Lee and Crystal

It's the finale of American Idol. And it's Simon Cowell's last show. And it's the second to last time we get to hear Randy boo Simon when he's introduced. Tomorrow will be it--thank god.

Ryan introduces Lee and Crystal and they each come down an aisle of the Kodak Nokia Theater. Crystal seems to have come too fast, dropped her mic, and then missed her mark. Kind of embarrassing, but hey, at least she didn't fall up the stairs or anything like that.

Tonight we get to hear three songs from Lee and Crystal. The first is a song of their choosing, the second is chosen by the show's executive producer, Simon Fuller, and the third will be the song they release if they win.

Crystal won a coin toss last week and opted to go second tonight. Lee's up first.

First we get a little more background on Lee from his folks who thought he might grow up to be a pro baseball player. But he ultimately wanted to be a rock star.

He starts with his song choice--"The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel--this was the song he sang during "Inspirational Song Week." He sounds great and seems happy. Randy said it was a great way to start the night, but that he needed some more energy. Ellen said he did it better than he did the first time. Kara agreed with Randy, but she liked his connection to the song. Simon expected a lot more passion/excitement. He said it was a kiss on the cheek, when he expected a kiss on the lips. "Not from you," he added.

Crystal's dad tells us that Crystal found her mom's guitar when she was 10. She took an interest and taught herself to play.

She comes out to perform "Me & Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. Good choice--this was one of my favorite performances from her when she sang it the first time. And, I don't know if she heard the comments Lee got, but Crystal brought the energy that was missing in his performance. Great job! Randy thought it was "dope, dude." Ellen found it very compelling. Kara loved it the first time and tonight. Simon said it brought them back to the time they absolutely fell in love with her. He said, "We've got a competition tonight."

Lee's up with Simon Fuller's choice for him: "Everybody Hurts," by REM. So much for more energy. Fuller should've given him "Shiny Happy People." Now, that song has energy. Lee does a decent job--I hate to admit he sounded a little off on a long note in the middle of the song. He got another choir behind him and it was overall a good performance. Randy thought this was better, but mentioned it was a little pitchy in the beginning. There was more passion. Ellen also noted that he was off a couple of times. She wants to see him go all out. Kara liked his emotional connection, even though it wasn't a perfect vocal. Simon said it was a brilliant song choice, though he went a little off melody at parts, but Simon thinks we're hearing that Lee's nervous, and told Lee to give a 10 out of 10 on his 3rd performance, because he is capable of it.

Crystal gets to sing "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles. Great song choice for her. She's doing it with quite a dramatic arrangement. Woo! She sang the hell out of that song! Awesome! Randy said, "This is what I'm talkin' about. Mama Sox is in it to win it!" Ellen said it was fantastic! Kara said she's supposed to be giving it her all tonight, and she is. Simon said he's almost allergic to that song because he's heard it so many times, and heard so many people murder it, BUT, he said Crystal absolutely nailed it.

Now for the song Lee will release if he wins. It's "Beautiful Day," by U2. Interesting. So, they're using a "real" song vs. a song written for the show. GOOD DECISION. No cheesy releases this year! This time he's got violins backing him up. I don't love this performance, but that's not really Lee's fault--his performance is fine. I've just never cared for the song, is all, so it's hard for me to enjoy it. Randy liked it. Ellen said he did a great job. Kara thought he got swallowed up in the song, but acknowledged that he's grown the most during this season and has a very commercial voice. Simon felt he made the most of it. But he said that Lee is what the competition was designed for--he's a paint salesman who needed a break.

Crystal's song is "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin. I like it--it's got a bit of a country-gospel feel. She sounded great--great performance. Randy said it was one of the greatest performances, at the perfect time, on this show. "Incredible!" Ellen said Cyrstal is in a league of her own, and said, "If you make an album, I'll buy it, and if you go on tour, I'll go. If you make a salad, I'll eat it." Kara liked that she was completely emotionally invested in that song more than any other performance. Before Simon said anything, Crystal thanked him for his years on AI, and for his critiques and support. He said it was by far "the best performance and the song of the night. And, since this is going to be the final critique I'm ever going to give, I would just like to say, that was outstanding." Aw....I'm getting a little creeper in my eye. (That's a term the DJs I listen to in the morning use....don't know where it came from!)

Last week, I thought it was pretty even between Lee and Crystal, but tonight, my vote is 100% for Crystal. She was amazing, while Lee was good. I know they'll both be fine either way, but I'd love to see Crystal win this.

The show ended with a video montage of the season's antics, and a performance from Will Young, the original winner of Pop Idol UK.

Tomorrow is Simon's last show. Ryan hinted that there will be some surprises for Simon. Should be a good show.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

i've heard paula's going to show up on tonight's show-

yes, disappointingly, i have to agree with you- lee didn't "bring it" last night at all. and crystal did. surely she'll win...but i guess you never know...