Eight chicks perform on 'American Idol'
Eight Chicks Night on "American Idol" starts with judge Ellen DeGeneres, dressed in a gingham checked shirt and tie, sitting in Simon Cowell's lap, nibbling on his ear. Simon calls it quite uncomfortable, speaking for us all. It's even creepier than when Paula used to do it -- and that' s saying a mouthful.
"I didn't know we started," Ellen jokes. Turns out, Ellen has a tin ear for music AND comedy!
Teenager Katie Stevens jumps on and off the key of "Breakaway" like a baby mountain goat leaping from crag to crag. Judge Randy Jackson thinks the song too big for her. Katie's too young to feel the words of the tune, theorizes Ellen The Generous. Katie doesn't know who she is as an artist yet, says judge Kara DioGuardi. "You kind of sucked -- the energy out of it," says Simon.
Siobhan Magnus, this season's Adam Lambert, takes on the Animals's "House of the Rising Sun," starting the tune a capella. Randy and Kara address her this week exactly like they did Lambert last season -- except Ellen The Generous, of course, who wasn't there. It's all "We like that you take risks" here, "We can't wait to see what you're going to do next week" there. Simon, on the other hand, has decided he has it in for Siobhan this season, calling her an odd little thing on her best weeks and, during quieter, more controlled performances like this one, nicking her for having no "wow" moment. For whatever reason this season -- maybe it's because he knows he's leaving at the end, Simon has a different quality about him. This season, he's a sort of cross between a Ferris wheel and a werewolf. Besides, Simon has already told Jay Leno -- yes, Jay Leno -- he wants Crystal Bowersox to win this season, before they've even announced the Top 12 Idolettes. We're done with Simon.
Lacey Brown chirps her way through "The Story," which is a terrific song choice for her and her best performance to date by far. The judges say so.
Katelyn Epperly's hair was the only convincing thing about her limp performance of Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move" -- a performance Simon correctly describes as Request Night at some restaurant at which the wait staff gets up to perform.
Didi Benami does an itty bitty version of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." yet the judges fawn over here, including Simon, who thinks he may have found the "wow" factor missing from Siobhan's performance, after reminiscing about the "mauling" they'd given Didi last week. "Yes indeedy, Didi!" chimes in Ellen The Generous, demonstrating once again why she was such an inspired choice to replace Paula Abdul. Abdul never would have thought of that line in a million years!
Paige Miles, meanwhile, demonstrates how badly the judges mistook her for one of the best competitors this season when she drowns in Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." Simon calls it a Peanut Performance at a Holiday Inn in 1974 -- apparently a big year for sitting in bars at Holiday Inns eating peanuts while watching mediocre singers. Paige plays The Michael Jackson Card, saying she got choked up while singing the song because Michael Jackson had sung it and she was a huge fan. Nice try, Paige. Bye bye, Paige.
Crystal Bowersox dons electric guitar to perform Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" which the judges adore. Her press agent, Simon, gushes she will "one million billion percent" be in the Top 12 when they are unveiled after this week's round of competition, adding that she is this season's One To Beat. Because Crystal has never seen the show, she does not realize this is the Simon Cowell Curse -- he said it of Lambert last season, for instance, and he did not win. So she does not panic.
Lilly Scott's voice is too delicate for Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" -- loud and clear are the standards of country crooning chicks. The judges at this point are so invested in Lilly they are not going to change course now, so instead they praise her for making Patsy Cline "current" and Simon tells her she was terribly brave though maybe it was the teensy weensiest bit too small for the coveted Night's Last Performance slot.
Lisa de Moraes
March 10, 2010; 7:57 AM ET
Categories: "American Idol"
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