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Top 8 Girls Perform -- American Idol Season 9, Episode 19

The top eight female contestants sing to get a place in the top 12 singers for season 9 of American Idol

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Bias Exposed on American Idol

  • Mar 11, 2010
Rating:
-1

This evening was interesting because it exposed the bias of the producers. Not only that, it offered another strange beginning that caught the audience's attentions because it was just that odd.This was the first episode reduced to an hour's length of time. They wasted some of those precious minutes with a weird gag between Ellen and Simon. When the camera focused on the judges, Ellen was sitting on Simon's lap. You couldn't see her face, but it looked like she was necking and kissing him. I really didn't get this joke. It was just...awkward. It might have been a reference to a comment made earlier about Kara and Simon being too close, but who knows! I don't always understand what is going on in the minds of the producers and writers.

After that weird display of affection, the show started off rather normally with a sub par performance by Katie Stevens. However, when Siobhan Magnus was supposed to sing next, she got a mini interview. What the...didn't they say we only had one hour for the show? Why was she given the opportunity to talk about the meaning of her song while the other singers had to rush in any comments after the judges ripped them apart? This was a very unfair advantage. It gave the audience a chance to connect with her before she even started singing! Because we knew the relevance of the song, we were conditioned to like her performance more (even before it began). I wish American Idol would stop the biased exposure! Perhaps they did it because they wanted to guarantee that she would stay on the show and make it in the final 12 singers. After all, everyone is exclaiming over what an unique addition she is to the show. I agree with that praise, but I also don't think she is the best singer of the group. If the show had moved on after that interview and performance, I wouldn't have felt as annoyed and cheated. Alas, Ryan also had to express his affection for the "odd woman" and continue the drama.

The drama surrounding Siobhan didn't end after the judge's critiques. Instead, Ryan got into one of his usual live arguments with Simon about the quality of the song and singing. Then, instead of immediately giving America Siobhan's number for voting, Ryan whispered to her about how difficult singing with no music really is. I don't know what Siobhan's response was because she was so quiet. Maybe she felt as uncomfortable about the extra attention as I did in the audience. I was not pleased with her song choice, performance, or the extra face-time behind the cameras.

Despite the time wasted on Siobhan, there were quite a few performances that stood out as simply amazing. They deserved more air time and praise then was given. First, there was Lacey Brown's rendition of "The Story." I knew that she would come back and shine like she did in Hollywood week. She just needed to find her comfort zone again. This year the judge's critiques are confusing and harming the contestants more than helping them. I think the women need to do their own thing and let America take care of them. The judges are just giving confusing and bad advice. They are also asking a lot of questions, or at least Kara is. She started to sound like the host of the show. She kept asking the singers what they were doing, thinking, or whether they thought their performance was any good. Most of her "advice" felt insincere and useless.

Luckily, Crystal Bowersox didn't need any advice. She performed a Tracy Chapman song which was almost flawless. When I heard she was singing something by that artist, I was giddy with joy. I knew it was going to be a good fit because they have similar vocal qualities. Crystal also offered an unique rendition of a timeless classic. The only part of the performance that threw it off was the strange look on her face when she was ending the song. It was so close to perfect, but it didn't matter. I loved her singing!

Another singer who chose a timeless classic was Paige Miles. Unfortunately, her performance of "Smile" was too gloomy. I agreed with Ellen's comments about the song. It was apparent from the very first word that something was going to be off about the song. Her voice was too shaky. I think her emotional investment got the best of her, and she reminded the other contestants that feeling a song too much can actually be detrimental. The nice thing about her performance, and many of the other contestants, was that you could tell they were all trying really hard. Unfortunately, the same wasn't true for Katelyn Epperly's performance.

Katelyn received the worst performance of the night award (quite a feat considering how bad Didi was last week). I was surprised that her commentary to Ryan and the judges was that she was trying not to be cheesy. She must have been reading the reviews about her "The Scientist" piano performance. I expressed similar sentiments in my last review here at Lunch! The contestants on the show shouldn't pay attention to the online critiques because it can psych them out. This was not the night to fail so badly. It really looked like she didn't care about her performance or about making it into the top twelve singers.

Didi Benami understood this, and so she worked the hardest. I award her the "most improved singer from last week" award. I didn't think she could pull it off, but she sounded a million times better. If she hadn't, America would send her home during the most critical week. I'm still angry about her being in the competition because I think she stole the spot from someone more deserving. Yes, she has quite an amazing tone to her voice, but I see her talents the same way I see Tyler Grady's gyrating hips--all flash and no substance. She has no idea what to do with her voice, and it ends up standing out more than any singing talents she may or may not have. It will take a lot for Didi to win me over. If she does make it in the top twelve, I look forward to being "wowed" by later performances.

In the end, I disliked this episode because it felt rushed and certain people got focused over others. It reminded me to be weary of "the powers that be," nameless and faceless people controlling the strings of the largest reality show on television. Kara Dioguardi also stood out as the most useless judge of the night. I wish they would go back to a panel of three judges (comprised of Simon, Ellen, and Randy) with special guest judges every once in a while. This formula worked best in previous seasons.

