Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Michael Lynche

Big Mike Lynche Is Going Home to Florida After May 12th Elimination on “American Idol”

He didn’t quite make it into Win, Place or Show. He finished fourth, but, considering that rumors abounded, early on, that he was going to be kicked off because his dad spilled the beans to the press (his mom works for the Orlando newspaper) that he was in the Top 24, (when all contestants sign agreements not to disclose such things), and considering the fact that 5 weeks ago the viewers voted him off but the judges saved him, Michael Lynche did pretty well….better than his brother, who finished high in the pack one previous year, I’m told. Big Mike almost made it into the Top Three, the ones whose home towns are visited by the “American Idol” cameras, and he was definitely a far better singer than Casey James, who was kept, instead.

Five weeks ago Big Mike Lynche was saved from elimination on “American Idol” by the one-time use of the Judges’ save. Was it any wonder, then, that he was the one eliminated on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 by the audience? Yes and no.

 I’ve predicted for some time that American Idol’s Top Three were likely to be Crystal, Lee and Casey, but I also felt that Mighty Casey Had Struck Out after Sinatra night. It was not his singing prowess that kept him in the competition past that fateful night (Aaron Kelly was eliminated, instead).  It was his “total package” good looks, guitar playing prowess, and the teen-aged girls voting from home.

 This night Ryan Seacrest announced that a season high of 37 million votes was cast. Fantasia sang (wearing what appeared to be tights that you could go scuba diving in.) There was a Ford Fiesta commercial involving the remaining four contestants. (The pushing of the Prius-like start button on the car was repeated at least three times in the short commercial.)  The contestants were all asked about their desires, at this point, and Big Mike said that he wanted to get home to his puppy, while Crystal said she would like to go home to Ohio to play with Frankie May, her bass player.  Lee said, “I want that to be me,” of winning and Casey said, “Hearin’ a bunch of people saying my name would be nice.” (If so, Lee had a chorus of “I love you, Lee” girls in the crowd, so he realized Casey’s dream.)

 Daughtry performed their song “September” and mused on his success, despite not winning the crown the year he appeared on “Idol” (Kat won).  He said, of performing with his own band, “Daughtry,” “It doesn’t get old.  It’s an amazing feeling every night.”  Of the song “September” that his band performed he said it had to do with his childhood.  “I grew up in a small town of 100 people.  It’s about the simplicity of my childhood and how it made me who I am.”  Randy commented, “I see that Chris is livin’ the dream.  It feels good for us (the judges). I love it.” Chris Daughtry’s advice to the remaining contestants?  “Stay hungry and stick with what’s true to you.”

 After Daughtry, Bon Jovi took the stage and performed a song “Superman Tonight.” (Who’s gonna’ love you when you turn out the light. I wish that I could be your Superman tonight.”) The song sounded like a hit, to me, and I was particularly glad, since I have tickets to see Bon Jovi at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 30th.  When asked about their longevity and success, Jon Bon Jovi said, “Hard work and good luck.  We’ve crossed the generations now, at this point.” (Anyone who has seen the old posters of Jon Bon Jovi with the big hair of the ‘80s can testify to that.)

 And then there were 3:  Crystal, Lee and Casey.  Michael Lynche said, “It’s been unbelievable.  I just sit here right now and I think, I wasn’t even supposed to be here (referencing his “save” by the judges 5 weeks ago).  “I came to ‘American Idol’ to take my family’s life to another level.”

Then it was time for Big Mike to sing his last song (which he performed brilliantly) and for the selected film clips, in which Simon said, “The best performance we’ve had on these live shows so far,” and Kara urged him, “Do not stop.  Keep going.  Write great songs.  Record great songs.  Go out and keep gigging, ‘because you’ve got it in you.”

 Next week, the show will visit the hometowns of Crystal, Lee and Casey, which, if memory serves, are a town so small (80 people) in Ohio that it had no town sign until Crystal made it this far on “American Idol.” (Now, the sign says, “Home of Crystal Bowersox”); Mt. Prospect, a Chicago suburb; and Cool, TX.

