Wow, the girls showed why they deserve to be there: Great start and a great ending with some goodies in-between. I've changed my mind and truly think a girl will take the title this year. One other note, before I get started -- it was nice to see Ryan and Simon being somewhat nice to each other. Okay, here goes:
Stephanie Edwards - song: "How Come You Don't Call Me" - She started the show great by giving us a smooth, jazzy version of this song and frankly she wowed me. The judges' take: Randy thought she had some pitch problems but also thought it was unbelievable, Paula thinks she is a star, and Simon thought she was a million times better than the guys.
Amy Krebs - song: "I Can't Make You Love Me" - Well, she was totally right with this very watered down version...off-key and mostly boring. The judges' take: Randy said middle of the road, Paula agreed with Randy, and Simon said forgettable.
Leslie Hunt - song: "Natural Woman" - I have heard better karaoke singers sing this. She had a few rough notes and tried to give us some personality, but it was just average overall. The judges' take: Randy said it was too big for her, Paula said great job (huh?), and Simon said she looked embarrassed while singing it.
Sabrina Sloan - song: "Never Loved a Man The Way That I Love You"- A classic Aretha Franklin song, but I thought she oversang it a bit. She can sing but seemed a little sharp on some of those notes. The judges' take: Randy thought it was hot, Paula gave her a standing ovation, and Simon thought it was the best performance so far.
Antonella Barba - song: "Don't Want To Miss A Thing" - Right away my thoughts were, "Why is she going to attempt an Aerosmith song? This is not a good idea." And I was right. She was pretty bad. It seemed like she just could not find the right key to sing in. The judges' take: Randy said pitchy and bland, Paula mentioned the pitch problems, and Simon said it did not work for her at all.
Jordin Sparks - song: "Gimme One Reason" - wrong choice of song but, oh, does this girl have the pipes and a cute personality to boot. I think, once she finds her niche, she will blow everyone away. The judges' take: Randy said challenge yourself; Paula thought it was the right song (wrong Paula) and Simon thought she has a good voice.
Nicole Tranquillo - song: "Stay" - All I wanted to do was go. She tried to give us personality but this was definitely the wrong song. Her voice is not bad but she does not stand out as others do. The judges' take: Randy said it did not work for him, Paula liked it and Simon said it was kind of aggressive and fake.
Haley Scarnato - song: "It's All Coming Back to Me" - Celine Dion she isn't. Overall, I thought it was pleasant, but a little too big of a song for her...not powerful enough. The judges' take: Randy said just okay, Paula said nice job, and Simon said she sounded old.
Melinda Doolittle - song: "Since You Been Gone" - Another Aretha Franklin classic but she pulled it off. She has lots of personality and confidence and she is definitely a frontrunner for me. The judges' take: Randy thought it was "Da Bomb", Paula thinks she is a frontrunner, and Simon said incredible.
Alaina Alexander - song: "Brass in Pocket" - Bad, bad choice of song for her. She tried to make this rock song too pop-oriented and the pitch was really bad. The judges' take: Randy said not great, Paula said she did not make it her own, and Simon thought it was a real mess.
Gina Glocksen - song: "All By Myself" - I have mixed emotions about this girl. She is a good singer and I thought she did the song well, but overall I just can't warm up to her. The judges' take: Randy said he loved it, Paula thought it was a good song choice, and Simon said she was off on the big note.
Lakisha Jones - song: "And I'm Telling You, I'm Not Going" - This girl blew everyone out of the park. It was a great song choice and, honestly, she is one to beat this season. AWESOME is not a big enough word to describe how great she was. The judges' take: Randy loved it big time, Paula said she was right where she belongs, and Simon said she was in a different league and 23 people could book their tickets home. I so agree!