March 25th, 2009
09:28 PM ET

Top 10: Lil Rounds doesn't generate big 'Heat'

Lil Rounds had no excuse not to knock it out of the box tonight.

Lil Rounds

With her voice, she should own Motown night.

She sang "Heatwave," which was a hit for Martha and the Vandellas. It seemed the perfect choice because she's a bit of a throwback, and I could so see her as the lead singer of a girl group.

But it just never hit the sweet spot I was waiting for. Randy was right on point when he said it was not her best performance.

Kara rightfully put it out there that she was the diva to watch and Lil disappointed.

And what was up with that flapper dress? All that fringe made me feel itchy. The dress moved me more than the performance did, and that makes me so sad.

Seemingly another poor song choice. What is going on with the contestants tonight? They had so much to choose from!

What do you think is the issue?

–Lisa Respers France, CNN.com Writer


Filed under: television

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Deb

    I'm sorry but I think she can not take criticism and has attitude when she is given criticism.

    April 8, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Damian

    She didn't even say goodbye or nice comments to Megan on the goodbye video for Idol Extra, very rude

    April 8, 2009 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. DR

    I think Lil is a great singer, although, I must say she did not choose the best song to reveal her talent. Despite the opinion of others, I think she accepted the criticism pretty well. I think she will take the advice and use it to her advantage. She still has an opportunity to make up for her past two performances because she has the voice, and whether or not she becomes the next American Idol really will not matter for her because the exposure that she is gaining will open doors for her. After all, she has a big voice and at the end of the day that's what seems to make it to the top of the record charts.

    March 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Duaneeo

    As Tracy said, many of the songs people here are saying Lil should have sang are not Motown songs. And, many Motown classics are more "pop" than "soul".

    I think Lil chose the wrong song. She should have chosen "Dancing In The Street" over "Heat Wave". Or, perhaps she should have sang a more soulful rendition of "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart" or "Love Child".

    March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kuske

    No class. Bad attitude. Ungrateful performance.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LJR

    She can sing and If anyone can judge my husband can and he thinks she has an amazing voice. the people that are making those nasty comments are jealous. If you are going to comment make it worthwhile.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sandie

    You are a wonderful singer but last night I was looking for something that would make even Simon stand on his feet. To me if you would have sang something like Natalie Cole – Inseparable that would have been the bomb.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Northwest Nance

    I have liked Lil from the start, but she has disappointed me the last couple of weeks. And at this stage of the competition they are supposed to be stepping up their game, gaining confidence, and impressing us more each week... not less. I still like her personally, and I hope she gets a chance to come back next week and give it another shot. Certainly there are others who deserve to be gone a lot more than she does.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jjac

    I totally enjoy Lil every time I hear her! I have no complaints about her voice or song. Simon doesn't always know what he is talking about! She will be fine whether or not she wins this contest, just like Jennifer has done! Some people have enough talent that they just need the exposure. Lil, you have allot of BIG supporters out here, just go and you your thing on the stage!!!

    March 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deb

    Lil has not done very well for 2 weeks now. Last night was almost painful to watch and listen to. What I really didn't like was that she was obviously angry at the judges critiquing. She should have shined last night, but didn't shine at all. (The fake hair looked ridiculous as well.) She and Megan should be in the bottom 2 this evening.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. karen from Canada

    Lil could have done much betty. She is still great

    March 26, 2009 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tracy

    Midnight train to Georgia was not a motown song.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. patti Escabi

    What's with the Heat Wave, poor song choice. She would have rocked worlds with something from Gladys Knight. They have similar voices. Can you imagine her singing Midnight Train to Georgia. Unreal.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. griggs

    Lil never impressed me. I went back to her audition video to see if I had missed something. I did not. I think she was voted in due to her skin color and her socio-economic background (we love the drama) but she has not delivered and has no chances of winning this contest.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tracy

    Every black artist that released a song in the 60's was not on Motown . Respect was not a Motown song . jeez

    March 26, 2009 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  16. C.

    For all you that don't know Aretha Franklin was not on the Motown label so how could she have sung RESPECT.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  17. Roger T

    Lil Rounds is one of the best in the many seasons I've seen. Her performances delivers a powerful vocal and is amazing. i don't watch much AI in the past years but this season I've been following up. I hope she is one of the finalist.

