I am so excited that tonight is the first time that America will be allowed to vote for our Top Contestants!  Simon has predicted that it will be The Ladies’ year this year.  So, we will see.  We do have a very strong crew of ladies this year.  For the next three weeks, the guys and the girls will be singing Hits from the Billboard’s Charts.

Ellen Degeneres, Randy Jackson, Kara Dioguardi and Simon are our Judges in that order.  I’m loving Ellen already.  I like the humor that she brings, although I do miss Paula’s slurring!

  Paige Miles:  She sang ‘It’s Alright Now’ by Free.  I like Paige.  She’s got great pipes and serious potential to go far in this competition and she works the stage.  Some notes were a little pitchy, but I like that I want to see her next week.  Simon thought that she has the best voice out of all the girls, but her song choice was all wrong.  She could have made a bigger impression with the right song.  Kara disagreed and thought the song was brilliant.  She could have done more with the chorus.   Randy thought the song wasnt the best choice, but she did a great job with her great voice.  Ellen thought that for her to be the first singer, she was so incredibly good, she loved the song and she pulled it off.  Uh Paige….I don’t think that your audience ever needs to know that you have been waiting to pee for 5 hours.  Can we say TMI?  I like her though.  866.436.5701

Ashley Rodriguez:  She Sang ‘Happy’ by Leona Lewis.  Huge song choice and I think that she did pretty well.  Leona can really really blow, so you gotta be able to deliver better that the original to make an impression and Ashley is not quite there.  But I thought that she did pretty good and she has a good voice too.    Kara gave her props for hitting alot of good notes and picking such a big song.  However, she noted that she didn’t hit all of the big notes.  Randy cosigned on Kara and reminded her that she is being compared to a big singer when she takes on such a huge song.  Ellen also agreed and she would like to see her take a risk and not be safe.  Simon thought it was clumsy and he feels that she is going backwards (ouch).  She’s is just an artist who sings other people’s songs not particularly well (double ouch).  866.436.5702

Janell Wheeler:  She sang ‘What About Love’ by Heart.  Interesting song choice again.  Another huge song with powerful vocals.  I’m not sure if this was Janell’s ace in the hole.  Randy didn’t feel this was his favorite song choice for her.  He still likes her thought.  Ellen loved the song choice and that she sung it well although she was a little off key at times.  Simon thought she gave 100% effort with 60% successful.  There were moments when he did like her voice.  He thinks she will survive.  Kara likes her, but the song was way too big for her.   866.436.5703

Lilly Scott:  She Sang ‘Fixin a Hole’ by The Beatles.  Since I never heard this song before, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I liked it.     Lilly started out a little shaky (nerves maybe), but she grew into her performance.  I like her voice and she stood out.  Ellen thought that Lilly’s performance is what the Judges have been looking for tonight.  She loved her.  Simon thought it was the best that they heard so far.  He liked the song choice because she seemed to sing it because she liked it, not because she was trying to make it to next week.  Kara thinks she is believable and that she is a true artist and that she is memorable.  Randy loves that she is an Indie Artist in her and that she is very honest.  He thought it was great. 866.436.5704

Katelyn Epperly: She sang ‘Oh Darling’ by The Beatles.  It looks like The Beatles was a good choice tonight.  I thought that Katelyn kind of rocked this one and this song really showcased her voice.  Simon thought that the song was messy and she screamed parts, but he liked it.  She needs an awful lot of work, but he likes her (really).  Kara can tell that she knows her voice very well by the way she sings.  She thought that she really brought herself to the performance.  Kara didn’t like her sexy makeover, she liked her Earthy and natural (I’m not feeling the hair ornament).  Randy liked that she paid attention to the tone and the melody.  He liked he whole vibe and that that she switched it up with her big voice.  Ellen thought she was interesting and she made her pay attention to her.  She felt that parts of the song was pushed and that she was possibly doing too much and trying too hard.  866.436.5705

