When I found out Tony Bennett was Guest Mentoring on tonight’s episode, I immediately felt awful about never being nice to seniors. To make up for it, I invited an old schizo from in front of the 7/11 over. I didn’t let him inside, but I threw chips off the balcony every once in awhile and watched him snap them off the lawn like a goldfish in a bowl. It feels good to be nice. Who knew?
The nutty geezer has made my night’s theme preparations officially complete. I’ve had an early bird special, flipped someone off in traffic, and laid out 6 pre-poured gimlets. This is Old People Music Night! And THIS! Is American Idol! Tink is all business in yet another grey suit. Lighten up, fairy! It’s Spring! Even Randy pulled out some glitter. It’s sewn to translucent paisley fabric, though, which just continues the depressing theme. Gimlet 1.
Tony Bennett’s in the house! Tink guides us through an enlightening tale of his life. Tony’s made over 100 albums, and sold over 50 million. And he’s really old. I Google him to get ammo to fire, but he’s pretty awesome. Fourteen Grammys, a Duets album with Bono and Christinia (nice blend of tree huggin and skanky) and a great attitude. Hmmm. I clicked on his Myspace page (everyone looks like an idiot on their Myspace page) and smiled and nodded along to the profile song. Damn. He’s a talented, good-hearted man. Old people jokes it is! Gimlet 2.
Tony meets the kids and says he’s been watching the show and there’s not a stinker in the bunch. He doesn’t look Sanjaya in the eye, but he might just not see him there. Tony says the songs they are about to tackle are some of the all time best. They got longevity, kid! Like him! He clutches his heart, but it just turns out to be gas.
First up is Blake. He’s chosen “Mack the Knife”, which is an old Duke Ellington tune. Tony wants him to slow down and mean it. He explains. “‘Mack the Knife’ is pre-rap, you know?” Thanks, Tony. Wiggy wiggy.
I am prepared to hate this performance as it becomes apparent that Blake isn’t going to take the “feel the lyrics” advice, and when he rubs is nips as he puts the “knife” in his pocket, I scrunch my face and eye Gimlet 3 longingly. He proved me wrong. Blake has the perfect voice for this music, because he’s a throwback. He sounds like a Rufus Wainwright impression, which sounds like a young Sinatra impression, which works out perfectly for Old People Music Night. Nipple rub aside, he nails his vocals. He doesn’t bring any pop-y in til’ one final solid run. The big band sounded great, and he shouted a nice, cheesy “Watch out! Macky’s all backy in town!” to finish. He should skate through this week. I could have done without the cracker slow mo MJ moves and the dead eyes, but that’s just a matter of personal taste.
Randy calls him on a few pitch problems, but he’s always excited to see what Blake’s gonna pull out of his white ass and he was the bomb tonight. Cut to Blake’s friends, who are wearing special shirts. The guy seems to have some white power issues, but I guess it’s good that he’s being himself. Paula smiles big and calls Blake a hip cat. Uh-oh. You know that’s some kind of code. Back off the kid, Sober Sally. He’s not some cartoon cat you can abuse and manhandle like you did in the old days. Simon is less enthusiastic. He gives Blake a 7 out of 10, but ups his score to an 8 for the band. “The band was a big part of that.” Ouch.
Powder tells us he’s been looking forward to Old People Music Night more than any other because Tony Bennett is his hero. I fell bad for him when his first note’s off key and he’s tapping off the beat to his bland ass version of “Night and Day”, but Tony gives the song some rhythm and Powder some compliments. “He’s one of the better singers I’ve heard. And not just in this competition!” Aw. That’s sweet. You know the number one ice cream flavor preferred by old people? Vanilla. Damn. I’m hungry now. Is it inhumane to send an old homeless man to the store for junk food? I empty the bag of Dorito’s onto the lawn and throw down a five with “no vanilla” written on it, just in case he forgets.
