Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowesox and American Idol fans all winners

I am thrilled that Lee Dewyze won the American title last night, but Crystal Bowersox is also a winner.

Talking to Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends this morning, Crystal talked about how happy she was for Lee to win American Idol last night. She graciously accepted the title of runner-up.

Brian also spoke to the winner, Lee Dewyze, and they talked about how Lee was not in the original 24, until Simon spoke up and said to put him in.

Lee said that the whole thing was an incredible, amazing experience, and he is still overwhelmed and grateful and he thanks Simon for his honesty and his help in giving him advice that he took to heart; the good and the bad.

Lee's personality gained him the admiration and respect from the other contestants who last night showed how happy they all were to see Lee win the title.

This year, for me, was the second year that both finalists were my favorites and the one I wanted to win, did indeed win.

The first time it happened was in Season 7 of American Idol. Both David Cook and David Archulteta were my favorites, and in my opinion, were the best. Both have found success in the music business.

Besides the anticipation of who would win last night, there were a lot of classic artists, some of my personal favorites, that performed on the show.

Daryl Hall and John Oates, Chicago, and the Bee Gees came on stage and performed with the contestants.

I really liked seeing the former contestants all come on stage for Simon Cowell's last appearance on the show, before he leaves to begin a new adventure and start a new show of his own.

David Cook was obviously missing from last night's show, and I was surprised that Simon did not react or interact with Kelly Clarkson, the one he always brings up on the show year after year.

It was nice to see Paula Adbul back. I think it was a huge mistake on the part of American Idol, to let her go. Now with Simon Cowell's departure, I think the show next season will be very different.

I think Janet Jackson's 'super bowl halftime' performance was a little much, and hearing Christina Aguliera and Alanis Morisette trying to compete with the voice and talent of Crystal Bowersox, was entertaining.

While I believe Carrie Underwood has the voice of an angel, I do not think she pulls off soul or R&B very well.

I muted the TV once again as Fantasia and Jordin sparked screamed into the microphones, but loved hearing Michael Lynche and Michael McDonald perform together.

I look forward to the first single and CD of both Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox. I wish them both much success.

I am also excited about So You Think You Can Dance starting tonight. I understand that one of my favorite dancers of all time on that show, Neil, will be returning as they change the competition up a bit.

So, American Idol is over for another year. I have not heard yet who they are considering for Simon Cowell's replacement, except to say that Elton John reportedly turned down an offer.

Who will it be? What will happen to American Idol, now that it is losing its favorite judge we all love to hate at times. Simon Cowell.

All in all, I think it was a good finale.

Lee's first single will be "Beautiful Day", and I am sure when Lee got up this morning, he realized it was a beautiful day for him, and a happy day for all Lee Dewyze fans.

American Idol looks to Crystal Bowersox to win tonight

I noticed an unbridled bias toward Crystal Bowersox on the finale performances of the two remaining contestants.

In light of Simon announcing on Ellen DeGeneres' show that he predicted Lee Dewyze would be the winner this year, I found their critiques of both contestants rather odd.

I though Crystal shouted through most of the song Black Velvet, but the judges appeared to be bowled over by her performance.

Don't get me wrong, I think Crystal Bowersox makes Kelly Clarkson sound mediocre, but I just thought the judges' laid it on a little thick last night.

Even Randy, who normally makes the most sense, did not give Lee the praises I thought he deserved.

I though his rendition of the song he will record if he wins, Beautiful Day, was flawless. I guess it was just another one of those nights where I wasn't hearing what the judges were hearing.

I thought Crystal did a wonderful job with Me and Bobby McGee and although she sung the song that she will record if she wins, called, Up to the Mountain, extremely well, I didn't like the song.

I am hoping that like in the Season 7 finale performances, Simon saying that David Archuleta blew David Cook away, was a mistake on his part, and he will say it againt tonight.

Tonight is Simon Cowell's last night on American Idol before he leaves to do his own reality competition show, The X Factor, and there are supposed to be many surprises for him.

Paula Adbul is slated to return tonight.

Whatever happens, I think that both Crystal and Lee will have successful music careers.

I was bothered by just one more thing last night, and that was Simon repeating him lame 'rags to riches' story about Lee Dewyze.

What makes him think that any Idol contestant, his pet favorites Kelly Clarson and Fantasia Barrino, included, would have made any kind of musical success without American Idol?

I hope Lee wins, but will be okay if Crystal does, and the only thing that will bother me about her winning, is how obvious the judges made it last night, that they want her to win.

Which one will it be?

American Idol Season 9 finale - Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze

I have to say I now feel a little bad about wishing that voters eliminated Casey James earlier on in the competition, after last night's show.

I enjoyed watching the contestants go home and visit with their fans.

Casey James' emotional return to the hospital where he almost lost his life if not for the people who worked there was especially heartwarming.

He seems like a nice guy, and I think he will have a successful career in music. Casey will be appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres show today, as all booted contestants are the day after their elimination.

Crystal became emotional while speaking to Ryan about her return home. She also spoke beforehand about the hectic schedule the remaining contestants have been following. Crystal spoke about being a mom and that she is doing this so she can provide for her child's needs, and she thanked American Idol for the care they took with her medical issues during her run on the show.

Lee returned home to Illinois and visited his elementary school, with hoards of screaming fans. He also got to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, and performed at a racetrack to thousands of screaming fans from his hometown.

There were two guest performers last night, who could not be more opposite from the two remaining male contestants left before Casey received the news that voters eliminated him.

One looked like a girl, and the other one sounded like a girl. Justin Beiber, who is 16 years old, is this generation's version of Donny Osmond, sort of.

