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"American Idol" Sort of Salutes the Rat Pack


It's Rat Pack Week on "American Idol," amended to Rat-Pack-Themed night at some point, but even so we assume the surviving Idolettes will be expected to convey guys cutting up and behaving like they own the joint while singing boozy but classy versions of sophisticated tunes from that day.

Either that or the guys will all put on suits with narrow lapels and mussed-up ties, and Allison Iraheta will put on something she thinks adequately retro - aka non-scary - and hopefully perform an era-appropriate tune without putting it through her Rocker Chick grinder.

Because, as Kris Allen so observantly noted, all of the members of the famous Rat Pack are, you know, dead, the Idolettes simply cannot imagine who is going to be their mentor this week. That's right, with just five Idolettes remaining, the producers have brought back the mentor and accompanying Plug the Mentor taped bit, because how else is the show going to run long this week?

And, in one of those incredible coincidences that make covering the TV industry so metaphysical, just as Idolette Matt Giraud is entertaining us with his impression of Ray Charles, who walks in but Jamie Foxx, who played Charles in a Hollywood movie.

"You're already an artist - you're my No. 1" Foxx tells Kris, in the love-ya-baby! ingratiating style of Rat Packer Sammy Davis, Jr.

All dressed up in his grown-up suit, looking bright-eyed and adorable singing "The Way You Look Tonight" while contorting his little parallelogram mouth, Kris looks not so much boozy, womanizing, sophisticated-tune singing prankster Rat Pack guy as Hannah Montana's date to Cotillion. But judges Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and Paula Abdul act as through he's the second coming of Tony Bennett, while also breaking the record for most uses of the word "impeccable" to describe one Idolette in a single performance. Meanwhile Simon Cowell - the only judge worth listening to - calls Kris's routine "a little bit wet." We have no idea what that means, but we totally agree. Simon also likens Kris's version of the tune to watching someone take a well-trained spaniel out for a walk. See "we have no idea what that means but we totally agree" above.

Foxx, who recently told 16-year-old Miley Cyrus to "make a sex tape and grow up," to "get like Britney Spears and do some heroin," to "do like Lindsay Lohan...and get some crack in your pipe" and, last but not least, to "catch chlamydia on a bicycle seat," tells 17 year old Idolette Allison Iraheta she's way too young to have a boyfriend or to possibly understand what love is, so she should think about her family members and the support they give her while singing "Someone to Watch Over Me."

Anyway, Allison takes that to mean she should slow down and un-rock her performance for the first time this season. She also wears a non-scary outfit for the first time. It's all surprisingly good and Randy praises it as "Pink - but with 9,000 more octaves." Kara is convinced Allison will not wind up one of the bottom three vote getters this week, but Simon, who's determined to sink Allison, says she's in trouble because she did not convey enough belief she could win this competition during her performance. Again, we have no idea what that means, really, but this time we totally disagree with him. Meanwhile, Paula's assistant has accidentally mixed up this week's prepared remarks about Allison's performance with copy he was writing on the side for a perfume ad in Vanity Fair: "an innocent sensibility that was both alluring and very tender."

Foxx sends Matt Giraud away with no comment during the "mentoring" process, then calls him back with detailed notes about lowering the key and really holding on to a note near the end of the tune - the second bit of Foxx business this week that seems totally staged.

Matt the Hat should be in his element on Rat Pack night, but instead comes across like someone who's trying way too hard without any real understanding of the tune - in this case "My Funny Valentine." He tries to hang onto the glory note like Foxx suggests but wimps out and trills some more. Matt also has trouble with the lower notes, suggesting Foxx did him a disservice in re the whole "lower the key" thing. Randy thinks it's a little pitchy. Kara and Paula issue dissenting opinions about the emotional connectedness of it all. And Simon continues to work overtime to justify the judges' use of their one Judges Save card on Matt - this week insisting Matt's performance is the only "authentic" tune he's heard so far tonight, "absolutely brilliant," right down to Matt's "Nat King Cole phrasing."

