American Idol 5/4 to 5/5

Mike, Aaron, Lee, Casey, and Crystal remain. I think Crystal will be one of the final two.

I am not looking forward to this week :confused:

Me neither. Big band/Sinatra stuff leaves me completely cold. I’m not even sure if any of these guys can do anything with this genre.

There were plenty of great Sinatra songs. He’s one of the best vocalists of all time. And many Sinatra songs are just ripe for re-arranging into new formats.

This week will be owned by whoever takes a Sinatra song and does some completely original take on it, if anyone does. Because if they sing it straight, it’s going to be hard to avoid being compared to Frank, and most singers suffer in the comparison.

Sinatra is a good example of the difference between great singers who know how to interpret songs, and singers who just have a lot of range and/or control over their pitch so they can do vocal runs and jazz riffs. You won’t hear Sinatra doing a lot of melisma warbling - but you’ll hear impeccable phrasing and someone who knows when to put a little gravel in his voice and when to take it soft and sweet. Listen to the defiance in his voice in songs like “That’s Life” or “My Way”, then listen to him sing “In the Wee Small Hours” - his voice alone can make you cry when listening to that song.

Sinatra really learned to sing by listening to instruments in the big bands he sang with, and said that he patterned his phrasing after Tommy Dorsey’s trombone style. His vocal style contains a ton of nuance that goes under-appreciated in audiences who think that a great vocalist has to have multi-octave range and blast out glory notes like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston.

Or, this week will be owned by whoever finds someone else’s incredible cover version and faithfully recreates that version. David Cook did that constantly, using alternative covers that had never charted on the pop charts so were therefore unfamiliar to the Idol judges and most of the Idol audience, he sounded brilliant. Musically he wasn’t a magical original take genius, he was just smart enough to imitate those that were.

I hate singers like Mariah and Whitney, and despise melismatic singing. That said, I find Frank Sinatra and that whole style to be mind-numbingly boring and awful. Sorry, just the way it is.

IMO, Crystal is the only idol who can take a standard and modernize it.

I’m pretty sure you’re referring to Chris Cornell’s version of “Billie Jean” that David did. He never hid the fact that he patterned his after Cornell’s. It was stated on the show (ahead of the faux brouhaha that came up afterwards) although if you listen to it next to Cornell’s, you will hear many places where the phrasing and tone were different. If you listen to “The World I Know”, it sounds significantly different than the original and, in fact, the lead writer/singer in Collective Soul has said that it should really belongs to David because he brought more to the song than the original recording of it.

As an example of where he took a little known song and did a great job with it was Dolly Parton’s “Little Sparrow”. I consider that quite possibly one of the best songs he did during his run on the show. And of course, there was his straight across the board “Music of the Night” which was lovely.

Someone asked him what advice he’d give the Season 9 contestants and he said something like (paraphrasing here) “I knew my voice and what it could do. That’s a big piece of it.” - something that I think Siobhan couldn’t quite get. She had an interesting voice and personality but didn’t quite know how to gel it together. Crystal, OTOH, knows fully what her voice can do and brings that to the table.

Just my two cents.

I guess I assumed his version of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” had been done by someone else first, for some reason.

I completely agree that knowing what he could do and making wicked smart song choices made him a brilliant contestant, and rather a rarity in Idol land. Crystal has a lot of the same talent, indeed.

Not only would Siobhan have benefited from that type of seasoning, it’s usually the reason I feel a bit sorry for contestants like Aaron. The kid has great potential, like many past contestants, but just hasn’t had the experience to really learn how to pull it all together, what he can and can’t do. Although, Jordin Sparks was a youngster who seemed to have a far better understanding of her talent and incredible control for someone her age, so what do I know?

Song spoilers!

[spoiler]Aaron Kelly – “Fly me to the Moon”

Casey James – “Blue Skies"

Crystal Bowersox – “Summer Wind”

Mike Lynche – “The Way You Look Tonight”

Lee DeWyze – “That’s Life”[/spoiler]

Also, Harry Connick Jr. did all the arrangements, and no contestants can play guitar.

Crystal looks gorgeous tonight.

Haha! Harry Connick Jr knows that both the band and the arrangements suck. Maybe we’ll actually see some good stuff.

I guess Aaron was good maybe, but is this whole night going to sound like a bunch of hotel lounge singers? I think I may not be capable of judging this night at all.

I thought Aaron was just alright. HC jr looks yummy though.

I have always had a crush on Harry Connick Jr., ever since I was a little girl.

Apparently, Casey has too.

Is Casey off-key, or is it just me?

Ouch, poor Casey.

WOW, HC Jr is HAWT! I’d forgotten somehow… yum.

I love Sinatra and pop standards and HCJ. But I don’t expect anyone to really get it; it’s its own thing. I don’t know why the entire era is represented by the same five fucking songs every season, either. Instead of Cole Porter, they sing Sammy fucking Kahn. That’s half the problem right there.

Everybody is uncomfortable with the Sinatra music and it shows. They are singing like they want to go hide. Too bad. Crystal can sing. Even tonight that was clear. The others are staggering more than she is.