I've Got Issues...And Peace


Boulder, Colorado,
October 22
Family, marital, and individual psychotherapist. Mother to four who no longer need my services but still enjoy my love as I do theirs. I specialize in stepfamily dynamics and difficult transitions. I try to write from the heart with a sense of vulnerability, humor and a frank look at myself. Art shown: "Four Pots" by Lindsey Leavell


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2010 5:43AM

"American Idol" Ladies Night: Time to Talk Dirty

Rate: 26 Flag
America:  Your Top 8 Female Contestants 
Top 8 Girls

Tuesday night’s show started with Ellen all over Simon and I mean ALL OVER Simon.  Ellen’s face was red with passion, Simon’s face was red with mortification and Kara’s face was green with envy.

Tonight was “Ladies Night” and it was made very clear to the 8 remaining female contestants that they needed to bring it on, strut their stuff, show us what they were made of, give America the "Wow Factor", and have a peak performance.

So, before we begin, can we have a little chat, a little one-on-one, a frank tête-à-tête?

Let’s talk about the birds and the bees.

Yes, the birds and the bees 'cuz I gotta tell you, and it’s not like I’m promoting premarital sex here or anything, but some of these girls need to get laid…and quickly.

Come to think of it, maybe Ellen isn’t getting any at home and she needs to get laid too!

 Katie Stevens

Let me start with virginal Katie Stevens:  Katie is young, beautiful and has the voice of a sultry soulful jazz singer.  She sang, “Breakaway”, a song that the unmatchable Kelly Clarkson turned into a mega hit. But Katie wasn’t believable.  She was stiff, rigid and robotic in her movements.  And I swear I saw one of those chastity rings on her left hand “wedding finger”.  And she suddenly, in the creepiest of ways, reminded me of Bristol Palin who has had sex, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t great because she is stiff, rigid and robotic.

Bristol palin 

Randy:  “Yo, first one out of the box.  Listen, big song but you sounded “karaoke”.

Ellen:  “You’re young, I didn’t feel those words.  All those words you were singing you weren’t feeling.” Brilliant.

Kara:  I was distracted by her continual leaning into Simon, literally pressing and nuzzling her body up against him.  Kara’s married and apparently she’s not getting any either.  

Simon:   Simon is getting laid.  No doubt about that.  His lean back, relaxed and slight Cheshire grin on his face said it all.  Simon got parental and gave Katie kudos for taking the judge’s advice to find a young song. He should have advised her to find a lover.

 Siobhan Magnus

Siobhan Magnus:  Siobhan sang, “House of the Rising Sun”.  One would be hard pressed to deny that she had a beautiful voice, stunning really. And I’m pretty sure she’s had sex but I don’t want to make sex too much of a theme here.  This is a singing competition after all.  Speaking of sex, Siobhan needed to move her body just a little, just enough for me to know she wasn’t a mannequin, but she had a magnificent performance…. well, magnificent once you compared it to everyone else’s.  

Randy:  “I’m already a fan, dawg. That was different.  You took every risk, every chance.  I liked the red skirt.”  Oh yeah, I bet you liked that red skirt Randy.

Ellen:  Nothing Ellen said was memorable.  Ellen was forgettable.

Kara:  Kara was just too annoying for me to listen to.  Between her trying to commit adultery on national television and her continual bobbing head, I covered my ears and eyes.

Simon:  “I wasn’t quite a fan of that.  It was all a bit weird.  You didn’t do anything with the song differently.  I was underimpressed.  It was all a bit boring and dark.”  Loud boos were heard from the crowd.  Siobhan must have had a lot of relatives in the audience.

 Lacey Brown

Lacey Brown:  Lacey sang, “The Story” and I wasn’t sure she had one.  She sat down on the stage for her performance and I don’t know if this bothered anyone else.  I hate it when the performers sing sitting down.  It seemed hokey and just from a vocal perspective, it’s got to be difficult to belt out a song while sitting down.  Then when she was singing sitting down, she started rocking herself back and forth just a little. I didn’t now if she was self-soothing or self-soothing (wink wink).

Randy:  “Yo, the song was a little boring, but it’s your best performance in a long time.”  I didn’t think this was a compliment.

Ellen:  “Best, um, performance to date.  Um, perfect song choice.”  Okay, another time for a frank talk.  Ellen sucked as a judge.  She’s worn out her welcome.  She looked like she was a deer caught in the headlights and began what would be an evening long verbal pattern of “um’s”.