Here is the full lineup of all the contestants and what they sang for this episode. I included as much information as I remembered:

  1. Katie Stevens, 17/CT, "Break Away" by Kelly Clarkson
  2. Siobhan Magnus, 19/MA, "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals
  3. Lacey Brown, 24/TX, "The Story" by Brandi Carlile
  4. Katelyn Epperly, 19/IA, "I Feel the Earth Move" by Carol King
  5. Didi Benami, 23/TN, Fleetwood Mac song
  6. Paige Miles, 24/FL, "Smile" by Charlie Chapman
  7. Crystal Bowersox, 24/OH, "Give Me One Reason to Stay Here" by Tracy Chapman
  8. Lilly Scott, 20/CO, "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Kline
Biased Exposure on American Idol

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March 21, 2010
Ellen sitting on Simon's lap? Hmm...weird. I still don't understand why Ellen is on this show to begin with. I know that they put her there to be the voice of the "people" and all, but she has no singing or producing background in music like the other judges do. Is her only purpose to crack jokes on each episode? She seems almost as useless as Ryan Seacrest, lol.
March 22, 2010
LOL, yeah it was weird. I don't always get the American Idol jokes or running gags.

As for Ellen's experience, or lack thereof, I think she's doing a great job as a judge. Just because you have singing or producing experience does not mean you offer the best advice for the contestants. For example, Paula Abdul was completely useless as a judge when she was on the show. And now Kara is proving to follow in Paula's shoes. I haven't found too much of her "advice" helpful at all!

Also, I wouldn't say Ryan is useless because he is the host of the show. He also boosts the contestants' self-esteem, conducts mini-interviews, and gives the voting numbers to America. His job is equivalent to Jeff's on Survivor
 
March 11, 2010
Great overview! Makes me glad I have night school! (LOL). I think the Ellen joke was that she is gay and here she is with Simon. I agree, not funny.
March 11, 2010
LOL! I used to love having night classes. I'm a night owl at heart. Well, they did another weird thing last night when the men were singing. Ryan highlighted Simon and Kara "snuggling" or sitting too close together. That's been a running gag throughout this season since the top 24 took the stage. It's so weird. I guess they are trying to cause drama to make the show more exciting. The guys did a bang up job last night! I'm going to work on that review as well as a list before the show tonight at 8pm (or whatever time it's coming on). I need to set my recorder! lol
March 11, 2010
I prefer renting off Netflix. I'm currently starting a Sandra Bullock list, oddly enough. Still getting old Hitchcock films too. I have a lot of catching up to do. I will catch a bit of American Idol, but it's not my show of choice. I like cop shows like CSI: Whereever and science fiction programs, when available. Or I go online to see oldies on Hulu.com. I am waiting for the continuing adventures in the series V, Fringe, Chuck and Sanctuary. These are all or mostly on a spring break, sadly. This weekend I will try to get a photo of myself with Nimoy if it doesn't cost too much. I'll scan and post it on Lunch just to shamelessly brag about it. :)
March 12, 2010
You lucky bastard! (laughs) You better have a blast at the convention and get that photo of Nimoy! I hope you can afford it!
March 14, 2010
Hi, I just got back today and have yet to read all emails and comments. I decided to get my photo taken with Nimoy and even attended a Q&A with him and about 10,000 fans (seemed that way). He really liked Alice in Wonderland as well as the new Star Trek film, discussed his photography and made a few choice comments to the audience. The photo area was total chaos! After plopping down my hard earned sixty bucks(!!) and after waiting in line about an hour or so, I walked up to him and said it was great to meet him and that I loved his work on Mission Impossible (yeah, I'm different). He said thanks, the shutter clicked and I left. Groovy. Now, normally the photo company places out all the photos for pick up. Unfortunately they did not count on the popularity of this service. They could not give me my photo! This pissed me off a bit, excuse language. But I got the email address from the guy running the place, where I will email him my handsome description and a photo and then he will mail me the photo. So the wait. Now, I could have come back this morning (sunday) but then I would have had to reschedule my flight, which would have cost me more in cash than I was comfortable, all because these guys messed up. So annoying. But, I did meet Stan Lee, and told him Irving Forbush sent me. He laughed, signed my comic and said "Give my regards to Irving." I then got the comic set up to get processed through CGC (comics guarantee corporation) that "slabs" authentic books like this, meaning they place it in a plastic case. I have to wait another couple of months for that. Geesh. I did see Erin Gray but did not say hi, just from a distance. I also saw Wil Wheaton and Aaron Douglas from a distance, too. I also went back stage at the masquerade contest where pros were shooting the contestants before they went on stage. Funny when you act like you're supposed to be there people dont' ask questions. :p I did know one of the guys from last year so it was OK, we just didn't tell the management. Oops. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I also visited the Seattle Aquarium, enjoyed the stormy day and my hotel.
March 14, 2010
I forgot to mention that the photo service with Nimoy stated they shot about 1100 photos to process. Multiply that by sixty bucks. Geesh!!
March 14, 2010
Wowie! Sounds like you had a fun time despite some of that drama! Egads...those people made a small fortune! LOL! I am so jealous! Wish I could have been there. I would have stood in a line no matter the length of the wait, lol!
 
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Adrianna Simone ()
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Wiki

The top eight contestants of American Idol, season 9, sing for your votes:

  1. Katie Stevens
  2. Siobhan Magnus
  3. Lacey Brown
  4. Katelyn Epperly
  5. Didi Benami
  6. Paige Miles
  7. Crystal Bowersox
  8. Lilly Scott
view wiki

Details

Original Air Date: March 9, 2010
Description: The top 8 female contestants sing.
TV Show: American Idol
Genre: Series - Music, Reality
First to Review
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