On Thursday night, "American Idol" revealed its top 12 finalists for the ninth season of the hit show. MTV News "Idol" expert Jim Cantiello whipped up a handy cheat sheet for each finalist, breaking down each specific "Idol" journey thus far. He also got the "Idol" hopefuls to weigh in when he caught up with them at Thursday night's top 12 party in Hollywood.
Season-nine finalist Paige Miles was given little-to-no screen time during the early "American Idol" episodes. But that didn't stop her from securing a coveted spot in the top 12, thanks to genre-bending performances that fuse rock songs with a rich soul voice.
Best Performance: Paige made a good first impression and established her "I like to rock out" identity with Free's "All Right Now." The judges were disappointed that the song didn't showcase Miles' big voice more, but that delighted fans who were hoping the newbie was a secret weapon producers were keeping in their back pocket, à la Allison Iraheta.
Weakest Performance: Unfortunately, that "big voice" we're still waiting to hear shriveled down to a shaky croak with a depressing "Smile." After the uncomfortably emotional rendition ended, Paige outed herself as a die-hard Michael Jackson fan and admitted "Smile" was her favorite song. It was weird.
Tragic Backstory: The bubbly 24-year-old told America that she's an avid colorist — as in coloring books. With crayons. If that's not tragic, we don't know what is.
Why She Will Win: ... She won't.
Why She Will Lose: Paige's lack of early exposure, combined with lackluster semifinal performances, is still a major handicap. She better pray for a massive moment if she wants this experience to continue.
What She Should Sing: If her voice is as epic as the judges claim it is, she needs to prove it with En Vogue's "Free Your Mind."
Reaction to Early Episode Snubs: "I kind of jumped into the top 24 with people going, 'Who is that?' So it was a little nerve-racking. But I really felt confident that if I went out there and did 'me' the best that I could that it would work out. I actually think my family and friends stressed out about [my lack of air time] more than I did!"
What do you think of Paige's chances on "Idol"? Were you happy to see her make it to the top 12? Let us know!
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