American Idol
Season 7: Top 20 Girls

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B- | Grade It Now!
I Bet You Think This Song Choice Is About You

So, I don't want to get anybody overly concerned or anything, but last night Ryan gave the most dead-eyed " American Idol" I have ever seen, and tonight...he's not even wearing a jacket. He's really taking those low ratings the Oscars got pretty hard, huh?

So the girl half of the Top 20 gets to perform tonight -- still doing "'70s classics," and I'd tell you about Amanda Overmyer as she files past the camera but I don't want to ruin it for later. Suffice it to say that I'm now having flashbacks to playing Mortal Kombat in high school. The judges give the guys high marks for last night, so the girls have a lot to live up to.

Carly's up first, and her video package tells us that while we may know she owns a tattoo shop, but we don't know she also tends bar at an Irish pub around the corner. Yeah, we're kind of still at "Irish, tattoos, failed record contract" with everything we know about Carly. We see her pour some Guinness (of course), and she says she's a very homey person, which is borne out by a shot of her making a her hotel room. Couldn't have rented out an actual apartment for the afternoon, American Idol? That just looks cheap, in a "high school video presentation" way. Anyhoo, Carly performs Heart's "Crazy On You," which can't be a huge surprise. The Wilson sisters continue their good-luck streak on this show, as Carly does so much better than that Stevie Wonder abomination last week. If there was ever an object lesson in what I always say about never singing Stevie Wonder songs on this show, Carly would be it. Randy, because he went totally, embarrassingly overboard with the praise last week, has to counterbalance by saying this perfectly good performance tonight was "all right," though he does hit on her difficulty with lower notes. Paula, who has no capacity for shame, doesn't feel the need to overcorrect for last week, and she gives Carly another opening to yammer on about how much she loves Heart. You guys? Carly loves Heart. A lot. Simon still doesn't think we've seen the best of Carly yet, but this was much better than last week. He thinks she'll be the girl to beat once she finally chooses the song that'll give her her big "moment." Hey, so it's kind of weird that Carly has a tattoo of Amy Winehouse on her shoulder, right?

Syesha's next, and she tells us that we may not know that she's acted in commercials before. Oh, Syesha, you underestimate the investigative powers of the internet's most dogged scandal hounds. She then, while talking about her "acting," performs her "baby cry," and it's indeed frighteningly accurate. Syesha, was that you in the Aaliyah song?? Fucking ringer. So before we went to the break, Ryan had told us that Syesha would be singing a Billy Paul song, which means "Me and Mrs. Jones," and I immediately thought this would be a good test to see if Syesha could deliver something cool and sultry rather than just blasting out notes all over the place. And seriously, she sounds so much prettier this way. Though -- pet peeve alert -- she changes the lyrics to "Me and Mr. Jones," just so we don't start thinking she's a big lez or anything. It's a classic song and it's bigger than you, me, and Syesha put together. I think it can stand up to a female performing it without gender-appropriately tweaking the lyrics. I mean, the song is about having an affair with a married lady (or gentleman, in Syesha's case), and we're all grown up enough to know that Syesha isn't doing that, right? Like I said: pet peeve. Randy didn't like the performance for the very reason that I did like it: she didn't belt. LOUD! Randy wants LOUD! Man, I really hope Simon contradicts him, because he -- and Paula too -- essentially just told her to spend the rest of the season screaming her head off, and that's not going to be fun. Simon doesn't like it because girls shouldn't sing boys songs. Of for Pete's... Anyway, everybody seems to be evening out this week, with the people who got praised last week getting knocked down and some of the people who got slammed last week redeeming themselves. Back to the middle of the pack for Syesha.

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American Idol




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