Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Let me just preface this by saying that this episode put me in a bad mood, and I blame Ben Mulroney. I don't know what's up with him this season, but he's extra irritating, instead of the usual annoying-but-he's-ours endearing type of irritating. He's all pause-y and twitchy and stumbly and blinky and... distracted. It is just not good.
This week, the theme is Songs by Dead People. No, I'm not kidding. Keepin' it classy and upbeat here on Canadian Idol. Except they call it "Rock 'n' Roll Heaven," like that is somehow so much better.
At any rate, Theo's starting us out with "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley. He does it reggae-style, but doesn't actually try to sing like Bob Marley, so... small favours, I guess. It's typically Theo – solid vocals and a heartfelt performance, even without the piano – but I feel a little weirded out by his attempts at reggae. Either way, he's still my pick to win. The judges love the performance, with Farley appreciating that Theo didn't try to be too Jamaican, and Zack commenting on how great Theo looks on camera. His new hair is pretty hot, I'll give him that.
Mitch sings Jeff Healey's "Angel Eyes," and again, it's very typically Mitch. He plays his guitar and sings in his little Mitch voice while gazing soulfully into the camera, and it's very cute. He starts out shaky vocally and actually appears to be kind of nervous, but by the chorus he gets into the groove and it's more solid from that point on. The judges like it, except for Zack, who finds Mitch's voice annoying tonight. I can see how that might happen, but somehow it never bugs me.
Earl's up, doing "Light My Fire" by The Doors. And once again, I'm without words to describe the Earl thing that Earl does, but I can say with confidence that this is the best his voice has ever sounded. He starts out sitting on a stool and then stands up and throws the stool toward the back of the stage as the light show starts up, and the whole thing is just really freaking wonderful. The crowd loves Earl. So do the judges; they have nothing but gushing praise to throw at him. And as Zack points out, Earl wasn't 100% doing The Doors' version; it was a combination of a few different artists and styles, and it turned out very cool. (By the way, the Earl Hotness Alert is clearing the orange zone and fast approaching red.)
Ben continues the classiness of the evening by announcing that these songs we're listening to tonight are "by some of the deadest music stars of all time." Fantastic.
Sebastian will be singing "Love Me" by Elvis Presley. This is a most troubling choice of song, and does not go well for Sebastian. He never really finds his key and isn't particularly sexy because of it. His shtick is wearing thin, even for me. I don't usually believe he's as bad as the judges say he is, but tonight I'm right there with them as they tell him the song choice wasn't great and that he was out of tune, with Farley actually the nastiest of the four. That never happens! Of course, he's nasty in a nice way, while being very blunt that Sebastian is pretty but not so great at music. Aw, poor Seb.
I miss Oliver.
Katherine is doing Janis Joplin's "Move Over," and, as usual, she sings well but looks a little awkward on stage. You know, everyone is so predictable tonight and sliding right into their little slots. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but I would like for someone to blow my mind one of these weeks. At any rate, Katherine's hair looks awesome, and I would like to own her top. The judges think she's okay – good vocally, but not as believable as she could have been.
Drew. "No Rain" by Blind Melon. In some weird fedora-style hat and a nose hoop, the latter of which I heartily approve. It's a nice change from the stud. He's taking the frontman comments from last week seriously and doing his best to put on a good show, running around the stage and bouncing off the monitors and what have you. It's a little weird and incongruous with what we've seen of him previously, but I suppose if you're a big Drew fan, it probably only serves to make you a bigger Drew fan. He sings the song decently but not particularly dynamically. The judges, however, love the performance and appreciate that he took their advice, though there are comments to the effect that the arrangement could have been more interesting. They also keep likening him to Justin Timberlake, and I can't figure out why. He's... sort of... dressed like JT used to dress... I guess? Wasn't his fedora stage in like, 2002? Whatever.
Ben comes out to do Drew's numbers in a bee costume.
Here to bring some dignity to the proceedings is Mookie, my godsend. He is, awesomely, doing "I Feel Good" by James Brown. And lo, it is indeed awesome. I think I love Mookie. He kicks the mic stand over and dances around the stage in his Mookie way, then wanders through the audience and sings to some leggy blonde, totally rocking out the whole time. It takes great talent to be able to perform a song like this without seeming completely cheesy and lame. I mean, can you imagine Mark Day doing this? Oh, I can, and it is not a pretty sight. But he's not; Mookie is, and he finishes by throwing himself to the ground at centre stage. Awesome. The judges freaking love it, too. They think Mookie is just super cool. Me too.
Amberly sings Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," sitting on a stool, and accompanied by herself and one other guitarist. It's pretty and sweet and surprisingly believable. Zack likens her to Joan Baez and compliments her on how she uses her voice as the main instrument when she performs, which is true and exactly why I like her. The other judges are similarly impressed.
And bringing up the tail end of the show is Mark, with Luther Vandross' "Dance with My Father." It's a simple, emotional performance from him, and a welcome change from last week. Since I'm inevitably going to have to continue to recap him until at least Top 5, I sincerely hope he continues to go this direction rather than the campy dancing direction of last week. His mom is in a spotlight in the audience, choking back tears, and Mark explains to us later that the song has a special meaning to them because his dad lost his leg the year this song came out, and he used to love to dance. Which he says he realizes isn't the same as losing your father, but it's still pretty touching.
So who's it going to be this week? I think Sebastian's number might be up, especially because if Toronto managed to rally behind someone, that someone should be Mookie. Seb was bad enough this week that I think his ouster might be justified, even though I would miss his pretty face. I can also see Katherine being in trouble. Let us know your bottom three! And heck, while you're at it, who's your pick to win at this point?