Welcome to Vegas!. Light up enough cigarettes to smoke up the room and make some martinis because American Idol is presenting the songs of The Rat Pack. American Idol Season 8 performers will be singing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin. This was a time of great exuberance and confidence in America. See in my Rat Pack Songs Review that I think this could be a difficult night on American Idol because these songs really represent an innocence and bravado that was permanently broken in the 60′s and 70′s. We just don’t see the world in the same way anymore.
If you read my Top 5 Power Rankings you know that I believe we are now down to the real American Idol contenders. I have Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta on top but this is a difficult task for them tonight. Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud and Adam Lambert seem to be better suited to Rat Pack songs, but this has been a surprising group. What we do know is that this is probably the best assemblage of singing talent of any American Idol Top 5 and these are great big “singer’s songs”.
Last minute update! American Idol announced that the performers would only sing one song each tonight and the rumor is that Jamie Foxx is the mentor. Let’s see!
They are all in suits, except Allison, of course. This is a stage of sharp dressed men.
Voting tip. There will be two phone numbers for each contestant so it will be easier to get through tonight. I love this music!
Jamie Foxx surprised the Idols. They didn’t know he was going t be the mentor. Who would have imagined? Are there no singers releasing CDs this year? He tells them these songs are not just songs they are a lifestyle.
Kris Allen is up first and he looks good in a suit. Kris is singing “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Jamie Foxx told him that he wanted to do a record with him. This is a slow ballad, boy he controls a song. What a nice quiet opening half and then it picks up, he throws some falsetto in and then ends it slowly again. He didn’t need the middle part but it was a very good performance.
Randy is looking for who is in it to win and Randy thinks it is his best performance of the season. Kara says Kris has set the technical standard very high. The judges love everything about this performance, except Simon of course. He did not think it was incredible and said he did not think Kris could win. I disagree.
Allison Iraheta is 17 as of yesterday. She rehearsed, but her family threw her a surprise party. She is singing “Someone to Watch Over Me” by George Gershwin (sung by Frank Sinatra). This song is not suited to her husky voice. This looks difficult for Allison. She looks like she wants to belt but is holding back. Very nice ending. That was fine singing but uninspiring.
Randy can’t get the audience to shut-up. He Loves it! Kara calls it a gut wrenching rendition and this performance should land her in the finals. Paula likes her tenderness and innocence. It seems Simon is trying to eliminate the ones he did not predict would win. It is like Randy and Simon are watching a different show. Kara calls him crazy.
Matt Giraud is singing the 1930′s showtune “My Funny Valentine”, a Rogers and Hammerstein song performed by everyone including Frank Sinatra. Matt like hats. he gets the award for wearing the most hats in American Idol Season 8. Matt feels that this theme is in his wheel house. He studied jazz in college. I like Jamie Foxx as a mentor. I thought Matt would play the piano but he is out on a tune. This has some real jazz phrasing to it. Very original. The performance is a little jarring but very, very good. Nice job Matt.
Randy thinks he was a little pitchy in trying to sing one of the hardest songs of the night. Kara thinks he was not emotinally connected. Paula thinks it was impressive. Simon disagrees with Randy again. He says it was the only authentic performance of the night and thinks it was brilliant.
Danny Gokey is up next and it was his birthday this week too. He turned 28 on April 24th. Danny is singing “Come Rain or Come Shine”, recorded by everyone who has ever sung a song, with a bluesy arrangement. Jamie Foxx got so close that he knew Danny’s breath was fresh. He starts slow and quiet and the orchestra seems to be overwhelming his singing. He really kicks in the ending with a growling, pleading throwdown. The end rocked!
Randy thinks he could record an album of these songs. Kara thinks he brought Rat Pack swagger and thinks the end was the most creative he has been all season. Simon thinks he proved the point tonight, that Danny Gokey is here to win. Simon says outstanding.
Adam Lambert sings last again? How can that be? He is singing “Feeling Good” written by Anthony Newley with a rock edge of course. Dang! That was pretty brilliant. That blew me away. Incredible.
Randy felt it was too dramatic. What? Kara calls him shocking, in a good way. Simon said that Randy calling him theatrical is criticizing a cow for mooing. Simon sings Adam’s praises.
American Idol Season 8′s Top 5 are the best we have ever seen. This was a great show. Every performance was great.
I will be back later tonight to review the performances but I think I will need to pull my dictionary out to find more superlatives.
Pre-order these performances on iTunes, I think you will be happy.