Standing still in his pinstriped suit, Powder starts his vocals off a little shakily. First note was still flat, and he was enunciating (sorry, Miss Ross, pronunciating) his words exactly like the Frankie recording. When he belts, he gets a much stronger grasp on the song and proves his chops. Definitely the best impression of an old lounge lizard singing 50 years ago, but no points in the originality department. To balance, I’ll give him extra credit for wearing less makeup tonight. He looks way more kinda like a dude.
Randy struggles to find something to say that isn’t as harsh as “honkey” or “pasty” or “ginormous ears”. Finally, he settles on “disconnected”. The audience boos him and he says “I know! I was listening to it too!” OUCH. Powder didn’t suck that bad, did he? Paula said that he reminded her of a young Frank Sinatra, and Simon snaps “What?” Ignoring him, she goes on to say “I need more you!” to Powder, who starts sweating profusely.
Simon starts by turning to Paula and asking “Which Frank Sinatra were you referring to?” The audience laughs, so he asks again just to take out the funny and make the whole thing as uncomfortable as possible. He thought there was about as much joy here as in a funeral parlor, and I wonder when people die if Simon wears cheap cotton shirts buttoned down to his belly button to their funerals. My bet’s yes. Seriously, dude, you’re not in your living room. We can see you. Put on some clothes. Simon goes on to call the performance dark and lifeless. Powder says something back, but his mic was off so everyone pretends it didn’t happen. (sad horns) Then he pouts.
Tink makes out with him a little to try and soothe the pain, and Powder says he really must have sucked if Randy didn’t like it. Aw. He was just trying to focus on his wife and do it for her. Way to get the girl vote, Powder! So romantic! Who falls for that bs? He’s so dumping this Donna Reed once he’s signed to a label, you know he is. He preens and mouths “love you” to the camera while he signs “love” and the number two. Blech.
Not surprisingly, Tony says Doolittle has the best voice so far. She drops the “Gee Wiz, Me?” for the moment and eases into the gracious, “thank you” thing. See, was that so hard? She’ll be singing “I’ve Got Rhythm”, and when she practices in front of Tony, she keeps it pretty light, fluffy and boring. But when she comes on stage, those horns are blaring and she’s wearing a severe dress that both hides and showcases her big boobies. Doolittle, I never knew! She also got a new haircut and some serious lip gloss. Someone had a busy week at the Beverly Center! Atta girl!
When the camera pulls back, it looks like PETA attacked her for wearing seal skin, but at least she tried. And with a voice like that, who cares? She could be a bucktoothed shrunken head on caster wheels and I’d vote for her. She starts slow and sexy, moves into the uptempo following the melody, and then brings in a third change and runs wild, making it hers. She ends with “I got it!” I think she finally believes that she does. Go Doolittle!
The Judges loved it. Randy and Paula agree that she’s a walking master class, and Simon’s only worry, even though calls the first half of the song “cabaret”, is that they won’t ever be able to criticize her. I agree with him. It’s kind of annoying when someone’s that good. I hope the tides don’t turn on her, but if she keeps killing endangered animals in the name of fashion, she could be a shocker elimination a couple weeks down the road.
Chris R has a rocky start. He hasn’t learned “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” for Mr. Bennett. Not even well enough to fake his way through the melody. Tony gives him some very wise advice. “I want you to learn the song.” That’s why he makes the big bucks.
Well, he did learn the lyrics, but he stuck hardcore to the melody on the first half of the number and it strained his voice. His pitch is all over the place, but he’s good once he starts belting it out there, singing like JT, and smiling like apple pie to the cameras. I can’t tell if he forgot his words in the last verse or if it was a jazz riff, but just in case, he does an extra run at the end. Eh. If you like pie. Wait, I LOVE PIE! Just be quiet now and let me eat you.
