Tonight's episode was so all about Crystal Bowersox that it was a joke. You could tell, too, by the intro to the show that she knew she'd blow the other chicks out of the water, as she exhibited what I perceived to be a bit of swagger in her introduction. Well go on, girl.
I complained about the other girls being blah in comparison to Crystal last week but last week the show also ran two hours. Tonight it was a sleek 60 minutes, thanks to the lack of cutesy video packages, which made the episode drag much less. Katie Stevens kicked things off with Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway." Like Simon did to Caitlin, I have to compliment her hair. She looks like a luxurious-maned little doll. However, so far she's not been that special a singer and the judges agreed, saying that despite the fact that she has incorporated their advice to date, she is too confused about who she is as an artist.
I thought I was insane for not digging Siobhan's "House of the Rising Sun" but thank god for Simon. Kara thought her choice of starting the song off a cappella was "brilliant" (her go-to word whenever anyone does anything vaguely different) but Simon found the performance plodding and "moment"-less. On a shallow note I just don't get what it is she's selling: she dresses like a wee indie darling princess but she sings these soul songs and the package doesn't come together for me. Her lip gloss, however, was poppin', as were her boobs.
I am currently listen to Brandi Carlile's "The Story" right now because I'd never heard it before tonight. At the time I thought Lacey sounded a bit like Simon's proverbial tortured cat crossed with Gwen Stefani but the judges loved it. Now that I'm listening to the song I realize that it does have a bit of a yodely, scratchy tone to it so I think Lacey did a better job than I first thought, although I agreed with Simon who, unlike Kara, didn't feel like this was Lacey's big moment.
Simon and I were clearly sharing one brain tonight because during Caitlin's performance of "I Feel the Earth Move" I typed "Boring. Like in a restaurant. Looks scared. Not special." Then Simon said it sounded like request night at a restaurant and that the other contestants were trying harder than she was. But her hair DID look nice and hey, an organ! (Not a guitar).
I was a little surprised that Simon was so into Didi's version of "Rhiannon." I thought Stevie Nicks was one of those artists who you'd better kick serious ass on when covering, and I didn't think Didi kicked ass. She did an OK (I could barely hear her guitar though) job but I definitely didn't think it was a "wow" moment or proved that she was an artist, as Simon did. I might be basing this partially on the fact that my dog stood up from his bed and went in his cage while she was singing. But, much better than last week.
The mantle of "Eesh, sorry to pile on but that was awful" performance tonight went to Paige Miles, which was sad because I thought she'd been strong up until tonight. Is there anything sadder than a sad version of "Smile"? Her version was depressing and wobbly and the judges all told her it sucked and it was obvious she felt horrible.
Like I said, Crystal was way better than anyone else tonight and she seemed even more awesome a.) following Paige and b.) wielding an electric guitar. I think the biggest way she kicked ass on "Give Me One Reason" was that she actually seemed to hold back the teensiest bit during the performance--she could have belted it more than she did but she didn't need to and that made her look like a pro. The judges all fell over themselves about it and for once I didn't find that annoying.
I had deemed Crystal the winner of the evening until I realized that Lilly Scott still had to perform and figured she had a chance to maybe stand out but she made things easy on Crystal by turning a version of "I Fall to Pieces" that I actually thought it was out of tune in parts. The first three judges enjoyed it but Simon felt it lacked the wow factor, which is how the entire episode felt for me except for you-know-who.
--I get the impression Simon meant it when he claimed that it was "very uncomfortable" having Ellen nuzzle him.
--Ryan continues his annoying trend of trying to stick up for the contestants, like when he begged Simon to compliment Siobhan for the vulnerability she showed singing a cappella.
--Lacey, girl, you're in dangerous Nikki McKibbin territory, style-wise.