May 2010
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AI Top Three – Why Can’t The Judges Pick BOTH Songs?

We get the intro from Ryan, introducing their hometowns, Love the fact that Casey is from Cool.  After teasing Lee to smile and doing a little step-dancing to seem taller than Casey, Ryan let’s the Idols shout out “This is…..AMERICAN IDOL.”  And the three remaining contestants can’t event muster the same enthusiasm Ryan brings every week to those same four words.

Casey – “OK It’s Alright By Me” by Eric Hutchinson.  I have never heard for this song ever.  Totally not sure what to expect.   Wait – Where is the hometown visit?!  Is that tomorrow night when we see that?  Crap.  I love the hometown visits.  Oh, I do know this song…and I like it.  But it is not a Top Three song.   We need fireworks.  And at least a different arrangement.  Maybe he’s going for goofy and silly and lightweight before the next song he didn’t choose?  I don’t know.  I would have loved to see Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Still I can see myself at a Casey concert and that would be fun to hear.    And something tells me I will be at a Casey concert someday.  I heart him.  The judges do not like him.  At all.  Simon breaks out the busking word….Daft song choice, but he sounded good.

Next up, Crystal.   Looks like she’s playing harmonica.  Craig is already saying “noooo.”  “Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge is her choice.   Melissa never quite does well on AI – if I recall a lot of contestants have been voted off after a Melissa Etheridge song.  She tends to shout and then there is the whole fundy-religious turn-off for some voters for a song by a lesbian.  But if anyone can break the curse, Crystal can.  This song is made for her.  The harmonica was totally not needed.   If she gets a pass from the judges for this almost-karaoke version, I will speed dial for Casey.  I am sorry.  It was almost-karaoke.  If you don’t believe me, come meet me at the Mandarin Gate next Saturday and I will show how it is done.

Thankfully, the judges grade her on a normal scale.  Whew.  And I want to tell Simon Casey has not compromised himself either (OK, save for Frank Sinatra week) – Simon just does not like Casey.  End of story.

Lee is up and looking very….brown.  Seriously, this guy has no fashion sense.  He’s doing “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynryd.  God, that’s a hard band name to type.  Seriously, you should try it sometime.   This should be good, but isn’t he doing “Hallelujah” as well – is that 2 slow songs tonight?  Eep.  These people cannot pick songs to save their life.    Well, it does seem to work for him.  I am totally feeling the pimpage for him – that was such a better arrangement than Casey and Crystal’s.

Is Randy on Ryan’s coke tonight?  My god, he was annoying during Lee’s critique.   All “Someone’s in it to win!!!” in that cloying annoying voice that my mom can sometimes have.  Like when I got my period “Someone is a woman now!!!”  But I digress.

God, I miss Adam right now.  And even Kris.  This time, last season, he did “Heartless” by Kayne-fucking-West.  No one is changing it up this week.

Judges Choice!  Casey is up first with “Daughters” by John “Douchebag” Mayer.  YAY Hometown footage!  SWAYBOTS!  ugh.  This is a stripped down low-key version and I have to admit, I loved it (surprise!).  I’m a sucker for Casey and that was great.  I wanted more guitar – he kills every solo.  Simon did not like the arrangement and disses Randy and Kara.   Will the judges bickering help Casey?  Or hurt him?  I’ll tell you what won’t hurt him – Casey’s response.  He’s classy and quiet.

Awkward Fox-self promotion with Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford in the house.

Crystal is singing Ellen’s choice – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney.  This is an epic song for me.  It’s off of Paul’s first solo album, before the Beatles split, and it is such a pure love song to Linda.  I love it.   No guitar!  Interesting.  I LOVE HER FOR NOT CHANGING THE LYRICS!  Mega props.  I hate it when people change the pronouns.  Thank you Crystal!  OK – she did not seem that comfy with the song.  And people who critique her shoutiness – listen to the original version.  Paul shouts to high heavens and almost loses it, as Crystal does almost going sharp during the higher notes.  Kara nails it when she says Crystal didn’t change the song up much (she didn’t at all).  Simon admits he did not like the song choice initially but that he sense he’ll be thanking Ellen for getting her into the finals.

Next up is Lee- what was Simon thinking picking “Hallelujah” a song that has had some key moments – even just this season by none other than turban?  For some, this is sacred.  I think this is a cynical choice from Simon, honestly.   I think there’s a segment of the population that will love this song no matter what.  PIMPAGE ANYONE?  Hello, show choir.  And Horns!  This arrangement is closer to Leonard Cohen’s and will totally not stand with those akin to the Jeff Buckley version.  Or the kd lang version from the Olympics a few months ago.  He did fine.  I still think this song will be more polarizing to the voting public (and AI Critics) than the judges will admit.  They’ll just heap the praises on Lee, with his back-up choir.  Seriously, THAT was supposed to be a “moment?”  Nah.  I’ll still give it to Mike Lynche and “This Women’s Work” a better moment than this.

Even with my hateness for that last song, I’ll give the night to Lee.  But I would dare put Casey second – I think Crystal was a little bit off.  I think the artifice of AI is wearing on her.  And I think…Oh, who cares.  GLEE is on!  With NPH!  WOOT!!!  Gotta go….

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