Travis Garland's voice was uber-soprano and I did not get the jumping around all over the stage, which the judges railed into Tim Urban when he did it during a performance.

Rushing at the end of the show to get to the results, Ryan let Lee know that he was in the finale next week, first, and then quickly told Crystal that she was also safe.

Ryan apparently did it so fast, that Crystal was not sure she heard him say that she was going home.

I think next week will be a test for not only the two finalists, but also for Simon, since he is the one who predicted a female would win this year. I think Lee is going to give Crystal a run for her money and I think she will have to be on the top of the top of her game, to beat him.

The audience for the show last night seemed to favor Lee, screaming louder for him than for Crystal, but we will have to wait until next week's American Idol finale, to know for certain who the voters decide will be the next American Idol.

American Idol judges overly enthusiastic for a Crystal/Lee finale

I would like to see Lee Dewyze win this year, and with his standout performances last night on American Idol, it just might happen.

I am disappointed that last night was not a Michael/Lee/Crystal night, but I think the performance show proved what I have been saying all along, that Casey does not measure up to the talent of the two other finalists.

The contestants first performed a song they chose themselves.

Casey James chose Okay, it's all right with me. I thought he sounded better than he usually does for me. I just do not think he is as good as the judges, or the voters apparently, think he is. I was surprised, at first, when the judges said they did not care for it. Randy said the title of the song was fitting because it was just "Awight" with him. Simon said he hoped that Casey's first performance was the first course, the salad, and that the meat would follow in his second song.

There was a theme running through the judges' criticism, and I believe it is because they believe that Crystal may actually be eliminated before Casey. If that is the case, they have no one to blame but themselves.

I thought he sang it well, as Simon did admit, but since he went first last night, I was not sure how it was going to go for him in the second round.

Crystal Bowersox chose Come to my window, which I think is a good song but I think the harmonica and guitar were a little distracting as she sang. She did a good job of the song. I think I may have been paying more attention to what the other judges said, than Kara did, because she said the opposite of what Randy and Ellen said, but first announced that she agreed with the others. Randy and Ellen did not like the arrangement but thought Crystal rose above it to pull it off. Kara said Crystal got lost in the arrangement.

Seriously, Kara, there is only one performance show left, try to keep up until the end, at least.

Simon said it was the most stunning version of the song, which I disagree because I think the original by Melissa Etheridge, is still the best.

Lee Dewyze chose Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even though I do not like it when the judges say it, I agreed with Simon that Lee crushed the other two contestants with this performance. Simon said that to David Cook in the finale of Season 7, and he was dead wrong, and admitted he was the following night. I personally think he knew David Cook won already and just wanted to retract his statement, so he would not face embarrassment when he was proven wrong.

Randy said he thinks Lee can win, and so do I, if voters do not go completely insane and vote Lee off tonight. Even Kara said round one went to Lee. I agree with her, which frightened me.

The judges' choice for Casey was John Mayer's Daughters. Randy and Kara chose this song for him.

I did not like this performance of Casey's as much as his first, but I was in disagreement with the judges. Randy thought it fit him like a glove, and Kara enjoyed it as well, which comes as no surprise since she picked the song.

Simon, however, chuckled while Kara spoke and then proceeded to tell her and Randy that it was a lazy arrangement that apparently they worked on with Casey. I agreed with Simon on this one, and was glad he was the one who chose a song for Lee after this performance.

Crystal's song, Maybe I'm Amazed, picked for her by Ellen, and I thought it was a weird choice for a female to sing. But given the recent remarks by Ellen regarding her sexuality, I guess I was not surprised.

I thought she screamed through most of the song, which Paul McCartney sang flawlessly. The judges fell all over themselves in praising her, which will probably guarantee her spot in the finale. They mentioned that she took a risk singing without the guitar, but I never liked the addition of the instruments.

Lee blew away his fellow contestants with his performance of Hallelujah, chosen wisely by Simon Cowell, of course.

Kara garbled something about him being unique in that he came from nowhere. Correct me if I am wrong, but is that not the case for all the contestants who have ever been on American Idol? I agreed with Randy all the way, that Lee threw down the gauntlet, and with Ellen who said it was a stunning performance.

I think Lee absolutely stunned the competition last night, and I predict Casey will go home tonight. I want Casey to go home tonight, and I wanted him to go home last week, but the voters disagreed and he stayed another week.

I wondered why they only spent a minute on the three remaining contestants' return to their hometown, when they usually spend a lot more time on that segment. I think it goes in line with what I have been saying all season, that more emphasis has been on the judges this year than any other year.

I do not know what they will do without Simon next year, but I do not think it will be an improvement, no matter whom they get to replace him.

Tonight we will see, after four long months of competition, which two contestants will be in the finale next week.

For me, Lee is a combination of Daughtry and David Cook, and since I am a huge fan of both, I hope Lee is crowned this year's American Idol.

American Idol voters predictably eliminated Big Mike

I was not at all surprised to see Michael Lynche go home last night on American Idol. Leaving Crystal standing with him to the end of the show was not fooling me one bit. I know that Crystal did not receive the second least amount of votes, and this was an attempt at causing controversy, when Idol's ratings need it more now than any other time in the show's history.

I enjoyed seeing Daughtry come back. I think it is generous of him to come back to the place where he started, even if he did not even make it into the finale in Season 5. I also enjoyed seeing Bon Jovi, but I was not crazy about the song he performed.

Michael Lynche, the one the judges saved weeks ago, went home night, but I think he will have a successful career in music. He is a versatile performer, who showed he could sing anything, but when the song has meaning, he sings it like nobody's business, as in the week he sang This Woman's Work.

I enjoyed Michael's performance of Eleanor Rigby on Beatles night and I think he has been a wonderful addition to American Idol this season.

