This week’s American Idol felt predictable because a) it was Rat Pack theme week which means we got a bunch of standards, but without any of the banter, martini-sloshing, and stage presence that made the Rat Pack so enjoyable and b) there are four solid contestants left and one inconsistent Matt Giraud, who is probably going to go home this week, but we knew that he would never win this thing, so: predictable. On to the good stuff.
5. Jamie Foxx: Mentor. Why, Exactly?
Here’s our guess as to why Jamie Foxx was the mentor for Rat Pack Week on Idol – the producers know everyone knows Foxx for his portrayal of Ray Charles, and they’re banking on the fact that young people will assume Ray Charles and Sammy Davis, Jr. are basically the same person, so who cares if Foxx is actually irrelevant to the Rat Pack theme. Sure, ours is a pessimistic view of things, but we have just that little faith in America, these are the people who keep voting Allison Iraheta into the bottom three every week, after all. Kris Allen pointed out that all the Rat Packers are dead so it’s not like they can be mentors but we would kill to see Frank Sinatra (or Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra) give these kids advice. It’s just…Jamie Foxx? Really? (Maybe we’re still harboring a grudge against Foxx because of the whole Miley Cyrus thing.)
4. Matt Falls Flat
One of our favorite lines in Clueless is when Cher’s dad asks Cher’s ring-a-ding-ding gay friend Christian “What’s with you, kid? You think the death of Sammy Davis left an opening in the Rat Pack?” That sums up how we’ve been feeling about Matt Giraud, with his side-cocked hats and that’s-not-Michigan-but-what-exactly-is-it? accent. So we figured Matt had this week in the bag, at least because for once he’d be wearing a fedora unironically. But Matt lost us tonight, especially because of his fedora. Brown hat with a blue suit? What stylist allowed that? We feel bad because Matt followed Jamie Foxx’s advice and changed the key of “My Funny Valentine”, but it didn’t work for us. (Honestly, we have a problem with everyone this week because we think standards should be left alone, there’s no way to improve on them, but that’s our own cross to bear.) Simon and Paula actually loved his performance though, so what do we know?
3. Kris Allen: Throat Olympian
Kris kicked the night off with the most overdone song of all time, “The Way You Look Tonight”. We love that song, it’s a great song, it’s just so hard to improve upon, especially if your version is preceded by so many classics – Sinatra…Tony Bennett…Joey McIntyre. Kris sang it well, but Jamie Foxx rivaled Quentin Tarantino for sheer ridiculousness when he started spouting gibberish about Kris like “This dude is like ‘I’m not trying to sing in the Throat Olympics!’” Mmmkay. Maybe Jamie is trying to act crazy on purpose to remind us to all go see The Soloist. After all, he had to wax his eyebrows for the role and they still haven’t grown back, he should reap some reward for that sacrifice.
We thought Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta’s performances were solid last night. Danny sang “Come Rain or Come Shine” after Jamie Foxx name-dropped and went all Michael Mann up in Danny’s grill or something. Snap! Gokey, you just got Hancocked! Allison sang the night’s second most overdone song, “Someone to Watch Over Me” perfectly well, but more importantly she celebrated a birthday on Monday. That’s right, our girl turned 45. Ryan Seacrest told her that “It’s a gift just being here in this competition another week,” but uh, Ryan, that doesn’t mean you can get out of getting her an actual present. That’s like throwing a party and telling someone the party is their gift. Boo. Everyone wants a Wii, don’t be a dick.
1. Adam Fatigue
Damn Adam Lambert for his chameleon ways! (He’s no chameleon wearing that white silk suit, obvs, but genre-wise, it seems like he can adapt to anything and we’re beginning to think it’s out of spite for us). No matter what the genre is, we cringe because we know that Adam is going to know how to wring every drop of kitsch and quirk out of it – why else does he always go last, as if he’s some kind of piece de resistence the producers hold off on until the very end? And you know he totally would have worn a white fedora if Matt didn’t call dibsies on hatsies for the whole season. We give Adam props for picking a less well-known song (we actually only know the Nina Simone version of “Feeling Good” so it didn’t scream Rat Pack to us, although Sammy Davis, Jr. did a version of it, too) but he sure worked the pink staircase for his entrance. Still has the awful high notes and his suit pants were blindingly tighty and whitey, but we actually thought it was a good performance. And after Randy Jackson criticized the performance for being over the top, Simon Cowell defended Adam by saying “Randy calling you theatrical is like complaining that a cow moos.” Good point, and we agree, that’s why we want Adam to go back to Broadway instead of trying to make it in Top 40.
Kara DioGuardi was on something last night, right? She called Adam’s performance confusing, shocking and sleazy (which we rubbed our hands with glee at) but really, it was none of those things, so we think she’s drinking from Paula’s Coca-Cola cup, right?
Who else felt dirty after Simon called Kris “wet” and then Seacrest told him to “go dry off”? Bllpppth! (That’s us gagging.)