Welcome to "Make sure Casey doesn't have a chance to ruin our plans for a Crystal/Lee finale" night on AI. Let's begin ...
For the 1st time in the history of this blog, Aunt Tee and KK are going to completely disagree when it comes down to the final two. Maybe it's because I'm not jaded by reading Lee's rabid fans' idiotic comments the AI message boards. (You know I love you, Tee, but those boards are bad for your usually impeccable taste.)
BEST to Worst ...
Lee - by a mile, at least.
I don't care who owns the rights to Hallelujah, Lee OWNED the performance of it tonight. Jason Castro and Tim Urban (who is still in my pocket) sang a toned down Jeff Buckley version of the song, making it all sugary sweet and innocent. Lee, on the other hand, actually tipped his hat to Cohen and went with a more is more approach to remind us that he's HOT (that one is for my husband, who accused me of not being able to post without talking about how HOT Lee is). The choir, the smoke, the gruff "Hallelujah"s - a spin on the song that only a "rocker" could do, and I got chills. "Moment" is overrated, but this was one.
But as great as his "moment" was, Simple Man might have been my favorite performance of the night. The lyrics rang true to Lee, and he sang it clean and without the use of any backup gimmicks. And, in both cases, the judges ate it up. As they should have.
Crystal - "she's such a hippie"
Melissa Ethridge was totally predictable and boring, harmonica and all. If you'd asked me to pick a song for Crystal to sing on day one simply by looking at her, I would have said "Melissa Ethridge". It started out great - dark, slow, harmonica. Then 3 clicks of a drum and the karaoke machine came on.
Thank God for Ellen! I don't care what Crystal claims, Maybe I'm Amazed DID push her out of her comfort zone. She sang notes we haven't heard for at least 6 weeks, she got out from behind her Buskeresque guitar and attached harmonica, and she kept Sir McCartney's original lyrics in tact (is that a 1st on AI, ever?). Thank you, Crystal, for reminding me why you're still the frontrunner.
What was sadder than seeing him in Cool, TX surrounded by all 40 of his fans? Listening to him sing Ok, It's Alright With Me. I'm pretty sure he knew he'd be thrown under the bus no matter what happened, so he followed in Crystal's footsteps and sang lyrics straight to the judges. And he looked as excited to be singing it as John Mayer, no doubt, was to hear that Casey would be butchering Daughters later in the night.
Randy and Kara all but said "sing this one last song for all of the girls, and maybe you should consider this type of music after you leave Idol as the loser". I'm not a John Mayer fan anyway, but Daughters is probably his lamest song. That said, I'm pretty sure Casey could have jazzed it up, made it different, made it likeable - if only he hadn't already given up.
And in spite of all of the judges transparent prodding, I'm convinced we might be looking at a Lee/Casey finale.
Close your eyes and you're listeing to Taylor Hicks - who WON this show once. Open your eyes and Casey is way better looking than Taylor Hicks - who WON this show once. Uh oh.