Tuesday, May 18, 2010
AI Season 9- Top 3 Performance
So, the kids are from Elliston, Ohio, Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and Cool (Crewel? Cuell? Kool? Cruel? Cooel?), Texas, eh? Regardless, this. is. alltogethernow. American. Idol.
Randy is once again wearing his argyle sweater with the little felt appliqued elephants. Ellen is wearing a smaller version of Randy's striped sweater, this one in navy and white, Kara seems to have on a toga made from black polished cotton, and she's wearing chandelier drops in her ears. Simon's sweater may also be recycled- it's gray on gray Art Deco stripes.
Casey is up first. He's wearing a gray blazer over a faded print shirt and ratty jeans. The song he chose for himself is Okay, It's All Right With Me. hmmmmm.... it's not so much with the melody on this one. This entire performance is underwhelming- it's certainly not bad, but there is nothing exciting about it either. At least Casey managed to keep his eyes open almost the whole time.
Crystal is up next, and I'm amazed that it took her so long to dip into the Etheridge well. She's wearing a black strappy top over a longer knit dress over gray jeans, and an odd, delicate, gold wire necklace. She's singing Come to My Window, with her guitar and a harmonica. The beginning is odd and restrained, but Crystal warms into it. However, this isn't nearly as good as I wanted it to be, or as she needs it to be. Like Casey, it's not bad by any means, but it feels a little indulgent (and I can't believe I just wrote that). This is probably the closest Crystal has come to karaoke on the show. Unfortunately, this was the wrong night to give that a shot.
Lee is wearing a gray leather jacket which looks to have an asymmetrical opening. Please show: stop letting Lee talk. Instead, let him sing Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man. Lee still only hits about 3 out of every 5 notes, but this is good. It's the best so far tonight, and maybe Lee's best ever. I knew that the judges were going to fall over themselves over this performance, especially after the lacklusterosity of the first two. Ellen has been reduced to Lee Levels of incoherence.
Now it's time for the Judges' Choices. I wondered how they were going to divide 3 songs among 4 judges. Turns out that Randy and Kara teamed up for Casey, selecting D-Bag Extraordinaire John Mayer's Daughters. I'm not sure if Casey is wearing a purple shirt, or if he's just reflecting the lighting. Either way, this is much better than his first song. He's giving a lovely and subdued performance, which unfortunately may not be what Casey needs to stay in the game, a point that Simon makes, putting Kara on the defensive.
Ellen chose Maybe I'm Amazed, by Paul McCartney for Crystal, who sits, instrumentless, on the stairs, wearing tall leather boots, a shirt with keyhole shoulders and print that sort of looks like a corset. Her hair has a sort of tall, lumpy bit at the top, as though the dreds had been stuffed inside each other. Her performance is 1000% better than the first one- nothing half-hearted or tentative going on this time. I'm not sure that Crystal didn't lose the lyrics there toward the end, but I don't think it matters.
Simon decided on Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah (or as it's known in Taylorville: that song from Shrek) for Lee. Simon chose well- this song is perfect for him. Whoa- someone (whether it's Lee, or The Show Itself, I don't know) wants Lee to win- he gets the Mothership Lighting, the Fog Machine, and an entire Choir of backup singers entering slowly and dramatically from behind.What, no bagpipes?
Oh Lee, honey. Sssssshhhh.
Well, I've said from the beginning (or as close to the beginning as I could manage, given that we didn't see her until the Hollywood shows), that as much as I love Crystal (and I think I love her more than any other AI contestant in the history of the show), I don't want her to win American Idol. I don't think winning will serve her or her career well. And it's a good damn thing that I feel that way, because Lee may just have walked off with the whole shebang.
The best I can hope for is that Casey goes home tomorrow night, and Crystal pulls an Aiken/Daughtry/Lambert/Yamin/Pickler/Covington/Hudson from her second place finish.