Lilly McCloud, 54: Damn! Lady looked to be in her early 30s, maybe, from far away. She's a mother of three and grandmother of seven with a giant afro and a purple comb. Really all you need in life -- but Lilly's decided now is her time to strive for more. I was instantly swept up in her rendition of CeCe Winans' "Alabaster Box," a religious tune foreign to me and, Kelly Rowland guessed, the rest of the audience. "The fact that you sang a song people didn't know and made them feel that….?" Kelly trailed off.
Lilly definitely has the vocal power and gracious humility to go far on this stage of fakery and laser fields. Her singing was so mature and fully realized -- "like listening to someone like Gladys Knight," offered Simon. That one was a freebie. "You ripped my heart out of my chest," claimed Demi Lovato, pants on fire, no blood in sight. "I feel like I'm listening to Whitney. Maybe your time wasn't supposed to happen until now."
Meanwhile, Paulina's contributions will apparently be subtitled on occasion:
Hurray! Three yeses and a si! Leather pants with one floral garter patch for everyone!
"I would take the Over 25s in a heartbeat. I would be all my money on this girl." Oh Demi, don't say that! All your money?
No more "teens" and "young adults" this season, by the way. We're back to Boys, Girls, Over 25s, and Groups.
Alex Kinsey, 21, and Sierra Dayton, 22: The crew went to great lengths to show the romantic chemistry between these two before they went onstage, when really a 30-second snippet of their twisted take on Britney Spears' "Toxic" was all we needed. I was so worried they wouldn't be able to sing at all, as they seemed much more intent on establishing themselves as a unit of "us" than as professionals of any sort (vocalists, kissing models, etc.). "You like being onstage with me?" Alex gently cooed to his sex partner. Enough with the foreplay, you guys, just do it already.
They were good! I couldn't tell if Sierra's "do they really like us? DO THEY?" mugging was an act, but I guess not? I so desperately want to believe it was real. Like Santa! Santa and Sierra. In a sort of reverse-Gotye and Kimbra situation, Sierra carried most of the song and Alex chimed in to support her and offer his own lead verse near the end. Her voice had a much stronger "establishing twang" between the two, a twang which could get annoying. But their harmonies were nice and hey, Kelly and Demi agreed they were "very sexy."
Sierra's embarrassment comes across as endearing, for now at least. She couldn't believe anyone was cheering, while sex partner Alex was like "Well yeah, duh. You're a hot girl acting vulnerable." Simon called them "actually both cool and quirky." Liar Lovato claimed to have chills all up and down her legs, while gesturing to her arms.
"Just holding hands, it inspired me," drooled Paulina in English. "I believe in you guys. I believe in love." Wait, is that Paula Abdul under all that hair? What a shakeup!
Simon toasted Alex and Sierra with his water, a girl in the audience made a hand-heart, and the sex partners were on their way.
NEXT: 'I think you're lit-ruh-lly extraordinary'