And I’m back. Randy calls it Chris R’s best yet. He injected some youth into an old song. Paula says “hip and cool” again, like just repeating those words and wearing prints that shouldn’t even be in the same room together will make her so. Simon agrees, but she refuses to change clothes. He “believed it”, loved the “hip” factor, and says it was one of the best tonight. One thing I like about this kid is that he just smiles and keeps his mouth shut. My kind of guy.
Tony is impressed that Jordin Sparks sang in key. “It’s pretty rare these days”. Well, you just got finished being pitch raped by Chris. A train de-railing would sound like Pavarotti after that mess. Jordin has chosen “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”, which she describes as a “cute song”. I could actually feel Barbra Streisand’s blood pressure skyrocket from across the country. CUTE! She called me cute! Get off me, James, I’m not in the mood. That little bitch!
Barbra Streisand, get out of my head!
Tony likes her interpretation of the song. She took some liberties, but they weren’t over the top. Sparks comes on stage looking like she’s about to do some killer debating. Global Warming. True or False? She starts off like an off key lounge lizard hack, but damn, once she starts belting she kicks that song’s ass. The arrangement was weird, but she hit some killer notes and worked it. She nails the last, long high note till after the band stops. OK, I get it. You mean it. Go with your bad self, but please (sorry Christian wackos), slut it up a tad next week.
A little girl holds up a sign with Jordin in whiteface. This show is just so damned provocative sometimes. Discuss.
Randy felt the heat. Thank God for the ventilation in the paisleys. There are nine people left, but he’s already seeing a few stars. Paula agrees and soberly stumbles her way through the English language. Don’t forget “hip and cool”! There it is. Simon laughs at her while she babbles. So do I. He says that Jordin was ok, but she didn’t bring the song into the modern times like Chris did. He’s not as enthused as “Squiddly and Diddly here”. Paula and Randy giggle. That sounds like the lamest inside joke ever born. Jordin poses in twenty different angles to exude that happiness while she waves the number five to the cameras. Cut the crap, Shirley Temple.
The cameras pan Sanjaya and Glocksen, looking like freak rejects at Prom. If you were expecting a bj or a hit of acid, their corner would be the one to hang out in. What? I was there, ok?
I know I give Glocksen a lot of shit, but I am excited to see what she does tonight. She’s had a little practice with the whole “rocker chick” persona, so I’m eager to see whether she finally pulls it off. She has to! She’s worked soooo hard! Waaahhhh!!!!
She’s chosen “Smile”, which is a beautiful, heart wrenching song. Every time I hear it, I imagine cars crashing and atomic bombs detonating and babies falling out of their cribs. It just kills me. Tony describes it as a tune that brings you hope in your darkest hour. He thinks of 9/11 when he sings it. Ah, Gimlet numbers four and five. Now I’m thinking about 9/11. 7/11! Where’s that old fart with my ice cream?
Glocksen sits on a stool and doesn’t rock out. She proves that she’s got a voice, but the arrangement is too fast and choppy, with key changes all over the place. Making it worse, she’s actually smiling. If you can’t feel the pain in this song, you’re screwed as an artist. The audience goes crazy for her, but I have a feeling she’s about to get her arms ripped off by Simon.
Randy liked the understated performance and Paula calls it flawless. Simon says that he can’t call it great because she was just out sung by two other girls. She responds “That’s why it’s a competition, cuz there are so many different kinds of voices”. Well, Gina. That’s one way to look at it. It’s also a competition cuz some voices are better than other ones. Der, Gap Goth. Internalize the pain, cut yourself, binge on drugs or alcohol or promiscuous sex, whatever you have to do to come back here next week and feel something other than sorry for yourself after you bone it. Rock=Pain. Hurt, bitch!
Tony tells Sanjaya that he’s a big fan, and even backs it up to the camera, saying the kid comes in with something different every week and keeps things interesting. Sanjaya tells us that his goal this week is to prove to America that he actually can sing. Great idea! Good luck with that.
