Harry Connick, Jr’s Just the Kaopectate Needed For Idol’s Stinking Runs

Did a fresh breeze blow in last night on American Idol? It definitely did for me. Harry Connick, Jr., said he wasn’t there to blow smoke, he was there to mentor. And if the producers don’t pay him anything, including their firstborn, to become a judge or a regular on the show, they might as well throw in the towel and go home. Harry gave ’em hell. Judges and contestants both. And highly deserved.

Harry cut through the bull crap with a fireman’s hose and brought more life to this anemic, self-indulgent show than anyone has seen all season, if not in many seasons. His freshness, humor, and dead-on, unapologetic honesty left the entire judging panel looking like parroting imitations of real authenticity. I’m still hyped. It showed up Mariah’s vapid preening, the same old stock yadayadayada’s from everyone (except Nicki, and sometimes Keith). And though Nicki has been the judge to say what she thinks, we could still do with some truly adult criticism and judging by someone who knows what he’s doing. I vote for Jimmy Iovine and Harry Connick, Jr. as judges for next season. If there is one.

Though there has never been a question that the diva contestants on the show can sing, it’s just that their singing is BORING. It’s not just Amber who doesn’t know the meaning of what she is singing (as Jimmy Iovine tried to point out in the past weeks), it’s all of them. They don’t seem to have a clue that songs need to mean something, convey something, make the person LISTENING feel something. As with the young Italian group Il Volo, every syllable, every tone, every note and breath, makes you feel down to the roots of your soul, and they sing mostly in Italian.

The only song I felt last night was Amber’s “My Funny Valentine” after Harry called her to the carpet on MEANING. Amber’s ignorance was just an example of the same with the other three, and that can be due to youth, not stupidity. Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity cannot. After all, Amber “got it”. I “felt” that song from the very first note.

Not so with Candice’s much raved about and applauded final song. She had all the chops for sure, but I read my book during the song and was never tempted to lift my eyes back to the screen. It was the same old runs that needed some grit to get her to be a singer that human beings (not just music teachers) can relate to. In Simon Cowell’s old words, it was “self-indulgent”, listen-to-my-gorgeous-voice bunch of manure that’s come from most of the performances this season. And I still say the judges stacked the deck in favor of girls because of the white-boy-guitar criticism, letting go really good male singers in favor of mostly mediocre ones.

And Harry Connick, Jr. was just the Kaopectate to cure those stinking runs if the girls had just bucked up and took the darn medicine. Amber did. Her only problem was that she had lost her enthusiasm and confidence due to being in the bottom several times. Times when she should not have been. And for the first time this season I actually voted. By land line. Punching in Amber’s number with a bum right arm and a grim determination. And if I had my way, I would have voted for Harry Connick, Jr., and Amber’s Dad. I love them both.

YAYYYYY! Give ’em hell, Harry !!!!!!

P.S.  Here is a link to a great article from John Stark – Next Avenue – about Idol’s contestants, Harry Connick, Jr., and how they turned deaf ears to his great advice. (Thanks for giving me a heads-up on this article, JoAnn.) This writer knows of what he speaks and speaks it well.



17 thoughts on “Harry Connick, Jr’s Just the Kaopectate Needed For Idol’s Stinking Runs

  1. I used to give my younger brother a hard time about love songs he wrote because when he sang, it was obvious that they were just formulaic and meant nothing to him. Singers who focus on the technical aspects forget that it’s the raw emotion of a singer like Harry Connick or Adele that draws us in, not the techniques. Extra +1 for “Give ‘em hell, Harry!”

    • P.S. Dave. When my sister and her husband were dating, he took her to a Harry Connick concert on their second date. That’s the first I’d ever heard about Connick, but certainly not the last. And I loved him in that movie whose title I can’t recall, with Rene Zellwigger. I’ll be doing a review of it as soon as I get over my half-heimer’s moment. Did your brother get better with life experience? That always helps.

      • I haven’t seem him perform in more than a decade, but I would assume life experience has helped.

      • My brother can sing and makes his living doing that and DJing at weddings. He also plays marvelous classical guitar. I, on the other hand, follow my father’s advice (especially when around the campfire with Boy Scouts), “If you can’t sing well, at least sing loud!”

        My recent foray into karaoke was well-received, but it might just have been the massive quantities of alcohol being consumed!

