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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 9, May 4 – Harry Connick Proves to Be Quite the Comedian


Kara notes it took Casey a long time to warm up and feel relaxed, but at least he held some notes, and she’s never heard him do that before, but the bad thing is he kind of sounded like a lamb doing it. Now that’s cruel. Simon notes it’s really uncomfortable. The good news is the band was great, the bad news is Casey wasn’t fantastic, and he thinks he came off a bit embarrassed and a bit uncomfortable. He notes the good news is he has a booking for next week, then says it was a joke. Casey admits to Ryan he was uncomfortable without his guitar, and Harry says he did think Casey sounded better in rehearsal, and in his defense, it is hard to hear up there.

Crystal Bowersox meets with Harry and is singing Summer Wind. She explains she’s singing it for personal reasons. What Harry likes about her interpretation is that he knows she’s singing about something, he just has no idea what it is. She admits to having a deep connection to the song, and he says the more obscure her reference is, the more personal it is to the audience. When he heard her sing it, though, it sounded like her. There’s nothing he can tell her to help her. He still doesn’t know what it means to her, but he still wants to hear it again, and that’s the wondrful part. It’s hard to believe, but this gosepl/folk singer fits in really well with this genre and the big band. She sounds amazing and looks fantastic.

Randy says it was a great arrangement and notes it was a rather subdued performance. He doesn’t know if Crystal did anything different with it. It was okay and a little sleepy for him. Ellen felt at first like she was swallowing every word and was nervous for her, and then she started really singing, and she wanted to see a little more of her loosening up. But if she saw her for the first time, she’d never know Crystal was that other girl too, as she has so many sides.

Kara notes it’s out of Crystal’s element, but she kind of liked it. Crystal interrupts saying it’s not really out of her element. Kara continues, saying she liked her phrasing, as Frank did that well too, and that’s why she kind of liked it. Simon loves the song and doesn’t know if he would have chosen it for her, as it felt a little indulgent. The first half was a little jazzy, and the second half got better. He thinks she’s had two okay weeks, and now it’s about being in it to win it and using the opportunity to nail it week after week. Crystal notes it’s a love song, and that’s why she started it slow, as you wouldn’t sing big to your lover. She doesn’t want to sing a certain way just to be on American Idol; she thinks it still has to be about the music.

Mike Lynche is all dressed up for the occasion, hat and all, and gets stool chat with Ryan. Ryan notes he’s in his element on stage this week, and Mike admits he has a 12-piece band back home, and it was great preparation for him for the entire competition, no matter what genre he was working on. The song he’s doing is contagious, and he knows everyone always dances to it.

Big Mike is singing Way You Look Tonight, which Harry notes is one of his favorite songs. When you have a song that is so sound and wonderful, you don’t have to mess with the melody too much. Harry tells him to think about his girl and how he has to say it with just one sentence, how great she looks. He wants him to find that one moment of truth in the song. No one has been as comfortable tonight as big Mike is right now, that’s for sure. Everyone thought he’d turn this into an R&B thing, but he’s keeping it real, as Randy would say.

Randy notes it was an unbelievable arrangement and an unbelievable vocal. Big Mike is in it to win it, and that’s what he’s been saying. He doesn’t care what song they sing, just sing it and do it well, and that’s what he did. He threw down the gauntlet this week. Ellen tells Mike he seems to be most comfortable up there. He looked and sounded the part, really smooth and a lot of charisma.

Kara tells Big Mike he found the drama in the song and took us up and down and took us on a journey, and above all, he didn’t lose himself in the song, and still did things where she knew it was Big Mike. Simon knows it’s been a tricky night with Harry on the stage, and Sinatras in the audience and singing all his favorite music. He understands the pressure. The first three performances have been okay, and with him it all just changed. What he loved about that was he felt he listened and everyone worked together. As Randy said, it was a terrific arrangement as well.

Lee Dewyze is singing That’s Life, and Harry notes he likes him a lot and that his wife thinks Lee is really cute. After meeting him, though, Harry thinks he looks like a new and improved version of himself. Lee just thinks Harry is full of jokes and down to earth and cool. He’s more than willing to help. He instructs him to give a half an hour to the word puppet and another half to the word pauper, so they can feel the sentiment as he sings. Tonight Lee is rocking a tie, sans guitar, and sitting next to Harry on the organ. Lee sounds good and is still managing to sound like himself. He definitely showed a little more to himself tonight.

Randy tells Lee it was another great arrangement by Harry, but what he loved about it is he stayed his rocker self. Even though the band was playing, he could hear the guitar with it. He loved it. Ellen has to be honest and says at first she was distracted by Harry’s organ, and he tells her to stop. If this was the last night of performances, she thinks Lee would have just won the whole thing.

Kara asks Lee if he thinks he can win. He admits he does. She tells him to go home tonight and write I can win this thing 100 times and believe it, because he can. Simon notes Harry has been absolutely incredible tonight, but what he managed to do for Lee tonight, is that he started off working in a paint shop and had some issues with shyness, but Harry managed to bring out his personality and confidence. What he really loves is the fact that he gave it 100%, and it was by far the best performance of the night. Lee goes and thanks Harry right after.

I think Harry Connick, Jr. may have just been my favorite mentor ever to lend his talents to the Idols.

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