Tonight's a bit of a horror, isn't it? The judges are very hard on the "girls," and this is a relief for me, so I don't have to supply all the negativity.
Katharine McPhee starts us off, and she's bad, but she's been so good in the past, so this is not auspicious. I'm blanking out on the next few performers. If I try to call them to mind, I'm just going to feel really bad.
Well, that last one was Brenna Gethers, who does "Last Dance," the song that doomed Ryan Starr in Season 1. And compared to Brenna, we feel an intense flow of nostalgic love for Ryan.
Next up is Paris Bennett, so good in the auditions. And she's wearing a jumper -- a jumper, people -- so I'm ready to love her. But now she's saying "I got favor" and pointing toward Heaven. And then I see that it's not a jumper. It's a camisole over a white shirt. Well, so, I'll have to be a little critical. She could have warded of my criticism by wearing a jumper. She's singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" -- in a pretentious, overblown way that exasperates us. Paula implies that she's lost her youth. Randy tells her to act 16. Be "the hot young one for me," he says, which sounds a tad icky. Simon says don't turn the show into "I'm 17 and I can sound 50." Ryan asks her why she picked that song, and she says it's her great grandmother's favorite song, which is so ridiculous, so over-the-top ridiculous, given that they all just said she was overly old, that we see her as a girl again and love her.
Kellie Pickler sings "Something to Talk About," which is exactly the kind of song I abhor, but she's cute. We're supposed to like cute? Simon tells us America likes cute. And the truth is that when they show the recaps in the end, she's the one that comes across the best.
We end with the very dramatic Mandisa. Well, she went last, so she must be good. To me, it's bombastic and forgettable.
I've got to say, I absolutely hated the music on the show tonight. Was there any taste? I think not.