I predict great things for Michael Lynche and coming in at #4 on American Idol worked out well for Chris Daughtry, so I think we will be hearing lots more from Big Mike.

I have not been a big fan of Casey James for some time now, and I think that Lee and Crystal should be in the finale. I thought that might be a possibility before last night's results show, but now I am left wondering if it will be a Casey vs. Crystal finale, which I will find about as interesting as the Fantasia/Degarmo finale of the Season 3 Nightmare.

Speaking of Fantasia, I muted the TV when she came on and did not un-mute it until she walked off the stage. I am not sure why they chose to have her on as a guest when she is one of the winners of American Idol dropped by her record label, and have Daughtry on the same platform, who came in fourth and became as big if not bigger than Clarkson.

Maybe it was a message of encouragement to Big Mike, letting him know that sometimes not winning American Idol can be a great boost to one's singing career.

My support will go to Lee all the way now, and when he goes, what little interest the show has for its fans, will most likely go with it.

So You Think You Can Dance and Hell's Kitchen cannot start too soon for me.

American Idol movie night moving toward mature audience

I think I have figured out why American Idol is losing viewers this year. There have been too many references to sex and sexuality this year, for the 12-17 year olds who make up a large portion of the American Idol audience.

I also think this is because with Simon rumored to leave after this season, they are trying to attract a larger audience of adults. I believe this because of Ellen's comment last night, when talking about the song "Have you ever really loved a woman". She had to say that , "yes, she has", which for me was totally unnecessary and uncalled for, on a show geared towards the young people, who are the ones listening to, and buying the music that is popular today.

Before you start hollering and getting all worked up because I said that about Ellen, I want to say I am sick of the heterosexual sex talk about Casey and the joke about Kara's feelings for him.

It reminds me of the mess with Paula Abdul and Corey Clark, and the controversy surrounding what type of relationship they had with each other.

This is a singing competition; a reality show, and I do not think there is room or cause for the artists who appear on the show who dry-hump microphones, or touch themselves inappropriately in front of millions of people.

It is American Idol, and it is supposed to be about the contestants and their singing ability. It is not a show where people want to hear about who or what the judges are having sex with.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the performances of the four remaining finalists on American Idol. I think Jamie Foxx is an upstanding human being. I think he is charitable and a nice guy, and a pretty good actor. However, I think as far as being a wonderful singer, I am on the fence with that one. I think he is about as good as any of the other rap singers out there today, which I do not consider music or singing. For him to decide if the contestants are mere contestants or real artists, is pushing it a bit.

Therefore, to tell Lee Dewyze he did not appear to be an artist after his first performance last night, was outrageous.
Lee sung Kiss from a Rose, a song I always thought was boring, but I think Lee did a fine job of what he had to work with and the judges' comments only reinforce my thinking that they want Crystal to win in a big way this year, no matter what they have to do.

Kara continues to talk out of the stupid side of her mouth, comparing performances to prior weeks' performances, which really is not how American Idol voters choose who they will vote for, and those who have watched for years, know this is true.

Simon told Lee it sounded karaoke, and we all already know that he wants Crystal to be the next Kelly Clarkson, so anything he says to the more talented singers this year, all points back to that agenda.

I gave Lee an A for his performance. I do not like the song, it is too slow and boring, but he was able to make it less painful.

I also enjoyed his duet with Crystal, when they performed Falling Slowly. The judges fell all over themselves praising it and Kara even said it was her favorite moment, which I think she has probably said at least a half-dozen times already.

I still do not like the guitars; I think they are a distraction. I liked David Cook with the guitar, but no one else since.

Michael Lynche sung Will you be there, a Michael Jackson song, and I am glad that at least Simon noticed that Big Mike sang it as if he felt the words and meant every word. The other judges were less receptive to his performance, and Kara compared past performances again. I think he has real talent and a stage presence that could take him far in the music world, even if the judges are trying their best to have him eliminated.

I gave Mike an A for his performance. No one can emulate Michael Jackson, but he did give 100% to the performance, as Simon said, and I would like to see him in the finale with Lee.
Mike and Casey sung, Have you ever Really loved a Woman, and it was a good performance but the performance for me, was overshadowed with Ellen's remark about her love for a woman. People laughed, but there really was not anything funny or classy about it. It is not something that should be included in this show, especially with ratings being lower than ever in the show's history.

I hope that Casey is going to be the one eliminated tonight. I feel this way for the reason stated above, that sex talk should not be part of American Idol, and that is all they seem to talk about when Casey performs.

I also feel this way because as Casey James performed, Mrs. Robinson, I could not help thinking of Jason Castro and of Tiny Tim of Tiptoe through the Tulips fame. I just do not get it with Casey. I do not see the big deal about his looks, and although his voice is decent, I do not see him becoming the next Daughtry.

I gave him a C for his performance. He was just okay for me and he needs to lose the ukulele or whatever the instrument was he was using last night. He also needs to stop behaving as though he thinks he is too good for the show, or embarrassed to be on it, because he is not.

Crystal Bowersox, to my dismay, performed I'm All Right from Kenny Loggins and I was not as crazy about it as the judges were. I thought she would choose a song like Irene Cara's What a Feeling to do something different and show us what she has that makes her versatile. She did not do that for me.

The judges, of course, loved it and told her that she was back in the game, again referring to the last couple of weeks, where the judges did not fall all over themselves about Crystal's performances. They tell her she earned the Artist shirt Jamie Foxx said he would give to those who nailed the performance.

I gave her a B for her performance, but if the judges have their way, it will not matter anyway.

I think Mike and Lee outperformed Crystal and Casey last night. I think I am going to be disappointed with who the voters eliminate tonight, because I do not think it is going to be Casey.