“Big Mike” Avoids Elimination with Judges’ “Save” on “American Idol” on April 7, 2010

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 on “American Idol” and the judges use(d) their one (and only one) save of the season to rescue Michael (“Big Mike”) Lynche from elimination.  The bottom three vote getters were announced as being Mike Lynche, Aaron Kelly and Andrew Garcia. The only one of that trio who was a surprise (to me, anyway) was Big Mike, who had sung “Eleanor Rigby” the previous night.

After performances by one of Kara’s new sings (Jason somebody who reminded of a younger Jamie Foxx), who gave a performance with a lot of technical amplification that ended with Kara crowing, “Jason only had 4 days to get this together and you just killed it,” and Simon saying, “Absolutely great. Well done!” the show moved on to David Archuleta, who played the piano and sang “Imagine.”

I was struck during David’s performance that he was always criticized during the “David(s)” season for singing with his eyes closed and, this time, he sang with his eyes closed, again. It apparently hasn’t hampered his career, which he said features writing and recording. David looked slightly older and his hair looked slightly less curly, as he riffed (“Brotherhood of man”) through “Imagine” and said, “I love Ellen.” He wore a black shirt, light pants and a white and black striped rep tie.

It was at this point that Ryan Seacrest gave Kiran the order to: “Dim the lights. Get to the results.” The bottom three, as noted above, were announced as being Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly and Michael Lynche.

After this, Rihanna came out in what looked like a black wet suit with beaded Joan Crawford shoulder pads going on stylistically (Patti LaBelle Space Age Suit Memories). The tight-fitting spandex garment left little to the imagination as Rihanna sang a new song from her forthcoming “Last Girl on Earth” tour, a number entitled “Rock Star 101” that had, as a lyric, “To be what you is you gotta’ be what you are,” (good to know that proper grammar is still alive in the land) and the repeated lyric, “Hey, Baby, I’m a rock star.” This reminded me of the post-divorce song of another current songstress (Pink?) who exulted in her status as a pop icon. Rihanna had a short multi-colored hairstyle and I wondered aloud if she was completely done with Chris Brown as she sang, “Big City, Bright Lights.”

One hundred and thirty-two million votes have been cast this season, and it came down to Big Mike having to sing for his salvation. His wife sobbing in the audience, he sang a falsetto song he had previously used in the competition, rather than “Eleanor Rigby,” which, according to Simon, was the reason he was in this position in the first place.

The judges were unanimous in “saving” the personal trainer, so next week 2 singers will be eliminated from the show at once.

Stay tuned!

Boys’ Night on “American Idol” (3/10/2010): If Your Name Starts with the Letter “A”, Take Cover

american-idol-season-9-promo-picThe boys strutted their stuff on “American Idol” tonight, (Wednesday, March 10th), and, as usual, I’ll try to predict who’s in trouble and who is going to sail through tomorrow night. The fact that I’m so rarely correct shouldn’t stop you from reading this and feeling superior tomorrow night.

The show began with one of the front-running favorites, Lee DeWyze, singing “Fireflies” while clad in a blue/black/green Woodsmen-fell-that-tree plaid shirt.  The remarks were not Lee’s usual high ones, with Simon saying, “There was nothing to rave about. You are better than the version of the song you just did.” Randy didn’t much care for it, either, saying, “For me, it was a strange choice. But you made it work. You worked it out.” Randy also criticized some pitch problems and Ellen concurred but added, “I know a lot of people like you.” Kara was the most complimentary, saying, “You look confident. I think the song was a better song with your interpretation. A solid job.” So, is Lee in trouble? In one word, No.

