American Idol's top nine took on tunes from the great American songbook with mixed results. On hand to help this week was legendary crooner Tony Bennett, who advised Blake Lewis that "Mack the Knife" is "pre-rap." Fortunately, Blake jettisoned the beat box but threw in a little scat at the end. Simon rated it 7 out of 10.
The judges thought Phil Stacey sounded disconnected from "Night and Day," with Simon according it "all the joy of someone singing at a funeral parlor." The judges loved Melinda Doolittle's take on "I've Got Rhythm." Simon thought the first third was "a bit cabaret."
The judges thought Chris Richardson put his own stamp on "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." And that's a good thing? Jordin Sparks brought the curly locks back and some big-voiced drama to "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)." Paula predicted she'd sail through to the next round.
Rocker chick Gina Glocksen delivered a "nice, controlled" performance of "Smile," according to Randy.
Sanjaya Malakar is a huge Tony Bennett fan. Unfortunately, his take on "Cheek to Cheek" was as flat as the slicked down hairdo he was rocking this week. Simon called him "incredible." And not in a good way.
Pageant princess Haley Scarnato in sparkly green refused to take Bennett's advice on how not to destroy "Ain't Misbehavin'." Simon thinks Haley's got great legs. Uh-oh. Bye, Haley.
Pulling up the rear was powerhouse LaKisha Jones in black lace, aiming to subdue "Stormy Weather." Simon thought it was "a sassy, great performance."