by pat howard

IDOL VIRGIN | One elimination, extra Connick

In Idol Virgin on May 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

There’s a way to look at this week as a quiet audition for Harry Connick, Jr.

With at least one hole to fill at the judges’ table next year, Connick’s banter with the contestants — and actual musical advice — is an element so organic to the show that it’s stunning to realize it hadn’t been there all along. And we got plenty of the man, between him playing piano with (and occasionally critiquing) the final five on Tuesday, and his solo and group performances last night. Then the producers through in a video package of Connick goofing off with the gang in rehearsals. I’m not sure what his schedule is like, but he might need to clear a few months in 2011. Not since Adam Lambert (whose own Idol experience is fresh in his memory) has a mentor been so focused on bettering the performers.

Lady Gaga was predictably weird in what appeared to be a pretaped performance. I’m trying to remember if I’ve heard “Alejandro” on the radio yet, but surely I will now. I’m happy to report that Frank Sinatra week is behind us, to be replaced with the Final Four theme of songs from movies. This seems a broad category, and if Casey gets his guitar back it’s up to Mike to save himself from elimination.

Oh, and who did we lose this week? Young Aaron Kelly, whose journey was glittered with the ‘hopes and dreams’ naivete only a 17-year-old could muster. It’s actually a bummer to see him go, but he wasn’t going to win and he will do fine for himself if he can keep smiling. If only he’d done that while singing…

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