Paige Thomas is really just not a great singer, or "sing-ger" as L.A. Reid would say, but damn if her performances aren't at least intriguing visually. This week she went with giant (GIANT) pointy shoulder pads and plumped-up lips, all encased in red glitter, and somewhat complicated choreography at the front of a healthy pack of backup dancers for Donna Summers' "Last Dance." I admired Paige's commitment to the vibe and difficulty of the actual onstage production so much that I can kind of forgive the vocals. (Isn't that the name of the game on this show anyway?) And I liked that we haven't learned about Paige's touching backstory -- her mom/singing inspiration died on Christmas Eve when she was 6 -- until hallway through the season. Oh, and I cried again when Paige voice-overed, "When I'm onstage -- that's how I can say I still have my mother." Come on, how could you not?
"It's Diva Week -- you've got to do Mariah, right?" Simon rhetorically wondered, and so Fifth Harmony covered "Hero" in all-white outfits in pools of yellow spotlights. As a whole I thought the performance was less cohesive than others they've done, but there were some individual highlights -- Lauren starting out the song instead of Camila, Dinah Jane grunting it out on "Llllllord knowwwwws…", and Ally Brooke getting the enviable bridge-capper, "In time, you'll find a way." Demi had worried that she'd be bored, but it was just a false alarm! Whew. Simon seemed genuinely happy with their performance but, even more, the five girls' love for puppies. I just hope no one got salmonella from that scene they must have shot at least a few times, during which the girls raved about having "so much chemistry" while slurping raw eggs off of wooden spoons. You gotta want it!
This week's theme was tailor-made for Carly Rose Sonenclar, the old soul in a 13-year-old's body who -- despite her great talent -- does seem unnatural when she's performing current hit songs. Carly legitimately killed it on Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," and the stage crew was kind enough to recreate the chandelier effect within Titanic to help inspire her performance. We got a little more face-time with Carly's parents, particularly her dad, Bob, who's been so proud of her "not because of the results, but because of the work and effort you put into it." I don't care if this was an endlessly perfected PR pitch -- it's the right message! Yay, Bob. Did anyone else notice that after Carly's performance, Bob's "swelling with more pride" expression looked alarmingly like Jerry Seinfeld's "impatient/over it" face?
Khloe and Mario tried to determine which one of them was the "winner" at something (having more energy?) and everyone was just like NEITHER OF YOU.
NEXT: Vino Alan wins MVP of Front Row Fondling