At this exact time last year, top 5 week, the American Idol finalists covered standards. For season 9, the field was narrowed down to the Frank Sinatra song book. Mentor Harry Connick Jr. not only helped the contestants polish their performances, but also helped create arrangements of their songs AND helped lead the backing band! He proved to be a truly remarkable mentor as each top 5 finalist put on a class act performance that took us back to the days of old-time jazz. However, which contestants tapped all the way to the top and which ones might’ve sung their last notes?
Aaron Kelly – “Fly Me to the Moon”
Infant Aaron Kelly pleasantly surprised me with a mostly good vocal performance and a fantastic song choice. I felt like he was really in his zone and although I’ve criticized him in the past for being boring and old-fashioned and for singing songs that are so much older than his 10 (Uh, 17) years, being old-fashioned worked this time! One of my absolute favorite performances from the little guy this season.
Casey James – “Blue Skies”
On the other hand, even though Chad Kroeger Casey looked great with his hair tied back, he delivered his worst performance of the season. Monotonous and very awkward. His musical limitations were painfully obvious here. Not to mention he looked like he was wearing a similar outfit that Danny Gokey wore when he performed his infamous rendition of “Dream On” last season. Oh well, maybe that means you might safe tonight, Casey, even though you deserve to go after this one!
Crystal Bowersox – “Summer Rain”
Now the sole female of the group after last week’s departure of Siobhan Magnus, Crystal dazzled in a stunning gown, along with beautiful and subdued vocals to match. The judges didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about it, but I thought it was a very classy and gorgeous performance! A step up from last week’s semi-bore.
Michael Lynche – “The Way You Look Tonight”
Again, the judges and I weren’t on the same page with this one. You all know I got mad love for Big Mike, but I wasn’t feeling this performance at all. Yes, he sings wonderfully and his vocals here were no exception to his ability. But I hated the arrangement and the song choice. He’s had a lot better and I thought this performance was way overrated.
Lee DeWyze – “That’s Life”
My sixth or seventh (I’ve lost count) Idol husband Lee closed out the show and was the crown jewel of the night! Everything about it was stunning and I think he did what was asked of him and more. He proved that he didn’t need a guitar to deliver a great performance – just chops, feeling, and swagger. He just totally owned it! My dad said that his performance reminded him of Michael Buble. Take that as you will. But my love for this man just grew 50 times in size for this man! One of his best for sure. And yes, if he can win, he should.
RANKINGS OF LAST NIGHT’S PERFORMERS
WHO SHOULD GO HOME: Casey
WHO WILL GO HOME: Aaron. The one time I would rather not have him go.