidish Snooki.  She actually sounded pretty good.  Hate to admit it.  Let’s see if her whole personna doesn’t hurt her.

Hallie Day – “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
Baltimore in the house!  Another daring choice of song given how often it has been sung on Idol.  But I thought she was tremendous.  I expected that though, given how they have been positioning her all season.  But I think she really delivered.

Skylar Laine – “Stay with Me” by Faces
Damn.  Did we really have to suffer through Lauren Alaina last year?  Skylar on her first performance was everything we hoped Lauren would turn out to be.  Wow.  I now completely understand why the judges have been saying she reminds them of Reba McEntire.  The judges loved her.  Randy of course had to point out that he recorded this song with Travit Tritt.  What is going on with me this season?  I’m liking all the country folks!

Baylie Brown – “Amazed” by Lone Star
Baylie already had my vote.  She’s adorable.  She actually waited four years between Idol auditions.  Then she had such a charismatic opening package.  Oh, but Baylie.  You just don’t have the chops.  What a disappointment.  I really wanted you to be so good.  But you’re just not.  Steven has heard her sing better “and you’re very pretty”.  Jennifer thought the same “and you’re beautiful”.  Randy said the same “and you look amazing”.  Oh, Baylie.  Go be a model.  Sorry.

Holly Cavanagh – “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera
Adorable.  And again – BALLSY.  Tackling Christina is ridiculously risky.  It wasn’t Christina, but it was pretty damned good.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I would have liked to see her connect with the song more.  Despite that, she sang the hell out of it.  Jennifer thinks she is one of the front runners.  And I think that she has got the voice and the personality and would have to agree.  Adorable.

Hayley Johnson – “Sweet Dreams” by The Eurithmics
What a cool but weird song choice.  Not one that is really made to show off your vocals.  I have to believe she’s just too young to understand how iconic that song was.  JLo agrees with me.  Randy is finally honest and correct – “It was kind of a nightmare for me instead of a dream.”

Shannon Magrane – “Light Your Candle” by Kathy Troccoli
Katie – you’re totally right.  She reminds me of Ayla Brown.  And I’m trying I’m trying I’m trying to put aside the fact that she’s singing Contemporary Christian music.  I’m really trying.  Yes, she gave a very strong performance and she gave JLo (the Scientologist) “goosies”.  But I am going to have a difficult time pretending she isn’t a bible-beater.  Sorry.  But she actually wasn’t that good, was she?

Jessica Sanchez – “Love You I Do” by Jennifer Hudson
If that was Jessica with sore vocal chords, imagine how she’ll be when she’s healthy.  I was pretty bowled over by Jessica during Vegas week, and I’m glad that she got to show her chops tonight.  She is absolutely a front-runner.  I read some recap saying she reminded the recapper a bit of Thia Megia.  Come on.  Ridiculous.  And racist.  Zero in common.

Elise Testone – “One And Only” by Adele
Geez.  I wasn’t expecting that at all.  Where did that come from?  Elise was amazing.  Stellar vocals.  Such personality and charisma – even behind a piano.  I don’t care who sings that song.  She made me forget about Adele.  Completely.  She actually reminds me a little of Gaga.

My ranking of tonight’s performances:

  1. Elise Testone
  2. Jessica Sanchez
  3. Skylar Laine
  4. Hollie Cavanagh
  5. Jen Hirsch
  6. Hallie Day
  7. Erica Van Pelt
  8. Brielle Von Hugel
  9. Chelsea Boobie Sorell
  10. Shannon Magrane
  11. Baylie Brown
  12. Hayley Johnson

I paid close attention to the recap clips at the end of the show and I stand by those rankings.

My prediction for what WILL happen:

Well, if the judges have any sense in their heads whatsoever, the top 13 will be comprised of 5 boys and 8 girls.  Or at least the top 7 girls on my list and 6 boys.  But sense isn’t one of their strongest qualities, and America also has a history of poor voting, so here are my thoughts:

  • Skylar Laine & Hollie Cavanagh are locks for both America & the judges
  • Elise Testone, Hallie Day, and Jessica Sanchez are locks for me and I believe for the judges as well, though not necessarily locks for America.  America is likely to put Shannon Magrane through based on her faith and may put Baylie Brown through based on her looks.  And despite her front-runner status, America may not choose on its own to put Jessica Sanchez through because America is racist.
  • I really fear that Jen Hirsch and Erica Van Pelt may get lost in the shuffle, even though they both deserve to go through.  And despite being not so bad, Brielle Von Hugel may suffer the same fate.  I think the judges may need to save others.
  • Hayley Johnson shouldn’t bother to show up at the results show, and Chelsie Boobie Sorell should have her bags packed.

So my daring prediction (not hope) for the top 13 is…

  1. Skylar Laine
  2. Hollie Cavanagh
  3. Elise Testone
  4. Hallie Day
  5. Jessica Sanchez
  6. Shannon Magrane
  7. Erica Van Pelt
  8. Joshua Ledet
  9. Phillip Phillips
  10. Chase Likens
  11. Deandre Brackensick
  12. Colton Dixon
  13. Heejun Han

I will hope against hope that Heejun and Shannon do not claim two spots that could go to many others in what is the best pool of Idol semi-finalists I can remember in a decade.

Wertheim out.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Brian Dunkleman
    March 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Sorry Michael — Eileen and I think that the boys far outshone the girls. We think you could make a case for at least 8 boys making the final 12 whereas we were hard pressed to get beyond 4 girls. Oh well. That’s why there’s vanilla and chocolate (sorry about the cliche).

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