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Crystal Bowersox leaves hospital, sings on 'American Idol'

Chicks take the guy slot on "American Idol" tonight.

Crystal Bowersox has risen from her hospital bed to open tonight's show. It was Crystal's illness that caused the producers on Tuesday to swap out the guys and chicks this week. Her wan-ness kinda works for her gospeled up version of "Long as I Can See the Light" and the judges love it -- even Simon Cowell, who says he "mis-underestimated" her last week when he said he could find a singer like her in every subway station; he crowns her the next Kelly Clarkson.

'Idol' contestant Crystal Bowersox sings a gospeled up version of "Long as I Can See the Light." (Frank Micelotta -- Fox)

Haeley Vaughn tries not to smile -- Simon nicked her for too much smiling last week -- while trying to tackle a Miley Cyrus tune -- speaking of toothy grins. It's that even worse than usual Miley Cyrus tune, "The Climb." The judges do not like it; ranging from Simon, who gives his tradmark "complete and utter mess" shout out, to Kara DioGuardi, who tells her to spend the next year strengenthening her muscle.

Lacey Brown, one of this year's more interesting looking Idolettes -- Woody Woodpecker hair and all -- sings "Kiss Me," which was Kara's idea last week. So that would fall under the category of "listening to the judge's advice," right? The judges are split on this performance. Randy Jackson calls it "karaoke" while Ellen The Generous pronounces it "adorable." Kara thinks highly of her own idea and Simon says it's slightly better than last week that she should not have taken Kara's advice.

After getting nicked last week for picking a tune from her grandmother's era, Katie Stevens picks a "contemporary" tune, "Put Your Records On" and yet the judges don't like it because it's, a) not big enough, b) still not young enough, c) not performable enough, d) does not define who she is as an artist enough, e) all of the above. The fact is, Katie may be 17, but she performs old -- like a child beauty pageant competitor.

Didi Benami should be covering Joni Mitchell ballads. Instead she's singing "Lean on Me." Randy, Ellen The Generous, and Kara don't like her song choice. Simon, who has clearly run out of witty British-isms and needs to leave the show -- maybe to launch his own singing talent competition on Fox? -- commends her for "at least continuing the cat theme through the song because that's what it sounded like." Show host Ryan Seacrest has to help Didi keep from weeping. Simon, Simon, don't you know she'll get the sympathy vote now?

Michelle Delamor had just finished getting dressed up for a "Desperately Seeking Susan" party when she remembered they had switched guys and chicks nights on Idol and she was scheduled to perform tonight. She howls her way through "With Arms Wide Open" which leaves the judges no choice but to commend her for her outfit -- and then declare it her best performance of the competition to date.

Lilly Scott wows the judges with her Indie Rocker/Kabuki Actor "Change is Gonna Come" performance. Randy says it's the best of the night which, of course, is just wrong, if only because, unlike Crystal, Lilly did not have to get out of her deathbed to sing. Ellen The Generous, who has already used up her weekly quota of "I forgot I was at a singing competition and was just a fan enjoying a performance," decides that what works for Randy is good enough for her and settles for a what-he-said critique. Kara calls it Lilly's "first moment." Simon goes less bonkers over it but acknowledges it was better than the previous week.

Katelyn Epperly plods her way through "The Scientist" while tickling Liberace's ivories. Ask your mother. Last year, we would have thought her among the best; this year - not so much. The judges are torn too. Randy gives her good marks, but Ellen The Generous says it should be recorded to help new parents put their babies to sleep. Kara warns Katelyn she has to figure out what niche she wants to be typecast in as a performer, and Simon calls it "corny" but "contemporary." Corny + Contemporary = Confusing.

At the outset of each singer's segment, the show runs a taped bit in which each Idolette reveals something personal that would surprise viewers at home. For Paige Miles this is the revelation that she likes to color. With crayons. In a coloring book. She starts by drawing over the lines of drawing of the hippopotamus in the coloring book to make absolutely sure she does not color outside the lines. According to the Idol Web site, Paige is 24 years old. The judges think her's is a just fine performance of a Kara DioGuardi tune -- shouldn't Kara have to recuse herself every time this happens? Does she get royalties every time one of the Idolettes sings one of her tunes? Should the Idolettes be allowed to line Kara's pocket? -- but we're still stuck way back at "I like to color."

Siobhan Magnus is this season's Adam Lambert. She's goofy, she's utterly confident, and she always goes for a home run. Who else in the competition could pull off a run at Aretha Franklin's "Think" while dressed as Minnie Mouse? She slays Randy, Ellen "The Generous," and Kara. "You're such a strange person -- I mean that as a compliment," Simon tells her, noting that her "One Thing About Me" in which she describes vowing to give herself a Mohawk haircut before she's 30, and warming up to sing by holding her nose and making baby noises, makes her far more interesting than "coloring hippos." He says some of her notes were "terrible" but that one glory note was "incredible . . . You are interesting and very, very talented."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  March 4, 2010; 7:01 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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When they ran the recap of all the singers at the end of the show and Siobhan's big glory note played, my cat, who had been dozing on the blanket next to me, opened her eyes wide and looked around in alarmed shock and fear. Luckily, the scary noise finally ended, and she closed her eyes again and went to sleep.

Posted by: rhl123 | March 4, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I only got to See, Didi. Have never seen the show before yesterday. WOW So Gorgeous.

Seriously, so hot, smokin' hot...

It's too bad she can't sing her way out of a bag, OUCH!

I couldn't help but label her with "Classic Hot Girl Syndrome" so hot that no one has ever wanted to tell her the truth, esp. no dude. The truth is no one has ever had the guts to tell her she's not a very good singer b/c she's so hot.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Ellen "the Generous"? Love it -- I will never be able to think of her by another name. Enjoyed your insights -- Katie Stevens as child beauty pageant competitor (I couldn't put my finger on what the problem with is with her -- she certainly stays on key and sings well but I think you're onto it. And the thing with watching that woman outlining a simple line drawing of a hippo in a coloring book was indeed weird. The time may be ripe to bring back Venus Paradise color-by-number sets.

Crystal is great! She's like a young Bonnie Raitt. I like Siobhan, too. And at least most of the rest were more promising than most of the guys.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 4, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I think the girls were much better than the boys this week. That being said, oh boy, Haley needs to go. She is just not good. I'm not digging Bowersox that much. I like Lilly and Siobhan and Katie.

Posted by: MrsKirby | March 4, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: I see Didi as fitting a different type entirely: Emotionally Fragile Beauty, who despite her lovely face, is terribly insecure and doesn't feel entitled at all. Maybe because you haven't been watching you've didn't know she readily bursts into tears -- at her audition she could barely keep it together. And then last night, didn't she say after two years in the mascot costume they finally "let me be a cheerleader" because they probably felt sorry for her? I actually think she's a much better singer than she sounded last night, but lacks the emotional wherewithal to cope with pressure and criticism.

Posted by: owingsmills | March 4, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Still not as impressed by Targone as the judges and they never said why she went to the hospital.

Posted by: ozpunk | March 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I went back and watched Lilly again after the judges raved about her performance, because, while she took on a great song, I just didn't think she sounded that good. On second viewing, it was even worse.

Posted by: faywray | March 4, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone report news anymore? Bowersox was so sick they had to change the entire TV show around. Yet not one reporter has written what she was so ill with and why she was taken to the hospital? Hello?

Posted by: dovelevine | March 5, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps because of this little thing called medical privacy. It's a federal crime to reveal patient information without written permission. Apparently, she hasn't given it. And I say good for her. It's none of our business.

Posted by: SheldonAlexandria | March 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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