American Idol 2012 – Top 12 Girls

Who run the world? Hayum, of course.

Chelsea Sorrell: She kicked the evening off with the first of many “I’m from such a small town!” videos. I particularly liked the “I live 40 miles from any sort of mall!” part. Oh, the humanity, indeed. I hope she didn’t have any big plans to move away in the near future, because her performance of ‘Cowboy Casanova’ by Carrie Dunderhead was pretty average – not dreadful, but not nearly enough to counteract an unhelpful performance slot. I feel she was already better than half of the guys by having half a sense of stage presence and a decent voice, but what little goodwill she might have built up, she probably eliminated with that final note. SCORE: 6/10

(What is point? SCORE : 4/10)

Erika Van Pelt: Apparently she’s from the Green Hill Zone, though I didn’t see any sign of Dr Robotnik anywhere. She was singing ‘What About Love’ by Heart, which for me will always be famous as the song that allowed Melissa McGhee to steal Ayla Brown’s rightful slot in the top 12 of American Idol in season five (lolz), before her recognition nished her right back out again the following week. She was wearing possibly the most unflattering outfit I’ve ever seen on any of these shows, including those multicoloured catsick-hued kaftans they used to dress Michelle McManus in on Pop Idol. It was a clever choice of song because a bit of Heart always goes down well on this show, but she kind of sounded like a drag queen doing Cher, and the judges were right (and Fraggleface was wrong) – you can’t do a song like this and hold back as much as she did. SCORE: 6/10

(A GHOST drag queen doing Cher. SCORE : 3/10)

Jennifer Hirsh: WOZROBBED. I mean, come on. It was bad enough when Pia Toscano got booted in ninth place this year, and now my pre-live favourite doesn’t even break the Top 13? Fuck this show right in the ear. Admittedly she didn’t really help herself with that “I rather creepily refer to my dog as a child substitute and also my family own all the wine in California” VT, or by picking a really tedious Adele song that I’ve never heard before (which someone else had also chosen to perform later in the evening). It was a decent enough performance, but it was unremarkable, which is pretty much the kiss of death at this stage in the competition, and a real comedown after her brilliant ‘Georgia On My Mind’. The last note was quite iffy, too. And yet despite all that, still so very WOZROBBED. SCORE: 5/10

(Yeah, I don’t know how much of the song choice was her fault, but if two people enter with one song, then only one’s leaving, and she got beat. SCORE : 5/10)

Brielle Von Hugel: I can’t be the only person who thought “oh, that explains a lot” when she revealed she’s a cheerleader, can I? She went kind of overboard trying to convince us all that she was an everywoman, despite having spent the entire audition process rather belying this by full-on shoving people off the stage if they dared to stand between her and the camera. Oh, and we got to see more of her terrifying mother, which was also fun. As far as her actual performance goes – I’ve not seen someone miss the point of a song quite so spectacularly for a long time. ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ isn’t really a lively enough song to get you the votes at this point – and clearly Brielle agreed with me, because halfway through she decided to turn it into an UPTEMPO SEXY ANTHEM. It was quite something to watch, but never quite the awesome train wreck it should have been, and in many ways that’s the most disappointing thing of all. SCORE: 3/10

(Dear Brielle : this song is not about a hooker. Or at least not a jolly hooker. Who can’t really sing. SCORE : 2/10)

Hallie Day: I can’t believe Hallie Day’s tragic backstory wasn’t mentioned ONCE during the episode. This show is slipping. Or maybe it’s because they clearly had absolutely no long-term plans for her, letting her wander around stage doing a 2nd rate restrained version of Feeling Good, whilst styled like the 3rd best Kim Basinger impersonator in Ohio. I guess the blonde blur of Hallie/Hayley/Holly’s was going to prove a confusion if more than one got past this stage, so they had to trim the fat, so to speak. I probably would have let her stump for a wild card over either Erika or Brielle, but such is this show, and general crappiness of the women this year. SCORE : 4/10

(I just don’t understand the point of picking a song like this and holding back the entire way through the way she did. You’re supposed to belt and ham your way through it. Just ask Rachel Hylton. SCORE: 4/10)

Skylar Laine: I’m not sure why, but her doing the whole of “Stay With Me” like she really, really, REALLY needed a wee really worked. Like she’s THAT desperate to get this guy home because she’s busting for the loo before they…erm…start. It might just be that she has a fairly likable energy about her anyway, with her legitimately quirky voice (ie not honking like a horrific genetic mash-up between a corncrake and a sperm-whale, like most of the “quirky” voices on these show) and her down-home charm. Who couldn’t root for someone who comes from a town so small that they occasionally drive near someone they sort of know a bit? I must admit that I was hoping that her best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s mom would turn out to be Mama van Hugel, but sadly…it was not to be. SCORE : 7/10

(She seem a bit angry when she performs, but it works for her. SCORE: 6/10)

Baylie Brown: Bless Baylie Brown, but this whole segment was the perfect counter-example to those who claim that reality shows are all about personality and look, and not about talent. Because the former in this case was pretty much perfect. Baylie Brown was pretty, charming, candid, loved horses and her pee-paw, and let’s face it, those boobs were OUT THERE. If talent played no role in this show whatsoever, then she would have been an absolute shoo-in for the Top 10, but sadly…this performance. I don’t think she got through a single phrase without biffing a note or doing something…awful to the melody, and her performance style was basically a Westlife key change expanded out to 90 seconds. And then she didn’t get through, and weird and potentially off-putting dirt-squirrel Elise Testone did. WELL DONE AMERICA! THE REPUTATION OF AMERICAN IDOL IS PRESERVED FOR ANOTHER SEASON! SCORE : 1/10

