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.