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.


  1. Crystal knocked it out of the ballpark, despite what the judges said. She looked beautiful and reminded me of Angie Dickinson - a member of the Rat Pack if you remember. I agree with your assessment of her performance and I LOVED that she stood her ground by saying if you were singing to your lover it wouldn't be all big notes. You go girl!

    Let me go on record here: I detest Big Mike. The hat looked completely ridiculous on him. I don't think he brought anything original to the song and his arrogance bugs the f**k out of me. Of course Randy likes him. And wtf was Kara talking about "drama of the song?" Ugh. I'm still not over his cockiness when he got "saved" by the judges.

    Although I have yet to see Lee's performance (West Coast here), I think Crystal brought it tonight and overall has the best stage presence and talent. I hope she wins.

  2. I knew it was going to be a bad night on AI9 when Harry Connick Jr. strolled out and my hubby Greg started cursing at the TV. Wow, I never knew he disliked that guy so badly.

    I thought all of the performances were poor. This is BY FAR the worst AI season of them all. Is America's talent pool completely tapped out? Why the heck isn't Tom Goss on American Idol??!!!

    As Simon likes to say, Crystal's performance was indulgent. She picked a song that had special, hidden meaning for her rather than a song that was going to get people to vote for her. Gurl, do you not want to win this thing?!! I'm starting to think you are purposely trying to throw this competition. Can somebody talk some sense into her please!

    I gave Crystal my 10 votes because even though she acts like she couldn't give a shit whether or not she's voted off, she's still the best of the lot.

    Howard, your prediction, "I suspect Casey, Big Mike and Aaron will be the bottom three, and Casey will go home" is spot on.

  3. Behr, I thought Crystal was the best, despite the judges.

    Cubby, I am with Greg - Connick annoys me.

    Bob, fingers crossed.



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