AKA: THE BEST IS YET TO COME
Programming note: Kristen The Yellow Lab and I apologize for the late publication of this recap. We were indisposed, having taken to our beds after a two-day drunk. After all, what better way to handle Adam's appearance in the Bottom Two this week? The yellow dame and I have a word of warning for the big Charlies at American Idol: Listen you crumbs. If you want your viewers to go scramsville, keep scamming us. You think we're a bunch of Harves? Everyone knows a finale without Adam would be bombsville. Straighten up and fly right, ya bums.
Now that we've let loose, we're ready to swing, baby! 'Cause, this week, we're off to songville where the Final Five take on the The Rat Pack! For the children in the house, The Rat Pack was a group of entertainers from the 1960's who were the clan of cool, the summit of swagger. It consisted of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. If you don't recognize at least one of those names, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog without your parents' permission.
Ryan gets this clam-bake started by telling us that the intensity is a constant evolution. Who knew Paula was letting him drink from her cup? He lets us know the kids will be taking on classic American songs, and asks, "Who will set the standard?" You honestly don't know, Ryan? Hint: Rhymes with madam:
Those crazy-cool cats, the judges, are already seated, as if waiting for a round of Manhattans and a pack of smokes. (Of note: Paula is dressed like a petunia.)
Ryan trots the youngsters out for our approval, and Kristen and I agree they look like a bunch of swells! That chick, Allison, is a barn-burner in a tulle-skirted cocktail dress. Kris, Matt, and Danny are sharpsters in form-fitted suits. Adam, however, is 18 karet in a white silk tux. Ring-a-ding, baby!
The Idols have no idea who their mentor will be, particularly since, as Kris reminds us, when it comes to The Rat Pack, "Those guys are all dead." So, in order to pass the time, they decide to have an "impromtpu" sing-along to "Georgia On My Mind." Cue the entrance of Jamie Foxx, never a Rat Packer. He did, however, play Ray Charles in the bio-pic, and studied both classical piano and composition in college. Which still doesn't explain him mentoring Rat Pack Week. Oh wait! He has a new movie and a single to plug. Carry on!
One of the reasons Idol fans look forward to their favorite making the Top 5 is because they sing two songs each. Not this season! Nope. Because the judges (Kara) can't shut their pie holes in a timely fashion, the producers have cut the performance numbers down to one apiece. Yet, they then let an entire 15 minutes out of the hour pass before we hear a note of music from one of the Idols.
That first note comes to us courtesy of Kris, who has dressed for the occasion in a suit that looks like it was last worn for his high school National Honor Society induction ceremony. Nevertheless, he made the effort to wear something other than plaid, so, for that, we thank you, Kris. He has selected "The Way You Look Tonight," first made popular by non-rat pack member Fred Astaire. Vocally, it's solid. Performance-wise, it's a bit sleepy and safe. It's particularly awkward when he elects to drag the mic stand around the stage, like a toddler toting a stuffed bear by its ear. At one point, he shifts the tempo and tosses in an ungainly falsetto. Still, his adorable looks and charm save the performance, and, probably, Kris. Randy gushes that it was his best performance to date. ("Make You Feel My Love," "Ain't No Sunshine," and "Falling Slowly" would like to register a protest.) *Programming note: As a time-saving measure, Kristen and I won't be relaying Kara's commentary.* Paula thought he went from boy next door to sophisticated gentleman, which in Paula-eze translates to, "What are you doing for the rest of your life, big boy?" Simon felt it was wet and like taking a well-trained spaniel for a walk. I had no idea what he meant until Kristen explained to me that well-trained spaniels are the equivalent of "cruise ship and cabaret" in the dog world. Simon does not believe Kris can win with that type of performance. Nor do Kristen and I. We give Kris 6 autumns in New York for a nice vocal, but, now is the time when contestants must up their game every single week. Kris played it safe. Here comes Sammy to offer up some judgment:
Kristen's swinging from a star! It's the 17 year old tomato, Allison, all set to perform the Gerswhin's "Someone To Watch Over Me." Judy Garland made this an American classic, and Diana DiGuarmo won a hard-fought battle to the finale with a lovely interpretation of this in Seasion 3. Can Allison measure up? We say Yes! This week, Allison displays a vulnerability that has been missing from previous perfomances. It's spot-on vocally, and she looks the part. Kristen would love to watch over her! The only complaint we have is you can actually see her trying to keep up with the words. Lyrics are crucial to these standards, and Allison seems intent on not making an error. But, in the process, she loses a bit of the connection with the viewing audience. Randy says Yo. Paula is proud of Allison for finally tackling a true ballad. Now, Simon does exactly what he does best. He throws out a life raft to Allison, who has repeatedly turned up in the bottom 2/3. "I have a horrible feeling you could be in trouble, tonight." Outrage! The interwebs light up in a fury. How dare he criticize Allison's best performance! Well,guess what? He didn't. After 8 seasons people STILL don't recognize when Simon is lighting a fire under voters? Really? Really? Kristen and I give Allison 9.5 candyman's and soft shoe. We loved her vulnerability and the fact that she came to win, tonight. Former Rat Pack mascot, Shirley McClain, is in tune with Allison:
