American Idol takes on the Rat Pack

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 25th 2009 3:02PM
Rat Pack - trioQuestion: Do you think any one of the five remaining American Idol contestants have any idea who were in the original Rat Pack?

Answer: Sure, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore and Rob Lowe.

No, that was the Brat Pack. American Idol is honoring the original Rat Pack, which is actually not the Las Vegas Rat Pack. The Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop pack of the 1960's Sands Hotel was in fact an outgrowth of the Rat Pack that Humphrey Bogart and Sinatra first formed in the late 1940s.

Well, that's all ancient history now. The Idol producers are expecting the Final Five to do Sinatra, Martin and Davis music on Tuesday's show, and I have to wonder if they have any connection with that music at all. I'm not overly confident, so here are my suggestions:

Allison Iraheta: She's probably the most out of her depth with this song catalog than the other four, especially since all the Rat Pack members were guys. However, there is a loophole that Allison could employ. Shirley MacLaine was a Rat Pack sidekick, having appeared in a couple of movies with Frank and Dean. So, Allison could sing a Shirley MacLaine song, perhaps something from Sweet Charity, like "Hey, Big Spender" or "Where Am I Going?" Both songs would be showstoppers and give her a chance to hit the big notes like we know she can.

Kris Allen: Kris might find a kindred spirit in Dean Martin's laid back vocal style. He shouldn't do an ethnic song like "That's Amore," but he should go for a new take on "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime."

Matt Giraud: My fear is that Matt is going to veer into 1970's Sammy Davis Jr. territory and opt for "Mr. Bojangles" or "The Candy Man." Matt would be better served by Sammy from his early 1960's repertoire, songs like "Hey There" or "Teach Me Tonight."

Danny Gokey: Gokey's going to go all Sinatra. However, he shouldn't do any overdone Sinatra songs like "My Man" or "New York, New York." Danny needs to sing a ballad, something that shows his sensitive side, but better than cheesy material like "Endless Love." With Sinatra, there's so many great romantic songs that could suit Danny, like "I Fall In Love to Easily" or "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning."

Adam Lambert: If there's one contestant who can really adapt to a Rat Pack vibe, it's Adam. I see him in a tuxedo, hair slicked back, leaning on a grand piano and crooning this week. He could do Sinatra's "The Best Is Yet to Come," Sammy's "I Gotta Be Me," or Dean's "Ain't That A Kick in the Head" -- and make all of them work.

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Is it the Rat Pack songs, or Rat Pack Era songs? And do they get to sing with a cigarette in one hand, and a cocktail in the other while sitting on a bar stool??

April 27 2009 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am part of America, and I wont be at all insulted if Matt doesnt make it to the top 4. Express your opinions all you want, but please dont presume to speak for "all of America".

April 27 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Matt's gonna rock the world tomorrow!
I can't wait... I've been all giddy this whole week!
He HAS to make it into top4... everything lower than top 3 would be an insult to all of America...

April 27 2009 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am 50 years old and even though I definitely know who the Rat Pack is, I really dont know a hell of a lot about their music. Especially Sinatra, who I hate because he was such a jerk, and I didnt like his style of music anyway. Rock and Roll was the big thing when I was growing up, and it had already begun to push the Rat Pack style of music into the background. Maybe the Idol contestants are somewhat familiar with this music from elevator music or old movies, but, with the possible exception of Matt and Adam, I dont think this is going to be a good category for them to choose good songs from.
Having said that, I could be wrong, because last year when they had Andrew Loyd Webber week I thought it was going to suck, but it actually turned out to be very interesting, at least to me. So hears hoping all the contestants find approriate songs and sing them very well. But please, no Candy Man or Mr. Bojangles!

April 27 2009 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Peter Lawford was married to Pat Kennedy. Ethel was not a Kennedy sister but an in-law by virtue of her marriage to Robert Kennedy.

Anyway, I think the suggestions for Kris and Adam are spot on.

April 27 2009 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i think that some of the songs should be:

Allison - The Way you look tonight
Fly me to the moon

Danny - Nice and Easy Does It
Mr Bojangles
Just Say I love her

Matt - Not a clue - not that it matters

Kris - The Wee Small Hours of the morning
I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
I get a kick out of you

Adam - That's Life
Feeling Good
It Was a Very Good Year
Come Rain or Come Shine

April 26 2009 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mary's comment

Hear hear!

Volare and Very Good Year would be my top choices as well.

April 26 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, Allison could easily do the punk version of My Way.

April 26 2009 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Danny needs to break out and avoid a slow ballad.

Sinatra, Yes.

Slow, no.

I suggest anu of: a fast version of "Night and Day", "All of Me", "At Long Last Love", "Goody-Goody", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "I get a Kick Out Of You", "Sweet Loraine", or "Without a Song"

And yes, He should be Tux'd up.

April 26 2009 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Smith

Do you think they would allow one from Frank Jr cause I would like to hear one of them try "Wedding Vows In Vegas"

April 26 2009 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

love the suggestions for adam! he is going to really do great! he always does!

April 26 2009 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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