    She's got beauty and an amazing vocal!

    March 26, 2009 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  18. Emily

    Lil Rounds is still in my Top 3. She as an amazing, soulful voice, but why is everyone making the 'screaming'/'screeching' comments? The girl can sing. It's not like the auditions where its a room full of screeching vocals.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  19. ks

    Lil, why on earty didn't you sing R-E-S-P-E-C-T? You would do great on that one. But you need to not scream so much. You have a big voice but CONTROL is the key word here. You can sing big without oversinging, if you have proper control. Breathe from the diaphram, not the throat.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  20. Tracy

    People have a problem with her referencing Obama . Hello – she referenced the President . People get on black people for years for not being Patriotic now there is a problem. Dixie chicks go on foreign soil and say something negative about Bush and their careers get ruined. Lil Rounds quickly referenced Obama on American Idol and thats a problem . C'mon . you people need a reality check.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  21. Tracy

    why is it that every black finalist gets compared to a previous black finalist ? how many times in these comments do were see the name fantasia or Jennifer Hudson. Nobody compares Adam to David Cook . or the white soul singers to previous white soul singers. again this show is rigged against blacks and people need to stop comparing Lil rounds to Fantasia she is nothing like Fantasia – you guys just see two black women and boom somehow they are similar. This is the inherent problem with racism , nobody is aware. If Lil rounds was white and sand the exact same way would people be comparing her to Fantasia . No – Joss stone and Kelly Clarkson don;t get compared to any black artist and they don;t even get compared to eachother.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  22. Tracy

    I am trying to understand why the new Judge said to her that there were alot of expectation on her this night – why because she is black ?? even though she is the only black person left we have like 3 male soul singers. and btw most of motowns music was not soul music is was pop music. I thought it was racist to put much higher expectations on Lil because she was black. This show is rigged against blacks. Funny how there are so many soulful white guys left but god forbid a black guy sings soul music he atomatically becomes irrelevant.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  23. Marlene

    Lil's reference to Obama was not appreciated.. AI is "not" a political show !!

    March 26, 2009 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  24. Marlene

    Right on Jeff. She's a sweet girl, acts a bit of a diva but she screams everytime she sings just like Jennifer Hudson... why do they do that?

    March 26, 2009 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  25. Glen Shouse Jr.

    I was hoping to hear some Gladys Knight from Lil. I would love to hear he sing Midnight train to Georgia. I think she could have really pulled that off.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  26. Reggie

    Lil Rounds disappointed me too last night! MOTOWN NIGHT!! she should have sang her ass off! She was the one to watch and I felt it never got off the ground. I was waiting to start dancing in my seat....but it didn't happen. I sill love Lil Rounds. Song choice, song choice.......can't say that enough.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  27. lilstinks

    Lil stinks – plain and simple. She is no better than mediocre – her pitch is not good, phrasing TOTALLY unoriginal, voice is in NO way unique – compare her to Melinda Dollitle from last season is like comparing kids tee-ball baseball to the majors – she has got to go – her shtick shtinks...

    March 26, 2009 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  28. Galoux

    I totally disagree with the notion that she "screamed"; nor did she oversing the song. You really can't oversing "Heat Wave." It's a powerhouse song–check out the Linda Ronstadt version. But I do think it was too fast a tempo for her, and she seemed to be trying unsuccessfully to keep up.

    By the by, that wasn't a flapper dress. That dress, the hair, etc. were spot on for the style of many black female performers of the late fifties and early sixties. Took me back, and I thoroughly dug it.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  29. Pam

    Lil's outfit was part of her salute to the original Motown girl groups and they way they dressed. Notice the 60s style big hair ( wig), and dress with fringe were a throwback. Look at recent movie, Dreamgirls or look at old pictures of Diana Ross, Martha Reeves, etc. to see the effect. She has such outstanding vocals and Heatwave was NOT the song for her. Something slower like Ain't no moutain high enough or Ribbons in the Sky or Aretha Franklin's , Ain't no Way would have been a great song for her. Those songs have range and depth enough to showcase and challenge a great voice like hers. I understand the contestants want to sing popular songs that the audience knows however you are in the contest to win it so do your homework.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  30. David

    Finally, everyone heard what I hear every night!!! she is boring and hope she goes home. I don't think it will be for a few weeks though...

