Tuesday, April 28, 2009

American Idol attempts to channel the Rat Pack, gets Hamster Pack instead

Usually when Simon Cowell accuses someone of being "cabaret" or a lounge singer, it's a bad thing. But tonight, as American Idol goes retro and the contestants sing songs made famous -- or infamous -- by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr., aka the Rat Pack, being called a lounge singer may just be a compliment.


Love Kris Allen's comment: "The theme is the Rat Pack. Aren't all those people dead?" Why yes they are, Kris. But being dead doesn't mean they're not current.

And speaking of Kris Allen...

The way Kris looks tonight is... a heckuva lot like Ryan. (Do you think they texted each other this morning to determine how much facial hair to show? Just sayin'.)

Okay, so he's not the best vocalist -- definitely not in the same solar system as Frank Sinatra -- but Kris did an okay job, and the ending sure was pretty. I give Kris a B. (I am instituting letter grades tonight.)

As for the judges' take... Wha? Randy, dawg, who were you listening to? Ditto Kara. And Paula is just creepin' me out. Thank GOD for Simon. Not sure Kris is a wet spaniel out for a walk, but he does seem a bit like a trained seal.

Allison Iraheta

"Innocent"?! I can think of a lot of adjectives to describe Allison Iraheta ("red-headed troll doll" being one that comes to mind) and her voice but "innocent" isn't one of them. I still can't believe the girl's only 17.

The pluses: The girl looked good. And damn she's got some powerful pipes. I think this was her best performance of the season.

The minuses: Nope. Don't got any. (Shocking, I know.)

Grade: A (but I still think her personality is a C -- and that Simon nailed it, yet again)

Matt Giraud

So what's the deal with the caps and hats? And why isn't he at the piano? Seriously, of all the songs to sing at the piano, this was a natural. Not a good sign.

"My Funny Valentine" is not one of my fave songs, and Matt's rendition was just okay for me, dawg. A little too pitchy and slow. (My daughter actually got up and left the room midway through the song. Another bad sign.)

My grade: B (though Randy's 6 out of 10 also works; and I have no idea what Simon was sippin' during the break because Matt's performance was nowhere near Allison's, emotion or no emotion)

Danny Gokey

Where's the martini glass?

At least Danny looks the part. But Oh.My.God. NOT ANOTHER BALLAD.

(My daughter, who is a diehard American Idol fan just looked at me and announced "I am NOT digging the Rat Pack." I'm with you kid, though I actually loved the Rat Pack -- as in Frank, Dino, and Sammy. These Idol contestants are more like the Hamster Pack: cute and furry, but without sharp teeth or an edge.)

I really like Danny's voice, and thought the ending was strong, but I just wasn't lovin' it and was kind of bored. (His choice of "Endless Love" the other week pretty much ended my love for him.) Sorry Danny fans.

Grade: B+

Adam Lambert

Forget old blues eyes. Here comes young blue hair.

NOW he takes out the white suit?! (And what material is that thing made of? It's awfully shiny...)

So here's what drives me (and the spouse, who is a former musician) insane about Adam: He has great chops -- a great voice -- yet he constantly overdoes it, or as the spouse said, is so completely over the top.

Randy nailed it when he said Adam was too theatrical. Adam IS too theatrical. But he and Simon (I can't even listen to Paula anymore) were right in saying that Adam also is the one to beat, that he really shows, week after week, that he wants to win it.

Grade: A-

Overall, not the worst week/group of performances ever, but I am definitely feeling more blah than good.

J-TWO-O out.

UPDATED 4/29/09 AT 9:54 P.M.: America has shown Matt the door. Not a surprise. Far more shocking was Allison being safe and Adam being in the bottom two. Btw, I thought Taylor Hicks was way better and more entertaining than Jamie Foxx, even though I loved Foxx in Ray. Until next week Idol fans...


Anonymous said...

Missed a couple of songs due to work-well it looks like I didn't miss much. Good thing they always have Adam as the last singer.

It was an ick week on theme and they delivered boring but good-they are the top 5-no crash and burn, not really a spark either.

Judges pushing Danny and Adam, me? Just waiting for Adam to get the gold.

Next week-they do 2 songs-right?

Double your fun and double your diasters!

marindenver said...

Pretty much agree with all your comments. I liked the old Rat Pack music too but I mostly liked it by them. I'm not sure it translates to today that well. I think Adam coasted a little again. I'm developing a theory that he maybe doesn't want to actually win it. The opportunities are just as good if you come in 2nd or 3rd and you're not tied to that AI image. Although I thought the same about David Cook and it doesn't seem to have hurt him any. But Adam seems more outside the box than David. Going to be interesting to see who goes home - I thought it was pretty close overall.

J. said...

I thought it close, too, marindenver. I suspect Allison's gone not because of her talent (which I give an A) but because of her personality and looks (which I give a C). Sorry if that offends people but let's face it, the music industry is equally if not more about looks and personality than it is about talent. A good producer can make anyone sound good on an album.

Definitely Danny, Kris, and Adam in the top three...