Foxx appears to have the same reaction as Quentin Tarantino to Danny Gokey's come-from-a-musical-family bag-o-schtick. But unlike Tarantino, who forced Gokey to put his hands in his pockets while performing in hopes it would stop the annoying hand gestures, Foxx gets "right in his grille" during Gokey's rehearsal of "Come Rain or Come Shine." This, Foxx insists, brings Gokey's performance to its "purest" and "truest" state, though the evidence shows it only convinces Danny that Foxx is wildly eccentric. At any rate, whatever effect it had on Danny is not lasting, and his performance is conventionally stagy, though Danny gets props for fighting and slaying the drown-out arrangement by the tune's end. Randy fawns over Danny, Kara swoons over his swagger and Paula pronounces it "stellar." Simon notes Danny came out to prove a point, and calls his vocals the best he's heard from Danny in weeks. Danny makes a heart with his hands.

"Absolutely incredible - you don't care about who I am at all!" Foxx marvels at Adam Lambert during rehearsals - the most honest comment made by an "Idol" mentor. Ever.

The only Idolette to really get into the whole Rat Pack spirit is Adam, who goes whole hog Vegas and opens his rendition of "Feeling Good" while strutting down The Ryan Seacrest Stairway from Paradise dressed in an iridescent white suit, black shirt and white tie. Once again, he's in a different, far more accomplished league than any of the other Idolettes, and the way he hangs on for dear life to his tune's second-to-last note puts Matt's performance to shame. Kara wins our heart when she calls Adam's performance "confusing and shocking and sleazy and superb and way over the top and, I don't know, I like you!" Paula, on the other hand, loses our love when she likens Adam's performance to Michael Phelps at the Olympics. Randy think Adam was a "little too theatrical" which, hello, is kinda the point in a week paying tribute to an act most closely associated with Vegas. Simon notes, correctly, that Randy's comment is like complaining when a cow moos.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 29, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Comments

Paula's assistant mixed up her scripted comments this week with a bottle of conditioner, as she praises Allison's performance for being "shiny and manageable."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 29, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm pulling for Kris now, especially after last week. Hat and Gokey were so-so. I want Allison to stay one more week at least, Hat can go home.

Foxx was good, and it was funny that he has something to promote and they didn't do it. Maybe tonight. I predict longing for Lady Gaga with Soul Patrol performing tonight.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | April 29, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I actually liked all the performances last night, but I think Matt is going home.

Did anyone else think Adam's suit looked a bit like aluminum foil?

Posted by: earlysun | April 29, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I thought Allison and Adam were the best but no one was downright horrible. Matt will probably be the one to get voted off this week.

Posted by: barbnc | April 29, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I wish for Kris's sake that he could grow a real mustache. It pains me to look at the 14-yr-old hopeful scruff framing his paralellogram mouth. Poor kid.

The night of surprises! I didn't think ANYONE sounded appropriate singing Rat Pack standards - stuff I grew up on! Modernizing is good (and kinda the point of AI), but all the trills and vocal riffs ruin really good classic songs. Matt's made me want to vomit.

Allison was by FAR my favorite.

Adam was disappointing to me this week, and I've loved him since day one.

Danny - I actually enjoyed the first half of his song, before he Gokified the end and I had to turn the volume down.

I enjoyed Kris but the song didn't seem to suit him although I thought it would.

Matt - suffice it to say that The Rat Pack are rolling over in their grave right now. Time to go home.

Posted by: raquel2 | April 29, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Loved everyone last night but agree that the one to go tonight needs to be Matt. Allison needs to stay to final 3. I love the vote meter for who goes, I recommend we have two vote meters -- who should go and who should win. I vote Adam will win.

Posted by: coolvlly | April 29, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the other posters, everyone did well last night.
However, I voted for Matt the Hat (love that name)to go home. Randy was right for a change when he declared him pitchy. I winced several times during his performance but other than that, I thought he did well.
I was determined not to like Gokey but his performance actually made me look up from the book I was reading when he got near the end of his song. Good job.
Allison, always love her, loved the song. Hope she is safe.
I really enjoyed Kris too, nothing bad to say about his performance.
Adam, very good and the only one who changed up the song. I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite from last night.

Only snark I have is about Paula's dress. Looked like a giant red napkin folded around her.

Posted by: hodie | April 29, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Second!

Posted by: igetdeadbeats | April 29, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I must disagree with hodie and agree with raquel2: I was cool with Gokey til he started screaming at the end of the song. Totally ruined it for me. Kris & Allison were so-so. I thought Matt was better than people seem to be giving him credit for. Adam is in a different competition. Either that or everyone else is competing for second.

