kevin covais didi benami casey james american idol 320 'American Idol's' Kevin Covais: Casey James, Didi Benami early favorites[Kevin Covais was a Top 12 finalist on “American Idol” Season 5 and is the first guest in Zap2it’s Season 9 former Idol guest blogger series.]

The first two live performance shows of “American Idol” Season 9 have come and gone, and it was an entertaining couple of nights to say the least.

Tuesday (Feb. 23) night saw the Top 12 females hit the stage, and the results were mixed. There were decent performances, several that left something to be desired, and a few standouts that came flying out of the gate with great vocals. My biggest fan Simon Cowell has gone on record as saying that this is the girls’ year, and after watching both shows, I have to agree and give the edge to the girls after Week One.

Unfortunately for the guys, with the exception of a few very impressive performances, Wednesday night’s theme seemed to be picking either the wrong song, arrangement, or key. Granted, lets keep in mind that this is the very first time these men and women are performing live.

As cheesy as it sounds, everyone who gets out there and gives it there all the first time out needs to be commended. I know I was about as nervous as possible the first time I took the Idol stage. And I’m sure it showed. And I’m sure some of you readers who were Season 5 fans might agree.

But enough about the past! Let’s begin with Tuesday night’s standout performances from some of the ladies.

I was thoroughly impressed with Siobhan Magnus. She chose Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and I thought she knocked it out. There are a number of extremely unique female performers this year, and Siobhan definitely possesses that distinct quality. Combine that with her beautiful vocals, and I think she should be around for a while.

Another standout for me was Katelyn Epperly. Performing “Oh Darling”, she delivered a soulful vocal that had a signature throwback feel to it.

But perhaps my favorite performance was that of Didi Benami, who performed Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am”. She delivered with a seamless, pitch perfect performance, and even added her own twist at times.

The runaway winner of the men’s night has to female favorite Casey James. Singing the undeniably catchy song “Heaven”, James delivered the most solid, sincere performance of the night. Expect James to be around for a long time.

Two other guys I really liked are Michael Lynche and Lee Dewyze. The two performed “This Love” and “Chasing Cars” respectively, and both are consistent and extremely passionate performers. These are two guys I am really pulling for, and I think they are both going to stick around a while. Or at least I hope.

While there was a lot of good to take from the first two live performance nights, Thursday night’s eliminations means two guys and two girls must go.

It is incredibly difficult to determine who should go after just one performance, but for the girls, I fear Lacey Brown and Haeley Vaughn are in trouble. Lacey just couldn’t seem to keep her timing on “Landslide”, and Haeley was all over the place vocally with “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

For the fellas, I think there is a strong possibility we could see Tim Urban and Alex Lambert headed home. Urban, who performed “Apologize” just didn’t have enough vocal strength. Alex, who actually has quite a bit of potential, just looked very uncomfortable while performing “Wonderful World.”

Looking forward to Thursday night’s results!

To hear more from Kevin Covais and to learn about his road to “Idol” fame, tune into “American Idol Rewind” which is currently taking a look back at “AI” season 5, with new episodes premiering in national syndication and on the TV Guide Network every weekend. This week’s focus? The “Idols” of season 5 tackle love songs.

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Zap2it ‘Idol’ recap: Top 12 men disappoint
Zap2it ‘Idol’ recap: Top 12 women uneven
Vote for the Worst picks Haeley Vaughn

Posted by:Kevin Covais