In their last American Idol performance before the final, the contestants each call their own tune â€” and sing tunes chosen by the judges. Who will go home with the bronze medal, and who will advance to the final showdown?
Casey James, “OK, It’s Alright WithÂ Me”
No offense to Eric Hutchinson, but Casey could have picked any song in the world, and he came up with this? I take Casey’s word that this song represents his own style best, but it’s not what I’ve liked best about him on Idol: there’s no real fire, no instrumental flair, and the song is too middle-of-the-road and forgettable. It’s alright. But alright is no good right now.
Crystal Bowersox, “Come to MyÂ Window”
As Mrs. Tuned In is my witness, I called this song choice before Crystal announced it. Predictable is not necessarily bad for Crystal, who’s stepped away from her folk-belter strengths some recent weeks, and probably needed to return to her comfort zone for her final outings and remind the audience why she’s there.
Lee DeWyze, “SimpleÂ Man”
After Casey’s song choice (puzzling) and Crystal’s (obvious), Lee threads the needle with a Lynyrd Skynyrd song that’s probably unfamiliar to many viewers but raw and emotional enough to show off his rasp. I’m not sure he improved on the original, but he picked a song that improved him.
Casey James,Â “Daughters”
Ryan Seacrest asked Kara what Casey needed to do to stay on Idol, and she replied (if not in so many words): “Give mama some sugar.” She knows what she’s talking about: as she said, he needs to play to his base of women and girls, and Kara gives him some ammunition with a John Mayer song that plays to his range and offers some love to the ladies.
Crystal Bowersox, “Maybe I’mÂ Amazed”
Another good song choice from a judge, giving Crystal possibly her first really impressive performance without her guitar to back her up. She still needs to work on her stage presence minus the axe (she trudged around like she was grocery shopping) but she gave a fiery gospel read to the McCartney song that lived up to the original while staying true to her style. (And kudos to Crystal for not doing the awkward change-the-gender-on-the-lyrics thing.)
Lee DeWyze,Â “Hallelujah”
I expected balloons to drop from the ceiling in honor of Lee’s becoming the 1,000,000th Idol contestant to sing this song. But there’s a reason the men keep choosing itâ€”it’s tried-and-true vote-bait, and if the over-the-top arrangement did Lee no favors, he did what he had to do and delivered the vocal drama that Idol voters crave.