It’s the final performance night of this year’s American Idol—arguably the most boring AI in recent history—and I’m sort of nonplussed to be watching. Oh, well. Might as well finish what I started, right?
Its a battle between Lee and Crystal, who enter (lamely) up the aisles and Crystal seems to have trouble hitting her marks. It’s sort of funny, if I weren’t in a completely sarcastic mood.
They have flipped a coin and Crystal won the coin toss and has elected to go second. So we’ll see Lee. . . right after the commercial break!
Lee is up first with the song he sang during inspiration week, “The Boxer.” I feel like the sound is off a little. It was a little rough in the beginning, but he recovers and uses the gravel in his voice to his advantage. It’s good, but it lacks a little of the emotion he conveyed the first time he sang it.
Randy says it’s a great way to start it off, even if it wasn’t energetic; Ellen says she couldn’t be prouder if she birthed him herself; Kara wants more but says it was nice; Simon says he expected more passion.
Crystal then counters with “Me and Bobby McGee.” If I’d been Crystal, I wouldn’t have chosen this song to re-do, because we all know she can do the Janis Joplin thing better than Janis Joplin. I like her version and the vocals are nice and her eye makeup is pretty, but how excited can you get about a song that’s basically a bunch of la da das and some screaming with a little singing. I mean, she did it extremely well, but it’s still jus OK.
Randy says it started slow, but she recovered by the end; Ellen says Crystal is compelling on stage; Kara loved it; Simon says she was terrific.
Round 1, in my opinion, is a tie.
Next, it’s the executive producer’s turn to choose the song and Lee’s song is “Everybody Hurts.” This seems like a perfect choice for him when you think about it. There are a few moments when he doesn’t quite get up to the right note, especially in the beginning of the song. I feel like the song is just a hair too slow. It’s not the best I’ve heard him do, but it was good.
Randy says it was pitchy in the beginning, but ended well; Ellen says he pulled back emotionally a little; Kara says he is emotionally accessible, even with an imperfect vocal; Simon says it’s a brilliant song choice and that he can tell Lee is nervous and needs to knock it out of the ballpark in his last song.
Crystal’s second song is “Black Velvet,” which I’m not going to lie, I sometimes sing the chorus to because I thought this song was sultry and awesome when I was in sixth grade. The dress is weird and walking down the stairs in it while singing is an even worse idea. I’m not sure I like the way Crystal changes the melody, but I do think her performance is more powerful than Lee’s. Her vocals, though, are not the best and her scream toward the end was not good at all.
Randy says she’s in it to win it; Ellen calls it fantastic; Kara says a bunch of stuff I don’t hear b/c there’s something weird with my satellite and the sound tonight; Simon doesn’t like the song, but says she nailed it. Weird, I felt like the vocals were a little off!
Round 2 goes to: Crystal
In the final round, Crystal and Lee will sing the singles they’ll release if they win. Lee is singing “Beautiful Day.” There is are string players everywhere and he looks like he’s actually having fun. The verse is a little iffy, but it’s NICE when he gets to the chorus. His vocals are better, and it’s definitely his best performance of the night. He’s into this song and seems very emotional by the end, plus he’s doing that keep-time-by-kicking-his-foot thing and I love it. (I sometimes find myself doing it in choir and have to stop.) Way to go, Lee!
Randy says it started out a little rough, but he got his groove back; Ellen says she’s proud of him and the progression he’s had on the show; Kara says he got swallowed up in that song, but that he deserves to be there; Simon says Lee made the most of it and that he’s the kind of person this show was made to showcase.
Crystal’s would-be single is “Up to the Mountain.” I will admit that I don’t know this song, but it seems like a perfect choice for her, all gospely and soulful. The vocals are beautiful, the big note is amazing; it’s all very, very good.
Randy says it was amazing and one of her best moments; Ellen says Crystal is unique and in a league of her own; Kara says that Crystal was completely emotionally invested in the song and amazing; Simon calls it the best performance and song of the night.
Round 3 belongs to Crystal.
Based on tonight, I’d say Crystal should win, but the truth is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lee won. I really do think it could go either way.