I hope it's Allison and not Matt who leaves tonight.

Posted by: SheldonAlexandria | April 29, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

When they announced the theme at the beginning of the show, I wasn't expecting much (my husband and I were joking about whether we were going to hear "When the moon hits your eye like a bigga pizza pie, that's amore!"). But I thought last night's show was the best of the season so far.

We couldn't figure Simon out last night, though -- we thought Kris and Allison were really good, really connected with the lyrics and melodies of the songs they were singing, and Matt was not. For once I was glad for Randy and Kara, who I think were watching the same performances we were.

I did wonder if Simon was offended when Kris remarked to Seacrest that "I'm not the best singer here." He bristles when people don't present themselves as winners -- note he put Allison on the spot, too and asked her if she thought she could win, and he probably didn't like when she hesitated before answering, which is why he snapped at her when she said yes. Sometimes I think he has a rigid idea of what a "star persona" is that pushes aside the whole issue of musicality and actual singing.

And yes, Paula's dress! We were trying to decide if it looked more like an enormous origami or two huge sock puppets that were threatening to swallow her.

Posted by: owingsmills | April 29, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I realized last night while I want Adam to win, Kris is the only one of the idolettes whose album I would consider buying. Also, did anybody else notice the look of horror on Kara's face right before she had to judge Matt (I think I'm remembering that correctly)? It was right after the song was over and the camera panned to the judges for their reaction and she had a look of disgust on her face. Which seemed weird after hearing her comments. Maybe it was in reaction to something the crowd did and not the performer.

Posted by: StuckatWork | April 29, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

So, does Paula share an assistant with David Hasselhoff?

Cuz he used the same Michael Phelps line during last year's America's Got Talent.

Thing is - the Hoff's comment was almost pertinent as the Olympics, too, were last year.

Maybe the unpaid intern phoned it in last night?

Posted by: molsonmich | April 29, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I thought Simon's review of Allison was one of his old moves, the "you're not getting enough votes because people think you're safe, so I'll tell them you're in trouble then they'll vote more" thing. He's done it in previous seasons, and he stopped ripping on Sanjaya once he realized it was motivating people to vote for him.

Posted by: MidwestTransplant | April 29, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Lisa: Just wondering -- how did you ever get a job as TV columnist for the Washington Post when you have nothing but contempt for everything you watch? Reading your snide comments is beginning to be a drag.

Posted by: declaire | April 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I think Matt was better than Matt usually is - but that his performance was the weakest of the bunch. Yes - he still hits bum notes and does entirely too much of the "trilling" and embellishing. Just plant your feet and SING. And take off the stupid hat.

Honestly, I don't know why it irritates me so much - but the minute I see it I just make a motion with my middle finger and thumb as if I am flicking it right off his head. I think I feel it's like all the embellishments - a prop to cover up some lack of substance. He got a B in Jazz - and B last night- and with only 5 contestants yet - we aren't grading on the curve.

I agree with Lisa that Simon's overly enthusiastic praise of Matt was probably just to justify having wasted the knife, er "save" on him. And it's at the expense of Allison who no way deserves it.

Naturally, at just-turned-17 she doesn't have the same feeling about this whole thing as Adam. At 28ish - Adam, who's been in Hollywood 10 years or so - probably feels it's his last big chance. Allison will undoubtedly be happy with whatever happens - because this is her first chance and she's scored so big with it. So you're comparing apples to oranges on the "how much you want it" scale, and it's patently unfair.

So 3 people really "want" it? Am I to assume they are Adam/Danny/Matt after Simon's comments last night? And thus is this a self-fulfilling prophecy that it will be an Adam/Danny final with Adam thoroughly trouncing Danny specifically because of his theatricality? Having been "saved", will Matt then be thrown under the bus (with his hat) - so that the pre-ordained finale can occur?

I hope not - but I've got a really bad feeling about this script.

Allison is a better singer, IMHO, than Jordin Sparks ever was - and boy did they pimp her youth to win over a better singer in her group.

Possibly the only thing I would have changed for her last night would have been some color. I thought her dress was totally age appropriate and I was delighted they didn't old lady her up in an evening gown - but I would have liked her to get away from the red & black thing. Show something TOTALLY different.

