As Crystal tweeted just minutes before the show, her "'beetus" was under control and she and the rest of the top girls were ready to perform. And with that, Crystal kicked off the show and revealed that she has a twin brother named Carl. I was hoping to see a dreadlocked boy with a pierced lip/chin, but Carl is "kind of a square," as Crystal shared with the 30 (not 3) million viewers. Crystal sang a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, and it was one I wasn't too familiar with, but I didn't have to be to hear that Crystal must be feeling better. Randy, who was wearing a heart on his sweater instead of his sleeve, got all philosophical about the truth but then said "that girl is hot." Simon thought Crystal had a moment just like Kelly Clarkson did. Was it "a moment like this?" Crystal probably didn't understand his compliment because she's never seen Idol.
Haeley Vaughn makes headbands and hair accessories, which explains why there's a different large flower attached to her head each week. She tries to not smile, but the Colorado cheerleader can't lose her pep. Going from The Beatles to Miley Cyrus, Haeley sang "The Climb" without her guitar. Of course Katie was the only girl in the balcony who was mouthing every word. An ascot-wearing Ellen (thanks for the trend, Michael Johns!) thought Haeley was, you guessed it, "adorable," but she didn't think Haeley connected with the song. Although Simon thought "The Climb" was a cute song for a cute girl, he thinks she, ironically, fell. Despite hearing that, Haeley still smiled.
Lacey Brown said that nerves got the best of her last week. Kara DioGuardi suggested that Lacey should sing Sixpence None the Richer, and Lacey has decided to do just that this week with "Kiss Me." Aww this song reminds me of rom coms from the late nineties, right before all of the kids at prom manage to all know the same choreographed dance to a Fatboy Slim song. Randy thought the performance was too karaoke, Kara and Simon saw improvement, and Ellen called her..."adorable." The general consensus from all of the judges is that although Lacey showed improvement, she needs to step it up some more and show what kind of artist she is.
Katie Stevens can say "Give Me A Kiss" in six languages. She promises that she is a good girl and doesn't want America to get the wrong idea about her. Katie said her pre-show ritual is to yell and jump like Janet McNamara, the first auditioner in Boston this season. I couldn't tell if Katie was being facetious or not, but either way, I loved that remark. Katie took the judges' advice and went with a younger song, "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. This was Megan Joy's best performance last year. Katie got to be a little more playful in this song than with "Feeling Good," but the judges still want her to come across as even younger. Ryan asked her which young artists she likes and Katie didn't answer. Don't be shy Katie! I saw you mouthing "The Climb!"
Didi Benami was a high school mascot for two years. She should do an interview in her costume just like Taylor Hicks did in his bunny suit. Then Didi said she warms up by "meowing." Better yet, she should walk around in her bear costume and meow. Didi sang Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" as Rickey Minor played the cello. Her goal was to connect with people and bring up her star meter, but the judges felt that she did not pick a song that showed off her singer/songwriter vibe. In fact, Didi has yet to play her guitar on the live shows. After Simon critiqued her performance, the emotional Didi became choked up and Ryan read her number with his arm around her.
Michelle Delamor is a children's choir director who prays before every show. This week, Michelle took the judges' advice and became less predictable. When I heard she was singing Creed's "With Arms Wide Open," I didn't know what to make of it. Michelle took the stage wearing the opposite of fingerless gloves. I guess that's the top half of Todrick's hand wear. The judges liked her voice, they thought she looked hot, and Kara said this was her favorite performance of Michelle's to date. Michelle shed tears of joy and relief.
Lilly Scott can play nearly every instrument. She named the instruments that she plays, and I haven't heard of half of them. I would love to see her sing while playing the recorder. Lilly played the 12-string guitar as she sang "A Change Is Gonna Come," a song that Adam Lambert performed in the Season 8 finale. She's a very consistent performer and the judges love how unique she is. Ellen said she felt just like she was a fan watching in her seat, and said it was by far the best performance of the night. Kara told Lilly, "You're gonna change the game."
Ryan interviewed Katelyn Epperly and she said her performance is "not going to be super epic or anything." That's not the way to market yourself, Katelyn! Before making it on Idol, she was studying to become a sound recording engineer. Katelyn became the first Season 9 contestant to play the piano, and what a beautiful piano it was! They wheeled out this white piano with a white bench and Katelyn looked summery in her dress and her hair was under control. I also wonder how difficult it is to play the piano in wedges. She gave an intimate performance of "The Scientist" by Coldplay, and the judges liked it and like her, but they thought it was a little too slow.
Paige Miles must fit in well with her preschoolers, because her pre-show ritual is to color with crayons and markers. Continuing on her rock 'n soul route, Paige sang "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson. This is a great Kelly song (as are all Kelly songs, in my opinion) but you know how I feel about contestants singing songs by successful Idols. Paige changed up the song a little bit, but you could still tell what song it was. Kara, who wrote that song, thought Paige missed the connection and shouldn't have been so smiley while singing it. I think being angsty would be more appropriate if she sang a really slow acoustic version of "Walk Away." In general, the judges liked the performance but they think she needs to pick songs that show off her voice better.
The night ended with Siobhan Magnus. This "funny little thing" used to have a mohawk, she discussed the difficulties of shaving your own head, and she showed off her lip trick warm-ups. The "funny little thing" description is a great fit. Siobhan sang "the meaty" song "Think" by Aretha Franklin. Normally I wouldn't associate Aretha with a formerly mohawked band member, but Siobhan worked it out and hit a crazy note. You could hear Ellen cheering and I almost thought she was going to break into her Ellen Show "Cacaws." Ellen made an awesome comparison of Siobhan to a snuggie and Simon called her "such a strange person" as a compliment, and Siobhan said she gets that a lot. The judges like the interesting, unique singer and Siobhan said she enjoyed singing that wild note.
Next, two guys and two girls will be sent home, and Danny Gokey performs!