Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Final 2 Performances - Crystal Bowersox vs. Lee DeWyze [Recap]

Hello American Idol fans and welcome to the penultimate episode of this, dare I say it, awful season!  What better way to cap it off than with a ho hum performance night yet again?  I am exaggerating a little bit.  I thought one contestant really came to play tonight.  The other kind of just was happy to be there.  The question will come down to what America picks in their American Idol. Pure raw awesome Talent vs. A nice rags to riches back story and a great trail of improvement all the way through the show!  Both very engaging and intriguing stories!  Only one will stand at the end though!  It was the BIG NIGHT!  LIVE at the Nokia Theater!  (I missed the more formal look of the Kodak Theater)  I am still undecided on my pick but I'll figure it out in the end and you'll see who I am leaning towards by reading my LIVE Blogged recap!   It's Simon's final night of critiquing! I already miss it, yet Randy still decides to BOO at his introduction.  Classy, dawg.   Let's get into the battle!  3 Rounds!  DING DING!!

Lee DeWyze vs. Crystal Bowersox
(The Live Blogged Recap)

Round 1
"Contestant's Choice"

Lee - "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel: 
I liked this performance when he did it during Inspirational Songs week.  He still did it pretty well.  I don't know if it was an Idol winning performance or anything, but he has his support base behind him now.  Randy and Kara spoke of a little lack of energy.  I liked Simon's analogy that he wants a Kiss on the Lips instead of a Kiss on the Cheek.  We needed a little more for the final week.  Really, who is going to replace Simon on this show?  

Crystal - "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin
The new one compared to Janis all of the time does a reprise of her homage to Janis!  I still think it's no contest in the talent department.  Crystal has the edge and this round shows that!  I still think she is awesome and the true deserved winner based on her natural gift.  I still think Lee has the whole "I grew in confidence through the competition" thing going for him.  But that Crystal performance was HOT!   Kara said that Crystal has FIRE in her belly?  REALLY?!?!  Seriously, will people watch this show with no Simon?

After Round 1:  Lee 0, Crystal 1

Round 2
Simon Fuller's (Executive Producer) Choice

Lee - "Everybody Hurts" by REM
I love this song.  Lee is doing a much better job with it than "The Boxer".  But 2 ballads in a row?  Not sure that is his fault since Fuller picked it.  He has that choir backing him up again!  I don't know.  I love the song, the performance was decent.  But I just turned and looked at my wife and we both just shrugged our shoulders.  I just feel like we should expect more in the final performance night, right?  Will fans vote for this? Not so sure.  Simon points out the Nokia theater, it being the end and that Lee might be nervous.  He wants a 10 out of 10 for the final song.  But really, Simon?  THE DREADED IDOL song?  When does anyone sound good on that?    

Crystal - "Black Velvet" by Allanah Myles
Another great song choice!  Arrangement started off a little bizarre.  Crystal killed it from the middle to the end of it though!  She is in this thing to win it!  And Randy just echoed my statement.  Should I be happy or embarrassed?  Seems like the judges have Crystal's back tonight.  Simon said that she nailed it even though he's tired of hearing it in the auditions.  I would agree she did a solid job.  But the last few contestants the judges have supported haven't fared so well in the finale!  Hmmm...  I gotta keep this suspense up until the end.  

After Round 2: Lee 0, Crystal 2

Round 3
The Idol "Cover" Song??
Lee - "Beautiful Day" by U2 
Wait a minute.  They're releasing COVERS as singles now?  I guess they realize how bad those songs were they were writing?  And now Lee has to fill in Bono's shoes for his final performance?  Oh boy.  I know I hate the Idol song, but it's part of the experience.  Which contestant can do the best with the crap they're given?  This is not a good performance of a classic U2 tune.  It seems like he's going through the motions.  Definitely not the 10 out of 10 Simon was looking for.  He is hitting all of the notes, but it's just kind of there.  I just don't know.  This almost made me not care about who wins AT ALL.  What happened to this show???  The judges are on board with the performance and my wife was too.  Maybe I missed something.  It just didn't do thing for me.  Oh wait...Kara is on my side!  (ugh, I'm so depressed).  Simon puts his 2 cents in for Lee even though he didn't seem too thrilled with the performance ("you made the best with it").  I agree that the guy has had an amazing ride to the finals.  And it's a great break for him.  But I don't know if he needs to win to get that break.  But I think the fans and Crystal haters will rally to his cause. 