I'm hoping the tweeners, who don't even know the Rat Pack, much less that they are dead, will vote for Allison as she's their contemporary and a very good role model for them, IMHO. She's bright, level-headed, mature and talented. She never has to worry about being more "likeable" - and I hope that plenty of people tell her that today.

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Midwest re: Simon. That's the only reason I can possibly think of why he would cut on Kris and Allison like that while praising Matt--who sucked.

Posted by: beaker1 | April 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Great column Lisa! I wasn't looking forward to "Rat Pack" night but it wasn't half bad. I think it's Matt's turn to go - he just can't seem to carry a tune. Not fond of Kris, don't like the mouth action and, while his voice is pleasant enough, I find his voice weak and his singing style boring.

Posted by: MILW | April 29, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Simon wants Allison off the show so that she can sign with someone besides Clive Davis......

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | April 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

raquel2, I'm with you except that I liked Adam the best followed by Alison. The other three left me flat. Kris, whom I like, was just okay. Matt and Danny were self-indulgent and I completely wonder where Simon's head is at. Disappointing since I respect his opinion.

My husband and I even replayed Gokey, and still didn't get it. I even tried listening with my eyes shut to make sure I was concentrating on the sound. Sorry, as Simon would say. And the band, which I otherwise thought was good, was over the top competing with him during the 2nd half. That may be a sound engineering problem.

I was looking forward to this show, because I grew up on this music. My dad was a saxophonist and played with Sinatra, Rat Pack in Vegas, Dorsey before that. I thought this group has the vocal ability to create something special, but I was left unmoved. Way too many riffs and growling by Matt and Danny.

Posted by: MarriedMom | April 29, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

When I found this blog last year, I loved the wit used to describe the show. However, I agree with declaire - the snide comments are becoming tired and a turnoff.

I thought everyone did pretty well this week - certainly no major blunders as the column would have you believe. Which means I doubt anyone's opinions or favorites have changed.

I'm guessing they'll only have a bottom 2 now - and while I think Matt did well last night, he didn't do well enough to convert voters. He'll probably leave. Whenever they pimp Allison because they're afraid she's in danger, she pulls through. Personally, I'd rather see Danny go, but apparently I'm in the minority on that one.

Posted by: brianb27 | April 29, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

My only question: How many albinos had to die for Adam's suit?

Posted by: KathleenHamilton | April 29, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

My two cents:

Kris: Did not like his performance at all. I LOVE the song "The Way You Look Tonight" and after the show, I couldn't even remember what he sang! And did nobody else hear the god-awful note he hit right in the beginning of his song? It was bad!

Allison: I thought she was great obviously! I have been her fan throughout but I really thought she did so well last night. I cringed when Simon decided to pick on her. She was good and did not deserve it.

Matt: Yuck. Go home, Hat Boy.

Danny: Stealing from raquel2, another Gokified performance. Not a fan at all.

Adam: I know I am going to be in the minority but I did not think Adam was all that great last night. I have grown to appreciate Adam and I do recognize that he is very talented but his song was so....I don't know...whiney sounding? Does that make sense? Adam has the pipes to out-sing anyone on that stage. He could have sat on a stool and sang any Frankie/Dean/Sammy classic without fanfare and still blown everyone else away. Instead, he trusses up "Feeling Good" with so many inflections and octave changes that he made me dizzy. I was not impressed. And I was confused by all the praise lavished on him. It pains me to say this but....I agree with Randy! Ugggh.

Oh, and in reference to MidwestTransplant's theory that Simon was trying to help Allison by predicting her demise: I do believe Simon has utilized this tactic before but I don't think that was his goal last night. I think he wants her out of the competition. Simon obviously recognizes she can sing but he constantly harps on her lack of swagger and stage presence. I think he wants a more polished performer to win. AI winners have very little time to crank out an album after they win in order to capitalize on popularity and name recognition. It worked wonders for David Cook and they think that Adam (and maybe Danny) are more studio/performance ready than Allison.

Although that theory could be crap. I am just looking for any excuse as to why Simon wouldn't pull for Allison. I heart her! :)

Posted by: AmuseMe | April 29, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Danny Gokey's glasses look very similar to Sarah Palin's?

