Five singers entered this season's "American Idol" Top 20 Wednesday night.
It was the first episode in this season's Las Vegas round. Going into the show, "Idol" had 40 singers. On the next few episodes, 10 singers will perform each night and five will be eliminated. By the end of the month, we'll hopefully have our Top 20.
Ten women performed Wednesday.
Angela Miller, Teena Torres, Kree Harrison, Adriana Latonio and Amber Holcomb advanced to the next round.
Jenny Beth Willis, Brandy Hotard, Shubha Vedula, Kamaria Ousley and Georgia singer Isabelle were eliminated.
The results weren't too surprising. For me, Angela Miller and Kree Harrison were the biggest stars of the night. Angela impressed the judges once again, following her noteworthy performance of an original song in Hollywood. This time around, she sang "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J and offered equally solid confidence and vocals.
Kree Harrison remains one of my favorite contestants of the season. In Vegas, she delivered a compelling performance of "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin. I love how her performances don't require special effects or flashy outfits.
Discussion time: Do you agree with Wednesday's results?
Here's a full recap of Wednesday's show. Ten male singers will perform Thursday. In the meantime, check out this photo gallery of the Top 40 singers.
Jenny Beth Willis, 17, is a country singer who performs "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love" by Trisha Yearwood. On the plus side, I love her pink getup. On the negative side, this performance is pretty forgettable. As the first singer of the night, the odds weren't exactly stacked in her favor. It's not a vocal train wreck, but the song isn't catchy enough to sustain my attention. Producers haven't given her a lot of airtime, so things don't look promising. ELIMINATED
Keith: "That was a great way to start the show...I love this effortless confidence that you perform with."
Nicki: "To me, I didn't feel like you came alive until the end."
Randy: "You never got in sync rhythmically with the band...It may spell a little trouble for you later on tonight."
Mariah: "I think you could be more dynamic during the verses."
Teena Torres, 28, is a big Mariah Carey fan who attended Camp Mariah when she was younger. She says her time on "Idol" is "the story of the underdog." She sings "Soulmate" by Natasha Bedingfield. My first reaction? Yawn. But the energy picks up as the song progresses and Teena hits some solid power notes. My biggest criticism is that the performance enters lounge singer territory at times. Still, Teena has potential. I'd be OK if she advanced. ADVANCES
Keith: "That was a beautiful song for you to do."
Nicki: "You reminded me of why I fell in love with your voice before...You have control...Lose the hair, the hair that you had originally made you look a little younger."
Randy: "This is the start of the night. This is how you do it."
Mariah: "This was all you...you gave every bit of your emotion."
Adriana Latonio, 17, is from Alaska. She bills herself as a small-town girl. She sings "Ain't No Way" by Aretha Franklin. It's a big song, and I'm already worried that we're going to overdose on ballads tonight. Still, Adriana is a very polished singer. She handles the song well. It's a pretty strong performance and I'm guessing she'll advance. I'm not as enthusiastic as the judges, though. I don't know...it just seemed like there was a little "oomph" missing. ADVANCES
Keith: "Now the night has started."
Nicki: "I did not see one ounce of fear in you."
Randy: "I loved it."
Mariah: "It went really well...I really loved how you came through with your version of the song."
Brandy Hotard, 26, is a psych nurse. She sings "Anymore" by Travis Tritt. Yes, I'm already sick of ballads tonight. Brandy's voice is fine, but she has absolutely no emotional connection to this performance. Plus, the whole thing seems much too dated for a contemporary "Idol" audience. It's basically one giant yawn. The song drags on...and on...and on. In a season with a lot of promising female country singers, the judges will have a hard time finding a reason to keep Brandy around. ELIMINATED
Keith: Points to an "emotional connection inconsistency"
Nicki: "That was a pageant delivery of a song and it did not feel real."
Randy: "It didn't tell me enough of who you are."
Mariah: "I would love to see you do an album of classics."
