Harry Connick, Jr.!

Oh, and the Idolettes. Yes, Harry is mentoring this week on AI, and I'm so excited to see him. I don't have high expectations for any of the singers this week--they'll be singing Frank Sinatra, which is way out of their style, but we'll see. Harry's not only mentoring, but he and his orchestra are also backing up the singers. He also did the arrangements and orchestrations. That's a cool move.

I was going to us this opportunity to tell my story about meeting HCJ way back when, but searched through the blog to discover that I already told it back in 2006.

Ah, Harry's still as cute as ever. I just love him. Frank Sinatra's daughters, Nancy and Tina, are in the audience. They present Simon Cowell (a big Sinatra fan) with a monogrammed handkerchief. which he later says he will treasure the rest of his life.

Little Aaron's up first, singing "Fly Me to the Moon." Right off the bat, he's pitchy. He got a little better as it picked up. Eh, it was okay. Didn't blow me away. (Harry sounded good on the piano though!) Randy thought he did a really good job. Ellen said the piano was a little pitchy. Ba-dum-bum. She enjoyed Aaron too. Kara said it was good, but not as strong as last week. She said he needs more charisma. Simon agreed with Kara. He said that if Frank Sinatra is a lion, Aaron is a mouse.

Casey's up next. Looking good dressed in dark gray slacks/vest and a purple button-down shirt. Casey tells a story about a friend who called to get him to do a gig on Tuesday that pays $50. The friend doesn't watch TV and didn't know what Casey would be doing instead on Tuesday. Casey's singing "Blue Skies." Casey was a little off...not his best. Randy didn't like it. Nor did Ellen. She said seemed stiff. Kara liked that he held notes longer than two seconds, BUT, he had a weird vibrato that she didn't care for. Simon said the good news is that the band was good. Bad news is that Casey was not fantastic. Casey admitted that he was uncomfortable without his guitar. Harry said that Casey sang it really well during rehearsal, but that doesn't help the voters. Harry also pointed out that it's hard to hear on stage, so that could've been part of the problem.

Sir Anthony Hopkins is in the audience tonight. I also noticed Rob Reiner earlier.

Crystal's doing "Summer Wind." She tells Harry that she has a deep connection to the lyrics in the song. He liked that, and said he didn't need to give her any advice, she knows what she's doing. Wow, she's in a gorgeous gown, and she sounds great. She did a really nice job with that song. Randy thought it was okay, but a little sleepy. Ellen wanted to see her loosen up a bit, but was impressed. Kara liked it. Simon's not sure it was the right song choice. I guess I liked it better than the judges did.

Big Mike looks bigger than usual in his suit & fedora. Last week, Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post wrote this about Mike:
Michael Lynche has decided to sing the Twain tune about how it only hurts when he's breathing. In his current state of gigantic-ness, we believe him entirely.
Heehee! Anyway, tonight he's singing "The Way You Look Tonight." Aw, I love this song. It always reminds me of "My Best Friend's Wedding." Mike did a great job. Judges loved it. Kara said he found the "drama" in the song and didn't lose himself in it. Simon said the first three performances were okay, but with Michael, that's all changed. He said it was fantastic.

Lee's singing "That's Life." Lee seems more comfortable tonight and he did a great job! Loved it!!! Randy loved it. Ellen said if this was the last night of performances, he would've won the whole thing. Kara started by asking "Do you think you can win?" He said yes. Kara said he needs to believe it, because he can win this thing. Simon complimented Harry on his work with the contestants. He said Harry brought out his personality and confidence. Simon said it was by far the best performance of the night so far. I concur!

My rankings are in the backward order of performances tonight:

5. Aaron
4. Casey
3. Crystal
2. Mike
1. Lee!! Proved me wrong--he did a fine job!

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