    March 26, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  31. Roy

    Motown really had only one female soul singer (Gladys Knight) and Barry Gordy tries to steer her toward pop also. Lil should have tried a different song (David Ruffin – "Temptations", Gladys or Michael Jackson when he was younger).

    March 26, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  32. mike

    this girl is totally over rated and needs to GO!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  33. nelsinny

    Don't want to sound mean, but after Fantasia, there's no other! Fantasia is one of a kind and I am not stereotyping but you can't have two of the same....

    March 26, 2009 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  34. Dean

    The choir failed Lil last night. A bad choice of songs and a very bad deliver. Lil has a strong voice to be sure, but feeling and delivering a song. she hasn't got that part down yet. Maybe another week to go.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  35. Kay

    I'm really surprised at her song choice. Can she sing? Oh yes!! Did she disappoint? Definitely!!!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  36. Republican

    She did not garner any more votes by giving a shout out to Obama at the end of per performance. "Shouting" seems to be the operative word for her performances. She needs to do a stripped down acoustic version of a song, ala Fantasia doing "Summertime".

    March 26, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  37. darkcreole

    What bad attitude did she have? She listened and even said she agreed when Ryan asked her about the ladies' comments. Unfortunately, too many good singers think they have to scream. Why? It's a simple answer. That's what usually gets the air time. From the time of the old "Star Search", it was the screamers that had their face on TV 20 times/day on commercials for the show, featured prominent in print ads, etc...

    Control is the name of the game in EVERYTHING. What good is a guy who can pitch a 120 mph fastball if it goes everywhere except over the plate? What good is a quarterback who can throw the ball 70 yards from his knees if he can't throw a 5 yard crossing pattern? When you can control the voice properly, then you always know you have the big note ready for the audience when needed.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  38. morris

    fantasia needs to go home

    March 26, 2009 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  39. Denise

    What a let down last night. I expected way more. Didn't like the hairdo either. Didn't care for the dress. But most important, the bad attitude when she listened to the judges certainly turned me off completely. What a shame, I was pulling for her.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  40. John

    Lil seems to think that her "big voice" will be enough to carry her through. She's not backing it up with enough feeling and talent. She needs to go home, unfortunately, there are at least 4 others in the top 10 that will be going home first.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  41. Diane

    Lil's performance was a real disappointment, I thought. I had originally thought that she might make it to the final two, but she isn't consistent. Her audition was her best performance.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  42. Linnea

    I was expecting a really big show from Lil, but unless there is a big turn around fast, I don't think she will be the one for American Idol.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  43. molly shepherd

    If only she would stop screeching and actually sing something!
    I guess volume covers up a lot of mistakes....

    March 26, 2009 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  44. Beas4peas

    LIl it is between you and Adam and I think you can take it all at a moments notice. Sing your heart out girl...

    March 26, 2009 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  45. Vickie

    Sorry Lil..............you need to go.....that was just ..BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2009 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  46. Arlene

    This girl has it all and should be the next
    American Idol .... she knows how to entertain people and has a fantastic voice ... get her in there.

    March 26, 2009 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  47. Rob, MN

    It's not a flapper dress, it's a shimmy dress – popular in the early 60s, as was her hair.

    Simon as usual, was spot on – she was trying to do a tribute to the early Motown female artists. She did that very well, but it's not a tribute show.

    March 26, 2009 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  48. CHER

    SHE DOSEN'T IMPRESS ME AT ALL BORING.

    March 26, 2009 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  49. Julie

    Lil Rounds is unfortunately starting to become a bit of a disappointment. She has all this talent & all these amazing songs at her disposal to really display her skills, yet, she seems to almost be afraid to sing the seemingly obvious choices. I'm almost beginning to believe, she doesn't choose the really "big" songs, because she knows she can't deliver & that's a total bummer. She's got to step it up or, I fear, she may just fade off into the sunset. Too bad.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  50. imixxy

    i love LIL but that was not the right song. i SO was hoping she would finally haver her "moment" tonight but it didnt happen. i dont think she deserves to be in the bottom 3 though. good luck Lil.. luv ya xoxoxo

    March 26, 2009 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  51. Sky

    what do I think the "issue" was? how about that she's overhyped and not really all that good. Just like Megan, she's a one trick pony and if she can't sing a boring, heard-it-before, late-90's/early 2000's style hip-hop song... well she really doesn't have much else then, does she?!