Next up was Alex Lambert, who sang “Trouble.” If Alex weren’t such a cutie-pie, I’d say he was IN trouble. He has a nasal quality to his singing and Ellen, who has previously compared him to an unripe banana that needs to ripen, said, “Don’t become a cocky banana, because nobody likes that.’ The “vulnerability to be you…to let go” was discussed and Kara said, “That’s what we need from you,” while Simon added, “Relax and have a good time.” I think Alex is too cute to get sent home.

After Alex came Tim Urban, who is usually crucified by the judges. Tim sang the Jeff Buckley version of “Hallelujah” and Ellen went so far as to get out from behind the judges’ table, walk up, and give him a hug, while saying, “That was fantastic.” Randy said, “You walked in some pretty big shoes, and I think you did a pretty good job.” Kara commented, “I actually think you’re kind of in it now.” Simon then took responsibility for Tim’s sudden improvement saying,”I kind of feel responsible for you doing well, because I gave you confidence. It’s not the best version I’ve ever heard, but, for you, it was terrific.” In other words, it was a compliment along the lines of, “For a fat girl, you don’t sweat much,” hug or no hug.

Andrew Garcia was up next and, for the umpteenth time, he sang a female star’s song, this time Christina Aguilara’s “Genie in a Bottle.” Nobody really liked it. Simon said, “It was a little bit desperate. You’ve overthought it. You’re kind of still going backwards at the moment.” The backwards remark was from Andrew’s earlier version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” during Hollywood week, which is the only thing anyone wants to talk about with Andrew. I thought he was bad last week and his suit was worse. Ellen said, “The genie came out of the bottle too late.” Kara remarked, “You peaked so early. I couldn’t hear the melody.  It just wasn’t great, and I wanted it to be.” Randy commented on the fact that it was “pitchy” and “It made us feel like the whole song was only 3 notes.” Wave good-bye to Andy.

Casey James, another favorite of the judges…(or, at least, of Kara’s)…sang a Keith Urban song “You’ll Think of Me” and was criticized by Randy for having chosen a song that was “a little bit of a safe choice. I feel like you’ve got more of that edgy Stevie Ray Vaughn in you.” Ellen, however, said: “I thought it was great. I really liked it.” Kara commented, “This was better than last week. It was honest, definitely.”  Simon thought it was Casey’s second best performance, so far and said, “It made you sincere. You sounded great.” No way is Casey getting kicked off with his sex appeal, but his hair looked really scraggly/awful this night.

Aaron Kelly, who is only 16, came out and sang “I’m Already There,” a song about a father calling home and talking to his son, which Kara felt was pushing it, (for a sixteen-year-old.) Simon disagreed with Kara’s comment, calling it “complete rubbish,” and Randy advised, “The thing you should work on is your lower register.” In my opinion, Aaron should also work on his upper register, which was annoying in the extreme. When he sang the word “hotel,” he was flat and his attempts to sell the song by bobbing back and forth reminded me of the one-year-old, Elise, who does the same thing which her parents (my son and wife) have dubbed “The Dora Dance,” because she does it while watching “Dora the Explorer” on television. The video is posted on YouTube (Elise does the Dora Dance.) Ellen’s comments to Aaron were; “I love you. You’re 16. You have the confidence of someone 30 years old. I just didn’t think that was terrific.” Ellen was right, and I think Aaron’s song title (“I’m Already There”) sums up where he will be after tomorrow night: already back home.

Last, but certainly not least were Todrick Hall, singing “Somebody to Love” by Queen, which was refreshing after so many male singers sitting on stools singing quiet, desperate songs. Todrick did have on one of his odd outfits, which resembled nothing so much as a riding outfit with jodhpurs and a slash-zippered jacket and single glove. Simon even commented, of Todrick, “So you’re a Broadway singer” remarking, especially on the one glove. He said, “There were so many boring performances with people sitting on a stool playing a guitar. That performance may have saved you.” I certainly hope so. Randy commented, “Todrick is back. That was one of the best vocals.” Ellen liked the way Todrick made the song sound “like a Gospel song. Man, you’re great, and I commend you for doing that song.” Kara also commented “the singing was good.” Todrick should be able to hang on, unless America thinks Aaron is too cute to send home, but there is no comparison between the talent level of the inexperienced Aaron and the Broadway veteran Todrick, so do the right thing, America, and send Aaron home to grow up a bit and try out again another year.