American Idol loses Aaron Kelly and keeps Casey James

After Tuesday night's performance, I stated that I thought Casey should go home, but the voters disagreed and sent Aaron Kelly home instead.

I am not as disappointed as I might have been in previous seasons. This year just has not been able to measure up to the last two seasons, talent wise, or otherwise.

Losing Paula Abdul was a big one for me, not liking Kara at all is another.

Season 7 was a great season, with lots of talent. There were only a few of the top 24 that I did not care for, and then last year there was Adam Lambert. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation surrounding the results shows. This year it is just boring.

Last night's results show was made more interesting with Lady Gaga performing and with Harry Connick, Jr., basically stealing the show, with his humor, and the impression I got that he really cared about the contestants. Prior mentors were more there to promote themselves, I thought, except for Adam Lambert, who was an excellent mentor.

When Ryan split the contestants into two groups, I was certain that the shock of the night was going to be Crystal in the bottom two. While she has flawless vocals, as I repeat every week, I am less enthusiastic about her actually winning this year.

I cannot see Crystal performing songs like Lady Gaga or Katey Perry does. I do not see her as a success in country music, and I think record producers would have a difficult time deciding what genre she should sing.

I think Lee is the most marketable, at least for me. Apparently, the voters believe Casey has what it takes. I just thought that, as Simon said, Casey appeared embarrassed to sing a Frank Sinatra tune. Like Simon says often to some of the contestants, I felt that Casey acted presumptuously, thinking that he was too good an artist to sing a old song from a crooner of years gone by.

Therefore, when Ryan announced that Michael was in the bottom two again, my disinterest turned to annoyance. I used to think that the youngest viewers of the show, were the ones actually calling in and voting. I am not so sure this year.

I also think it is a different audience watching at home this year. Michael is every much as talented as Reuben, I believe, and because he is not shy as Reuben was, it gives him the stage presence and charisma that should take him far in the music business.

I felt bad for Aaron because he is so young and it may be harder for him to handle coming so close to the finale, but I think he will have a career. He appeals to the young and he is very talented. One thing I thought of last night was why they allowed Harry Connick to be such a huge presence on the stage again last night. I really enjoyed it, and at the same time, I wondered if maybe American Idol producers had approached Harry to be the possible replacement for Simon, if indeed, he does leave at the end of this season.

So, we are down to four. I think Simon may be swaying more towards a male winning this season, as long as that male is Lee Dewyze. We will have to wait and see.

American Idols Croon and Croak with King of Cool

I was excited to know that the last five remaining contestants were doing songs from the incomparable Francis Albert Sinatra. Frank was singing for 60 years and I was a fan in the late 60's and early 70's

I was disappointed that only two of the contestants sung songs from the hits he had during that time. Three contestants sung songs that Sinatra put out, but they were songs I knew better from another artist's rendtion.

I was glad to hear that Simon was a big fan of Frank Sinatra and it surprised me as well. Frank Sinatra's two daughters, Tina and Nancy Sinatra's, Nancy of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" fame, presented Simon with a handkerchief of their dad's.

Aaron Kelly sang, Fly Me to the Moon, and I thought he did a decent job of the song. It was different-sounding from the way I am used to hearing it. I love Bobby Darin's version of the song, but I thought given the age of Aaron, that he pulled it off.

Randy and Ellen agreed with me, but Kara being her usual obnoxious self had to mention that he did not do as well as last week. Since when do the judges critique the contestants from week to week. Does it not go by the votes?

I gave Aaron a B+ and do not think that Simon should say that compared to Sinatra being a lion, Aaron was the mouse, unless he said it to all the contestants. The reason I believe this is because although Harry Connick Jr. has come closer than anyone has before, to sounding like Frank, there will never be another.

Casey James sang Blue Skies and destroyed the song. He did seem like he was singing this song as a joke, like Simon suggested. He looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. The whole performance was pitchy and Randy thought so as well, and added that it was Casey's worse performance to date. Kara mentioned his vibrato being out of control and I just thought the whole thing was bizarre. I gave him a D for his performance and think he may go tonight. I thought he should have gone instead of Siobhan last week, and after his performance last night, maybe he thinks he should go, too. It almost felt like it was bad on purpose.

Crystal Bowersox is the one you cannot really ever say anything bad about, as far as her vocals go. She performed Summer Wind, that is one song I happen to be a big fan of, and I do not think she sounded as sleepy as Randy thought she did. I do not know what Ellen referred to when she said Crystal was swallowing her words, and Simon unnecessarily said that she had two "okay" weeks.

What I did not care for was the explanation or the excuse Crystal gave after the judges' critiques. I realize that it is most likely difficult to accept criticism when you really receive anything but praise. Still, I never liked the talking back to the judges. I also think that Simon may now be leaning more towards Lee, as I have been lately.
Michael Lynche performed The Way You Look Tonight, which is another song that is not as familiar to me as a Frank Sinatra song, as it is another singer's. I thought he did a fantastic job and he has the charisma that so many performers had during Frank Sinatra's heyday. I think Michael is one of the most versatile contestants, in that he seems to be able to handle any genre of music American Idol throws at him. I give Michael an A for his performance. I rarely give him anything less, and I think he nailed the song last night.

Lee Dewyze also nailed his performance of That's Life, one of my favorite songs of Frank Sinatra's. He did his own version, sort of, while keeping with the upbeat sing-along attitude that song has. I think his vocals were impeccable, he looked the part, and if I hear Kara mention his self-consciousness one more time, I may scream. Either that or I will have to mute the TV while she speaks. Randy loved it and most importantly for Lee, Simon said he was the best of the night. I think so, too, with Michael running a close second. I gave him an A as well, and think that he will go to the finale.

