March 9th, 2010
05:33 PM ET

'Idol' Top 16 will feel the heat

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This week will be the last time the  "American Idol" contestants have to impress the judges and viewers before the cuts are made to whittle the group down to the Top 12.

First up will be the females on Tuesday night, who need to pull out all the stops if they want to make a favorable impression and ensure themselves a spot in the last group standing.

So far, fans have grumbled that this season has been less than exciting with mediocre performances and contradictory judging. Even new judge Ellen has taken some hits for her style of critique.

At this point, it's anyone's game, and one bad song choice with even the strongest contestant could mean a trip home. Good luck ladies!

Join CNN tonight and throughout the "American Idol" season as Lisa Respers France blogs live during the performance and result shows.

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Thelma

    I think this season of AI so far hasn't offered much, but I have to jump on your remark about Big Mike singing Kate Bush's song.
    I know you bring up Kate Bush because Randy made the comment about calling Maxwell. I give Kate Bush kudos on her song, but Maxwell owns that song as far as singing it is concerned, like it or not.

    Where were you last year when Alison Iraheta sang "Cry Baby", and they attributed it to Janis Joplin, when it is really Garnett Mim's song, folks. Give credit where credit is due folks. I can't believe people are thinking that racism is dead, but in it's own snide way it is alive and kicking.
    Write on, fools!

    March 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. elsa

    The judges should get a refresher course in their performance.
    They have done a great job in confusing the contestants, while
    behaving like total nut cases. They really aren't even needed since
    the viewers, who vote decide the outcome.
    JUDGES GO HOME, that is my vote.

    March 11, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bored and Disappointed

    Usually by now I care about at least one performer, but honestly I am sooo bored this year I fight to fast forward through everyone, just hoping for one moving, outstanding performance. 90% of hese kids are flat out not ready to be on stage right now. Too many "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" demeanors, as uninspiring, "jr.high variety show quality" performances are suffered through on the way to the one decent (but still not "blow you away") moment. What happened to these kids on the way to make them lose everything special about them?

    March 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. luci

    i sure would like to see the song choice seems like every girl is trying to sing the same type of song with the same type of voice-with a couple exceptions (siobhan and katie). hope it isnt like that all season...that being said, crystal is my favorite. yes, it falls in that "same" category but she is the best at it and the other girls are just following her lead.

    March 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Ryan needs to keep his mouth shut! After all, HE IS NOT ONE OF THE JUDGES!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    From what I have seen, (and that's not much at all), this years' singers are the worse I have EVER heard! They couldn't carry a tune in a bucket! Maybe this is why Simon is quitting, can't say that I blame him, if I had to sit there and listen to them, I would want to scream, or just leave!!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fran

    I disagree with most, I think the girls are really good this year, at least 5. I love Crystal and Siobhan especially. There is something missing with Siobhan, I think it is a lack of personality but my husband said she is a pothead! Maybe that is it, but she does have one heck of a voice. Crystal is just natural, seems like the words just fall out of her mouth with such ease!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dawn

    I totally agree about song choice. They need to guide them more. Also I am not really impressed with some of the choices that were made this year. Didn't a couple of them forget their words and isn't that an automatic no in SImon's book? Talent seems a lot weaker this year so far.

    March 10, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FRAN

    Only Crystal is worth watching the rest can go! The guys are awful there are maybe 2 that don't make me hit the mute button but that's about it! What gets me is these were the best of the talent out there? All those auditions and this is who the judges picked?
    Not too impressed with their selection this year....BORING!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sneakipete

    I wish they would change the voting format. Instead of voting for the contestant that caller's want to keep, they should set it up to call in for the contestant to SEND HOME. I think this would make a big difference in the results and in the drivel we have to listen to week after week. Cut the bad ones right off the bat!

    March 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Carolyn

    " bad song choice with even the strongest contestant..."

    I'm sorry – I must have missed the strong contestant. Duds this year!!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kim Smith

    I think this is the worst AI show. Except for one guy, I think the rest are simply terrible. Surely there must have more deserving AI hopefuls at selection time. Hey Simon, I am disappointed.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Just A Thought

    Pat – I think thats why! Crystal is original and knows her style. She doesn't try to be the artist she's singing. She makes it her own and does it well!

    March 10, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Justin DQ

    What is going on?? Last nite was really really bad... I sat there and like... uhhh is this AI Week 3 or still in the Hollywood Weeks?? The only person that made me feel like I was watching the Week 3 round was Crystal. The girl is just pure good. Yes, she is not all that clean barbie pretty like Beyonce or Britney Spears, but she is who she is and she doesn't try to be anybody else... that's what I love about her. Go Crystal!... Can't wait for the boys tonite...

