The final three are the correct final three, but honestly, it has been evident for weeks there are two performers at the top of this competition.
Each performer got to pick a song. and then had the judges pick a song for them. Fair enough it seems, but it gives the judges the chance to destroy a performer’s opportunity by specifically targeting something outside of their comfort zone. It also can allow the judges to screw up a performer’s chances by making a horrible song choice like Paula did to xxx last season.
This season though, it didn’t really matter. What happened was predictable from as early as three to five weeks ago.
Round 1: Contestant’s pick
Casey James – “OK It’s Alright With Me” by Eric Hutchinson– To have to go first is often the guaranteed exit strategy on American Idol. Statistically, it is the position that consistently results in the fewest votes. Casey added to his dilemma by putting in a less than stellar effort. Casey’s song has the potential to be done powerfully and could be made to sound like a hit song. But Casey did it with no variation in the tone and it was dull. It was nice, but it just had no pizazz. (6/10)
Crystal Bowersox – “Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge – Crystal clearly has the voice to pull this song off, and we know she can sing any Melissa song and kill it. But she just didn’t come across as though she felt it which is what Melissa is about. The judges tried to pinpoint why the performance was less than stellar, but the primary reason is this song is all about putting your heart into it, and Crystal put her left kidney into it instead. The performance did nothing for us. In this instance, Crystal did not blow our Bowersox off. (6/10)
Lee DeWyze – “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – They gave Lee the strong position letting him finish last. Just like being first is usually the end of the season for a performer, this position tends to generate the most votes. Lee complemented the position by being great. He honestly does sound like Ken Block of Sister Hazel. And that is a great sound to possess. Just ask Ken and his fans. Lee did an excellent version of the song and made it recognizably his. (10/10)
Round 2: Judge’s pick
Casey James – Kara and Randy choose “Daughter” by John Mayer – We don’t love this song on the radio because it sounds like stupid advice being forced upon us by a total narcissist. John Mayer sounds like he is telling us to be good to our daughters because John might nail one some day. Casey didn’t come across like that at all. He did an excellent version that showed respect for women instead. We liked it…a bunch, and would rather listen to it on the radio than the original Mayer version any day. The judges missed this as Casey’s moment. Unfortunately, that first song was a disaster. (9/10)
Crystal Bowersox – Ellen Degeneres chose “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – Boy did this song choice sound like an attempt to bury Crystal’s chances. It had disaster written all over it. After that first performance, it was possible even Casey could have sent her packing. Crystal pulled a Pheonix on this one, rising from the ashes and performing this song like she should have done the first. She sang it without guitar, she felt it (and we did too) and sang it so much better than the corny McCartney version that we have to say this was hit material. (10/10)
Lee DeWyze – Simon Cowell chose “Hallelujah” by (Too many covers, originally by Leonard Cohen)- There is an acronym that immediately came to mind watching this performance. OA. It stands for Over-Acting. The performance made us roll our eyes it was just so overdone. We had a choir of black women singing, we had smoke rising like we were all going to heaven with Lee, and we also had trouble holding down dinner. The judges praised this Lee’s moment, but Lee even sounded corny thanking Simon for choosing the song. This wasn’t Lee. At least we hope it wasn’t or he won’t get far next week. It was a predictable performance in an overdone setting. The judges were way off the mark on this one. (6/10)
So, where does that leave us? Exactly where we expected to be. Casey is done. He is not in the same league as Lee and Crystal and that has been evident for weeks.
That is not a negative for Casey really, because no one was in Crystal and Lee’s league. We could have warped to the final weeks ago and skipped some of those painful evenings like Sinatra night.
Casey pulled off a very respectable 15 points in our judging though, and that places him just inches behind Lee and Crystal after the two blew performances they should have killed. So kudos for being in it Casey. Had you not done that first song like your grandmother was singing it, who knows? Maybe you could have proven us wrong.
Lee and Crystal basically tied. Crystal has to learn she must always feel her songs and sing like she did in her second performance or Lee will eat her alive. Lee has to cut out the corniness or people will be rolling their eyes and voting for Crystal. Choirs and angels are for dead folk or church, and bagpipes belong in Scotland not on the Idol stage.