Posted by: detour1 | April 29, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Since I agree with Simon 90% of the time I can only hope you are right that he using reverse psychology on the viewing public, because it sure seems like he is unjustifiably pumping up Matt, who hit two good notes all night, and going out of his way to bring down Allison, who was terrific from beginning to end. I would really like to see her make it another week or two and say goodbye to Hat the Matt. I still can't figure out why Simon was drooling over him unless it was just to be contrary to everyone else. Simon may be a great talent scout, but Randy and Kara are professional musicians, so when the only consenting opinion belongs to Paula something is wrong.

And, Paula...you go girl. No, I mean it, just go.

This week was, for me, the best Danny has done all season, and should buy him another week...but just one more.

I have liked Kris all along, but this week was, as Randy would say, just ok for me. Must not have the trained ear to hear what Kara was raving about. Still, he was pretty good, but not great...somewhat of a snoozer to open the show.

On the other hand, Adam was his usual show-stopping self. Say what you will about his flamboyance and theatrics, he is a cut above all the rest. He has tremendous range and, as far as I can tell, he hasn't missed a note all year. Even the haters have to admit that he is the one they can't wait to see. Should he be shockingly eliminated, there would not be much incentive to watch the rest of the shows. (remember when Melinda Doolittle was cut and left beat boy and Jordin? yawn. I'll pass.) Especially since this week is rock week. I can't wait.

Posted by: ZiggyZ | April 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Allison needs to go tonight (hopefully). Next week "Matt". Then, my top 3. Kris is just adorable, Adam, very handsome, but way too theatrical, so I really hope Danny goes all the way to the finish line, with or without his glasses, he is a great soulful, sexy singer :o)

Posted by: maris1 | April 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Lisa: Just wondering -- how did you ever get a job as TV columnist for the Washington Post when you have nothing but contempt for everything you watch? Reading your snide comments is beginning to be a drag.

Posted by: declaire | April 29, 2009 10:28 AM

--------------------------------------------
So quit reading them already. Jeesh!

I haven't watched Idol for a couple of months now, but never miss one of Lisa's columns or "my friends" comments.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 29, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree w/ AmuseMe about Adam. The song choice was terrible. Everytime he sings all I hear is Broadway. He will be another recording industry bust, but he could be in the theater tomorrow.

Simon definately has an agenda. I'm just not sure about the reverse psychology angle. His remarks for Matt were laughable.

Posted by: RockDer | April 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

No, AmuseMe, you're not wrong in your observation about Adam. When he goes into what some of us call "screech mode" - it IS nasal. And I think he does that all too often.

It's become one-trick-ponyesque - along with the "special lighting" - which always seems blue - and with the dark hair makes him look a bit Vampirish to me - and it made that white suit positively glow in the dark.

I will say this much, he gets the award for Best Shoes last night. No, I don't mean euphemistic "shoes" - but real actual white ostrich-skin pointy toed boots looking shoes. Personally I thought he trance channeled Freddie Mercury more than any of the Rat Pack last night.

I am also tired of Adam's moue - which is also one-note and seen too often. He thinks it's sexy; I think it's voguing.

But, I guess he's tried sitting on the stool and singing for 10 years now - so, at this Final Hour (or at least my cousin who when to LA to make it as a musician and finally gave up at age 30) - he'll do a very Norma Desmond "Sunset Boulevard" or "Hello, Dolly!" grand entrance on the staircase because he's got everything to win.

Chacun a son gout.

As for me, I vote for Allison, who has nothing to lose, stood there, planted her feet and SANG her cords out - without the benefit of special f/x lighting or other props and embellishments - and did it superbly.

There isn't much of a musical theater left in the Western world, and as for the recording industry (whatever the medium the recording is put upon) - 20 years down the road, my money's on Allison.

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 29, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Adam is the only one who gets the showman prerequisites to being a singing star. That staircase entrance was brilliant, especially coming after singing the line "...and I'm feeling gooood." If he doesn't win, he'll never have to worry about being employed.

I'm sticking to my prediction: Adam and Danny in the final. Adam wins.

