Harry Connick Jr is mentoring the contestants. Although I couldn't name any original song of his, I know his voice is very Frank Sinatra-Big Bandish, so in that way he's probably a pretty perfect mentor. He is also creating the musical arrangements for the contestants. That's very interesting. I am glad they are featuring the mentor a little bit more and seeing how they really can help the contestants.
With only Crystal left in the supposed "season of the woman", we will see if she is able to rebound from last week, if Aaron can continue being less annoying and if Michael & Casey are able to stay out of the Bottom 2. They really can't hide behind Paige Miles or Katie Stevens anymore, they have to either put up or they go bye bye.
Although American Idol would love to waste as much time as possible, I say:
How Did The Contestants Do?
Aaron(Fly Me To The Moon): Connick Jr is really involved, he is even playing piano for Aaron. But unfortunately it can't hide Aaron's crackly voice. There's just nothing there, he can't sustain a note for more than a half second. On a good note, his hair looks better than it has the past several months. Randy and Ellen feel that Aaron has beautiful vocals. Kara isn't as enthused, thankfully. I don't really get what Randy and Ellen are thinking or hearing. Simon calls Aaron a mouse, but says that he has a likability factor. We are getting to the Top 4, should we keep someone who is likable but not particularly that great vocally? That seems to be the way it is going. I hope not, he should have been gone weeks ago. Grade=C
Casey(Blue Skies) Connick is super into being a mentor. I love it. He is also very funny. Casey doesn't have a guitar which is a nice change. Given he's been Bottom 2, for 2 weeks straight it makes sense to change it up. Plus with Frank Sinatra/Big Band it's tough to have an electric guitar. Unfortunately, Casey is no Big Band singer. He is just brutalizing the song. He is trying to do an impression of Harry Connick doing an impression of Frank Sinatra. Really really rough. That was a long minute and a half for me. Randy calls it Casey's worst performance, and I agree 100%. Even Ellen didn't like it, so it must be bad. Kara I think called his voice like a lamb. Simon said he at least can make his band's gig next week at home. Casey definitely didn't do himself justice, he is definitely in shape to be back in the Bottom 2, possibly going home. Grade=D+
Crystal(Summer Wind): Harry likes Crystal because she is singing about something personal, even though she doesn't say what. He doesn't even give her advice because she knows what to do. She sounds a little light in the beginning, like she's a little nervous, but picks it up towards the middle and her voice gets stronger. Kara and Ellen like the performance. Simon doesn't call it her best performance and it isn't, but it's still solid. Simon tells Crystal to start to step it up and take advantage of the stage and chance. Crystal says that she is and she wants to stay within herself and doesn't want to change because it's American Idol. I agree with both her and the judges, don't change who you are but show you want to win. Sometimes Crystal doesn't really seem like she cares either way. Still, this show needs her to win, and there's really no reason for her not to win, given Casey's dreadful performance. Grade=B
Michael(The Way You Look Tonight): He just looks and seems comfortable onstage. More than any of the past contestants who went tonight. He sounds really nice, works with the music beautifully and didn't try to do too much with it. Randy says that Michael is in it to win it. I don't think he is winning anything, but he definitely had a nice performance. The judges also love how comfortable Mike looked. Simon believes that Michael was the best performance of the night and I actually have to agree. Grade=B+
Lee(That's Life): Lee just looks like a Big Band singer. He fits right in with Harry Connick Jr, who plays the organ(which is awesome). Lee fits the part of the song perfectly. Although he went off key a little bit, Lee did a really nice job. Ellen says that if this was the last night of performances he would have won the whole thing. Kara says that Lee can win this whole thing. Simon loves that Lee gave it 110% and called it the best performance of the night, which probably pissed Michael Lynche off because Simon had just said that about him. But honestly, Lee did a great job, especially since Crystal the other front runner has had a couple of subdued weeks. If Crystal continues not pushing herself to her limits then Lee can accidentally win this thing. Grade=A-
How Was The Show?: Gotta love Harry Connick Jr. I love that he was so involved in the process and was even on stage during the performances. I wish every mentor was so involved and not just there to promote an album or song. Overall the performances were a mixed bag. When Michael has one of the best performances then you know it's probably an off night. No matter who leaves tomorrow this will almost undoubtedly be the weakest Top 4 in American Idol's nine seasons.
Who Should Go Home?: Casey. He has been Bottom 3 or 2 for the past several weeks and even mentor Harry Connick feels that Casey just didn't have it during the live performance.