As theme nights go, Frank Sinatra night was a double dose of boring and geriatric. Way to stay current, Idol! Yes, it was also a classic and safe night that was enhanced by Harry Connick Jr.'s presence somewhat but it also introduced a new level of shameless guest pimping on Idol that felt ridiculous and at times embarrassing. Idol is getting rid of another one tonight, bringing us that much closer to the end of the most tedious season ever. Oh, and Lady Gaga is here to perform. Read on.
Even after all these years, Seacrest insists on his This.Is.American.Idol drama intro even though it has long become annoying and stale. Although, I guess, it fits in a way since the show itself is as annoying and stale as only an 9 season old show can be when it has no highs left to climb. The night's obligatory group routine is first up and this one is a Sinatra medley with the Idols predictably dressed in black suits with white shirts. Crystal, the only girl left, is wearing tails and a fedora and sounds breathless, Casey is trying to make sexy eyes at the camera and looks ridiculous while the others are just there. Fast forward.
In the Leed
In an uncharacteristic move, Ryan gets right down to business after the first commercial break. We find out that next week is Movie Week and Jamie Foxx is mentoring the final four and then it's sponsor-ass-kissing time again with another cheesetastic Ford commercial video staring another Ford car. I have often wondered why they just make these commercials week after week but never actually run them on TV more than once to try to, you know, actually sell something. Although, I must say that seeing Crystal trying to act as if she doesn't think that this is all ridiculously beneath her is a weekly source of cheap amusement for me. There have been so few high points this season that I'll take any low I can get and call it a show.
Did you know that the Idols used to do normal stuff before Idol? Incredible, I know. But now, they're on to new stuff such as Tuesdays filled with performance related busy times, complete with fake critiques from fake judges during rehearsal, as opposed to Tuesdays filled with normal people stuff. Among other things, Lee used to mix paint and Michael used to help his clients work out. Fascinating.
Lee is up for his verdict first and Ryan takes him to the center of the stage and after a little delay during which Lee babbles on about his feelings and some time-wasting comments from the judges, he is declared safe and dispatched to sit on a stool. See, that took about one minute longer that it had to take but at least it was genuine show business. Can't really say the same about the rest of the show.
There hasn't been much excitement on Idol since Adam Lambert landed on the show with his stratosphere scraping vocals and smoke filled white laser volcano but none other than Lady Gaga is here today to liven up the proceedings. I usually love Lady Gaga and her bombastic performance art slash fashion statement pop-with-substance extravaganzas but this mash-up of Bad Romance and Alejandro – pretaped days ago – is somehow not hitting the right mark this time. There's the usual expected unexpected visually arresting setup, everything from a giant flaming and bleeding angel statue, twigs and branches on Gaga's piano, an entire tree, half naked boy-on-boy dancers, smoke, lights to Gaga's Victorian black-widow -meets -Vegas-stripper outfit. However, her vocals are not quite up to par which is disappointing since she is at least partly lipsynching and can definitely sing and sing very well. But aside from the vocals, the performance is just oddly disjointed not to mention that Idol makes a concerted effort to gloss over the boy-on-boy Tango dancing bits which is as ridiculous a move as is pathetic.
All Harried out
For some unnamed reason, Idol decided on a super extra fancy extended pimp package of Harry Connick Jr.'s time on the show so we get yet another montage of how things went down between him and the Idols. He is at times funny and supremely annoying and overly impressed with himself which makes me want to smack him especially since his suck-up segment is followed by Harry himself performing “And I Love Her” - a Beatles cover, natch – from his new album. Is Harry the male Susan Boyle now? Twenty seconds into watching Harry giving his all and struggling with the lower end of his range while attempting to make creepy, seductive eyes at the camera I've about had enough of him to last me a lifetime. And then there's that absolutely ridiculous moshpit action at the bottom of the screen for a boring jazz cover performance of a 50 year old song. Not to mention Harry taking over as emcee and then playing the piano while the final five do a group sing medley of his own songs. And just when I think it's over Ryan prompts Harry to launch into an extended story about how he met Frank Sinatra that one time followed by more pimpage of Harry's Broadway show. If I owned any of Harry's CDs right now, they would be flying right into the next garbage bin.
Fly him to the moon
After the official Harry suck-up session that lasted nearly 15 minutes and a commercial to cleanse the brain, Ryan is back with some more results. He dispatches Crystal and Casey to the far side of the stage and Michael and Aaron to the near side. It quickly becomes apparent which is the bottom group but in a characteristic show of cruelty Ryan wants to know which group would Lee join if he had to pick. Lee safely refuses to do any choosing and unsurprisingly, Crystal and Casey are safe. This leaves Michael and Aaron in the bottom two. I'm sure I don't even have to tell you who got eliminated. Aaron does a good job of singing himself out with Harry on the piano again. Can't somebody get rid of him already? But at least Aaron is leaving on a high note which is more than some previous outvoted contestants can say.
Now that we're down to the last four, the competition should be heating up although in this season's case that “heating up” would amount to getting just above freezing temperatures. That's how hot this show is right now.
Looks like Lady Gaga's performance was indeed edited and chopped up by Idol. I guess they had to make room for more Harry pimpage.