Before I begin, I just wanted to thank Adam for filling in last week while I was in Los Angeles. Definitely appreciated it. For the most part, I agreed with his thoughts on last week’s girls. Hopefully, he’ll agree with mine regarding the remaining ten girls.

I have to say, the outcome of this episode really surprised me. A couple of early frontrunners choked, while a pair of ladies came out of nowhere to stake their claim for the Season 12 American Idol crown. At this point, I really do believe a girl will join the ranks of Kelly, Fantasia, Carrie and Jordin as female winners. Exactly who, I’m not sure. There are a handful of really strong contenders.

Before I begin, I just wanted to mention that I’m really enjoying this Vegas Sudden Death round. While I wish the judges didn’t have the power to eliminate, I do appreciate how swift the process is. In just two weeks, we’ll have this year’s Top 10. I also wanted to praise Nicki Minaj. I’m sure I’m going to get a fair share of comments stating otherwise, but I think the “Starships” rapper is doing an outstanding job. The fact that she doesn’t censor herself when giving honest critiques is worth commending. So often, the new judges hold back for fear of losing fans. Props to Minaj for taking her job seriously. Without further ado, check out the ladies performing below.

American Idol 12 – Sudden Death Girls Part 2

Melinda Ademi

Song: Nobody’s Perfect
Original Artist: Jessie J

Definitely one of my favorites coming into this round. When I saw she was first up, I was worried for her. Typically, Nigel doesn’t put showstopping performances at the top of the hour. Turns out I was right. Melinda choked and was pitchy all over the place. Such a shame she didn’t kill this Jessie J tune like she did with “Price Tag” during Hollywood Week. Hopefully she’s eligible to try again next year. Maybe third time is a charm?

Candice Glover

Song: You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Original Artist: Aretha Franklin

As with Melinda, I was surprised at Candice’s spot in the show. Given that she’s been heavily pimped during this season, I was expecting her to anchor this crop of girls. Vocally it was good, but overall wasn’t super memorable. I was worried her journey would end again during Vegas. Luckily for her, she earned enough goodwill with the judges to secure a spot for next week.

Juliana Chahayed

Song: Skyscraper
Original Artist: Demi Lovato

Cute girl and sweet performance. Liked her take on Demi Lovato’s hit, but it was too quiet to stand out when all was said and done. At 15, she’s got plenty of time to pursue her career and develop even more.

Jett Hermano

Song: Only Girl (In The World)
Original Artist: Rihanna

Like Juliana, I loved Jett’s artistic take on this well-known track. Bonus points for also playing an instrument. I quite enjoyed it, but apparently I was in the minority. The judges weren’t exactly jumping out of their chairs. Given she’s received practically no airtime up to this point, Jett was pretty much dunzo before she even sang a note. Guess who was leaving on a “jett” plane tonight.

Cristabel Clack

Song: No One
Original Artist: Alicia Keys

Who else thinks Cristabel looks like she belongs with Toni Braxton and her sisters on Braxton Family Values? With her short ‘do and schnoz she could definitely pass for one. I’ve never really warmed up to Clack as much as the judges have. Overall, it wasn’t bad but thought she overdid her signature rasp. Clickety “Clack”, guess who’s not coming back.

Aubrey Cleland

Song: Sweet Dreams
Original Artist: Beyonce

WHERE IN THE EFF has Nigel been hiding this chick??? Aubrey was absolutely sensational. For all those contestants who complain about being hidden during the early rounds, this is how you make your debut. Give a performance so good, the judges have no other option but to give praise. Girlfriend slayed it. Too boot, Aubrey is gorgeous. She’s marketable with a capital “M”. Out of nowhere, I have a new favorite.

Rachel Hale

Song: Nothing But The Water
Original Artist: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Rachel’s perkiness is borderline annoying. Tonight, she channeled that energy to give an entertaining performance. Like the judges, I was surprised with her song choice, but appreciated she took a chance with a non-country track. For me, Rachel was one of the strongest tonight. I thought for sure she’d be a shoo-in. Boy was I wrong when she didn’t make the cut. Definitely robbed.

Breanna Steer

Song: Bust Your Windows
Original Artist: Jazmine Sullivan

They’ve only shown several glimpses of Breanna thus far. But from what I’ve seen, I’ve liked. Her Mary J. Blige cover during the auditions was bang-on. With Aubrey slaying it earlier, I feared that the judges wouldn’t advance two girls with similar looks and music genres. Thankfully, Mariah and company didn’t let me down. Breanna made it to the voting round.

Janelle Arthur

Song: Just A Kiss
Original Artist: Lady Antebellum

Just like Melinda, Janelle kinda choked. Even though I’m a Janelle fan, I thought Rachel Hale outsang her and deserved the final spot. Being a producer’s pet, I should’ve known the blond country singer’s advancement was a no-brainer. Hopefully next week, she checks in her nerves and shows what she’s really made of.

Zoanette Johnson

Song: Circle of Life
Original Artist: Elton John

How did Zoanette even make it to this round??? Even more so, how dare Johnson attempt to sing Jennifer Hudson’s signature song during her Idol run??? While I enjoyed the tribal intro and the energy throughout her performance, I thought she was yelling rather than singing during the entire thing. Imagine my surprise when the judges stood up and showered her with praises. WTF!!! Personally, any of the eliminated chicks deserved a spot over Zoanette.

What did you think of Round 2? Did the right five girls advance? Which eliminated girl will you miss the most? Personally, I would’ve picked Rachel or Melinda over Zoanette. And you? Sound off below.