Ryan points out that Alaina Alexander cries whether she’s happy or sad, and wants to start the clock to see how long it will take her. He says she’s emotional, sensitive and passionate. She feels good as she had a good rehearsal. She’s a 24 year old pizzeria worker, and Simon surprised her at her audition, as he said, “That was really, really …” and she thought he was going to say awful, but he said great. She shed tears right there. Hollywood was crazy, and it was like survival of the fittest. She really doesn’t cry a lot, but when she wants something so badly, and it’s all she can see herself doing, it’s good to know she can actually do it.
Alaina sings the Pretenders’ Brass In My Pocket, and started out badly but not too bad. It’s one of my favorite songs, but I’m not really digging it here. Randy says it really wasn’t great, to be honest with her. The song was okay, but she really didn’t do anything differently with it, and it was a little pitchy in spots. Paula clarifies that she didn’t make it her own, and didn’t go for it. She tells Alaina she just didn’t feel it. Simon says the irony was that she kept singing the line, “I’m Special,” and it wasn’t. Alaina indicates a pain through her heart with this. Simon thought it was a mess and she lost it halfway. The applause of the crowd made her believe it was better than it actually was. She’s not a bad singer, but no one is going to be thinking wow, she’s the best singer there. There are three or four girls that absolutely blew her off the stage. He believes she’s going to be relying on her looks to stay.
Ryan tries to point out to the judges that what’s great about her is her passion, as she’s very serious about singing. Simon says she should enter “Passion Idol” then, and Alaina does a fake rim shot. Randy says she has to know what she sings the best. Alaina says she thought this showed her personality the best, and Randy says this isn’t Personality Idol. Simon asks Ryan if he’s trying to date Alaina because he’s a little over-biased, and Ryan says it doesn’t even deserve a response, so Simon figures the answer is yes. Paula brings it back and says she was special enough to make it to final 24, but Brass in Pocket wasn’t the song where they could hear her shine. She might night get another chance, though.
Ginal Glocksen is a dental assistant, and says this means so much to her, as she’s seen so much rejection. Last year she made it all the way to Hollywood and got cut on the last day and forgot the the words to her own personal song choice. This year was the most amazing for her. It felt beautiful to be there with the backup singers and piano. It was her point to shine and let them know she’s serious about the competition. She’s tired of auditioning for American Idol! Well, Hon, there’s plenty of people out there that would give their eye teeth to be where you are, no matter how many times they have auditioned.
Gina sings All By Myself by Celine Dion, and while she can blow it out of park, the high notes are a little rough. Randy calls her a big girl with a big voice and a big song. When she first started singing, he didn’t know if it was going to work, but he almost forgot she has that big old voice. He was a bit surprised, and adds it was a nice close. Paula says it was the right song to sing as she has a lot of competition out there. She has a big powerful voice and it was the right song for it. Simon saw a different side to her, and she says that’s why she did it. Yet, he didn’t think she hit the right note, as he always thinks of Celine’s version, and Gina didn’t quite get there. Ryan asks about Gina’s confidence, and she says before she was a 6, now she’s a 12. During rehearsals her voice wasn’t hitting the note, and whether it was off or not, she hit it and is proud of herself. That’s honestly really good she’s proud of herself, but to win this, she has to hit the note and not have it be off. Just sayin’.
Lakisha Jones is a bank teller and mom, and says she is grateful to have this opportunity. She’s struggled so much, and has sung for years in church, yet never made a living off something she loves to do. I understand that statement probably more than she might realize. To now have the opportunity is a good feeling, and she just hopes it works out for the best. She sings And I Am Telling You, from Dreamgirls. Yes, that would be the same song that Jennifer Hudson has won awards for, and is up for an Oscar for on Sunday. But oh … my … God. Lakisha absolutely nails it. She is right up there on par with Jennifer. While I said you can’t do a song a previous Idol has done, you can if you rock it out of the park. And this girl … I had tears in the end, just like I did in the theatre watching Jennifer in Dreamgirls.
As Paula is giving Lakisha a standing ovation, as well as the Dawg Pound, Randy says he loves her, and she reminds him of one of his favorite singers, Karen Clark-Sheard. Lakisha laid it out on the stage, and Jennifer Hudson better watch out. Paula tells her she has so much to be proud of coming out there on that stage, especially the way she felt coming into the competition. This is where she belongs. Simon says just to correct something earlier, that’s the right note. Well, there’s a slam for you, Gina. He’s very tempted to tell 23 people to book their plane tickets home. He apologizes, but says it was in a different league.
Ryan greets Lakisha onstage, and mentions the incredible emotion she showed when she was singing, although now she admits she only feels nervous. Lakisha says it’s her little girl’s birthday today, and she’s 4. Brianne tried to tell her it was her birthday, and she said she knew that. She’s her mom. Randy is asked if the final twelve didn’t have to be 6 and 6, how would he split it. He admits it would be 8 girls and only 4 guys. Yeah, I’d say that’s about right. Paula is proud of the ladies, and says they all just watched an amazing performance that shows it’s all about song choice. Simon says again three or four people were honestly in a different league, and the lady standing up there now has basically thrown down the gauntlet. Amen.
Well, the girls were definitely in a different league. Although I’ll add that it goes both ways. The worst of the girls were worse than the worst of the guys, and the best of the girls were miles ahead of the best of the guys. If I were a guy I’d be really worried. While 6 of them have to make it to the final 12, they could be out really quickly, leaving us with the stunning talent of these girls. I don’t know where else Lakisha can take this, but she was stunningly good.
Thoughts about Idol you need to get off your chest? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com