Season 9 - EPISODE RECAPS
Tuesday, May 18th 2010
Top 3 - Judges & Contestants Choice
by The AI Insider
"Elliston, Ohio. Mount Prospect, IL. Cool, Texas." These are three places Ryan Seacrest is planning on vacationing at this summer. Oh wait; it's the three cities the remaining finalists hail from. They spent the weekend celebrating their Top 3 status in their hometowns, where the judges text messaged them on their AT&T phone, naturally, to share what song they selected for the finalists. But first, the Idols would perform a song of their choice.
There was barely any filler tonight. We started right away with Casey James who sang Eric Hutchinson's "OK, It's Alright With Me," because it's a good representation of what kind of music Casey wants to make. I like this song, and of course Casey played the guitar as he sang. Randy Jackson said the lyrics were kind of funny because the performance was just "alright" for him. Simon Cowell compared the performance to a dinner salad, because he was left wanting something more meaty, but he though Casey still sang it well.
Crystal Bowersox chose to sing "Come To My Window" by her idol, Melissa Etheridge. Her goal with the performance was to have fun, and that meant becoming a one-woman band like Bert in "Mary Poppins." She just needs to strap symbols to the inside of her knees so she can provide percussions to her performance. Crystal performed from behind her customized microphone stand with her guitar and harmonica, which was in a contraption around her neck. She changed up the song just enough that it was different, but still very recognizable. Randy, Ellen, and Kara weren't in love with the arrangement, but they thought Crystal's vocals shined through. Simon commended Crystal for never compromising who she is as an artist and he said, "You did what is you, a very honest performance, and I think you probably made the right choice. Congratulations!"
Lee DeWyze selected "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, a song he wanted to sing since the Top 24. When he returned to Los Angeles after his trip to Mount Prospect, Illinois, he brought the spirit and energy from his hometown back with him. Lee said that the song speaks to him, and you can truly see that as he performed. This was the performance the judges said they were looking for - they were glad to see Lee step up and show that he's in it to win it. Kara said, "Round 1 goes to Lee." Hey, that's Simon's line! He loves declaring rounds, even before the Cook vs. Archie boxing match finale.
When Casey was celebrating with fans in Cool, Texas, he received a text message from Randy & Kara. They asked him to sing "Daughters" by John Mayer. On the live show, Randy explained that this is a great direction for Casey to go in, and Kara said that she likes when Casey gives honest performances like this. Casey performed the hit and rocked out with an electric guitar solo. Randy and Kara were pleased with their decision and thought this performance really fit Casey and showed off his artistic side. Ellen thought it was beautiful, and Simon thought that although Casey still didn't have a moment, his vocals were good with both songs this evening.
Crystal was hanging out in Ohio when she received a text from Ellen, who requested that Crystal take on Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." Although no didgeridoo accompanied her on this McCartney song, Crystal gave a great performance and even walked behind the judges' table to perform, since she was free of all instruments. Randy said Crystal was "In it to win it," and Ellen got exactly what she had hoped for from Crystal. Kara and Simon liked seeing the soulful side of Crystal's lyrics with this song, and Simon even said, "You worked outside your comfort zone, and I think after that you may be thanking Ellen next week for putting you in the finals."
Last up was Lee DeWyze, who was on a jet to Illinois when he received a text from Simon. Something tells me that Simon does not know how to text. He's the only judge not on Twitter! Simon selected "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen for Lee. At first I had a problem with this for a few reasons. This was Tim Urban's game-changing moment this season; it's too soon to sing it again. On the first episode of this season, Maddy Curtis sang it for the judges and it made her an early front-runner. And most notably, this was Jason Castro's big moment on Season 7. Simon explained that he likes Lee as a person and wanted to give him a moment, and he thinks he can show that with this song. During Lee's performance of "Hallelujah," a choir came out and backed him up without overpowering him. By the end of the performance, even Simon was clapping! Ellen called the performance stunning, and Randy and Kara thought it was the biggest moment of the season. Surprisingly, Simon didn't give himself TOO much credit, and he commended Lee for being a fantastic singer and a great performer. Lee interviewed with Ryan that this was a special moment for him to see people singing along like that and reacting that way. Poor Tim Urban.
Although all three contestants did justice with the judges' picks, only two would be able to go head-to-head in the finale. So who would it be? I'm hoping to not lose sleep over it, but I'm excited!