We’re Live-Blogging The Top Five ‘American Idol’ Performances!

Jim Cantiello

Tonight on “American Idol” the Top 5 will be singing songs made famous by the Rat Pack, and I’ll be live-blogging every grandmother-loving second of it.

Seriously, last week was disco. And now Rat Pack Standards! “Idol” really knows how to keep their demo young, don’t they? I can’t wait for next week’s theme: ragtime hits! And the top 3 theme: field songs!

But let’s keep our minds open. Last week’s disco episode was actually pretty solid, so we might be in for a treat.

Important to note that typically, “Idol” switches over to two songs per singer at this point in the season. (Remember last year’s Top 5 show when Paula judged Jason Castro’s second song before he performed it? Still bitter about that.) But thanks to the addition of Kara DioGodIWishSheWasFiredAlready producers realized they won’t have time for 10 songs plus critiques (and the contractually-obligated Coke pimpage) in just 60 minutes. So, sorry Lambert fans. We’re only getting one tune from Him – as well as the other singers – tonight. They better make it count!

On with the “Idol” live-blogging … or, if you’re more of a visual person, check out my webcam take on the show below!

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7:45 pm – Did you miss last week’s Lil/Anoop disco double-elimination? Catch up real quick with the latest (and rather nasty) “Idol in 60 Seconds” recap here.

7:49 pm – And while you’re at it, why not check out the latest “Detox” recap of “The Hills?” I imagine not many of you watch “The Hills” but frankly, my webshow could use the traffic and we’ve got some time to kill before Seacrest gets this dog and pony show on the road. Trust me, if you like my live-blog you’ll like “Detox,” even if you don’t know LC from LBJ. Watch here.

7:54 pm – That “Detox” wasn’t so bad was it? Okay…the shameless self-promotion/begging will now cease.

7:55 pm – So…how ’bout that swine flu, huh?

8:00 pm – And away we go! So excited! Matt Giraud is wearing a hat/covering the mole so he might be safe again this week. This…is “American Idol” (live-blog.)

8:01 pm – Woah, Seacrest is a heavy-walker. It sounded like an elephant walked down the stairs.

8:02 pm – Ricky Minor and the band began playing while the judges were introduced. Also, Paula taped two giant red gift wrap bows to her cha-chas. I’m so confused already.

8:03 pm – Tonight’s guest mentor is none other than Jamie Foxx. (Huh?) I know he has a “music career” and I know he won on Oscar for playing a blind legend, but Ray Charles wasn’t the black dude with faulty vision in the Rat Pack. Sammy Davis, Jr. was. Billy Crystal has more of a right to be the mentor, frankly. Or even Joe Piscopo! Hell to the no!!!

8:05 pm – Kris Allen is up first. It’s weird seeing him in a suit. It almost looks like he’s a thirteen year old at a bar mitzvah.

8:06 pm – After the break! We’ll have to wait five minutes before he opens his mouth. Oh “Idol.” You either run 10 minutes over or have to stretch to fill an hour. You are the TV equivalent of New York’s weather. We went from February to August in two days.

8:09 pm – Nothing says breast cancer awareness like race car drivers.

8:09 pm – GASP! So You Think You Can Dance promo! SOOO EXCITED!!! Best show ever. (Even better than “Idol” in my opinion. I know, blaspheme.)

8:10 pm – Jamie Foxx is madly in love with Kris Allen. He wants to make a record with him. Wow!

8:11 pm – Kris Allen is singing “The Way You Look Tonight.” He looked nervous during the first verse. The bridge was better. And then the big band kicked in and he did a Matt Giraud impression. Falsetto fail. Hmmm. This wasn’t his most polished performance. It didn’t seem like he rehearsed it that much. But he hit a good amount of notes. And the 11 year old girls in the mosh pit are literally hitting puberty on live television.

8:13 pm – Randy loved it. Said it was best performance yet. Huh. Kara called him a “dark horse.” Paula said he transitioned from the boy next door to a sophisticated gentleman. Simon kept it real. He called it “a little bit wet.” There is a dirty joke in there but I’m not touching it.

8:14 pm – Let’s spend this commercial break discussing Paula’s makeup. Anyone else notice that she’s looking a little bit like Joan Van Ark tonight?

8:15 pm – I’ll have to go back and check that Kris Allen performance again. Anyone else think it was a little rough around the edges? The guy has talent, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t think it was worth of all the superlatives.

8:19 pm – The Jonas Brothers have their own TV show now. “Their music sets them apart but keeps them together.” Their music also makes me sad inside. I wonder if Disney is regretting green-lighting that after their movie tanked.

8:21 pm – Allison Iraheta turned 17 yesterday. Happy birthday, Allison! Great timing! Nobody will vote off the birthday girl this week, right? RIGHT??

8:21 pm – There’s a boy in the audience who shouted, “I’m 17!” which prompted Seacrest the matchmaker to say, “Hey, why don’t you two go on a date?” Gross! Last year he pulled the same thing with David Archuleta. Check your dressing room for hidden cameras, Allison. Something tells me Seacrest likes watching amateur youngsters.

8:22 pm – Allison is singing “Someone To Watch Over Me.” Her rehearsals with Jamie Foxx are adorable. I LOVE THIS GIRL!

8:23 pm – Allison’s smokey voice is perfection for this genre. The song is NOT called “Someone To Hwatch Hover Hee,” however.

8:24 pm – Now THAT was a technically perfect vocal, Miss Kara DioGuardi. How was this girl in the bottom 2 last week?!!

