Only eight women remain on "American Idol", meaning this week's performance will be the determining factor who would advance to the Top 12 where the competition will no longer between the same sex. The Tuesday, March 9 performance kicked off rather weird with Ellen DeGeneres sitting on Simon Cowell's lap, whispering something to his ear.
Katie Stevens sang Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" and did not get the good vibe from the judges. Comparing it to the original, Randy Jackson said it just didn't work for him. Ellen was not sure Katie felt the song, while Kara DioGuardi complimented her "radio voice" and added Katie is still clueless about what kind of artist she wants to be. Simon echoed this, saying "You kind of sucked. ...The energy out of it and made it kind of gloomy."
Siobhan Magnus sang The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun". Randy liked the fact that Siobhan surprised them every week because it showed that she's taking the risk. Ellen admitted she was captivated by Siobhan and that she was the reason she loved music. Kara praised her uniqueness and loved the a capella bit in the beginning. Simon however said, "I was under impressed, there were no moments in that."
Lacey Brown who was under pressure after having two bad weeks, sang Brandi Carlile's "The Story". Randy called it "a little sleepy" but was her best performance so far. Ellen said it was the right song for her. Kara agreed, saying "This is the kind of record you need to be doing." Simon put it off, "I didn't love the song, but it was like listening to something on the radio."
Katelyn Epperly picked Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move" and sang it with keyboard. Randy did not feel a connection between Katelyn and the song. Ellen praised her look but said it was not a good performance. Kara emphasized on how it was not enough for the competition. Meanwhile, Simon said, "Let me start with a positive, I like your hair. On the downside, it was kind of like request night on a Friday night at a restaurant."
Next, Didi Benami sang Stevie Nicks' "Rhiannon". Randy gave it a nod, saying it was far better than last week's although there was no wow moment. Ellen said Didi revived from last week's torn and did a good job this time. Kara even called it one of her favorite moments this season and Simon agreed with her, adding the whole performance had the wow moment.
Paige Miles took on Charlie Chaplin's "Smile". Randy regretted the fact that this is his favorite song of all time but Paige's version just didn't sound right. Ellen said the song was supposed to be uplifting but Paige brought it down to be a sad song. Kara and Simon thought it was simply "wrong". Simon elaborated that it was like something "you'd hear at a Holiday Inn in 1974."
Judges' favorite Crystal Bowersox went with an electric guitar on Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". Randy repeatedly said that he loved it. Ellen ran out of adjectives and said she can't keep saying Crystal is amazing. Kara could see what kind of record Crystal would make because she has figured out herself. "You will 1 million billion percent be in the Top 12 next week. Right now you are the one to beat, this is yours to lose," Simon concluded.
Lilly Scott was tapped to close the show with Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces". Randy said Lilly was "in the zone" and that it was a hot performance. Ellen and Kara loved it with the latter saying Lilly made Patsy feel current. On the other hand, Simon said Lilly doesn't have the wow factor to close a show.