If it Really is the Girls' Year, Will this be the Longest 'Idol' Season Ever?

Even before American Idol auditions had begun, the chorus had started: "It is a girls' year to win Idol." During the auditions, which focused heavily on the ladies, it was clear the producers and FOX were pushing hard for Idol's first female victor since season 6's Jordin Sparks. That season 9 is all about the ladies is already an American Idol clichee. The chorus has been echoed ad nauseam by the judges, who in interviews have sung the praises of the talented, sure-to-be sensational women of season 9.

So what happened last night? Only one performance really wowed me: Katelyn Epperly's bluesy boudoir rendition of "Oh Darling," but even that was nothing like the wow factor from week one of past seasons. Take last season, where contestants tackled the same Billboard Hot Singles challenge and where Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert had America dialing in in droves. Last night, whatever the chorus has been pre-season, there was no clear star.

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