Posted by: dcmjlive | April 29, 2009

Top 5: Rat Pack Standards (Vocals VS Connection)

Check it out. The thing about this week was that Simon did not like two performances while he liked the other three. What was common between the two was the emotional connection the song had with the audience while the three was the vocal ability of the singer. Idol is a singing competition first and foremost but when it comes to the music industry, we need that emotional connection too. So here’s my grades for each idol.

Kris Allen – The Way You Look Tonight by Fred Astaire

We all know that Kris could not “match up to anyone vocally” but Jamie was right with the blown away part. The performance was just velvety, silky, buttery smooth. We knew he would do a ballad and ooh…everyone did. The oooh after “apart” was just one of the best moments. When it became a bit more upbeat, his “never ever change” was my favorite moment. Despite the background being very big band jazzy, he infused a very good funky bluesy vibe in. And did I mention I love this song, and how Kris rendered it, he made sure that you would fall in love with it again, and again, and again. I understand why Simon calls the performance wet (British for bland, boring and lame) and that’s because the songs’ aim was not to wow you vocally but emotionally. Simon’s still stuck in this era where big belt vocals are those that count but Kris really knows how to pluck a chord emotionally, tell a story and just make your heart melt. Lastly, I want to take note that Kris has the dynamics down. He knows the correct timing, rhythm and notes that would pluck up emotion more than anyone in the competition. This is why Kara said that he put the technical bar so high.

GRADE: 1.0 — HEART MELTer

*From now on, the grades will follow an adjective that best describes the performance. Also, it will end with “er” no matter what. HAHAHA.

Allison Iraheta – Someone to Watch Over Me by Gertrude Lawrence

The moment she stepped onto the stage, we knew she was not going to be a rocker and she sported a black dress befitting of the theme. She then chose an amazingly mature song that is supposedly out of her league as Jamie pointed out that she’s too young to fall in love. OK…maybe not too young…haha…but not in such a way. But Jamie plucked the right chord when he said to think of the people who love her. And like Kris, Allison went more for connection over vocals this time around. One thing to note that was bad about Allison was that her diction was a bit murmurred thus me hearing “someone who watch over me.” But she sang it with such desperation and such emotion that I actually don’t care. It was really good and I think technically with the dynamics and the hushed breathing that it was amazing. One of her best performances yet. The reason why Simon thinks she couldn’t win it yet is the same as Kris, it wasn’t for vocals but for emotion. Simon has the heart of a rock anyway… Btw, is Kara reading my blog??? HAHAHA. Her comments are dialing back on blog comments not only in my site but on others too. Simon IS crazy tonight!!!

GRADE: 1.0 — TEAR JERKer

Matt Giraud – My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers

Matt is doing one of the songs that Constantine Maroulis from Season 4 just did so well and because of that, I have high expectations from that song. But I have to take a leaf from Randy’s comment book and say that really was pitchy from note one. But Simon noticed one thing I didn’t, and he did have something of Nat King Cole. From that, I reevaluated and he did have some jazz phrasings but what he lacked despite the technique of Nat King Cole was the emotional connection, which is one of the many things I’m disagreeing on with Simon. Sadly, I didn’t feel the glory notes but vocally, I will commend the pitch-perfect ending. Constantine really performed those glory notes in a very good way and he just fell really short. And Randy is becoming right in my book in saying that he did these runs and some worked and some didn’t. If you’ve noticed, from the first statement in the blog, I’m agreeing with Randy tonight…one of the things I would never have imagined.

GRADE: 1.5 — PITCH-ish CROONer

Danny Gokey – Come Rain or Come Shine by Harold Arlen

See how it’s more of big band rather than Rat Pack? No one so far has taken on Sinatra, Sammy Davis or any of the other rat pack people. Disappointing…not really, because the contestants are choosing songs that I can easily comment on. OK, back to Danny. This genre is predictably the BEST genre for Danny and what could I say…he ALMOST nailed it. Jamie really brought out what Danny could really do. Also, this reminds me of hollywood week when I loved him. The first two thirds of the song was what I really liked. And then when he reached the bridge-like part, he suddenly became all pitchy, harsh raspy and shouty. But despite that he had the swagger of big band like Kara said. Emotionally though, he still didn’t connect for me. And honestly, Randy is right in saying that the vocals for Danny is what worked and not the emotion. People should NOT forget the emotional connection to the song! But Randy told us to forget about it…insulting to Kris and to Allison…

GRADE: 1.25 — RASPY WONDer (I need to explain that he would have gotten a 1.0 had his last third wasn’t too raspy and showcased his pitch more.)

Adam Lambert – Feeling Good by Muse (originally by Sammy Davis Jr.)

The only real rat pack song we get and it’s arranged in the rock-edge muse version. The ONLY song that came from the rat pack and it had to be in Rock…WHY!?!?! But still, it did retain some Rat Pack swagger…kinda. HAHAHA. But what can I say, Adam has also retained that good vocal. There was one point in the song though that he seemed like he was just saying the words instead of singing it. This is the one where he said “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new life, it’s a new day.” But what will just make you scream in your seat and say how good his performance is is the passaggio (low register to killer falsetto) that he held for 11 seconds!!!! I mean, that was long and he didn’t falter pitch-wise there!!! I mean that was just AMAZING!!! OMG! OMG! OMG! But yeah dialing it back, it is a bit too theatrical, but still amazing. Words could not describe? But I’ve already described it! One thing to note though, Adam is wearing the exact pallete opposite of Ryan Seacrest. HAHAHAHAHA.

GRADE: 1.0 — JAW DROPPer

GREAT PERFORMANCES OVERALL!!! BRAVO! BRAVA! BRAVISIMA!

My prediction on who’s going home: Matt Giraud

Grade recap. Remember 1 is the highest and 5 is fail.

Performer Top 13 Top 11 Top 10 Top 9 Top 8 Top 7.1 Top 7.2 Top 5 Average
Kris Allen 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.25 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.03
Adam Lambert 1.00 2.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.13
Allison Iraheta 1.25 1.50 1.00 3.00 1.00 1.75 1.50 1.00 1.50
Danny Gokey 1.00 2.00 1.25 1.00 1.50 1.75 3.00 1.25 1.59
Matt Giraud 1.00 1.00 1.00 2.00 1.00 5.00 1.50 1.50 1.75

No more bottom two/three…Matt is the one who SHOULD go home tomorrow.

Edit: I was wrong, The Way You Look Tonight was not sung by Eric Clapton (confusing it with Wonderful Tonight) but by Fred Astaire. The song was covered by the rat pack’s Sinatra. So I am wrong in saying that only Adam sung a true Rat Pack song. Come Rain or Come Shine and My Funny Valentine were also covered by Sinatra. (Man, he covers a lot of older songs…and I thought the songs I knew weren’t older than the rat pack era…) It is only Someone to Watch Over Me that I can’t confirm whether a rat pack member covered it or not. But all songs are jazz standards.

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