Crystal - "Up to the Mountain" by Patti Griffin
Oh man, she is not going there!  I love this song, but Kelly Clarkson's performance of it from Idol Gives Back is infused in my mind.  It was so great.  Okay, I got that out of my system.  Okay, she won me over!  It was fantastic!  There's room in this world for multiple versions of the song.   AMAZING.  Not Kelly, but Amazing all in its own right.  I really think she came to win it tonight, and she just might deserve it.  Does that mean she WILL win?  Well, I don't know.  The judges rightly praised the performance.  I don't think Crystal buttering up Simon and thanking him before he gave a critique was the smartest of ideas.  That is the one knock I have for her.  She has bad timing with when she decides to speak!  But with 3 knockout punches to Lee tonight, is that all that she needs? 

After Round 3: Lee 0, Crystal 3

The Pick

Well, I just don't know what to say.  Crystal clearly won this night.  Her interrupting of Simon with compliments before a critique definitely won't win her any votes.  But up until last week, we thought Crystal had this thing in the bag, right?  It's almost like the Idol producers somehow gave Lee a competitive edge last week to make this final showdown more interesting!  But that is getting into a bunch of conspiracy talk.  Lee is a fan favorite.  And the teenage girls will swarm to his side.  The Casey fans will now back him up.  Anyone with an AT&T phone will be texting him (well, not me but that's besides the point).  But, I'm sorry guys.  I cannot in good conscience pick someone who didn't show up to the finale week!  I like the guy and everything.  But I just can't do it.  I have to put my great record (6-2) of picking Idols on the line to pick the most talented in the end.   And that pick is:


I do not know how she ranks up with some of the winners in the past, but she was by far the best this season.  And has an amazing vocal instrument and adds to that with her other instrumental talents.  She gave a knockout performance tonight, and I hope fans do the right thing and reward her with the crown.  "Up to the Mountain" deserves radio play anyway.  I don't think we need a U2 Imitator single getting air play!  Great run Lee, but I'm putting my money on the Mama Sox!

I am fully prepared to be incorrect on this, but I am fully fine with it.  As I mentioned above, I have lost the will to care about this season and am thankful it is almost over!   I am sure the finale will be a pretty fun spectacle as they always are.  I'm sure "Pants on the Ground" shall return for an encore.  Carrie Underwood will be there so it already sounds like an improvement over the season!  And, of course, since they have finally come out and spoke on the air about Simon leaving the show, I believe we can expect some SIMON LOVE for his final episode.  Maybe even a montage of his greatest insults!  I'm on board!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I will see you after the results!  


Ending Credits

  • I'm moonlighting at Gather.com and writing some entertainment articles, including re-posting these blog entries.  Every page hit gets me closer to a teeny tiny donation for my efforts.  If you enjoyed my writings, please click here to register a page view.     And also check out my other writings at http://mvitullo.gather.com/ 

Check out my other Blogs: 


Ian said...

I'm with you here. Crystal clearly owned the night. I picked her to win over on my blog, but DialIdol actually has Lee winning! I'd be happy for my fellow Illinoisan, but...does he really deserve it? I'm not so sure. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey MIKEV...did you catch where Ryan Seacrest said that America would have "AT LEAST 4 hours to vote"? What in the name of Diana DeGarmo does THAT mean? Why do I sense that this show is rigged after all? Why will I not care for it AT ALL next year sans Simon? Their best bet will be NOT to replace Simon---just let the 3 judges have at it. More Kara time for you.

Mark Benson

Mike V. said...

