This pairing of guests on tonight's British Invasion brings backs many adolescent memories, most of them involving defacing several Herman's Hermits posters hanging on my older sister's wall. She along with many of the young girls of her generation swooned, moaned, and cried at the sight of their teenage crushes. She was there when Herman's Hermits came to town and I was waiting at home with black magic markers. I really thought they looked better with heavy mustaches and less teeth. It gave them character. Lulu on the other hand I loved. She had one of those crisp, clear voices like Brenda Lee or Patty Page, only she was a 60's icon. The movie and the song “To Sir with Love” set her up as top selling singer and actress. I remember watching it in the balcony of our old theatre. It was a great movie, but when I saw it again recently much of it did not translate to the 21st Century. The age of politeness has mostly come and gone and this movie was a great example from the ending of an era. Anyhow, I loved the British Invasion. The Stones, the Beatles, Dusty Springfield, dozens of strange boy bands and combos. Some I loved, others eh. Herman's Hermits. Eh. Lulu. Yeah.

Haley Scarnato is singing “Tell Him”. She is trying to bring some aggression to her performance. Lulu is a good coach. She knows singing and style and looks great. She could be Olivia Newton John's younger sister. Haley looks great this week, more her age and none of those dreadful overdone extensions. Haley's voice doesn't have the power or intensity of some of the singers in this competition and that mostly plays against her, but she breaks out tonight and moves it from beginning to end. It is the best she's been on Idol so far and if not perfect, she is better than some of the singers still there. Good job Haley. You earned a place back next week.

Chris Richardson has picked a great song from the era. “Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying” is a pretty melodic song and we'll find out if Chris can really sing or not. He chooses a simple arrangement with just an acoustic guitar at first that finally blends to the entire band. The beginning is great. Chris's soft voice actually translates very well to soft and pretty, maybe better than the jittery Timberlake style he usually adopts. He even works some falsetto on the ending and I'll give him plus points for greatly improving and showing a different side and style. It's a big surprise and a vast improvement. The kid can sing when he drops the pretense.

Stephanie Edwards is singing a Dusty Springfield song. This is dangerous territory that requires a bit of sultry and uptown attitude. “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” is a big draggish drama ballad, performed by female impersonators the world over. How does Steph stack up? She is singing on-key and then off-key, and it isn't as exciting as the earlier performances. It was okay, but it was boring in comparison to the first two. Ballads aren't her thing maybe. There was no spark there. She was just going through the motions and we were just sitting there waiting it out. It did not qualify as entertainment.

Blake Lewis is re-working the Zombies' “Time of the Season”. It sounds like a great idea and a great song. He changes the beat up to just a little more modern double time and sticks to the melody otherwise. Great arrangement. I'm not sure if he has the mystique of the original song but everything else works. The organ break with a little beat-boxing puts the Blake stamp on it a bit better. I think he did a good job and props for sticking to the melody and still working the song in a modern manner. It all worked and could work again. Some of this crap you never want repeated, but that was both today and honorable of the original. Best of the night so far, but there are some great singers coming.

Lakisha Jones had a little help from Lulu picking her song. I hope she helped her make the right decision. She actually decided to sing, “Diamonds are Forever”, from the Bond film. It isn't my favorite choice. It is so thematic and standardized by Shirley Bassey it is hard think of it otherwise. Lakisha does a great job on it, but I just didn't quiet get it and never have. I rather hear her rock some soulful beat, but that's me. Maybe someone else got it and loved it more than me. There were a million better songs from the era that could have served her better. You can't win them all, but I still want her back next week.

Phil Stacey is going for some blue-eyed soul with “Tobacco Road”. It's worked for a lot of people starting with the Nashville Teens. I get alien vibes from Phil. Maybe it's because he looks like second generation Conehead. I keep expecting to see Jane Curtain and Dan Ackroyd in the audience when they pan to parents. It was okay, Definitely blue-eyed soul. Not as much attitude as the original by far. Parts of it were out of control, but at least we heard it all tonight. It didn't go subsonic. It was not a controlled performance though. It was all over the place. He says it was a “party” song and that was his biggest mistake. It is not a “party” song at all. Listen to the words next time.

Jordin Sparks is singing “I Who Have Nothing”. It's a big dramatic ballad also. Jordin has charisma and for a seventeen year old that is a great achievement. She certainly conveys the emotion in this song in a different and forceful way that is new. Jordin does what Lakisha tried to do. She gets to the heart of the emotion with her powerful voice and sings beautifully. This woman is the one to watch. She is the unknown surprise that could leap ahead of the crowd in a blaze of flaming talent.

Sanjaya Malakar is next. He is either doing the Kinks or Herman's Hermits. Oh. Mercy. He chose the Kinks “You Really Got Me”. The most pertinent line is “you got me so I don't know what I'm doing”. Oh yeah.

Gina Glocksen is a vision in black tonight. She says the blogs can get you down. Don't I know it? She is singing “Paint it Black” one of my favorite songs of the era. Lulu is a great coach. There is not a more hopeless song than this, no emotion more raw. The glitter of Idol somehow doesn't match the obliqueness of the song, but Gina tries. Not quite enough to put it over the top though. It's doesn't build with the desperation it needs to. Simon said it best, it was style over content and not good enough vocally. Still better than some.

Chris Sligh has the funniest banter with Peter Noone. He is also singing the Zombies, “She's Not There”. It's another good choice of song. Chris's voice has the right range and tone for the song. He works the audience, the stage, the mic stand, the camera. He is working it from all angles and singing like he means it. He does a good job of making the audience love him which is a necessary and follows through with a good performance. He should stick around for a while yet.

Melinda Doolittle gets the money spot tonight. You normally remember the last one best and she usually gives us good reason anyhow. Her new haircut is great. She is singing “As Long as He Needs Me”. I'm trying to remember it. Lulu seemed more blown away and not offering much critique. Melinda sings like honey tastes. Every word is sweet, even when she spits. LOL. Bad camera angle. Still, she could sing this silly review and make it sound important and real. She is a singer's singer. There has never been a better singer on any Idol anywhere. She has complete control and perfect pitch. She's a professional with a heart. And again, the new haircut is great. Best of the night.

Everyone was better tonight as they should be. It's time to grow or go. Best of the night were Melinda, Jordin, Blake, and Chris Richardson. Worst was poor Sanjaya. Phil and Stephanie shouldn't feel too safe either. The split is always waiting. This is one theme that worked pretty well for everyone and gave us a better picture of who is getting “it” and who isn't. Apologies to Peter Noone and my sister. The mustaches did look better though.