Kara:  Whatever.

Simon:  “I have to say, I didn’t love love the song, but you sang it really really well.  That was something I’d listen to on the radio.  But still, for me, I haven’t heard the right song connection yet.  I’m afraid you’re in danger of being forgotten”.

 Katelyn Epperly

Katelyn Epperly:  Katelyn sang, “I Feel the Earth Move”, the classic Carol King song.  Big mistake.  Katelyn started the song as if she was already in the middle of it.  I felt the earth and her performance tumbling in a downward spiral. I needed some Pepto Bismol and I wasn’t sure if it was from the pink hair or the poor performance.

Randy:  Randy started off his feedback with laughter.  That is never a good sign.  “Uh, chuckle chuckle, listen, I loved the Carol King hair but I didn’t feel the right connection, it felt put on.  I didn’t feel the vib.”  Maybe Katelyn needed a vibrator.

Ellen:  “Um, we’re, um, getting down to the Top 12.  You’re, um, adorable, but, um, um, it just, um, wasn’t, um, um enough.”  Ellen needed a linguistics coach.

Kara:  Kara had become a conjoined twin with Simon and it was just so wrong.

Simon:  “I like your hair.  On the down side, it was kind of like request night on a Friday night in a restaurant that you were working at.  The most important night of your career, you chose a simple song and didn’t do anything with it.  This may have been a mistake for you tonight.”  Ya think?  Katelyn may be gone.

 Didi Benami

Didi Benami:  Didi sang, “Rhiannon” and when she was singing the lyrics, “Will you ever win?”, I shouted at the TV, “No, you will never win!  Ever!”  It’s not that Didi was terrible and I did love her voice, but she didn’t bring it on with this performance.  It was flaccid.

Randy:  “Yo, it was definitely better than last week but there were no ‘wow’ moments.”

Ellen:  Again, let’s face it.  Ellen doesn’t know much about music and I’m getting tired of her Ellenisms. Give Paula a billion dollars if you have to.  It’s not too late to bring Paula back.  People make mistakes.

Kara:  “This was one of my favorite moments of the show.” Kara had become delirious.

Simon:  “Didi, I have to agree with Kara” (kiss up).  “I thought that was head and shoulders above anything else we’ve heard tonight.  You’ve proved that you’re an artist. The wow moment was the whole moment and it was well balanced and it was a brilliant choice of song.”  Simon’s hooked up with Didi, plain and simple. 

 paige Miles

Paige Miles:  Paige sang, “Smile”. I felt like I was at a funeral.  What was Paige thinking?  The song was morose, depressing and anything but a song that would make you smile.  Who was coaching Paige?  Do these contestants get no help at all?  I called my doc mid-song to plead for some Prozac.

Randy:  “It didn’t work at all”.  Yawn.

Ellen:  “It’s supposed to be inspiring and uplifting.  But it was sad and not uplifting”.   I was in an official coma.

Kara:  "It was all wrong".  No, you're all wrong.

Simon:  “It was so solemn, and a horrible choice of song.  The arrangement was awful.  It was a ‘peanut performance’.  You have so much potential; you have a great voice but you’ve got no idea what kind of artist you should be.” 

Paige will be gone.

 Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox:  Crystal sang Tracy Chapman’s, “Give Me One Reason” and thank God Crystal has had sex!  (I know this because she has a kid.)  Now here’s a woman I could believe.  I could feel her soul in the song.  She could feel her soul in the song.

Randy:  Randy was all in a lather.  ‘Listen, listen listen man.  This is what this show is about for me.  I love you, the song, the honesty.  That was hot.”  Randy had a crush.

Ellen:  “Best performance of the night.”  True but such unoriginal feedback.  These judges needed to start taking their own advice.

Kara:  Never mind.

Simon:  “One million billion percent sure you’re going to be in the Top 12 next week. You are the one to beat.  It’s yours to win.”  With the women Crystal was competing against, Simon was no psychic.

 Lilly Scott

Lilly Scott:  Lilly sang, “I Fall to Pieces” and maybe I was just all worn out and cynical at this point because I was falling to pieces.  I had images of Tiny Tim singing with his ukulele.  Yeah, I think it was me because the judges had a different take.

Randy:  “I loved the song.  You’re in the zone”.

Ellen:  “I loved your originality and style and I love you.”  Ellen had a crush.

Kara:  “It was kind of Patsy Cline made current”.

