Alas, Siobhan, I knew you a little too well. I’ll miss your coats of many colors, the gigantic high notes out of nowhere, and your random rants to the judges. But we must soldier on, and this week we’re knee deep in Frank Sinatra.
The mentor? Harry Connick Jr. Who is awesome as a mentor. It’s really stupid, but he is hilarious. From cracking jokes instead of working, openly mocking the contestants, and drunkenly playing the piano right there on stage with them. He’s the most hands on mentor ever! He’s even taking over half their job by composing their selections for them!
We launch right into the show after Ryan mourns the passing of Siobhan and introduces Harry Connick Jr., who is pretty clearly using tonight to relaunch his career as Simon Cowell. And it’s working! I would totally buy him as the new star of the show!
(Idol Drinking Game for Tonight: Drink as many drinks as Harry Connick has had tonight. Try not to kill yourself!)
Aaron Kelly The Song: “Fly Me to the Moon” Harry Connick Jr. Says: Does this sound good? No. The Performance: Flay me to the moon indeed. I love that they immediately come out of the box and say, “Frank Sinatra? This is perfect for Aaron!” Because it’s not. Harry spends their entire gab session thinking up new ways to insult Aaron, which is pretty fun. He does everything but reach over and give the kid a noogie.
Performance-wise, it’s probably better than you’d expect. This is definitely not where his career should be heading after Idol, but it is what it is. I think the vest really sells it, to be honest. Also, having the mentor on stage with them is kind of distracting, whose show is this again? I still can’t understand half of what Aaron is saying, by the way. The Judges Say: That was fine, but you’re really not cool. I Say: I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool (better than expected). Score: +2 Change: +1
Casey James The Song: “Blue Skies” Harry Connick Jr. Says: What is this a comedy act? The Performance: I think they’re taking the “Bluesy” vibe a little bit too literally, as that is literally the only color on screen right now. It’s like a special performance of the Blue Man Group or something right now. Casey is also rocking a vest, so maybe that’s our theme for tonight. He shares an amusing story about how his friend doesn’t watch TV and called Casey to come work for him this week, and then he’s off.
Casey isn’t playing guitar, because Harry Connick is a jerk who doesn’t realize that guitar playing is the only thing keeping Casey in the competition right now. It’s his only skill! Don’t take that away from him! This is pleasant enough, but really awkward to watch and weird. Casey just looks lost, staggering around onstage. Even Randy picks up on it(!). Casey’s mom looks like she’s going to die. Connick’s just like, “Hey, your rehearsal was pretty good. Sucks to be you.” The Judges Say: Wow, that was really weird to watch. I Say: And thus, wrought the end of Casey James. Score: +2 Change: -2
Crystal Bowersox The Song: “Summer Wind” Harry Connick Jr. Says: I want to know your secrets. The Performance: Ryan is more interested in hobnobbing with Anthony Hopkins than doing anything related to this show. I guess Harry’s not on board with Crystal’s whole, “This song really means a lot to me!” shy girl routine. How refreshing that a mentor is finally interested in the contestants! Unfortunately, he’ll probably never know, because secretly none of these songs mean anything to Crystal!
Crystal screws up Connick’s piano playing to start, and he smiles because the alternative is throwing her off the stage. This is as boring is crystal has ever been. Where’s her weird rug and mic stand, anyway? She’s singing this like she’s being held at gun point, which is wonderful. And her high notes are all over the place. But she’s still winning this show, y’alls. Even Randy is like dooooog…what? Hahaha! Randy’s on point tonight. What? Aaron Kelly’s winning the night so far. Ha! The Judges Say: This is the week where we pretend you’re not going to win. I Say: The vibe was totally awesome. The singing? Not so much. Score: +6 Change: +/-0
Mike Lynche The Song: “The Way You Look Tonight” Harry Connick Jr. Says: You’ve look friggin’ gorgeous. The Performance: Big Mike is looking dapper as fuck, and you can tell he heard Casey bomb tonight, because he’s basically planning out his itinerary for next week’s show. That’s a pretty awesome hat, but it doesn’t really go with his outfit. Sinatra would not approve. Seriously, though, Big Mike is the only one that Connick hasn’t screwed around with in their mentor session. I think he’s afraid of him!
Performance-wise, this sort of is Mike’s thing, actually. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s very entertaining and pretty good. I wasn’t up dancing like Mike promised though. If anybody has the “swagger” to pull this week off like the judges have been prattling on about, Big Mike is the one, and he sort of did (but it was still kind of meh). The Judges Say: Simon can’t count, but that all just clicked. I Say: Performance of the night so far (not that that’s saying much!). Score: +4 Change: +1
Lee DeWyze The Song: “That‘s Life” Harry Connick Jr. Says: My wife loves you. Now you die! The Performance: I think this is the first time a mentor has actually publicly tried to sabotage a contestant. Even for humor value. Harry Connick is the best mentor. He even breaks out the baseball stadium organ! What in the hell is this? And why does Lee have to sing a song every week about how poor he is? We get it. Geez. Crystal doesn’t sing a song every week about being a busker. Ok, she sort of does. But still.
I literally can’t understand a word Lee is saying here. I don’t even think that it’s because he forgot the lyrics or anything, it’s just that he’s…unintelligible here. I mean, being hard to understand is sort of Lee’s trademark, but this is literally “agggauuughh in April ahphhhhuuu in Mnnnn!” Lee attempting to have swagger is sort of adorable though. Aww! Ellen can’t wait to make an organ joke. The Judges Say: We’re pretending that we want you to win as a smokescreen for Crystal. I Say: Wgggglfp wapfjgka aaaaaabbbggggg! Score: +4 Change: +1
Bottom Three: Aaron Kelly, Crystal Bowersox, Casey James
We’ve gotten to the point where it has to be somebody. Big Mike probably saved himself from certain doom this week with a halfway decent performance, but you never know. My understanding is that there were a lot of people in the Idol production group that were flat out shocked that Mike is still around, so maybe this is his week to go.
But, to be honest, I think it’s more likely that we’ll see Casey and Aaron in the bottom two. Aaron was fine, but fine isn’t going to cut it anymore, and with Aaron being in the opening spot, it’s doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Casey was just bad, horribly uncomfortable and rough to watch. He’s out.
I still maintain that they’re going to pull a fakeout scare on a top contestant sometime within the next few weeks. Siobhan getting ousted was surprising but not exactly earth shattering. Crystal ending up in the bottom three after being the frontrunner for the whole season so far would be enough of a wake-up call to get her, and her fans, moving.
And I completely lost interest and barely paid attention to this episode. I think this must be why I only try to do this the first Sunday of the year. Here... you say something. "Gross." You said it, buddy!