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The 5th Judge – American Idol Final Four Hits and Misses

Lee Dewyze and Crystal BowersoxWelcome back to this week’s American Idol “Hits & Misses”. We’re down to the final four and I can say without hesitance, the best four all-around talents on the show this season are still alive. This week, the contestants will sing “Songs From the Movies” and be mentored by singer/actor Jamie Foxx. Each person will sing once individually and then there will be two duets; one by Lee and Crystal, and the other by Mike and Casey. On Wednesday’s results show, there will be performances by Daughtry, Fantasia, and Bon Jovi.

Next week’s final three show is always one of the best shows. Traditionally, each person will sing three times on that show and will also receive a visit back to their hometown. They will sing a song chosen by the judges, a song chosen by record label head Clive Davis, and a song of their choice.

A shout-out to my mother for pointing out to me that Idol has a survey on their website asking fans to voice their opinion on the things they like and dislike about the show. With this being Simon Cowell’s last season and the declining ratings, it’s interesting to see the Idol executives asking the public what they want to see more and less of. You vote on things such as which judges you like, how you like the theme weeks, if you would like to see more behind-the-scenes things from the contestants, and much, much more. The survey only takes about 5 minutes to take and is rather in-depth. So, let your voice be heard and take the survey. The direct link to the survey is: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/51b2g44657.

[adinserter block=”1″]Now, on to the matter at hand. The young Aaron Kelly was sent home last week. He had a great voice, but ultimately it was his predictable ballads week after week that did him in. Solid performance for the young guy who is now making the rounds on the TV circuit to perform some of the songs he did throughout the season. Also, to put another feather in my cap, Aaron Kelly was listed last on my power rankings last week. If I had to place the Idols in order again, I’d say (from least likely to go home to most) it’d go Lee Dewyze, Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche, and Casey James.

With that said, let’s get this show on the road.

Lee Dewyze sings “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal – With all of the songs from this week’s song list, this would have been one of the last songs that I thought Lee would sing. With that said, this was one of Lee’s weakest performances of the season. The falsetto attempts at the beginning were terrible and he struggled to hit the higher notes during the chorus. He labored through the song. It was no different than the original and came off karaoke-ish. The entire package was bad; the song choice, the lack of a different arrangement, and the vocals. It’s weird to say bad things about Lee, but I just don’t see him going anywhere. Everyone has had a bad week and Lee just hasn’t had one. It’s unfortunate that his must come this late, but let’s hope he bounces back later in the show during his duet with Crystal. Score – 1.5 out of 10. Voting Numbers – 1-866-436-5701 or 1-866-436-5705

Michael Lynche sings “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson – One of my favorite songs and, if I’m not mistaken, the first Michael Jackson sang this season. This season should have definitely had a Michael Jackson week. ‘Big’ Mike had difficulty with the song in warm-ups and kept forgetting the lyrics. When he hit the big stage, he didn’t have that problem, however. He had a small rough patch at the beginning with his lower registry. It picked up steam as the song went on and the added backing choir was a nice touch for the song. The long note that he had at the end was a nice touch. It was better than Lee’s performance, but it still was just average. He didn’t do much with the song and it was safe. It’s looking like a tough week, thus far. Michael now needs a solid duet as well. Score – 3.5 out of 10. Voting Numbers – 1-866-436-5702 or 1-866-436-5706

Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox sing “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – From the Oscar Award winning movie, “Once”, Crystal and Lee stand face-to-face to sing this song. Both guys playing the guitar, the song started off with just them and their instruments. Halfway through this, I literally got goose bumps on my arms and legs. That performance was incredible and easily the best duet of all-time on American Idol. Though there haven’t been many, this one set the bar extremely high. Their interaction with each other was great and they really owned the stage. I thought that they both came off as established musicians. What an incredible performance that I will be downloading tomorrow on iTunes. Crystal is yet to perform, but Lee needed this in a big way. The two best people from this season hit it out of the park. Score – 10 out of 10

Casey James sings “Miss Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel – It’s Casey seated on a small circular stage in the middle of the audience for this song. It’s an interesting choice by Casey to go from rocking out with his guitar every week to singing an all-acoustic song while seated the whole time. While his vocals were good, I just don’t get the song choices tonight for the individual performances. Maybe it’s just me, but these song choices have been terrible and safe. At this point in the game, you need to be showing America why you want to win this competition. When it’s the final four and you know you’re not one of the front-runners, you must take chances and WOW people. That performance did nothing to show why he belongs here and why he should win. With hind-sight being 20-20 and Lee and Michael both struggling, this would have been a great opportunity for Casey to shine. Unfortunately, he faltered. He’s going to need a great duet a la Crystal and Lee. Score – 2.5 out of 10. Voting Numbers – 1-866-436-5703 or 1-866-436-5707

[adinserter block=”2″]Crystal Bowersox sings “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins – Crystal is going to take the Honky Tonk route on this song it seems. It’s alright with me since I don’t mind country music, but it has me a bit confused as to what type of artist Crystal will be after this show. Will she be a Jewel/Alanis Morisette type artist or will she be more of a Miranda Lambert? Well, Crystal did us all a favor and actually performed a song that was great tonight. She shined earlier in the duet and she will end tonight’s individual performances by being the only contestant to rise above average. Her raspy voice was a terrific fit for Crystal once again. She’s done a great job in staying true to herself and becoming an individual during this show. She took a song that many people didn’t know, put her own spin on it, and made it sound like a song she wrote. Welcome to the final three, Crystal. Score – 8 out of 10. Voting Numbers – 1-866-436-5704 or 1-866-436-5708.

Michael Lynche and Casey James sing “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams – Well, I give them credit for choosing a song that’s not an actual duet. That’s one way to take a song and make it sound original. I must admit, I didn’t think this performance would work out, but their voices actually meshed very well together. Michael’s soulful voice and Casey’s southern rock twang came across as an unlikely great combination. This duet did a great job of making up for their lackluster individual performances. With that said, it seems like America will now be deciding to vote on which duet pairing they liked better. Michael and Casey were good, but they weren’t better then Lee and Crystal. My guess is one of these two go home. Score – 8.5 out of 10.

Now, for the “Hits” and “Misses” for this week.

Hits (People that are 100% safe based on their performances) – Crystal Bowersox

On The Fence (50/50 chance of going home) – Lee Dewyze

Misses (The people that have the best chance of going home) – Michael Lynche and Casey James

That concludes the Top 6 for this week. I’ll be back next week with the Top 4!

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Brett is 26 years old and from Millville, NJ. He has is a life-log fan of the Philadelphia sports teams as well as the Boston red Sox and Cincinnati Bengals. Brett is also a big fan of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. If you would like to comment on one of his stories, please e-mail him at Brettley916@aol.com

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