“American “Idol” top 12 girls performed for America’s vote Wednesday night. Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were there to offer their critiques. Two of the girls sang the same Adele song, and a few more were compared to Adele during the judges’ comments.
Here’s what happened:
Chelsea Sorrell kicked things off with former “Idol” champ Carrie Underwood’s hit “Cowboy Casanova.” Based on this performance, Chelsea probably won’t match Carrie’s multi-platinum success. She can growl, but Chelsea had a few pitch problems. Randy didn’t think it was a good song choice and encouraged Chelsea to find her own voice apart from Carrie Underwood songs. Jennifer felt Chelsea felt nasally on this song. Steven told Chelsea to watch the way she phrased the song.
Mobile DJ Erika Van Pelt chose Heart’s power ballad “What About Love” for her first live performance. She came off confident and totally in control of her voice throughout the song. Steven said she nailed it, and Jennifer called Erika one of their power voices. She felt like Erika could have taken the performance a little further. Randy got an Adele vibe from Erika, and he liked it.
Jen Hirsh sang Adele’s “One and Only,” and it may have been a little too ambitious. She hit all the right notes, but Jen didn’t match Adele’s vocal intensity until the end of the performance. Jennifer thought it was beautiful, and Steven said Jen has what it takes. Randy said Jen is one of the best singers in the competition.
High school cheerleader Brielle Von Hugel started her performance of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” sitting on the stage surrounded by the top 13 guys. She then got up to work the stage for the rest of the number. Steven said Brielle has a great sense of the blues, and Jennifer called her a true performer. Randy said Brielle surprised her with a Janis Joplin swagger.
Hallie Day sang “Feeling Good,” which has been quite a popular “Idol” song choice in years past thanks to Michael Buble’s version. Hallie hit some powerful notes, but she came off a little robotic with this performance. Jennifer thought Hallie looked like a star and mostly gained control. Steven liked Hallie’s old-timey sounding voice, and Randy wasn’t sure where Hallie would fit in today’s pop world. He thought she might appeal to some of Adele’s fans.
Skylar Laine chose to sing Face’s “Stay with Me,” a song country star Miranda Lambert has covered in her shows in the past few years. Skylar worked the stage and showed a lot of attitude throughout the performance. She finished it off with a big high note at the end. Randy called her the rockin’ country girl and said he loved her energy. Jennifer said, “It’s like Tina Turner went country.” Steven said she was on fire and encouraged her to keep it up.
Baylie Brown looked beautiful singing Lonestar’s “Amazed,” but her notes fell very flat from the very beginning of the song. Steven said he’d heard her sing better, and Jennifer didn’t feel like she had total control. Randy said it was pitchy. Baylie blamed her pitch problems on nerves.
Hollie Cavanagh sang Christina Aguilera’s song “Reflection” from the Disney film “Mulan,” and she nailed it. Hollie channeled Christina and called to mind the late Whitney Houston as well. Steven thought it was just beautiful, and he hopes to see her let her hair down next time. Jennifer thinks Hollie could win the entire competition, and Randy said she was a judges’ favorite.
Haley Johnsen hoped to show off her fearless side singing Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” It was a bold song choice, but Haley was all over the place vocally with the performance. Jennifer thought Haley had skill and soul in her voice, and Steven said she pulled it through. Randy was the voice of reason and said the performance was a nightmare instead of a sweet dream.
Shannon Magrane sang the gospel song “Go Light Your World’ by Kathy Troccoli with conviction, but the beginning was a little shaky. Randy said she came out swinging with this one and showed a lot of promise. Jennifer liked the passion in Shannon’s voice, and Steven liked it when she took it up a notch towards the end.
Jessica Sanchez has been on vocal rest this week, so she didn’t have much time to rehearse her song, “Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls.” The first part of the song was too low for her, but she started to shine on the chorus. The judges ended up giving her a standing ovation. Randy said Jessica was one of the best singers in the entire competition. Jennifer said she had “swag” and “attitude.” Steven thought her voice was “perfect.”
Elise Testone was the second contestant to sing Adele’s “One and Only.” She started it off playing piano for the first part, but finished it standing up. She put her own bluesy spin on the vocal performance. Steven said she blew it out of the water, and Jennifer loved the different tone of Elise’s voice. Randy said Elise is a force to be reckoned with.
The top five girls and top five guys according to America’s vote will be revealed on Thursday’s “Idol” results show. The judges will also keep a few other contestants alive with their wild card picks too. It all starts at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox.