Television: American Idol Recap (05.18.10)

We are down to the final three!  Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James.  All three IDOL finalists spent last weekend in their hometowns being praised.  Tonight, it’s time to be judged once again.  Only two will make it to next week’s big finale in the Nokia Theater.  And only one can become the next American Idol.  Tonight, each will sing two songs.  One song they will have chosen for themselves, the other is picked by the judges.  How will they do?  Let’s get on with the show!

Casey James – “Okay, It’s Alright By Me” by Eric Hutchinson — Why would Casey pick a song that is so unknown?  I still have the same complaint about him.  His voice is good, but his performance is boring.  There is almost no emotion.  He just goes through the emotions.  BORING!  Randy says, “That song was just alright with me too…it didn’t work for me.”  Ellen says, “I wish you would have brought it…it needed to blow us away.”  Kara says, “It’s hard to pick a song that not everyone knows…I think that didn’t work in your favor.”  Simon says, “That song will leave no lasting effect on the audience whatsoever.”

Crystal Bowersox — Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge — This is a great song choice for Crystal.  She plays the harmonica and the guitar on this song.  And like always, Crystal makes it her own.  She takes a song we all know and puts that Crystal spin on it.  It was exactly opposite of what Casey did.  Great rendition of this Etheridge hit.  Randy says, “I did not love the arrangement, me personally, but what I did like was your vocal on it…it all worked in the end.”  Ellen says, “It was a good song choice…it’s the artist you want to be.”  Kara says, “You got a little lost in the arrangement, but it was still a good vocal.”  Simon says, “You haven’t compromised yourself as an artist and I have a lot of respect for you for that…I think you probably made the right choice tonight.”

Lee DeWyze — “Simple Man” by Lynrd Skynrd  —  I have to say that I have never heard this song, but Lee sings it damn well.  He has such a solid radio voice.  I can here him on the radio when I am in the car.  He definitely seems more relaxed each week.  Good performance.  Randy says, “Great song choice…Somebody here is feeling like they can win this.”  Ellen says, “Oh God, that was…yeah..yeah..”  Kara says, “You showed us everything you have…round one goes to Lee.”  Simon says, “That song was absolutely on the money…I think you just crushed the other two.”

Now we get to the trips home… and the judges’ choices onf song.

Casey James — Casey goes home and I have to say there didn’t seem to be a lot of people there.  The judges pick “Daughters” by John Mayer for Casey.  I do like the way Casey sings it.  His vocal sounds really good.  He doesn’t try to overpower the song.  It just flows nicely and he has a little guitar solo.  Randy says, “This fit you like a glove.”  Ellen says, “I thought that was beautiful for you.”  Kara says, “This showed the more artistic side of you.”  Simon says, “I think it was a much better song choice than earlier on…but I think the arrangement was lazy.”  Kara and Simon then get into an argument over the arrangement.  Kara picked the song after all.  Time to move on.

Crystal Bowersox — Looks like Crystal had a much bigger crowd than Casey.  Ellen picks “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney for Crystal.   Crystal just uses her voice and mic, no instruments.  Great vocal.  She has a powerhouse voice when she wants to use it, but she can also sing softly.  Crystal is well rounded, but I will say she seems a little lost without her guitar.  Randy says, “Great song.  Great vocals.  And we got somebody else in it to win it.”  Ellen says, “You did it!  You did it!”  Kara says, “You really showed parts of your voice we haven’t heard until tonight…it payed off.”  Simon says, “What you just proved after that performance is that you’ve got soul and I think after that you may be thanking Ellen for putting you in the final.”

Lee DeWyze — Simon picks “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.  For some reason, we see no video of Lee at home in Chicago, just him on the plane.  Hmmmm.  This is one of Simon’s favorite songs.  It’s been done many times on Idol, but I can see Lee rockin’ it.  Of course, he has a great vocal with a backing chorus.  He really is in it to win it and I love how Lee has changed the up the song just slightly.  He just earned his place in the finals.  The look on Simon’s face says it all.  Randy says, “This was your biggest moment at the biggest time in your career on your show.”  Ellen says, “That was stunning.”  Kara says, “You are what this show is all about…you just owned the entire night.”  Simon says, “I am very, very, very proud of you…tonight, with that performance, you proved that you are a fantastic singer, and great performer.”

And that’s it… I think there is no doubt the final two will be Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze.  Crystal has been a favorite in the competition, but Lee just threw the gauntlet down.  It’s on.  Results tomorrow night…until then.