Idol thoughts

Well, I’m good to go on the top “America Idol” girls. How ’bout you?

The only girls I care for were the first four sent to the silver stools tonight -- Didi, Siobhan, Paige and Crystal. And yeah, I’ll take Lacey Brown in the fifth spot. And yeah, I’ll take Katie Stevens because, if nothing else, I suppose there’s some entertainment value in seeing an innocent, likable 17-year-old chasing her whopping dream. … Katelyn Epperly and her poofy locks never stood a chance in my eyes.

Tuesday night’s show, for me, was arguably the most fulfilling of this dreadful season. Perhaps that was largely because after a tense, tough day of work, the number of sleeper songs suited my mood wonderfully …

Performance of the night -- and one of my favorite moments of the season, next to Andrew Garcia’s “Straight Up” and Siobhan’s “Think” -- goes to Didi Benami for her sparkling version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhianon.” Just when you thought Didi was done-di, she stepped up her game and inserted herself right back into the top tier of girls. I loved seeing Didi just strumming her guitar and hearing the lightness in her voice, sans background singers until the choral cries at the end … I wanted to download it from iTunes as soon as it was over!

Siobhan, meanwhile, has reached a level on which she can do nothing wrong in my mind. At this point, she’s my "Idol," and I was shaking my head in amazement at her take on “House of the Rising Sun” and that brilliant a capella opening. That girl and all her quirks are a breath of fresh air.

I’ll give Lacey Brown an honorable mention for her take on Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” Although I’ll agree it was easily her best performance so far, I thought her emotional attachment to the song was lacking and I was left wanting more … The same goes for Crystal Bowersox’s take on Tracy Chapman‘s “Give Me One Reason.” The performance was strong -- in the way we’ve come to expect from Crystal -- but I was left wanting more. Part of that sentiment also could be coming from my feeling that the radio has played that song to death.

I thought Katie Stevens was as good as gone after her dull and gloomy performance of “Breakaway” … And one week after I went on a limb and said I thought Paige could win it all, she went and tried to commit “Idol” suicide by attempting “Smile” as her personal tribute to Michael Jackson.

In the end, though, all of my favorite girls survived. I didn’t care for Lily (I couldn’t even tell you what she sang Tuesday night, let alone the last few weeks), and I agreed with Kara on Katelyn’s performance of “I Feel the Earth Move.” It looked like she wasn’t playing that piano.

The top guys, on the other hand, leave something to be desired. Even after gushing about Andrew Garcia a couple weeks ago -- as Ryan prepared to announced the final male for the Top 12, I was sort of hoping for him to call Alex Lambert’s name.

It’s just short of a travesty that shaggy-haired Tim Urban broke into the Top 12 over Alex's more deserving soulful tone … Once again, I didn’t hear all the good things the judges appeared to have heard from Timmy’s mouth. But that also might have been the annoyed feeling that settled in at the sound of another Idol contestant trying to tackle “Hallelujah.” Have I also mentioned how annoying Timmy’s reaction shots are when he learns he’s safe?

Then again, as anyone who's ever watched more than a season of "Idol" knows -- "outrage is part of the process."

Admittedly, I only saw half of Wednesday’s night performances …

At exactly 8:30 p.m., I was enjoying Andrew Garcia’s fresh take on “Genie in a Bottle” when, halfway though his performance, the local FOX station’s signal cut out, apparently zapped by a thunderstorm in the area … When it happened, I wondered if I should laugh or cry -- I leaned toward laughing. The FOX station announced tonight it would air the show in its entirety at 4 p.m. on Sunday -- because it’s going to draw mega viewers then, after the people who really care have watched the missed performances on YouTube, read about them on blogs and the Top 12 is old news.

Until now, I had yet to log on to YouTube for Big Mike's performance which several of my Facebook friends and EW have proclaimed one of the best performances of the season ... I thought it was good, not that good. But I'll agree the big guy is definitely a frontrunner.

Of the highlights I did catch …

I sprang from my chair, the moment Lee DeWyze opened the night with a different take on “Fireflies.” I didn’t love the performance, and there were some pitch problems, but it was good fun to hear him rock it up. And for that, I‘ll give him pass to the Top 12.

(Mock me all you want, but have I mentioned how much I love “Fireflies?” … To add to it, Kates told me she was driving with Phoebe this afternoon and the song came on the radio. Phoebe reacted by shouting “Daddy!” -- A product of the number of times Phoebe and I bounced around together while listening to the song last fall.)

And I reacted almost the same way when Alex Lambert started strumming “Trouble.” I also clapped when he inserted a pause in the first verse. I loved his performance and genuinely thought Alex Lambert had secured a spot among the top guys. How wrong I was.

Final note: Matt Giraud and Scott McIntyre’s piano duet on “Tell Her About It” was surprisingly fun to watch. Like David Gokey last week, it’s great to see them really enjoying themselves and holding lots of possibilities in front of them. Caught this version during a search on YouTube ...

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