The Season 9 American Idol Top 4 took the stage Wednesday evening for the last time for the Songs of the Cinema results show, the four contestants knowing that those chosen for the Top 3 would go to their hometowns to parades and ceremonies and concerts, while the one being kicked off the show would simply go home. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was quick to point out that over 37 million votes were cast in the decision, the most of the season. Regardless of the outcome, the one being sent home — whether it be Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Lee Dewyze, or Michael Lynche — was going to be sent off in style. Fantasia, Daughtry, and Bon Jovi were the musical guests for the evening.
And they didn’t waste any time. Fantasia started the evening off with the premiere of “Bittersweet,” the first song off her upcoming album. The Season 3 American Idol winner was in amazing form, slipping into the R&B/Soul melody with ease. The song had a traditional soul feel to it and afterward Fantasia told Ryan that she felt it was about time she got back to singing soul. Ryan asked about Fantasia’s daughter, who was 3 years old when her mother won American Idol. Fantasia said she was 9 now. Ryan commented that she was probably as tall as Simon Cowell. Fantasia, whose win on American Idol may have been partially due to her sassy sessions with the American Idol judge, said, “She’s taller than Simon.” Zinger…
After such a great start, the American Idol producers decided to kill the mood with a Ford commercial video…
Just to let the final four contestants see what a great thing getting into the Top 3 would be, a video montage of the past seasons’ Top 3 performers was shown. The most common element: crying contestants emotionally overwhelmed by the receptions they received when they arrived in their hometowns.
Then Ryan Seacrest had the Top 4 stand. He read from the best of the critiques from Tuesday’s performances. And then he told Casey James he was safe. This was probably a shocker for many but it was never made clear in what order the votes tallied, so, for all the American Idol viewer knows, Casey James may have received the third greatest amount of votes. Regardless, he was the first to be told he was safe.
American Idol Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry took the stage next, debuting his latest single, “September,” from his band’s platinum-selling sophomore album, “Leave This Town.” A little less intense than many of their recordings, “September” was a melodic nostalgia trip to Chris Daughtry’s childhood. When Ryan asked Daughtry if he had some advice for the contestants, he appeared to be a bit annoyed (perhaps flashing back to the shock of being sent home at just this stage during Season 5), but said, “Stay hungry.” He added, “Don’t compromise” and “stick to what’s true to you.” Of course, he may have simply been annoyed with the platitudes that came to mind.
Ryan Seacrest then turned to three contestants left on stage. He went over a few more critiques and told Lee Dewyze he was safe.
Now, given the choice between Michael Lynche and Crystal Bowersox, there was little doubt as to who was going home. Of course, the American Idol producers probably wanted to give the impression that Crystal Bowersox’ dismissal might become the shocker of the season, but it is doubtful that that accomplished such an impression. It would have been more believable had they left Lee Dewyze on stage, given his “karaoke” performance Tuesday evening.
Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche were then forced to wait a few more minutes. No doubt it was worth it, since they were being put on hold for Bon Jovi.
The legendary New Jersey band played “Superman Tonight,” the second single off their latest release, “The Circle.” A little laid-back for the Jersey rockers, but slow love songs and ballads have become just as much a staple of Bon Jovi’s music over their 25-year career as their hard rock tunes. Bon Jovi is currently in the midst of a world tour and Ryan told them it was difficult to get tickets since they were always sold out (hint, hint). He asked Jon Bon Jovi how it made them feel to still sell out arenas (Bon Jovi was the #1 grossing concert tour of 2009). The frontman said, “Humble” and noted that they had “crossed generations” now with their fans.
And then it was time to fill the final slot in the Top 3. It was an anticlimactic moment when Ryan announced that Crystal Bowersox was safe.
Big Michael Lynche was going home. He’d been there before. After the Top 9 performances, he’d been voted off the show, but the judges had used their one and only ‘Save’ that week. Michael Lynche had managed to stretch his stay an additional four weeks.
He performed Michael Jackson’s “You Will Be There” for his farewell song.
Sadly, Michael Lynche had revealed Tuesday evening that it had been his goal to make the Top 3. American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres chided him for not having as his goal winning the competition. In the end, the voters had denied him his goal.
“American Idol,” Fox Television