Michael Becker / FOX, Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Michael Becker / FOX, Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Editor's Note: Season-two American Idol finalist Kimberly Caldwell is guest blogging Idol again this week. Read on for her exclusive reactions to last night's ladies' round and behind-the-scenes insight, then check in later for her take on the guys' performances tonight!
Viva Las Vegas! Ten ladies face off and the judges no longer have the power of elimination. It's now all up to America to choose whose life will be forever changed. This is the week, year after year, when we really start to see these once-unknown names slowly become molded pop stars with the assistance of the pros in the biz, from hair and makeup to wardrobe and confidence.
Let's break down the top 10 surviving females battling it out to become the best little ladybug:
Zoanette Johnson, who was a standout last week, took the stage first with her contagious untamed energy but...hmmm, Keith Urban said it the most polite way possible, and Nicki Minaj gave it to her straight. Regardless of her being "a little pitchy, dawg," she's one of a kind. But next week she needs to refine her beautiful chaos.
OK, how hot is Breanna Steer? Smoldering. Song choice, song choice, song choice, girl! The judges beat it into our heads because it is so crucial in presenting to America who you are as an artist. Every time you step foot on the stage you have to fight for your life. Believe me, I played the safe card way too many times because, well, that's less scary. But this is not the stage to hold back on. She needs to show off those pipes because she's got them to flaunt.
OK, now how hot is Aubrey Cleland?! Is this America's Next Top Model? Dang! She looks like she stepped off a runway. Besides looking ridiculously smokin', this girl has some serious vocal control and knows how to work her dynamics. I did agree with Keith and Randy Jackson about wanting to hear her soar more with powerful moments, but I also was on the same page with them about loving her. She's the total package. Wrap her up and stick a price tag on it. Boom!
Janelle Arthur, who had a rough week last time around, came back with a bang! She kept it old school with her country twang, blond locks and denim. She's got the likability factor for sure and a classic girl-next-door vibe that makes us all want to root for her. Yummy little marshmallow!
Tenna Torres (and her boobs that Nicki loved so much) showed up looking the part and her vocal technique is definitely up to par, but she needs to show off who she really is, not only as an artist but also as a person. Even though this is a singing competition, let's be honest: It's a popularity contest, too. Start campaigning, girlfriend.
I was so thrilled to see Angie Miller sitting at the keys doing her thang! I mean, can I prepurchase her album ASAP, please? She is so current and on a level of her own. This was the Angie show live, and we were all lucky enough to get a front-row seat. Like Randy said: a star is born! She's gonna fly into next week.
Angie was a hard act to follow, but Amber Holcomb managed to get a universal standing O from the judges! Not only did she attempt a Whitney Houston song, which for me is a no-no, but she killed it! She is so natural and comfortable on that massive stage, and I think she can get a little more comfy because she's so safe.
Kree Harrison was one of my personal standouts this week. This girl is unreal! Chills. Keith said it: effortless. On top of the crazy vocal range, she is such a cool chick. Some of the other competitors need to take notes on how to show your personality when you only have seconds to do so. Very witty. Sailing into next week, no doubt.
When it came to sweet little Adriana Latonio, Nicki—aka Simon Cowell—did not hold back in her criticisms, telling the singer to pretty much work on it and come back next year because there's no hope. Harsh, yeah, but truth? Well, you decide.
Rounding out the night was Candice Glover, who represented big-time. This girl has that something special that makes American Idol still so relevant. Like Nicki, I was speechless, which doesn't happen very often. Goosebump central.
After witnessing the level of professionalism that ruled the night with these ladies, I foresee a female taking home the title. I am worried for contestants that performed at the start of the show because they may have gotten discarded after the unforgettable performances that ended the episode with a bang. It is all up to America, so I hope everybody's thumbs are worn out from all that voting! My personal vote goes out to Kree and Angie for this week. Girls rule! Lets see if the boys drool.
Without Regret, Kimberly Caldwell's debut album on Capitol Records, is available now. You can follow her on Twitter @_kimcaldwell.