Posted by: AmericanIdolHoopla | April 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Reading everyone's comments helped me further realize what fell flat for me on music I was prepared to love: I know all of those songs but could barely recognize them except for Allison's(whom I loved last night), and Kris somewhat. It didn't matter with Adam, because following the lyrics doesn't matter - he is theater and I enjoy it. Also hurting Matt: I think My Funny Valentine is a stupid song, and while perhaps a good song choice for how he likes to style his singing, is not going to win over a huge vote. I'll be shocked if he doesn't go home tonight.

And yes, jqw3827, I hated the hat and am tired of seeing him sporting them. I found it a distraction (again)last night and very cliched. If he was going to wear that style (yes I know it is in, my sons' wear them), he should have gotten the slightly wider brimmed true Sinatra hat, not the teen knock-off perched on his hat making him look like a former accordion player.

Posted by: MarriedMom | April 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Okay, in order:
Kris has become my favorite over the last few weeks. He is by far the best musician of the lot and clearly the best one to really make music rather than copy music. Although he was middle of the pack last night, he has consistently proven that he is the most original and contemporary.

What can I say about Allison other than that MomWannaBe and I are flat out tired of her. Other than last night, she has been a one-trick pony and everything gets thrown into the rocker-chick blender and comes out a la Nancy Wilson or Pat Benetar. I will grant that last night she definitely showed a different side for once, but I am so tired of her that I'm long past ready to go. And judging by her results (three bottom-3 apppearances), a lot of America is bored by her too.

Matt was clearly the weakest last night. He did a good job, but unfortunately, Melinda Doolittle is recent enough that it paled both in comparison to Mindy-Doo and against the other top-5. Well, he lasted an extra week past the judge's save, but he's clearly the weakest singer of the top-5, so it's time.

Danny is just Danny. Love him or hate him, but he's got a following. He'll make top-3...after that it may not be enough.

And Adam. Neither MWB or I are fans. I review theater and we see a lot of theater and frankly, he's good, but nothing special in the theater world. And we find his shrieking and glory notes and very overly theatrical stuff is common broadway review material and we're not as impressed as others. MWB is several weeks passed being ready for him to go, but like Danny, he's got too much of a following. I would not be surprised if he goes out at #3 like Melinda Doolittle did.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Mom! Thanks for my big laugh of the day. "former accordion player" - Myron Floren, by any chance?

I'm really glad I'd already finished my morning coffee when I read that.

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 29, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Re: the column's snarky stance on Idol, its called "We watch so you don't have to" so, I guess we have to expect the negative approach. But I wonder if the Post ever considered how millions of people are being "forced" to watch this show?

IMHO, Kris, Matt, Allison, and Danny gave their most "matured" perfomances showing lessons learned throughout the Idol experience. And then Adam takes the stage and the competition is over. Everyone else is competing w/each other. He clearly owns the show. The show knows it, the network knows it, the audience knows it. The real question is who will be runner-up?
I say Gokey.

Posted by: itsmyparty | April 29, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I wish Adam would instill some of his theatrical knowledge to the other singers.

Last night, we saw four singers stand in front of a microphone and sing. Perhaps to put an emphasis on something, they will pick the mic up and walk around a stage.

When Adam comes on, it's an event. You know he met with the lighting and sound folks, he's making costume, hair and makeup decisions and not just accepting what they give him.

Yes Adam is theatrical, but theatrics is what packs stadiums.

(Does anyone else think of Elvis everytime Adam is on TV?)

Posted by: HaydenJ | April 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Adam is the 21st century version of Wayne Newton.

Posted by: jonathonbinet | April 29, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

But Hayden, what this show promises is not so much a "stadium tour" - but a recording contract.

Elvis? No. Freddie Mercury - yes. Klaus Nomi? Only if he were willing to take greater costuming risks. On that score, I'd say he plays it pretty safe.

But one can always hope for some Glam Rock on "Rock Night". Nomi did "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" . . . .

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 29, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

My favorite line:

Meanwhile, Paula's assistant has accidentally mixed up this week's prepared remarks about Allison's performance with copy he was writing on the side for a perfume ad in Vanity Fair: "an innocent sensibility that was both alluring and very tender."

Posted by: anjacarolin | April 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Adam - YES!!!
Allison - Yes!!
The others - who are they and what did they do? Dunno.

