American Idol vs. The Rat Pack: No One Wins.

04/29/2009 3:56 PM |

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I know it’s a bit late in the day for an American Idol recap, but you’ll have to bear with me here, since I’m home sick with something that I now trust is not swine flu, since I’m pretty sure swine flu can’t be cured with the nasal spray my doctor just prescribed. Anyway, I was just going to skip it and pick things up tomorrow, after tonight’s results show, but there’s something I need to tell the show’s producers right away.

Hey, Producers? Please believe me when I tell you that it is not necessary to pander to my mom with an entire evening dedicated to songs of the Rat Pack. Seriously, I promise. She’s going to watch the show every week, twice a week, no matter what. She’s really into it, to the point where she’s not going to abandon it suddenly just because she doesn’t recognize every single song the contestants perform. She likes Ryan a ton; she thinks it’s terribly sad that Danny Gokey’s wife died; and she even likes to see what crazy shit Paula’s going to say each week. And I haven’t spoke to her today, but I’m pretty sure even she would agree that last night’s episode was boring as shit. So next year, please, no Rat Pack episode, ok?

The contestants:

Danny Gokey: I’m about done with this dude. At first I complained that he was exploiting his dead wife, an argument I now feel bad about making, because he’s more or less kept her out of it. My new complaint is that he does the exact same thing to every song — he starts quiet, then gets progressively louder throughout the song. In general, the more he cuts loose, the better he sounds, but during last night’s performance of “Come Rain or Shine,” the dynamic range was so big that he seemed stretched at each extreme. He sounded terrible during the quiet parts, and like an absolute crazy person toward the end, when he was just screaming that really deep, growly scream, which I find hilarious. There’s a sweet spot right there in the middle, and when he hits it, it’s enjoyable. For me, though, his unrefined flair for the dramatic sets him off course far too quickly. Also, he shaved his stubble, but left a really terrible patch of hair on his chin. Not good.

Kris Allen: In honor of the night’s theme, all the dudes wore suits, and some pulled it off better than others. Kris looked like he was going to a family wedding, in a suit that was just a little bit bigger than it needed to be, but his performance of “The Way You Look Tonight” was among the night’s finest, and it’s exactly the kind of sweet, gooey song his fans will eat up. Expect them to come out in droves.

Alison Irahetta: I thought Alison killed it on “Someone to Watch Over Me.” She seemed to understand what the song was about, which is obviously no small feat for these people, and she managed to give an emotional performance without losing control and trying to steer the song too much. The judges mostly agreed with me, but Simon said she could be going home this week, because she doesn’t seem to believe she can win. I think it’s just the opposite, though. She has a keen understanding of what her voice is capable of, and she simply does it, week in and week out; that she doesn’t seem to be overly pleased with herself after every performance is probably more indicative of confidence than anything else.

Matt Giraud: Everyone assumed Matt was gonna do his best Justin Timberlake impersonation tonight, and he was definitely going to, until Jamie Foxx told him to do “My Funny Valentine” in a lower key. He took the advice, and for the most part, it was a mess. His voice sounded shaky and unnatural until the end, when he got to let loose on some higher notes. The problem continues to be that no one—not the judges, not the American public, and certainly not Matt himself—knows what kind of record he’d release if given the chance. JT-style pop? Sensitive guy rock like the Fray? It’s hard to imagine him being around long enough for us to find out.

Adam LambertThere’s basically no reason to write about Adam anymore, since everyone knows he’s going to win, but this was his worst performance of the season by a long shot. He did this embarrassing, rock-tinged version of “Feeling Good” where he let his Broadway aspirations get the best of him. You know, none of the judges have ever really discussed what kind of record they could see this dude making either, come to think of it, and I don’t really have answer.

So that was the whole boring show. Tonight we get to see who goes home, I’m hoping it’s Gokey, but I assume it will be Matt. We shall see.