This week’s mentor was Harry Connick, Jr., who helped the finalists interpret Frank Sinatra songs, composed the arrangements and even accompanied them on stage with his big-band orchesta as the Top 5 battled it out. Read how the judges reacted to each performance below…
Aaron Kelly sang “Fly Me To The Moon” and the judges thought he did a good job, but lacked star power. Simon did however say “But the one thing about you, which is a good thing, is that people like you after you perform. Because you do try hard and I’m going to give you that.”
Casey James sang “Blue Skies” and Randy thought it was his worst performance due to pitch problems. Ellen thought the performance didn’t have enough “swagger,” while Kara thought his vibrato was “a little out of control.” Simon thought Casey wasn’t comfortable throughout the entire performance.
Crystal Bowersox sang “Summer Wind.” Randy said it was more of her “subdued performance” and was a “little sleepy” for him. Ellen was impressed at how Crystal had “so many different sides to you,” while Kara liked Crystal’s phrasing on the song. Simon thought it was the wrong song choice for Crystal and said it was a “little bit indulgent.” Simon also told Crystal “It’s not about just singing for yourself anymore, it’s about using this opportunity to nail it week after week after week. So I expect better.”
Big Mike sang “The Way You Look Tonight” and won all the judges over for his “unbelievable vocal” and “terrific arrangement.” Simon said, “If I’m being honest with you, the first three performances have been okay and now with you, that’s all changed. I think you just put yourself back in the game.”
Lee Dewyze sang “That’s Life” and Randy thought Lee “stayed your rocker self,” adding “ Even though the band was playing, I could hear the guitar with it dude. I loved it, I loved it.” Ellen said that if this was the last performance of the finalists, Lee would have won American Idol. Kara said Lee lacked the confidence and reassured him saying “You can win this thing,” while Simon loved “the fact that you gave it 110% and it was by far — I think for all of us — that best performance of the night so far.”
Tomorrow, one finalist will be eliminated based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last night’s broadcast, resulting in the season’s Top 4 finalists.