Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thoughts on Idol's Top 2

It's all been leading up to this all season. This year's American Idol will either be Lee DeWyze or Crystal Bowersox. Both of these guitar-playing rockers have stepped it up all season long and they were CLEARLY the cream of the crop. No matter the outcome, they both deserve to be in the finale and all of the fame and fortunes that comes with it.

With that said, the winner hasn't been declared yet and both Lee and Crystal had to still perform to coax the few people who have not made up their minds yet on who to vote for. They had to perform three songs: their favorite song they sang during previous weeks, a song from the Idol producer, and their winning Idol single.

Round One: Favorite Song
Lee's "The Boxer" vs. Crystal's "Me and Bobby McGee"

I think both of them picked good songs, but one could've done better. If I was picking for Crystal that's exactly the song I wanted her to sing again. It's very HER and the up tempo second half of the song shows off her versatility and accessibility. For Lee, unfortunately, this song was tough especially with the nerves he was obviously feeling tonight. If he had performed it as well as he did last month, it would've worked, but he didn't so it fell short just a tad.

Round Two: Producer's Choice
Lee's "Everybody Hurts" vs. Crystal's "Black Velvet"

This was already unfair as soon as the song choices were made! With that said, arrangement goes a long way. Unfortunately for Lee he was saddled with a weepy song that felt just a bit self-indulgent while Crystal was able to show off her rocker voice with her song. And did she ever! Plus you have to think about how it complements your first performance. While Crystal went from energetic to high octane, Lee went from reflective to somber. Is that really what you want people to be thinking?

Round Three: Idol Single
Lee's "Beautiful Day" vs. Crystal's "Up to the Mountain"

As much as I hate the Idol single, I'm even less of a fan of having contestants sing different songs... and not even original songs! This reeks of the better-to-forget-it Season Two so I was not pleased. PLUS the two songs that were picked just don't sound like they'd be very good singles. I see why "Beautiful Day" was chosen for Lee especially to cap off the night, but it's a BIG song and he was overwhelmed by it, the big stage, the audience, the moment, whatever. I can just imagine how amazing it sounds in the studio, but tonight it was missing the IT FACTOR. Now I thought Crystal's song was a little too cerebral, too weighty. I remember Kelly Clarkson belting this song during one of the Idol Gives Back shows a few years ago and yeah, it's an amazing song. So while it's not really "single" worthy for me, Crystal still sang the HELL out of it and had herself a bit of a moment.

Crystal was by far the better performer tonight and the judges agreed giving Lee faint praise while giving Crystal standing ovations. In addition, Lee just looked nervous while Crystal was personable and talkative! She even took the mic from Ryan and did a mini-tribute to Simon! That takes some balls. With that said, there are precious few who actually make up their mind at this time. It's been weeks/months and both of their fanbases have already formed. Crystal has been the early favorite/front runner while Lee took up the mantle of dark horse/underdog and grew every single week. His upward trajectory vs. her great consistency.

I love them both actually and called each of their lines once just to throw my token support. I'm quite satisfied with whatever the outcome will be tomorrow. And honestly, I'm just looking forward to seeing Kris Allen perform tomorrow. You know me.

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