American Idol Season 9 Review: Final Two – Whoops, We Forgot One Already

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)

Conclusion:

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.

5/13 American Idol Top 3 Results: Paula Abdul Trashes Danny Gokey

If a judge ever had a negative impact on a contestant, Paula Abdul did it to Danny Gokey.

Each judge had to pick a song for an artist and Paula picked an outdated and mismatched song, “Dance Little Sister” by Terence Trent D’Arby. Danny performed it well, but it was not memorable and it was unfair. There clearly should have been a restriction on what the judges could pick so the song choices were all relevant.

So tonight, we watched Danny get eliminated from the final 3. That leaves Kris and Adam to duke it out next week. Fact is, neither Danny nor Kris can touch Adam. So, that probably won’t matter much. But we are nearly certain, had Paula been forced to be more fair in her choice of song, it would likely have been Kris that was eliminated. But there was never any doubt about Adam.

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Well, Kris is good, no doubt. Better than we thought and better than we expected. There is nearly nothing he could do to win next week. Adam would have to get laryngitis or die. Short of that, this one is a done deal.

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5/12 American Idol Top 3 Performance Night: How Can Adam Have Any Chance… of Losing?

What we liked about Idol tonight was originality. What we didn’t like was the fact that Paula picked a rather obscure song for Danny, which is sang brilliantly.

Round One:

Danny Gokey – “Dance Little Sister” — Terence Trent D’Arby — Danny got picked to do a song that was rather unknown from most of the audience’s perspective and still nailed it professionally. There was nothing about Danny’s voice we didn’t like. And someone has to remind those that didn’t like Danny’s dancing, this isn’t a dancing competition. Danny nailed this. (9/10)

Kris Allen – “Apologize” — One Republic – We are not huge fans of Kris. We find him consistently mediocre. But on this tune, he showed that he can sing a major hit and make it enjoyable. As Simon pointed out, it was not as good as the original. What Simon forgets is that the original was done in a studio and we doubt it was any better live. The criticism that he should have used a guitar instead of a piano was grasping for nonsensical strraws. (9/10)

Adam Lambert – “One” — U2 – Spectacular begging with falsetto that no Idol performer could ever perform. Follow it with strong diverse vocals and screams and you have Adam. No one in Idol history could touch Adam. (10/10)

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Danny Gokey 2 – “You Are So Beautiful” — Joe Cocker – Now Danny took a very slow tune that it had the chance to be boring. But what he did brought out something we could listen to again and again as we hold each other. Beautifully appointed and planned. It left us thinking that Danny has to be the most unlucky of Idol performers next to Kris. Why? Adam Lambert.

Kris Allen 2 – “Heartless” — Kanya West – Kris took a song that was not at all acoustic and took it to an amazingly different version and made it one of the best acoustic performances that we have ever seen on Idol. Awesome Kris, we loved it. (9/10)

Adam Lambert – “Crying” — Aerosmith – Adam decided to give Danny a lesson on how to sing Aerosmith. He showed that Danny does not have the range or the talent to do this strong of a song. Adam killed it and showed Danny the difference between mediocrity and an Idol. (10/10)

So, now what do we have? We have no idea. We know Adam was best, but Kris and Danny were so close that any yawn, sneeze or trip to the john could have left one or the other swinging in the wind. Our guess is Danny was a tad better. But Kris worked so hard that he got the exact same scores. Our only reason for choosing Danny would be it seemed easier for him. But that doesn’t sound like the best reason.

Our guess? Danny or Kris versus Adam. And we cannot call it, other than Adam is in a class all his own.

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