Songs from the Rat Pack – that was the theme of last night’s Idol, which found most of our top five contestants towing the line between fondly reminiscent and AARP-sponsored karaoke night. Not even an adrenaline shot to the heart (or, in this case, Adam Lambert’s piercing squeals) could have roused us from the deep slumber that took hold after only the first five minutes. We place the blame squarely on AI’s producers for choosing such an overdone, creativity-squelching theme. After all, these are the songs toothless, geriatric pop stars cash in on when their careers lose all semblance of relevance (ahem, Rod Stewart). Serving as the evening’s mentor was cross-eyed Jamie Foxx who was uncomfortably touchy-feely with the male contestants. His time with Danny “Hokey Gokey” Gokey, in particular, was the stuff that nightmares are made of. With the exception of Simon, the judges’ ludicrous comments made us think they were all either: a.) deaf, b.) stupid, or c.) pre-gaming in Paula’s dressing room before the show. For more details on last night’s trip to Idol-land, read on.
7:58: I’d like to begin tonight’s blog with a shout-out to one of America’s first idols: The late, great Beatrice Arthur. We’ll miss ya Bea.
7:59: Rumor is tonight’s theme is music of the Rat Pack.
8:00: Apparently, the rumors are true. All the guys are buttoned up in cheap-looking suits. At least Ry-Guy won’t be so lonely up there.
8:01: Further proof that AI producers think the viewing public are dumber than doornails: Tonight, you can choose between two numbers to call in and vote for your favorite contestant. You know, in case you’re too stupid to get only one right.
8:02: Paula’s dress is out of control. It has giant red wings. She looks like the bad guy from the Jeepers Creepers movies.
8:03: Mystery mentor is: Jamie Foxx. Huh? Ok, his only cred is that he played Ray Charles onscreen. And he wasn’t even a member of Rat Pack.
8:04: “Hopefully, I’m the mentor that will teach them these are songs that will live forever,” says Jamie Foxx of the contestants. No, you’re the mentor that will teach them you can win an Oscar even after playing Wanda on In Living Color and get invited on a family show like this even after calling Miley Cyrus a little white bitch.
8:05: Kris Allen is up after the break. Great. More like songs from the ratty pack.
8:07: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past = Worst idea for a movie that’s not a porno. Ever.
8:10: Footage of Jamie Foxx “mentoring” Kris Allen. I think they’re going to kiss. Seriously. “You’re my number one,” says J Foxx to Kris. Ewwwwwwww.
8:11: “Tonight when Kris hits the stage they’re going to be blown away and not even know it,” adds J. Foxx. Ah, yes. All these weeks I’ve been blown away by Kris and I just didn’t know it. It all makes sense now.
8:12: Kris is singing “The Way You Look Tonight”. OK, I am not blown away and I know it. This is super tedious. And, again, the way he sings out of the side of his mouth makes me want to hurl.
8:13: Randy thinks it was his best performance to date. “Mad nice vocals baby,” he says. Seriously dawg?
8:14: Kara tells Kris he “set the technical standard high” for tonight. “You are truly a dark horse in this competition,” she adds. Yeah, hopefully the one from The Red Pony that chokes to death on its own phlegm.
8:15: Paula calls Kris a “contemporary crooner.” Simon is not quite as enthusiastic as the others. Thank God. Likens him to a “well-trained spaniel” and calls his performance “too safe.” Atta girl, Simon.
8:16: As the phone numbers for Kris pop up on screen he gives the camera one his queer crooked smiles sure to have every 13-year-old girl suffering from carpal tunnel from dialing. Blech. Irahetes is up next.
8:17: So, the word is that if you download one of tonight’s performances on iTunes you get an autographed picture of one of the contestants. I’m totally doing it. I’m already working up a DIY project involving Adam Lambert’s face and a toilet bowl decal.
8:20: Irahetes finally chooses a decent outfit. It’s a boudoir-inspired black satin bustier and a fringe-y black and white skirt.
8:21: Ry-Guy tries to act as AI’s resident Heidi Fleiss and pimp out Irahetes to some dude in the audience. I always wondered how he could afford those nifty tie bars. Irahetes is singing “Someone To Watch Over Me”.
8:22: J. Foxx says Irahetes is going to “shock the world” with her performance tonight. More shocking: The fact that he’s actually been nominated for Grammies.
8:23: This is different for Irahetes and I’m digging it. Not a revolutionary performance but definitely solid. The raspy quality of her voice gives the song a little something special. I know, I know. I’m grasping at straws here. But I’m a gay man in need of a diva.
8:24: She really brings it home at the end. Let’s see what les judges think.
8:25: After sputtering out three yos in a row, Randy says, “You came out looking dope and singing like Pink with 9000 more octaves.” Kara gets all soul sister with the hand movements and adds, “You aren’t just a one trick pony.” Again, with the horse references.
8:26: “What you delivered tonight had a innocent sensibility that was both alluring and tender,” spews Paula. I definitely saw beads of sweat forming on Abdul’s forehead as she tried to say that one out without stuttering.
8:27: Simon has a “horrible feeling” that Alison could be in trouble tonight. No, no, no. Then the only girl left will be Adam.
8:32: Back from commercials and Matt G is onstage with Ry-Guy sporting a little fedora. The mole must be shy tonight.
8:33: “It’s a big song so within each part there needs to be something big,” suggests J Foxx. Where do they find these mentors?
8:34: Finally, some actual advice from a mentor: J Foxx suggests that Matt G change the key of the song. It’s a risk, let’s see how it plays out.
8:35: Tiresome beginning but now that he’s belting a little it’s improving.
8:36: Does some nice Mariah-style melisma at the end but Randy calls it “a little pitchy.” We really need a Randy dictionary. The season is almost over and I still don’t know what pitchy means.
8:37: Kara didn’t feel he was emotionally connected to the song but, as usual, Paula definitely felt it. She’s always feeling something, that one. Simon says it was “the only believable authentic song he heard tonight.” I’m leaning more toward the Simon end of things tonight. I thought Matt G was pretty good.
8:38: Simon may have just saved Matt G with his comments. Hokey Gokey is next.
8:43: HG is doing “Come Rain Or Come Shine”. J Foxx is doing this weird thing where he’s all up in HG’s face. This is really disturbing.
8:46: Taking a page from the Adam Lambert playbook, HG screeches his way to the finish line. I’m unimpressed.
8:47: Randy: “This is a singing competition and you can sing.” Kara says HG had “swagger” tonight and calls his performance “unbelievable.” Paula says it was “stellar.”
8:48: Simon agrees with Kara and calls the performance “outstanding.” I call it the worst rendition of a standard since Chris Burke’s Singer With The Band album.
8:50: Adam Lambert and his shiny white suit are up next. PS: What is up with that?
8:53: He’s doing “Feeling Good”. Jamie’s eyes just got more crossed than they usually are.
8:55: Gross: He opens his performance by sashaying down the AI staircase. Don’t fall Donna Martin.
8:56: He’s doing diva hands tonight. Totally trying to fill Rounds’ place.
8: 57: I hate him so much. Randy calls it “a little theatrical.” Kara calls him “confusing and shocking.” Kind of like when AI decided to have a fourth judge, right Kara.
8:58: “You make me feel better than good,” says Abdul. Simon likes Adam because he gets the feeling that he really wants to win. He also likes his “showmanship” and calls his entrance the best one of the season so far.
8:59: There’s usually only a bottom two when the contestants get whittled down this far and my prediction is that Irahetes and Matt G will be it.