As Alaina starts singing Dixie Chicks’ I’m Not Ready to Make Nice, her mom is shown in the audience wiping away tears. It’s almost like she said if Lakisha got praise for singing the song someone won an Oscar with last week, then this week, I’m going to sing a song this group won a bunch of Grammys with. Yet, she’s pitchy like last week, and she’s doing weird moves like pointing out to the audience. The only thing that’s missing is her singing with a hairbrush in her hand instead of a microphone. She’s out of her league.
Randy thinks Alaina started off good for the first couple of bars, but by the chorus, her tuning and pitch went away. He calls it not good and a mess, saying it was all over the place. Proving she needs to be back in her bedroom, Alaina says, “Really?” and sticks her tongue out. Paula notes that it is a hard song to sing, and Alaina probably couldn’t hear the pitch from where she was. She also doesn’t think it was nearly as bad as Randy is saying. Simon adds in “plain English” that it’s like Randy taking part in the 100 meter dash and 3/4 of the way running out of steam. Randy argues he’d win the face, and this gives him a chance to put his two cents in again, saying she started out fine, but in the middle she lost it. Paula argues she looks adorable, and Randy agrees. Alaina asks for advice and Ryan notes that it seems Paula and Simon agree that Randy was a little harsh. Simon says it was a little personal, and Randy says the 100 meter dash comment on him was personal.
Lakisha dedicates her performance to her grandmother, Ruth Morris, from Flint, Michigan. She’s 90 years old and not slow by a longshot. Every time the car’s moving, she’s in it, walker and all. She came to New York to see Lakisha audition, and is so excited she is on television, then again, Ruth is also in love with Ryan. Lakisha thinks she is a special lady, and say she has always been there to encourage her. Lakisha says they’re going on a train ride. And it’s the Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips. She does great, of course, and while I loved Paris Bennett singing this last year, Lakisha makes that version look like child’s play. Randy likes that Lakisha flipped it up from last week, to come out and show that she has some spirit and vibes. While it sounded kind of rough in the beginning, he realizes it’s because she was probably a little nervous, and she admits to it. He tells her not to be nervous anymore, as “that was hot.”
Paula tells her to remember she’s Lakisha, and says she loved it and loves her. That’s it. Simon calls the dance Lakisha did at the end interesting, and says she is a phenomenally good singer, yet she wasn’t as good as last week, and that’s mainly because she didn’t come out with that “I’m gonna prove a point attitude.” Simon thinks at this point Lakisha can afford to believe that she’s going to be a big star, and she has to start acting like she will be. He asks permission to be honest, and then says he didn’t like her outfit of leopard print heels, mini skirt and orange top, as he found it too distracting. He and Ryan argue over the top, as Ryan calls it salmon, and asks Simon what color his shirt is, and he says a dusky gray. Again, everyone wonders why Simon feels the need to give out fashion advice.
Melinda Doolittle dedicates her performance to her two closest friends, who she calls her “Gayles,” meaning she’s their Oprah. They’re like a daily fixture as far as her getting prepared for the process. While one of them is a vocal coach, the other is a stylist. Melinda cannot stand to shop, so if she didn’t have the help, she’d be out there looking like a hot mess. She actually has a little book with pictures of each outfit telling her what to put on each day. It’s kind of funny. They’re her go-to people for everything, and she didn’t realize how much she needed it, but she’s glad they’re there. What I like most is that she admitted to that on TV, that she needs help putting herself together.
Although I loved Constantine Maroulis singing My Funny Valentine a few years ago, I liked this version Melinda is singing that much more. She sounds like a pro already. She may have someone putting her look together, and another coaching her vocally, but there is some raw talent here you won’t find many other places. Randy says they have a competition going, because Melinda came out to win it. He calls it unbelievable, and says she made the mark tonight and is the one to beat, her and Lakisha. He thinks she was even better than when the first saw her. Paula says for her, that was it was just astounding, and she phrased it so beautifully and differently. Calling it out of this world, Paula applauds Melinda.
Simon calls Melinda’s performance incredible, and says he thinks for him, it was without question, the best vocal throughout the competition. What he likes most about her, is that while they’ve had some precocious little monsters on the show with very little talent and enormous egos, Melinda has this fantastic talent and a great voice. She doesn’t know how good she is, and he doesn’t think she’ll change when she finds out, which is part of her appeal. Ryan asks if this week was easier for her, and she jokes, “Yeah … sure.” Ryan also asks who is in Simon’s mind as far as the egos that were mentioned, and both Randy and Paula indicate the true ego is none other than Simon. He says he doesn’t mean just in the competition, but in life. So many are known for being famous and not very talented, and he likes they have someone like Melinda in the competition right now. I think America will be happy with her this week too.
Antonella Barba is a little less nervous than last week, and when Ryan asks how she recovers after the judges being as rough on her as they were last week, she says she picked a better song this week, as it’s more her. She’s just going to have fun with it and not worry so much. She’s dedicating the song to her brother, Vincenzo. He’s always been a big supporter of hers, before they both left for college, and were living at home, he’d get on his guitar and they’d have jam sessions. She wants him to know he gives her a lot of inspiration and that she misses him. I do have to ask here, as she sings Because You Loved Me, that last week she was told an Aerosmith song was too big for her, so now she’s attempting Celine Dion? You’re going in the wrong direction, Honey.