Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'American Idol 9' - Top 2 performance show recap

Well, this is it folks. Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze are facing off to determine who will be the winner of American Idol 9. We'll be live-blogging starting at 8 p.m. and invite you to join in!

Cold opening with clips of Lee and Crystal in their first audition video clip. Mashup of performances. Each of them say, "I am the next American Idol." Ryan pipes in with, "But only one will have that chance," and we're live. Ryan enters the Nokia Theater L.A. Live and is greeted by 7,000 fans. I love finales!

Ryan intros the judges. Crystal and Lee enter through the crowd. Crystal drops her mike. Nervous much? She hugs her boyfriend and takes the stage. Lee says, "Wow!"  Crystal says, "This is a lot of people," and Lee says, "Hello everybody."

Ryan tells us there are three songs, one chosen by the contestants, one by Simon Fuller, and their own personal coronation song. Crystal won the coin toss and will go second. Thus, Lee is up first.

Lee DeWyze - "The Boxer"

Little video of his parents prior to Lee's performance who talk about his aspirations to be a baseball player. Lee already looks like he's got tears in his eyes. He's not quite in tune and there's some kind of funky camera mess in the middle. His father looks like he's in a trance. It's actually better than the first time. Too many "la la lies," though. The audience seems to love it.

Randy says this is a great way to start off the night, but isn't sure it was energetic enough. Ellen says she couldn't be prouder if she "birthed him herself." Kara agrees with Randy and says Lee has to "punch harder." Simon says, "This is the big one, right, so I would expect a lot more passion, excitement... That was a kiss on the cheek, when I want a kiss on the lips." Heh!

Crystal Bowersox - "Me and Bobby McGee"

Crystal's father says she found her mother's guitar when she was ten and taught herself to play. She thought it was a Christmas present!  Crystal looks just as cool as ever. This is a great song as it really shows off her clear voice. She has a great tone and keeps it on point. It feels like a little celebration of her journey. I love it.  Whoa, Crystal done brung it!!!

Randy says it started a little bit slow, picked it up in the middle, and at the end returned to the Crystal they love. Ellen thinks Crystal is so compelling on the stage - you and that guitar filling up the room. Kara says she loved it the first time and loved it this time. "You have fire in your belly." Simon says this is Crystal, back on her best. "We've got a competition tonight."

Round one to Crystal!

Simon Fuller's choice

Lee - "Everybody Hurts"

This song is totally not in Lee's range. He is totally off to start with. I grimace, it's that bad. Not a good choice at all. Is Fuller trying to throw Lee under the bus with this? Awful, simply awful, and Lee knows it too. Even the choir couldn't save this mess.

Randy thinks this was better? What? Ellen says he really got into it a couple of times, but then pulled back. She wants more. Kara says what makes Lee great as a performer is that he's emotionally accessible. Simon thinks this was a brilliant choice, but points out that he went off a bit. He wants a ten out of ten on the last performance.

Crystal - "Black Velvet"

No guitar for Crystal this time, and she's in a black dress with heels. I just had a little Kelly Clarkson flashback.  She tears it up, fluffs the lyrics a little, but tears it up. The audience doesn't look too into it, though. It's not as good as her first song, but better than Lee's song, I think.

Randy says, "Mamasox is in it to win it!" Ellen comments on the wardrobe change. Ellen gives her a standing "O." Kara says this is the night to do it all and "that's what you were doing." Simon says he had a little problem because he's almost allergic to the song, but says, "You took that song and you absolutely nailed it. I'm very impressed."

Round two to Crystal.

Coronation song (i.e. the single the winner will record)

Lee - "Beautiful Day"

He doesn't seem to know this song at all and is even more out of tune than normal. People are all excited, but I'm not quite sure why. This is terrible. There are simply no words.

Randy says, "Good on you." Ellen asks Lee how he feels. He says he feels good and he's feelin' it. Ellen says watching the process she can see he was in it, taking in all the energy. Kara says she thinks he got swallowed up in the song, but that he's grown the most and has the most commercial voice. "You deserve to be here." Simon thinks Lee made the most of it. He says it's his final time to judge this show and this is what the show is all about. "I genuinely wish the best for you, you're a great guy."

Lee says he wants to be doing this for the rest of his life and appreciates all the support. "I love you guys very much," he finishes.

Crystal - "Up to the Mountain" 

The song has a bit of a gospel tinge, and in fact, she gets the choir. It's really like a typical coronation song with peaceful valleys over the mountain, and such, but at least it has a little substance to it.  She actually does a pretty good job with it, all things considered.  It sounds a bit like "Change Gone Come." Crystal loses it at the end.

Randy says, "This is what this show is about - an amazing song, by an amazing singer." He thinks this was her best performance ever. Ellen says we're always looking for someone unique and that Crystal is in a league of her own. Ellen will buy her album and see her on tour. She's happy to be witness to the rise of Crystal's career.

Kara says at times Crystal's walls have been up, but this time, she was completely involved. Crystal interrupts to speak to Simon. She says he's been amazing, and thanks him for all the help and wisheView Blogs him well!  Simon says this was "by far the best performance of the night." His final critique ever (on Idol at least)... "That was outstanding!"

Round 3 to Crystal.

Will Young, winner of the first Pop Idol, sings us out with "Leave Right Now," and we see a video montage of the season. When he finishes, the Top 12 are on the stage and we are out.

So, Crystal won the night on my scorecard. Thus, she should win the title. Simple as that.

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