    March 10, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. carol mccann

    I'm an fan of american idol but this year it definitely the worst.
    Kara seems to stick to Simon. Is she afraid of Ellen?

    March 10, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  16. Chris

    I thought they were starting to turn things around last night but no, that was boring and forgettable with a few exceptions: Bowersox and Magnus. Both of them proved that they had talent and could chose good music which I didn't realize was THAT difficult but seems to be lacking to most other contestants. The low of the performances was the girl that played piano...if you could call it that...I don't really recall her fingers moving much so I'm pretty sure she will be heading home. Wow...this is gonna be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOG season.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  17. Pat

    I know many will not agree with me but what is so great about Crystal? Every song she sings sounds exactly the same. Also Lily needs to go she cannot sing. I like DeeDee although she probably won't make it too much further. I want either Lee or Aaron, at least they can sing a variety.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  18. pierrebuie2nd

    poor american idol ya just don't got it anymore.

    March 10, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  19. K

    Let's just cut to the chase. Bowersox will win. A.I. just needs to save their money (donate production costs to Haiti or Chile) and quit wasting our time. This year is void of anyone else thats anywhere near ready to make a record.

    Typically an A.I. fan but soured in 2010

    March 10, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  20. xenafan

    Go Bowersox and Siobhan! And by the way, I love Ellen on AI!

    March 10, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  21. Misha

    I think there are 3 or 4 really good women...0 men. The 4 judge setup continues to be too much. Ellen is good, but not surw why she is there.

    March 10, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  22. vinny

    In my opinion, Siobhan and Crystal are the Top 2. They are head and shoulders above the rest.

    March 10, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sumting Wong

    The funny litl thing was all grown up last night. Very sharp n professional, but that look distracted from her performance. A serious singer has to bring down the curtain on who they truely are (the Sam Philips speech in Walk the Line). The HotRS performance was strong, but not her best, it was like you were going backwards a step or two – raising the curtain. There is something highly alluring in your previous performances that was missing last night – a simple David Copperfield quality of the scruffy woman-child with the heart of a lion, noble character, and voice of a dynamo. Don't run from it, bring it back and develop it more fully. Betchewed slay us all with another tantalizing rendition of Righteous Bros "Lovin Feelin"!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  24. CeCe

    they're all terrible this year....cept for Lee Dewyze...and Crystal....I don't see anyone worthy of being in the top 3. Kara is trying way to hard to be Paula...always sitting on Simon's lap and the flirting.....Ellen (although I do love her) always seems to follow whatever the judge before her says...I've noticed that she rarely goes 1st with critiques. I'm starting to wonder if Paula was the reason that the show succeeded in the first place...hmmmm

    March 10, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  25. Brandon

    The best Girl is the Bowersox girl. She knocked it out last night. The rest suck! Simon had it right when he told her that, "it was hers to lose."

    March 10, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  26. San

    I think this year is one of those years where its excessively easy to separate the real artist/performers from the wedding singers. But i must admit the song choices of them is so bad...when that girl got told by Kara to do songs like "kiss me" and she literally did kiss me song I couldnt believe it, was lame. I personally don't like Ellen on the show, I love her in general but I don't like her empty comments on AI...She seems so scared to even bit little bit funny, makes her boring, but Kara I really lover her this year, she's almost always right in her comments and advices. I believe the winner will be a guy this year, although Crystal and Didi are good thought!

    March 10, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  27. Nan

    It's better than taking a sleeping pill this season.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  28. prfrmr

    I'm not particularly blown away by the talent either but the band and backup singers got it going on.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  29. Just A Thought

    SioBahn, is good, definitly not an Adam Lambert! She has not rocked the house yet; at least not with stage presence. Her voice is great and strong, but so far she just sings, no showmanship or entertainment factor- or WOW factor as the judges say.

    March 10, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  30. Just A Thought

    The girls were awful tonight! I mean really really bad!

    The only saving factor was Crystal and Siobahn. I mean I was looking for some nicorette to make it suck less!

    Paige is SO gone, Smile, and all I could do was cringe in pain; terrible.
    Kaytlyn, looked so out of place behind that thing she was playing.
    DiDi, had a great song choice but did not connect to it. But was OK
    Lily, looked like the entertainment on a hawaiian cruise!
    Katie was just OK, still needs to find a genere and connect.

    Sorry, show dog mom – But Crystal is awesome and when they are on the radio. you don't see them anyway! Her music is easily relavant to today and is current!

