LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- It may have been ladies night on “American Idol,” but the real winners of the evening were the teen titans, two underage girls who dominated nearly all of their female competition on the FOX reality show.
Lauren Alaina, just 16, made an impression during the auditions round, singing her parents’ favorite song, Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” and she proved she was no fluke on Wednesday night with her rocking rendition of Reba McEntire’s “Turn On The Radio.”
Lauren’s confident, flawless and fun performance saw her hitting all the right notes and netting big praise from judge Randy Jackson, who said she was like a mix of the two biggest “Idol” winners of all time
“You have that natural talent, but I don’t even believe you know how good you are,” Randy enthused. “Kelly Clarkson was our first winner… You remind me of a combination of her, kind of meets Carrie [Underwood], because you got the urban, the R&B runs, the country!”
Also getting an A+ from the judges was 15-year-old Thia Megia who made a bold move, starting her performance of “Fame’s” “Out Here On My Own” without any accompaniment. Later, she added piano, but her true tones carried the song away and into the hearts of the panel.
“Sometimes a person’s pitch can be so perfect, it doesn’t matter what song they sing, and you just did that,” judge Steven Tyler just said.
While the teens were terrific, slightly older contestant Pia Toscana – who is just 21 – gave the high school standouts a run for their money.
Performing an emotive version of The Pretenders hit “I’ll Stand By You,” the beautiful brunette also thrilled the crowd, getting the first standing ovation of the season during the final song of the night.
“You put yourself in the top. That’s how you do it,” Randy said.
“I knew that you were a standout,” Jennifer Lopez chimed in. “But… it was out of this world.”
Here’s how the rest of the pack did:
Ta-Tynisa Wilson tried out “Only Girl (In The World),” but hit enough bum notes that Randy said it “kind of paled in comparison to Rihanna’s version.”
Naima Adedapo, the resident jazz crooner among the ladies, opted for George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” but while Jennifer said she brought “color,” Randy said it “was a little lounge act-y.”
Kendra Chantelle opted for Christina Aguilera’s “Impossible,” and received praise from Jennifer, who called it “amazing,” but added, “I feel like there’s more in you.”
Rachel Zevita tried out a Broadway version of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal,” which was panned. “It just didn’t work,” Randy said.
Karen Rodriguez performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” and incorporating the Spanish lyrics with the English ones made her stand out. “I love that you changed from English to Spanish and showed who you are,” Jennifer said.
Lauren Turner opted for “Seven Day Fool,” a song made famous by Etta James, and she found herself with a hit. “That was spectacular,” Steven said, but Jennifer suggested she use more power next time around in her stage performance.
Ashton Jones tried out Monica’s “Love All Over Me,” and while Jennifer said she had “all the makings of a diva,” Randy said she should have chosen a Diana Ross number.
Julie Zorrilla thought it wise to try out original “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway,” which the panel collectively panned. “Wrong song for you,” Steven said.
Haley Reinhart sang “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys, but didn’t add enough of her own personality to the track to impress. “It’s almost like a karaoke kind of thing,” Randy said.
Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.