Wednesday, May 5, 2010

American Idol' elimination: Lady Gaga performs 'Alejandro'

Singer Lady Gaga performs at the 'American Idol' Season 9 Top 5 to 4 Elimination Show on May 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
Lady Gaga's performance on "American Idol" Wednesday night highlighted the reason this season is having such a bad romance with its contestants.
The queen of costume controversy proved to be all stage presence, little voice on results night, emphasizing the fact that this year's "Idol" contenders are often just the opposite -- all voice, no stage presence.Case in point was the night's cut, Aaron Kelly. The 17-year-old was told on Sinatra night that he needed to fill the stage like Ol' Blue Eyes. But the advice easily applied to any of the four remaining contestants on the show.

Kelly sang "Fly Me to the Moon" as his last performance, but not before Big Mike gave him a sweet little pep talk following his elimination. The high school student looked like he was about to dissolve into tears when Ryan announced he was voted off, but Kelly pulled it together after Big Mike gave him a bear hug and spoke into his ear (no one could hear what he said but them).Surprisingly, Casey James was named safe earlier on in the show, despite his lamentable performance Tuesday night. Here's hoping he never takes that stage again without his guitar.

Even Lady Gaga brought along a piano for her performance of "Alejandro." The blonde vixen hit the stage with an entourage of men who sported what appeared to be high-waisted old fashioned bathing suits.Sitting behind the piano clad all in black as if she was mourning the current state of reality TV, Gaga wore an inky veil that covered her pretty little head. But when she stepped out from behind the grand piano, her lacy lingerie and full body fishnet were on full display.

Though Gaga isn't particularly known for her great voice, Wednesday night's performance saw her sing unbearably flat. But with Gaga, it's all about theatrics and despite the fact that she seemed to be fighting with her veil at one point (it was eventually removed by one of her dancers), her presence was arresting. Gaga peered through her lace mask straight into the camera as though she were daring us to prove she wasn't fierce as all hell.

It was an odd juxtaposition to have Harry Connick Jr. step on stage next with just his voice and his band in tow. But even though the background music steered dangerously close to elevator music, Connick Jr. made a heroic effort to sing his old school tunes like butter in the wake of Lady Gaga's razor sharp pop culture clout.

Regardless of Connick Jr.'s shortcomings, the audience gave him a standing ovation. No doubt the accolades were for his amazing performance as a mentor rather than as a singer.

One final moment that deserves a quick mention: Simon admitted that he doesn't watch tapes of the "Idol" shows (to garner a second opinion of contestants) because he doesn't like seeing himself on TV. Kara, channeling her inner Gaga, jumped right in and quipped, "I wonder why?"