The show kicked off with Crystal Bowersox singing Long As I Can See the Light. I loved it. This girl is shaping up to be a favorite of mine. The judges loved it. (They didn't tell us what put her in the hospital, but apparently it was something serious enough that she wasn't sure she would be able to return. I'm glad she was able because I think she has a shot of making it a long way.) Interesting, too, that she was in the #1 spot, same as my favorite from the boys' night, Michael Lynche.
Haeley Vaughn was next up with The Climb. Simon called it a "complete and utter mess." Not sure I would say it was that bad, but I wouldn't call it a good performance either. Definitely off-key in more than a few spots. I don't envision Haeley making it to the final twelve.
Lacey Brown's song choice was Kiss Me. Better than last week, but it was still weaker than it should be. No wow factor from my POV. I found myself feeling like this may be the weakest field of 24 semi-finalists of all the years I've watched, but maybe I've simply forgotten how rough the early weeks of competition can be.
Next came Katie Stevens who sang Put Your Records On. While it wasn't without a few rough moments, I liked it. This girl has a lot of talent. I don't think she can make it all the way, but she has promise.
Didi Benami gave her take on Lean on Me. Oh my. So wrong in so many ways. I really, really want to like what this girl does, but I found this performance unfortunate. The judges agreed with me and their comments just about left her in tears.
The second half of the group of girls began with Michelle Delamor singing With Arms Wide Open. Pretty good but it won't go down as a favorite performance of mine. I do think she will continue on. The judges mostly had words of praise, especially about her appearance.
Lilly Scott brought us A Change is Gonna Come. Solid performance. A couple of the judges even rated it the best of the night so far. I wouldn't go that far (Crystal's still got that spot in my opinion) but I do like her a lot. She should sail through another week.
Katelyn Epperly, at the white grand piano, followed the judges' advice from last week, choosing a younger song, The Scientist. I didn't know the song so have no comparison with the original. I thought it was good, but I agree with Randy and Ellen that it was maybe too slow. Kara and Simon both had lots of praise for her.
Next up was Paige Miles with Walk Away. The judges had mixed reviews for her. I thought it was a mostly strong performance (even though she had a couple of off-key moments), and she was definitely having a great time.
Finally came Siobhan Magnus to close the show, singing Think (Aretha Franklin!). She nailed it! Yes! Yes! Yes! Now this was the Wow factor I have been looking for.
There were two real stand-outs tonight IMHO, and they were Crystal and Siobhan. Crystal owned the stage just out of the hospital; just think how good she can be when feeling 100%. And Siobhan closed the show with power. I think Lilly, Katelyn and Paige should be safe, and I believe Haeley and Didi are the two most likely to leave but any of the other three could go, too.