Unlike the uniformly solid performances from the men last night, the women were a decidedly mixed bag in this second round of finals. Some of the weaker contestants from last week cranked it up a notch or two, but an equal number who shone in the first round faltered tonight.
Aloha Mischeaux, who had ended last week's show, started things off on a decidedly mediocre note. Her version of Alicia Keys's "You Don't Know My Name" was nothing spectacular, and it seemed to be a bit at odds with her style and personality. This makes the second week in a row that Aloha has picked contemporary songs (last week was Beyonce's "Work It Out"), so I also have to wonder how she'll fare if she makes it to the themed rounds in the finals.
Next up was Lindsay Cardinale, who eschewed the slow, sultry numbers that had thus far distinguished her among the contestants in favor of a much more energetic song that showed off her Louisiana twang. All in all, it was a fun performance, with exactly the sort of verve that I mentioned last week she needed to show. Unfortunately, the music seemed to overpower her voice at times, so she may have stretched it a bit too far. Hopefully, she'll be around next week to try to find some middle ground.
Jessica Sierra kept up the country theme with a solid version of "Broken Wing." While it was kind of a boring song, Jessica certainly did her best with it, going from an average start to a solid finish. She continues to make a case to stay in this competition based on her voice, but she still needs to find some way to stand out a little more if she expects the audience to remember her when it comes time to vote.
Playing against type, the usually hyperactive Mikalah Gordon delivered a low-key ballad. While the judges thought it was great that she had tried to show some versatility, I thought that this was a horrible choice for her. Clearly the intent was the try to play down her incredibly obnoxious personality, but Mikalah still ended up being just as annoying as ever. By the end of the song, she wasn't so much singing as she was screaming. I understand that she has a fan base, but as far as I'm concerned, she can't leave the show soon enough.