My take on some of the females:
Stephanie Edwards: Saved the season for me. After two hours of amateur singers with scrotums, (okay, I guess this gets me banned from elementary school libraries now, I’m so lucky) I was about to give up on the show if the women were equally dreary. Edwards sang like someone whose record I might actually buy. Nice version of “How Come You Don’t Call Me”. It was also the first of many times that night that it felt like the closeup camera was actually working. The men all seemed like they were just a part of the stage and that all overtones died in the microphone. Several of the ladies had the power to do the Norma Desmond thing with the camera.
Amy Krebs: Actually has a nice voice. I won’t miss her necessarily, but one of those contestants who maybe didn’t get a fair shot.
Leslie Hunt: They’re keeping her on to break out the lupus story line. They talked about her doing Aretha, but the judges forgot that this was Carole King’s song first and I think she was after the same white girl with a little soulful tinge that King and Laura Nyro staked out way back then. Might explain the go-go boots.
Sabrina Sloan: She was really invested in the song. I’m actually not sure I like her actual voice that much, but “I Never Loved a Man” came off as an actual performance compared to all those guys who felt like they were singing the words off the teleprompter. Surprised that they put Aretha covers back to back like that, but it was pretty much an all-Aretha all-the-time format for the evening.
Jordin Sparks: Some people have suggested that NFL Daughter might be this year’s chosen one. I thought Tracy Chapman was a very canny choice and she was yet another female who could both sing and perform at the same time. She’s from a long line of teenagers on a show whose M.O. is to build them up as prodigies then tear them down as “not ready”. Most of them have had remarkable poise in some way. I thought Paris did well last year. Jordin Sparks feels even more mature at a personal level. The question is will her singing find the necessary emotional depth. Again Paris came the closest of the Teen Idols and we just haven’t had the time to find out with this one.