Tuesday, May 25, 2010
AI Season 9- Finale Performance
Well, here we are, finally, in the big theater. We open with Ryan onstage while the lights come up on the huge audience as a very cool montage of Crystal and Lee plays in the background.
Randy is wearing a doorman jacket (red with a black collar over a clashing red checked shirt), Ellen is in a black jacket. Kara is all boobs, black satin brocade, and side ponytail. Simon is wearing a charcoal pinstripe jacket over a white shirt.
Lee and Crystal enter through the audience. Crystal drops her mike and misses her mark. Lee looks like he's been drugged. Lucky Crystal won the coin toss, and she wisely chose to go second- a good strategic move.
Lee's Mom and Dad interview that they thought he was going to play pro baseball. At least until he picked up a guitar.
Lee, in a black suit jacket, jeans and a white tee, starts the evening with his Repeat Choice- The Boxer, which happens to be one of the two non-Crystal songs I've downloaded this season. Lee looks more relaxed and comfortable onstage than I've ever seen him. He's doing a lovely job with this song, no matter what Randy, Kara, and Simon say.
Crystal's dad says what we all now know: Crystal was born to do this.
I figured that Crystal would sing People Get Ready as her Repeat Choice, since it was arguably her Moment. I'm glad she didn't because Moments can't be choreographed. Instead, she chose Me and Bobby McGee, which is right in her wheelhouse. She's looking good in her *throw on random pieces from the closet* outfit, though these pieces look much more expensive than her former wardrobe. I missed the story on tonight's guitar, but it's obviously well worn, well used, and well loved. And as for the song, Crystal did very well indeed by Janis, and Kris Kristopherson, and herself.
Round 1: Crystal
Producer Simon Fuller selected Everybody Hurts for Lee, and in theory, it should be a perfect song for him. But in practice, he's shouting over the choir, and the arrangement overwhelms him totally. In addition, Lee is back to looking uncomfortable and nervous.
Crystal is wearing an extremely unflattering and ill-fitting black satin chanteuse dress and very high heels. She enters at the top of a staircase and I worry greatly for her on the way down as she sings Black Velvet. Once again, the arrangement overshadows the vocals, but the difference is in Crystal's native talent, and her complete comfort onstage.
Round 2: Crystal
Evidently, they're skipping the Rainbow Unicorns and Puppies Face Obstacles in the Struggle To Find Themselves Coronation Song. I cannot begin to say how pleased I am with this decision.
Unfortunately, Lee is saddled with Beautiful Day, and an arrangement that leaves no room whatsoever for vocals. In fact, I can't understand a single word he's singing, though I can hear that he's missing many many notes. Lee has not been served well tonight, though Ellen is right in that he has grown and changed the most this season. And his voice does sound very good in the studio, which counts for something. I think. And he's marginally cute, which, for better or worse, counts for more.
Crystal is dressed much better this time around, in a belted, one-shouldered black tunic and a heavy rhinestone necklace. She's singing Up To the Mountain as her *not-quite-coronation-ditty*. She's sitting on the Stool of Seriousness, and singing quietly but strongly in the Gospel Mode. This is flat-out beautiful, and Crystal is having a hard time holding back the tears at the finish.
Round 3: Without a doubt, Crystal
Crystal's last couple of weeks have been competent, but less than exciting. Maybe she was saving it all for tonight, when it really really matters. At least I hope it matters. FWIW- I've called on and off for the last 90 minutes, and have only gotten through with 3 votes (and yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to vote... )
We close with a lovely montage of the the season's high and low lights over a live performance of the Exit Song (whose title I never did catch).
And with that, we have one episode left. It's been quite a ride, no?