8:25 pm – Randy Jackson said she looked like Brittany Murphy and sings like Pink with 80000 more octaves. Kara said she deserves to be in the final. (Amen!) Paula said she’s been waiting all season to hear Allison sing a ballad. (I guess she was absent the week Allison sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” WTF Paula?) And Simon just pointedly asked Allison if she think she can win the show? GASP!

8:26 pm – After some careful pause, Allison said, “We all have a shot.” And then Simon went back to his old annoying tricks. “I don’t feel that belief in you still…I have a horrible feeling you could be in trouble tonight.” What does Simon have against this girl?! He’s going on about how he thought it was “mechanical” and didn’t think she committed enough. BULLS***. Kris Allen didn’t commit. Allison was there 100%. Hell, 200%. That performance was stunning.

8:27 pm – Kara sticks up for Allison. “I love you but you are CRAZY!” Uh oh. I’m gonna say it. Thank God Kara DioGuardi is on this show this year.

8:32 pm – Matt Giraud is on the Coke Stool and he’s stoked about standards week. “I love jazz, I studied it in college in Western Michigan University.” (Shameless hometown plug. Way to rally the troops, buddy.) And – HA! – Seacrest asked him what grade he received in jazz class. Matt’s reply? A “B.” Story of your life, ain’t it, Matt?

8:33 pm – Jamie Foxx is making Matt change the key so that he doesn’t sing it in falsetto. I don’t know, Jamie. Did you hear him try to do Coldplay in his chest voice? Not so pretty.

8:35 pm – Matt’s “My Funny Valentine” is fine, if not a little boring. He’s hitting some nice notes, and has a couple decent runs, but if there was ever a mechanical performance, it was this. If this guy gets a rave from Simon, I’m gonna be pi-hissed.

8:36 pm – A 6 out of 10 from Randy. Kara didn’t feel any emotion. Paula loved it. Simon loved it, too. “The only believable authentic song I’ve heard all night.” Compared him to Nat King Cole and then called it “brilliant.” GAH!! Simon’s just trying to keep this dude in the competition so that the “judge’s save” business doesn’t blow up in his face. I’m fuming.

8:37 pm – Here’s a question that’s been hounding me… First Allison’s song talks about how her lover isn’t cute. Then Matt sings a song that’s essentially saying “my girlfriend looks like Susan Boyle but I love her anyway.” Were people in the 40′s really that ugly? Why wasn’t anyone hooking up with attractive people back in the day?

8:43 pm – As Seacrest walks through the audience talking about iTunes, a pretty woman in the audience is seen checking out his butt and making a face. “Idol” in HD is amazing.

8:43 pm – Danny Gokey is singing “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” The cockiest contestant this season boasts, “I’m not really changing it up much.” Of course you’re not. Because you never change it up much. You are the worst.

8:43 pm – Now Jamie is up in Gokey’s face. Jamie loves these guys! Gokey seems sufficiently creeped out by being so close to a man. Just pretend he’s Jesus, Danny.

8:44 pm – Danny is singing. Bathroom break. Be right back.

8:45 pm – I’m kidding of course. I’m taking it all in, and it’s making my stomach churn. The last fifteen seconds, he’s channelling Jennifer Holliday at the Tony’s. Why is he so angry?! Isn’t this a love song?

8:47 pm – Randy Jackson has his nose dangerously far up Danny’s butt. And then he finished it off with a “YOU CAN SING!” Kara loves his “rat pack swagger!” Paula said “I’m gonna keep this brief.” And then prattled on for five minutes. Simon is in love, too. Sigh. Danny’s here to stay, isn’t he?

8:48 pm – Someone in the audience just shouted “DANNY HAVE MY BABY!” Gross.

8:49 pm – Okay, I’ll give him some credit. The final 20 seconds of his 90 second performance had me raise an eyebrow and put down the tortilla chips for a moment. At least it was interesting tonight.

8:53 pm – Once again, “Idol” saved Lambert for the end. Predictable.

8:54 pm – Adam Lambert is singing “Feeling Good,” normally an “Idol” death sentence. But he’s singing Muse’s arrangement. Interestingly enough, he didn’t give Muse credit.

8:55 pm – Sorry, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This might be the most campy moment of TV in 2009.

8:56 pm – Things that are shorter than Adam’s penultimate note: The Plain White T’s career, “Anne of Green Gables,” The Invasion of Iraq. Wow.

8:57 pm – Randy calls out how Broadway it was. Kara says it best, “You’re shocking in a good, confusing and shocking and sleazy and superb and way over the top but I like it!” Paula said she feels like she’s watching the Olympics and he’s the Michael Phelps. So be careful there, Adam. Your destiny involves getting caught using a bong and then you’ll be romantically attached to a homophobic beauty pageant reject. (Somehow I doubt that last part will come true.)

8:59 pm – Simon Cowell: “Best entrance we’ve had all year.” It’s true. Adam’s strut down the staircase was pretty killer.

9:00 pm – Phone number montage.

Sigh, I’m worried about Allison only because Simon damned her with faint praise. At least the phone number montage showed off an especially meaty section of her performance. Matt Giraud, meanwhile, sounds like a whining cat. And of course, they showed Danny’s only good 15 seconds.

But what did you think, readers? Wasn’t it delightful to have an episode without Lil Rounds? What exactly was Paula wearing tonight? Is Danny worthy of all the praise? (Better question: am I unfairly dissing the dude week to week?) And how the hell did Adam Lambert get mainstream America to embrace camp in such a major way??

Leave a comment below. My favorite commenter will get a shout-out in this week’s “Idol in 60 Seconds” recap!