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'American Idol' recap: The top 12 women take the stage

As the first week of voting continues, the women battle for your support.

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Jeff Neira/Fox

American Idol

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
15
performer:
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Reality TV

Welcome back to Detroit, you loyal Idol fans. The ladies are up tonight, and they’re gonna have to really bring it if they’re going to want to keep up with the guys, who, for better or worse, left it all on the stage last night. Look at J.Lo’s dress. Is she stunning or what?

Lovey James is our first girl to take the stage. She’s 16 and looks just like Elle Fanning. She starts out pretty off-key on One Republic’s “Love Runs Out,” but finds it once the pace picks up. I’m not blown away, though. She hits some big notes and is certainly giving it her all, but it doesn’t connect for me. Good not great.

There was a lot of talk about how many performances were crammed into last night’s one-hour show, and I’m with you guys—it was a lot, and it left my head spinning a little. And tonight will do the same. That said, I appreciate a fast-paced show significantly more than a drawn-out one. My one frustration, though, is that we’re hearing basically no feedback from the judges. It’s a lot of nods and “good jobs,” and I’m eager to know what they really think! Guess I’ll have to wait until next week.

Adanna Duru tackles “Rather Be,” and she’s certainly killing it on the eye contact with the camera. She’s also making the same arm motion over and over again and it’s a little distracting. The song picks up in tempo and volume and, much like Lovey, Adanna really goes for it. It’s an admirable effort, but it’s too theatrical and she falls off her vocals for a bit. (Thank you, judges, for pointing out that she lost control.)

It’s always this point in the season when these kids transition to a big stage and my brain tells me that they HAVE to be superstars RIGHT NOW. They have to be good, they have to have personality, for sure, but we’ve got more than 12 more weeks of this—there’s a lot of room for growth. They haven’t even met Scott Borchetta yet! So I’m trying not to count anyone out. (Except, of course, the eight kids that we’ll lose after this week.)

Next up is Alexis Gomez, self-described “hippie Mexican hillbilly.” Oooookay. Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” should serve her well, though. She’s good. Right away, Alexis blows the other two women out of the water. Her presence on stage is just as energized but feels much more authentic. She’s totally in the song. The vocal is fine. Good. She breaks one of Harry’s rules by singing with a faux country twang and he encourages her not to simply mimic the record—good advice, especially when you’re talking to a girl who’s overflowing with her personality and quirk. I liked her a lot tonight. Nicely done, you hippie Mexican hillbilly.

NEXT: What happens when you give a Keith Urban song a hipster makeover?

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