Next week on American Idol Season 9, the Top 5 contestants will perform songs by the legendary Frank Sinatra, under the tutelage of mentor Harry Connick Jr. And while Ol’ Blue Eyes may have been the best, will his song book suit the Top 5 American Idol hopefuls? Indeed, it’s these rat pack themes that can sometimes turn out the cheesiest, most karaoke-like performances on Idol.
Here’s what I’d like to hear the Top 5 sing on Frank Sinatra week:
Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, Pa.-“My Way”
I think Frank Sinatra week will be a piece of cake for the fresh-faced Aaron Kelly. He seems to thrive on songs that sound like they’re from another era, and he often brings them up to speed. If anyone will take an extremely recognizable Sinatra song this week instead of an obscure one, it will be Aaron and you can’t get more “Frank” than “My Way”.
Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, Texas- “One for My Baby (And One More For the Road)”
There isn’t a smooth, crooner bone in Casey James’ body (he’s more of a bluesy rocker dude) so this week will be tough. My guess is he will take a not oft-mentioned song that Sinatra recorded and give it his own spin. The song “One For My Baby(And One More For the Road”) has been remade by many artists, including Willie Nelson and Iggy Pop and while it’s a slow one, I could see James adding a bluesy guitar spin to it.
Lee Dewyze, 23, Mount Prospect, Ill.- “That’s Life”
My feeling is that Lee- who in my book is the front runner in this competition- will go for it with an updated version of a Sinatra classic. He could go bluesy like Ray Charles’ version or soulful like James Brown’s or he could even go the corny route, like David Lee Roth did when he remade this song back in 1986. Whatever song he chooses, I hope DeWyze – and all of the contestants- leave the fedora at home.
Michael Lynche, 26, Astoria, N.Y.- “It Was a Very Good Year”
Big Mike is all about song meaning, and since 2010 has been a very good year for him, why not this song? Yeah, I know the song lyrics are about back “when I was seventeen”. Still, Lynche will likely croon a ballad, so why not a nostalgic tearjerker like this one (he already made Kara cry once this season!).
Crystal Bowersox, 24, Toledo, Ohio – “Summertime “
The only girl left in this rat pack, the Janis Joplin-esque Crystal will have her work cut out for her as she attempts a song theme that is completely out of her genre. I think Crystal will struggle with this theme, but perhaps she could take a page from Fantasia Barrino’s book and perform the song “Summertime”. Barrinos’ version back in season 3 has been deemed by many as one of the top American Idol performances of all time and who knows- Crystal may be able to pull off an even better version.
Find out what songs the Top 5 ultimately choose next Tuesday, May 4th on American Idol at 8:00 PM ET/PT on FOX.
American Idol, April 28, 2010, FOX