The Top 5! Rat Pack croony swoony songs! What a magical combination. Oddly, I don't mean that entirely sarcastically. There was some good sing-sangin' on Idol last night, mostly from my long-term two favorites.
In the show's continued efforts to hire judges who've no business critiquing singing performances, Jamie Foxx hopped off his Miami speedboat and mugged for the cameras and popped up as a surprise mentor. Kris awkwardly just walked up and gave him one of those soul-boy handshake/hug things that I can never seem to quite get right (or even figure out when they're about to happen, it always ends up some weird mashy muddle of a hug). Matt Giraud was conveniently playing "Georgia On My Mind" on the harpsichord, so maybe they actually knew he was coming. Who knows. On with the judging.
Dear me, Kris Allen. He sang "The Way You Look Tonight" and, sorry y'all, but it had just been good. Perfect song choice to arouse the squealing laydays, perfect suit, perfect sideways triangle mouth anime smile. The criticism was just and slobbery, until Simon did a bit of course correction and criticized him because, I think, he wanted to make sure that Kris didn't fall prey to his own praise. Which has happened at this point of the raggedy show all too often.
Allison once again had the best technical vocal pitch sound thing going on, even though I'm not the biggest fan of "Someone To Watch Over Me." Randy made a funny and said that she looked like Brittany Murphy, meaning it as a compliment. Allison's sixteen-year-old eyes bulged and visions of the shaky, once-talented, coke-addled waif bizarring her way through that weird Nora Roberts Lifetime movie about an old house and a child actress that was on a few weeks ago. (Did you see that thing? Peculiar doesn't begin to describe it.) So, no, Allison, don't worry. Randy once described Kara as looking "like a doorknob." And, oh wait. That's actually chillingly accurate. Nevermind. But Allison, you look far better than Ms. Murphy.
OK. Are you sitting down, preferably weeping? Good. So the Gokester? Was actually pretty good last night. I mean, he's still really really annoying and his face still looks like what food looks like in illustrated children's books, but "Come Rain or Come Shine" was the perfect kinda song for this bland Nova Scotia cruise ship singer. So I guess the theme played into his hand, rather than him playing into the theme, which is actually the whole point of the show, but whatever. Gokey, may you be voted off tonight, but still know that you did a fine job yesterday.
The cheese stands alone. Matt Giraud's corny, way-too-riffy "My Funny Valentine" only made me long for the littlenecked pleasures of my beloved Melinda Doolittle, who gave probably the finest Idol performance in world history when she sang that beautiful ditty during the semifinals, way back in season six. The song was also sung well, and very simply, by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Giraud! Even Jamie frigging Foxx told you to cool with all the runs and trills and supposed-be-bop-thrills. It begins to sound tired and like so much work. Actually, scratch that Gokey. You earned your keep. I think it's Mr. Giraud whose time has come. Time to shuffle back to those smoky piano bars in his head.
The Starlight Ickspress
If an American Idol were to be launched into space, would they just burn up in the atmosphere, or would they slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God? Well, Adam Lambert aims to find out. Last night he sang "Feeling Good," perhaps made most famous by Nina Simone, later used in Six Feet Under commercials. It was a good choice for our sparkled oddity, because it's got that wickedness and that build to it that he loves so much. But it just became... something like a fissure opening up in the heavens, like a primal scream emanating from the devil's groin. I'm loath to describe things here as indulgent—because, really, shouldn't all artistry (if we can call karaoke that) be indulgent?—but it was still a brash and silly performance. That Adam is going to win this whole thing is just a foregone conclusion at this point, so I wish he'd just relax a little. Can you imagine a choir of opossums mewling at you, very loudly, for 50 minutes? Judging by Lambo's performances, that's what his album will sound like, the whole way through. Have fun getting startled by one of his high notes and running your car off the road and into a ditch.
Five's a Crowd
Guys, I'm pretty sure Lil Rounds is going to go home. No, actually, I don't know. It's hard to say. Simon had ominous predictions for Allison ("I'm worried about you"), but maybe, again, he was just trying to drum up votes. Calling Gokey complete and "ready to record" might mean that they'd like to see him go. But really, I think it's going to be (or at least ought to be) our all-seeing friend, Miriam Girmaund. For whom the world of America opened its soft, flabby arms and embraced unconditionally for all these many weeks. Except that one time when we voted him off. But, y'know.
Was Kara calling Adam's performance "sleazy" the best (and, perhaps, only good) thing she's said all season?