'American Idol' Recap: Pia Toscano Surprises Everyone

Lindsay Mannering

American IdolIt was ladies' night on American Idol and finally! There was some talent. (Thank you, Pia Toscano.) There were also denim bustiers and lots of hearts and hairspray, but by golly there was talent. I am so relieved. A website that predicts who's going through based on busy signals, Dial Idol, has some disheartening news about who got the most votes last night, but at least the show was enjoyable for once. More on the predictions later.

We're so lucky that some of the girls can sing and aren't entirely awkward on stage. It was clear last night who's got it and who's going home to sing in community choir before heading to college to join the Treble Makers, or some equally terrible a cappella group. The stars were Thia Megia, Lauren Alaina, and, out of left field, Pia Toscano.

But before we get to the good, we must cover the bad. Although the girls were infinitesimally better than the guys, there were still some sour spots that made me hide my face in a pillow. Ta-Tynisa made Rhianna look like the only girl in the world (see what I did there?) who can sing. It's hard to go first, but I really think the producers set the line-up according to talent and who they want to stay. The later you are in the rotation, the better. Ta-Tynisa is going home for sure.

Then Naima came dressed in an old banana peel and performed like she was on stage at the Tropicana in Atlantic City; Rachel found a flapper dress at Forever 21 and did her best Roxie Hart impersonation while singing Fiona Apple's "Criminal" on speed; Ashton wore a half jean, half spandex jumpsuit and sang some R&B song I'd never heard, nor want to hear again, and I found her over-confidence distracting and annoying. She's not good enough yet to act a diva.

But the show ended with some of the most entertaining Idol performances I'd seen in a while. And by while I mean years. Thia Megia, the 15-year-old phenom, decided to comb her hair and bring it home. Honestly, I rewound her song and watched it twice, it was that good. It's like she's the only one that understands that we want to be impressed by their voices and hear what they can do -- she sang a cappella for the first verse and had total control over the song. Randy said her tone reminded him of Michael Jackson and I totally hear it. I love Thia, especially now that she's being styled and doesn't look like a street urchin anymore.

Lauren Alaina didn't disappoint, either. Well, she wore a t-shirt with a giant heart on it, which just looks so cheap and immature, but girl can sing a song. She performed Reba's "Turn on the Radio" and it was so natural and effortless. So fun to watch!

And finally, Pia Toscano. No words. She sang the Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" and got the first standing ovation by the judges so far this season. She sounded perfect. Nothing else to say, except that she also looked beautiful.

Julie Zorrilla sucked it up bad, which was a surprise, Haley sang Alicia Keys' "Fallen" (again!) but I don't know, she annoys me with all her grunts. Lauren Turner was fab, but I don't see her going that far. Kendra was great (loved the leather pants) but again, just doesn't have the star power. Karen sang in spanglish and I found it boring (cardinal rule of Idol is don't sing Mariah Carey, lest you can compare to Mariah Carey) and she to me sounded bland.

My top five girls are Pia, Thia, Lauren Alaina, Lauren Turner, and Karen. Dial Idol says that Ta-Tynisa, Julie Zorrilla, and Lauren Alaina got the most votes last night. Uh oh.

Who are your top five girls?

Photo via AmericanIdol.com


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