Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol Top 5 - Rat Pack Standards

It's Rat Pack week on Idol and it's a bit of a mixed bag. On the upside: I enjoyed all the performances to some extent, Lil is still gone, and there are some great song choices. The not so good: the judges were on crack tonight. I've never disagreed with them more. Also, for the first time on Idol the Top 5 only performed one song a piece, leading to the most padded performance show ever. Seriously we got like 25 minutes of Jamie Foxx, because as Kris so succinctly put it, "all those rat pack people are... dead." The more cynical part of me thinks that the producers didn't want to count on this group of five learning two numbers in a week, which makes me curious as to what will happen at Top 4, when it should also be two apiece, and Top 3 & Top 2, when it should be three apiece each show.

With that said, here's my take. This..... is American Idol... after the jump!

Kris Allen - "The Way You Look Tonight": Jamie lets us know that Kris isn't trying to sing "the throat olympics." I have to say upfront I have a serious soft spot for this song. Lots of reviews I've read online say this performance bothered them because it was too slow, but I was swooning the whole way through. I love the uptempo switch in the middle. Kris is spot on with pitch. He looks insanely hot in his little suit. The only fault I can find in it is the final note, which he flubs, though he looks like he knows he flubs it. Overall, he shows surprising range and really makes the most of the song. Randy says it's his "best performance to date" and that he "told a story" with "mad, nice vocals." Kara calls him a "dark horse" and compliments his "diction." Heh. Oh horny, Kara.  Simon thinks it's "wet" and I think the audience certainly is. 
Prognosis: This is a hard one to call because if Simon hadn't panned it I'd say Kris is safe for sure, but he's the only judge people actually listen to. Though he does occasionally hate on a contestant to rally support for them. 

Allison Iraheta - "Someone to Watch Over Me": Allison low-lighted her hair! It looks so good. Thank you stylists for finally making her not look insane. Jamie tells her she's too young to be in love and asks her if she's "twelve or thirteen." She says she's "about five." She then laughs at herself all embarrassed. Heh. I love her. Her performance is stellar. She belts out this motherfucker. Lots of solid glory notes and raspiness. It's so funny to see the transition between Performance Allison and Normal Allison. She's so in control of the stage when she's singing and as soon as she's done she is awkward as hell. Randy & Kara pimp her out, though I don't know that saying they aren't "nervous for her anymore" helps at all. I mean... they want people to vote for her right?  Paula is proud of her "alluring and tender" performance. Simon asks if she thinks she can win and Allison give the diplomatic we-all-can answer. Which, no. Anyone but Matt Giraud could conceivably win. Simon thinks she's in danger tonight. Reverse pimpage? Allison hate? Insanity? Who knows.
Prognosis: Almost certainly in the Bottom 2. If she is after that performance I don't know that she has a chance in hell to make it to the finals. 

Matt Giraud - "My Funny Valentine": The growth is covered by a hat. That's a thing. Jamie advises him not to only sing the song in false and to stop doing runs all over the place, which THANK GOD someone told him that. So I'm trying something new which is closing my eyes when he sings to see if it's just his face that makes me hate him. Seriously, he is a level of fugly that makes me happy I don't get FOX in HD. I don't know how people looking at him in 1080i can take it.  This performance is all over the place.  Some of the notes sound astoundingly good and others are really flat. There's a depth missing from his lower register that's really noticeable. Randy calls it "pitchy" and says that some of the runs didn't come together. Kara "didn't feel he was emotionally connected." Paula "felt the connection" and heard "a different side of Matt." Those pills must be fantastic. Simon disagrees with Randy and at this point I can only assume he's trying to lull voters into a sense of complacency because I have never disagreed with him this much. 
Progonosis: Better than last week. Who knows what the Simon pimpage will do? 

Danny Gokey - "Come Rain or Come Shine": Jamie gets all up in Danny's grill and really freaks him out and somehow that makes him a better performer? *sigh* We couldn't have two numbers instead of this clip package? Danny's lost the stubble and looks a little more Stay-Pufty than usual. I can't tell if these glasses are new or not. Too many pairs to keep track of at this point. The vocal is solid but he really just stands there awkwardly for most of it until he takes the mic of the stand and gets his Taylor Hicks on and semi-struts for the last 30 seconds or so. The whole thing was... serviceable? Randy says he could "have an album of songs like that," which I guess is true but who would buy that. He tops it off by point out that "[he] can sing!" Setting the bar a bit low there no? Kara says she's been missing that "rat pack swagger" and jizzes in her pants. He was less douche-y during the judges comments this week. So yay? 
Prognosis: Perfectly safe, in spite of the performance. Getting rid of this douche is going to be a job of work and likely won't happen until Top 2. I'm praying for an upset but there's a large segment of Jesus-freak haus-fraus that will continue to vote for him because of his shameless sob story and the blatant judge pimping. At this point I can only assume the judges want him in the finals because he's going to lose to whoever they push him up against. The Danny vote is strong but the Anti-Danny vote is going to be way stronger. 

Adam Lambert - "Feelin' Good": So Adam is coming out with a "rock edge." Adam also comments on Jaime Foxx being "three feet" from his face, so we know he's a close talker for sure. God. This performance... I don't know how to put it into words. He descends on that staircase in that white suit with the crazy spotlights. It's insanely theatrical. It's like it's ripped from a Madonna tour or something... but with singing. So much swagger. So much tranny fierceness. Seriously. It's like his whole performance is a giant "Yes. I'm really, really gay." to America. The arrangement itself isn't so much a song as a framework for super-gay vocal acrobatics. There's an insane glory note with a 360 crane pan around his head. Afterwards the judges look DEEPLY confused and I love it! Randy calls it "a little too Broadway for him." Kara's "mouth drops open" and is anyone surprised by that? Certainly not Giraud. Paula calls him Michael Phelps and I momentarily miss his abs. Simon says that complaining about Adam being theatrical "is like complaining that a cow moos." 
Prognosis: He's fine for tonight but at some point he's going to have to start singing songs again because I think the super-theatrical, vocal acrobatics might just cost him in the finals.

Who should go?: Matt or Danny, I really couldn't care less
Who will go?: Probably Matt, maybe Allison. Though I voted like hell for that girl. 

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