So I’m finally back from the Caribbean, and I’m a bit sad about that. As of last night, I got all caught up on the last two weeks of Idol thanks to the magic of DVR. First of all, why the hell would the judges waste their one save of Matt Giraud, a consistently underwhelming performer? Second, thank god Lil Rounds is finally gone! She was the only one more deserving to go home than Matt. Third, sorry to see Anoop go so soon, but his exit was inevitable due to his miring himself down in the cheesy ballad category.
Now, on to this week’s episode!
The theme this week was songs of the Rat Pack era. I find it incredibly irritating that the judges always rail on people for not being current, but they consistently have these theme weeks that force contestants to dip into the past. I would like to see Idol abandon the theme weeks and let these contestants pick whatever they want. Really, how are you going to know what kind of artist someone is going to be if you force feed them the same tired old crap every week?
Also, before getting to the performances, Jamie Foxx has zero to do with the Rat Pack. He has never played Sammy Davis, Jr. (or Sinatra or Martin or Lewis, or Bishop), and the closest thing that qualifies him is his overrated impression of Ray Charles that inexplicably won him an Oscar. That said, he actually seemed to give the Idols real musical advice, unlike any of the other musicians that have mentored this season, so hats off to him for that.
Kris Allen: Kris sings “The Way You Look Tonight,” and he gives it a fairly straightforward interpretation. He sings it pretty well, but something about the performance was boring for me. When you bear in mind that the song has been recorded by Sinatra and Tony Bennett, Kris’s version pales in comparison and comes off instead as a whiny, white bread, boy band take. I kind of kept hoping that Zombie Sinatra would rise from the grave and smack him upside the head, grab the mic, say, “You gotta love livin’, baby, ’cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass,” and then show this little pipsqueak how the pros do this number. Long live Zombie Sinatra!
Allison Iraheta: Singing “Someone To Watch Over Me,” Allison actually takes a big risk by stepping out of her rock comfort zone. The risk pays off, and Allison nails the song with a sensitivity, vulnerability, and even a little sultry smokiness that a girl of seventeen should be mentally and emotionally incapable of pulling off. Compare this performance to anything by Jordin Sparks or David Archuleta, and Allison absolutely freaking blows away both of those teenagers from Idol’s past. What does this mean? She’s probably going home.
Matt Giraud: Matt really needs to be gone already. I’m still pissed about that save. Tonight he sings “My Funny Valentine,” and he does the song no justice. The performance has its good moments, but overall, it was flat, out of tune, and annoying. If Allison gets kicked off before Matt, there is no justice in this world.
Danny Gokey: Danny is another one who has worn out his welcome with me. He is consistently lazy with his performances, sleepwalking through the verse of every song he sings and relying on the power choruses to bail him out every time. Tonight we hear his rendition of “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” and Gokey makes a major misstep. He strains extra hard to give the second part of the song extra emotion and soul, but he ends up just shouting and growling the whole thing. The result? He sounds like he ate Michael Bolton whole, and now he is trying to crap him out, with the combined pained screaming of Danny Gokey and a half-digested Michael Bolton culminating in a shitty mess. Sorry, that was a bit overwrought, but Gokey sucks. How the judges liked that is a mystery to me.
Adam Lambert: Last up is Adam doing his take on “Feeling Good,” a song that has been done to death on Idol. He starts out with what sounds like the arrangement by My Brightest Diamond from the recent Dark Was The Night compilation, but it morphs into something wholly Adam. I remember the first time I heard Shara Worden’s version, I thought to myself, “The next Idol needs to listen to her version for an example of how to do this song right, then they need to pick another song, because they are not topping this.” Lambert did his thing, and it was interesting to watch, but I don’t think it was better than the source material. His last note was pretty amazing, though. The kid’s got some vocal control, that’s for sure.
So who’s in the bottom three? I think the bottom three will be Allison, Matt, and Danny, with Matt getting the boot if there is any justice left in this world.
Bonus - Here’s My Brightest Diamond’s version of “Feeling Good”: