Sanjaya Malakar and Tony Bennett meet, both claiming to be big fans of the other. What Tony likes is that Sanjaya shows up and comes up with something every week to make it interesting. Sanjaya is singing Cheek to Cheek, and has a goal to make America see that he actually can sing. You have to give it up for the guy for that. He knows people are making fun of him left and right, going on hunger strikes, whatever, and he’s hanging in there wanting to prove himself. Tony thinks he has a sense of humor and sings really well. He likes that he dares to be different. Sanjaya steps out tonight in a white suit with slicked-back hair, and has more confidence then I’ve ever seen on him. He walks the stage, the catwalk, and even fits in a dance with Paula. And, he doesn’t sound half bad.
Randy says he can’t even comment on Sanjaya’s vocals anymore, but notes he’s turned into a great entertainer with different hairdos and dancing with Paula. He’s an entertainer. Paula agrees with that, and says she gets why people love him. He’s charming. His vocals were a little off at the beginning, but she understands what Tony was saying about the charm about Sanjaya. She felt he was getting a little Dancing With the Stars, but she does thank him for the dance. Simon tries a different tactic this week, and calls Sanjaya incredible. Sanjaya returns the favor, and welcomes Simon to the “Universe of Sanjaya.” Ryan deadpans that Sanjaya does a good job of staying under the radar. And, somewhere out in the audience, there’s a sign that reads, “Sanjaya Is My Papaya.”
Haley Scarnato joins Ryan onstage for another viewer question asking if she’s more nervous before singing to a crowd or waiting to hear the judges critiques. She is definitely nervous before singing to a crowd, and gets the jitters and is antsy, but waiting to hear what Simon has to say is insane. You never know what mood he’s in or what he’s going to say, but getting a great compliment from him means the world. Is she buttering him up?
Ain’t Misbehavin’ is Haley’s song choice, and she picked it because it’s a fun song. Listening to her sing it with Tony, she reminds me of Ginger on Gilligan’s Island “Boop Boop Be Do!” Tony tries to explain here that there’s only one person the subject of the song is in love with, so she can’t do “you and you and you.” She should only be singing to one person, and if she does, Tony thinks it will be a better performance. Tonight, Haley’s still going the sexy route, in a short tight dress with scarf and heels. It’s also very karaoke. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with her pulling out the sex kitten card every week. I learned in high school I got guys’ attention by wearing short skirts beause of my long legs, but if you want to be known for something else, like a singer, you can’t pull that card out every week. It’s like she’s acknowledging she has nothing going for her but that.
Randy says he thought it might be a good week for Haley, and says it fits in her “wheel house” of songs of what she can do. He passes it off to Paula quickly, as she asks if she mentioned green is a good color her Haley. She passes it off to Simon, and he says it’s rude of them to not say what they think of her performance. Paula retorts Haley wants to know what he thinks. Simon looks straight at Haley and says, “I think you’ve got great legs.” Again, if you don’t want to be known for having great legs, don’t put them in someone’s face every week. Forced to speak of her performance, Simon calls it a little bit pageant-y.
Singing Stormy Weather, Lakisha Jones hears from Tony that she is very good, however, he thinks her tag at the end, Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone, doesn’t belong there. He feels she should just hit the big note and hold onto it, just the way the song is written. As she comes out tonight to sing, everything is subdued, from her look in a flattering long dress to the beginning of the song. Once again, Lakisha is masterful in her control of her voice, and finishes the way Tony advised her not to. Personally, I like it there.
Randy says he loved it, and that it was a perfect song for him. He thinks she started a little rough being pitchy at the front, but she saved it all for the middle and end, because “that was da bomb, Baby!” As they’re running out of time, Paula quickly adds that this is the most gorgeous Lakisha has ever looked and says she sounded beautiful, proving we all love Tony Bennett, as he did an amazing job with all of them. I don’t know about that; they all seemed to ignore his advice. And I think the only one that shouldn’t have ignored it was Haley. Simon tells Lakisha she is back on form with a sassy, great performance.
Many of the Idols did well this week, although I’m just not sure credit can be given to Tony Bennett. He seemed to want everyone to fit in a box, just as he would have sung it. And Lakisha isn’t going to sing like Tony, and certainly Blake isn’t either. All of these performers know they have to bring something unique and interesting to their performances each week, otherwise the judges will call them on it. Chris, Lakisha, and Melinda seemed to do the best with that this week. I’m guessing the bottom three will be Phil because of the disconnect that Randy pointed out, Sanjaya, and Haley.
Thoughts about Idol you need to get off your chest? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com