Haeley Vaughn:  She sang ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ by The Beatles.  Another Beatles song.  Interesting.  I liked her arrangement, but at times, she was yodeling and yelling at me.  She might have told me off.  But I do like Haeley and I hope that she makes it to next week.  But too much screaming.  Kara thought there was technical issues with her not hitting the notes all the time. But she takes over the stage when she performs and people like her.  Randy agreed with Kara.  She is unpredictable and he loves that.  Randy gave her some pointers on how to hit her notes correctly.  But he loves her boldnes.  Ellen thinks that at 16 she just shines and has a great voice.  She enjoyed it.  Simon thought it was verging on terrible.  She was like a wind up doll that never stopped smiling and that caused the vocals being all over the place.  He thought it was a complete and utter mess (ouch…she’s 16 for God sakes).  Simon also thinks that she is all over the place.  866.436.5706

Lacey Brown: She sang ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac.  This is one of my favorite songs, so I was a little skeptical.  I think that Lacey did well tonight.  I wasn’t blown away with her vocals (die hard Stevie Nicks fan here), but I liked her stage performance.  Randy thought it was terrible.  Ellen thinks that she is better than that and she likes her.  Simon thought it was depressing and he kept wondering how long how long they would have to listen to it.  He thought it was boring.  Kara thought that her performance was forced and the song choice was all wrong.  Simon chipped in several times that she has nice eyes.  Well, she can’t win because of her eyes, can she?  866.436.5707

Michelle Delamor: She sang ‘Fallin’ by Alicia Keys.  What is going on tonight?  I really should be a creative consultant for the song choices.  This was not the song for Michelle.  Nice note at the end, but Alicia Keys sang her heart out and Michelle was just okay for me.   Ellen thought it was fantastic and safe for her.  She thought it seemed easy for her, because she can do more.  Simon thought that she did very well and close to the original, but he wasn’t wowed by her.  Kara thought that some notes went well while others didn’t.  She has alot of good things about her and she can get there.  Randy thought that she did a pretty good job, not as good as Alicia, but pretty good.  She needs to take some risks.  866.436.5708

Didi Benami: She sang ‘The Way I am’ by Ingrid Michaelson.  I liked Didi’s performance.  I like the song and her voice sounded good.  I didn’t see any stage presence and I don’t think the Judges will be blown away.  Simon thinks she is a good singer, but he would like to see a spark.  This was dull.  Kara thought that she was memorable and that she changed the song and inserter herself.  Randy didn’t see any star factor, she is sleepy for her.  Ellen thought this was not the right song for the top 12 girl performance, but she thinks she is great (Ellen thinks everyone is great). 866.436.5709

Siobhan Magnus: She sang ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak.  Again.  Why Siobhan would pick this song I dont know.  Kara would not have picked this song, but she liked it and that she is a quirky girl.  She likes that she goes for it.  Randy thought it was a difficult song  with a great voice, but this song is too small.  Ellen loved it.  She thought she was mysterious and it was a great song choice (really).  Simon thinks she is a funny little thing.  Simon liked this song, didn’t love it.  This song was very dark and he needed her to tell us why she picked this song and basically, she loves the song.  866.436.5710

Crystal Bowersox: She sang ‘Hand in My Pocket’ by Alanis Morrisette.  I like this girl!  She sounded very good and when she started playing the harmonica simultaneously with the guitar, I was clapping.  She is such a strong contestant.  I think my favorite of the night.  Randy said that she is one of  his favorites.  He like she is honest and that she does her no matter what.  Ellen is also a fan.  She feel that she bring something fresh and if she was at home she would vote for her.  Simon was brutfully honest and pointed out that her doing Alanis Morrisette is not outstanding, because she is doing a sound alike. If he saw her outside of a subway station, he wouldn’t stop and be wowed.  But the good news is he likes her (really?).   Kara liked her performance, but she would have like to have seen more from her tonight and she would like to see her show her originality.  866.436.5711

  Katie Stevens: She sang ‘Feeling Good’ by Michael Buble.  Katie has a great voice and I thought that she did a good job on this song.  I think that the Judges will think that the song is too old for her though.  I have to agree.  I would have liked to have heard her sing something that her and her friends really listen to and enjoy.  Ellen thought it was great, but because she is 17, it was too conservative and old for her.  Simon agreed.  He felt her Mom and Dad dressed her and gave her the song for her performance.  She needs to be young and current.  Kara didn’t feel that she nailed the song.  She thought she was pitchy and all over the place.  Randy thought that she was trying too hard and the song was too old for her.  He advised her to be 17.

Weak Links? Haeley Vaughn & Lacey Brown