Simon:  “You’re very brave for choosing that song on a night like this.  What it didn’t have was the 'Wow Factor'.  It was cute and quirky but that could have been a risky thing to do".

So that was the Top 8 Women for this season’s “American Idol”.  When I turned the TV off, I felt frustrated and pent up.  I felt like I’d been seduced, teased and let down like a teenage boy on Prom night.

I headed off for a cold shower and pleaded with the powers that be that the guys come through Wednesday night.

Somebody’s got to put out on this show!


*The brilliant knightwriter will be reviewing the men tonight due to a professional obligation I have.  This is good news for you readers!  It's hard enough to suffer American Idol twice in a week (three if you count the kick off people show)...but to suffer my reviews twice..that's just cruel.


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I am listening to Tracy Chapman singing that song. So effortless and beautiful. I didn't watch the show, it's up against NCIS x2 and Dan is not going to give up the boy shows until it gets closer to finals at to go find a video of Crystal...

Thanks Mary!
It wasn't you. Lily was not great at all... It seemed pretty obvious that they were getting pressed for time, so I think the judges were just saying anything to finish up the show.
I still think it will be Paige and Katelyn who will go home, but Lily is starting to wear thin. Now, if she had just sang To Sir With Love... she's totally the new Lulu.
My son's comment about Lily was "That little guitar isn't going to hide her fat ass." Paige butchered the song, but it still got me as I wrote on my own blog. Crystal sang it and had that sultry thing going suggesting someone that, well, has done the antecedent that causes you to have a child. And of course that first one hasn't done the deed. You could tell by the way she was holding the microphone.

And, as for Ellen? Maybe she was channeling Anne Heche?
Going home on Thursday: Katie Stevens and Paige Miles. Or possibly Kaitlyn Epperly but I hope not. She had a bad night, but she's better than her performance. I'm h0ping America is intrigued enough with her to want to see what she does next. My delicious Didi finally came through - I knew she had it in her. But Mary, you are correct. She is never going to win.

I have to say I'm getting tired of Randy talking about how "boring" some of these songs are. When did emotional become boring? He seems to be missing the Whitney Houston diva a la Jennifer Hudson who can bring the house down with a single note. But he and the panel didn't pick one person who's capable of that - they picked quirky, singer songwriter types who will move people quietly. He needs to accept that.

Crystal blew my Bowersox off again last night. Just love her. She's in a league of her own, and she's starting to feel it. Her only vulnerability is the incredibly high expectation now - it has brought down many a former contender.

Looking forward to spending time with the top 8 guys tomorrow night. Let's hope one of them puts out...
I too am "underimpressed" with Ellen. And Simon really needs to pick up a copy of George Orwell. His cynicism is becoming so tired he's starting to blather judgespeak.

I feel bad for Katie Stephens because it's very clear she knew "what kind of artist she was" coming into this competition. A jazz singer. Then last week everyone told her to become a teen pop singer, instead of recommending more quirky upbeat jazz standards. So duh, she was out of her element. I don't think she needs to get laid. She needs to watch a few Nikki Yanofsky videos on youtube.

Sadly she'll probably have plenty of time for that because I suspect their bad advice sunk her.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Paige stay. It was a miserable performance, but when she's on, she's the best singer of the bunch and probably has enough of a fan base to keep her in.

Sorry KW, I think Kaytlin's history. How many pretty blondes singing tired top 40 from the 70s do we need on this show? Didi won the summer camp talent show competition this week.

In my perfect world we'll be saying goodbye to Lacey. I don't think her performance came off as well on television. After the incredible purity of Sibhoan's voice, she sounded pitchy and faux quirky. Plus there were enough second rate performances for people to vote for for no reason.

So my hope/prediction. Kaytlin-Lacey.
Not that any of this matters because Crystal's so going to win this.
Great angle to the night's performances. Look forward to the sex rating of the boys tonight.
You are doing yeoman's work on this death march of a show. I have long since tuned out, but enjoy your reviews more and more.
I also have tuned out ...perhaps until the final 4, but immensely enjoy your recaps! You must not be voted off!!!
Yawn.....the show, not your post, which is always so much better than wasting one's time on being disappointed, again and again...
What were they thinking last night?! With the exception of Crystal, who is looking like a shoe in (God, would someone call 1-800 Dentist!!!)!!! The song choices were like kareoke lullabyes at best. The guys are far worse, however, so they had all be on their games next time. Can barely watch this without cringing and maintaining my gag reflex. :0
Oh god oh god oh god, yes yes everything you said, and no I am not at the moment getting laid, just laughing my way to some new sort of perhaps psychoerotic experience. This is on of the simultaneously funniest and most right-on things I have ever read in on any topic ever.

