The Ultimate “American Idol” Power Rankings: Top 12 Girls

Posted on 03/01/2012 at 12:56 PM

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We’d come up with a grand, pithy way to sum up Idol‘s crop of semifinalists, but we don’t need to. That description already exists, and it comes from the musical Wicked. There’s been some confusion over filling out Fox’s show; there’s been some confusion, ’cause here is how they go:

Boys: Unusual and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe.
Girls: Blonde.

What else can be said about the monochromatic blob of Hollies and Hallies and Haleys and Baylies and Chelseas we saw tonight, almost all of whom either sang or were compared to Adele? The challenge isn’t singing well at this point. The challenge is differentiating yourself from the blonde morass, the Holly woods, call it what you will. The challenge is being somebody you could remember the next day without having to scour YouTube. Two people, and possibly three, met that challenge by being fantastic. Two people met that challenge by being terrible. Everyone else drove us to YouTube and distraction. But at least they weren’t…


30. Baylie Brown: Baylie’s not entirely responsible for the catastrophe that was “Amazed.” She went right after the best country performance Idol‘s seen in years, and the arranger garbled the song like a landscape photographer using a Game Boy Camera. Thatches of cuts, too-sudden key change, arrangement that gulps down everything around it–it was a mess. That said, her singing was fetid, even more so when she blamed the audience. Poor form all around.

29. All The Singers Cut In Favor Of Baylie Brown: Don’t fret, ladies! You can’t sing in Baylie’s place, but you can watch her on Idol and see your immediate future: being allowed into the top 24 half by default, then bombing.

28. This Quote: “My reality check bounced” –Steven. Just for that, we hope your paycheck for this episode bounces in reality.

27. This Other, Oft-Repeated Quote: “I’ve liked you since day one.” –Each judge took their turn saying this. This is kind of like someone saying to their car, “I’ve liked you since the test drive.”

26. Steven Tyler: Controversies that should afflict Steven, in light of his newly acquired title: Outfit. Wailing “GEORGIA!” post-Otis. Ever uttering the words “money shot” on a family show.

25. Haley Johnson: The point of “Sweet Dreams” is to show your contralto. Why would you take the upper harmony and wail on it? It wasn’t steely or cool like Annie Lennox. It wasn’t even fierce like Tiah Tolliver. Or, translated into judge language: “I’m not sure the song was the perfect song and the way you chose to sing it wasthe perfect song.” Actually, no, that’s unfair. Randy really did critique this performance, both snippily (a “nightmare”) and lucidly (“It’s harder to do Annie Lennox than it sounds. Her intricacies are spot-on.”) What else can really be said?

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