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Sally's Idol Recap

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 classic.
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 at all.  
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 on 
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 this
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 Holiday. 
She did an incredible job in both - the purity of singing AWA the performing aspects. Subtle, sweet, and soft. She, more than any 
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 either), 
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 week?
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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