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March 9, 2011



Kristen the Yellow Lab and I are having two for one! After all, it's Ladies Night on American Idol. What better way to celebrate than in our best finery, quaffing a cocktail or two as we listen to lounge singers  fabulous female vocalists perform for a spot in the Top 12?
(We get the Steven Tyler seal of approval.)
Ryan tells us that THIS is American Idol, and the theme song, which sounds even more hyperactive this season, twangs into gear.  Then, a voice, which bears a frightening resemblance to God in the DeMille classic "The Ten Commandments," demands that we give it up for our judges.  The three take the walk of awkwardness to their chairs.

 Jennifer glows and glistens and calls the girls special.  Randy implies we need to take this voting business very seriously, America.  After all, we are building the American Idol Top 12! Steven mumbles something about it being a full moon. Or maybe he wanted to give the audience a full moon. Kristen and I can't be too sure.
At any rate, we've got a deadline to meet, so it's time to meet the ladies!

First up is Valerie Brown of Josie and The Pussycats, aka Ty-Tanisha!!

To open the show, she has selected Rhinanna's "Only Girl In The World." This song has such a huge vocal that it could either be a show-stopper or a dud. From the first note, it's the latter.  She's off-key and obviously nervous. Steven tells her that she sang the song and the song sang her. (Um...??) JLo mentions the nerves, but feels she brought it at the end.  Randy is not pleased. "Notes were sharp. You didn't bring anything special." Ty was understandably nervous, but Kristen can only give her 1 "Thanks for playing" puppy sweater. Farewell lovely Ty. We hardly knew ye.

Up next? Why, it's Chutney from the Curtis Comic Strip, also known as Naima!

She has chosen "Summertime" from Gerswhin's Porgy and Bess. What an original idea!

Fortunately, she does not attempt to mimic Fantasia's legendary barefoot moment .  Instead, Naima goes for a cool, jazzy version that leaves Kristen and I wanting more. Steven compares her to Ella Fitzgerald, Jlo calls her an exotic flower, but Randy is a bit put out. He explains to Naima that SOMEONE (who rhymes with skanktasia) annihilated the song on the Idol stage, rendering it untouchable.
Kristen gives Naima 3 fake doggy dreads in honor of performance as well as her hair style.

Oh, it's Meredith Viera aka:  Kendra.

Fact: Kristen and I don't care for her. Nothing personal. We just find her generic and uninteresting. She's performing Christina Aguilara's "Impossible" while wearing leather pants. The tight-fitting pants are the riskiest thing she's done so far. She hits the notes beautifully, but it's all a huge "so what?" for us.  At best, she's season 5's Melissa McGhee. We'll leave it at that and just say the judges called her amazing and hot. And since the interwebberies adore her, we'll give her the benefit of the doubt by giving her 2 toy squeaky cars. Hopefully, she'll take the hint and drive one back home.

Hey, it's  the Ghost Whisper! Actually, it's quirky Rachel!

Kristen and I have been looking forward to our lab-like Rachel for weeks! She has chosen Fionna Apple's "Criminal." Brilliant choice!  It's never been done on Idol before and is unique to suit her personality and style. She enters the stage in a cape which she promptly removes. Very Ga-ga-ish! This is going to be excellent. Except it's not. In fact, it's just awful! Her vocals are so bad, that nothing can redeem this performance. Kristen has a sad!
 Steven says it's a little too broadway for him.  Jlo says this is not the artist she wanted to see. (Preferably, the artist JLo was hoping to see could sing?) Randy's fed up. He tells her it didn't work. In fact, he didn't even know what it was. Not great.  Rachel looks like she might cry, but Kristen and I have no sympathy. Rachel is 
classically trained, so the vocals should have been there. Kristen gives her a farewell drink to drown her sorrows.

And now for the Jessica Alba, aka Karen, aka KRod! 

She has opted to sing Mariah's "Hero," performing half of it in Spanish. She is wearing a lovely turquoise gown.   Kristen and I are beginning to feel as if we're watching the wrong channel. Did we accidentally tune into the Lawrence Welk show with a room full of champagne ladies. Enough with the dreary ballads, ladies!

 It's vocally sound, and the addition of the Spanish is a wise move. JLo got goosebumps.  Randy thought the Spanish part was better than the English. Per his usual, Steven loved it and thinks she's beautiful. (New drinking game. Every time Steven says Beautiful, take a shot!) Kristen gives her 3 darling squeaky shoes to go with her darling looks and personality. (Quit with the ballads, though, Karen! Upbeat! Upbeat! Upbeat!)

Up next is Nia Vardalos aka  Lauren Turner!
Lauren is singing Etta James "Seven Day Fool." It's simply awesome. Kristen and I love her rich, jazzy vocals and her performance style, which is infused with just the right amount of sass. Lauren Turner is our new beloved!!! Randy calls it Amy Winehouse meets Florence and the machine. Steven says it was Lauren Turner meets Lauren Turner. (Um...???) JLo loved it, but felt she was holding back. Kristen gives her 3.5 cool squeaky speed boats to  match her wild-ride performance style.

