Hello everybody! It’s Movies Week on [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]], and even the judges are positively giddy this evening. And who better to mentor the Idols this week than Jamie Foxx, a man who sensually straddles the worlds of music and movies. Except he’s not that big in the UK, so we only know him from Gold Digger and Collateral, the movie he did with Tom Cruise.
Foxx looks like being a psycho mentor tonight. He’s prepped “Artist” and “Contestant” t-shirts for the finalists, and he ‘mentors’ them by being right up in their faces. Funny to watch Lee DeWyze trying to avoid Jamie’s gaze and singing out of the side of his mouth. And speaking of Lee…
Lee DeWyze – Kiss From A Rose
After his eye-contact boot camp with the Foxx, [[Lee DeWyze]] turns troubadour with Seal’s classic Kiss From A Rose. What a funny song – it sounds like a medieval ballad in places, such a bizarre song to become a hit. But I love it. Lee, to give him credit, throws everything his gravelly voice can give to the song. He has some tuning problems, but he’s on the money with the big notes, and I still got goosebumps on those spots.
- [[Randy Jackson]]: So, I gotta agree with Jamie in one way. I’m also looking for who is in this to really take it, what kinda artist are they gonna become, are they gonna become an artist, what is the deal? For me, you did nothing with that song. It was just OK. It was pitchy in spots. You’re the rocker, be who you are. Choose a Bon Jovi, Blaze Of Glory, choose some other more rock kinda song. It didn’t work for me, it was just OK.
- [[Ellen DeGeneres]]: I kind of see what Randy’s saying. I think that there could have been more done with the song. That being said, you’re so good. And you sang that so well. I loved it.
- [[Kara DioGuardi]]: Lee, you had a great week last week. And I think part of this song is that it’s one of the most difficult songs to sing. It’s up, it’s down, it’s all over your register. And I think having the arrangement the way it was, not just you with the guitar, you got lost a little, you had some out of tune issues. But you can’t take away from the fact that you are still great and I can hear you on the radio.
- [[Simon Cowell]]: I’m with Randy on this, I’m afraid. There are so many brilliant movies, so many brilliant songs and so many opportunities for you to find a song and then make it original to you. That was verging on karaoke. Trying too hard to sound like the original. So, if you’re choosing a t-shirt, I’m afraid it has to be “contestant” tonight.
Michael Lynche – I Will Be There
This is an interesting turn of events – [[Michael Lynche]] will be taking Michael Jackson’s I Will Be There. Nice scene in rehearsal where Foxx offers him the “contestant” t-shirt and he refuses.
Big Mike walks down those stairs, and there’s the anticipation of that gospel choir standing above him. He blasts out an amazing soul/gospel version that’s phrased quite a bit differently to the original. I thought it was an impressive version of the song – great vocals by Mike, and he wasn’t drowned out by the choir.
- Randy: Listen man, I don’t know what’s goin’ on tonight. Once again this song is a cool song made great by the late great Michael Jackson. It’s got this whole gospel influence kinda thing. To me, you’re an R&B dude. I wish you’d chosen an R&B song, and there are so many songs to choose from. It was just all right for me, it didn’t really take off. It started out kinda rough for me.
- Ellen: Well, you can’t really go wrong with the sound of a choir behind you. That really is a great sound. And from one of the all-time classic movies…Free Willy. It’s a weird thing that your goal is to get into the Top 3, your goal should be to win this thing. The goal should be to win the thing. And I feel that you’re consistently good, you always sound good, but I think that it was a little bit predictable.
- Kara: All I could think about tonight was I’m Ready For Love and Women’s Work. Because those were songs where I had goosebumps. I want goosebumps again. I didn’t feel that from you and I know you have more. You played it safe. What you did tonight, you could do in your sleep.
- Simon: (There’s a lot of mumbling about willies…) At least you gave it 100%, and I kind of felt that you meant it.
Duets: Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox
Lee and Crystal hook up for the gentle acoustic ballad Falling Slowly. These two sound great together, lovely harmonies and a sea of waving hands supporting them from the audience. The camera-work is a bit dizzying as it circles round the pair, but we get a brief look at Crystal’s huge back tattoo!
Randy raves about it, Ellen praises God “that was great” and Kara describes it as one of her favourite moments of the entire season: “You looked at each other and you brought out the best in both of you.” Simon does the bluff – “I don’t know if that was a good song…it was a fantastic song.”
And Crystal tells us that Lee is her “musical crush” with the emphasis on musical (to keep the boyfriend happy).
Casey James – Mrs Robinson
[[Casey James]] scores an “artist” shirt from Jamies Foxx, so there’s a recommendation for you! He’s singing Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson, but playing it on…a mandolin? Although Casey’s certainly putting his own spin on it, it’s neither my favourite S&G song, nor my favourite Casey performance. A little too sleepy for my tastes.
- Randy: First I gotta ask you a question – why’d you choose this song? (Hinting at the Kara flirty thing from months ago) I thought you sounded cool on it. I don’t know if I was like jumping up and down. There was nothing you really changed about it, it was just kind of a cool, laid back version of the song.
- Ellen: Well I wish they would’ve given you a big boy guitar. I like that after last week you got beat up a little bit, and I like that you came back and did something different with the song. And I thought for a minute that you were gonna go further with it – which I wish you did – but I like that you changed it up. That was really smart and I liked it.
- Kara: Casey, for me this is you fighting to stay in the competition. This is where you’re not comfortable: upfront and vulnerable, attached to the song. For some reason you have difficulty with that. You like to jam band and do that electric kind of thing. For me, this was actually a good choice.
- Simon: Back to you Casey, because this is an important night for you. I don’t think the song or the performance had the substance required on this important night for you. It was a little bit lazy and I think that you could’ve made more of an impact. I do think there’ve been some very strange song choices tonight, and that was one of them.
Having already performed in duet earlier, [[Crystal Bowersox]] returns with a song from Caddyshack! I’m Alright is the song. I’ve never heard it before, have you? But sweeping that aside, Crystal gives a storming country version, great vocals. Fiery performance, I’m impressed!
- Randy: I’ve been saying it since Day 1, you are definitely an artist. And I love that you tried to switch it up. It wasn’t my favourite performance, but at least you tried to switch it up and make itsomewhat kind of interesting and fit you. Nice job.
- Ellen: That performance just got Crystalised. And I think that you actually took that song and made it better.
- Kara:I completely agree with Ellen. You took the song, made it better. And I agree with Randy: ARTIST! ARTIST!
- Simon: I would say after that performance, you Crystal, are back in the game.
Duets: Michael Lynche and Casey James
Aha! That Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart hook-up Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman is the song for this duet. Not quite as interesting as the Lee/Crystal song, but it’s nice to see Casey and Big Mike working together on this song. Good harmonies and nice to see them both on guitar again.
Randy praises the guitar work, but with his comments on vocals seems to favour Michael more. Ellen takes a moment to out herself for the billionth time as a lesbian. While Kara and Simon both declare the duets to be infinitely better than the solo performances tonight. I have a sneaky suspicion that they might be right.