Shubha Vedula, 17, sits at the piano when she begins her performance of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." She performs the song's opening verses at the piano, then gets up and launches into full-on energetic belter mode. At points, things get a little too theatrical for my tastes. Yes, you could easily argue the performance is over the top. However, I still think Shubha has one of the strongest female voices we've seen this this season. I love her Christina Aguilera vibe. ELIMINATED
Keith: "You crammed a lot into that song...Your voice came powering through."
Nicki: "It's so much going on...it almost feels like a mashup of Christina Aguilera and the Gangnam Style guy."
Randy: "The potential in you is amazing."
Mandy: "I would've preferred if you did the song from the piano."
Kamaria Ousley, 29, tells us she's a backup singer who's performed with artists like Diddy. Immediately, I know she's a backup singer for a reason. Her performance of Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All" is a giant mess. She totally over-sings the entire thing and most of the notes are just off. The performance seems really out of place at this stage of the game. It's obvious we won't be seeing Kamaria again this season. Hey, at least Brandy Hotard knows SHE'S not the worst singer of the night. ELIMINATED
Keith: "I don't know that that was a great song for you tonight."
Nicki: "What I never noticed until tonight was this throaty, twangy thing that you were doing."
Randy: "From the start of the song, it just never caught on."
Mariah: "I think you're very adorable."
Kree Harrison, 22, is a demo singer. She performs "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin. AWESOME. I'm one of Kree's biggest fans. Remember, she has the back story about both her parents dying. But she's more than a back story. She delivers controlled, compelling vocals without over-singing. And I like how she takes the stage wearing a plain long-sleeved T-shirt and jeans. She's not as flashy as some of the other singers, but she doesn't need the extra bells and whistles. Her vocals are enough. ADVANCES
Keith: "You are such a natural-born singer."
Nicki: "I would be very afraid if I were any of these other girls here tonight."
Randy: "You sang a beautiful song...and it was effortless."
Mariah: "You're lost in the song and that is a beautiful thing to watch."
Angela Miller, 18, has gotten a lot of buzz since the Hollywood round. Does she deserve it? Yep. I really enjoy her rendition of "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J. She hits some nice power notes without over-singing the song. Also, she has the emotional connection that was missing from some of the night's earlier performances. I'm pretty sure she's a lock to advance to the Top 20, justifiably. I just hope the advance hype doesn't make her peak too early. ADVANCES
Keith: "You have a huge talent...You just have a big, big gift that doesn't require any compensating."
Nicki: "You're already a top contender in this competition."
Randy: "You are definitely one of my favorites in the whole entire competition."
Mariah: "I feel like your potential is just limitless."
Isabelle, 22, hails from Johns Creek, Ga. She was overweight when she was younger and now she wants to inspire other women. She sings a very good rendition of "God Bless the Child." The performance seems a little dated at points, but I like Isabelle. She has confidence, a good stage presence and a good handle on those power notes. And, of course, I generally root for Georgia contestants. I want to see how she handles more contemporary material. ELIMINATED
Keith: Says every guy who rejected her should feel bad
Nicki: "You look very pretty, you sound very pretty."
Randy: "It was a bit old-fashioned for me...I did feel like I was at a pageant for a second."
Mariah: "Your heart is what's selling you."
Amber Holcomb, 18, auditioned last year and made it to the Vegas round. She sings "My Funny Valentine." I'll take a moment to note I'm surprised/confused by the lack of modern song choices tonight. Yes, I wanted to hear Amber sing something current. But she delivers a very impressive performance that hooks my attention. It seems like one of the most pure vocals of the night. I want to see more...I'd be totally OK with seeing her in the Top 20. Three of the four judges give her a standing ovation -- everybody except Nicki. ADVANCES
Keith: "So great to watch...you just made it timeless."
Nicki: "I'm proud that you've come back and made an effort to come out of your shell...The vocal is at the top of the class."
Randy: "The vocal was amazing."
Mariah: "I love your interpretation of that song."