Well, Erin, I’m beginning to think these girls aren’t listening to me. Did I not say, just last week, not to sing Whitney, Celine, Mariah or Linda? Didn’t I make it abundantly clear that if you sing Queen you’re dead to me? Asia’h, Syesha, Carly, Kady… Go stand in the corner. Amanda, go to the head of the class, you are the new teacher’s pet because you rocked on that Joan Jett song I told you to sing. Good girl! Brooke, you get three gold stars. You other two, do your homework. Perhaps if I talk to the contestants directly…
Oh Kathy, they are a younger generation with minds of their own. They pay no heed to the older, wiser folks who have sacrificed perfectly good date nights to watch this show. That is their folly. Until someone creates an invention that allows us to shake some sensibility into the contestants through the TV, our protests and suggestions will be ignored.
Asia’h Epperson (TV Guide power ranking #6/last week #4)
Most embarrassing moment: Was a roller-skating extra in a movie and ran into some lighting equipment.
Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Whitney Houston)
Kathy: Oh Asia’h honey. You did fine, but it was Whitney. Not only that, but it was Whitney at her freshest; before Bobby Brown. Before crack and reality TV and doodie bubbles and rehab. Whitney when she was just Cissy’s little girl and Dionne’s niece. You set yourself up to fail. We won’t even talk about the ill-fitting ugly pants. Still love you, but if you make the cut tonight you’re going to have to start bringing it.
Erin: Asia’h provides us with the obligatory Whitney song that appears in every other episode of “Idol.” She sounded like Whitney, but I was too distracted by the pants. This is further proof that the girl is not making any close friends behind the scenes. Friends don’t let friends go on national TV with a camel toe.
Kady Malloy (TV Guide power ranking #8/last week #8)
Most embarrassing moment: Sang an Xtina song at a talent show, screwed it up, then fell.
Song: “Who Wants To Live Forever” (Queen)
Kathy: You sang Queen. I’m not talking to you. You’re doomed to doing Britney imitations at county fairs.
Erin: Her embarrassing moment now seems a Sisyphean challenge as she is doomed to sing one ballad after another on “American Idol” and fall, but in a metaphorical sense. I found her uninteresting. Honestly, if she is going to go with Queen, she should have spiced it up with “Radio Gaga” or “Flash’s Theme.”
By the way, The banter between Ryan and Simon is really evil this year. I predict a knife fight by the time we get to the top six.
Amanda Overmyer (TV Guide power ranking #7/last week #7)
Most embarrassing moment: Burning down her family’s deck and pool. She seemed to be reminiscing her pyro days fondly.
Song: “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (Joan Jett)
Kathy: See what the right song choice can do for a girl? This was fantastic. So great, in fact that I nearly forgot the Cruella de Vil debacle from last week. This was the Mandy we know and love. You are going to have to lighten up a bit and smile though. You’re playing to America here. You’ve already won over me and Erin but not everyone appreciates dark and cynical the way we do. You probably don’t have enough range to take you super far but hopefully you sealed a spot in the top 12 with this perf.
Erin: Ladies and gentlemen, our girl is back! Tough as nails and rocking hard, Amanda brings down the house with Joan Jett. She’s in her element and provides my favorite perf of the night. She’s got an upper lip snarl, good hair, cool clothes and an amazing song choice on her side. Even Simon adored her. Oh Amanda, I missed you. Thank you so much for this.
Carly Smithson (TV Guide power ranking #2/last week #6)
Most embarrassing moment: Got her leg stuck in a railing
Song: “I Drove All Night” (Roy Orbison recorded it first, Cyndi Lauper made it famous in the ‘80s, then Celine ruined it later)
Kathy: Let’s face it Carly, you’ve got the best voice in the competition, always in tune, always in pitch. And your song choices aren’t awful. But you’ve got to start wowing the crowd. You remind me of Carrie Underwood, who delivered reliably solid, but dull performances and was never in danger of being voted off. Carrie waited until about the top 7 or 8 to floor us with that Heart song and really lay claim to the prize. Don’t wait that long, you’ve got more competition than she did.
Erin: There can be no ‘80s night without the divine Miss Cyndi, and with the encouragement of a MILF mom on the sidelines, Carly took to the stage singing “Drove All Night” and nailed it. I enjoyed her performance a great deal, but Simon was a bit harsh on this one. I think this is further proof that Simon just might be dead inside. Check out his eyes. They are cold and soulless, like those in a Build-a-Bear bin. He needs take a big gulp of Paula’s Coke and chill out.
