After spending the weekend with Elvis Presley, I was delighted to find his music and memory also appearing on "American Idol."
My mind was there, anyway, thanks to 20 hours of weekend riding in a car that happened to have Sirius XM satellite radio. I flipped channels furiously, ranging from disappointments (Radio Classics) to delights (Rabbi Bob Alper on the laugh channel). In particular, I savored the all-Elvis station.
Like most reasonable humans, I had known that Elvis was a great talent and I had fumed at the career that took him away from real rock 'n' roll. Still, I may have missed the point: Sure, he made bad choices in song selection (or in management selection). Whatever he sang, however, he did it brilliantly. Slow ballads? Fast rock? Gospel? Vegas-style blasts? He kept singing with passion and power.
So I was happy to see that "Idol" has Elvis week -- and that Adam Lambert, one of its best contestants ever -- is the mentor. Here are a few of my comments; please add yours:
1) Tonight was like a ski hill. It started big, with Crystal Bowsersox's powerhouse gospel-style tune. It ended with a shrug, as Casey James did nothing special to a song that deserved nothing much.
2) In between, there was mostly good stuff. Andrew Garcia and Aaron Kelly were so-so; the rest were good.
3) Yes, I'm actually saying that Tim Urban was good. I thought he wrapped himself into that ballad beautifully. Usually, I have nothing good to say about him, once we're past the hair and the smile.
4) An ad said "Avatar" will reach video stores on Earth Day. That's odd, because it's not set on Earth.
5) Judges, just accept this: Siobhan Magnus ends her songs with high-pitched screams. If you like that (as I do), that's good; if not, at least you were forewarned.
6) Why do people say "forewarned"? I mean, how useful would it be to be "post-warned"?
7) More praise to Siobhan, for suggestjng that Michael Lynche sing "In the Ghetto." I'm surprised that he didn't do a powerhouse song -- I would have given him "This Time You Gave Me a Mountain" -- but he delivered this one beautifully.
8) I really liked Katie Stevens' singing this week. I also liked her outfit, all blue and black and filled with endless ornamentation. Siobhan would look that good again, if she quit abusing her hair.
9) I'll say that the bottom four will be and should be Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly, Casey James and Siobhan Magnus. For Casey, it's the peak-and-valley rule: If you're usually great and this time you're only good, people forget to vote for you.
10) I think he'll survive, though, and Andrew and Aarib will go home, on double-elimination night. Then again, I could be wrong. Last week, I would have never imagined Big Mike in the bottom.