All the judges were “wowed” by the final performer of the night, Michael “Big Daddy” Lynche, who sang “This Woman’s Work.” He was wearing a suit jacket with sneakers and blue jeans and began with a high falsetto. Randy: “Really? That was crazy.  Yo, Mike, that was hot!” Ellen: “You are the one to beat now.” Kara; “It’s amazing. It brought me to tears.” Simon: “This was so needed tonight. It was all so boring. You 100% nailed it. Best of the night and of all these lives shows so far.”

So, who’s going home? Should be Andrew and Aaron…. alphabetically, at least…with an outside chance that Todrick isn’t the favorite of the teeny-boppers of America who actually pick up the phone and vote.

Boys’ Night on “American Idol:” A “Meh” Experience

What to say about “American Idol” boys’ night? Another “meh” set of performances.

Let’s categorize them as we did with the girls: The Good, The Bad, and the Okay.


My favorites: Lee DeWyze, 23, of Chicago sang Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars’ and he has a unique quality in his voice. He accompanied himself on guitar and has a raspy edge that is very unique. Comments were made by the judges that were “so-so” but Simon seemed to get it: “I thought this was the best performance you’ve given so far. This guy is a naturally good singer.” I think Lee did well.

Casey James: The blonde 24-year-old sang “Here’s Heaven” and, despite all the goofing-around, which included Randy grabbing Kara’s arms and having her wave them to and fro and Kara’s comment, “I don’t recognize you with your shirt on,” (he removed it at her suggestion during auditions) I thought he gave a good performance. Ellen said, “I could feel Kara undressing you with her eyes. You were great.” Even Simon got into the act, commenting that they were both “cursed with good looks.” Simon called Casey’s performance “Honest. Sincere. Likeable,” and added, “This was the best performance I’ve heard from you, so you did great.” I agree.

Joe Munoz, 20, of Huntington Park, California:  He sang the Jason Mraz song “You and I Both Hear It.” Ellen said, “You’re so comfortable. Great stage presence. “ Randy commented, “You’ve got a great voice. I think you did a great job with it, Dawg. You worked it out.” Kara called him “up front and center. The best so far in terms of the singing.” Simon was the only dissenter calling him “okay, safe, a bit forgettable, a bit limp.” I think the 3 to 1 who thought he did a good job were right.

Michael Lynche, 26 sang “This Love” by “Maroon 5” accompanying himself on guitar. He did not get much support from Simon, who said, “You’re sort of like the support act before the main act, kind of like a vague, jazzy performance.” Ellen disagreed, saying, “I think people are gonna’ love him.” Michael has been given so much extra airtime because of the birth of his daughter while he was auditioning that people feel like they know him. Big Daddy will still be here for a while.

Todrick Hall did appear to be what Simon accused him of: “I think you came over as a dancer trying to sing.” Yes, he did. The next part of Simon’s critique I disagree with, “What you did was completely verging on stupid.” What he did was dance around a lot, since he has danced and sung on Broadway with Fantasia in “The Color Purple.” He moved around a lot and, as Ellen said, “The chorus was a little rough,” I had no idea what he was singing, to begin with. Randy said, “I didn’t know what song it was. I still want to see you sing.  You’ve got mad chops vocally.” I think that Todrick needs to NOT change the song as much as he did (he said he heard it this way in his head) but I liked his acrobatic touches. Not everyone can both sing and dance well. Needs to sing something we all know and love.

