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March 6, 2008
Idol Chatter: Are there 6 standouts among the gals?


Can you say snooze-a-roo?

I'm reiterating my earlier prediction: It's going to take a major "tunearounnd" for the gals to topple the guys on "American Idol," especially after Wednesday night's butchering of '80s songs.

Half the time I couldn't even figure out what songs were being performed. And then there were the numerous attempts at doing diva impersonations. You know, Whitney and Celine, whose vocals these young women simply can't tackle.

No matter. Six of the eight remaining gals will advance to the Top 12 (with six guys), and we'll see if they get picked off one at a time. Here's a recap of the mostly forgettable performances.

* Asia'h Epperson: I had high hopes for her, but Asia'h's version of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was, as judge Simon Cowell put it, a "second-rate Whitney." In other words, she didn't bring anything new to the song.

* Kady Malloy:(pictured) She should have been eliminated last week and definitely so this week with a real clunker I had to look up afterward. Oh, it was a Queen song, "Who Wants To Live Forever?" I think. Paula Abdul thought it was Kady's best performance, but she was acting so goofy, who knows if she was even listening. Simon put the nail in the coffin with this rant: "You have a massive lack of personality. When you sing, it's gloomy and somber. No emotion. You may be in trouble."

* Amanda Overmyer: Nurse Cruella got a major makeover this week, losing most of those awful white stripes in her hair and wearing less makeup. She actually looked 23 instead of 43. She rocked Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and probably secured a spot next week. Said Randy Jackson: "That's the Amanda we love, a bluesy rocker chick." Simon was downright giddy, declaring it one of his "favorite girl performances of the entire competition." Now, if he can only get Amanda to crack a smile.

* Carly Smithson: From a fashion standpoint, the sailor jeans were a mess, and I didn't particularly care for the song, "I Drove All Night," but Carly's got some pipes. Randy said she keeps "smashing it every week" (whatever that means). And Paula uttered these words of wisdom: "Dude, you're like a dependable dog." Simon simply said she can sing the phone book.

* Kristy Lee Cook: Kristy is definitely the most improved performer. She sang Journey's "Faithfully" and, as Randy put it, added "a country lilt to it." That's the genre Kristy shines with. Simon liked the country music influence but still thinks she's forgettable. "You're battling bigger voices, and I see you coming in 10th." I agree.

* Ramiele Malubay: Ramiele delivered a singing sleeping pill with Phil Collins' slow-going "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)." Simon thought it was old-fashioned, and he kept looking for the "big money note." It wasn't there. Randy saw a real breakdown in Ramiele's confidence. For the first time in the competition, she could face eviction.

* Brooke White: Props to Brooke for coming up with a completely off-the-music-wall take on Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield." All the judges loved it because Brooke didn't let the band take over the song. "You worked it perfectly," Simon said. "Two weeks running, you've had great performances."

* Syesha Mercado: Because of the judges' silly banter about yogurt and other completely unrelated topics that had nothing to do with assessing a performance, poor Syesha got a smattering of comments after singing another Whitney song, "Saving All My Love for You." Randy: "Good, good." Paula: "Sophisticated, lovely." Simon: "Predictable. Good." Whatever.

Simon was asked what he thought of the gals vs. the guys and confirmed the guys were definitely better, with Amanda being his favorite performance of the night.

Tonight's live results show (8 p.m. on Channel 40) will feature Season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis. (So where the heck has the beatboxer been?) And four more contestants will go. I do hope they'll have the Top 12 sit on those silly thrones like they have in past seasons. And, hopefully, we'll find out if next week is a mentor week or a wing it week.

Stay tuned.

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