I love Harry Connick Jr., so I can’t wait to see how he does as a mentor tonight for the remaining five American Idols. But the bigger question is what the Idols will do to Frank Sinatra’s song catalog. Will they make it R&B, gospel, and rock, or will they sing them as written? I think it could be a very interesting night.
And Hanibal Lechter and Meathead are in the building!
Harry says Frank Sinatra was the pinnacle at interpreting songs. This is about singing great songs that Frank Sinatra interpreted one way, and these kids on Idol can interpret another way. When Harry met with the Idols he expressed interest in writing arrangements for them, as he thought it would be really cool to have something in connection with them. What’s he’s trying to do is feature the contestants by writing a supportive arrangement. He notes he should be out laying by the pool and wonders if Shania Twain was writing arrangements when she mentored.
Harry even gets to walk down Adam’s steps tonight. His band is here tonight to play behind the Idols as well, and Harry will be featured on keyboards. He talks about how humble the Idols were when he worked with them. The important thing for them is to be singing the words and to keep remembering that, which is the same thing all of the mentors have been saying this season.
We also meet Nancy and Tina Sinatra who have a gift for Simon Cowell. They give him one of their dad’s hankies that’s monogrammed FAS. He seems literally honored and shocked and gives them a kiss and accepts the gift.
Harry meets up with Aaron Kelly first who notes Harry was cracking jokes as soon as he walked into the room, making his worries subside. Harry gives a great music lesson to Aaron who’s singing Fly Me to the Moon. Harry likes Aaron as he has such a sweet voice. He asks Aaron on the way out how he liked singing with the trio, and he replies it was fun. Harry tells him it’s more than fun, as it’s his life. Tonight Aaron sings, and there’s no doubt he rocks this genre. He’s the teenage crooner. It’s not really exciting, yet it’s done well.
Randy Jackson tells Aaron one of the things he’s looking for is who’s in it to win it, and Frank is one of the best singers in the world. He was so worried about Aaron, because he’s so young, but he did a really nice job. Ellen DeGeneres jokes the piano was a little pitchy. She was also really worried about Aaron, yet she couldn’t hear any country in his performance, and felt he really pulled it off with beautiful vocals. Kara DioGuardi thought it was good, but that it wasn’t as strong as last week, feeling he came into his own last week. She wants him to learn a little bit more charisma, to fill up the stage a little more. Frank was only about as tall as him, but still filled up the stage. It’s not a negative, but constructive criticism.
Simon is more with Kara on this, as he holds on to the hankie, saying he’ll treasure it always. He says he adores Frank, as he was the king of cool, with swagger and believability. If Frank was a lion, Aaron was just a mouse, lacking conviction. He thought the vocals towards the end were a bit corny, but the one thing about Aaron is that people like him after he performs, and that’s because he does try hard.
Harry gives last minute instruction to Casey James who is sitting and ready for stool chat with Ryan. Ryan mentions we not only almost lost Casey to the vote last week, but also because of one of his friends. He nots one of his friends called up saying they needed him on Tuesday for a gig that would pay $50 and a meal. He told him he was busy on Tuesday, but the firned didn’t know as he doesn’t watch TV. Ryan kind of wonders why he didn’t take him up on it for the free food.
When Casey meets with Harry, he admits he’s been a Harry fan all his life. As Harry plays the intro and Casey is waiting to jump in, Harry asks if he’s waiting for the bus. They have a lot of fun together, but Harry still sees Casey isn’t about singing the lyrics, but more about showing the bluesy vibe. He thinks America will like hearing Casey sing with a big band. Tonight Casey sings Blue Skies, and for the first time, doesn’t have a guitar with him. I’m not liking this too much at all. This just isn’t a good vibe for him at all when he tries to belt it. I have to admit I’m kind of wishing we could have heard Siobhan Magnus tonight.
Randy tells Casey this was his worst performance. It was pitchy all the way until maybe the last note. When the orchestra sounds out of tune, you know you’re in trouble. Although he recognizes Casey was out of his element, Randy knew it was going to be a tough one as it’s about intricate melodies and singing with the band, and it just didn’t work. Ellen doesn’t know whose idea it was, but she thought it was a bad idea to have the piano onstage. She’s obviously having fun with her friend Harry. Like Simon was just saying to Aaron, the whole thing is about being smooth and having swagger, and this sounded very stiff to her. It didn’t feel effortless.