Wednesday, May 19, 2010

AMERICAN IDOL REVIEW - The "Mentor Who Mentors" Episode

Okay, so I will start out by admitting that I have always had a HUGE crush on Harry Connick Jr. Ever since he did the soundtrack for one of my favorite movies ever, "When Harry Met Sally" back in my high school days, he has been the cutest, most talented, funniest, dorkiest, cutest (I know, I already said that) man alive. Oh, and his voice ...its like buttah. Plus it doesnt hurt that he plays piano AND has amazing comic timing. So when I heard that he would be the guest mentor on this weeks episode, I immediately got excited. I also had high expectations for what he would do, and he did not disappoint.

Not only did Connick mentor the contestants by giving them sound advice and great musical suggestions, he also composed and arranged ALL of the songs to fit each Idol singers personality, and then played piano as backup in the live show along with several members of his big band. The results were incredible. Musically, this was one of my favorite episodes of Idol ever. It was such a blast watching Connick work and seeing his passion up there on the stage. He also managed to make me like the performances of almost every contestant - despite the fact that I dont like every contestant. Best of all, Connick actually made a dent with his mentoring abilities. Unlike past mentors such as Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, who both pretty much said the same thing over and over again to every single person; ("you need to really FEEL the song"), Harry seemed to actually know that Lee needs different direction than Mike; and so on and so on..........

Let us begin. Seacrest once again comes down the stairs to that dramatic Idol theme song. And despite all my many prayers for him to please fall down that staircase, it still hasnt happened. This week, when he got to the bottom of those steps, he looked at Harry, who then announced Ryan's line "THIS AMERICAN IDOL!" You could tell that Seacrest died a little bit inside.

Then - dramatic music - and then, Seacrest came down the stairs again, for a second time. What the f**k? What did he do, run back up to the top just so he could walk down AGAIN and this time have ALL eyes on him and only him? Such a camera whore.

At this point, we were introduced to the judges, and to the buttoned-down shirt of Simon, whose hairy chest was prominantly featured. Also featured were the songs of Frank Sinatra, and sitting in the audience was Sinatra's two creepy-esque odd-looking daughters, who unexplainably presented Simon with one of Frank's initialed handkerchiefs. Great. The snot-rag of a dead legend. Just what he's always wanted Im sure.

Then came the performances--

THE CHILD: Fly Me to The Moon.

The Child was once again up first, so that he could still make it to bed nice and early while his mommy reads him a bedtime story. You know, the mommy he creepily sang about last week with a romantic tune. Everything on this kid is gigantic. His ears are huge. His fingers. His eyebrows. Even the microphone looks like one of those big toy microphones that you give to kids or that you hold while singing kareoke. He looked bizarre in his suit/vest combo. Once again, he appeared as some tiny kid who was playing dress up on a pretend show and singing a pretend song with lyrics that he knows nothing about and has never experienced. He sounded really okay ... good actually ... but I just cannot get over his childlike appearance and demeanor. With each lyric he sang, and everytime he crooned "anotherwords, I love you...." I justkept picturing him saying those words to his mommy as she tucked him into bed at night and turned on his Snoopy nightlight. But hey, what do I know? The judges seem to enjoy him, and the stupid little girls seem to LOVE the kid. At this point, my FEAR is that he will be in the (gasp) Final Two. Let's just not talk about it and pretend it's not happening.

CASEY: Blue Skies.

Oh Casey. Dear, sweet Casey. Cute Casey in your adorable purple shirt and your newish beardlike-beard growing in. I am so sorry to report that I truly think youll be going home tonight. You just looked so very awkward up there, like someone threw you onto the stage and demanded that you sing Sinatra or die. "SING IT KID! OR I MURDER YOUR FAMILY!" I actually felt kind of bad for him when the judges all told him how badly he sucked it one by one. I hate to see him go, but Its happening, I know it. Poor Casey. I still think youre cute, but after Harry Connick, youre nothing to me now. NOTHING!!!!!

Awkward Seacrest Moment: In between acts, the "out to prove that I know everyone in Hollywood" Seacrest introduced Anthony Hopkins, who was sitting in the audience. Hopkins looked like he wanted to eat his face off, Hanibal Lector style. I wish he would have.

CRYSTAL: Summer Wind.

The judges werent overly excited about this performance, but I strongly disagree. I think Crystal's version of this song was gorgeous, and most of all, passionate and emotional. It was obvious the song meant something to her, and she delivered it with such interesting and beautiful phrasing. She also looked like she stepped right out of that era, which I find amazing. The woman can sing anything you throw at her. I loved it.

MIKE: The Way You Look Tonight.

Simply put, I love his voice. Its so pure and soft and powerful and bluesy and soulful, all at once.
I thougth he was truly in his element here, and looked like he totally belonged up there. And Harrys arrangement was fantastic. Im still hoping and praying for my dream Crystal/Mike Finale.

"What the F**k" Moment: Who the hell was that random guy RUNNING away and out of stageview when they came back from commercial? Its like something sinister was going on during break, and then he quickly ran off so noone would notice.

LEE: That's Life.

Well, just when I was all set to hate him again, he goes and gives a pretty kickass performance. I cant make up my mind about this dude. One week he sounds like a cheese grater is stuck in his throat, and the next he is damn good. He doesnt have my favorite kind of voice, I think thats what it comes down to. So sometimes he sounds like crap to me, and other times, when the songs right, he sounds good on it. In this episode, with this great arrangement, he sounded good. Really good. But I still felt like he was stoned and drunk - I felt like I was at a wedding and some drunk weird guy got up and grabbed the mic and started randomly singing. Yet, somehow, it worked.

So, to sum up: Seacrest still sucks. Simon is hairy. Kara still looks like a Muppet. Ellen is an elf. Randy is pointless. Casey is going home. Nothing incredibly funny happened on this episode. The Child might win it all, and then I shall cry.

Your thoughts?

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