Harry Connick Jr. created the arrangements, brought his own band and was on stage playing piano and conducting as the Top 5 performed the Frank Sinatra songbook Tuesday, which makes him the most hands-on mentor “American Idol” has ever had.
Unlike some of the other mentors, Harry is talented (and handsome!) and a big fan of Sinatra, so he wanted to make sure the kids didn’t fuck it up. And I couldn’t help but hear the late, great Phil Hartman doing his flawless Sinatra on Saturday Night Live – “You don’t scare me. I’ve got chunks of guys like you in my stool!”
The night wasn’t total shit, but it was the equivalent of hitting the snooze button five times. Side note: What the hell was Anthony Hopkins doing in the audience? Is there another “Silence of the Lambs” sequel to promote?
Casey James: Cougar Bait’s vocal on “Blue Skies” was terrible. It sounded like someone was hitting him on the back while he was singing into a fan. He was also obviously lost without his guitar. Casey really should have taken off his shirt or something, because I have a feeling he’s going home.
Crystal Bowersox: Mama Sox was all glammed up in a black gown, and while she started off a bit shaky, she held her own with “Summer Wind.” The judges thought it was sleepy, and Crystal zinged back that she wasn’t going to sing big notes when the song didn’t require it just because she was on “American Idol.” Take that, Screaming Siobhan! Wherever you are.
Mike Lynche: Big Mike was pimped out in a suit and a fedora that was too small for his giant head. Technically, Mike had the best vocal of the evening on “The Way You Look Tonight,” but he’s such a big block of processed cheese that I just can’t get behind his aspiration to be the next Ruben Studdard. Sorry, dawg.
Lee DeWyze: Deweezie did his best Michael Buble impersonation on “That’s Life,” and the judges were practically licking his taint. I have to begrudgingly admit that it was his best performance – possibly ever – on the show. It’s shaping up to be a Lee and Crystal finale.
Who’s going home Wednesday night? It’s between Casey and Aaron, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mama Sox was in the bottom three. Lady Gaga is performing, so set those DVRs and expect her to bring the extra crazy.
Collin Kelley is a poet, Atlanta-based journalist and author of the recently released novel, “Conquering Venus.” Follow him on the Modern Confessional blog at collinkelley.com.