Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 38: Performances

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we just have this theme last season? And with the same mentor? Or was I just imagining that Jamie Foxx just mentored the contestants in "Songs From The Movies" in Season 8? I wasn't, was I? Are the producers really that short on theme ideas that they're stealing ideas from last season? Well, at least Jamie Foxx was a good mentor last season. Hopefully, he will be the same this season.

This is American Idol!

Oh, Lee, no. Why "Kiss From A Rose" from Batman Forever? Why sing a song that Constantine Maroulis once sang? Why sing a song from one of the worst movies in the Batman franchise? You are a better performer than that. I expect better.

Michael Lynche sang Michael Jackson. Sounds like a good idea, right? But, no. Of all the Michael Jackson songs in existence, why "Will You Be There" from Free Willy? Why not "Man In The Mirror" from Scrooged? Certainly they have clearance for it; it was one of the most performed songs during Hollywood week. It started off a little shaky, but got stronger at it progressed. The producers obviously like Mike, because they gave him not just backup singers, but an entire choir! The vocals were good, but it was also a little sleepy. I was a little bored.

The first duet of the night was Lee and Crystal singing "Falling Slowly" from the film Once. I've never heard this song or seen this movie, but I really, really liked their voices together. I loved them playing their guitars, singing with their mics backed up together. The performance felt real. It didn't feel like a reality-show performance. It felt intense and passionate, and totally redeemed Lee's shakier performance from earlier. Amazing.

As soon as I heard Seacrest say that Casey was going to sing a Simon & Garfunkel anthem from The Graduate, I knew it was going to be "Mrs. Robinson". I even said it out loud--to Richie. Why? Because I knew that Casey could not resist the siren call of those opening guitar licks in that song. But Casey fooled me. He didn't use his guitar. Instead, he chose a smaller instrument. A mandolin, maybe? Anyway, he slowed the song down, and made it much more intimate and sensitive, though I would love to take this moment to point out that this song has NOTHING to do with an older woman seducing a younger man. This song is about a woman who is being committed to a nursing home. Again, the performance was just...OK. I just didn't feel any connection.

Caddyshack? Caddyshack? Really, Bowersox? Caddyshack? I would love to see the song list these guys had to choose from. There had to be some sighing and eye-rolling going on when they saw it, because goodness knows I was definitely sighing and rolling my eyes listening to those performances last night. Certainly you don't get a theme like "Songs From The Movies" and think "Gosh. I can't wait to sing Kenny Loggins' seminal classic 'I'm Alright'!" But then Crystal Bowersox opened her mouth and assuaged all my fears. Why do I ever doubt her? She changed the song just enough so that we all were able to forget that it was a Kenny Loggins song, and made it sound like a Crystal Bowersox song. With the duet, this makes two solid performances from Crystal.

The second, and final, duet of the night was from the movie Don Juan DeMarco. Yes, my friends, Michael Lynche and Casey James are singing the Bryan Adams song "Have You Ever Loved A Woman". It was romantic and smooth, and in my opinion, a stroke of genius. You see, when Casey sings a song like this, it's TO YOU. And seeing how he has been labeled "the hottie" this season, him singing this song will make the girls go crazy and therefore boost his votes. Michael, on the other hand, is a family man, and his strength is in singing about well, the strong women in his life. This song encompassed both of those ideals. Together, they should have been an unstoppable force. I mean, look at them--they were both in black and playing guitars for goodness sakes. As good as this was, it still paled in comparison in Lee and Crystal's duet, which had chemistry so palpable you could feel it coming off the screen.

Turns out Jamie Foxx is still a great mentor. It's about time, too, since the talent is stronger at this point in the contest.

Results tonight!

No comments: