Last night on American Idol, the remaining girls with dreams of making the Top 20 took the stage to sing in Sudden Death.  Among them . . . two country girls.  WBKR's  Idol expert, Steve Thompson was tuned in and shares his thoughts on how the field rounded out.

From Steve Thompson:

"Last year was such a different time."

(Randy Jackson)

Really?  Could it be because last year was last year?  Sometimes I think Randy Jackson is channeling Yogi Berra.

We now have ten girls left and many of the ten who left were better.  I was slightly upset last week when Jenny Beth was cut from the list-- until I came to the realization that she's young enough to try again.  Many of the girls this year have been to this rodeo before.  I'm only upset that she was cut and some of these girls tonight were saved.

I can only surmise that marijuana must be legal in Nevada.  Someone must be taking a few bong hits to even let Zoanette Johnson anywhere near the top 10 girls.  The twitter vote (at least the last I checked) had America split on this decision 50%-50%.  If anyone out there-- especially those of you who actually know me personally-- can explain why her performance of Circle of Life was given nearly unanimous praise, my hat, if I wore one, would be off to you.  Frankly, this would cause Elton John to slap another Lumineer.

On the other hand, to paraphrase Randy Travis back in the day, No One (and I truly mean no one) should be shocked that Cristabel Clack was given her walking papers.  There is only one Alicia Keyes and no one else should ever try to sing one of her songs in competition.

And what of Jett Hermano?  Are you telling me that her nicely understated version of Only Girl in the World was less than the oversinging of Candice Glover?  I'm not even a fan of Rhianna and I enjoyed every moment of Jett's luminescent cover.  Candice chose the song that's been sung to death by every girl in the last 12 years who wanted to prove they could sing Aretha.  Big deal.  Karaoke by any other name is a reality show.

As the King of Siam said, "'tis a puzzlement."  Two country girls enter and apparently there's only room for the one who didn't sing as well tonight as the other one.  I am trying to show a great deal of restraint with my anger and my language here-- some of you might not appreciate my tone.  But Janelle Arthur sang the wrong song.  If there's one thing i have to say about Lady Antebellum (and this is just about all I would ever say in any context-- I'm not a fan) they have a great harmony.  Perhaps three-part harmony doesn't translate to a solo singer.  Rachel Hale, on the other hand, sang Nothing But the Water and was dang near perfect to me.  Evidently, it doesn't matter how well you sing as long as you follow Uncle Nigel's script.

Melinda Ademi, the singer who impressed me so much in the earlier rounds, was given the let's throw her under the bus before she becomes as popular as Haley Reinhart edit.  According to sources, the producers asked her to sing the song she sang-- which was the same song as Angela Miller sang last week.  So before I even heard the first note of Nobody's Perfect by Jessie J, I knew the entire span of any commentary would include the phrase "we heard this same song from Angela last week..."  Now you might ask: Yes, Steve, but did she sing the song better than Angela?  Not really.  But I felt she was set up for failure.

Did I agree with anything else from the judges?  I agreed that Aubrey Cleland sang Sweet Dreams (by Beyonce, not Patsy Cline) rather well.  Was it anything that made me think she would be anointed Queen by an Old Testament prophet?  Hardly.  I agreed that Juliana Chahayed needed more seasoning before she progressed any further-- although I suspected no one at Idol wanted a song from an X Factor judge on the show.

Finally, my brethren and cistern, we come to the person who won the evening for me...  Breanna Steer.  Like Keith Urban, I was totally unfamiliar with the sing Bust the Windows.  (The song reminded me of a darker and grittier version of Before He Cheats, for those of you unfamiliar with the Jasmine Sullivan recording.)  I don't recall this girl from any previous performance and suddenly she's on the radar like an F5 tornado.  Very interesting performance.

Next week, we get to start actually voting.  But Thursday night, we get to see the last cut of the guys.

We'll see, won't we?

@February 27, 2013  Stephen W Thompson