To the contestants on “American Idol,” if you’ve made it to this week’s Final Four, you’re either on the verge of winning it all, or of being a pretender and fading into the show’s collective oblivion soon. Mentor Jamie Foxx signified as much when he had t-shirts made up that said “contestant” and “artist,” and told each one of them that they had to earn their artist shirt this week to prove they are ready. Corny, yes, but effective and correct. The theme this week was songs from movies, which is about as vast a catalog as there is.
I was wondering how they were going to either stretch four performances into an hour, or cram eight performances into that hour. What they did was meet in the middle and have them perform two duets, making it a comfy six performances in the hour. Nicely done, producers.
Anyway, here is our recap….
THE REALLY GOOD
The duet between Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox was flat-out awesome. They chose “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once. The song is great to begin with, but these two absolutely nailed it and had nice stage chemistry. Randy said it was a big difference from the first two solo performances (Lee and Mike)…Ellen said it was like watching the Captain and Tennille…Kara said they had great chemistry and it was one of the best moments of the season, and I agree completely….Simon said it was fantastic. Yep, pretty much.
Crystal took on Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright” from the movie Caddyshack, and on the surface it seemed like an odd choice, but it was a very cool, funky version that proved one thing–Crystal wants to win it all. Randy said Crystal is a true artist but it wasn’t his favorite performance of hers….Ellen said she took the song and actually made it better than the original….Kara agreed with Ellen…and Simon said Crystal is now back in the game after a couple of mediocre weeks. Agreed.
THE PRETTY GOOD
Big Mike Lynche did Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” from Free Willy, and it seemed like a hard song to sing, but Mike did a pretty good job with it. However, the judges didn’t quite see it that way. Randy said it was a cool song choice, but he didn’t love it….Ellen said it was a bit predictable…Kara said she wanted something akin to when Mike did “Woman’s Work” and that he played it too safe…and Simon agreed with the other judges but said Mike did give it 100%.
Lee kicked things off with Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” and it just felt bland and out of tune. This was an instance where I questioned the fact that Lee has made it this far, because it totally lacked any star quality. Randy said Lee did nothing with the song and that it was just okay and pitchy in spots…Ellen said more could have been done with the song, but Lee is still so good….Kara said while Lee had a great week last week, this was a difficult song for him…and Simon said he agreed with Randy, that with so many great songs to choose from, this one sounded a bit karaoke-ish.
The duet between Casey James and Big Mike was Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” and for me, it was pretty boring. I don’t like this song to begin with, and it wasn’t awful, but it was just, well, blah. However, the judges were freaking out about how good they thought it was. Say what? Randy said he loved Casey’s guitar playing and that the two sounded great together…Ellen said “I have loved a woman,” which was her best line of the season…Kara said both duets last night were incredible…and Simon said Jamie should give artist shirts to both duets. Whatever.
THE NOT SO GOOD
Casey’s solo performance was Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” from The Graduate, and I was questioning this choice from the start. And yeah, it was very, very bland. Talk about safe…this was the safest and worst song choice of the bunch last night. Randy said he wondered why Casey would choose that song but that he liked the cool, laid back version. He then started poking fun of Kara, who has had a crush on Casey all season, for obvious reasons…Ellen said Casey got beat up by the judges last week but she liked the way he changed things up this week….Kara said she liked the choice, and that he is fighting to stay in the competition….and Simon said the song and performance had no substance and that it came across as lazy. I totally agree with Simon on this one.
So that’s it. Crystal and Lee are probably safe, if anything because of that awesome duet. Mike and Casey will be in danger of heading home, and I’m going to say it again this week…it should be Casey’s time to board a plane back to Texas. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it was Big Mike either.
What do you all think? Let me know and we’ll see you back here tomorrow….