Wow, the good ones get better and the bad ones, well, you get the picture. There were nine contestants going into this week of
Idol and as far as I am concerned, there need only be six, possibly five. I will name names at the end.
Actually this was a pretty good show. Aside from the aforementioned three or four, the remaining performances were outstanding. I would pay money to see a few of them. Wait, I rescind that. Justin Timberlake (the original one) is performing in L.A. to the tune of $150 a ticket, and that's before the astronomical fees that that horrific master of tickets adds on to every seat. So by the end of the day, you'd pay over $200 to see JT. I'm not saying he's not worth it, but I could fly to Hawaii for just a few dollars more, and frankly, Maui sounds blissful by comparison. What I am rambling to say is, if the tickets were a reasonable price, I would go. I would download Melinda, Chris R. and Gina's performances this week if I could get away with charging them to the company card. "It's for
But, I digress. Tony Bennett. Ahh. What a breath of fresh air pumped into the guest-mentor portion of the show. Tony is the best thing to hit
AI since well, since
EVER! He is the quintessential performer, a man who has been able to sustain a career for more than 50 years. Now, that's staying power. And he hasn't done it by changing with the whims of the time but by staying true to his talent and his belief that the song carries the story, and you just need to stick with it. This man has sung with Frank Sinatra and Xtina and done so with grace, talent and longevity. Can you tell I love "The Bennett"? OK, I am partial because he's "my people." No, sillies,
Without further ado, I give you: The Show. Did Ryan look fantastic in his gray on black? Very hot for Ryan. Then Ryan introduced the band, and I felt it was finally time to give the band its rightful props. These guys are fantastic. The contestants only have to learn one song a week, while Rickey Minor and his band have to learn a lot more than that. And they are on point every single time. Have you ever heard them flub a line? No, because these guys are consummate pros. Rickey's credits read like a Grammy nomination roll call.
Check out all he's done. I hope the contestants understand how lucky they are to have a guy with this much talent behind them every week.
Boy, I am rambling. Maybe it's the chocolate soy milk, but I feel like I've had a few espressos.
Our resident hipster chose "Mack the Knife," and I wished he had taken Tony's advice to add that little bit of tempo. However, that said, it was still a great performance. His voice sounded great, he had some fancy moves, and I don't think he has anything to worry about this week.
In the video with The Bennett, Phil looked to be growing his hair. And I think I liked him better clean-shaven. When he came out for the performance, he had done just that. It frankly didn't help his performance. And as the judges agreed, those big notes are wonderful, but it's all those pesky notes in between that get Phil into so much trouble. I felt he really murdered "Night and Day" by slowing it down. When he sang the line, "Its torment won't be through," I completely agreed. Although that last note was excellent. Simon was relentless with his "funereal" comment, but Phil wasn't much better when he said he sang the song for his wife - a total sucker comment. Felt like a last-ditch effort to make people vote for him.
This girl sang "I've Got Rhythm," and boy does she. Week after week I get chills listening to her and when she got to the chorus, she just
brought it. Frankly, this competition is hers for the taking. I love how she always looks surprised when she hears the audience cheering for her and listens to the thrilled comments of the judges. Believe, Melinda, you've just got to keep believing in your incredible talent! The rest of us believe. Randy said she really knows how to "interpret the lyric." I think she sings every song like she's known them all her life; she has such a relationship to each. Paula said she is a "master class" in how to sing. Simon just grunted that he was upset they couldn't criticize her, which is the highest compliment he has ever given anyone.
If this wasn't one of the best performances of the evening, then I don't know anything. And I know one or two things. He did look very JT, not that there's anything wrong with that. When he spoke to Ryan in that very slight southern drawl, well it about melted me. He chose an absolutely perfect song - Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" - for his style and really updated it. He ended it with that killer smile; if only he were a few years older. I liked him better than Blake, though that's no surprise. The judges felt that he came out full of confidence, nay, "vengeance." Simon concurred, saying it was "very believable and one of the strongest" performances of the evening.
