Who doesn't know?
After tonight, American Idol will be down to the final two — it has to be Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. Casey James is not competing to win anymore and after last night’s performance by Lee, I think the girl vote is going his direction.
Up until now, I’ve been team Crystal but Lee may have changed my mind. The judges picked songs for the contestants and Simon Cowell chose Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for Lee. I was skeptical at first — he’s no Jeff Buckley — but what he produced, was powerful.
It stood on its own and as an audience, we finally got to see Lee connect and show deep emotion. He’s not arrived yet, but skeptics like myself, can finally see the potential.
It kind of reminds me of Carrie Underwood’s development. Her performances lacked emotion from the beginning to the end of American Idol, but she eventually got it. Lee has a similar problem but I don’t think it’s permanent. Look how far he’s come already (see the video evidence below).
Crystal’s performance also held some surprises — she sang without a guitar and went into parts of her range I’ve been waiting for her to explore the whole season. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney was chosen for her by Ellen Degeneres and as Simon said, she will thank Ellen for getting her into the finals.
Aside from Crystal looking a little uncomfortable without a guitar, she did great. Lee was just a bit better.
If last night had been the finale, Lee would have won — but it wasn’t and it’s still anyone’s game. It’s coming down to who produces more “moments” (as Kara DioGuardi would say) in the finale. At the moment, I don’t have a favorite — aside from last night, Crystal’s performances have been average and I’m just now noticing Lee.
Still, if Crystal and Lee take it to the next level as they’ve shown they can, next week’s finale might actually be worth your time.
Lee in Hollywood week:
Lee gets advice on stage presence from Adam Lambert:
Lee's fantastic performance of "Hallelujah":
Crystal's performance of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed":