Wednesday night on “American Idol” it was time for the Top 12 female contestants to bring it to the big stage for their first live show. And it was a slow night- as in a lot of ballads. Maybe too many.
Judges Randy Jackson , Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were still reeling from the mixed bag they witnessed during Tuesday night’s male performances, which were highlighted by Brett Loewenstern, Scotty McCreery and James Durbin (Durbin dared to bring heavy metal to the “Idol” stage, singing the Judas Priest classic, “You Got another Thing Comin'”).
But there were some clunkers on Tuesday night as well (sorry, Jordan Dorsey and Time Halperin).
So how did the Top 12 ladies fare on Wednesday night?
Ta-Tynisa Wilson kicked off the show with a weak version of Rihanna’s “Only Girl.” For some reason, Steven and Jennifer loved it, with J-Lo saying Wilson moved the crowd. But seasoned judge Randy Jackson begged to differ, saying “I’m the part of the crowd that wasn’t moved.”
Jackson also quipped that he has a feeling he’s going to be disagreeing with the newbie judges a lot this season. Ya think?
Naima Adedapo had some big shoes to fill when she sang the song “Summertime.” Of course the comparisons to Fantasia will be made- and Randy went there. But J-Lo called Adedapo “a rose garden” (and wouldn’t you know, her middle name is Rose?) while Steven Tyler said he takes her personally.
Kendra Chantelle impressed the judges (even Randy liked her), but Rachel Zevita’s version of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” was unrecognizable. Steven Tyler called it “a little too Broadway” while Randy completely dissed it.
Karen Rodriguez earned “Wow, Wow’s” from J-Lo and Randy loved the whole bluesy soul thing that Lauren Tuner’s had going.
Then Ashthon Jones came out, all Diana Ross looking. The judges thought she killed it with her performance.
Steven Tyler: “You’ve got the confidence of a queen.”
J-Lo: “You’ve got all the makings of a diva.”
Ashthon to J-Lo: “I get it from you.”
Julie Zorrilla tried to “Breakaway” but J-Lo needed her to connect to the words more. Randy thought she brought nothing new to the song and Steven said it was simply the wrong song for her.
Haley Reinhart didn’t impress Randy with her version of Alicia Keys’ “Fallin'” but Steven said, “I heard just the right amount of style, just the right amount of sexy.”
Lauren Alania came out rockin’- finally, someone!– with “Turn on the Radio.” Randy dropped names, calling her a combo of “Kelly and Carrie.”
Finally, Pia Toscano sang the old Pretenders song, “I’ll Stand By You”- and earned herself a standing O. Randy put hers at the top of the all time great “AI” performances. And he should know- he’s been there 10 years.
With the performances all logged in, fans will bring these girls down to the Top 5 (ditto for the guys). The judges will toss in some wild card picks to round out the finalists for this season.
You can find out who moves on to the “American Idol” Top 10 on Thursday night at 8:00 pm ET on FOX.