May 04, 2010 06:04 PM by Candace Young
American Idol 9 began with 100,000 hopefuls and tonight on FOX only five remain! Host Ryan Seacrest welcomes them, along with judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Ellen Degeneres, and Kara Dioguardi. The celebrity mentor for this week is Harry Connick Jr., who did the arrangements for the top five as they sing the songs of Frank Sinatra!
Harry Connick Jr. joins Ryan on the stage and receives the applause of the crowd. Harry says he brought some members of his own band along to back up the Idol contestants, and he intends to accompany each of the performers as well!
Nancy and Tina Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s daughters, are in the audience tonight. They present Simon with one of Frank’s monogrammed hankies (Sinatra is Simon’s all-time favorite singer).
Aaron Kelly met with Harry to practice his Sinatra song and learn the arrangement. Harry says Aaron has a sweet voice.Â With Harry on piano, Aaron takes the stage live to perform Fly Me to the Moon.Â Aaron does a good job of crooning! Randy chuckles as Aaron finishes up and tells him he did a really good job! Ellen jokes that the piano wasÂ a little pitchy, then tells Aaron his vocals were beautiful. Kara thought it was good, but not as strong as last week. She feels he needs more charisma. Simon is more with Kara, saying it didn’t have the conviction for him. However, he compliments him on his likability and for how hard he tries.
Casey James delights Ryan and the crowd with his story of how a friend called him up for a gig this Tuesday night that paid $50 (the friend didn’t watch TV and had no idea he was on Idol).Â When Casey met Harry Connick Jr., they practiced his song and Harry felt that Casey would have a blast with it. Live onstage, Casey, with hair slicked back, does just an okay rendition of Blue Skies.Â Randy calls it his worst performance,Â saying it was pitchy from the beginning.Â Ellen says it felt stiff – she agrees with Randy.Â Kara thinks he had it near the end, and points out that he at least held some notes. But sheÂ insults his vibrato,Â saying he sounded like a lamb.Â Simon thought Casey came over embarrassed and awkward.Â Harry Connick Jr. chimes in that Casey killed it an hour ago in practice, adding that it’s hard to hear on the stage and that’s the problem.
Crystal Bowersox sings in practice for Harry Connick Jr., and he comments that he realizes the song means something to her and that’s the best part about it.Â Crystal takes the stage in a strapless gown – vavoom – and croons Summer Wind.Â Randy felt it was too sleepy.Â Ellen wanted her to loosen up more, but remarks on how many different sides she has to her. Kara kind of liked it.Â Simon isn’t sure he would have chosen this song for her. He pronounces it another okay week,Â saying he expects better.
Mike Lynche is next up on Idol tonight. When he met with Harry Connick Jr., he practiced The Way You Look Tonight, his Sinatra tune, and Harry coaches him to sing it as though singing to his girl. Big Mike comes out on stage with a fedora and matching swagger,Â and sings strongly.Â Randy says he’s in it to win it! Ellen notes that he seems the most comfortable on stage – really good! Kara says he did everything right, but didn’t lose himself in the song.Â Simon agrees that Mike has raised the bar from the first three performances.
Lee Dewyze is singing That’s Life, which I’mÂ excited about for some reason (it seems like the right song choice). When Lee met Harry Connick Jr., he is coached, then told he is awesome! Lee takes the stage perched beside Harry, who is playing the organ, and surprises everyone by really getting into the song as he gets up and strolls around the stage and gesturing! Randy tells him he loved it! Ellen says if it was the last night he would have just won the whole thing! Kara tells him he can win this thing if he has the confidence. Simon thinks Harry brought out Lee’s confidence and personality, and calls it by far the best performance of the night!
On the results show tomorrow night, May 5,Â Harry Connick Jr. takes the stage, as does Lady Gaga!
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Photos Courtesy: FOX