  2. OK, I agree with you 110% on one subject and disagree 110% on another. I think I’d die and go straight to heaven if Jimmy Iovine and Harry Connick, Jr. could be judges on the half-dead “American Idol.” They are exactly what is needed: Judges who would really JUDGE, along with Keith (Mr. Low Key) and Nicki (Ms. Tone It Down a Bit, but Stay Sharp.) I think it’s time for Randy to exit, along with Mariah, who never should have been a judge in the first place. I swear that one of these days I’m going to sneak in and give both Nicki and Mariah pixie cuts if they don’t stop that constant annoying hair stroking. Maybe they think it’s senuous, but I find it borders on the obscene.

    Now for where I disagree. I felt Candice’s “You’ve Changed” was on a par with “Don’t Make Me Over.” I thought it was absolute perfection in styling, nuaced phrasing, control and expression. Both her soft parts and louder more emphatic parts knocked my socks off. I felt every note she sang and it seemed she did, too. I did not feel her runs were excessive and I loved that Harry told ALL the girls to stick to the melody…it’s what makes a standard, a standard. I loved the totally blank look on Amber’s face when he asked her if she understood what each line of “My Funny Valentine” meant. She was clueless. Candice was the only person on the show who seemed to have a clue as to what the lyrics were about. However, Amber is a quick learner and by the time she sang “My Funny Valentine,” she had obviously figured out what she was singing abount.

    Some other thoughts: Nice to see Michal Orland back at the piano. I’ve wondered where he has been. I thought Angie’s “Diamonds” was a dud, but her second song was better. I did not think Kree rose to the ocasion and I think she’ll be headed home tonight. I still like Angie, but I don’t think she can overtake Amber or Candice. I predict that Candice well walk away with the big win. And I’m posting this because it simply blows me away. Watch it full screen and perhaps you’ll reconsider.


    The movie with Harry Connick, Jr. and Renee Zellwiger, whose title you couldn’t remember, is “New in Town.” It’s a delightful movie.

    • Actually. I did like it better the second time around. I think the first time I was under a cloud of utter disgust. I know these girls can sing it and they need to just get the job done. But I still felt Amber’s more. And I do hope it’s Kree who goes home tonight, too.

      And I TOTALLY agree about the hair thing with Mariah and Nicki. It’s like they’re saying, “I love me so much. You should, too.” Ugh. I like the idea of the stealthy pixie cuts caper.

      YES! Loved “New in Town”. It was an absolutely stellar movie and one I want to watch over again. I have also been told since last night that Harry’s first role was as the tailgunner in Memphis Belle. I can’t remember if I’ve seen it or not, but Mike wants me to watch it with him.

      Have you seen Hope Floats with Harry Connick and Sandra Bullock? I haven’t, but I looked up movies with him in it and it sounds interesting. What do you think?

      • Oh good. I’m so glad you changed your mind about Candice. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your post and realized you didn’t like her performance. I like Amber a lot, in general. Glad you agree about Kree. Actually, I’m surprised she’s lasted this long. I never thought she was on a par with the other three.

        Isn’t that hair thing disgusting? There’s something a bit disturbing about them constantly stroking themselves….even if it’s only their hair.

        Memphis Belle is very good, Mike will like it, very tense WWII story. I watched it because after LOTR, I started tracking down movies Sean Astin was in. I loved Hope Floats, too. It’s basically a chick flick, but Harry and Sandra are delightful. Both movies are well worth your time, IMO. Harry is such a talented individual. He sings, composes, acts and is one heck of a jazz pianist. Turns out he’s an excellent mentor as well.

        I started “Best Kept Secret” today. It’s terrific, perhaps even better than the first two books in The Clifton Chronicles.

  3. Dave, I couldn’t find the darn reply button on my own blog, so hope you see this. While reading your comment I’ve been laughing out loud all by myself. I’ve been known to sing loud, if not well. I’m quite sure the alcohol only relaxed people enough to appreciate your singing. I don’t think you’re the delusional type they get on American Idol. Have you read any of the comments from my pen pal commentor “Magic Dancer” (Jo Ann)? She has classical musical background and worked for RCA during the good years. Mike says our streams of “comment/reply” conversations are like the old partyline telephones. But as I told him, I don’t tell nuthin’ I don’t care for the world to know. Jo Ann and I have become good friends and correspondents both on blog and email. By the way, thanks for your Facebook thumbs up comment the other day. Appreciate it.


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