Last night, the Idols sang the songs of Frank Sinatra after being coached by Harry Connick, Jr. I give this show a lot of crap, but I really must applaud them when, at times like this, they go above and beyond to keep the contestants relevant and contemporary. This is American Idol. “Sometimes life isn’t about NEED, Barry. It’s about WANT.”
Group Sing. The Idol boys are dressed like the Rat Pack. Big Mike, in fact, is dressed as two Rat Packers at once. They lip sync to “The Lady is a Tramp,” and, on cue, Crystal makes her grand entrance, all smiles, because the implication of being the tramp in question is so flippin’ awesome. Having said that, what the deal with this song? “She likes the theater/but doesn’t come late.” The lady is a whore because she shows up promptly for Mamma Mia? Crystal is dressed like Kelly Clarkson dressed like a man. Aaron gets the ball rolling on the ever-cheery “When I Was 17” because he is, literally. You’d think I’d enjoy this song because, like “Run Joey Run,” it pretty much ends in death, but it depresses me to no end. Casey James lip syncs “I’ve Got the World on a String” for his fucking life. His face is moving so much, I half-expect it to detach from his body and run up the center aisle, biting people’s ankles. More Auto-Tune-ish pre-recorded sounds as the Idols sing more Songs of the Dead.
Ford Ad. “1, 2, 3, 4.” Dweezil exits a barber shop and spots the lovely Crystal sitting in an outdoor cafe. “Who is this dreadlocked Madonna?” he wonders. “I must approach her greatness immediately.” Dweezil almost slams into Big Mike, who is walking two dogs that look like pigs. (And it doesn’t matter, because he’ll probably eat them, anyway.) Then he practically knocks over a bike-riding, ultra-gay-looking, pashmina-wearing Aaron, and a table-waiting Casey. Chaos at every turn. But the twist? Dweezil doesn’t give a rip about Crystal. He wants to fuck the Ford vehicle parked behind her! Denied, Bowersox. Denied!
Dweezil sang “That’s Life” and everybody loved it, especially the grannies and grampies. He’s safe and made to sit away from the others, lest they contaminate him with their untalentedness.
Performance. Lady Gaga dressed like a funeral for a black widow spider, sings her latest single “Alejandro,” which is probably my least favorite Gaga song ever. Then again, I don’t like “La Isla Bonita,” either, so that probably says more about me than the songs in question. Half-naked male dancers. Gaga in head-to-toe fishnets. Janky choreography. For all of this, we can thank Elvis’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. That got us this. Respect.
A blooper reel reveals that Harry Connick, Jr. might actually be as funny as all the Idols claimed. “I think Big Mike is an asshole,” he bleeps. “The whole, ‘I have a baby’ thing. Mike, just drop it. For real.” Also: “The word ‘pitchy’ does not exist, judges…he’s singing ‘out of tune,’ that’s how we say it.” Hmm. Maybe Grace Adler made the right choice after all.
Performance. Harry Connick, Jr. sings the Beatles “And I Love Her” like it just broke up with him and he’s very sad about it. Then the Idols come out to sing some of his songs. Harry Connick, Jr. has songs? Of his own? Curious. This alleged performance entails more lip syncing, more of Casey mugging for the camera, more of Big Mike being gross, and more of Dweezil looking hot in his tux. Hey, with Tim Urban gone, the flotsam rises to the top.
Crystal sang “Summer Wind,” which was boring and she better watch out because this is what happened to Tamyra Gray and Daughtry. Crystal, go stand on the left.
Big Mike sang “The Way You Looked Tonight,” and while the genre suited him, he was irritating to the masses. The masses being me. Big Mike, go stand on the right.
Aaron sang “Fly Me to the Moon” like he auditioned for a high school musical of High School Musical, but was only good enough to get the part of that slacker kid who plays the cello (“No dude, it’s like a giant violin!”). Aaron, go stand on the right.
Casey sang “Blue Skies” because he’s high as a kite. I mean singing makes him feel high as a kite. I mean allegedly. Casey, go stand on the left.
Crystal and Casey. Big Mike and Aaron. Only one pair is safe. Are we gonna have picky-choosies?! Will Dweezil have to decide who’s the top and who’s the bottom? (And is that something Dweezil has pondered before, under other circumstances?) Ryan throws it to him, but Dweezil declines. Just as well. For the past few years, the odd man out usually just sits on the floor between the two groups, while the audience howls like apes.
Crystal and Casey are safe. I think they both got lucky this week.
Big Mike and Aaron are the Bottom Two. And then Aaron is just the bottom. He’ll learn more about that in a few years (and unlike Dweezil, I have no doubts there). Goodbye, Baby Yoda. You will always be America’s little brother — until next season comes and we’ve forgotten about you completely.
Next week, Jamie Foxx (again?!) and songs from the movies. Aw, shit. Casey’s gonna sing the Armageddon song, isn’t he?