Everybody’s from some weird town! Two people are from the Midwest! You would think I would miss Mike Lynche, but you would be wrong. I still miss Siobhan. Could you imagine? She’d show up to her home town and nobody would be there. Just a bunch of people milling around going, “Oh, look, it’s that strange girl.”
The amount that Simon is over with this show is palpable. I think it’s suffocating the other judges. Randy’s reverted back to being Mr. Rodgers, Ellen is dressed like a ten year old boy, which she kind of is I guess. And Kara…I can’t really complain about it or make fun of it because it’s just a shirt. Simon’s covered his cleavage!
So here’s the deal, the contestants pick a song, and then one of the judges pick a song for them. The judges picks usually end up being hilariously bad (even worse was when Nigel Lythgoe used to pick them because he barely even paid attention), but the contestant picks range from clueless to amazing. Hell, singing “Heartless” last year basically won Kris Allen the competition.
And that competition? Is American Idol.
(Idol Drinking Game for Tonight: Every time Lee makes his creepy dead eyes right at the camera.)
Casey James Contestant‘s Choice: “Ok It‘s Alright with Me” by Eric Hutchinson Why?: Because even I could‘ve written this song. The Performance: He’s dressed like a substitute teacher. That can’t be good. Also not very good is his guitar playing tonight, which is weird because that’s the one thing he does really well. I think it’s just turned way down, and it doesn’t help that he’s playing an accoustic.
The song is that one song, where he announces it and you have no idea, but then he sings it, and you’re like, “Oh…THAT song.” It’s basically that one line over and over and over again too, so I have no idea why we didn’t know it right off the bat. Randy zings him (!) with the “It was just alright with me” before Simon can jump on it. The Judges Say: You’re singing salad at this point. I Say: He’s given up on the level of Jason Castro. Score: 0 Change: -1
Crystal Bowersox Contestant‘s Choice: “Come to My Window” by Melissa Ethridge Why?: Oh, come on. Of course she did. The Performance: Breaking out the harmonica straight off the bat. She should’ve sang some Blues Traveler. I’m digging her weird necklace which starts one way, goes another, and then just randomly zigzags all the hell over the place until it explodes in her cleavage. The rest of her outfit is terrible, though.
Other than the awesome harmonica, which makes any night, this is patent Crystal boring performance. She just sings it like Melissa Ethridge, because that’s totally who she’s going to be, and Ellen jumps all over that. It’s good enough to get her to the finals, but she’s just sleepwalking through the competition right now. The Judges Say: That wasn’t very good, but all you’re looking to do is coast. I Say: Not a huge fan, but it wasn’t terrible. Much like Crystal all year. Score: +7 Change: +/- 0
Lee DeWyze Contestant‘s Choice: “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd Why?: Because he‘s a simple man! Vote for him because he‘s so simple! The Performance: I think Lee is faking his guitar playing, because the guitar on the song sounds absolutely nothing like the little acoustinc number he’s got going. I see he borrowed and shrank down one of Big Mike’s bomber jackets for this performance. I’m a big fan of that. I’ve thought about it and Id much rather have Mike here than Lee.
The music is way more interesting than the singing, which is par for the course with Mr. DeWyze. The judges try to propel confidence on stage at him, but all he does is stare blankly into the audience and look confused. Oh, Lee. The sign of a true champion! Kara’s sold on the whole “Simple Man” concept though, so much that she’s ready to hand him the Bowersox trophy. I don’t know. I guess I don’t get it. The Judges Say: You just crushed the other performers. You crushed a girl. Hope you’re happy. I Say: Zzzzz…What? Guitar riff? Oh, that’s not Casey. Zzzzzz…. Score: +2 Change: +/- 0
Casey James Judge‘s Choice: “Daughters” by John Mayer Randy and Kara‘s Reasoning: John Mayer is also a womanizer. The Performance: They’re just giving him the license to phone it in, except that Kara basically tells him, “Hey, maybe enough girls will vote for you to put you through!” I doubt it, but ok. His “Hometown visit package” is awesomely just clipped to him standing in front of an AT&T store with about ten other people. Get used to this feeling, Casey.
