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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 9, Feb. 23 – Too Many Playing It Safe


Kara thinks Lacey usually hits the notes with such ease, but tonight it was probably the song. She does hope America gives her another shot, as she thinks she has more in her. Lacey says she chose the song because it ‘s one of her favorites, and she likes what it says, that it’s about growing up and becoming your own person. She was surprised by Simon’s feedback calling it boring, and feels some songs are just slower.

Ryan talks with Katie Stevens about the tough critiques so far, and she says it’s nerve-racking for people that haven’t gone yet. Michelle Delamor, 22, of Miami, FL, reminds everyone what she did before coming here. She was a corporate singer, a sales associate at a clothing store, and also taught a children’s choir. Today was really the first time they got to do a full dress rehearsal. It’s been busy, busy, busy, but she’s glad they got that chance.

For Michelle, one of the best parts of this whole experience is having her family there with her. They feel all of her emotions with her. She’ll be excited tonight to know her family is in the audience. Michelle steps out and sings Fallin’, and it could be one of the songs discussed so far that is too big for the singers. And while it’s true she’s not Alicia Keys, I think she adds something to the song instead of just trying to sing it like Alicia.

Ellen tells Michelle it was fantastic, and the only thing she would say to her is that it was safe, and that’s actually more of a compliment to her. She feels Michelle has more in her, even though she was great. Simon thinks she did very well and is a very professional singer. It was close to the original, but not as good as the original, yet there wasn’t one spot in the song where he said wow. He thinks she’s done enough to stay, plus she looks fantastic.

Kara agrees Michelle is commercial looking. She says when she hit it it was great, but it wasn’t always great. When she’s going for the diva spot, every time she steps out it has to be technically immaculate. Kara also wants her to find more believability. Randy agrees with Ellen that it was a tough song, and she did great with it, but she has more in her. She needs to take some risks and jump out of her comfort zone.

Didi Benami, 23, of Knoxville, TN, is a waitress. Her defining moment was when she sang Kara’s song in Hollywood. She was terrified, but thought she’d sing it well. Seeing Kara smile while she was singing made Didi feel like she was on cloud nine. Her journey has been emotional and spiritual, but she wants to do her best to not break down crying again, as she thinks America has seen enough of her tears. Tonight she sings The Way I Am, and she sings it … interestingly. That’s all I keep thinking. I want to hear more, but I’m not sure why.

Simon tells Didi she’s a good singer, but says his problem tonight is that there are too many people trying to sound like the same people, Adele, Duffy, etc. If you shut your eyes, you’d get many of them confused. He found the song dreary, and what he’s missing is a spark that excites him. It was quite dull, but he does like her and thinks she has a good voice. Kara disagrees and agrees. The song is good, but while Didi’s voice has some derivative things, she made some changes to the original recording. Simon doesn’t think she’ll be remembered for it though.

Randy also doesn’t see a star factor with an outward oomph. It’s cool, and he loves the song, but it was sleepy for him. Ellen thinks if Didi was doing a show and it was one song from a set, it would be one thing, but as just one song to make you vote for her, it was lowkey. She does have a good voice with a good look, though. Ryan mentions Simon being frustrated, and says it’s like your first kiss. You have to come out here and say you’re unique and different and I’m a star, rather than including yourself. Ryan didn’t think of any of that in his first kiss, and Simon says it probably goes both ways. Touche.

Siobhan Magnus, 19, of Cape Cod, MA, is a glassblowing apprentice. The difference between her normal life and this is such a strange and surreal experience. The highlight was her last performance in Hollywood week when she sang Stevie Wonder, as it was important for her to to show how passionate she was about her singing, and she felt the judges finally saw that. It does give her the extra confidence, yet she wants to know what Simon meant when he called her a dark horse. She’s another taking a different song to the stage here singing Wicked Game. I just never think I’m going to get the power vocals out of her that she delivers. This is definitely going to be one that I remember, as I think this is hands down the best vocal of the night.

Kara says she wouldn’t have picked it, but she kind of liked Siobhan on that song. She’s a quirky girl, and it gets a little nasally at times, but what she likes about her is that she’s really in the moment when she’s singing, and Kara can feel that connection. That’s what sets her apart from the others tonight. When Randy saw her singing Stevie Wonder, he remembered she could blow, then she came in with this serious song, but when she hit the powerful vocals here, he remembered that’s the girl he really likes. He’d reach for bigger things for her even.

Ellen liked it so much she forgot they were in a competition, and she was just being entertained. She loved how mysterious Siobhan was and how deep she started. Simon says she really is a funny little thing. He never knows what she’s going to do each time. He liked the song, loved the song, but didn’t think it was near to the Stevie Wonder song she did in Hollywood. It was a dark song, but maybe she’s a dark person, as she’s blowing glass on her own all day, and that would make you dark. Siobhan picked it because she thinks it’s a beautiful song, haunting and memorable. She wanted to show that she can hit really loud, high notes, but has a softer side too.


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