American Idol, Top 8 Women

Michael Becker / FOX

Considering the show started off with Ellen DeGeneres sitting on Simon Cowell's lap and nuzzling his neck, we expected fireworks!

And, what do you know, we saw some Tuesday on American Idol as the top eight ladies took the stage, a coveted spot in the top 12 twinkling in their eyes.

In some of their eyes, at least.

We've been thrilled by a few performances so far this season, but those star-making "moments," if they even existed in the first place, were few and far between.

And so tonight, we continued to await for the heir apparent to Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood to make herself inarguably known.

Katie Stevens: The 17-year-old kicked off the night with, here we go again, a largely pretty-sounding yet inevitably lesser version of Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway." She's not getting on the radio with that one, despite what Kara DioGuardi called her "great radio voice." Turns out Katie was singing one of Randy Jackson's "favorite songs every written in the modern times of today" and it didn't work for him, and Ellen couldn't feel Katie "breaking away, taking risks." Right… Simon gave her 10 out of 10 for trying, but paused a bit too long when he said, "You kind of sucked [pause] the energy out of it a little bit."

Siobhan Magnus: Now we're talking. The 20-year-old did a beautiful job with the Animals' "House of the Rising Sun," slowing it down, sexing it up and looking adorable in the process. Simon must have been watching a different performance, however, because he didn't get it at all, from her outfit to the interview before she sang. Why do the judges insist that Siobhan's so different—an "unlikely character," Kara says? Because she wears a flower in her hair? Randy praised the risk-taker. "I don't think you listen to us at all," he observed. "Keep doing it, 'cause it's hot!"

Lacey Brown: The sound of her spinning Brandi Carlile's "The Story" wasn't too different from gobs of the girls you hear on indie radio stations. But we still aren't sure whether Lacey is a complete poseur or deserves her own spot alongside Brandi and her fellow singer-songwriting goddesses. "Boring" and "sleepy," but her best performance in ages, Randy said.

Katelyn Epperly: So touching with Coldplay last week, so easy-listening with Carole King tonight. Sounding bored with herself as she played keyboard and sang the ironically titled "I Feel the Earth Move," the 19-year-old returned to the pack with that performance. "Just wasn't enough," "nothing special about it," "like request night on a Friday night in a restaurant" were some of the criticisms tossed her way (guess who said that last one), and Kara summed it up best when she said, "I didn't feel like you were competing on that stage."

Didi Benami: The slacking Didi, on the other hand, had a very good night. She picked up the guitar and trained that thin, Taylor Swifty voice of hers on a stripped down version of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon"—all to great effect. "To that, I say, 'Yes indeedy, Didi,'" Ellen quipped. "One of my favorite moments of the show so far this season," Kara raved. "The 'wow' moment was actually the whole performance," agreed Simon.

Paige Miles: The wee gal with the booming voice had a few lovely moments but too many ugh moments taking on Michael Jackson's favorite song, "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin. Paige blamed emotions for her shaky performance, but the judges thought it was just "all wrong." With Simon calling it a "peanut performance" because it was something you'd hear at the Holiday Inn bar in 1974 while people munched peanuts in the background, even Randy introduced an extended food-service metaphor. "It's such a shame because you had so much potential," Simon said, eulogizing the 24-year-old already.

Crystal Bowersox: Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" didn't need redoing, not even by the fans' beloved Crystal. But luckily it was the estimable Crystal who did it, injecting a little Janice Joplin into the try-and-get-it-out-of-your-head hit and adding just enough extra flavor to make a redo seem like a great idea. "I need new adjectives for you," Ellen lamented. "I'm sick and tired of saying you're amazing." Simon told Crystal that she's "1 million-billion percent going to be in the top 12 next week...Right now, you are the one everyone has to beat."

Lilly Scott: Perhaps only Lilly could have followed all that Crystal praise with such a confident performance. Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" took on a whole new modern, disturbing, wrenched-to-pieces vibe in Lilly's guitar-playing hands. And we totally mean that in a good way! Randy thought she was in the zone, Ellen continued to love her originality, Kara said that she made Cline feel current, and Simon… Well, he thought that Lilly may have made a risky choice.

The top eight guys perform Wednesday, for better or worse, and another four contestants will be knocked off Thursday.

Next week, they'll start performing on the same night, influenced by themes and guided by guest mentors.

Who floated your Idol boat tonight? Did Simon give Siobhan an unnecessarily hard time? Is Crystal really that good and Lilly really that interesting? And what's keeping Katie from her wow moment? 

Address any or all of the above in the comments section.


If ballroom is more your bag, check out who you'll have a chance to vote for when Dancing With the Stars' 10th season premieres March 22.

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