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Okay.. I just watched the girls perform. Ack. Based solely on the performance of this one show:
The 6 best:
Alaina Whitaker: Great charisma and very likable. Nice voice especially in the second half of her song. The fact that she's the youngest contestant is amazing. She won't win in the end, but she's the best of the blondes.
Alexandrea Lushington: She didn't sing great, but I actually liked her cool performance style and the arrangement she picked for the Blood Sweat and Tears song which she made sound like a current hit. Hopefully her singing can also match her on stage charisma or she'll fall back in the pack.
Amanda Overmyer: Clearly the most natural performer of the show this season. She doesn't contrive her performance.. it's all instinct and gut reaction.. she just does it.. she's not thinking about it. Her Janis Joplin style might wear thin, but she may be around a while before it does.
Ramiele Mulabay: She didn't have a blow out performance, but she has some serious vocal talent and a nice personality. I think she'll be around a while.
Syesha Mercado: We say her be amazing and be horrible in Hollywood. Tonight she was somewhere in between, but she has the look and feel of a superstar and when she's on vocally, she's good enough to win it all. She had the power vocal that every expected to hear from Carly Smithson.
Asia'h Epperson: I was a little disappointed in her peformance, but she's smart enough in a dumb class so to speak.
The 3 worst:
Amy Davis: the overall worst of guys/gals and one of the worst performances in AI top 24 history.
Joanne Borgella: great in early auditions.. horrible tonight. Perhaps it was being sick, but she didn't claim to be after the song nor did anyone mention it (as they did with others). She simply tanked badly.
Kady Malloy: the most unlikable contestant I can remember seeing on the show in it's history. Her smirk and scour after the performance drove home the fact that she's nothing but a manipulated and overwrought staged performer who has no soul of any kind. I hope she's gone week 1. (By the way, she actually has a good voice.. but who cares when you're that nasty and bitter).
The Also Rans:
Brooke White: massive face time, likable but boring as hell with no real vocal range and a cheesy earth mother vibe that wears thin.. I see better female singer songwriters every time we do a JPF show in any city
Carly Smithson: massive face time, massive hype, connection to Randy?, totally didn't live up to any of it.. and the glowing support given by Randy and Paula reeked of insider manipulation and the most blatant undeserved bias I've ever seen on AI
Kristy Lee Cook: Totally forgettable. Yawn.
The girls were very disappointing. There's only a few with superstar potential and I thought they were weaker as a group than the guys and I was thinking the guys weren't that impressive either.
Between the inconsistent performances, the skeletons in several of their closets and unfair and bogus hyping of undeserving contestants by the judges, it's hard to predict what will happen with the voting. There's a ton of manipulation going on and it's sad to see. Anyone who watched and thought Carly Smithson was the best performance of the entire top 24 either has no clue about music OR they have a specific business agenda to push a contestant through for their own insider reasons. Very sad. Carly is a great singer and could be a star.. BUT.. she wasn't either of those things on the show.
My initial top 8 (based on talent, not who I think will get it due to other reasons)
Amanda Overmyer David Archuleta Jason Castro Michael Johns Syesha Mercado Ramiele Malubay Robbie Carrico Alaina Whitaker
Sadly.. Carly Smithson and Brooke White may trump some of these based solely on show hype. Carly can do better. Brooke is pretty much what we saw.
I think after next week we'll have a really good idea of actual long term front runners when we get past the supposed "flu" epidemic. I would expect to see big improvements from Carly and Joanne next time around.
Now I am going to go back and read everyone elses thoughts. = )