    March 26, 2009 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  52. Mick

    Lil's in the top three in my book... with Adam and Allison.

    I didn't disagree with what the judges said, but I didn't think he performance was as bad as 4 others. I'm rooting for her.

    Until next week, Lil!

    March 26, 2009 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  53. Bjean

    Lil didn't have it tonight. But she sure did look good.

    March 26, 2009 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  54. Michael

    Claire, please do some research. Aretha is NOT a Motown artist. Not all of the great soul singers were on Motown.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  55. Nikilea

    Sorry Lil is just not making it for me. I think that comparing her to Jordan Sparks is unfair. Jordan had a much more versatile voice. Also Malinda Doolittle had some pipes! Lil always yells too much for me. There were precious few soul ladies who could pull that off with pure joy to hear. Aretha and Tina Turner come to mind.

    March 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Leesi, MD

    I'm rooting for Lil and hope she can pick it back up next week since she's been one of my favorites. Tonight, unfortunately, I had to agree with the assessment that she seemed "rushed" in her performance. I could see her working to get all of words in. It was a respectable performance but not quite up to par for someone as talented as Lil.

    March 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Bill

    Kind of ironic, the "soul girl" totally miffed the genre' . Notown for motown. I mean, this was like, worse than the white kid losing on Beatles night.

    March 25, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Claire

    Young'uns... get more familiar with songs that are more than 10 years old!! On Motown night, of all nights! The one Stevie Wonder song was the cheesy "For Once in My Life" instead of, oh, I don't know, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." These contestants KNOW that classic songs are part of the Idol catalog... they need to do their homework better! I don't blame Lil for not tackling Aretha, but there was so much more she could have done... but still, I think she'll be safe for another week.

    March 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Gail

    I wish she had sung something else, but she sings well in my opinion.

    March 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Tia

    I could have seen her doing Billie or Aretha or Ella but this performance was no where near where it should have been for someone like Lil who is typically just amazing.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Carol

    Lil, you did not knock it out of the ballpark tonight like most of us thought you would BUT, you are still one of the top three in my books.....just not so loud sometimes ok......

    March 25, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Wayne's Music Journey

    While she did not deliver to expectation with her big voice at least she tried and sort of looked the part but did not totally "nail" the part. The song was too rushed for her as they said. These types of tunes done by the Motown artists are hard just like singing a Stevie Wonder song
    or Tina Turner tune. The reason is the folks that sings these tunes have a life times of experience that goes into he tunes.. They lived and breathed the soul from these tunes. It's like an important element is missing. So the next best thing to do is do it in your own style but perhaps studio "more" the soul artist prior to performance night. More homework on how these soul artists use the specific technique that they use. Perhaps a soul vocals coach (visiting and getting a lesson) may help and better advice perhaps.

    In truth she was so accepting and positive of the judges feed back and I think that is just fantastic. I love her attitude!!!! You can do it and I know you will

    Cheers

    Wayne

    March 25, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Dana

    I like Lil, and I thought she did ok. However, I think the problem is that the idols do not quite understand how to make songs "their own" and are not sure of what that judges expect. I still believe this season has the largest number of "good" singers ever. I actually like all but two of them.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Jeff

    She screams...that's her problem. That was/is the problem with Jennifer Hudson. It's over-singing.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  65. shelby

    OK. here's the thing . Does this woman have to SCREAM EVERY SONG SHE SINGS?? She needs to go. I thought she would have least been in her comfort zone to sing Motown. She was awful!!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  66. lin

    "Heat Wave" . is kind of dated, something from Stevie Wonder maybe 'Signed Sealed Delivered' would have worked for Lil , but she still has a strong voice.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bob

    Kara channeled by review...she screamed the whole song. Too bad, she's the only girl who will give the guys any challenge all season.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |

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