    Siobahn – Really good, can't say it was as good as last week. But, when she gets in her groove, she will be awesome, not quite there though

    March 10, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  31. show dog mom

    Is anyone out there even LISTENING to Siobhan?? She's this year's Adam!! She rocks! Crystal sucks...same ol' every single week. And she can't seem to do it without clutching the guitar. Folk-singers are a dime a dozen – she just STANDS there! Imagine having to listen to that for an hour! She can't do rock songs and move around ; it's like she's stuck on one note. And that LOOK-ugh! Like a pile of dirty laundry!!
    Way to go Siobhan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    March 10, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  32. milly

    Good or bad, I am still an AI fan. I just love the idea, that somebody in this group will have the chance to have their dreams come true. Some people will says that it is the judges that makes this show, but to me it will always be the contestants. Every week I am rooting for them.

    March 10, 2010 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  33. cathy joliet

    most boring season of amerian idol, ever!!!! do any of these contestants have any energy? almost puts me to sleep. and why is kara hanging all over simon?

    March 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  34. GES

    Crystal Bowersox is the only contestant that I would consider purchasing a CD of. She is in a different league, far above the rest of the pack.

    March 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  35. danny

    There is not a star in the crowd. I am really disappointed this year. I love Ellen but she does not fit American Idol. If she is as big of a fan as she claims...she will only do one season.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  36. tony

    You mean that there are people who actually CARE what Stern has to say?

    March 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  37. mrswonderful

    Whoa boy. I too have enjoyed AI for several years. I think, perhaps, the producers made too many changes.Kara's musical knowledge has made her the brunt of many Paulaphiles (personally I thought she was just plain strange). Still, there's no single judge who's a softy to the talent-shaky. That makes for some serious talent-bashing.

    Then there's Ellen. I'm sorry but she's better at stand-up comedy than musical judging. She says some of the most bizarre things. Sorry but squeezing laughs at the cost of a contestant doesn't sit well. It's like verbally mugging for the camera.

    Simon's departure has us wondering if he's thrown in the towel early. He's especially spiteful this go-round. Even Ryan has thrown the ridicule back at Simon.

    Finally there's Randy; the one unchanged figure in the bunch. Love him to death but, "Dude, get a bigger vocabulary, man. I mean, dawg you're a hot talent but man, you gotta find some new ways to express yourself."

    March 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  38. farrah

    None of the idols this year seem original to me at all! Sure, I like big mike, andrew garcia, aaron, and katie, but honestly looking at this group it seems like none of them will actually win. Also, kara annoys me. A lot.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jeff

    Siobhan Magnus ROCKS! She has got to have the best vocals of any female contestant I have heard. Her range and control are unlimited!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  40. shelly

    zzzzzzzzzzzz tonight is putting me to sleep...i see kara is still trying to snog simon and she again is not wearing her wedding ring....disappointed that simon left Paula for hussey....when are they ever gonna put Ellen beside simon on AI

    March 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  41. craig

    I agree for the most part, but Crystal is an amazing talent. I like Casey also.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  42. clipper

    It's hard for Idol to keep my interest until they're down to the best ten; that's when I slowly become excited. I think some of these contestants are holding back on us or least I HOPE they are.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. protogere

    I don't think it's an amazing season, but usually it doesn't get competitive until after the top 12 and they begin to be forced out of their comfort zone – that's when the ones with the true talent begin to shine.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  44. moon627

    Same old story ... every season people whine and complain that this is the WORST batch of singers EVER !

    I am sure that as time goes on some of these contestants will get better and stand out and may even turn out to be the BEST EVER !

    Hang in there ...

    March 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Helen

    There are a few really good ones, true musicians....head and shoulders above the rest! The next few weeks will be boring while they weed out the karaoke singers who should never have made it this far to begin with. LOVE Ellen....don't miss Paula's craziness one bit!

    March 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Jim G

    At least with another night of this dreadful show I can get caught up on my TiVo. I can't believe people are still wasting their time watching.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  47. TD

    I'm a diehard AI fan...and I wish they made a format where the judges gave each artist a list of 5 songs that they thought they could kill and the contestant could pick from that list. I'm growing tired of hearing..."You chose the wrong song, but I like you." If you can sing, you can sing...they should be able to choose the National Anthem and if they can will show.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chris

    While I will whole-heartedly agree that this season has been off to a mountainously rocky start, the fact reamins that the AI formula has worked time and time again these past 9 years. There have always been their Keri Underwoods and their Sanjayas, but in the end we have tuned in to see no names morph into stars, albeit slow ones this go around. I am beginning to see some standouts this season. Heck, they can't all be Adam Lamberts!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  49. LWM

    I fully agree with suncatcher, not worth watching this year, all bad.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Suncatcher

    I am a long time AI fan – but not this year. Worst crop in AI history and not worth tuning in. Too bad – last 2 years were loaded and you wanted all of the contestants to win. Feast or famine, as they say!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |

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