Fear and mediocrity ruled the stage last night with just a few rays of sunshine poking through those dark clouds. I'm ready for a sunny day myself, one full of real singers who are not afraid of their destiny, whether it be going or staying. I want a singer with no fears that laughs in the face of mediocrity, steps up to the mic and gives us a little piece of their heart. In other words, I want a woman. Those men were mostly boys and I'm hoping the ladies of Idol are out to show them who got the right stuff.

Going first tonight is Stephanie Edwards. Her opening line is better than anything I heard last night. She is a little nervous, but it is not holding her back. She is a soul singer from the old school, and she is getting down on her knees and meaning what she says. This is rhythm and blues like it should be served, hot, smooth, and tasty. Did I mention Stephanie is a looker too? Last night is a bad dream after what I just saw. Bravo! Stephanie!

Next up is Amy Krebs. She is singing Bonnie Rhaitt's “Cause I Can't Make You Love Me”. It's a pretty song and Amy does nothing to make it new or different. The flaws are obvious for this reason. Pitch problems and off-key warbling. It might have been nerves, but Amy did not impress. It was too laid back and totally powerless. Simon gets booed for saying she is not memorable, but he is telling the truth.

Leslie Hunt is singing Carole King's “Natural Woman”. Kelly Clarkson ruled with this song in the first series. Leslie is interesting in her approach, and she sings on key, but she jumps around too much. She looks way too happy when she hits a note as though she is surprised she hit it. It's a white bread version of a song made most famous by the queen of soul, Aretha. Why do people pick songs with so much history? She might turn out to be a good singer, but she needs to find her style and stay away from musical icons of song until she does. She also needs to practice in front of a mirror while she sings and make an effort to look more relaxed.

Sabrina Sloan is next and she is singing another icon of soul, Aretha's “I Ain't Never Loved a Man”. She is much more soulful than Leslie was. I was sure this song was going to be bigger than her, but she jumped in with both feet and rode it all the way home. She stays on key and gives it some soul of her own. Finally some real singers! Great job Sabrina. I love a surprise.

Antonella Barba is next. Everyone knows her as the Idol girl on the toilet. She starts on a stool tonight in a now familiar posture. She is doing Arrowsmith's “ I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing” and she starts off sweet, then goes off into a world of bad notes and warbling off key. Once she left the stool, it was all over. She wandered, the song wandered, the audience wandered. I wander, hoping it will all be over soon and that she doesn't cry when the judges go for her. I'm in luck. She doesn't.

Jordin Sparks is a junior in high school. Her criticism has been that she is too sweet. Her song choice is “Give Me Just One Reason”. It's a nice rocking version that builds slowly. You can see her loosen up as the song progresses. She may not be as note perfect as some of the other singers, but she has a freer spirit and less fear than others. She is young, but she got the stuff. A little practice is all this girl needs to become a great singer.

Nicole Tranquillo is a white soul singer. She has a powerful voice that can be piercing at times. It is a strong instrument that might need a bit more control, but she has pipes and potential. It was too loud in places and just odd in others. With the right song, it could be an impressive voice, but it didn't seem natural at all in this performance. I hope she comes back because she is interesting, but this was a case of wrong song and trying too hard to create drama where none was needed.

Haley Scarnato sings with a band at home. It shows in her performance. She knows how to stand on stage and how to hold a mic and how to play to an audience. I'm not crazy about her song, Meatloaf's/Celine's “It's All Coming Back to Me”, but she sings eagerly and on-key. She sings the song correctly, building to the climax, but something about it bored me. Simon says she sounds old and that sums it up. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't current or exciting in any way.

Melinda Doolittle is my hometown girl. She is singing Aretha also. These women aren't afraid to start with the best. Gotta give them that. Melinda is a backup singer trying to move to the front of the stage. I'm thinking she doesn't say Nashville (she says Brentwood, a suburb) because she doesn't want to be connected to country music. “Since You Been Gone” is not as familiar as some of Aretha's songs , but it rocks as well. Melinda is her own singer. She should never stand in the background again. This woman got pipes, soul, and complete control. Top twelve for sure. Could be the Idol. Even Simon loves her.

Alaina Alexander is emotional. She cries easily. She is singing, “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. Chrissy Hynde is a lot of woman to live up to. This was milquetoast in pocket. I felt all drippy listening to it. She doesn't have the power for this song and in no way makes it her own. It's a case of the singer not being as strong as the song and comes off as a total loss. After harsh criticism, she says she isn't going to cry, at least not on stage. Not on my final twelve list.

Gina Glocksen realizes that she wasn't ready last year, but she feels it this year. She is singing, “All by Myself”. She has a strong voice that reminds me a bit of Kelly Clarkson. She has the power and control of an experienced singer. She actually does this song great in a different arrangement from any other. I like her vibe too. Her work shows and she was one of my favorite of the night. Simon thinks she didn't hit the big note, but I think she made it work. Definitely on my top twelve list.

Lakisha Jones is the one I've been waiting for. She was a powerhouse in early auditions. The little they showed us was impressive. She is serious about what she is doing and is purpose driven, all good things in any business. Lakisha is singing the song that Jennifer Hudson is Oscar-nominated for singing, “And I'm Telling You”. It's a showstopper anywhere if sung correctly. She has the voice and the attitude and I indeed do love her, just as she tells me I am going to. This is a case of saving the best for last. Simon says he should send the 23 other people a message to go on home. It could save us all a lot of time, but I look forward to the next 13-14 weeks of singing after tonight's show. It was Ladie's Night tonight and it looks like this year will be Ladie's Year on Idol.