Where's a cigarette when a guy needs one?
Adorable post Mary. I do like your theme.
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! I'm renaming AI the the A-Mary-Can Idol. You are simply to funny. Love the sex theme and red face red face then green one in the beginning. I wouldn't mind slithering up to Simon either. Except I just had dental surgery and am not up to anything -- even Simon. Thank god for your posts, Mary. The show's intolerable and I can't get enough of you. Looking forward to the next A-Mary-Can Idol show!
You managed to add some life to the show, Mary. This is true sacrifice on your part. Again, I didn't watch. I can only do one AI night a week unless things pick up and it gets more exciting. BUT, I loved your sex themed recap...I am going to start a petion for you to replace Ellen.
Katie proved that not only was her voice not big enough for the climactic parts of the song, but also not interesting enough in the rather plain and simple opening verses.
Siobhan did a creditable job with "House". I like her voice. Simon was contrarian (i.e. dead wrong) as usual when he said she didn't do anything new with it. She didn't go silly and try to make it disco or rap or something, but she added a few diversions to make it a little bit her own.
Lacey's performance was interesting. I felt she almost crossed into the musical territory inhabited by the likes of Neko Case or Martha Wainwright. I wonder if anyone has the courage to step right out there on this competition.
Then we come to Katelyn. This performance annoyed me so much I annoyed my wife going on about it. First of all, I've missed some weeks of the show so I don't know if her hair always looks like that, but did she have to emulate Carole King that explicitly? I hope she stays away from Sinead O'Connor songs or she will be bald next week. Then there was the song choice. Really? One of the dullest songs ever written, by a singer I had hoped was forgotten (the best thing CK ever did was inspire Neil Sedaka to write "Oh! Carol"). It's so repetitive the only way to make it interesting would be to have several singers do it in parts like "Row, row, row your boat." Dreadful. Just plain dreadful.
Didi. Again an interesting treatment of the material. She almost turned "Rhiannon" into a folk song instead of trying to emulate the bigger production. I liked it. And it was so much better than what Taylor Swift managed to do with it at the Grammys.
Paige's performance of "Smile" was marred for me not by the moroseness of it, because there's a two-edged quality to that song that might have been exploited in a valid way, but by the quavery nervousness of her delivery. Her voice is beautiful but I fear she's toast; a pity because one night she might just pick the right song and nail it.
Crystal is going to win the whole thing unless of course everyone forgets to vote for her one week maybe three or four from the end, assuming everyone else will bother to do it.
I don't know what to say about Lily. No Patsy Cline voice-wise, and again another song that could have taken a more alternative type of arrangement if the artist had the nerve.
I have to agree about Ellen and I love Ellen but she is not bringing anything to this show. Painful to watch.
You know, Mary....I don't watch any of this stuff...and it now sounds more boring than ever! I think Ellen is too smart for it...I knew that would happen....I'm surprised she hasn't keeled over from all of it...but good review Mary, as always...xox
Boring singers, tired old songs and cooked's so over. Kara can flirt, snuggle, rub and wink at Simon - Paula she is NOT! Randy is soooo bored and trying to make something out of nothing. Just give Bowersox the win and let's move on.
Here's a page with recordings of two of Crystal Bowersox's own songs: "Farmer's Daughter" and "Holy Toledo." This girl will break your heart.
Heh, Mary,

It's quite possible that the single best part of American Idol are your little rants about it.

Re: 1-800-Dentist - my son's eye teeth never came in. They are in there, just not coming down from his gums. He has his baby canines. It's possible this happened to Crystal. The rest of her teeth look fine. A couple implants and she's good to go. She's beautiful otherwise, and shows everyone else the meaning of "knows who she is".

And she got Simon to thank her for NOT taking their notes.
Great, great. Thanks for this. I thought Ellen was a HORRIBLE choice. And who is Kara anyhow and who is she married to?
Love your posts, Mary. Keep 'em comin'! They're the best thing about this season so far. 'Cept Crystal. She's a real find. Whew!
I forgot to mention that I was surprised that you didn't comment on the fact that crystal has definitely had her teeth whitened.
I agree that Katie knew she was a jazz singer and that the judges really messed up by telling her to be a pop princess. It makes you wonder what they would've said to Christina Aguilara when she started to do her jazzy songs in her early 20s.
All the images are squishy. Like the recap don't have to watch the torture.
All I can say is thank YOU and KNIGHTWRITER for being my idol reporters with the latest news hot off the stage -- I couldn't take the doldrums of the show but thanx to you two I'm always able to talk at the water cooler.
Had a packed client day yesterday so apologies for not commenting sooner.

