Jenny Beth Willis -- I kept referring to her as "the vampire" in my notes last week, which was unfair: She is a lovely, good-natured porcelain doll who could sadly make neither a hideous black/magenta lingerie "dress" nor Trisha Yearwood's "Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love" work to her advantage. To her credit, we'd never, ever met her, and if she'd gotten any amount of past pimpage, I might have been drawn in at least a little. But no. Her poor family and friends! I loved her grinning dad. Oh well. It was nice to not meet you.
Brandy Hotard -- This (SUDDENLY) dead ringer for Tierra (the Tierrarist) from The Bachelor gave a "pageant delivery," according to Nicki, of Travis Tritt's "Anymore." Brandy's voice was there -- she sort of reminded me of Pia Toscano both facially and in terms of total vocal control -- but there was no emotional connection to a sad song. Mariah suggested she stick to her sweet spot, the middle register. "You could have been around back in the day, as a great country singer that had a beautiful voice," Mariah lamented in what sounded to me like a huge burn against the current country scene.
Shubha Vedula -- As soon as she got up from the piano, her "Born This Way" rendition devolved into a lukewarm mess, with awkward, drunk-cheerleader-esque choreography punctuating what should be sassy and confident lines like "Don't be a drag, just be a queen." She stuffed too many ideas in there and it was painful, but I respect Shubha's decision to go uptempo. Isn't that what the judges said they wanted in Hollywood? Apparently this was the wrong time to take a chance. It's a shame because vocally Shubha didn't misstep at all, and she even threw some Eastern-inspired runs in there. The coaches could have totally worked with her and helped her manage her expectations. Ugh.
Kamaria Ousley -- The professional backup singer was the definition of pitchy on Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All." I have no idea how she made it this far (or has maintained a career as a professional backup singer). Nicki and Mariah generously offered that Karmaria was nicely styled -- specifically, "Your hair is working, yes ma'am, be proud of that," said Nicki, the roots on her blonde weave expanding about a half-inch per sentence uttered throughout the night. Mariah warned Kamaria to be careful in those shoes because she herself had a pair like that and they broke. In the front.
These are some classy shoes.
NEXT: Tenna Torres over Isabelle? Really?