Since Simon insinuated that people are voting for Aaron Kelly on something other than his vocals or his performances, I will take that to mean that he has a strong fan base, and that Casey and/or Crystal even, could be in danger tonight.

When it gets down to the last five, all American Idol fans brace for the worst, that their favorite is voted off. This year, after Lilly Scott went home so early on in the competition, I really have not been that upset with others who also left the competition.

I will be surprised and disappointed if Lee and Michael are not around for at least the top three. I think even Crystal realizes now that simply because Simon predicted a girl would win, and all signs have pointed to that girl being her, regular Idol viewers know that nothing is a sure bet.

American Idol voters leave one female contestant standing

Before competition began this season on American Idol with the top 24, Simon Cowell predicted a female would win this year.

I do not see anything odd about that, since the winners for the last two seasons were male, David Cook and Kris Allen.

What I did find strange last night was that American Idol viewers eliminated Siobhan Magnus the week that the judges gave her positive comments for the first time in weeks. Stranger still, all of the judges were disappointed with the favorite to win, Crystal Bowersox.

Call it conspiracy theory, call it luck of the draw, but Michael's performance on Tuesday night did not warrant a place in the bottom three either. Are fans hearing something that I myself, and the judges, are not?

Rascal Flatts performed instead of the finalists' group sing.

Ryan Seacrest announced that the contestants received 33 million votes. It sounds like a lot of votes, but to me, it sounds a lot lower than the number in previous seasons this late in the singing competition.

I enjoyed watching the contestants talk about the preparation that went into the new Ford commercial that featured the contestants as vampires, with Mike being the 'object' of the vampires' obsession.

Ryan then divided the contestants into groups, a tactic I have not liked since the
nightmare of Fantasia, with three groups of two.

In one group, there was Siobhan and Lee. In the second group was Aaron and Crystal, and in the third group, Mike and Casey. Ryan tells Crystal and Aaron they are safe. He tells Lee that he is also safe, leaving Siobhan, Mike, and Casey in the bottom three.

Carrie Underwood appears to push a band who tours with her, Sons of Sylvia, which my son thought were good, but I thought they needed the push because they were not that good.

The contestants got to do voiceovers for the new Shrek movie, where Ryan apparently has a speaking part.

Lady Antebellum performs and Rascal Flatts returns to the stage with Shakira. Finally getting back to the results, Ryan tells Mike that he is safe. Thinking that Casey would surely be the one to go home, Ryan tells Siobhan that she received the least amount of votes, and would be going home.

For me, Siobhan was the last one who could have given Crystal a run for her money to the finale, the way is clear now for Simon's prediction to come true.

Although I think that Mike and Aaron could have a successful career with a large fan base, I believe Lee is more marketable. I also believe that if you go by vocals alone, Crystal already won.

However, as we have all seen in other seasons of American Idol, the best is not always the winner.

I am disappointed that Siobhan went last night instead of Casey, but I still believe his time is running out; whether some think he is good looking, because it is supposed to be about the singing.

Next week Harry Connick Jr. will mentor the five remaining contestants with Sinatra tunes. I foresee Aaron, Lee, and Mike having the least amount of problems with this theme, but American Idol voters are a fickle bunch, so we will have to wait and see.

American Idol and Shania Twain go country

Loyal fans of American Idol already know that Simon Cowell does not like country music. He says it every year, and yet every season they have Country Week on Idol.

To me, Shania Twain is more of a pop/country crossover artist, so I guess that is why Simon was a little less cruel than he usually is during the country music performances by the Idol contestants.

Ryan Seacrest announced that Idol Gives Back raised 45 million dollars. I thought I remembered in previous years, Idol Gives Back raised money each time someone voted for the favorite contestant, but no one else seems to remember that. I did not think, given the amount of viewers American Idol has, that this was a large amount of money, but the economy is tight, so that could be it.

Lee Dewyze performed You're Still the One and I am glad he chose this song. This is one of my favorite Shania Twain songs. He sounded great and reminded me more than ever of David Cook last night. I think he has a real shot at the finale.

Simon thought it was the perfect song for Lee, but he started in with the useless, irrelevant comments that are normal for him at this phase of the competition. He told Lee he made weird faces when he sang. I guess Simon never watched Joe Cocker or Bruce Springsteen perform. Simon is the one who always complains about people not voting on the contestants' singing ability alone, but he is the one who talks about everything from their hair to the way they are dressed. Kara said Lee sounded relevant, and if she means to today's music, I am not so sure that is a compliment. Given some of the stuff people are listening to today, relevant may not be a compliment, unless you are talking about Chris Daughtry.

I gave Lee an A+ and I think there is a good chance it will be a Dewyze/Bowersox finale.

Michael Lynche sang It Only Hurts When I Breathe and I thought he actually did sound Luther Vandross-ish, as the judges said. His voice is every bit as good as Season One Winner Reuben Studdard, but Michael seems more at ease with people, and on the stage. Reuben was shy and not as confident, but he was the 'teddy bear'.

I thought Michael was on his game last night and proved that the judges were right in using the save on him a few weeks back. Michael can sing R&B, country, rock, and I think he will be a success long after he leaves the Idol stage.

I gave Michael an A+ also last night, and disagreed with Simon when he insinuated that Michael's performance was 'wet', which apparently means 'girly'. I did not see that at all and I think Simon only wants to stay true to his convictions that country music is not his thing.

Casey James performed Shania Twain's Don't, and I don't understand all the excitement surrounding the judges' accolades to Casey's performance. I thought the song was a little slow and boring, and I think Casey does better with rock songs. I do not think this was the right choice of song for him, but the judges appeared to think it was his best performance.