(I think America no longer feels that an injustice was done when Baylie was cut while Antonella Barba got through back in season six. SCORE: 2/10)

Hollie Cavanagh: SCOUSER IN THE HOUSE(R)! I hope they make a real asset of her latent Scouse-ness – it was kind of brushed under the carpet in her video, regrettably. She took on ‘Reflection’ by Christina Aguilera, and got off to a slightly shaky start with a lot of trouble on the low notes. However, once she hit the chorus (and let’s face this, 80% of this song is chorus and/or bridge) she really started to fly, while also showing an admirable sense of restraint with the song. My main reservation with her at this point is that she kind of sounds and looks like a little old lady when she performs, so she’s going to need to get that out of her system. Also, she seriously needs to stop grabbing her stomach when she has to sustain a long note, because that’s very annoying. SCORE: 7/10

(She’s cute enough, but I wonder how America will respond to us goin’ over there and takin’ their Idols. SCORE : 7/10)

Haley Johnsen: I’ll give the girls this – they certainly produced a more interesting variety of trainwreck than their male counterparts. Whilst lovers of the noble art of spectacular mess-ups had to settle for Eben’s adolescent high-school-musical stylings and Deandre muttering and whipping his hair back and forth on the first performance night, the rich tapestry of female screw-ups on the second was delicious. And this was truly the high-point. Yes, we all know that Annie Lennox is amazing (/was amazing before she decided she wanted to Save The World via honking balladry with added candles) but how is sprinting around like Daley Thompson whilst doing random spook-house noises to “Sweet Dreams (Are Mad Of This)” adequate tribute? The only way it would have been better is if she’d done “I Love To Listen To Beethoven” or something properly disconcerting like that. Especially as Randy wouldn’t have been able to make that obvious “MORE LIKE A NIGHTMARE AM I RITE?” joke afterwards. SCORE : 1/10

(If you’re going to be a trainwreck, you might as well be a GLORIOUS TRAINWRECK. God bless you, Haley Johnsen. SCORE: 4/10)

Shannon Magrane: What a relaunch! Obviously they were aware that all she really had in the way of screen-presence this point was Steven Tyler talking about her hot, humid and happening…lower portions which probably isn’t much of a long-term plan in terms of selling a 16 year old girl to America unless they’re Britney Spears so WHOOF. Out comes the giant dress and the make-under and the Jesus songs and the pageantry. It was kind of terrifying to see someone so thoroughly virginised in terms of aesthetic for votes. It’s just a shame that her vocals were shot to pieces and she was singing a really bad song. But I guess those are things that can only come with time… SCORE : 3/10

(Am I the only one who thinks she cannot sing? Like, at all? SCORE: 2/10)

Jessica Sanchez: So here’s our presumptive front-runner for the series on the female side, who everyone assumes will end up battling in the final with Phillip Phillips and then goes out…7th? I guess. Because of some sort of “lack of relevence” argument? Whatever, I liked this performance, even if as a whole the whole package of being tiny and sassy and going to the mall and having a Best Friend was a little too Disney and not enough Nick at Nite for me. Certainly it was a first rate Beyonce impersonation, mixed with a little bit of Jennifer Hudson. The start was shaky as hell (although that’s true of a lot of the performances this evening) but she really came into her own during the choruses. I’m not entirely sure of where she goes from here, but compared to the rest of these girls I’m happy for her to stick around for a while. SCORE : 7/10

(I think maybe she was a victim of her own hype for me, because I was expecting AMAZING and I got something that was a bit all over the place. SCORE: 5/10)

Elise Testone: I genuinely cannot believe that, of all the songs in all the world, TWO people chose to sing ‘One And Only’ by Adele tonight. I mean, neither performance suggested that there’s anything special about this song, it just felt like the same-old trite, passive-aggressive shite she keeps churning out. Elise’s performance of it made slightly more sense than Jen’s, conceptually, but it was still a real letdown – I like her voice, she’s got a lovely tone (both speaking and singing voice are very pleasant to listen to), but this was very hit-and-miss. There were sections that sounded great, and others that sounded pretty awful, and it all added up to a fairly unconvincing whole. I’m going to chalk it up to opening night nerves, but she needs to step it up next week. SCORE: 6/10

(About 80% of the bum notes she sold as part of the emotion of the song, but the other 20% she plastered a big ol’ dumb “OOOPS!” grin on her face. She doesn’t get any marks off either way because HEE. SCORE : 8/10)


4 thoughts on “American Idol 2012 – Top 12 Girls

  1. Ferny

    Haley was truly terrible and then when Steven and J Lo didn’t say anything too bad I wondered whether I was just imagining how bad it was…but thankfully Randy spoke a bit of sense (by sense I mean “trainwrecky”).

    Brielle scares me, especially when she has her hair up because then she looks like Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle.

    ❤ Heejun (I didn't realise Robbie Williams was even known over in America?)

    1. monkseal Post author

      I guess Haley answered the question “just how bad will someone have to be before they say anything?”. That bad.

      They don’t know Robbie Williams so much as they know the song because it’s about Angels. Archie sang it once.

  2. Tim

    Oh, Jen, Jen, Jen. I had her down as my pre-live favourite too, but her song choice/performance was so … meidocre. A bit unfair that they left three of the strongest performers for the last three slots, by which time we’d all forgotten who the first five singers were anyway.

    Despite the fact it’s the same old hype as every year, I do actually think the judges are right when they say this is the strongest talent pool they’ve had in years. It is – but we didn’t really see very much of it in these two shows. Jessica was excellent, but I fear she will be this year’s shock elimination. Anyone know if they’re still doing Judge’s Save?

    1. monkseal Post author

      I would have thought so. It’s good for drama and ultimately entirely irrelevant so…perfect for this show.


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