Sinatra night with Harry Connick Jr as the mentor. Lots of potential for great performances and plenty of potential for complete failure.
There was a great opinion piece in the May 7th Entertainment Weekly about why this year's crop of Idol finalists have failed to excite most viewers. (So glad that it wasn't just me feeling that way.) It won't post on the 'Net for another month or so. But come June if you want to read it, do a Google search for "Entertainment Weekly Mark Harris". Then look for the column called "You're So Vain."
Connick is a true and excellent mentor. That was evident from the start with the clip with Aaron so I began feeling hopeful for the night. Oh, and Connick accompanied all the contestants on the piano except for Lee who got Connick on the organ. Cool. (FWIW, I'm a Connick fan and a Sinatra fan.)
Aaron (Fly Me to the Moon): This was one of Aaron's better performances. The judges were sort of split on how he did, but I liked it. I'll give the kid a 4.2 out of 5.
Casey (Blue Skies): Well, well, well. I've always been a bit partial to Casey, but this wasn't good. It was stiff and always seemed off-key to me. It wasn't a total disaster, but neither was it great. (Connick said Casey killed it two hours ago; wish he could have done it live.) I'll give him a 3.9 out of 5.
Crystal (Summer Wind): Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. The judges were more muted about it than I was. I thought she did great. I'm giving her a 4.75 out of 5.
[One criticism: I wish Crystal would stop explaining her choices after the judges give their opinions. She doesn't argue as some past contestants have done, but she would be better served to simply nod and say, "Thank you."]
Michael (The Way You Look Tonight): Beautiful! Excellent! Michael was in his element, and the judges all raved. I don't think he was so much better than Crystal that it was a blow-out, but he definitely delivered. He gets a 4.7 out of 5.
Lee (That's Life): Loved the arrangement, and I thought Lee really delivered a great performance. Along with the judges (at least a couple of them), it was my favorite of the night. But only by a tiny margin. I'm awarding him 4.8 out of 5.
Who were my top picks tonight? With only one point separating first and third:
Who's in trouble? I think Casey will probably go home tomorrow. He's been in the bottom three the past two weeks which already put him in danger. Add to that a less than stellar performance, and I think it could spell his doom.