He has no idea what to do with this song, you can tell he’s super uncomfortable with it. Why in the hell they didn’t give him something with wicked guitar riffs or something is beyond me. Oh wait, that’s right. Because he has no chance for winning. He reaches the high point of the song and is just like, “Uhhhhhhhhh?” and then he spends the next minute just jamming out. Well, good for him there, I guess? But that was awful. The judges are all about it, though, because they’re trying to shoehorn him into this, and that’s their bad. Simon basically says that. The Judges Say: The climax was missing, and that was our bad. I Say: Deliberate sabotage because they’d hate for him to win! Not that it would’ve mattered! Score: -1 Change: -1
Crystal Bowersox Judge‘s Choice: “Maybe I‘m Amazed” by Paul McCartney Ellen‘s Reasoning: I really wanted her to sing something not so boring. The Performance: Funny moment when Colin Hanks accidentally totally blocks another guy from his show from appearing on TV. Crystal’s AT&T appearance is much better attended, for what it’s worth. Including a guy in a Mohawk who looks sort of pissed that he can’t get in to pick up his phone, and Lawrence Fishburn, who I think is still looking for the Matrix.
Let’s face it, Ellen picked this song because they deemed that they hadn’t gotten enough use out of the McCartney songbook this year. I think there’s a quota. Crystal doesn’t handle the choppy sections or the high notes very well, because that’s not really her thing. But she does a good job belting out the power notes, and the ending was well put together. I’m still not really blown away with her, even this late into the season, but she deserves to win, and this was way better than earlier. The Judges Say: That was really good enough to get you into the finals. I Say: I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. See you next week. Score: +8 Change: +1
Lee DeWyze Judge‘s Choice: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen Simon‘s Reasoning?: I suddenly want Lee to win for some reason. The Performance: Ah, a Tim Urban cover! No? Why does Simon have it out for this song the past couple years? I don’t know, maybe it’s just something he needs to get out of his system before X-Factor. What did we learn from Lee’s clip? He’s cool enough for a private jet, but not AT&T, and Simon texts like a ten year old girl.
Vocally it’s great, and the closest thing Idol will have to a “moment” this year (though it’s still miles behind Kelly Clarkson’s last few weeks, Carrie Underwood doing “Alone” or even Kris Allen on “Heartless” and Blake Lewis doing “You Give Love a Bad Name.” The choir really helps, but kind of out sing him, and Lee’s still as interesting as watching Melinda Doolittle watch paint dry, but it’s his best performance by miles. The Judges Say: You might just win this thing for some reason. I Say: Great song, great singing, but no matter how hard they try, I just don’t care. Score: +4 Change: +2
Out: Casey James
There is literally no doubt this week. This should barely count, because this is the easiest guess I’ve ever made for this show. Is there a chance for a shocking elimination? Err…well…No. Probably not. I mean, as funny as I think it would be for Lee to get Elliot Yamin’d, considering
Maybe it's just me and my tastes but I have to change the channel when Lee sings because it's literally torture to listen to him. Casey too. Crystal is good but she just never kicks it up like I keep wanting her too, which is the same thing I've thought about all the other girls on the show this year. I really liked Katie but she got let go just as she was bringing it together. My prediction is Lee wins because often the more talented singers don't. I give him a 50% chance of being another Taylor Hicks and we never hear from him again.
Lee reminds me of Festus...instead of a bell ringing, he "sort of" comes to life when the music hits. As soon as it's over he stands, arms at his sides, listening to the judges with his vacant, creepy, stare.
That and his tendency to swallow the lyrics really bugs me. Casey may have been bland, but I could at least understand the words when he sang.
The best payoff imaginable: Seeing the entire parking lot completely dead in the middle of the Channel 9 news report, but if you looked into the distance, you could see Randy (after everything he'd been through)