@Ian - So crazy. I would not doubt that Lee may win this thing. And if he does, it will be a travesty for this show. Like I said, I like the guy and he's made some great strides to get here. And I have a sneaky suspicion that he might still get the popular vote. But, it just doesn't make sense. Yes, maybe it is what the show is all about...giving someone a break, as Simon suggested. But apparently, talented Crystal needs a big break too! Anyway, if he does win, it will further my resolve to distance myself from the show. It definitely has become a mess this season!

@Anonymous - let's hope so!

@Mark - I didn't notice him say the 4 hours, but I have noticed it in past finales. The excuse is apparently that they want to give people more opportunities to get their call in since more people will be trying to call. It has been that way since season 1. Of course, it also allows texters to TEXT more votes too. And all they care about is how many votes they can report they got tonight. I'm sure it will be over 100 million votes! And Ryan will get super excited about saying it! And how many of those votes will be from sore thumbed teens who want their cute guy Lee to win the thing? Yep.

Anyway, Lee winning plus if they make KARA the new Simon?? This would even further my resolve to follow the way of Simon and give up on this show! LOL

Unknown said...

Poor Lee! He didn't get the memo that the finale was this week not last week. As much as I loved Lee all season, Crystal clearly deserves to win.
Mike you gonna follow Simon and blog X Factor?

Mike V. said...

Laura, I totally agree. If Lee did what he did last week he would've sealed the deal. Even with Crystal having a great week this week. We'll see what happens!

As for X-Factor. I definitely will be intrigued to check it out. And if Paula comes on board, that would be icing on the cake! We'll see about the recaps. I'm liking this sense of closure I have going on right now with LOST, FlashForward and Idol....I could just walk away while on top! :-) I think I know myself too well for that.

But the fun of writing about Idol is definitely gone for me. I can't see myself doing another season! At least not of EVERY episode.

Anonymous said...

MIKEV...This show lost when they Ryan announced Taylor Hicks as the winner but.........I keep coming back for more. LOL

The dynamics that Simon has brought to Idol over the last 9 seasons cannot and should not be underestimated. As far as I recall, there wasn't anyone in any reality show that was as nearly as brash or pompous as Simon was when he first started. And now to see where many shows have tried to imitate his "style" is a credit to his influence in the American culture---good or bad.

Let's give Simon what he is really clamoring for---a kiss---not on his cheeks (and I do mean the ones on his backside) but a meaningful, sincere and respectful one right on his lips. I applaud his tenacity, his wit, even his style of dress because as serious as he can be, deep down we all know that he does exude a heart of gold and a heartfelt desire to help those needing his expertise. He'll not only be missed but by my estimation, he cannot and should not be replaced.

Now, MIKEV, do you happen to know that contractual statuses of Randy, Ellen, Kara and Ryan? And do you know how long Idol has already been contracted for sans Simon?

FWIW, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs here and with Lost and even though I have rarely written my views, be assured that your immense writing skills have not gone unnoticed. Whatever the future holds for you and the Mrs., I wish you nothing but the best.

Mark Benson

Mike V. said...

Mark - Totally agree with everything you said about Simon. He is irreplaceable. Same with LOST being irreplaceable by a new show! Although many will try! lol Good call on Taylor. I supported him back in season 5, but I think many of us were drinking the Kool-Aid. He was entertaining, but I did wonder if he'd have commercial success lol It's cool to see Chris Daughtry doing so well.

I have no idea on the contractual statuses of the other ones or Idol itself with Fox. I'm sure FOX will run the show into the ground though. Unless X-Factor proves to be a worthy successor, then it may end up booting Idol from the Winter/Spring slot and put that there. We'll see! They'll get to see what a season of American Idol looks like without Simon first and then what season 1 of X-Factor looks like WITH Simon.

Thank you so much for the props on all of the blogs and the props on my writing! I appreciate it!! And thanks for the well wishes for me and the Mrs. (wow...that was some cheesy pseudo rhyming there lol) I'm sure I'll do something, just don't know what yet!