Jermaine Sellers, 27, from Joliet, Illinois, sang “Get Here” while wearing his trademark hat. I actually liked his light voice, with the lilting quality, although it took him a long time to slide up to the right pitch on the last note. Ellen declared herself “A huge fan” and said, “I love your look. More a performance than feeling it, though. A couple of times you went off or out as though you were trying too hard.” Randy wants him to sing something more contemporary like Neo or Maxwell and added, “You’re trying to do too much vocally, Dawg,” referencing some of Jermaine’s runs. He wanted them to be meaningful runs. Simon was brutal: “It’s the kind of song that, if you were playing piano in a piano bar, people in their 50s would request it. I think you’ve totally blown your opportunity with that (song choice).”  {*Note: he is not in the “BAD” category, for me, but it was just okay.)

Aaron Kelly, 16, from Sonestown, Pennsylvania, a high school student: Simon was kind to Aaron, saying, “Bearing in mind that that was your first live appearance, that was very good.” All of the rest told him, “Dude, believe in yourself.” Randy added, “16. What a voice! Wow!” Ellen said, “I think you’re gonna be here a long time. You’re just gonna’ get better and better.”

John Park, 21, of Northbrook, Illinois sang “God Bless The Child” and that was universally panned as a song choice. Simon immediately kicked his chair back and began to look bored, before John had even sung 3 notes. After the performance, he said, “You have got to have an incredible voice to take that one on and you don’t. It was flat, zero emotion. A pointless performance,” which he compared to a copycat knock-off of Michael Buble. I didn’t like the choice of songs, either, but I’ll share my theory about that at the end of this list. Randy said, “It made you feel old,” and Ellen agreed that “A different song would show us who you are. I like you a lot.” John has real talent and can come back.

Andrew Garcia, 24, of Moreno Valley, California sang “Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.” Simon said he was disappointed…that the song was “too serious, too indulgent.” Kara thought it was “a really strange rendition, but a risk, and added, “You’re great.” Everyone kept referencing his earlier rendition of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.” Ellen said, “I’m one of the fans, but this was too closed, too indulgent. I think you’re gonna’ stick around. We like you.” Agreed.

Alex Lambert, of North Richland Hills, Texas, was the 19-year-old who sang “It’s A Wonderful World” by James Morrison. Simon was so mean to him that I think he will get sympathy votes. Simon said, “I don’t know who was the happiest for that performance to end, you or us. It was the most uncomfortable performance of the night.” Ellen hit the nail on the head when she talked about a banana and how Alex “just needs to ripen” (like a banana). He had only sung publicly 3 times, previously, in coffee shops. He’s a very cute young man. I think he will make it through and people will forgive him his first-night jitters and his relative inexperience, when compared to a performer from Broadway like Todrick Hall.


Tyler Grady, for me, was by far the worst. He sang “American Woman,” but he is a poseur, a Jim Morrison wannabee. It’s getting old. That pretty much sums up the judges comments, as they said he needed to find some new schtick, rather than continuing to mimic rock singers from the past that he has admired.  Simon put it this way, “You come over as someone who has gone to ‘Pretend to be a rock star school.” Agreed. Kara referenced his obsession with the seventies (although Jim Morrison was the sixties,) and randy criticized his “style over substance.” Ellen said, ‘You’re copying. Work on the singing. Be an original.” Good advice.

Tim Urban, 20, of Duncanville, Texas, DID get cut previously. I knew I remembered he had been cut after group week, but then he was back. (Reason was said to be that Chris Golightly did not reveal a previous record contract and got cut, so there was an opening.) Tim sang “Apologize” by One Republic, and he is very cute. He looks like the Lost Jonas Brother, but his voice was weak. Simon said, “There was nothing to take from that. I just don’t think your voice is good enough.” Kara said, “The music overpowered you and swallowed it up. Here you were just buried under the arrangement.” Randy told Tim it was “just the wrong song. Honestly, I personally think you are better than this.” (So do I).  Ellen said, “If the sound was down, just looking at you, because you’re adorable.” Ellen has hit on what may keep Tim Urban around: he IS adorable. (Remember Sanjaya?) Nevertheless, Simon said that he felt the judges had made the right choice when they cut him the first time, and I can’t argue with that after hearing him tonight. Now, if he only sang as good as he looks…..

