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IDOL WATCH: The Top 12 Girls Perform!

Last night American Idol's top twelve guys of season ten showed their stuff for the first time in front of a live studio audience. Though this week's performances have been prerecorded, the boys still had to work a crowd of over 700, which is positioned 360 degrees around the stage this year! As always there were a few poor song choices in the mix (Cough. Jordan Dorsey. Cough), but overall the boys put up a good fight. Only tomorrow night's results can tell who will get to take yet another step forward.

Until then, the ladies had another hour and a half of America's attention to prove that they're worthy of a coveted top 10 spot. Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe tweeted last week, "Just rehearsing the girls. The boys set a great standard on Friday but at least 6 of the girls are just as strong. Every week will be tough!" Which six stood out? Find out below!

Tatynisa Wilson kicked off the episode with her own rendition of "Only Girl (In the World)" by Rihanna. Though the performance was high-energy, and she looked ‘hot' (in the words of Randy), she failed to wow me with her performance. Steven and JLo were happy with her, but Randy thought that she didn't bring anything special or different to the song. I'm with you, MR. Jackson.

I was happy to hear that Naima Adedapo was singing "Summertime," because let's be honest, there's nothing I enjoy more than a sensible showtune. But when Adedapo strutted onto the stage in her crazy yellow dress it quickly became clear that she wasn't doing a typical Porgy & Bess, Fantasia Barrino "Summertime." Oh no. Her jazzy and upbeat version included a big high note at the end. The performance was a little weird, but also good, and the judges agreed.

Bathtub salesman Kendra Chantelle impressed the crowd with her great big range on Christina Aguilera's "Impossible." Right from the start, Chantelle sang a whole lot of high notes that are usually reserved for the end of a song, and I was thoroughly impressed by the ease in which she belted it out repeatedly. The judges loved her, claiming that her vibrato is reminiscent of Lauren Hill.

Rachel Zevita added a sexy, fierce vibe to Fiona Apple's "Criminal." Though I'm intrigued by her raspy tone, I can't help but feel like se has been getting away with a lot of pitchiness because of it. The judges didn't care for her performance, claiming that it was ‘too Broadway' for their tastes (Hey! What's wrong with that!?) I wouldn't completely count her out, but she will certainly need some serious support to get through.

The judges unanimously adored Karen Rodriguez's Spanish infused "Hero" by Mariah Carey. I on the other hand thought that though she is a gorgeous girl with a gorgeous voice, her performance belonged on the Miss America stage. We get it Karen, you idolize JLo. Please don't sing in Spanish every week!

Lauren Turner sang a sassy version of Etta James' "Seven Day Fool." Randy said that she was a hybrid of Amy Winehouse and Florence and the Machine, while JLo wished that she would have been more physical with the song. Overall, she left me feeling a tad indifferent, but I'd like to hear more.

Ashthon Jones proved that she had talent with "Love Over Me" by Monica. Though I thought that the song itself was boring, the judges were impressed by the confidence she brought to the stage. JLo commented that she ‘had all the makings of a diva.'

Most contestants know that it's not a good idea to take on original Idol queen Kelly Clarkson on her stomping grounds, but Julie Zorrilla didn't get the message. In comparison to Ms. Clarkson, Zorrilla's "Breakaway" was just plain weak. The broken record that is Randy Jackson said that she ‘didn't bring anything new to the song,' and JLo thought that she didn't connect to the lyrics. Too bad.

Haley Reinhart's "Fallin'" was just as good as it was the first time that she sang it at her audition in Milwaukee. Let's hear something new, Haley! Though she might have overused her vocal-growls and literal hand gestures, I fully enjoyed her bluesy performance. Randy thought that she sounded a bit karaoke, while Steven said she used ‘the right amount of rasp.'

Thia Megia, the youngest competitor of the top 24, was lit by a dramatic spotlight on an otherwise dark stage when she sang "Out Here on My Own." I loved that the performance was both subtle and powerful, but that could just be the theatre geek in me talking. The judges loved her, and applauded her perfect pitch.

It's hard not to love Lauren Alaina, who was impressive as usual when she belted out Reba McEntire's "Turn on the Radio." Randy said that she had a natural gift, and that she was a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Come again, Randy?! Surely you got that from what I wrote about Ms. Alaina at her first audition!

Just like last night, Idol saved the best for last. Pia Toscano made as good of an impression (if not better) as Casey Abrams did 24 hours before with her "I'll Stand by You." She added interesting riffs and a few surprise high notes that kept me on the edge of my seat. She finished the song with a fierce ‘G' (Yes, she belted a G. And yes, I checked) that brought the judges and the rest of the audience to their feet. She well deserved the first standing O of the season.

Don't forget to check in with BroadwayWorld's IDOL WATCH tomorrow night to find out which contestants made it through to sing again next week. American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on Fox. Vote for your favorite contestants fast at Americanidol.com.

Miss the Top 12 guys sing last night? Click here for a full recap!

Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive produced by Simon Fuller, Founder, 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, President, Big Red 2 Entertainment.

Among the many American Idol finalists and winners to appear on the Broadway stage are Fantasia, Justin Guarini ,Jordin Sparks,Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.

Visit americanidol.com for exclusive videos, interviews and photos, as well as special behind-the-scenes information and all of your AMERICAN IDOL news.

 


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From This Author Nicole Rosky