"What a difference a day made,
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.......
There's a rainbow before me.
Skies above can't be stormy
Since that moment of bliss,...
And the dif'rence is you."
That's the song I was humming today as I drove through the slush and cold, doing my early morning errands. I looked forward to the moment when I could get back to the old keyboard and write my recap of the girls' performances. It had been a night of "such bliss." Except for a few minor flaws, the girls had sparkled and thrilled with each performance.
Ryan begins the introduction by telling us there are 31 million viewers. He is looking cool in a black turtleneck. He introduces the ladies and they, as usual, are dressed to please.
First up was Jordin Sparks, who informed us that, at one time, she wanted to be a football player. Looking very pretty in jeans and layered top, she belted out "Heartbreaker," a Pat Benatar number. Her vocals were powerful except a few places. She demonstrated a lot of movement but, at times, I felt she either lost her energy or didn't quite know what she should do next. Randy was thrilled with her efforts. Paula felt she was exploding into her own artistry. Simon felt it was a bit manic and "shrieky," but feels sure she will be here next week.
Ryan then had a chat with Gina and Sabrina. Sabrina shared the view that the girls are feeding off each others' energy. Gina said that tonight they are nervous, of course, because of what is at stake.
Revealing that she had once been the anchor for a high school radio show, Sabrina was up next. Her stylists have upped the Barbra Streisand look. The long curls took me back to the seventies and the smile was stunning. Dressed in a strapless, animal print dress and plenty of bling, she was hot! I expected Tarzan to come yodeling out of the dawg pound. It would have made for great TV. Sabrina demonstrated her big voice and control over the big notes, but the song, "Don't Let It Go," by En Vogue, was not a favorite of mine. Randy thought the performance was solid. Paula commented on her amazing instrument. Simon was not quite so pleased. He felt the performance was robotic and lacked emotion but conceded that she belongs in the top twelve.
Antonella surprised us with the fact that she had been a serious violin student prior to college. She wore a beautiful outfit with very long boots and a gorgeous smile. I finally see the beauty that others have mentioned. Her voice was low and sultry and it was the first time I actually liked her sound. The song, "Put Your Records On," by Corinne Bailey Rae, was young and I felt it suited her. Unfortunately, she is not in the same league vocally as several of the other girls, so I am not expecting her to survive the cut. Randy thought the ending was nice and that she is a better singer than she shows. Paula liked the song choice but felt there is more magic in her high notes. Simon was brutally frank and told her that she has gone as far as she can go in this competition. He feels that given the bad press, she has handled it well.
Haley Scarnato (in case Simon forgets again) had been a gymnast until her body gave out. She does a slightly better job than Antonella, singing "If My Heart Had Wings" by Faith Hill. Her high notes are lovely and she looks very pretty in red. Randy thought it was cool but no Yo! Paula felt she sang it well and thinks the performance showed the kind of artist she is. Simon thought it was a horrible performance because it was unmemorable. He couldn't even remember her name.
Looking classy, as usual, in a black and silver, spaghetti strapped dress, Stephanie sings "Sweet Thing" By Chaka Khan. It is a good performance with one minor misstep in the middle. Randy gives her an A for a valiant effort but thinks it's just okay. Paula thinks that she was darn near flawless and had a good command of the stage. She also thinks that Stephanie fell a little behind the music. It must be hard learning to sing with a live band. Simon feels she is one of the best contestants but needs to start making the song her own.
Confessing her big fear of animals, Lakisha asks and gets a big hug from Ryan prior to going on stage. She belts out "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston and, for once, nobody is making negative comparisons...what a voice! She finishes the performance with a lovely soft ending. I am thrilled! And do my eyes deceive me? Has LaKisha lost weight? She sure looks good in a black shirt style dress and her hairstyle is lovely. Randy felt it was a great performance. Paula is sure she will stay and work on becoming the next American Idol. Simon compliments her on the passion, talent and believability of the performance. She flashes him a beautiful smile when he adds "And tonight you are beautiful!" We hear her mom shout, "That's my baby!" Lakisha has to shush the mom and aunt because they are understandably excited for their girl.
A pillow fight ensues between Ryan and the girls after this performance. The other contestants must be feeling a tad nervous about their chances.
Next up is Gina Glocksen, with her lucky troll, pickle and pillow. She finally looks the part of the rocker girl we feel she is. Black tights, fishnet gloves and a black/grey dress give our rocker an edgy style. She's hot! She belts out "Call Me When You're Sober" by Evanescence, but is a little tamer than some rock stars. Randy is happy that she is finally showing who she is. Paula advises her not to over sing. Simon hopes she makes it through because she is a breath of fresh air. Gina remembers to thank the band.
Last up is Melinda. No contestant has the unenviable task of following her tonight. Melinda is apparently superstitious and tries to employ equal opportunity to dispel any bad luck she might encounter. She looks great in a white, grey and black print dress. Singing "I'm a Woman," she brings power, timing and great stage use to the performance. Wow! This girl should already be doing Vegas! Where has she been? Randy thinks she is the hottest, a consummate pro ready to make records. Paula thinks her talent is phenomenal. As for Simon, you can tell he adores this woman. He calls her a little tiger and loves the fact that she is enjoying it.
Thus the show ends. The girls continue to surpass my expectations and some leave me speechless. After tonight's results show we will really get down to business.