This is not the top four I imagined during the first week of the semi-finals. I figured Crystal would be here. I hoped Casey might survive. But I didn't see Lee or Mike making it this far. I had such high hopes for people like Lily Scott and Didi Benami. But this is what we're left with, so I guess we have to make the best of it.
In response to Mamasox's declaration that "We're all winners," I offer you the following lists. The first is all the contestants that were eliminated fourth; the second, all those eliminated third.
Tamyra Gray, Josh Gracin, LaToya London, Anthony Federov, Chris Daughtry, LaKisha Jones, Jason Castro and Allison Iraheta.
Nikki McKibbin, Kimberley Locke, Jasmine Trias, Vonzell Solomon, Elliot Yamin, Melinda Doolittle, Syesha Mercado and Danny Gokey.
Would anyone in their right mind characterize that hodgepodge of people "all winners"? Crystal, I know you never watched the show before this year, so let me school you a bit. You don't HAVE to win the show to be successful, but the odds are way better for those who do than those who don't.
Compare either of those lists with this one:
Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook and Kris Allen.
If you had to choose, which list would you rather be on?
Back to tonight, can anyone explain to me which tee shirt was the preferred one -- contestant or artist -- because Jamie Foxx didn't seem to know. Idiot.
Before we start, I had a request to mention Kara DioGuardi's school marm/librarian look in the blog. Kelly, your description was dead on, but I'm not sure I would have really paid much attention if you hadn't given me the heads up beforehand. I'm just always so thrilled when she wears sleeves.
Lee DeWyze (Kiss From a Rose) -- He's got beautiful eyes. I never really noticed that before. This is a totally boring/bland performance. Plus there were a couple of notes that were dreadful. He finally didn't look nervous at all really, but maybe he should have been. This felt like a step back for him after a couple really good weeks. 7.25
Listen to Ellen and Kara trying to tell the viewers to please not eliminate Lee. At least Simon nailed the critique -- it was completely karaoke.
Michael Lynche (Hold Me) -- He picked a song totally suited to his theatrics tonight. The first couple notes were kind of rough, but I felt like he picked it up after that. He definitely felt more sincere than cheesey for a change. But he didn't really do anything special with this song either. Once you're in the top four, you've got to be able to really break out. 7.75
Good for Ellen calling him out on saying his goal was to make the top three. That was such a manipulative "please vote for me tonight and make my dream come true" ploy. She got it exactly right with everything she said.
Crystal/Lee (Falling Slowly) -- At the beginning I was having a little difficulty letting go of Kris Allen's performance of this from last year, but then when they started rocking it out a little bit I really liked it. It maybe wasn't quite at the level of Allison/Adam doing Slow Ride last year, but they were damn close. They ought to reprise this at the Nokia Theater in two weeks. 8.75
Kara said it really well -- the way they interacted, the chemistry and support for each other, and they brought out the best in each other. Well said, Satan.
Casey James (Mrs. Robinson) -- I'm sure the judges won't like this, but I'm diggin' it. He's actually reminding me (favorably) of Jason Castro right now. Sometimes low key is the way to go. He's the first one to actually change his song up at all tonight, too. I could do without all the idiots clapping around him, but other than that, well done. 8.0
I guess he kind of asked for the comments about Kara by doing that song. I knew they weren't going to love this, but I didn't Simon's "lazy" comment was necessary. He made that same "lightweight" comment about Kris Allen's version of What's Goin' On during the finale last year. I didn't agree with it then and I still don't.
Crystal Bowersox (I'm Alright) -- She seems more in her comfort zone tonight than she's been the past couple weeks. She went back to her sweet spot. I don't love this song, she's making me like it a little bit more. I didn't really think she was ever "gone", but she's definitely back this week. 8.0
Mike/Casey (Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman) -- Well, I knew someone was going to have to do a Bryan Adams song. It's almost mandatory on movie night. They're not so much doing a duet; it's more like they are both singing the song at the same time. I'm not sure their styles are really compatible -- sort of like the mismatch of Gokey and Kris Allen last year. It certainly wasn't the mess that duet was, but I don't think it was as good as Crystal and Lee. 7.75
I guess it sounded somewhat different there than it did on television. I wouldn't have gone with terrific to describe that. Or maybe my dislike of that song colored my impression of their performance.
Clearly, there will only be a bottom two tomorrow night. It should be Lee and Mike, but it will be Michael Lynche and Casey James. If there is any justice in the world, we will once again say goodbye to Big Mike.
Do you agree?