Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Idol Top 5 sing Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr. mentors (RECAP)

Whether you are a Frank Sinatra fan or not (I'm in the former camp), ya gotta admit that Ol' Blue Eyes had a way with a song. The American Idol Season 9 contestants? Not so much. But with so many great Frank Sinatra songs to choose from and Harry Connick, Jr. as mentor, I am hoping the Top 5 make this a very good week. (For sure Aaron Kelly should benefit from this week's theme. Casey James? Not so much. Though I may be pleasantly surprised.)

Anyway, boys and girls, this is how it's done.

Btw, Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra are far from the only ones to sing Jerome Kerns/Dorothy Fields' standard, "The Way You Look Tonight." It was originally sung by Fred Astaire in the movie Swing Time and has since been covered by many great artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Bublé, and Kris Allen.

And now, Sinatra fans, let the crooning (and judging) commence!

(Speaking of judges, what is up with Simon Cowell's man cleavage tonight?! Yikes.)

First up, Harry Connick, Jr. Did he really need to take a swipe at Shania Twain? Hasn't she suffered enough? But kudos to Connick for truly getting hands-on with the contestants, arranging the songs for them. And I love that he brought some of his band with him.

Now for the contestants...

Aaron Kelly: "Fly Me to the Moon" is a great song, but I don't think it was a great song choice for Aaron. Seemed too much of a reach (too high?) for him, and he was a bit off key. Kara DioGaurdi was right, it was good -- good enough to keep Aaron around for another week -- but it wasn't as good as Aaron's performance last week. Our grade for Aaron Kelly: B+

Casey James: Will it be "Blue Skies," nothing but blue skies, for Casey this week? Or will America rain on his parade? I'm thinking the latter right now. Connick created a good arrangement, for himself, not so much for Casey. And I agree with Randy Jackson that it was Casey's worst performance to date. It just didn't work. And no way are the judges going to criticize the arrangement, which was the problem. Our grade for Casey James: C+ (which is being nice, cause we are 90 percent sure Casey is going home tomorrow)

Crystal Bowersox: So will the "Summer Wind" blow favorably Crystal's way? Me thinks so. WHAT DID RANDY JUST SAY?! Was he listening to the same performance?! KINDA LIKED IT, Kara?! JUST OKAY, Simon?! Aaaaaiiiieeee. Well, I loved Crystal's performance of "Summer Wind." I thought it was beautiful and understated, and that she totally blew away the competition. The kid and I give Crystal Bowersox an A-, but the spouse gives her a B (boo).

Michael Lynche: Forget "The Way You Look Tonight"(and the hat). It's how you sound tonight that matters. And once again, I'm just not feeling Big Mike. Not a bad performance, just totally predictable, plodding, and not special. Yawn. ("It didn't have balls," said the spouse.) Good thing for Michael that Casey sucked and the judges loved it (though clearly we weren't listening to the same performance and when Simon hears the playback, he's going to change his opinion). Our grade for Michael Lynche: B

Lee DeWyze: So Harry Connick, Jr.'s wife thinks Lee is hot. Awkward. Though I kinda agree with her. ;-) Lee's take on "That's Life"? Best. Performance. Of. The. Night. And Lee sang it without a fedora. (Take that, Michael Lynche.) Our grade for Lee DeWyze: A ("He didn't blow it out of the water," said the spouse, but we all agree it was the best performance of the night and may have been Lee's best performance period.)

That's all for tonight, hep cats. Will be back with the results tomorrow. J-TWO-O out.

UPDATED 05/05/10: I'm sorry. Did someone forget to email me the memo about American Idol changing its name to The Harry Connick, Jr. Show? And believe me, it is pretty hard to upstage Lady Gaga (especially in that outfit), but somehow Connick did it. (Snark aside, I wouldn't mind catching his show when it comes to Broadway this summer.) 9:52: First shock of the night, Casey was NOT in the bottom two. Whoa. (I was sure Casey and Aaron were going to be in the bottom two this week.) 9:55: Not a shocker, Aaron's going home. Until next week, when we get to hear "Songs of the Cinema"...

UPDATED 05/07/10: Apparently Lady Gaga is crying like a baby over the fact that Fox/American Idol producers cut her air time Wednesday, splicing together her performance of "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro," mostly editing out the former. You can read all about it, as well as link to the uncut version, here.

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