I have no qualms about the job the Idol judges did picking the male semifinalists. They even passed on two of the show’s favorites, Chris Medina and Jaycee Bardeaux, because they failed to produce vocally.
The girls? Another matter altogether.
Idol sent about 200 female singers to Hollywood. That’s about twice as many girls and guys.
And I could name at least 20 I’d rather see in the semifinals than Thia Megia, Tatynisa Wilson, Rachel Zevita, Lauren Turner or Karen Rodriguez based on pre-Idol music.
Oh, well, this week we have a hand in picking five male finalists in voting on Tuesday and five female finalists in voting on Wednesday. Then each judge will pick a wild card contestant to round out the top 13.
Unless Idol throws us some sort of curve, I’m figuring at least six girls and six guys will advance to the finals. Yesterday, I selected six deserving guys. Today, I’ll name the six girls I hope to see make it through.
I’ll be blogging live both nights, grading each performance as it happens, then following up with a recap on who lived up to expectations and who fell flat. So keep checking back.
And, please, take Wednesday’s voting seriously. A year ago, this is where season nine went south.
I’ll forever believe last year’s finals would have been more interesting had we not lost the likes of Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly and Janell Wheeler in the semifinals.
Now, my take on the 12 female semifinalists. Again, the contestants are listed in no particular order. Just based on who should survive and who shouldn’t.
If you want to hear pre-Idol music from the semifinals, go here and click on the link for each contestant.
And as soon as the spoiler sites come through with a list of what the gals are singing, I’ll share the info, too.
Lauren Alaina: My advice to Lauren: Fall flat on your face this week. You’re popular enough to survive. And that might shift the distinction of Idol favorite to someone else. You don’t want to be the favorite going into the finals. Just ask Crystal Bowersox. Or Danny Gokey. Or David Archuleta. Or Melinda Doolittle.
Julie Zorrilla: My advice to Julie: If your performance goes really well Wednesday night, do not try to pick up Ryan Seacrest in some sort of victory celebration. You’re going to hurt yourself if you try that again. But seriously, Julie is pageant pretty with a voice to match. And might have gotten more screen time than any female not named Lauren Alaina to this point.
Ashthon Jones: When Idol ignored her in the Nashville episode, I blogged about how she shouldn’t have been ignored. Viewers found out why in Hollywood Week. This girl can sing. And, based on the video performances that accompanied the “Meet Ashthon Jones” EP, she can also turn on the sex appeal when it’s called for.
Pia Toscano: Every time Idol has shown a snippet of Pia performing, I’ve thought, “Wow, who’s that?” Which tells me she should have been featured more to this point. Which tells me she can sing rings around some of the ladies still in the competition. Pre-Idol, she worked as a wedding singer, meaning she probably had to sing a wide variety of music. I’d call that pretty good Idol training, as long as she’s capable of putting her own spin on those tunes.
Naima Adedapo: Hey, Ryan, as a performer, Naima is the most experienced custodian you’re likely to ever find. So quit calling her a custodian. As a member of the Royal Ancient Society Movement, she’s also quite different from the female contestants we usually get on Idol. Based on musical diversity alone, I’ll be rooting for her to make the finals. And her vocals have been impressive.
Haley Reinhart: I just like this young lady. Maybe it’s the spunk she showed in the audition round. I’m sure it’s partly because of that ever-present smile that seems so contagious. I’m just hoping she’s still smiling and singing at week’s end.
Kendra Chantelle: Based on the original music I’ve heard from Kendra, I won’t be the least bit disappointed it she slips into the finals. She has a nice, bluesy voice. Her “Fuel My Fire” is as good as any original you’ll find from the remaining ladies. I’m just not sure she has the Idol spark.
Karen Rodriguez: She’d like to be a diva in two languages. She might wrestle the big hair award from Ashthon or Tatynisa or Brett Loewenstern. But I haven’t heard anything to convince me she’s a serious candidate to become the next American Idol.
Rachel Zevita: A head-scratching pick of Haeley Vaughn proportions. When she auditioned in season six, she described herself as an opera singer. I fear she’s going to oversing badly. And I’m hoping we only have to hear her oversing once.
Lauren Turner: Take heart, Lauren. No one had heard of Paige Miles at this point, and she somehow ekeed her way into the finals. And better to head into this week as Ms. Unknown than to be known as Ms. Inconsistent (see below).
Tatynisa Wilson: The judges keep telling us Tatynisa has that Idol spark. Then the show keeps emphasizing how inconsistent she has been. That Idol resume is not the recipe for semifinals success.
Thia Megia: She’s the 15-year-old from California who was so impatient to audition that she traveled to Milwaukee rather than wait for Idol to visit San Francisco or L.A. Idol has spent most of the season fawning over teens. But the show pretty much ignored Thia, until pairing her up with the vocal coach from hell last week in one of this year’s silliest segments. Ah, Thia, you should have shown more patience.