Some like Crystal Bowersock and Katelyn Epperly wowed the judges but most of them were showered with criticism of being not good enough.
The 10 women left standing on "American Idol" this season took the stage on Wednesday, March 3 after earning an extra day when one of them had a health scare. Crystal Bowersox is out of the hospital and was first to perform. She sang Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long as I Can See the Light" and Randy Jackson praised her genuineness, saying "I love that girl".
Ellen DeGeneres added Crystal has a pure, raw and natural talent while Kara DioGuardi pleaded for her to stay healthy and be in the show. Simon Cowell respected her for not playing the sympathy card, saying "I completely underestimated you last week, because for you to come back this week with that song, that performance ...I promise you, this was like the moment we realized with Kelly Clarkson that we've got a serious artist here. And I think we've got a really serious artist with you."
Haeley Vaughn was next, singing Miley Cyrus' "The Climb". She unfortunately did not improve from last week with Randy rating the performance "excruciating". Ellen said Haley did not connect with the song, but she shouldn't stop smiling. Kara thought Haley is just not ready yet, reminding her that a lot of people are rooting for her. Simon said his favorite phrase, "utter mess".
Lacey Brown whose performance was also butchered last week took in Kara's suggestion to sing a Sixpence None The Richer, "Kiss Me". Randy still did not feel it, branding it a karaoke. Ellen noticed no difference to the original song but it indeed sounded like the right song for her. Kara approved the song but said Lacey has to push it further. Simon noted she was marginally better but there is still a "massive, massive" difference between her and Crystal.
Singing Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On", Katie Stevens got mixed reviews. While Randy said there was definitely some bright moments, Ellen said she wanted Katie to present something that she wouldn't hear at her dentist's office. Kara is "frustrated" because Katie needs to work on the melody. "I'm still waiting for that moment from you," Kara said. Simon advised her to get some experience and then tell them what kind of artist she wants to be.
Didi Benami sang Bill Withers' "Lean on Me". Instead of showing what she can do, the performance according to Randy showed what she can't do. "I would not have chosen a soul song, that deep-rooted soul, for you," Randy said. Ellen kept it short by praising her voice and presence. Kara said, "Didi, it wasn't good," adding Didi missed her consistency. Simon thought it was screechy, a bad song choice and a waste of opportunity. She held back tears when Ryan Seacrest talked to her afterwards.
Michelle Delamor took the risk by singing Creed's "With Arms Wide Open". Randy thought it was not good enough, saying "It fell flat to me". Ellen agreed with Randy that she didn't put a lot into the song and forgot that it was a rock song. Kara and Simon on the other hand applauded her for trying. "My favorite performance of yours, ever," Kara said. Simon added, "You took the point, which was you didn't choose a safe song, you attempted to make it your version."
Lilly Scott picked "A Change Is Going to Come" by Sam Cooke. Randy liked it and said it was his favorite performance of her. Ellen talked about Lilly having "it" while Kara called it a "moment" for her. Simon said it was good but he was not crazy about it.
Katelyn Epperly sang "The Scientists" by Coldplay with piano. Randy liked the fact that she was not over the top with it. Ellen admitted that she was almost asleep because it was so slow. Katelyn won Kara over. "You're really good. You're seriously good," Kara gushed. Simon compared hers to Natasha Bedingfield's version and warned her not to be too corny.
Paige Miles chose Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away". Noting that it was co-written by Kara, Randy said the song could not emphasize her voice. Ellen said, "I loved it. I thought it was fantastic. ...This is your moment to have fun, and you did." Kara told Paige the song is actually "angry" so she shouldn't smile too much when singing it. Simon said Paige failed for two weeks in a row to pick the right song for her.
The last act of the night was Siobhan Magnus who performed "Think" by Aretha Franklin. Both Randy and Ellen loved it, saying it was a big song she picked but she nailed it. "I can't get over that note," Kara said. Simon thought it was memorable, interesting and unique but added, "Once again, you're such a strange person."