7:53: Good evening, b-rollers! I know I’ve been absent for a while – a combo platter of heading back to New Hampshire for Mothers’ Day and working like crazy for an upcoming work Gala – and my apologies. But of course, I can always make time for an Idol live blog, particularly when movies are involved. So let’s just say a little prayer that “My Heart Will Go On” is absent from tonight’s set list and dive in. Back in 7 minutes!
7:57: Completely unrelated side note, but I’ve spent the past hour watching an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Remember what a great couple Burke and Cristina were, pre-homophobic epithet? This used to be such a good show. Sigh.
8:00: Dramatic opening as all of the contestants turn (stiffly and strangely) and stare at the camera for Ryan’s “This…is AMERICAN IDOL!” I don’t fully understand why they thought this was a good idea.
8:01: And my dream of Ryan taking a slight tumble down the Seacrest Memorial Staircase (without causing severe injury, of course) goes unfulfilled for another week. Someday, b-rollers. Someday.
8:03: Is it true that Jamie Foxx is openly campaigning for Simon Cowell’s seat next season? He seems like way too big a star for that. And frankly, that chair should have “Harry Connick, Jr.” stenciled on it by now anyway.
8:04: Poll time, b-rollers – is the tattoo on Jamie Foxx’s head (italics added for emphasis, because how crazy do you have to be to get a head tattoo?) a fake one for a film? Let’s hope so.
8:05: Wow, Jamie brought props! That was…thoughtful? Couldn’t he at least have made the shirts in a low-cut henley style, in honor of Simon?
8:06: I don’t think the pressure of singing in front of millions of people on TV is comparable to having Jamie Foxx invade your personal space with a terrifyingly intense stare. Not to question his methods, but yikes.
8:07: Dear judges: I too like Lee, and do not wish to see Crystal simply glide towards an inevitable victory. However, if you do not point out the serious pitch problems with this performance, I’m going to insist that we start seeing other people. Love, b-roll.
8:08: I’m with Randy. It was pitchy (and not just “in spots,” dawg).
8:09: It was nice of Kara to drop by on her way back from a business meeting in 1987. Sorry, it’s not Tuesday or Wednesday unless I’m criticizing her sartorial choices. (As I sit here in a ripped Red Sox sweatshirt and Gap jeans.)
8:10: No need to embrace Jamie’s t-shirt gimmick, Simon. It’s okay. Just say that Lee wasn’t good and move along.
8:12 Who else thinks Big Mike’s train of thought this week was, “Hey! I can sing that song from She’s Having a Baby to remind the world that I love my wife and she just had a baby! Wait, I already sang that song in the semifinals? Son of a bitch!”
8:14: I’ve officially entered The “I’m excited about seeing The Good Guys when it premieres, but if I see another commercial so help me God…” Zone.
8:15: Really, Jamie? He didn’t want the mildly insulting shirt? Shocking.
8:17: Because it’s only Top 4, Big Mike gets a mini-chorus of 5 people in semi-matching outfits. If this were the finale, there’d be a choir of 874 people wearing glistening robes. And angel wings.
8:18: This performance sums up Big Mike for me: In tune, technically well sung, kinda underwhelming. He needs to take it up a few hundred notches.
8:20: This might be my favorite Idol exchange. EVER. And I was downright delighted as Simon asked Big Mike for the plot of Free Willy. I mean, there was no way that was not going to be entertaining. Also, how sad is it that this was probably the first time anyone the realization has struck that the gospel-infused Michael Jackson song has nothing to do with a killer whale? Well done, Simon. Well done.
8:26: “Falling Slowly”! Heart this song, and it’s a perfect choice for these two. Remember when Kris Allen sang this last year? Apparently the producers don’t either.
8:27: I wish Lee and Crystal felt confident enough in their falsettos to tackle that “we’ve still got…tiiimmmeee” lyric on a crystal-clear (no pun intended), gorgeous high note, just like Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (the originals) did. But it’s still an awesome performance.
8:28: Um, “this could be a hit right now,” Randy? IT ALREADY IS. I love when the Dawg pretends a song is new and original just because he’s never heard it before.
8:29: Agreed that they killed this. I love that song and they sang it beautifully. Nicely done.
8:34: Casey breaks out the ukelele (mandolin?) in search of another IDOL MOMENT (TM). Good song choice for him. He’s not slaying this, but it’s pretty good. Much better than last week, but then, what isn’t?
8:37: And Randy is the last remaining person to stay on the “Kara and Casey, sitting in a tree!” bandwagon. Stay classy, dawg.
8:38: Wait, Ellen liked it? Color me stunned.
8:39: Is Simon just saying this to embarrass Kara? Because it’s one thing not to know Free Willy, it’s entirely another not to know The Graduate.
8:40: When did Hollywood completely run out of ideas? Honestly, who looked at the treatment for the Marmaduke movie and said, “Yup, green light!”
8:44: Jamie says, “Crystal is singing, ‘I’m Alright’ by Kenny Loggins!” with an air of complete shock. That’s kinda hilarious.
8:45: Can any Kenny Loggins song really be called a “testimony”?
8:46: I think Crystal raided Kara’s closet this week. She is uncharacteristically sparkly.
8:47: This is a terribly odd night for song choice. This Caddyshack ditty is kinda forgettable, even if Crystal is singing it well (duh). The only good song choice this week so far has been “Falling Slowly.”
8:48: Ellen’s right in that Crystal made the song better. Important distinction, though: she still didn’t make the song good. She’s not a miracle worker; there’s only so much she can do.
8:49: So Casey and Big Mike will sing a Bryan Adams song for the final performance of the night! If you had Casey and/or Mike singing a Bryan Adams song in the weekly pool, well, then…that was the easiest pool to win in the history of the world. Congratulations.
8:50: As we round the bend of our final commercial break, I’ve decided that I’d like Jamie Foxx to make me a t-shirt that says “Apathetic Blogger.” Can he call his t-shirt guy and make this happen?
8:52: Why has Old Navy segued from the creepy mannequins to a tiny (also creepy) tuxedoed hostbot? They need to rethink their advertising budget.
8:53: My thought process when I heard that the song was from Don Juan DeMarco: “I’m so sick of this damn song. It’s so corny. But Johnny Depp was in that movie, and I’m totally okay with anything that’s even tangentially related to him. So, I guess, bring it on fellas.” I know, I’m properly depressed and mortified.
8:54: This song has really suited both of these guys quite well. I think they did a great job. They actually stretched (and harmonized) even more than the incredibly-praised Crystal and Lee.
8:56: I can’t help but feel like Mike and Casey got short shrift, what with the judges having to sprint through their critiques. Case in point: Ellen making a not-at-all-constructive quip, then sitting back in her chair like, “Well, my work is done.” How much is she getting paid for this again?
8:58: Wait, why was the judging so shortened when we’re now letting Jamie Foxx have a monologue?
8:59: So, as we wrap up, I have to agree with the judges: the duets tonight killed any of the solo performances. I don’t think any of the contestants have locked up a finale spot or a plane ticket home, so tomorrow will be quite interesting. Back tomorrow for a nice trio of live performers (Fantasia, Bon Jovi and Daughtry) and more snarky commentary. Adios!