Sanjaya looks like the Indian Ellen Degenerous tonight. He sings “Heaven” in his usual light, lilty off key drone and awkwardly sways a half step behind the rhythm then works the audience, sings to the obligatory little blond girl (not Betsy Wetsy, she’s doing a lot of weddings these days) and goes to dance with a Judge. Randy thinks it’s him so he puts out his hand, but Sanjaya was going for Paula. I think she was as surprised as Randy, but she danced with him anyways. Even the Indian Portia DeRossi would have sleep boogars after that bs.
Randy is laughing through his own remarks again this week. He won’t bother commenting on the vocals any more, but he likes that there’s always a new hairdo and that he’s become a true entertainer. Guffaw. Paula sees why America loves him because he’s charming. She doesn’t know if he was Dancing With the Stars material, or American Idol, but thanks for the dance. The audience is silent. Damn, Paula. Did you just say that? If this shitty attitude evolves, I might actually start to like you again. Simon says “Ok, what tactic are we gonna use this week?” LOL. “Incredible!” Sanjaya shouts “Thank you! Welcome to the Sanjaya universe!” Oh, dear. Poor kid.
Haley comes out for a Coca Cola Viewer Question. “Haley, what’s up with your boobs?” She says that she’s always nervous about what the audience thinks of them, but her big fear is that Simon’s gonna say they look like half filled water balloons. His opinion means so much to her! Simon glares hatred. LOVE HIM.
She’s chosen “Ain’t Misbehavin” and brings out her flirty (ho bag) side out in practice. Tony explains to her that the song is about saving yourself for one man, and she explains that getting votes is about tempting many. Fair enough. She works those long legs and mashed boobies, but I don’t know if they can save her this week. The song changed rhythm five times, but never to the right one. Messy and slutty. She slunk all over the stage and flirted with her man and strangled the life out of that tune. She pumps her fun bags at the end, and I swallow a bit of vomit.
Randy won’t give an opinion. He thought she would be great this week, but…”Paula what do you think?” Paula says green’s a good color on her. Oooh, snap. They both look at Simon, who says it’s rude that they won’t give an opinion. Paula says she only cares about his. Damn. That’s two for two, Paula. It’s bizarro world. Simon’s only comment is a snarly “You’ve got great legs”. Haley looks like she just realized for the first time that she’s a cum dumpster. It’s hurts at first, but you get used to it. Tink pushes Simon for more, so he says he agrees with Randy (who didn’t say anything) and felt it was a bit pagent-y.
When we come back from break, Tink is checking out a black guy’s package. “So it is true what they say!” You’re on the air, fairy! He drops the goods and cuts to Tony with LaKisha. She’s singing “Stormy Weather” and even though she’s wailing through her run through, he only offers up a tired “She’s very good.” He wants her to cut the run at the end and just nail the last note. I don’t know if KiKi’s getting attitude off screen or Tony’s just ready for a nap, but he’s not too cute with her.
LaKisha doesn’t let it get to her. She stomps around that stage and owns it. There’s not much to say about her except that she’s really really good. Damn. She works that camera, hikes up her dress, and sings to the satellites. She took Tony’s advice about holding out the last note, but then she finishes and tags on a little “Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone.” Fierce.
Randy says there were a few pitch problems at the beginning, but she rocked it out in the middle and the end. Paula said this was the most gorgeous she’s ever looked, and it wasn’t a sideways slam. Wow, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her play that card. Simon keeps it simple, saying she was back in top form and it was a sassy, great performance. Agreed.
Who do you guys think is going to get the axe tomorrow? My guess is Haley, but I also think that Sanjaya might make it to the bottom three again as punishment for not bringing on the camp. If you’re gonna suck, you better suck in style.
There’s a scratching on my front door and I know it’s that smelly old dude. I ignore it and curse him under my breath for taking so long with my food. This is the first episode I’ve gone through without a single bite of chocolate. I down the last gimlet and hit the sack as the scratching continues. Remind me never to be nice to old people again.