Before we break down each American Idol performance from the first night of live auditions, we must say: The judges seem confused.
They chose a slew of Taylor Swift-like guitar players, laid back contestants (Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Janell Wheeler, etc.) with a quiet sound, and then complained last night when the women played to their strengths. Simon continually said he didn't have any "Wow!" moments, but, in many ways, he didn't select any "Wow!" contestants for the semifinals.
Below, in descending order, we rank our favorite performers from the evening:
- Lilly Scott: Played with the arrangement on “Fixin’ A Hole” by the Beatles and stood out with her original sound/look. Comes across as a "real, indie artist," as Randy said.
- Michelle Delamor: Almost seems like a professional singer already. We wouldn't have chosen an Alicia Keys song because it sets the bar too high, but Delamor can wail. If this is an actual singing competition, based on the best voice, she's the best woman.
- Siobhan Magnus: Different, dark, we liked her version of "Wicked Game" a lot. Falls somewhere between the acoustic players mentioned above and Delamor.
- Crystal Bowersox: We can't get enough of the harmonica, but that alone won't be enough to carry her to the title.
- Katelyn Epperly: Didn't like the look. As Ellen said, she was trying too hard. But nice, blues-like version of a Beatles song.
- Didi Benami: The perfect song choice (“The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson), but what will her range be like? Seems like this is the exact performance she'll put on every week.
- Paige Miles: The biggest surprise of the night, only because we scarcely saw her on previous weeks. A great voice.
- Janell Wheeler: Attempted to go outside of her comfort zone and rock out to Heart's "What About Love." Points for trying, at least.
- Katie Stevens: We agree with the judges. You're adorable. Choose songs that are younger and more fun. But amazing pipes.
- Ashley Rodriguez: Shockingly in danger already. But unless fans want nothing but Swift wannabes, will give this potential rocker another chance.
- Haeley Vaughn: Just awkward all around, from her look to her version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
- Lacey Brown: Atrocious.
WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE PERFORMER ON THE NIGHT?