On “American Idol,” we are really getting down to the wire, with five contestants remaining and the countdown to the grand finale later this month. So they broke out the big guns last night, with mentor Harry Connick, Jr. on hand to mentor the Idols and to even accompany them on piano, a first on the show. Dude even arranged the songs for each singer, and gave them exceptional advice…something you absolutely couldn’t say for most of the mentors this season. The theme was the king of crooners, Frank Sinatra, and his two daughters were on hand to commemorate….in fact, they presented Simon Cowell with a monogrammed handkerchief because they knew he was a big fan. Very cool.

Anyway, here is how it all went down, and what we expect to see at tonight’s elimination….


Big Mike Lynche sang “The Way You Look Tonight” and it was really pretty good, one of the night’s best. Randy said it was an unbelievable arrangement, an unbelievable vocal, and that Mike is “in it to win it”…..Ellen said Mike seemed confident with the genre and put a lot of charisma into it…..Kara said Mike found the song’s drama and didn’t lose himself in it (what?)…and Simon said after three mostly dull performances from Aaron, Casey and Crystal, Mike put himself back in the game. Pretty much.

Lee Dewyze had an interesting mentoring session with Connick…Connick said his wife thought Lee was cute and like a new and improved version of himself…anyway, he sang “That’s Life” and it was way better than I thought he would do with this genre. Really, this dude can sing anything. Randy said it was another great arrangement but that Lee stayed true to his rocker roots and he loved it…Ellen said if tonight was the finale, Lee would have won…Kara asked Lee if he believes he can win it all, because she certainly does….and Simon said he has growing personality and confidence with each passing week and that it was the best of the night. Yep, pretty much!


Aaron Kelly kicked things off with “Fly Me to the Moon” and it was bland in spots but not as bad as I thought it would be. The kid really does have a decent voice, but he lacks any real stage presence. Randy said it was a good job…Ellen said Aaron pulled it off….Kara said it wasn’t as strong as last week and that Aaron is lacking the charisma to really pull off this genre….and Simon said he agreed with Kara, that if Frank Sinatra was a lion, Aaron Kelly was a mouse.

Crystal Bowersox sang “Summer Wind,” a song many of us never heard of, and it wasn’t bad at all….she had good dynamics and was mostly on key. But the song had personal meaning to Crystal and nobody else, making it a somewhat risky choice. Randy said it was a great arrangement, but a subdued performance that was almost sleepy….Ellen said it got better as it went along….Kara said Crystal was out of her element but had nice phrasing the same way Frank did…and Simon said he loves the song but he thought Crystal’s choice of it was a bit self-indulgent. Bingo. But she should be safe.


Casey James sang “Blue Skies” and it was very vanilla and quite pitchy in spots. Randy said for him, it was Casey’s worst performance so far and he was pitchy and out of his element….Ellen said it was very stiff and had no swagger…Kara said it took a while for Casey to warm up and that his vibrato needs work…and Simon said the band sounded great but that Casey’s performance wasn’t great and was a bit awkward.

Folks, I think this is it for Casey, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron or even Big Mike was on the chopping block. I’d only be shocked if it was Lee or Crystal, because I still see this as a two-person race. What are your thoughts? Let me know and see you tomorrow with the results!