Ten girls.  Only five spaces available for them in the American Idol Top Ten.  Last night in Las Vegas, our final ten girls stepped to the mic and sang for survival.  How did they do?  Well, as WBKR's Idol expert Steve Thompson explains, some rose to the occasion and some assured themselves plane rides home.  Check our Steve's full review of last night's show, watch video highlights and see how he ranked the Idol wannabes.

From Steve Thompson:

In tonight's episode, ten girls compete for five spots.  I will review each girl in order of appearance and by the end of this exercise, I might have found the top five girls.

10.  Zoanette Johnson assaulted What's Love Got to Do With It.  More like what's singing got to do with it.  Somewhere, Tina Turner has decided that we might actually need another hero.  Good of Idol to make her go first-- you know 19 Entertainment fears the possibility of trying to record her.  "You gotta really be on key" says Nicki.  Mariah decides to talk about her character instead of her singing.  Interesting way to critique.

09.  Breanna Steer sang Flaws and All by Beyonce.  There's such a thing as taking too big a bite and trying to act as if you didn't.  As much as I liked Breanna last week, I felt like this song just didn't have the same kind of snap and sizzle as the Jasmine Sullivan song.  If Idol decides to go the route of wild cards?  Well, she could skate by that way-- but I have my doubts after tonight's performance.

08. Aubrey Cleland sang Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie  As many of you know, my favorite music tends to run along the lines of rock and country.  Frankly, the only way I know this song is from all the other singers from all the other shows have sung it-- or someone has danced to it from either Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance.  It's a fairly decent song, but Aubrey sounded to me as if she tripped the light fantastic all over the opening lyrics.  By the time she got to the chorus, I think she recovered.  Trouble is that might not be good when as many as five may be leaving.  

07.  Janelle Arthur sang If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley. I hate to echo Randy at any point in this recap, but Janelle truly does sound like someone from country music back when I first fell in love with country music.  One of the reasons I enjoy Americana and Bluegrass is because it reminds me of music from my childhood.  Janelle really does have that 60s tone in her voice.  Maybe not so much Patsy Cline.  I'm thinking more Lynn Anderson or Jackie DeShannon.  (If none of these names sound familiar to you, feel free to track them down on Pandora, YouTube, or whatever wonderful contraption you might have to hear music.) She should be in the top 5 girls.

06.  Teena Torres sang Lost by Faith Hill.  Interesting choice.  Keith was spot-on with his comment that every time the camera swooped in beside her, she lost her concentration during the song.  Probably not a good precedent for a performer.  Not a bad excuse for a college athlete, though.  "Gee, Coach, the camera zoomed by and I lost it in the sun..."  If she'd been a bit faster on her feet she could've said it was all a play on the song title.  Unless her fans are legion, she may be a ghost. 

05.  Angie Miller sang Never Gone by Colton Dixon.  The more I see this girl, the less I think of her as someone who wandered in from a beauty pageant.  At first, I was getting that kind of vibe.  Tonight?  She's a young kid excited to be doing so well on a national stage.  I mean this as complimentary.  I'd rather see someone who seems excited to be doing well rather than someone who is under pressure to be poised.  I can't really think of someone right now who sounds like Angie-- a lot of the names that come to mind have pretty much gone into witness protection at this point.  (Although it should be pointed out that Contemporary Christian music has always had an abundant supply of singers who can play the piano.)  She should be in the top 5 girls.

04.  Amber Holcomb  sang I Believe in You and Me by Whitney Houston.  I hesitate to call this a safe choice simply because I've heard too many singers massacre a song by any of our divas.  However, I much preferred Amber's song from last week over this one.  Granted, Amber could possibly do an album of Whitney covers because she can make her voice sound so much like her.  Still...  I wish we could have heard something defining Amber instead of paying homage to Whitney.

03.  Kree Harrison sang Stronger by Faith Hill.  My favorite girl of the remaining ten and she sure showed why tonight.  (And how can you not appreciate Keith Urban for knowing what note she hit?)  She has such a smooth elegance and an almost carefree spontaneity in her humor-- you begin to wonder what can this girl not sing...  By the way, is it just me or does she remind anybody else of the late great Laura Branigan?  She should be in the top 5 girls.

02.  Adriana Latonio sang Stand Up for Love by Destiny's Child.  The entire state of Alaska voting in these 50 vote blocs may not be able to save Adriana from her fate.  As I mentioned last week, I think it's a huge mistake when a solo singer attempts to sing a song from a trio.  Granted, there are some trios with individual lead singers who could probably be covered without too much of a sideways glance-- but by and large, on Idol and the rest of the talent shows it just doesn't have a huge payoff for success.  This came off as incredibly weak after hearing one of the best voices in the competition and especially after hearing..

01.  Candice Glover sang Ordinary People by John Legend.  Given the pimp spot on the first night of voting, producer favorite Candice did not disappoint the crowd nor the judges.  This was the most contemporary sound I had heard from her and I had to grudgingly agree that she did a fine job.  While she's still not my cup of Earl Grey, I'll have to say she should be in the top 5 girls.

Hmm...  I found 4 of the top 5.  I say Kree, Angie, Janelle and Candice (in that order.)  Number 5?  It all depends on those bloomin' voters.  Breanna Steer had a lot of goodwill from last week's show.  Whitney Houston's continued ascendance to Heaven in the minds of many may help Amber's cause.  And if there really is a Wild Card?  Both ladies may still be in the hunt.

Wednesday night we'll get to see what the guys can do.  Thursday night?  We'll have a top 10-- er, 12 probably.

@March 5, 2013   Stephen W Thompson

American Idol airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on WEVV Fox 44.  Tune in tonight as the Top Ten guys battle for five spots.  Thursday, tune in to find out which singers made the cut!