Kristy Lee Cook (TV Guide power ranking #5/last week #2)
Most embarrassing moment: Suffered from a canine psychosis.
Song: “Faithfully” (Journey)
Kathy: Kristy, you’re about as scintillating as a city council meeting. Were you just trying to suck up to Randy with this choice? I think you succeeded there but it didn’t work for me. Picking songs from bands is unwise in general, but if you’re a girl you shouldn’t pick a band led by a male singer with a big, big voice that you can’t emulate. Also, what happened trying country songs? I thought we had agreed to try that.
Erin: When Paula doles out the “pretty” comments, it’s pretty much the kiss of death. I was bored to tears. Her country version of the “Journey” song might have won her points with Randy, but it did little to endear me to her. It sounded like a throw away song you hear in any romantic comedy when the main characters reflect on their loneliness.
Ramiele Malubay (TV Guide power ranking #3/last week #1)
Most embarrassing moment: Rode bike to crush’s house, left him a picture, then spied on him while he and his mom laughed at her picture. Ouch.
Song: “Against All Odds” (Phil Collins)
Kathy: A decade of great artists, fun girl groups and daring female solo stars and you pick Phil freakin’ Collins? Why? And this song?! You’re young, you’re fun, you’re adorable. You have a big voice. Shape up before it’s too late.
Erin: Yes folks, it’s another depressing Phil Collins song. He’s really giving Whitney a run for her money this year on “Idol.” Hey kids, the man did have a few upbeat numbers over his career. Have these contestants never listened to “Sussudio”? Or did Patrick Bateman ruin it for everyone? Ram’s perf was fine, but it sounded like she was holding back. However, her after-performance convo was adorable. So she wins points from me.
At this point in the evening something bizarre was going on with the judges. Simon and Paula got all cozy, then Simon had an uncontrollable giggle fit and everything nearly went to hell. What happened during the commercial break? Did Paula finally share whatever’s in that coke cup? Did David Hernandez come out and give folks in the crowd lap dances? We’ll never know.
Brooke White (TV Guide power ranking #1/last week #5)
Most embarrassing moment: A church story. Go figure. She ran up to a man she thought was her father and hugged him and it turned out not to be her father.
Kathy: That actually happened to me once, not at church but at the school carnival and the man I hugged was the school principal, in costume. It was quite embarrassing, but I was 10; I got over it. Many more embarrassing moments followed. Still, Brooke and I are kindred spirits in a way.
Song: “Love i
s a Battlefield” (Pat Benatar)
Kathy: Wow. Just wow. I loved everything about this. You took Pat Benatar and slowed it down and made it your own. It was exactly like what David Cook did last night only flipped. How Randy could say “it was good but you did nothing with it” is beyond me. But Brooke, sweetie, next week stand up and move around a bit. With all the sitting I’m starting to wonder if you have a bum knee or something.
Erin: To this day, if you get my sister and I together anywhere within earshot of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” we bust out a mean rendition of the taxi dancer routine from the video. Just ask any of the clerks at the Bed, Bath & Beyond in the Beverly Center. As Brooke sat on the edge of the stage singing her sappy, spineless version of the song, she killed my childhood. It lacked the passion and edge that made me shimmy my shoulders in defiance against imaginary pimps. The judges seemed to like it, but they have never pretended to liberate headband-wearing hookers to freedom. Brooke sucked the battle out of the “Battlefield.”
Kathy: See, folks, sometimes Erin and I disagree but we remain BFF. That’s how friendship works. Perhaps Ryan and Simon should give it a try. I also have fond memories of Ms. Benatar, and that song in particular. But seeing as how I am much, much older than Erin, my memories involve public fun of the variety that’s not quite as innocent as dancing with a sibling in a sweet-smelling mall store. And therein lies the makings of my true most embarrassing moment. Oh, sweet, wild ‘80s how I miss you. Now I’ve said too much.
Erin: I won’t hold it against you. But you are wrong.
Syesha Mercado (TV Guide power ranking #4/last week #3)
Most embarrassing moment: Wrote a letter to a crush and included some strawberry gum. The jerk not only chewed the gum but he told on her to the teacher.
Song: Saving All My Love for You (Whitney, again)
Like the judges, we were crunched for time.
Kathy: Amanda and Brooke
Erin: Amanda and Carly
Kathy: Kady and Ramiele
Erin: Brooke and Kady
Probably not joining us tonight at the top 12 party:
Kady and Kristy