American Idol Season 9: Top 4 Week

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

After tonight, only two more weeks left in this godforsaken season. Then we can all go home and get ready for the sure-to-be-AMAZING summer season of So You Think You Can Dance. Have you heard about all the changes?

So this week the Idols are doing "Songs of the Cinema" with mentor Jamie Foxxxxx, who brought some stupid t-shirts, one that says "Contestant" and one that says "Artist." I refuse to explain it any further.

Lee is up first, with "Kiss from a Rose," and Jamie gets all up in his face and also makes him practice interacting with the camera, which is pretty wise. Lee starts out strong, hits a rough patch in the trickiest melody part, but is strong again by the end. I want to love it and think it's special but it is just the same thing he does every week -- dude at centre stage with his guitar and a microphone, looking all cute and sweet. It goes a long way, but does it go far enough?

Randy says it was just ok, it was "pitchy" (Harry just told you that's not a word!), and he wishes Lee would have chosen something that rocked harder. Ellen says Lee's so good, but it wasn't very exciting. Kara, looking like my 8th grade choir director, says essentially that the song was too hard for him to sing. Simon wishes Lee had gone less karaoke and picked a cooler song, I think.

Big Mike, Jamie Foxx, "Contestant" t-shirt 'cause he doesn't know the words, won't take it, blee blah bloo. "Will You Be There," and it's boring and irrelevant and Mike's lower register is just awful.

Randy literally whines about how Big Mike wasn't in his box. He is such a whiner! Quit whining, Jackson. You're like a 3-year-old. Ellen thought it was predictable. Kara wishes it had been better and less boring, basically. Simon doesn't know what Free Willy is, and also he lies that Mike had thousands and thousands of songs to choose from. He didn't. He had 50. Simon thinks that Mike kind of meant it... so that's nice?

Next, Lee & Crystal duet on "Falling Slowly," which you may recall was already done to perfection by Kris Allen last year. Lee actually far outshines Crystal on this; he's not only more memorable, but he also sings better. Hmm. Strange. Maybe it's because he already did his solo song tonight and the pressure's off him a bit?

This also makes clear to me that in any other context than this horrible season that flutters between mediocrity and sheer terror, I would never choose to listen to Crystal Bowersox.

Anyway, the judges get to weigh in on the duets for some stupid reason. Randy loved it. Ellen loved it. It was one of Kara's favourite moments of the season. Simon calls the song fantastic but doesn't say anything about their performance.

Crystal has a "musical crush" on Lee.

Casey's turn with Jamie Foxx and "Mrs. Robinson" now. Jamie wants Casey to focus and seduce him. Casey gets the "Artist" shirt, so I guess the seduction was successful. He performs sitting out in the audience pit on a platform and playing a mandolin. It's ok and all, but I wasn't really missing a front-porch version of "Mrs. Robinson" in my life, you know? Super boring. I really think this week would have been the one to pull out at least one or two stops, Casey.

Randy gets gross about the connotation of the song and Kara and everything and excuse me while I go barf. Ellen liked that Casey changed the song up but wishes he had gone further with it, whatever that means. Kara says this was Casey fighting to stay in the competition, which... no. He's done the intimate, acoustic thing like three weeks in a row. Simon gets gross also. Kara isn't helping matters. Simon eventually gets things back on track and calls it lazy and lacking in the kind of substance that a night like this requires.

Crystal will be singing "I'm Alright," which apparently is from Caddyshack. I don't know. I've never seen it. I know. Jamie thinks Crystal needs more confidence. So she performs with her fancy special mic stand and her guitar, and it's very Crystal... but now that I had that revelation when she did the song with Lee, I don't even want to listen to it. I really don't like her voice. I've been fighting it this whole time, but it's true. So maybe I do want Lee to win? David Cook, Kris Allen and all?

Randy likes that she tried to make the song fit her. Ellen says Crystal made the song better. Kara agrees completely. Simon asserts that Crystal is back in the game. Was she ever out of it?

In the audience, Crystal's adorable boyfriend is wearing the most hideous pants.

Lastly, Casey & Mike team up or "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" This is the most boring list of songs ever. Could they come up with some new ones for next season? Casey bleats as much as ever, and Big Mike R&Bs his notes all over the place. Casey's harmonies seem pretty tentative. Basically, this whole thing never needed to happen.

Randy says overly complimentary things. Ellen makes a simply hilarious joke about loving a woman. Always pushing the envelope, that one. Kara is also overly complimentary. Simon... ditto.

Let's move on and get rid of one of these clowns, shall we? At least we get Bon Jovi and Daughtry tonight, so that should be fun. Maybe.

Oh but first, Fantasia. Fastforward.

Everybody's family is on stage on the safety couches.

Down to some results: Casey is the first one told he is safe and in the Top 3. Well, that is not how I expected things to go. Big Mike looks worried.

Daughtry (or Dough-try if you're Ryan Seacrest or from Jersey, I guess) sings for us next. I can't tell you how it was because I got wrapped up in a text conversation about road-tripping to Bonnaroo next year. It's only like a three-day drive, you guys!

Ryan just did the same vowel sound in Dough-try and ohdience and wohtching. I thought he was from Atlanta.

The second person in the Top 3 is Lee. Well, phewf. Ryan actually had me scared there for a second.

And next, Bon Jovi and their questionable hair. It is not as fun as I had hoped: who cares about their new songs?

Now let us find out whether Crystal or Mike is through to the Top 3. I assume it's Crystal, but... it's Crystal. It is ok. All is still right with the world.

So there you have it: Crystal, Lee and Casey, predicted from the start of Top 12. Good-bye, Mike. I won't check you out on iTunes.

Tags: american idol, recap

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