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 candidate's 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.
With her fiery red hair, icy cool blue eyes and a flair for animal prints, "American Idol" contestant Lacey Brown stands out in a lineup. And when she opens her mouth, Lacey gets even more interesting. In a 90-second performance, Brown's high-pitched tone can recall everyone from Patsy Cline to Gwen Stefani to Cyndi Lauper.
Best Performance: Lacey's recent Brandi Carlile performance proved that the girl with the squeaky voice is capable of quiet triumphs. Sitting still on the side of the stage, crooning "The Story" like she lived every word, Lacey finally showed America why she deserved a spot in the top 24.
Weakest Performance: A bout of nerves turned Lacey's "Landslide" into a natural disaster. "Idol" is lucky Fleetwood Mac didn't call and ask for their song rights back.
Sad Backstory: Lacey just missed out on being part of the eighth season of "Idol," where she was cut in favor of another offbeat pretty girl, Megan Joy.
Why She Will Win: Lacey's ability to play to the camera is effortless. Her hypnotic gaze and irresistible smile lull you in and make you forget you're watching "American Idol."
Why She Will Lose: Lacey Brown's performances may be too subtle for the "Idol" stage. When Siobhan Magnus is wailing like a banshee, Lacey's sleepy offerings run the risk of putting viewers to sleep.
What She Should Sing: I've said it before, I'll say it again. Lacey should study Yael Naim's music-box version of Britney Spears' "Toxic."
On Her Strategy To Navigate The Upcoming Theme Weeks: "What I try to do is stay true to myself, stay true to my voice ... pick songs that I really like to perform and be creative with the arrangements and really just do it for the people watching, because that's what's really important."
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