Tuesday, May 4, 2010

AI9 Old Blue Eyes Has Left The Building

Originally written for Rickey.Org

Frank Sinatra takes center stage, his songbook awaiting the Top 5 to prove their mettle. Crystal and the boys, Lee, Casey, Big Mike and Aaron, will be under the watchful eye of Harry Connick, Jr, world renown crooner, star of stage, screen, and album. He is going to lend a helping hand as the Idols take their turn at interpreting entries in the Great American Songbook. Connick is also going to arrange and support all five as best he can, including leading the band.

Talking with Crusty, Harry is all excited about his time with the kids, who are all donning formalish attire, looking quite dapper. After a a commercial break and Crusty plugs the tour, he introduces Sinatra's daughters, Tina and Nancy. They present Simon, a real Sinatra fan, with one of Frank's monogrammed hankies, and he is genuinely happy. Odd moment.

First on deck is Aaron Kelly, and he is singing Fly Me to the Moon. He had an interesting arrangement, but slid all over the place, sometimes sliding a little below or or above the notes. A lot of the notes. Randy and Ellen loved it, while Simon and Kara were a bit more hesitant with their praise. Simon whips out the corny tag, and the 'if Frank was a lion, you were a mouse.'

With his hair tied back, Casey James takes on Blue Skies. Harry really him, and likes his bluesy take on the song. Wasn't the greatest performance, the notes were not great. The judges were uncharacteristically hard on him, including Kara calling him a goat. Harry steps up and says he killed it 2 hours ago, but it seems unlikely that will help him now.

Crusty introduces Sir Anthony Hopkins for no apparent reason, and then introduces Crystal Bowersox, who will sing Summer Wind. Harry seems to really like her, and she starts the performance on the piano bench with him. The first few notes were a little off, but she quickly gets on track. Her phrasing was really nice, and it built beautifully. Randy thought it was sleepy, Ellen thought she swallowed the first part of the song, and Kara appreciates her phrasing - Ugh, she agreed with me - but seemingly little else. Simon thought the first half wasn't good, but it got better. So, we figured out the judges love a screamer - looks good for Lee, I guess.

Looking to continue his renewed career, Big Mike Lynche is up next. He sings one of Harry's favorites, The Way You Look Tonight. Harry digs him, and when they start, I kinda yawn. There is little original here. I am really bored. The judges, however, love him. I am at a loss. Really? That sounded like an out-take from 'My Best Friend's Wedding', not a great performance on the AI stage.

To end the night, we get some Lee DeWyze, singing That’s Life. There are also uncomfortable moments with Harry talking about Lee's looks. There are several really bad notes in there, but I am sure they will go unnoticed. There were also muddled words, his inability to enunciate. Yet, the judges basically announced he has already won. And I am sad.

This was not a good night for me. I liked Crystal best, allowing for subtleties apparently unheard of by the judges. She wasn't perfect, but still above the rest. However, the boys, well, they struggled. Lee's bad notes, and heavy vibrato passed inspection of the judges, who pointed out the same issues with other singers. But we were told he took the night, possibly the entire competition. I suspect Casey, Big Mike and Aaron will be the bottom three, and Casey will go home.

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