It's the Divine Miss Ross aka Ashton Jones! 
Ashton has opted for Monica's "Love Over Me." She works the stage very well and plays to the camera. The song, though, is not going to win any love with an Idol audience. She needs to work that big voice ala Jacob. Steven calls her Jonesy and says she has the confidence of a queen. Jlo is also all about the confidence.  Randy, though, is about song choice. We agree. Kristen says, "Diva it up, girlfriend!" For having the sass and the vocals, Kristen gives her 3 glam collars to go with her divalicious 'tude. But, we want better, bigger songs from her in the future.

It's Ballet Barbie aka Julie!
Julie has chosen Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway." Never a wise move to sing a former Idols' hits, as the comparisons will never be in your favor. Here, there is no comparison. This is pitchy, weak and lacking in nuance.  Julie knows she is doing poorly and seems to give up towards the end. She simply got swallowed up by the big stage. The judges agree that the song was just too big for her. Kristen gives her 1.5 adorable squeaky purses to use to carry her things home. Sorry, Julie. You're young and pretty, and talented. Don't give up!

Why, it's Season 6 Haley Scranoto! Actually, it's this season's Haley. Same penchant for exposing the legs.

Haley sings "Fallin'" by Alicia Keyes. Kristen and I believe Simon wanted this song banned from AI at one point. We think he would have banned Haley's version for sure. She performs vocal tricks that aren't necessarily attractive nor do they contribute to the song. Randy tells her it didn't do anything for her. This causes Haley to give the big-girl pout.  Steven falls for it and tells her he heard lots of colors in her voice. (Flashbacks, Steven?)  Jennifer agrees and tells Haley she belongs here. Kristen gives her 2.5 Brittney squeak toys because she fears Haley is going down the path of under-dressing.

It's the Fem Bot aka  Thia!

Thia selected "Out Here On My Own" from Fame. She begins the song a capella, which most definitely takes guts and shows off her musicality. However, the girl has the emotions of a wet sock. No star power, just a pageanted, stage-parented child with a very good voice. The judges disagree. Steven says a person's pitch can be so perfect, it doesn't matter what song they sing. That was beautiful!  *Drink!* Jlo says it was special. Randy insists she can sing like Michael Jackson. Kristen gives her 3 robot doggies to play with. Maybe they'll warm her up.

Hey, it's DJ from Full House! Actually, it's  Lauren Alaina.
 In direct contrast to Thia, Lauren bounces out onto the stage with her 6-gun smile a'blazing and her big old voice a belting.  She is singing "Turn On the Radio" by Reba McIntire. Make no mistake. Lauren is just as pageanted and stage-parented as Thia. But, she is that child whose personality is so big, a small, high school stage could not contain her.  JLo loves her and calls her vocals effortless. Randy compares her to a cross between Kelly and Carrie.  Steven professes his love for her, but does not call her beautiful. Therefore, Kristen and I can't drink. Lauren also introduces us to "Peaches" (her nickname for Ryan Seacrest.) Kristen gives this yellow lab of a girl a 3.5 darling bunny toys in keeping with her darling bunny-girlishness. But, even Kristen, a yellow lab herself, acknowledges that bouncy happy personalities such as her own can grow wearisome.  Tone it down just a tad, Lauren! No need to go around wagging your tail and licking everyone in sight. (Oh wait. That would be Kristen.)

Finally, it's The Donald's wife, Melania, aka Pia.
The show closes with the antithesis of Lauren A..  Pia is cool, controlled, poised, and deeply serious.  She performs the Pretenders "I'll Stand By You" as if dressed to audition for the role of  Donald Trump's newest trophy wife. Like Thia, she has incredible vocal prowess. Unlike Thia, she also emotes. But, Pia, to Kristen and myself, is just a grown-up pageant bot. She is Kat McPhee part II. To separate herself from the Lawrence Welk champagne ladies crowd, she is going to have to pull a McPhee and pick a current, unexpected song rather than a series of big-voiced ballads each week. (Psst. Pia. Celine Dion hasn't had a hit in a decade.) The judges go ga-ga, goo-goo.  We're sure Steven called her beautiful at some point, so we're drinking. And Pia stands cooly, accepting her praise. Kristen gives Pia. 4 diamond-encrusted bones in keeping with her Ivanka-ish persona.

And that's all she wrote!

Kristen's rankings:

Chris Judd (Not a solitary chance in Gigli)

Diddy (Crazy bad)

Marc Anthony (might get a second chance due to judge love)

Ben Affleck (Top of the pack)
Lauren A.
Lauren T.

Oh hey! Guess who did these recaps late? Kristen. Therefore, no results show recap this week. Instead, meet your Top 13:

Recognize them? The boys: Casey, Scotty, James, Jacob, Stefano, Paul. The girls: Pia, Thia, Lauren A., Karen, Naima, Ashton, Haley.

Top 13 perform Wednesday, March 9 at 8! Results show with guest performer ADAM LAMBERT Thursday, March 10 at 8. Be there!

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