Casey James was sent back home to Texas Wednesday night in Season 9 of American Idol’s last elimination round. Always emotional, but somewhat predictable, the rocker with mad guitar-playing skills was not going to see his dream realized on the American Idol stage. Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox will advance to the finale to be held next week. Tuesday night’s performance will determine the fate of these two talented and soulful singers.
Crystal vs. Lee
As Crystal and Lee prepare for the finale, let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these two top finalists.
Crystal: Miss Crystal B., or Mamasox, as she is affectionately called, is a singer with songwriting skills. She penned the song, “Holy Toledo,” which was played during her visit back home. Crystal contends that she has been trying to promote her own songs this season, to no avail. She has performed regularly and one of her most consistent venues, Papa’s Tavern in Toledo, already has a strong fan base. She played harmonica and piano on American Idol, demonstrating her versatility as a musician. She seems cool and calm under pressure; most comfortable on stage. The dread locks, piercing under her lip, attire, even down to her mike, (the one she uses from home), all make her look like a recording artist ready to gig.
Lee:Lee DeWyze with DeDreamy eyes, as I have nicknamed him, is also a singer, songwriter trying to find a break. Lee has actually released two albums, and I listened to a few tracks from both. The comparison to my favorite artist of all time, Dave Matthews, is undeniable. His first album, “So I’m Told,” released in 2007, was a work in progress. Showing more musical development in his second album, “Slumberland,” released 2 years later, you can see his growth as an artist. I especially like the tune, “So What Now,” which displays his singing abilities and his smooth, laid back voice. Lee has a great sound for the pop, rock, R&B, soul, and even adult contemporary genres.
While I believe both will be great recording artists, and each possess mad musical talents, I give the edge to Lee. Here’s why: marketability. Lee may have the advantage because he has already released two albums and could be on the verge of a major breakthrough with a win on American Idol. Visuals are also a part of the music business, that relies heavily on looks and the total package, from head to toe. To stay on top you have to sing the part and look the part. Women have to take a cue from Madonna, who is always reinventing herself to stay current and interesting. To keep your song on the charts, you have to do something to separate yourself from the pack. Check out Rihanna and Lady Gaga. This is something to think about.
Tuesday night Melissa Etheridge was in the audience and watched Crystal perform. The two Mid-western rockers met back in 2008 in Chitown. As you know, Crystal sang Etheridge’s hit, “Come to my Window,” in the semi-final round. Crystal has also been compared to Janis Joplin with her ability to deliver bluesy, gritty vocals with lots of power. Etheridge commented, “Crystal works it, she brings it out in the end, and I love her voice.”
Lee listened to his dad’s Cat Steven’s record, “Tea for the Tillerman,” back in the day as a very young boy and got hooked. Later, it was the Simon and Garfunkel album, “Greatest Hits,” that inspired Lee to pick up his dad’s guitar and learn to play. He mastered “The Boxer,” and chose it to perform on the Idol stage.
After the Wednesday night broadcast, a coin bearing Crystal and Lee’s images was flipped by Ryan Seacrest to determine the line-up for the grand finale. Crystal won the toss and elected to let Lee sing first. Each of the finalists will have to go out there and give it their all, hold nothing back, and put it all out there. Anything less could cause them to relinquish the title.
Viewers will be tuning in on Tuesday night, when the finalists bring on their best performances hoping to stand out in Season 9’s finale. There are two, bright shining stars, Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, hoping to win the prize. But only one will be left standing. Voters and fans will be cheering for the next American Idol, 2010.
“So I’m Told” Lee DeWyze
“Princess” Lee DeWyze
“So What Now” Lee DeWyze
“Holy Toledo” Crystal Bowersox
“Speak Now” Crystal Bowersox
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” Crystal Bowersox
tmz.com, mtv.com, cbowersox.webs.com, latimesblogs.latimes.com, youtube.com, leedewyze.com, itunes.com, bestbuy.com, usatoday.com,