Simon Cowell has come forth and made his usual bold predictions for this season, and one of those is that this is a girl's year to win.Â Having watched the performances during Hollywood Week, I would have agreed, but I wasn't impressed by many of the women last night.Â It's easy for me to sit here and judge at my desk, as I'm sure the pressure is tremendous, but the nerves shone through with a lot of these gals, and I can only hope that they get a handle on that.
It was an exciting night with Ellen DeGeneres sitting at the judges' table for the first time for the live performances and, while I do love her, that haircut isn't doing her ears any favors.Â It's good to see that she and Ryan still have the same 'do though.Â As long as I'm being evil, I'd like to add that Kara should never wear her hear in that kind of pony tail ever again...seriously...ever.Â She looked like she could have been on Jersey Shore.
Paige Miles opened the performances, and my first thought was "Paige Who?"Â This is the perfect example of someone who got barely any camera time during Hollywood Week.Â She was also an example of someone whose performance the judges loved, and I was left scratching my head at home.Â She sang "All Right Now," but personally I thought it was all wrong.Â Sure, I could tell she had a voice in there, but I wasn't impressed by the performance at all.Â She also had some sort of tinfoil sash on too, and later said she was sewn into it.Â I don't get that?Â Is this some sort of Silence of the Lambs thing where her outfit was made of skin?Â I just wanted the whole thing to be over.
Ashley Rodriguez wowed us during her initial audition, but last night she chose a Leona Lewis song called "Happy" that left everyone feeling anything but happy.Â It was an awkward performance that made me wonder what she could have been possibly thinking by choosing that song and, adding insult to injury, her jacket looked like it belonged to Paige Miles' tinfoil sash.Â The judges ripped her a new one, with Simon even calling it "clumsy," so I can only hope she holds on, as I think she could bring us some good things in the future.Â But does anyone else find her stage presence very bizarre?
Janell Wheeler is so darn cute, but I'm starting to think that might be all she is.Â I loved her rendition of "American Boy" during Hollywood Week, but nearly threw something at the TV when I heard her begin to sing "What About Love".Â A Heart song?Â Really?Â I thought everyone knew that this band should be retired on Idol after the days of Carrie Underwood.Â It's literally the kiss of death for nearly everyone else.
Lilly Scott was like a breath of fresh air in a stinky smoking lounge with no ventilation.Â She sang the lesser known number by The Beatles' "Fixing a Hole," and she took it places I'd have to say The Beatles would be proud to hear.Â The judges loved her refreshing originality, with Randy calling her a true indie artist.Â I couldn't help but notice how tall she seems but, then again, Seacrest isn't exactly the standard by which to measure if you know what I'm sayin'.
Katelyn Epperly took on The Beatles as well with "Oh Darlin'," and her outfit was a bit bizarre in that I felt like she was channeling Madonna from the '80s, complete with a leather mini dress and some sort of bow in her curly hair.Â But she pulled off the song well, and the judges liked it, but Kara told her she liked her look to be more au natural.Â I thought I caught a bit of 'tude when she tried to defend her look but I'm admittedly a bit of a beeyatch, so let me know what you thought.
I still cannot get a handle on Haeley Vaughn at all, and what was she wearing last night?Â She's a beautiful girl, but I definitely got a weird naughty nurse vibe from that get-up.Â She kept The Beatles theme rolling with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and my feelings about it varied from a bit of intrigue to downright disgust.Â The judges seemed to be just as confused, with most of them liking parts of it, although Simon called it "verging on terrible."Â Simon has a thing about smiles (Anyone remember Gedeon?), and hated that she smiled through the whole performance.Â She tried to stay positive and gave a shout-out to her high school, which sounded like "Go Pooter," which of course made me laugh.Â I'm admittedly not very mature.
Lacey Brown didn't get a whole lot of camera time during Hollywood Week either, and she is very intriguing looking with piercing blue eyes and red, funky hair.Â But her rendition of "Landslide" was much like Haeley Vaughn's performance in that in went in about a thousand different directions, many of which were bad...real bad.Â Even Ellen, who has become the new Paula with her positive critiques, didn't like it, and told her she is better than that.
Michelle Delamor was next, and again I asked "Michelle Who?"Â Have we even seen this woman before?Â Her talk with Seacrest with awkward, as she kept trying to talk directly to the camera, and the director didn't seem to know what to do.Â I felt nauseous just watching the twitchy Blair Witch Project camera shifts.Â Her performance of Alicia Keys' "Fallen" was pretty good, but I knew the judges were going to find it a bit sound-alike.Â After watching this show for so long, you get an idea of what they like and don't like.Â They all agreed she's very commercial looking, but she needs to take more risks.
Didi Benami came out in a '60s style vest that looked straight off The Brady Bunch, but I kind of dug it.Â I was excited that she took on one of my fave songs, Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am," and both my husband and I noticed she was a bit like Megan Joy from season eight.Â The judges thought it was okay and they like her, but they think she is missing that star power.Â I like her and her whole zen-like vibe.
Glass-blower Siobhan Magnus is a tad eccentric, and she's got crazy eyes.Â Frankly, something about her scares me a bit (like dead bodies in her trunk kind of thing).Â In keeping with her seemingly dark persona, she sang Chris Isaac's "Wicked Game," and the girl definitely has "chops," if I can borrow a term from the judges.Â But I wasn't a huge fan of the performance.Â The judges were a bit mixed, as they liked it but preferred her Stevie Wonder performance from Hollywood Week.Â The judges couldn't help themselves in talking about her propensity for blowing.Â Tsk tsk.
Crystal Bowersox, who looks like she smells like b.o. mixed with patchouli but I do love her so, came out with a guitar and a harmonica for her performance of Alanis Morissette's "Hand In My Pocket".Â Somewhere, Taylor Hicks was cursing the TV that he wasn't allowed to use instruments on his season.Â The judges didn't think it was her greatest performance, but they all seem to love her.Â Simon did say, however, that there are a thousand people doing that kind of performance outside of subway stations.Â As much as I think she is talented, I tend to agree to a certain extent.Â She needs to bring back the energy she portrayed when she sang "Natural Woman" during Hollywood Week.
Katie Stevens hit the stage with perhaps a bit too much confidence for her performance of Michael Buble's "Feelin' Good," and it kind of creeped me out that she seemed to be going for a sex kitten vibe at 17-years-old.Â I don't need her to come out blowing bubbles or anything, but don't look like you're doing a strip tease.Â As much as they were falling all over themselves for her during Hollywood Week, they tore into her something fierce last night. Something tells me she might have needed that, and she will bring some great performances in the future.
(MTV.com posted Lilly Scott's performance - check it out here).
I thought I was more excited for the women but, after last night, I'm ready to see what the Top 12 guys bring to the table.