I'm still awed by Marty's show-closing set. He damn near knocked me over with his light-as-a-feather interpretation of "Everlong" a song title that could just as easily describe the series itself. But as we enter the final three weeks of this magical mystery tour, it's becoming clearer who will be among the last rockers standing. Here's how my new front-runner, Marty, and the remaining fab four played out last night as they each performed a two-song set.
J.D.: "Come as You Are" has been played to death on modern-rock radio, and I don't think I'd even want to hear Kurt Cobain himself come back and sing it again. But J.D.'s reworking made it sound nearly new. That lounge-lizard arrangement fit him like a sharkskin suit, too. As did his own composition, "Pretty Vegas." Overall, though, his set seemed as contrived as that cake fight back at the mansion.
Suzie: It's hard to believe this is the same woman who flubbed the lyrics to "Remedy" months ago at the start of the competition. Last night, the Bonnie Raitt torch song "I Can't Make You Love Me" flamed as brightly as her original, "Soul Life." Expect to see her in the finale.
MiG: Finally, a flaw in the tapestry. Yes, "Hard to Handle" was a barn burner, but his own song, "Home in Me," displayed his Broadway background maybe a bit too clearly.
Jordis: You know Jordis is in trouble when the compliment she received from the band had to do with respecting her for her youth. Her take on "We Are the Champions" was winning, but ultimately I think she's gonna end up a loser. And I think it'll be Wednesday night.
Marty: Ah, the Coors may have blurred my sight, but Marty Casey has let me see. It's all clear to me now: Marty's the man. Why? 'Cause he made both the Foo Fighters' "Everlong" and his own terrific "Trees" sound like INXS numbers. He's also developed a dynamic stage presence to complement his righteous range of voice. And if you need more proof that he's electrifying, check out the errant underwear that landed at his feet after his set. Now I know why Brooke Burke was wearing that robe...