Ryan offered that Simon was "so uncomfortable being nice," and a shot of Simon proved he was thinking of smacking Ryan upside the head after the show. It's all for the camera, folks; those two are crazy about one another offscreen.
Our teenager picked "On a Clear Day" - a song I absolutely love, especially the way Barbra Streisand sang it. I can still hear her voice, clear as a bell. This was a good choice for Jordin for her big voice. It let her really ring out those notes. The ending might have been a tad safe, but she pretty much nailed the song. She will forever be remembered as the "Magnet of Joy," and rightfully so. Paula was "so freakin' proud" that she lost the ability to speak clearly. Simon, who had already given out his ration of nice comments for the year, tossed in that it was "old-fashioned and traditional." Then he referred to Paula and Randy as "Squiddly and Diddly," and rightfully so.
Charlie Chaplin wrote "Smile" for his film
Modern Times, and it proves what an amazingly talented man he was. What a heart-wrenching song for a man who made his living making people laugh. It was a perfect choice for Gina and really showcased what a great singer she is. Tony got overwhelmed when he told us the song made him think of 9/11 and the soldiers still in Iraq. Paula called Gina's performance, "fearless, understated, beautiful and sentimental," and got it all right. Simon said she was "out-sung" by Jordin and Melinda. Gina made a self-assured statement saying everyone has a different talent. She looked positively crushed, though, when Ryan took her in hand after the judgment.
I read a blog in which someone was mad at the judges for never saying anything bad about Sanjaya, but I really think they weren't paying attention. The judges have taken a stand against the ridiculousness of Sanjaya's having stayed so long. As Simon said last week, nothing they say has any impact on the hula dancer's staying power. It's a bit of an unstoppable train. We're all hoping the silly reign ends soon, but in the meantime he has been offered a lifetime supply of
fried chicken. He reminded me of Cab Calloway in his white suit - and that he is still the poorest singer on the show. He got away with singing at the "Crying Girl" and dancing with Paula. He didn't seem to be singing with the music and his rhythm was off. Randy said he has become a "great entertainer," but I think it was tongue-in-cheek, because I didn't feel entertained. Simon chose a different tactic for the week (rather than slam him and have even more people vote for him) and simply said, "Incredible!"
Ryan seemed to be making fun of him quite openly throughout the show, but that's another story.
What can you do with a drunken sailor? Her skirt remained short, and her top was low-cut. By the picture of GIs who love her, she's got a powerful fan base. As Simon said, "You've got great legs." The song was all over the place, she forgot the words
again, and she screamed a lot. Randy and Paula threw it back at one another; neither one of them wanted to say how terrible it was. All Paula could conjure was that green is Haley's color. But the legs are going to win out over the big ears and shaved head of a previous performer.
This woman brought the show to a close with a vibrant version of "Stormy Weather," another fantastic song choice. I felt the song didn't need so much extra excitement to it, but LaKisha handled it well. Simon called her "sassy." She's not as strong a singer as either Melinda or Jordin, but she's still very talented. She needs to work on her control and just needs more singing experience. Hard not to like her, though.
To wrap up - can I send home two, nay, three people tonight? No? OK, so I'm sending home Phil. Haley ran a very close second, though she was frighteningly better than Sanjaya! We'll find out Wednesday if I can go two for two. I promised names of the top singers and here they are:
2. Chris R.
Wow, the good ones get better and the bad ones, well, you get the picture. There were nine contestants going into this week of Idol and as far as I am concerned, there need only be six, possibly five. I will name names at the end. Actually this was a pretty good show. Aside from the aforementioned three or four, the remaining performances were outstanding. I would pay money to see a few of them. Wait, I rescind that. Justin Timberlake (the original one) is performing in L.A. to the tune of $150 a ticket, and thats before the astronomical fees that that horrific master of tickets adds on to every seat. So by the end of the day, youd pay over $200 to see JT. Im not saying hes not worth it, but I could fly to Hawaii for just a few dollars more, and frankly, Maui sounds blissful by comparison. What I am rambling to say is, if the tickets were a reasonable price, I would go. I would download Melinda, Chris R. and Ginas performances this week if I could get a...