As safe as the guys played it the previous night on American Idol, the girls played it this night not safe. Regardless, it still comes down to song choice. We had two Celines, but no Whitney or Mariah, and instead we had three Arethas. And, as I say all the time, do not attempt to sing songs that other Idols have done previously and fabulously. Only one girl pulled off that feat tonight, and that was because, she’s got the chops. It was a huge risk, but she nailed it.
Regardless of all that, this night of performances was far superior to the guys’ night 24 hours earlier. We left Tuesday’s show saying, yeah, alright, this guy was pretty good, and so was this guy. The rest? I don’t know. But by the time the show ended Wednesday, we were saying one huge collective, “Wow.”
Ryan Seacrest, after reminding us how the guys did on Tuesday, and how these 12 girls got to where they are, asks Randy to explain why they say to take a risk and standout, yet when they do it, the judges then say it was too risky. Randy says they don’t say that. They tell the contestants to take a risk. It doesn’t matter what you sing, as long as you sing it well. Simon agrees. Paula is asked after sleeping on it, how she looks at the guys’ performances, did they let her down or did they deliver. She doesn’t think they let her down, but it’s always rough the first night, and you learn after the first performance, where you have to go, where to pull back and where to push forth.
Simon is accused of being happy-go-lucky, and Randy thinks it’s because Ryan called him “Sweetheart” the night before. Simon says he’s smiling because he’s just happy to be there. Ryan has to go into it again, and notes that Chris Sligh had a go of him the night before. Simon will only say he likes Chris, and that he shows a bit of spirit. Randy pushes it, saying he seemed angry, and Simon changes the subject, saying when he asked Paula if the guys let them down, the answer is they let themselves down. By the time the night was through, he couldn’t remember half the performances. Ryan isn’t going to let it go, though, and says it looks like Chris got to Simon. He shows a picture of the look on Simon’s face after Chris made his comment about singing Il Divo or Teletubbies, and Simon says that’s him looking thoughtful, and accuses Ryan of being obnoxious the way he’s pushing it.
First up is someone we haven’t seen yet, Stephanie Edwards, 19, of Savannah, Georgia, and a college student. She says when she first saw all the people at the auditions, she thought she wasn’t going to make it. She was very discouraged, but her parents believed in her. She was shocked when she came out with a golden ticket, and knows without her parents’ support, she’s wouldn’t be one of the final 12 now, as she would have given up.
Tonight, Stephanie sings How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore by Alicia Keys, and while it does seem like she may be rushing it occasionally, she’s good and a pleasant surprise. She brings a nice bluesy feel here and totally throws herself into it, actually throwing herself on her knees at the part in the song where it mentions it. Randy says not only do they see a huge difference between the guys and gals, but America will too. You betcha! That said, he issues a word to the wise that Stephanie was a little pitchy in spots, but the conviction was great, and he enjoyed her run at the end.
Paula tells Stephanie, “What a performer you are,” and says she doesn’t think any of them got to see anything after the falling to the knees, and calls her a star. Simon tells her she was a million times better than any performance they saw the night before, and that was by far her best performance they have seen from her. He believes it was a good choice of song and a terrific performance. Unlike the night before, it seems like she came out and said, “I want to win American Idol,” and that’s what it’s all about. Ryan talks to Stephanie about the way she set the tone, and that she looked fearless and comfortable. She agrees she was comfortable and says the audience is awesome. We haven’t see her before, but she’s not going anywhere.
Ryan talks to the girls in the VIP room, and asks Melinda what she learned from watching the guys the night before. Melinda Doolittle says the guys were amazing, and she thought they did a great job. She believes the judges really challenged them, so it challenged the girls to now bring their A game this night. Antonella Barba adds that it made her nervous and she needs to calm down a lot more after seeing the guys. Amy Krebs says it made them all anxious to get up on the stage after the guys were done. She thinks the same thing as Melinda, that the guys set the bar high for all of them this year, as they now try to move past that bar.