Top 3 perform on Idol

Tonight the contestants will be "battling it out for the finale!" (Ryan's words.)

Each contestant will sing two songs--one chosen by them, and one chosen by the judges.

Casey's up first and he's chosen "OK, It's Alright With Me" by Eric Hutchinson. Casey feels the song is a lot like the type of music he writes, so it's a good representation of him as an artist. The song suits him perfectly and he looks happy tonight. I'd buy it. Randy said it was just "all right with me too." Didn't work for him. I guess I'm in the minority. Ellen didn't feel he "brought it." Kara thought it was the wrong song choice. Simon compared it to the salad portion of a dinner--where you're hoping for something better to come along. Simon said it was a dud song choice, but that he sounded good.

Crystal's up next, singing "Come to My Window," by Melissa Etheridge. She chose it because it's always been one of her favorites. She's got the guitar and the harmonica tonight. She did a good job, but I'm afraid it wasn't her best performance. Randy didn't love the arrangement but he did like her vocal on it. Randy said it all worked in the end. Ellen agreed, and said Melissa would be proud. Kara thought she got lost in the arrangement, and that it would've been stronger acoustically. Kara's waiting for Crystal to have a "moment" and hopes she does so on the second song. Simon agreed with the others, and said it wasn't the most stunning version we'd ever hear. But, he gave her props for never compromising herself throughout this whole process. He ultimately said that she made the right choice.

Lee's doing "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. He's signing it because he "gets" this song, and feels that will help him perform it well. Lee knocks this song out of the park. Loved it! Randy thought it was a brilliant song choice, and he can see tonight that Lee's feeling he could win this. FINALLY. Ellen liked it too. Kara said he did what every contestant needs to do, and in her opinion, Round 1 goes to Lee. Simon said the song choice was "absolutely on the money." Simon said that Lee didn't just win round one, he crushed the other two. I have to agree.

Randy and Kara selected John Mayer's "Daughters" for Casey to sing. His voice sounds great on this song. Nice job. Randy feels this song fits him like a glove, unlike the first song, but I don't see how this song was that different from the first. Kara said it showed the more artistic side of him. She was proud that she and Randy chose the song for him. Simon thought it was a much better song choice, but he felt the arrangement was lazy, and that Randy & Kara should've chosen a song that gave him a bigger vocal moment.

Next, Ellen chooses "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney for Crystal. Ellen says she chose this song because it would show some range and allow Crystal to surprise us. Ellen was right--great song choice and Crystal showed great range. MUCH BETTER performance than her first. Randy said, "Great song, great vocals, and America, we got somebody else in it to win it!" Ellen said, "I couldn't have asked for more." Kara said she didn't change the song, but she showed us parts of her voice that we haven't heard--it paid off. Simon was worried about the song choice, but now he gets it. He said it proves that she's got soul, and thinks she'll be thanking Ellen next week for putting her in the Top 2.

I LOVE the bracelet Crystal was wearing tonight--I need to find something like that. It kind of wraps around her arm, below the elbow. I don't even know how to search for that--is it even called a bracelet??

Side note: the contestants went home this week, and in the scenes from home, it's VERY noticeable that the crowds aren't as big as they've been in the past. I know the ratings are down, but this makes it obviously that people have lost interest in the show.

Finally, Simon chooses "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen for Lee, even though we've already heard this song this season. We didn't even see a crowd with Lee--he was on the plane. Simon said, "We've heard the song before, but I don't think we're ever going to hear it like Lee's going to do....We always talk about The Moment, and I wanted him to do something to show he's got potential to be a great artist." Simon was right...Lee sounds great. He even has a choir singing behind him...quite a performance. I will be downloading this. (When I do, it'll be the 4th or 5th version of Hallelujah that I have...others are Jeff Buckley's, Justin Timberlake's and k.d. lang's.) Lee got a standing O from the crowd, which seemed to move Lee to tears. Randy said he's been waiting all season to see who'd throw down the gauntlet to win the whole thing. Lee did it. Lee thanked Simon for the choice. Ellen said it was stunning. Kara said Lee is what the show is all about, and he owned the night. Simon was very, very proud. He said Lee proved that he's a fantastic singer, a great person, and he really hopes Lee makes it to the finale next week.

I think it's a given. I predict a Lee and Crystal finale, and I can't wait. I'll be so happy if either of them win.

Here's how I rank the performances:

6. Casey - OK, It's Alright with Me
5. Crystal - Come to My Window
4. Casey - Daughters
3. Crystal - Maybe I'm Amazed
2. Lee - Simple Man
1. Lee - Hallelujah

P.S. Did some research. Crystal's jewelry is called an arm band, and it looked something like this, which I absolutely love. Crystal's didn't have so many loops in the middle, it just kind of wrapped around from the back to front. So cool.

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