Mentor, Harry Connick, Jr.
The Top Five perform the songs of Frank Sinatra,
as arranged by Harry Connick, Jr.
So much train wreck potential here.
I'll tell you right up front, I like Harry. Being
an old Rocker from way back, I usually shy away from
anything the least bit contemporary - but Connick
is so versatile, he just sells himself and grows on you.
That being said, he sure had his work cut out
for himself with the 5 remaining contestants last night.
Okay, what do I want from this anyway? Frank
Sinatra songs are slow and boring. He talk-sang his songs.
There's a reason why this style is not popular
today, guys - so I am not expecting very much at all.
As if it isn't bad enough to have to endure the
plethora of commercials on the show, we had to watch
Ryan pimp himself to the "Sinatra Sisters" who
(I'll wager you) most of the members of the audience
OR the contestants didn't know or couldn't care
less about. Poor old broads (sans the heir to the name, Frank, Jr.
- he was doing a concert in Philadelphia), just
looked like fish out of the water. Tina looked prim and proper,
and Nancy - that was Nancy? Nancy Sinatra? The
GoGo girl, miniskirted hottie from the 60's?
Those boots sure have put on the miles, I'll
have to say! Oh, and the hankie gift for Simon
from the Sinatra 'girls' - please, make this
sentimental crap stop right there...
That being said, it's on with the show:
1 Aaron Kelly, "Fly Me To The Moon."
'Fly Me To The Moon' is supposed to be jazzy
and sophisticated, but that's not what I heard from the kid.
He started off tempo (and then occasionally got
back on), but his tone consistently lacked, “appoggio” (breath support)
and it became came very clear by the song's ending.
He's beyond green and has no business being onstage at this level.
I don't know what the judges are hearing. His
voice is thin, nasal and cracks frequently. He was off key and warbled
like a 12-year old. But he is consistently overpraised
- the judges seem to fear criticizing him. Will a puppy die somewhere
if they are honest? In his defense, I will note
that a, younger than young, amateur, should never be expected to nail a
2 Casey James, "Blue Skies." Dressed in a violet
shirt, tight vest, dress pants, and a 10 o'clock shadow on his face,
Casey tried his best. But without his guitar,
JEANS, and untucked shirt, it was very apparent that he was not comfortable
Vocally, he try's to sing it in the Key of Lee
- and he tried to hold some notes, but his bucket had serious holes in
it as they all fell out.
What a waste of pretty, sigh... It
was noticeably humorous to hear the surprise in Kara's voice when she commented
Casey's uncontrolled vibrato. She's just noticing
that? Really? IMHO, Kara is just a waste...
One problem here is they grab kids off the street
and then say, 'Show us Frank's swagger."
If these kids had swagger they'd probably tell
Idol to fuck off - something Frank did many times.
3 Crystal Bowersox, "Summer Wind."
She looked radiant. She sounded radiant. She
was radiant. But, this was definitely not Crystal’s genre. After seeing
performance, however, I think it could be! If
I closed my eyes, I could just picture her in the, 'Big Band' era - and
she is GOOD!
Crystal's a potentially great singer because
of her instincts and her intelligence. Her voice is decent to pleasing,
but, it's the formula
- getting the most out of what you have - that
puts her in stellar company ranging from Emmylou Harris to the young Billie
She did an incredible job in both - the purity
of singing AWA the performing aspects. Subtle, sweet, and soft. She, more
of them, employed phrasing and dynamics.
Yes, she's the best musician this year, but, that being said, girlfriend
needs to zip it
afterwards - know what I mean?
Sir Hannibal Hopkins and Sir Meathead are shown
in the Idol audience - it finally dawned on me:
Harry Connick Jr/When Harry Met Sally/directed
by Rob Reiner. Duh? I'm getting slow.
4 Big Mike Lynche, "The Way You Look Tonight."
Memo to Mike: Wearing a too-small snap brim hat does NOT make you Sinatra.
Okay, that being said (didn't particularly like
his stalking around the stage looking like a pinhead dressed as a gangster
but big band music brings out the best in great
singers, and this performance proved Mike is truly a GOOD singer.
I almost enjoyed this cheesy Sinatra ballad -
'almost' being key here! :)
5 Lee Dewyze, "That's Life." Lee wore a
dark suit coat, loose black tie, and an untucked white dress shirt.
One thing was noticeable, Lee felt at ease around
Connick - the words flowed, there was a little attitude,
but then he began to walk around the stage, and
that's where the edges begin to fray for Lee.
He is simply not comfortable on stage.
He has a powerful voice, is cute enough, seems like a great guy,
but he has almost no stage presence - again,
'almost' being the key word here.
Could it be that my 'Dark Horse' has been coaxed
out of his stable again? The next few weeks will tell...
The only thing that saved this dreary show was
the amazing stage presence of Harry Connick, Jr.
HCJ was head and shoulders above every other
mentor AI has ever had, period.
Honestly, I feel bad for these kids that they're
being vilified for not living up to some unrealistic expectations
that the show’s producers and, in turn, the audience
at home have for them. Combine this with the 'theme' weeks
and the younger the contestant's ages, the harder
the AI Road has become.
I have an idea - why not let the kids pick their
own damn themes?
Would Elvis be any good on Motown week?
Would Roger Daltrey sing good country?
Would Freddie Murcury be OK with Weapy Ballad
Would Sinatra pass muster on Janis Joplin week?
Pack your bag Casey. Greyhound’s arriving at
9:50 PM or so... After he does get eliminated, however,
he should sign up for a modeling agency, and
then be hired to play guitar on the winner's album. He rocks!
Oh well, 'That's Life,' till next time,
Sally P :!
Simon was kinda cruel, as always, telling Casey
after he got voted out
he still had a $50 a night gig back in Hooterville.
But enjoy Idol while you can because the 2011 Ellen Degeneres Idol is
going to super-suck.
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