Who spiked the punch during song selection day last week? Seriously, Paris? "Wind Beneath My Wings"? And Katharine? "All In Love Is Fair", aka the drab kiss-of-death song? Mandisa doing Faith Hill? Brenna thinking the ironic song choice ("Last Dance") isn't going to kick her in the butt?
There's probably only one performance from tonight's show that I would actually want to rewatch - Ayla Brown's "I Want You To Need Me". It was a brilliant choice. If you are dead set on singing Celine Dion, make sure it's one that isn't so identifiable with Celine, as "Power of Love" or "My Heart Will Go On" are, because there's no way you can possibly compare. And Ayla really did an excellent job with this song. I didn't like this girl at first, but she is totally winning me over with her performances.
Next best was Lisa Tucker, who sang "Who's Lovin' You". I was not thrilled with the arrangement, but her vocals are outstanding. Both she and Ayla need to try a more upbeat song soon because so far they are bordering on one-trick-pony territory. Ayla's one-trick-pony act, though, is pop ballads. Lisa's is almost Broadway-esque, which isn't nearly as marketable.
Katharine McPhee, Paris Bennett and Mandisa all have fantastic voices and personality up the wazzoo, but I think they all picked bad songs this week. With all due respect to Stevie Wonder, "All In Love Is Fair" is really boring. Katharine tried to spice it up in the chorus with all these runs, and she sounded pretty bad doing it. Her voice has such a pretty tone, but when she oversings ... not so much. Paris was very bland, especially in comparison to last week, and Mandisa started off shaky and then oversang. But neither of them will have any trouble getting to the Top 12.
Kinnik Sky's performance looked much better in retrospect after seeing so many bland performances. She took a big risk, though, with the Gretchen Wilson song. She's not popular enough to take risks like that. Just as Patrick Hall wasn't, and as soon as he stepped out of his box, he got the boot.
Melissa McGhee has a really cool raspy voice, but, like Simon said, she does not connect with the audience at all. There's a big ol' wall there.
Apparently, Kellie Pickler really connects with the audience and the judges, but I think she's faker than a three dollar bill. I don't buy for a minute that she had never had spinach salad or that she didn't know that squid and calamari were the same thing. Or that she didn't know keys meant something other than opening doors. This girl is overdoing EVERYTHING. Last week, it was Jailbird Dad. This week, it's the Ellie Mae Clampett routine. Watch her start crying on next week's show, which would, of course, ensure her a spot in the Top 12. But anyway, moving on to her performance, it was awkward and stiff and pure comedy when she shook her hair and growled. And her voice is just average.
As is Heather Cox's voice. She sang in tune, but her voice is not distinguishable or special AT. ALL. There's no color to it.
And then there's Brenna Gethers. She's all sass and attitude up front, but underneath, I suspect it's all a facade. I saw quite a few glimpses of fear and stiffness during her performances while she wasn't preening and posturing. I think she's toast. And she had the ironic/prophetic song choice of death - "Last Dance". Ryan Starr got booted with "Last Dance" in season 1. Charles Grigsby in season 2 went out with "You Can't Win". Vanessa Olivarez and Leah LaBelle both sang "You Keep Me Hanging On" with song lyrics: "Set me free why don't you, babe?" the week they were eliminated. Camile Velasco went out with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". Last season, on one show it was Celena Rae with "When The Lights Go Down" and Aloha Mischeaux with "You Don't Know My Name".
My prediction is that Brenna will follow in the others' footsteps and will be joined on the sidelines by Heather or perhaps Kinnik.