‘American Idol’: Pia Toscano Ends The Top 12 Girls Night On A High Note

Becky Bain | March 3, 2011 5:40 am

A few of the The Top 12 Guys emerged as legitimate frontrunners Tuesday night, but after three years of male singers winning American Idol, we’re certainly due for a young lady to blow us away and win the competition. Thankfully, there were a small handful of females in the Top 12 who proved that they have the potential – and the talent – of doing just that. They sang Christina! They sang Reba! They miserably warbled out Kelly! Head below for our recap of ladies’ night on Idol.


Ta-Tynisa Wilson – “Only Girl (In The World)” by Rihanna. No one should sing this song live. Especially Rihanna, but especially Ta-Tynisa. This song is in no one’s range.

Naima Adedapo – “Summertime” by George Gershwin. This song belongs to Fantasia. Seriously — just watch this and try not to weep like J-Lo (who, for some reason, felt the desire to dress up as a fancy robot hooker last night). Naima’s a pretty great jazz singer and her arrangement was fresh, if not very dramatic or stirring — we just don’t know how far she’ll get in this competition compared to more pop-friendly vocalists.

Kendra Chantelle – “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera. Not a good time to be associated with Christina Aguilera – not simply because of her continuously unraveling list of fails over the past few weeks, but because she’s just been announced as a judge on ABC’s version of Idol, The Voice. But unlike Xtina, Kendra didn’t mess up the lyrics! She also sang it quite beautifully. Where did this girl come from? How did we not get more screen time with her until now? Is she just totally boring behind the scenes? No sob story? Nice to finally meet you, Kendra!

Rachel Zevita – “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. Compared to the Kelly Clarkson wannabes and soul sisters in the Top 12, Rachel is the black sheep of the girls— she’s probably a lot like what Lady Gaga was like back during her brunette days at NYU. As far as her performance of “Criminal” goes, this is a classic case of taking a song and warping to be totally unrecognizable. In fact, did comedy lounge singer Richard Cheese arrange this version of Fiona’s song?

Karen Rodriguez – “Hero” by Mariah Carey. No one wants to hear this song ever, ever again. I bet people even use this song as an opportunity to go to the bathroom when Mariah Carey sings it in concert. J-Lo, of course, loved it, since she sang half of it in Spanish. Two points for being smart enough to appeal to the Hispanic community, Karen!

Lauren Turner – “Seven Day Fool” by Etta James. Was it hilariously bad? No. Was it mind-blowingly great? No. Was it interesting whatsoever? No. Bye, Lauren.

Ashthon Jones – “Love All Over Me” by Monica. You choose this song — out of all songs — to impress America? I don’t even know if I liked Ashthon’s performance or not since this song does absolutely nothing for me.

Julie Zorrilla – “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson. Well, in her cutesy pink cocktail dress, she certainly exudes better style than Kelly’s had in some time. But better vocals? No. Never. No. Do not dare tarnish the good name of American Idol‘s premiere champion.

Haley Reinhart – “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys. Sometimes Haley’s baby coo is really annoying… and other times she brings out an awesome, gritty, down-and-dirty snarl with it. This performance had both, but more of the latter than the former.

Thia Megia – “Out Here On My Own” by Irene Cara. I love this song from the Fame soundtrack. LOVE IT. It needs to be sung more. It’s a singer’s song and it needs to be felt. And Lil Miss 15-year old Thia — whose voice is so mature she sounds like she’s in her mid-20s — delivered a powerful cover, starting a capella, and continuously building without losing control. She’s the first one of the night to really have a “moment” on stage.

Lauren Alaina – “Turn on the Radio” by Reba McEntire. If Kelly Clarkson and Allison Iraheta had a baby, it’d be Lauren. She sounded better than the song warranted. She’ll sail through, but she should find a song that offers her a chance to really have an aforementioned “moment”.

Pia Toscano – “I’ll Stand By You” by the Pretenders. She sounded fantastic, and she’s probably got the most controlled voice out of everyone on the show. Although the beginning was a little sleepy, she ended it with a killer money note. Standing O!

WORST OF THE NIGHT: Julie Zorrilla for attempting Kelly Clarkson and failing miserably.

BEST OF THE NIGHT: Pia Toscano. You didn’t get that pimp slot for nothing. Though we were also impressed with Kendra Chantelle and Thia Megia.

Tomorrow night — we lose two guys and two ladies. Tear. Eh, we won’t remember them by Friday.