Can every night be snappy suit night on American Idol? Tuesday's Rat Pack theme was a solid excuse to drag out the skinny ties, fedoras, and — in one case (and I bet you can guess which) — shiny dinner jackets. Even Allison's stylists calmed down and helped her look all cute and vintage. Hooray, wardrobe!
I was wondering how Idol would manage to fill an hour with only five singers, and we got our answer pretty fast: surprise guest mentor Jamie Foxx. Why? No idea. But he wasn't a bad coach, all things considered. I wish we could have heard the singers do two songs each at this point — y'know, more singing in this singing competition — but overall, I thought this was one of the better theme nights of the season. Tell me which singer you think is headed home, and to see my take, just read more.
Kris Allen — I was all on board with Kris's "The Way You Look Tonight" in the slow, croon-y part, but it fell apart a little for me when he picked up the pace in the second half. Thing is, though, that Kris is a good storyteller (as we've seen before with "Falling Slowly," among others), and that works on this kind of song. Kara praised his technical abilities, Randy said it was his best performance yet, but Simon called it "a little bit wet" and not amazing.
Allison Iraheta — Hey, happy birthday, Allison! I was curious to see how she'd do with a straightforward song like "Someone to Watch Over Me," and for the most part, I thought she pulled it off with soul and style. I especially liked the little jazzy touches. I do wish she'd enunciate more, though — she was a little mumbly. Randy loved it, Paula said it was alluring and tender, but Simon said he wanted to see more confidence and thought she might be in trouble.
Matt Giraud — For a few seconds, I thought Matt was going to sing "My Funny Valentine" without his usual vocal runs and other gymnastics. And then he didn't. Sigh. To be fair, though, I thought his style suited the song pretty well, and it's definitely one of my favorites of his performances. Randy thought the runs were all a little much, but Simon said it was brilliant and the only genuine performance of the night.
Danny Gokey — Danny's "Come Rain or Come Shine" started out solid but a little boring, then moved into territory that could be pretty polarizing: the whole faster-paced, melody-changing, dancing-with-the-mic-stand bit. And you know what? Even though mic dancing instantly reminds me of Taylor Hicks, I enjoyed the chance to see some more personality from Danny. Randy said Danny could put out a whole album of those songs (isn't that the problem, though?), and Simon and Kara liked his swagger.
Adam Lambert — Sure enough, after last week's slower tempo, it was time for Adam to pick things up again with "Feeling Good." The shiny white suit, the dramatic lighting, even the accents in the arrangement were all a little . . . much, but isn't that the point of Adam? It wasn't as crazy or surprising as some of his other performances but still a highlight of the night for me. The judges delivered the usual praise, with Simon noting that calling Adam theatrical is like complaining "that a cow moos."
Best of the night: Adam, then Kris and Allison
In trouble: Matt? Allison, if Simon's right? I figure either Kris or Danny will make a trip to the bottom three, too.
Going home: Even on one of Matt's better nights, I'm just not convinced that I want to hear more from him.
Photos courtesy of Fox