Susanne: Hope you found the video of Crystal. She did a great job.

Inteson: I agree with you about who you think may be going home. LOVE your idea for To Sir With Love...I would love to see her do that song.

Gwool: Yikes, your son needs a talking to! Love the comment about Ellen.

knightwriter: I think it will be Katelyn and/or Lily and Paige. Thanks again for a great recap of the guys!

Juliet: I agree with you about Katie knowing what kind of singer she is and I wasn't being really serious about her getting laid...but I would love to have her be coached to get in touch with her more sensual side..she's almost 18...she's not too young to be aware of this. Great video recommendation for her. Looking forward to tonight's eliminations (mean of me really!). Thanks for reading.

Julie PS: Hey, remember, that's what I thought about Adam Lambert. I don't have a clue as to who's going to win at this point.

Myriad: Thanks for appreciating the was out of pure and total desperation for one turd of a show.

Elisa: Like you, I've wondered about the much more talented singers who were sent home. Frustrating.

jimmy: Bless you because this is truly one of the more challenging things I've ever written about. Hope to see you on Saturday!

Buffy: You're the best!

JC: You already know how I feel. Thanks for this great comment.

AJ: So glad you got my sick and twisted sense of humor!

Lea: Thank you!!!

Joan: So glad I bribed you! Thanks for the great comment.

GeeBee: Loved your recap! And agreed with all of it.

McKenna: Yes, this is not Ellen's venue by a long shot. I never believe her feedback because she's not believable when it comes to the music industry. It's that simple.

Luluand: I think Crystal is well on her way to making it, no matter what the outcome of AI will be. Thanks so much for enjoying!

element: Again, I said that about Lambert last year and look what happened. AI voters are very unpredictable. I can't believe what a difference this season has made without Paula. She really was irreplaceable.

Susanne: Hi again! Thanks for the videos. You're right...breathtaking and goes right to the heart.

Rick: You rock and thank you for that...really.

anybodhi: Yes, the reality is something should be done about those missing teeth. But implants are no easy task and I'm not sure if she could go through that process during the show. Simon is pulling for her for the whole thing.

Deborah: Kara is a very well respected songwriter in the music business. Have no idea who she is married to but he must be quite tolerant. She's been all over Simon lately (but I'm sure part of the whole entertainment manipulation gig).

Deborah: Crystal is a rare find...I love her too.

Inteson: You know I almost did say something about the teeth but I felt like I'd been catty and snarky enough for one evening; and I just got Monovision Lasik a couple of weeks ago and my distance is still just slightly blurry. I thought they looked whiter but I wasn't quite sure.

FranksandBeans: They are squishy. I must find sharper photos for next week. It's not as easy to find as you would think.

Gabby: Don't you LOVE knightwriter's recaps. That guy is such a great writer, he takes my breath away. Glad we are both able to help you out at the water cooler!

Kyle: You and I have the same prediction...thanks so much for reading. I don't know Eva Cassidy but I trust you. Thank you.
MTK - Crystal's teeth don't bother me - my point was that whatever they are they are minor compared to her huge and natural talent.

Since she sang "Natural Woman" I've been sold. I'll buy her album (which WILL be made even if by some fluke she doesn't win).

The way she sings the songs you know there's a well of hard-earned wisdom behind her voice.

She's a winner to me already.

I mean, she's just the next logical step in the "You can go indie" thing that has been evolving on AI. Starting with David Cook, who not only sang but did these mad arrangements and his voice had such depth (appealing to rock fans as well as teens/tweens), then Adam (G)Lambert who is amazing (and really over the top).

Now we have a totally "herself" chick not even trying for one moment to be over the top or somewhere in the middle. Not eve swinging for the cheap seats. Just doing her thing.
Mary- I just read this on Salon - it's fantastic! You captured the night perfectly -

Loved the comment about Tiny Tim and the ukelele.

I'm starting to really like Kara, though. When she's not weeping or sucking up (literally) to Simon, she has valuable opinions.

I wish Simon wasn't getting laid, however. I liked him better when he was nasty.
and why is it that so many readers at have absolutely no sense of humor?