Last year, they did Rat Pack songs during top 5 week. This year, we've narrowed the scope to just Frank Sinatra. I was really worried about what might happen, at least until the show started.
First of all, Harry Connick Jr. is hotter than ever. So, no matter what the show will be enjoyable. But then when he said that he did the arrangements and was going to be playing for them as well, what more could you ask for. Best mentor ever! Because of that, I am going to forgive the fact that he said "This is American Idol" instead of Ryan. Anyone who's read the blog knows I find that to be heresy.
Before we get started, I just have to complain one more time about what the four judge format has done to Idol. In the first seven seasons, when we got to top 5 week the contestants each sang two songs. Last year and this year, only one a piece. Not only is the audience being shortchanged, but they aren't being pushed like they were in the past. Doing two songs in a night separates the great from the good. If they follow last year's formula next week, they will each do one solo performance and then they will be paired up for two duet performances. Still, two songs short of what we used to see during top 4 week. Blecch. OK. Rant over.
Did anyone else besides me think that was a drag queen Nancy Sinatra impersonator. Simon wouldn't even hug her.
Aaron Kelly (Fly Me to the Moon) -- Before the show started, I said that the only way Aaron could do well tonight would be to pick a song like Fly Me to the Moon. The vocal was less than perfect, but I think this was the most I've liked him all season. He looked good. Better than that though, he looked like he knew what he was singing for a change. Going first is always a disadvantage, but at least he didn't make it worse by tanking. 7.9
I thought it was funny that Randy and Ellen said they were worried that he might do badly. I was more hoping he would do badly so we could be rid of him. That said, I think Kara and Simon were a little bit hard on him. Considering how out of his element this was, he handled it well.
Casey James (Blue Skies) -- On Facebook today, Casey said this would be the first time he ever held a mic while singing on stage. How scary would that be? Now, have Harry Connick scream "don't screw it up" in your face. It looked like he was feeling OK about everything until the first note played. Then he looked completely fish out of water. At least he had that funny story about his friend wanting him to play a gig on Tuesday. He could have used help from FEMA for the beginning of the song. He definitely cleaned it up by the end, but it was way too little far too late. 7.2
What does it say about how mean Simon is being when the crowd doesn't even boo. They just sat and fidgeted uncomfortably in their seats hoping Ryan would come over and end it. At least Harry tried to throw him a bone by saying he did it great in dress rehearsal.
Crystal Bowersox (Summer Wind) -- She looks amazing. And I thought the way she started sitting on the piano bench with Harry was cute. I really liked how she built the song too. All in all, I'd say she did a pretty good job. 8.2
I think they were being a little tough on her, but she really needs to kick back with the defensive responses to Simon's criticism. She's got to get a thicker skin.
Michael Lynche (The Way You Look Tonight) -- This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I do not love the arrangement here. And honestly, I expected way more of him than this. It was a little boring for me. And I hated his hat. 7.5
I honestly don't know what the judges were hearing. I completely disagree with all of them here.
Lee DeWyze (That's Life) -- I was already concerned for Lee coming into tonight. Then he said he was singing one of Frank's most iconic songs and I really got scared. Then he came out on the stage and was super cool. He's never looked more comfortable on the stage than he did here. And more importantly, he didn't seem to miss as many notes as he usually does. This was my favorite Lee performance of the season. 9.0
So, I'm guessing there will only be a bottom two tomorrow night. It almost definitely will be Aaron Kelly and Casey James. And if it's the two of them standing at the center of the stage, it will definitely be Casey saying goodbye. I couldn't be more disgusted with the way this has played out. I know that it's been winding down to a Lee/Crystal finale, but I can't believe we have to keep watching Mike and Aaron every week. But that's just me. What do you think?