On the previous night, when the girls sang, all the songs were dreary. There were no “up-tempo” performances, really. The only one this night was the “American Woman” attempt, but we’re getting tired of seeing Tyler Morrison…err Grady. Honestly, he’s NOT that adorable or sexy, despite the long mane of hair and the possible pleather pants. Why don’t the producers insist that so many songs be “up tempo” and so many be slower? I’m sure this could be arranged. It is just common sense. All bands, when putting together their play lists, make room for a slow song every once in a while, but if the entire concert is slow, dirgy music, it gets pretty boring. I think what is bringing this year’s performances down are the song choices, which, so far, have been less-than-stimulating. Makes you long for Adam Lambert and company of last year. I want some fast and some slow, but no more Jim Morrison wanna-bees need apply.

Predictions for Top 24 in “American Idol” (2/17/10)

american-idol-judges2Tuesday, February 16, 2010, “American Idol” from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and there are 71 contestants still standing. In the 2-hour Tuesday show, the 71 were to be pared down to 24 Finalists.

While we, at home, are, no doubt, being denied complete exposure to every single “comer” (i.e., all the good singers are not revealed early on; it took a while for “American Idol” to let us get a good look at Adam Lambert last season, for example), sometimes we get a quick glimpse of a contestant who will possibly be one of the Final 24, like Genesis Moore or Ashley Rodriguez.

One Orlando contestant (male) was booted from the show when his father couldn’t keep his mouth shut and blabbed it around town that his son had made it through to the Final 12. The contestant (Nicci Nix) who claimed to have flown 14 hours from Florence is no longer seen onscreen. Danielle Hay, who was really a very good singer, was booted for failing to reveal some troubles with the law. There was also a contestant in Chicago (male) whose visa or green card from Northern Ireland posed problems for the show, so he was out.

To try to make a prediction of the Final 24—12 male contestants and 12 female contestants—is, therefore, almost impossible at this point in the competition, but it’s fun to try.  The Final 24—-or, I should say, the remaining 17, since we already know 7 of them after Tuesday night’s show— are going to be announced Wednesday, February 16th’s show.  I am going to make predictions right now, much as is done prior to the announcement of the Oscar nominees.

Please bear with me as I scour my notes and my not-always-that-great memory. Please forgive me my spelling errors of names, early on. Most of the last three weeks’ worth of auditions I watched without benefit of TVO, as we were moving around in Florida (see previous AC articles).

Let me go out on a limb and we can all saw it off tomorrow night when I am way off the mark. If you’d like to make your own predictions, see if you can do better. And let’s not forget: by the end of Tuesday night’s show, we knew the names of 2 of the female final twelve and 5 of the male final twelve.

Who will the remaining Finalists be, following on the heels of the 7 announced tonight?

By show’s end, the male contestants who had made it through were:

1)      Michael Lynche, the 26-year-old personal trainer from Astoria, New York, whose wife just had a new baby girl (“Big Daddy”).

2)      Casey James – I like to call Casey “Mr. Shirtless.” (If you’ve been following the auditions, you’ll know what I’m referring to.)

3)      Aaron Kelly – Aaron’s continued presence surprised me, since he forgot his words at one point, but his back story (Aunt and Uncle had to raise him) and likeability made him a finalist.

4)      Lee Dewyze – [Do you remember him?]

5)      Todrick Hall – Todrick has danced and sung on Broadway with Fantasia in “The Color Purple.”

Female Contestants Named on Tuesday, Feb. 16:

1)      Didi Benami – The Nashville songstress’ story is primarily how the death of her best friend is motivating her.

2)      Katelyn Epperly – I’m pulling for the West Des Moines native with the “Witches of Eastwick” wild blonde hair. Her backstory is less compelling: Dad left Mom and she wants to prove that there is life after divorce.