I never liked the contestants using the musical instruments anyway, but since I saw the judges talking during Casey's performance, I wonder how much they really paid attention to his while he was singing. Randy and Simon said it was Casey's best performance.

Between Kara's head bopping and the fact that it looked as though her hair suffered from lack of water pressure last night, she expressed her pleasure in his performance. I think she expresses too much pleasure for Casey, given the large amount of young girls watching the show. Some of the language and innuendo on the show this season appears geared toward a more mature audience. I think that is strange because I always thought the young crowd was the one who voted.

I gave Casey a B and I thought he sounded good, but not as good as the judges thought he was.

Crystal Bowersox, this year's favorite to win, sang No One Needs to Know, and no one needs to worry that Crystal's performance did not blow the judges away last night, because we already know that Simon clearly wants Crystal to win this year.

Kara wanted 'bigger' and Crystal told her that bigger is not always better. Oh, brother, the back talk again; not a fan of the back talking. Simon went as far as to insult her by saying she sounded like one of those people who come up to your booth in a coffee shop and start performing when you do not want them to do that. He was on a roll last night with the stupid comments and even though I agreed with Randy and Ellen that it was also not my favorite, the girl can sing like nobody's business.

I gave Crystal a B+ for her performance, but she has A+ vocals and no song can hide that.

Aaron Kelly appears to be Idol's underdog this year. I think he is holding his own with the older contestants and he did it again last night with his performance of You've Got a Way. I agreed with Ellen that he seemed more mature than his 17 years, and he explained changing lyrics to dedicate the performance to his mother.

Simon was totally off with his remarks about Aaron struggling in past performances. I have not really seen struggling, but because Aaron did wind up in the bottom three, Simon likes to act as though he is always right, so he tells Aaron that last night's performance showed a different Aaron than in previous weeks. I think Simon just wanted to prove he knows what the audience likes because Aaron was in the bottom 3 last week.

I gave Aaron a B+ for his performance, and an A for telling the judges he sang the song for his mom. I think that alone may keep him out of the bottom tonight.

The judges do not give Siobhan Magnus the credit she deserves as of late. The girl has mad vocals and can hold a note longer than most popular singers today, including present, and past Idol contestants.

Randy and Ellen loved Siobhan's performance, and even though Simon said it was a good performance, he told Siobhan the note she hit sounded as though she was giving birth. Again, not really that funny and not a comment that makes any sense.

I gave Siobhan a B+ for her performance of Shania Twain's hit, but an A+ for the vocals.
At least Simon did not insult country music singers everywhere, as he normally does, last night. I guess he liked Shania Twain when she appeared as a guest judge early on, so that was the reason he was a little more reserved in his criticism of the music genre.

Most of the contestants performed well enough to remain another week, but someone has to go home tonight. I think it could be either Aaron or Siobhan, but my choice would be Casey. I just do not think he is as good as the judges think he is, or as he himself thinks, he is.

American Idol Gives Back and the voters give Tim Urban the old heave-ho

On last night's Idol Gives Back Show, there were many wonderful moments and at least one sad moment for Tim Urban fans, of which I am one.
The show began with a message from President and First Lady Obama asking America to give generously to Idol Gives Back, and to help children and families in the United States, and around the world, to give others a chance at a healthy protective life.

President Obama ended his message saying to the Idol contestants. "As Randy always says, ya'll my dawgs."

I thought that was funny, and then Michelle Obama tells Simon not to be so mean.

Most of the guest entertainers performed on another stage, with Queen Latifah hosting. The crowd with Latifah was very enthusiastic and she had to holler over the crowd, and showed her excitement as well.

When the cameras came back to the Idol stage, Ryan Seacrest did his best to imitate that enthusiasm, and the audience seemed to enjoy that.

The seven American Idol contestants, joined by the last five contestants eliminated, performed "Keeping the Dream Alive", in keeping with the theme of last night's show. The vocals sounded good, but the lip-synching is not getting any better. I liked it when they sang live.

With the announcement that Elton John would be a guest on American Idol, I looked forward to seeing my all time favorite perform, as I have been a huge fan since 1970. Elton John came out in the last few minutes of the show, before Ryan revealed whom the voters booted off this week.

Before Elton John performed, other guests took the stage. In previous seasons, I complained periodically when certain contestants received fewer votes than others did. I used to love driving my kids crazy by saying that parents should keep their 12-year-olds off the speed-dial.

I also assumed that the majority of viewers, who actually voted, were under the age of 25. According to the Nielsen Ratings, American Idol has slipped in the ratings this year from previous years, but only by 3% for the 12-24 age group, as compared to viewership down 7% for adults 18-49.

With these numbers, I wonder why American Idol's jokes and some of the performers' songs choices did not seem geared toward the under 17 crowd.

I am not prude, but if they are going to try to reach out to the older crowd, the ones who would call and donate to Idol Gives Back, there are other ways to do that.

For example, the Black Eyed Peas perform a song called Rock Your Body. Something tells me the message of that song is slightly different from the Shake your Groove Thing disco song.

Although I do not particularly care for Alicia Key's voice or songs, I know the younger crowd likes her. I could have done without her hands rubbing her body as she sang, however.

Because I have heard monologues from Wanda Sykes in the past, and because I paused the DVR for a few minutes earlier, I fast forwarded through Sykes and did not hear a word she said, but I am sure it was not for the under 17 crowd.

The popular agenda on most network stations of late, seems to be Global Everything. Ryan interviewed Bill Gates on his idea to have Global Healthcare. That is curious to me because I think Bill Gates became the richest man in the world, due largely in part to money he made in the United States. I just wondered why he wants to turn us into a Global Nation, instead of what we currently have. This also has nothing to do with the premise of American Idol, a singing competition.