Matt's in a hat! That means he's going to Timberlake one of the standards, or he is finally self-conscious about the forehead mole. Or maybe he just likes hats. He's singing the Rogers & Hart nugget, "My Funny Valentine," once sung by Sinatra but most recently performed on the Idol stage by the glorious Melinda Doolittle. Mindy Doo left some pretty big shoes to fill. Matt? Can you measure up? Kristen and I say No. For one thing, Matt's flat for most of the song. He gives it a nice change-up half-way through. But, he tosses in his weak falsetto even though Jamie Foxx suggested he ditch it. Randy claims it's one of the hardest songs to sing - ever. EXCUSE us? Who delivered that piece of news to you, Randy? Constantine Maroulis? Paula thought he was impressive. Simon continues do what Simon does best. He writes Matt's ticket home by telling him he thought it was "absolutely brilliant." There's no better way to make people NOT pick up their phones and vote than for Simon to overpraise a mediocre performance. Kristen and I give Matt 5 pennies from heaven. Dean Martin adds a chill:
Danny's next. Kristen and I might use this opportunity to take a little nap. (We kid.) Danny has opted to sing another Sinatra nugget, "Come Rain or Come Shine." He roughs it up a bit, giving it a bluesy, Ray Charles vibe. This is probably one of his better performances, if Kristen and I are being honest. Danny has been compared to Taylor Hicks. The reality is, while Danny has a better voice than Taylor, he has less appeal. His stage presence is smarmy. And,truthfully? After watching the three performances before Danny, Kristen and I can't help but question, "Why is THIS guy one of the front-runners rather than Allison or Kris?" Randy Yo's. Paula can now see the finish line ahead of him, just as she's done every stinkin' week since this irritating season began. Simon liked his swagger. (Swagger? On Danny? What'd I miss?) He declares it "outstanding." He announces that Danny came out to prove a point. Kristen and I give him 8.5 shadows of our smiles because, though he is, to us, completely lacking in charisma, he can sing. Joey Bishop relates to Danny:
Oh. Here comes Adam. Kristen and I need a moment. Talk amongst yourselves.Adam obviously understood what Jamie Foxx meant when he told the kids they weren't just selling a song, they were selling a lifestyle. Ken-doll gorgeous in the white silk tux, Adam makes an entrance. He starts at the top of the Stairway To Ryan's Heaven, takes 5 full seconds to strut down the first secton without singing a single note, then purrs out the opening strains of Nina Simone/Sammy Davis Jr.s "Feeling Good." .The horns take over and Adam continues his staircase saunter in silence, gliding past the orchestra, cool and confident. THAT, Simon my boy, is swagger. He hits center stage, picks up where he left off, inserts a key change for good measure, then precedes to hit a note attainable only by God's angels and mermaids, a note he holds for 12 full seconds. He's flyin' us to the moon! That performance was so hot, Kristen is shedding copious amounts of undercoat. Randy says it was a little too "Broadway" for him. Kristen explains that,in dog lingo, he's comparing Adam to a show poodle. Paula, however, sees him as Michael Phelps. Kristen is pleased, being an endurance swimmer, herself. Simon is glad that Adam is in it to win. For another brilliant performance, Kristen and I give him 10 worlds on a string! Ole' Blue Eyes admits Adam's got that old black magic:
Rat Pack worthy:
Frat Pack Potential:
Brat Pack Reunion Tour?:
RESULTS SHOW: AKA: YOU CAN'T TAKE THAT ADAM AWAY FROM ME! (And Kristen!)
Ryan tells us there were 47 millions votes, which is yet another record. Whoopee!
The kids gives us yet another great dance routine to some American standards, featuring Allison The Adorable! But, Kristen and I would like to know what they think they're doing on Adam's staircase?
That's right! Get off, and stay off!
Randy seems to be enjoying the view.
Ryan settles the kids on the stools from hell, and interviews about their weekday activities. Apparently, this week, Adam was baking a cake with Fidel Castro and his brother.
In the process, Danny displays an amazing lack of judgement by getting his 29 year old self into a food fight with the teenaged Allison, leading to some wildly inappropriate screen caps.
Ryan then presents him with a bill for $6,000 to pay for clean up of the mess he made. Danny greets it with his usual "sense of humor" by wondering why Idol can't afford to pay the bill.
Results. Dim the lights.
Oh, wait. Kids? Line up in the middle of the stage. Adam and Allison? Please hold hands as is fitting of the future Final 2. The rest of you? Stand all slumped-shouldered and glum.
Matt? Please head to the Loser side of the stage.
Danny? You may adjourn to the Winners Circle.
Allison? Follow Danny. (YES!!)
Hey, Kris. Head on over to Loser Central with Matt.
And, now, Adam. Pick which group YOU belong with. No pressure. You'll look like an idiot no matter what you do, so just go for broke.
Adam, and all the rest of the planet, are pretty sure he belongs with Danny and Allison.
Ryan isn't having it! Get over to the Loserville! says he, as he attempts to strong-arm Adam across the stage.
Ladies and Gentlemen, your bottom 3!!
Natalie Cole sings, but no one cares because Adam is in the bottom 3. Then, Ryan says he'll ease our mind by sending Adam back to safety. Except not! Kris is safe! Adam? Bottom 2!
Then, Taylor Hicks and Jamie Foxx sing, but no one cares because Adam's in the bottom 2!!! Ryan brings Matt and Adam out for the moment of truth.
Adam. You are.....
Oh, yeah. Bye, Matt! It's pretty shabby that you had to be part of a producer's stunt featuring Adam. Your friends bid you fond farewell! Oh. There's Adam in your goodbye package. Yeah. It kind of sucks to be anyone but Adam, lately. Doesn't it?
Next week, these kids:
And this guy:
Make incredible rock music together! See ya there!