So, those are the 7 contestants (out of 24) that have been announced as I write this.  I’m going to predict some sure things for tomorrow night, and some strong possibles.

Female Contestants (in no particular order, but bold-faced are the stronger bets) to be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 17: (#3 through #12):

#3 – Angela Martin

#4 – Lilly Scott

#5 – Crystal Bowersax

#6 – Haeley Vaughan

#7 – Charity Vance

#8 – Ashley Rodriguez

#9- Janell Wheeler

#10- Genesis Moore

#10-Lacey Brown

#11-Christian Spear

For #12, some whose names were dropped (after which they disappeared) are; Tory Kelly, Kimberly Carver, Dawntoya Thomasen and a girl whose first name was Megan (did not get her last name). There are some fine male singers this year, but there seems to be more female talent this year.

Male Contestants: (#6 through #12):

#6 – John Park

#7 – Jermaine Purefory

#8 – Lloyd Thomas

#9 – Andrew Garcia

#10-Thaddeus Johnson

#11-Chris Golightly

#12-Dave Pittman

What? You say you don’t remember these names. Let me give you a quick refresher course on the Best Female Bets so you’re ahead of the game on Wednesday night.

#3) Angela Martin:  Angela made it to the Top 40 in Season 8. She said, “I’ve seen a lot of dreams die. I can’t give up until I touch my dream.” Angela sang a Mary J. Blige song. The 28-year-old native of Chicago lost her father just before being cut in Season 7 and, in Season 8, missed out because she had a traffic court citation. She was described as “really talented” and the phrase “try and try again” was used. Get the picture? If you watched on Tuesday, Angela was wearing a fake leopard-skin one-shouldered dress and looked great. She ended up in Room 3, and Room 2 was the room where contestants went to die.

#4) Lilly Scott – Lilly was described as “a sandwich-maker from Denver.” She has distinctive gray-white hair and wore long peacock earrings. Kara said, “Everything about you is refreshing.” Would seem to be a shoo-in.

#5 – Crystal Bowersax – If Crystal, a 24-year-old from Chicago, doesn’t get in, there is no justice. From Chicago, she both played guitar and harmonica while singing, totally charming the judges. Crystal describes herself as a musician and a mother. Simon said of her, “You’re infectious. People will like you,” That, plus she is a very good bluesy chanteuse Sheryl Crow-like singer.

#6) Haely Vaughan– Haeley is the would-be black C&W singer. I honestly don’t think she’s that good, but Randy, in particular, really seems to like her.

#7) Charity Vance – Charity got the second gold ticket in Chicago singing “Summertime” and talking about her mother and father’s beauty shop. A pretty blonde, she had a small, soprano voice with a nicely lilting vibrato. Charity was a member of the female trio “Faith” during group week, along with Ashley Rodriguez, and all 3 of the members of this trio made it through.

#8) Janell Wheeler – Janell sang “House of the Rising Sun” and is rumored to be Tim Teebow’s girlfriend. Look for her to make it through to the top 24 for that reason, alone.

#9) Ashley Rodriguez – One of the trio called “Faith” during group week, Ashley has a video online under the name Ashley Makailah (“Gravity”, by Sara Bareilles), which is worth checking out. She is a true beauty who can really sing and Simon has said she has “it.” A lot of the videos of Ashley have been “pulled,” so she is one they’re keeping under wraps to spring on us.

#10) Genesis Moore – There is video of young Genesis at age 13 blowing the judges away in a talent competition singing “Summertime.” We hardly saw her at all during the auditions. This black chanteuse is one who can blow.

The last 2 spots may well go to any one of these names: Christian Spear, Tory Kelly, Kimberly Carver, Dawntoya Thomasen, Megan ?. I think the “best of the best” (i.e., the best of the female talent) is already listed above.

Since the girls are the strength area this year, I’ll remind you about the male contestants after they are announced on Fox tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 17th, 2010.

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