It is a noble cause that Idol Gives Back is collecting money from viewers for, and that I did not have a problem with, but pretty much everything else I did. Elton John performed in the last 10 minutes of the show.

The results portion of the show came in spurts, with Ryan announcing first that the voters put Aaron in the bottom three.

Then Ryan told Michael and Tim they were also in the bottom three.

After Elton John performed, Ryan then told Aaron he was safe. He then referenced last year's save, Matt Giraud, saying that he only lasted two weeks after the judges kept him from elimination.

I was disappointed last year when Matt went home. I thought he was one of the top three talented contestants of all of them last year. Ryan mentioned Matt to trick the viewers into thinking that Michael would be going home. He did not fool me because I knew that Tim's number had finally come up.

Ryan told Michael he beat the odds and told Tim he was going home.

It was no secret that the judges never liked Tim very much and only gave him decent critiques a couple of times. They have said the following to Tim, which are the kinder, gentler comments:

Some of the things they said to Tim in previous performances were:

Simon: the song is pointless and silly.

Kara: performed like a kid in a musical like Hairspray or High School Musical; why do you smile all the time. Do you not know what we are saying to you?

Randy: did not get it.

Ellen: muttered about Tim not being original and thought he could sing a little

Now that Tim is gone and the judges have not yet picked a second contestant to rail every week, who will be next? Siobhan has received some criticism in recent weeks that were completely opposite from the words of praise she received in earlier performances.

Therefore, I think Siobhan will be the judges' next target.

Overall, last night's show was a nice way for Americans to put some money into a good cause to help people. The entertainment was mediocre and a little mature, I thought, for American Idol, and Elton John did not get enough face time.

That, and the elimination of Tim, prompted me to be even more thrilled to see the advertisement for So You Think You Can Dance, scheduled to start after American Idol finishes out the season.
That is something to look forward to, for me.

Did American Idol contestants inspire or disappoint last night?

I am not familiar with Alicia Keys' hits, but I saw that she did a fine job of inspiring the American Idol contestants during Inspirational week on the performance shows. I have seen her perform on awards' shows and I like that she plays the piano, as opposed to so many who walk on stage half-naked and grab their crotches. Although, I do think that Lady Gaga has a tremendous voice. I can excuse antics somewhat.

I listed the songs that I wanted the contestants to choose to sing from the list, and I was, as before, wrong on every one of them.

I was not familiar with a few of the songs, and I used to dislike that, but now I think that without having heard the original, it is better to judge them on their own merits with a song.

Casey James performed Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac. I wish he Casey had chosen a song that a group had not performed. There is always something missing no matter how good the vocals are, when the contestants choose a song recorded by a group. I guess the other voices are what are missing.

His vocals are great and he puts me in mind of Huey Leeis, but he needs to stop smiling between breaths. I know that Kara told him in the beginning that he needed to show more personality, but I think he smiles even more than Tim Urban does. At least Tim does not smile all the way through the performance. It almost makes me think that Casey is smiling because he knows how good he is doing.

The judges apparently did not agree with Casey, if in fact that is what he was doing. Randy and Kara thought it sounded no different from his other performances. Simon used the word of the night to say that Casey's performance was non-inspiring and lazy. I gave Casey a C for his performance; his vocals sounded good, but as Ellen said, the performance was unforgettable.

Lee Dewyze (got it right this time) sang The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel. I honestly was going to pick this song for one of the contestants, but I did not think they would want to take on the challenge.

Lee not only took the challenger, for me, he nailed it. It is a five-minute song and unfortunately, Lee could not sing the whole song. What he did sing, was fantastic and I believe he could record that song and have a hit with it. Simon and Garfunkel's hits are timeless and will be contemporary no matter how music styles change.

Lee proved that point and I give him an A for his performance. This is how all the contestants should sound at this point in the competition; better each week. Kara thought THIS performance was HIS moment, and frightening as it is, I agree again with Kara. Simon used the word of the night again and said Lee's performance was inspirational.

Tim Urban sang Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls, a group I thought were females until my teenage son corrected me. I guess I was thinking the Go Go Girls.

I like Tim's voice and I think it is perfectly fine if the young crowd votes for him because he is just so darn cute. He is a handsome young man, but he does have talent and deserves a spot in this competition.

I thought it was an odd song, odder still for Tim to choose, but I think he did, as Randy likes to say often, "Aw-ight". Tim's performance last night only managed to get a similarity to a karaoke performance from Randy, while Ellen rambled on about soup that was not helpful and was just silly, while Kara at least said he sounded commercial. Simon said he was disappointed given Tim's performance last week, and that he did not 'believe' it, whatever that means.

I gave Tim a B for his vocals but not more than that because I did not like the song in general.

Aaron Kelly did one of the most challenging songs of the night with I Believe I Can Fly. I think Aaron appeared nervous at first, but I thought he was able to pull it off and I think he was unfairly judged last week, which may account for his nervousness at first last night.

All the judges liked it and agreed with me in saying that he has pure talent. Simon loves to pick on the young contestants with mean remarks, and last night was no different when he told Aaron if he heard him singing that song on the radio, he would turn it off. Useless and deliberately mean, I hope the voters did not heed Simon's comments when they voted last night.

I give Aaron a B for his performance. If he had performed the entire song they way he did the second half, I would have given him an A.

Siobhan Magnus performed a Whitney Houston song I really do not know, When You Believe. I think Siobhan has just as much raw talent as Crystal Bowersox does, and the judges believed that in the beginning of this season. Last night, and in previous weeks, they seemed to have changed their mind.

