Tonight! Contestants' picks and judges' picks! Ryan's opener gets lamer each and every week.
Casey's pick for himself is "OK, It's All Right with Me" by Eric Hutchinson. It's a good choice for him, and he does a great job, but as usual it is nothing particularly special. This just lacks all excitement. Each contestant has three numbers this week, yikes.
Randy wanted something more interesting. The audience forgets to boo. Ellen agrees with Randy. Kara thinks he should have picked something more well known. Simon calls it the salad in the meal that is an episode of American Idol. Well, I like salad.
Crystal has picked Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window."I suppose if you're going to be obvious ever on this show, now would be the time. She is wearing a weird outfit consisting of flared jeans, a long shirt or possibly skirt, and a blank tank top. I do not approve. Her singing is typically good and typically yell-y, and I'm still over it.
Randy negatives the arrangement but positives the song choice and the singing. Ellen says Melissa would be very proud of Crystal. Kara agrees with "the guys." Ellen is not a man, Kara. Simon appreciates Crystal's unwillingness to compromise.
Here's Lee with his pick, which is Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." It's very good. The best of the three by far. Heartfelt, passionate, and well sung.
Randy commends Lee's song choice and applauds his newfound confidence in the most disgusting way possible. Ellen is proud of Lee. Kara says Lee showed us everything he's got. In a good way. Simon calls it "absolutely on the money." All of the judges call Round 1 Lee's.
This Top 3 feels kind of lonely to me. It is missing something... or someone interesting, I think.
We're back for Casey's hometown visit to Cool, TX, where he learns that Randy and Kara have chosen John Mayer's "Daughters" for him to sing. Randy gives some explanation for this choice that explains nothing. Casey is a smidge flat through most of the song, but it almost sort of works. It's nice, but coupled with his boring first choice, this is not going to do anything for him. What is this, coffeehouse night in the Idoldome? Where's my latte?
Randy says this fit Casey like a glove. Well, naturally. Ellen thought it was beautiful. Kara congratulates Randy and herself on their choice, and Casey on his artistry. Simon laughs at Kara and Randy, and sort of pans the arrangement and the song choice as being, I think, boring and/or lazy.
Off to Crystal's hometown in Ohio, where she's texted Ellen's choice: "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney. No guitar! Piano accompaniment! Just singing! She goes for a pretty straight-up McCartney arrangement, and proves that she can in fact sing. That's nice to hear. She's pretty awkward on stage without her guitar still, but getting better. Also, I appreciate that she didn't pull a gender shift (a la Jem) on the lyrics but still made me believe it.
Randy loved it, Ellen loved it, Kara loved it and says what I said only more eloquently (surprising?), and Simon also loved it.
Last song of the night! Lee, back in Chicago or whatever, discovers that Simon requests that he sings "Hallelujah," like by Leonard Cohen or Jeff Buckley or whomever we're claiming it's by today. Oh good. Haven't we heard this enough already? Did Lee get a haircut between his first song and this? I'm confused. Regardless, he sings the crap out of the song and I am prepared to love it like whoa until RANDOM GOSPEL CHOIR IS RANDOM! Out of nowhere! Too much! Tooooooo muuuuuuch. He finishes with a big sigh and everybody is on their feet and it feels very much like a ~*moment*~, choir and all. Even Simon is beaming. Did Lee just win the show?
Randy reckons Lee threw down some kind of gauntlet. Lee thanks Simon for choosing that song for him, even though he was skeptical at first. Ellen calls it stunning. Kara calls Lee the heart of the season. Simon is very, very, very proud of Lee. (That is a direct quote.)
In summation: Casey is kind of squeaky and boring, Crystal is kind of shrieky but otherwise a very talented singer, Lee wins at Top 3.
Results! Casey's going home, right? Let's find out...
(Hey, GOOD NEWS: I heard that next season they're doing 30-minute results shows.)
Ryan tells us two things of note: (1) Justin Bieber's performing tonight (except that I think they taped his songs weeks ago), and (2) 47 million votes were cast on Tuesday night. Yowza.
Ryan and the Idols chat for a while, and we learn that Crystal and Lee would both like to win; Casey doesn't care so much. Everybody is very busy. Casey gets a lot of texts. Crystal's diabetes is doing well and she is receiving first-class care thanks to the show.
Ford music video to "Real Wild Child," which I mostly know from Josie & the Pussycats.
More footage from Casey's hometown, where they're stopping traffic for him and asking to marry him and stuff. We learn that Casey is single. Casey is also overwhelmed by the attention. He signs a dog. He loves everybody. He visits the hospital where they put him back together after his (motorcycle?) accident. There are tears. He plays a show for many, many screaming fans.
Some funny-looking dude named Travis Garland, apparently discovered by Perez Hilton, sings a poppy song. I don't know who this guy is. Am I old? I do know there is some super nifty triple-splitscreen camera work to rival Jason Derulo's strobe effects. And that the female feature dancer is wearing horribly unflattering white denim cutoffs. Meh.
Now it's Crystal's hometown time, kicked off with some mini-harmonica. Crystal signs some guy's boob. Crystal rides in a parade. Crystal gets a key to Toledo. Whoa, they have a door? (HA HA HA.) She goes to a family BBQ. Then she plays Bowerstock. And then she cries to Ryan about getting to sing her own song called "Holy Toledo."
Lee! In Chicago and area! Lee throws the first pitch at a Cubs game and gets it over the plate. Lee has lots of small girl fans and lots of big girl fans. Lee visits his old school. Lee is overwhelmed, especially when he visits his old stomping grounds at the paint store.He visits his family (including the adorable parents). There are a lot more cops in Lee's hometown package than the other two. He plays some songs for far and away the biggest crowd of the three. He cries while he sings. Oh STOP IT, I'm already melted into a big puddle of goo.
And now... Justin Bieber. Bieber Fever speaks for itself.
Results! Finally and at last.
The first person in the finale is LEE! I am pleased.
The next and only other person in the finale is... Crystal. And all is as it should be and as it was predicted to be by so many lo these many weeks ago.
Casey sings himself out with "Daughters" sans guitar. He seems relieved. I'm glad it all worked out for everybody.
Next week: it's all over. I am still torn on who I want to win. Even though I love Lee the most, I am not totally in favour of three Guitar Dude wins in a row. But is Crystal really the girl I want to break that streak? Not really so much, no. How about YOU?
Paul sings and plays a better version of Hallelujah!