The Top 4's guest mentor Harry Connick Jr. speaks for viewers: "Stop, Randy! Stop!"
This week instead of lying to us 23 times, the judges focused on another of their talents: Hijacking the attention away from the contestants! Hooray! Why bother announcing the singers’ call-in numbers if Nicki Minaj wants to give Mariah Carey a Q-Tip during a routine cat fight?
But the biggest attention-grab was the showdown between guest mentor Harry Connick Jr. and Randy Jackson. Randy wished Kree Harrison had sung the bluesier Etta James version of “Stormy Weather,” while Harry, who’d insisted the Top 4 make sure they understood the melodies of the standards they had to perform in round 2, said no, she needed to learn the (original Lena Horne) song first and then be Kree.
Randy: “I agree, but Kree, just be Kree, baby! We just want you to be Kree!”
Harry (mimicking Randy): “We want you to be Kree, but choose the Etta James version.”
Got all that? Amidst all of this, as Harry got so heated he eventually started yelling (as the mouthpiece of viewers all season, really) “RANDY! RANDY! STOP! STOP!” — Kree was just standing there awkwardly. Wasn’t this supposed to be her turn?
I generally loved the way Harry interacted with the contestants so frankly and honestly, even if his commitment to tradition wouldn’t necessarily jibe with what the Top 4 chose to do in a 2013 televised singing competition. The standards are his sweet spot and all he was saying, basically, is know what you’re singing and don’t feel you have to run all over the place. He certainly threw some of them off, but it was cool to have SOME sort of coaching/guidance mixed into the season.
Quote of the night, though: “Does ‘then’ have to be so ‘THEN’?” –Keith Urban
‘NOW’ (SONGS OF 2013)
Angie Miller, Rihanna’s “Diamonds”: Angie and Harry’s (unintentional at first?) spoof of that Kristen Wiig/Fred Armisen SNL sketch where they make the song up as they go along was so corny and lame, but I guess so am I, because I loved it! I also didn’t mind the way Angie slowed down this Rihanna hit and expected her to get more credit for that. She hit a bum high note in there and her voice definitely faltered on the downward end of a run, but I didn’t think it was much worse performance-wise than any of her other piano-based efforts. Nicki thought she was playing too much to the camera and audience instead of just “getting lost in Angie.” Really? Looked the same to me. She always does that hyper-intense sultry gaze at the camera. She obviously thinks it’s necessary!
Randy thought once Angie hit the chorus, she had nowhere to go. “But I will, say, guys.” (Oh this is gonna be good.) “Keith, you gotta admit. I do like the leather shorts!”
Dude! There’s no need to bring Keith into it! The Stig wants nothing to do with that.
NEXT: Amber forgets the lyrics she never knew in the first place