Posted by: ryjus | April 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Allison and Matt won "The Rat Pack" competition because they conveyed at least some of what "The Rat Pack" was/is famous for--respecting the song and enhancing it with your phrasing. Not trills, or yodeling, or staircases, or smoke--singing and phrasing. Unfortunately, those are not what AI is about. Also, don't worry about being too snarky, Pookie--no show in the history of TV has deserved snark like AI!

Posted by: march2 | April 29, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

MarriedMom, that's very cool your Dad played with Dorsey and the Rat Pack. What a career he must have had. And what stories!

I wanted to slap Jamie Foxx when he whispered in an oh-so-reverent tone that Allison was "soooooo INNOCENT" when she sang "Someone to Watch Over Me"...after his recent hardy-har-har piggishly sexist comments about Miley Cyrus. Bad form, Foxx. You schmuck.

Don't get the Allison bashing from Simon. Ridiculous, she was fantastic. Normally not a big Kris fan, but thought his voice was beautiful last night. Matt probably should go. Normally enjoy Adam, but thought his performance last night was a total mess. I think he screwed up at the end and knew it, he looked hang-dawged when waiting for the axe to fall, but they heaped praise instead. Hmmm.

Sorry, but I gotta say...Go, Danny. That man can SANG!

Last night proved they don't write 'em like they used to.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | April 29, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks ILoveToSinga.

Gotta share this Sinatra story. My dad (who grew up in Hoboken NJ with him and others) said that F.S. was one of nicest, classiest people he ever worked with. Sinatra, who was by now a sensation (in early 1950's), personally thanked every single musician in his orchestra. When my dad returned to LA from a long distance trip with FS and the band, all of our families were lined up along a fence waiting to greet our returning fathers (I was about 3). Sinatra came down the line and shook every single person's hand, wives, chilren, etc. My 80 yr. old mother still talks about it, even though she later worked as a secretary for many famous people in entertainment industry. I remember it, because when you are very young, you pick-up on the vibes of the adults around you. I knew it was important, but not why - just remember this man in THE HAT (they all wore them) bending down to shake my hand.

This is why I respect Adam for his expressed gratitude to his musical support. A good musician knows the contribution of every other musician. I think he is very mature in that way. 'Props' to him, as Randy would say.

Posted by: MarriedMom | April 29, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Sometimes I think he has a rigid idea of what a "star persona" is that pushes aside the whole issue of musicality and actual singing."

Owingsmills, I completely agree--Simon hates humble people for some reason. I think that's why he picked on Seacrest so much in the beginning (back when he was still kind of an innocent kid who sincerely felt for the dissed contestants)--he just couldn't believe that a good-looking, successful celeb/semi-celeb could sincerely be a nice/humble person. True, the VAST majority are not, and many ppl who aren't even famous have that ridiculous ego (take Jason Castro's undeservedly smug younger brother, for instance), but you get a genuine person once in a while, and it's sad that Simon not only doesn't give them the benefit of the doubt--he gets upset at them and declaims them as being undeserving of winning "Idol."

Well, his cynicism is nice for a lot of things, but I do really hate that he sabotaged Allison last night--especially after SUCH an amazing performance. I was surprised by his scathing review of Kris too, so owingsmills, thanks for the explanation--that makes a lot more sense now.

The biggest thing, though--I STILL don't get why Simon keeps on pimping Matt! Seriously, were we LISTENING to the same performance?? Simon can't *actually* believe Matt is good-looking (period) enough to be a success based on sex appeal like Timberlake, can he? Because he sure as heck isn't going to get anywhere with that wimpy voice of his--the other four are just singing circles around him! So why is Simon so gung-ho about him? Is Matt his long-lost illegitimate son or something?? @__@

Voted 50x each for Kris and Allison b/c they're vulnerable tonight. I know Adam will be fine, but I sent him a few too. I have faith the Gokey Squad will get their business done--not that I care whether Gokey stays or goes in general, but I must insist that he stays so Matt can go. T__T

Posted by: Kureno | April 29, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I dunno about the Gokey Squad coming through...voted for Danny and got through way too easily. Uh-oh!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | April 29, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I got lots of busy signals voting for Adam. I'm really hoping for a surprise and see Danny go tonight. I haven't liked him since the auditions.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | April 29, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Lisa: Thanks so much for a very funny read. Sometimes your column is just so wickedly funny, and this time you really were in top form.

Posted by: jatale | April 30, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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