Ah . . . at last we’re down to five. Now we have plenty of time to hear all four judges ramble on. We don’t even have to rush to try to get a performance in before the first commercial break. And the surprise Rat-Pack-era judge? Jamie Foxx. And if you think about it*, it makes sense. Still, Mr. Foxx seemed to do a pretty good job, judging by the results.
*If by “think about it” you mean not even a little.
Kris is still doing his “you’re so in love with me, right?” thing. And he’s right. Oh, he’s ever so dreamy. His take on “The Way You Look Tonight” was tactically brilliant. There he was, eyes wet with cool, crooning in all his Bublé-esque please-punch-me glory. He doesn’t have the range of the other singers, but he’s got a pretty sweet niche carved out . . . the screaming, hormone-crazed girl niche. He’s also got a good voice, an increasingly expert grasp of reverb exploitation, and a nice touch. I’ll admit it, the guy knows his way around a song.
He’s staying. Darn it all.
I’ve always been a big fan of Allison’s, and I’m so glad she made it this far. I still think she’ll stick around one more week, but her time is coming. In some seasons (especially next season . . . I’ve seen the future, and they’re terrible in AI 9) I think Allison would have had a good shot of sticking around until the finals, but not this time. She looked great (warning, criticism approaching) and she sounded great (okay, here it comes) but her phrasing was off. It was like every measure was a separate performance . . . or that she learned the whole song phonetically. But I still love her.
Insert corny “Someone to Watch Over Me” joke here.
“My Funny Valentine,” huh? You studied jazz in college. You know what I studied in college? Psychology. I took a whole class. In summer school. And I got an A. So let me give you a little evaluation: you got a jacked-up brain hiding out under that jauntily cocked little cap, son. I’m glad Simon liked the performance, but in the words of Will Smith, “Aw HAIL no.” It’s not that it was bad, but . . . “I like jazz” is not the right motivation when you’re in the top 5 of American Idol. The vocals were alright, especially after you got past the initial “I want to start slow and boring to make the end sound better” stage, but . . . no. That’s not a vote getter. If this were Jazz Idol, maybe you would be advancing (but I definitely wouldn’t be watching). I don’t know why I’m writing this review as if you’re reading this, Matt, it’s really nothing personal.
There’s a reason behind the pictures I choose, you know?
Danny, welcome back! His “Come Rain or Come Shine” was sunny, money, and dipped in honey. Seriously, after a few weeks of sleepwalking through safe and boring performances, finally Danny turned it on. I don’t know if he should have said he could see the finish line (a bit cocky) or smiled so dreamily into all the judges’ faces (a bit creepy), but the singing was on. He started quiet but strong and then exploded into the final riffs of soulful improv that Taylor Hicks could only dream of. Nice job.
The only question is if Danny or Kris will visit the bottom three.
This guy is such a showman, it’s hysterical. I mean, he has choreographed every note, wardrobe decision, and facial expression right down to the calculation of the shadows cast by his cockatoo coif. He’s obviously through to the next round and probably more talented than anyone this show’s ever seen. But will he get the votes in the final weeks . . . probably. Enough people don’t like him that it could get interesting later on. He’s pretty much the AI Obama.
I’m only typing something in bold because I decided at this point I should make predictions on everyone.