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

American Idol 9, Mar. 3 – Unique Sells the Night


Let’s try this again. We were all set to watch the Top 10 Girls last night, but then the producers switched it up on us and had the Top 10 Guys instead after Crystal Bowersox was taken to the hospital and forbidden to perform on doctor’s orders. The guys didn’t seem to show much wear and tear for the quick change, but it was still a dull night for the most part, save for a few performers. Let’s see if the extra day did the ladies any favors.

Crystal joins Ryan Seacrest onstage and he mentions her being in the hospital yesterday. She says she feels good now, though, as she’s a tough cookie. Not that she tells us what was wrong, though. Randy Jackson mentions the guys were hot last night and that a bunch of them were really trying to win this thing. He thinks the heat is on the girls to measure up. Ellen thinks song choice is everything, and says she didn’t realize how important it was before. She once sang Who Let the Dogs Out at her grandmother’s funeral, and it was the wrong choice.

Kara DioGuardi, who couldn’t sit any closer to Simon, is called out by Ryan. She asks Simon if she thinks she’s getting closer, and he asks if she wants him. She says there’s a lot of competition from the boys. Is it just me or are they trying to create that Paula/Simon bond, but failing? Ryan is uncomfortable and asks Simon to give advice to the ladies. He says tonight is even more important than last week and they just have to deal with the pressure and not forget words.

Continuing our theme of finding out things we don’t know about the Idols, Crystal Bowersox says America doesn’t know that she has a twin brother, Carl. They are very different people, and she loves him, but he’s kind of a square. She carries a little purse with her when she performs that holds trinkets from different experiences in her life. She thought it was funny that Simon mentioned being able to hear her performance in any subway, as that’s where she used to perform in Chicago. This week she’s singing As Long As I Can See the Light, and is putting a gospel type of spin on it, wanting to prove to Simon that he would stop and listen to her, even though she doesn’t think he’d take the subway. This, Simon, is something you don’t hear in every subway. I love her uniqueness. For the first time this season, I have chills.

Randy tells Crystal that he knows it’s a reality show, but truth is reality. She is the truth, and watching her package back, he loves that she’s not trying to be anyone else. He knows she’ll still always be that girl. He loves that girl, as that girl is hot. Ellen saw that is pure, raw, natural talent. There’s nothing forced, nothing pushed, and she’s so glad Crystal is here today, as she was scared for her. She calls her amazing. Kara tells Crystal she completely recovered from last week. She wanted to sing contemporary, but this is more who she is, Americana Rock, and she comes out effortless, centered and focused like the greats are. It’s coming from her heart. Tonight, she thinks she hit a new level, and it’s hard to do in these early days.

Simon knows how sick Crystal was over the last 24 hours, as it wasn’t just catching a cold. She was really ill. He didn’t know if she’d be back. What’s great, though, is she didn’t play the sympathy thing and chose a great song. He completely undestimated her last week, as to come back this week with an incredible vocal, it’s like the moment they realized the same thing with Kelly Clarkson, that they had a serious artist here. And he feels the same now. Crystal was worried she wouldn’t be here and now just feels grateful.

Ryan chats with Haeley Vaughn who admits to being nervous. She’s singing Miley Cyrus this week and thinks it’s fun singing younger songs like herself. Additionally, on a personal level she’s not very confident, so she connects with it. What people might not know about her is that she likes to make things like headbands and hair accessories. She thought she was a little rough last week, but isn’t sure how not to be bubbly and smiley to appease Simon. She’s singing The Climb tonight and will try not to smile so much. She has pitch problems here and there, but I like the song on her. This is what she should be singing and not the Beatles, but the pitch problems are unforgivable.

Randy tells Haeley he knows she always wants him to keep it real with her, and it didn’t work for him. It was excruciating. She can sing, but it was so pitchy and so not right for her. She had no connection to the song. Ellen wants Haeley to know she should never stop smiling, as she has a great smile. However, she feels the same, that she doesn’t connect to the song, and it should have a great message. She was excited to hear it on her, too.

Kara thinks she has the Alex Lambert factor with people rooting for her. Some contestants can learn from her, as she’s open, real, and smiling, as well as a good performer. But she needs about a year of really strengthening her instrument. She has talent, but it’s inconsistent, and is a muscle that needs to be worked out. Simon agrees and doesn’t want to make it worse than it was, as he says it was a complete and utter mess. In theory it should have worked, but there’s an irony in her singing a song about climbing when she actually fell off.

Lacey Brown says the shift in performance schedule was good for her as it gave them more time, but she felt bad for the boys. What most people probably don’t know about her yet is that she likes to go antique shopping for old furniture and refurbish it. She doesn’t keep them around, as she’s usually selling them or giving them away. She tells herself when she’s onstage every time that she was made for this. It’s something her mom always told her. Nerves got ahold of her last week, and she already wanted to do the song that Kara suggested, Kiss Me, so is doing it this week. She starts off rough once again. it’s definitely a much better fit of a song for her, and once the song picks up, so does she. Big Mike is totally rocking it out with her in the audience.

Randy tells Kara it was an interseting choice, and says it would have worked, but through most of the song, he was waiting for the words to flash across the screen like he was at a club doing karaoke. Lacey didn’t bring anything to it or do anything special with it. Ellen agrees she didn’t do anything differnet, but thought it was adorable. She sounded like it was the right song. She likes her personality and she likes her.


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