Casey James, the Season 9 American Idol contestant dogged by a bad performance of a Sinatra song, as well as constant “cougar” jokes surrounding Kara DioGuardi and taking his shirt off at his Denver audition, was finally eliminated on May 19, 2010, (after 4 straight weeks of elimination predictions on him), finishing in 3rd place. Not a bad finish at all and Casey showed a lot of class, as well as a good sense of humor for a guy who was ridiculed and made the butt of jokes for an entire month.
The slick guitarist was also told by Randy Jackson that he was the best guitarist ever on nine years of American Idol. Since it was shown in his homecoming clips that he had to have surgery to repair serious injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident that left doctors predicting he would never play a guitar again, it surely meant a lot to Casey.
As I did when “Big Mike” Lynche left last week, here is an abbreviated recap of all my reviews of Casey James’ songs since Rolling Stones week, along with a link to a medley of 4 songs.
Stones Week 3/16/2010 … a somewhat country-style version of “It’s All Over Now.” Simon panned him a little for a lack of star power. Simon needs to chill. It was much better than I anticipated.
Billboard’s No. 1 Hits Week 3/23/10 Casey … chose “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. I felt like Randy … it was okay, dawg. Randy said Casey is a great guitar player. Somehow, Ellen found this to be the best vocal of the night, although it was only the second performance! Kara was impressed. Only Simon heard the same thing I did – an 80s cover band.
Soul & R & B Week 3/30/2010: “Hold On, I’m Comin‘” Usher told Casey he was already a rock star, forgetting the lyrics … he would definitely keep his eye on Casey whether he wins Idol or not. A fairly faithful cover of the Sam & Dave hit. Randy gave him total props. Simon said it was his strongest week so far and was impressed. (This must mean Ellen and Kara didn’t like it because I was ignoring negativity this week).
Lennon/McCartney Songbook 4/6/10: I was truly surprised to see Casey pick “Jealous Guy.” I thought it was a great pick. You know, the guy was taking a real chance when he could have went with any one of the biggies. Randy was also quite impressed. Ellen found it soulful and beautiful …. Kara found depth and Simon said it was the best performance of the night so far. It was the 7th performance and after Crystal Bowersox so that was high praise indeed.
Elvis Week 4/13/10: “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” Adam Lambert told him to step it up or step it down, but do something to create a climactic moment. … Randy and Ellen liked it but weren’t particularly excited. Neither was Kara and of course Simon thought it was a waste. Note that they all said the vocal was good. Simon’s ignorance calling the song a waste made me so mad, I told Lloyd Price about it.
Inspirational Songs Week 4/20/10: “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac. Alicia (Keys) advised him to give it a lot of personality so the audience would be loving him, not the song. … a good performance and choice to open the show, in my opinion. But then I’m not a judge looking for Casey to outdo his performance of “Jealous Guy” …. He got the same reaction he got to “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” last week. Casey told Ryan he was not surprised at the judges’ reactions. Neither was I. Simon also said it was not inspiring. I would have said “Then duh – what the hell was it doing on the song list?”
Shania Twain Week 4/27/10: Casey James decided to show a side of himself that no one had seen before by singing “Don’t” Ryan gratuitously chose to remind him of bombing last week, but Casey took it humbly and said he looked at his past performances and saw that he hadn’t offered anything different and meant to do so this week. … Randy felt it was the best Casey James performance ever. Ellen, Kara and Simon agreed …
Frank Sinatra Week 5/4/10: “Blue Skies.” Casey and Ryan joked about a friend of his who doesn’t watch TV and told him they had a gig tonight for $50 and free food. Harry Connick thought it was cool …. The audience loved it but Randy said it was pitchy and his worst performance. ‘Music expert’ Ellen thought it was about swagger and … Kara really threw Casey to the wolves, saying his vibrato sounded like a lamb (this has been brought up before by Vote for the Worst in the form of a goat – something you might expect from Vote for the Worst, but not from Kara on national TV.) Simon thought he came off embarrassed and uncomfortable and said the good news was that he has a gig waiting for him. The audience was booing this total savaging of Casey while he took it all in stride. … according to Harry Connick, Jr., in Casey’s defense, he did it well in rehearsal. Harry meant well but pretty much threw him under the bus with that one, too. Casey was, quite literally, the sacrificial lamb.
Songs from the Cinema 5/11/10: Jamie Foxx welcomed fellow Texan, Casey James with a big hug and helped him with his delivery of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” Jamie thought Casey deserved the artist shirt. The song choice brought back up the whole cougar thing with Kara yet again … Casey received decent enough reviews from the first 3 judges, although Ellen made the off-the-wall remark that she wished they gave him a “big boy guitar.” He was playing the mandolin. Simon felt it was a lazy song choice and not strong enough compared to what he thought Casey should have brought to this show.
Top 3: Judges/Contestants Pick: 5/18/10: Casey’s first choice “Okay It’s All Right With Me” just was no help to him, especially when he was given a laid-back song “Daughters” by the judges. Vocally he was given approval, but not for wowing anyone. Casey reprised “Daughters,” after learning he was eliminated, picking up his cousin’s young daughter, Lindy, from the audience and serenading her.
Some may remember that when he mentored during Elvis Week, Adam Lambert said American Idol had prepared him well for the real world of the music business. As for Casey James, since he survived Season 9 of American Idol with his sense of humor intact despite the horror of Frank Sinatra Week, there really should be nothing but blue skies ahead for him. After seeing him almost kiss the ground when he went back home and the fans who came out to see him, I have a feeling that there will be a lot of blue Texas skies and the gigs will be paying a lot more than $50.
Click here to watch The Casey James Medley of 4 Songs
Source: American Idol on Fox: 5/19/10