American Idol: Kristy Lee’s Year as a Dog

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There’s no better decade than the ’80s to underscore this week?s theme: humiliating-memories. The American Idol performances avoided that era’s gaudy glamor and glitz, favoring tamer, safer song choices. Filmed confessions of our contestant?s ?most embarrassing moments ever!? were equally tame (with the exception of canine-crazy Kelly). Unfortunately for a few of our favorites (Ramile and Amanda), tabloids and snoopy Web surfers did the probing for them. For sure, digging up the past can profoundly affect the present. While some of our contestants remained as boring as ever, others — in true Breakfast Club style — exhibited noticeable changes in attitude and style after a week of confessions, exultation and humiliation. It?s like everything?s totally changed now. Let?s take a look:

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Asia?h Epperson
Asia?h ?just wants to dance with somebody? — somebody who loves her! Big surprise, viewers: that someone turned out to be Paula, who danced through her rendition of the Whitney Houston classic from her judges? post. Randy was equally enthused, declaring this purple-clad Asia?h was the one they ?knew and loved.? Simon warned that Asia?h was developing a pattern of choosing songs that were better than her — referring to her rough attempt at last week?s version of Celine Dion’s ?Alone.? He has a point, but Asia?h could care less. Her attitude was all ?eat my shorts,? giving herself the thumbs up as he offered his advice — an uncharacteristic display of smugness from our usually bubbles-and-joy cheerleader. My guess is we?ll likely see more of her next week.

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Kady Malloy
Paula called Kady?s interpretation of ?Who Wants to Live Forever? by Queen ?her best performance.? Not true. She did a great job hiding her total elation last Thursday when America confused her with Alaina Whitaker, saving her from elimination. Judging from her performance, undoubtedly the most boring and forgettable of the evening, it seems like Kady is trying to embrace this whole not-memorable thing as her shtick. Like, if Carly?s the one with tattoos, she?s the one you don?t remember (no, not Kristy, the other one). ?Vote for Kady?s lack of personality!? Ryan said sarcastically, but I doubt America will.

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Amanda Overmeyer
Amanda seemed visibly depressed, possibly even sedated. Thankfully she ditched last week?s vinyl and hairspray for a more effortless look, and her pretty face and curvy figure were totally flattered by her more casual garb. That said, I have a hunch Amanda has already packed all her bags, because as soon as the thousands of alleged nudie pictures she’s taken are published on the Web, she?s history. Our darling rocker could barely crack a smile and seemed distant and distracted. That said, she vocally aced Joan Jett?s “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” delivering one of the night?s top performances. Let?s hope those photos stay under wraps for a few weeks longer. If Amanda is able to lighten up and start smiling again, she?ll undoubtedly make it in the top 10. (And really, haven?t we all come across a pop-up ad on the Internet that — surprise — happens to feature ourselves?)

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Carly Smithson
Carly seems to have outlived America?s obsession with her past as a performer. She?s cruising through the competition, and last night’s performance was as strong as ever. While Asia?h chooses songs that are better than her, Carly can?t find a song that?s good enough. ?I Drove All Night? gave her the opportunity to power through strings of high notes in succession, but the song itself stank. In Paula?s words, ?Carly can sing the songbook,? and the performance was saved by her vocal merit and her figure (love those jeans). I wouldn?t be surprised if Carly is one of the last faces we see at the end of the season. P.S.: Carly?s mom, what?s up? Such a babe.

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Kristy Lee Cook
Kristy Lee promised she would show her country-girl side last week. While I was expecting some sort of Loretta Lynn classic, Kristy put a country spin on Journey?s “Faithfully.” It was fantastic! Paula and Randy raved that it could be ?her single.? After weeks of not getting her, she delivered an amazing performance. She also let her zany personality shine through on camera, confessing that her ?most embarrassing moment? lasted for a year — the one where she thought she was a dog and drank out of a bowl on all fours. Now that’s what I call back-story. It may be too late in the competition for Kristy — America has already established some favorites — but I?m rooting for the underdog here (excuse the pun).

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Ramile Malubay
Someone needs to send the memo to Ramile that she is still a contestant on American Idol. Our stylish and cute star may have never been the brightest bulb, but in the beginning she seemed to be making a concerted effort towards charisma and talent. Not so much this week. She delivered a totally boring rendition of ?Against All Odds? dressed in an unflattering sweatshirt-and-skirt combination. Doesn?t a performance in front of 30 million merit some type of outfit change? I guess Ramile figures that, given all the pics of her touching her girlfriends’ breasts found on the ol’ Facebook, her odds at stardom are pretty slim.

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Brooke White
Brooke ditched her guitar this week for an unplugged, seated version of Pat Benatar?s ?Love Is A Battlefield.? While the choreography, or lack thereof, was a risky choice, Brooke managed to transform the song into her own. She’s proving to be one of the most consistent contestants on Idol, and she?s avoided doing anything over-the-top dumb or lewd. I?m rooting for this one — while the goody-two-shoes business seemed boring a few weeks ago, it?s a welcome respite from all the raunchy back-story our other contestants are wallowing in.

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Syesha Mercado
Another consistently perky and strong contestant. Her version of ?Saving All My Love For You? was, like all of her performances, augmented by vocal frills and trills. Syesha, maybe it?s time to just sing the song as it is? Last night’s critique was cut short, but my guess is that given more time our judges would have expressed similar sentiments. As in, enough already. But it?s a sure bet that Syesha will be in the top 10. Let?s hope the added pressure of the guys’ performances forces her to get a tad more real.

Tune in tonight for the last ?double elimination? of our least favorite ladies.

– Amy Beecher

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