Even though during the performance she reached a note many other contestants on the entire run of American Idol, have not been able to do without sounding as though they were screaming, the judges still did not give her that credit. She also held a note longer than any contestant that I can recall, except for one Diana Degarmo held during Disco week on American Idol years back.

Kara told Siobhan she did not know "who she is" and I ask, "who is Kara to judge someone with Siobhan's amazing vocal talents?" I never heard of Kara before American Idol, so I wonder how she could say that to one out of two female contestants who are in a different league from the other females eliminated in previous weeks.

I gave Siobhan an A and I hope that the voters agreed with me and not the judges so that Siobhan will be around until at least the week before the finale, if not for the finale.

Michael Lynche sang Hero. Simon may know the business side of the music business, but he shows his ignorance of the actual music part of the music business at times. It is either that or he is just trying to be clever while being sarcastic. Michael has fantastic vocals and a charming, loveable personality, but Simon chooses to make fun of the song because it came from a super-hero movie, to make a remark about the song sounding artificial because it came from a Spiderman movie. Kara said his tone was unrecognizable, and again I refer back to my previous remark that Kara's experience in the music business is unrecognizable to me, because I never heard of her before.

I gave Michael a B for his song selection because I thought there were more challenging songs he could have nailed on the list, but an A for his performance as a whole.

Crystal Bowersox before People Get Ready. It was an emotional song for her and she performed flawlessly, as she does week after week. Randy gave her a standing ovation, Simon, using the key word again, said it was inspirational. He also said that performance put her in a different class than the other contestants last night.

I am trying to figure out how many different ways Simon can show how much he wants Crystal to win this year. From the first performance show, Simon predicted a female to win this year. Simon keeps comparing her to Kelly Clarkson, the only winner that Simon pushed and routed for, who became a success. The more he says it about Crystal, the less I want her to win, and not because she does not deserve it, but because Simon's critiques of Crystal's performance and his critiques of the other contestants last night, gave Crystal the unfair advantage. Kara said that Crystal schooled the other contestants, but the only lesson she taught Siobhan last night is that the judges want Crystal to win, and not her.

I thought the contestants all chose songs that were inspirational, but not all of them inspired me to want to see them win this year.

I cannot even make an educated guess as to who will go home tonight, according to the way people will vote. I think that Casey should go home tonight, but it will probably be someone else, someone the judges did not like last night.

What are your thoughts?

American Idol eliminates two so "Whatya want from me?"

I read on the Internet yesterday, that American Idol voters would eliminate two contestants on last night's results show, because the judges used their one and only save last week, to keep Michael Lynche in the competition.

I thought it had to do with the introduction of Idol Gives Back, scheduled for next week, but apparently, I was mistaken.

Luckily, Michael stays around to entertain us, and I hope voters will not assume that he will be safe, and vote for him if he is one of their favorites.

The remaining 9 contestants sang a medley of Elvis' hits and it left me wondering where all these songs were the previous night during the performances.
I would like to have heard the contestants do Teddy Bear, Return to Sender, and Burning Love.

Ryan told Crystal and Siobhan they were safe. Moving on, he told Aaron and Casey they were safe, too. Then, not wasting too much time last night, Ryan Seacrest informed Andrew Garcia that it was the 'end of the road' for him. While I felt bad because the other contestants seemed very upset to see their friend and fellow contestant leave. However, I do not think Andrew Garcia fared as well in the competition so far, compared to some of the other contestants.

Former contestant from season 7, Brooke White sang Elvis' The Wonder of You, and I wondered who told Justin Gaston, who sang with Brooke, that he could sing. I thought the performance was dull and boring, but it was not a performance for the judges to critique, so I will not say any more about that.

Ryan had the remaining 5 contestants go to the middle of the stage. After the usual review of some of the stupider things the judges said the previous night, for example, Simon telling Tim Urban he "went from zero to hero", he told Tim and Casey that they were safe as well.

Before he told Michael, Lee, and Katie who would join Andrew on his trip home, Adam Lambert took the stage.
When I say he took the stage, he TOOK it! As much as I love David Cook's voice and wanted him to win the entire season of American Idol from audition to finale, Adam Lambert is officially my absolute favorite American Idol contestant of all time.

When American Idol brings guest singers on, they are big names that I am not wild about, or they are virtual unknown that I believe should stay that way. However, Adam Lambert is a different story altogether.

The performance was amazing; the special effects were the most spectacular thing I have ever seen, and his vocals? Flawless is the only way to describe it.

I said, and my 17-year-old son agreed, that as blown away as I was by that performance, that is what Adam Lambert did every week, during his run on American Idol last season. Still reeling from the shock of his loss to Kris Allen, I have to believe that it was a gift from God that he did not win, as was Chris Daughtrey's stroke of luck, because Daughtry is bigger and better than ever.

Adam Lambert is just starting out, but I get the sneaky suspicion that he will be performing and wowing audiences, young and old alike, for a very long time.

Finding it difficult to get riled up about the eliminations, as I normally do each week, Ryan tells Lee that he is safe, after some dramatic make-believe to throw us, and Lee off track.

Believing that voters could not make the same mistake twice not voting for Michael Lynche, I knew that we would be saying goodbye to Katie. I think now that Simon was right all along, that country should have been singing songs with a country 'twang' because I thought her voice was best suited for that.

Therefore, not too many surprises, but one heck of a performance by a former contestant in last year's "jumping the shark" finale, and a tribute to the 75-year-old King of Pop, made for a special results show last night.

Next week the 8 remaining contestants' mentor will be Alicia Keyes.

What did you think of the eliminations, and of Adam Lambert's performance of "Whatya Want From me?" My answer is simply "More"!