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American Idol 9, Mar. 9 – Gap Widening Between Contestants


Kara tells her performances like this is what got her to this point on the show. This was effortless singing and reaching to different points in her register. This is the type of record she needs to be doing. It was a brilliant choice and she’s back on her path. Simon didn’t love-love the song, but thought she sang it really well. It sounded to him like something you’d hear on the radio. Where she’s very good is that she knows where the cameras are and how to look, making it feel like she’s been doing it a long time. He still hasn’t heard the right song yet, but Kara disagrees, thinking it was this song. In other words, she knows who she is as an artist, that thing Katie hasn’t figured out yet.

Katelyn Epperly gets behind the keyboard and sings I Feel the Earth Move. It seems weird that with this song, talking about the earth moving, and with such a faster pace, she should be bopping around the stage, not stuck there. She doesn’t seem to do anything different wit the song, either. At this point, we need different. See the notes about Katie.

Randy likes the Carole King here and that she’s playing the Wurlitzer, but he doesn’t like the vibe or connection with Katelyn and the song, making it all seem kind of put on. There wasn’t anything special about it. Ellen asks Katelyn if this one is a guitar, after her gaffe last week calling a piano a guitar. As Simon said, we’re getting down to final 12, and she isn’t sure whether this song is the one that is going to wow people and make them pick up the phone, yet Katelyn has a great look and voice and is adorable. It wasn’t enough, though.

Kara didn’t feel Katelyn was competing; it seemed like she was just going through the motions. Carole King is one of the most connected performers, just in it and in the zone. She thought Katelyn had more of that last week and like she wasn’t even playing this week. She doesn’t know what happened and asks Katelyn if she does. Katelyn says she was trying to be less corny. Simon starts with the positive, and says he likes her hair, which happens to be just like her grandma’s in the audience. On the downside, it was kind of like request night on a Friday night at a restaurant. Yet for what is the most important night of her career, she chose a very simple song and didn’t do anything special with it, and others look like they’re trying harder.

Didi Benami is onstage with a guitar, not a piano, and is singing Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon. She sings it acoustically, and I can’t decide whether I like it or not. I’m just so used to thee original version. I like acoustic versions of songs, so I’m inclined to like this, and she gets what some of the others didn’t, putting the emotion into the song.

Randy tells Didi it was a whole lot better than last week, but he wasn’t sure there was a wow moment in it. He wants to see her sing again, though, and this is definitely the reason she’s here. That’s the person they fell in love with in the first place, and while it wasn’t her best, it was better. To that, Ellen says “Yes indeedy, Didi.” What she likes is that she was torn apart last week, but got back up here and was smiling and singing. She was nervous for Didi, but even if she wins this, she’ll always be torn apart by somebody.

This is one of Kara’s favorite moments of the show so far this season, although she thought Didi was out of her mind originally for picking it. It just goes to show you no matter what you pick, song choice is important, but sometimes you can surprise them by showing what you can do with it. What she fell in love with hearing Did sing Terrified, and she did that with this song. Simon has to agree with Kara, thinking it’s head and shoulders above everything else they’ve heard tonight. He thinks for the first time since the live shows she’s proved she was an artist, and he disagrees there was no wow moment, saying the whole thing was a wow moment. He also agrees with Ellen about it being great to come back this week in such a big way.

Paige Miles is singing Smile, done really well before by Gina Glocksen and Ruben Studdard on the show. The problem with this is that Paige is singing way too quietly. It’s hard to hear her. I don’t think this is the right song for her at all, since she’s failing to project. Eventually she kicks it into gear and sounds really great, but she may have already lost half the audience in the beginning.

Randy admits this is one of his favorite songs of all time, but tells Paige it just didn’t work. It was way too big for her, and the melody is so important, as it switches, and then it turned into a bosa nova thing. He felt like he would be hearing Kara ask if they wanted the chicken, beef or shrimp. Ellen agrees, saying it was supposed to be inspiring and uplifting, but it was sad and heavy. She has such a great personality, but they didn’t get to see it. She doesn’t think this was the right song choice.

Kara doesn’t know what else to say, as Randy and Ellen said it all. She asks if Paige knew it was the wrong choice, and is told it was an emotional choice for her, and it was hard for her to sing it,. She apologizes if it didn’t work. Simon just repeats what the others said, saying the arrangement, to be fair, was awful, the kind of thing you’d hear in a Holiday Inn in 1974. He calls those peanut performances, as people aren’t paying attention, just eating peanuts at the bar. It’s a shame, as she had so much potential, as she has a great voice, but the problem is she has no idea who she is and what kind of artist she should be.

Paige explains to Ryan that the reason it was so emotional was because she’s such a big Michael Jackson fan. In rehearsals, her emotions always got the best of her. She tried to keep it together tonight, but she admits the arrangement might not have been the best.


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