'American Idol': Top 3

american-idol-logoWe tuned in to “Idol” Tuesday night, eagerly anticipating the Top 3’s performances even more anxiously because of the leftover excitement of Lee DeWyze Day on Friday, May 14. And here’s what we found…
As Simon pointed out, his performance in the Top 3 week — his last and only shot to make it into the finale next Tuesday — was arguably one of the most important nights of Casey’s life. It should have, all things considered, been his best performance to date.
But was it? No, not that I expected — or wanted, considering that I’m dead-set on a Lee/Crystal finale — it to. It was, just like the name of the song, just “all right.”
A harmonica, again? Really, Crystal?
I’m sorry, but I wasn’t a huge fan of her harmonica playing prior to the Top 12, and I’m still not now, especially when tonight was a night to showcase vocal talent, not harmonic — if that’s what you call it — talent.
The good news, though: Her vocals made up for it. I agree with Randy in that the arrangement wasn’t completely my forte (harmonicas = not so good for song arrangement), but, as usual, Crystal’s voice sounded beautiful as she sang the song.
It could have been better, but come on — if she’s not in the finale, then I’ll attempt to play the harmonica on national TV.
Hey! Lee got a haircut! Looks good.
From the first note of the performance that Lee belted into the microphone, I just knew: This was going to be good.
And good it was. In his usual manner, Lee started out strong from the first note and never slowed down. It was, with no exaggeration, as Simon said: “on the money.”
Now, I’m not sure if I would say that he started out as a baby lamb — gotta love Ellen’s strange anaolgies (unripened banana Alex Lambert, anyone?) — but he’s definitely grown up since first trying out for the show. You can see it in his eyes: Just like he promised the community at Arlington Park on Friday, Lee is “going to try to win this thing.”
“Daughters?” For Casey James?
Maybe Randy and Kara were convinced that it would be the right song choice for Goat for the Worst’s favorite contestant, but that was sure a mistake on their part.
He barely did anything with the song, and it was dead boring. I felt myself yawning as Casey played, even checking my watch more than once as I waited for Lee to take the stage for a second time.
Not to mention, off-key; could he even hear himself? Yuck.
And one more thing: Can I just say that letting Casey grow a half-mustache was NOT a good move on his stylists’ part? Instead of an “Idol” hopeful, Casey looked as lazy as his performance sounded.
And Crystal Bowersox is back.
Amazing vocals, amazing arrangement, amazing showmanship: amazing all around. An amazing performance.
Ellen, although much less musically experience than Randy or Kara, sure made a much better song choice than they did. Crystal shined tonight, and, as we knew all along, she’ll be in the finale next week.

Lee DeWyze
Lee DeWyze

Now, I may not be a fan of “Idol” contestants redoing songs that past contestants had already performed, but even though Tim performed — and, for once, didn’t totally destroy — “Hallelujah” earlier this season, Simon choosing it for Lee to perform tonight is an exception to that rule. I mean, when Tim Urban does a song, it doesn’t even count; it’s Tim Urban. He can’t sing!
But Lee DeWyze can. And that was no more true than tonight, when Lee wiped out the competition in just his two-minute performance of “Hallelujah.”
Hallelujah — Lee owned the night.
Emmy: Overall
The night was obviously Lee’s night. I felt that he owned every song he sung/played and it was all just perfect. Tonight was definetly the right night to “peak.” I beLEEve that the two performances will land him a spot in the finale, next to Crystal. They will be a great finale pair–not wanting to kill each other for the crown.
For Crystal, her first song was OK and her second was better. Last week it felt like she was back in the competiton, but after the first song it was a step back. The second song saved her and she owes a huge thanks to Ellen for picking her song.
Casey looked and acted the whole night that he was leaving. If it were my last night on “Idol” and I knew it, I would make the most of it. This is an opportunity where you get to play in front of millions of people. Why would you ever want to act like a tired-out-southern boy and not enjoy it. Even though Casey doesn’t show much emotion, he shows it when he’s tired or a little sad. Casey’s performances tonight weren’t up to par…but he didn’t even throw himself into it, which could have made them better. Casey was never and could never compete at Lee and Crystal’s level, but he at least could’ve tried.
E: The Hits:
Lee – both performances
The Misses:
Casey – both performances
M: The Hits:
Lee (x2), Crystal
The Misses:
Casey (x2)
— Maddie Conway and Emmy Lindfors