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The 5th Judge – American Idol’s Top 5 Hits & Misses

Lee DewyzeWelcome back to this week’s American Idol’s “Hits & Misses”. Man, where in the world has this season gone? With all of the bad and mediocre singers gone, we officially have ourselves a competition. This season’s American Idol Top 5 can truly be put up right against the Top 5 of any season prior and be able to compete. Each of the contestants left have their strengths and weaknesses, and some have more glaring ones than others.

So here we stand with just a month left. We’re left with Lee Dewyze, Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, and Casey James. Earlier in the week, fellow columnist Justin Henry did a terrific story on the current WWE Depth Chart; a list of everyone from least likely to succeed to most. With his idea in mind, here is how I think the Idols currently rank with 5 being the least likely to win and 1 being the most likely.

[adinserter block=”1″]5) Aaron Kelly – This far, the young balladeer has been pushed through by the younger audience even though he can’t seem to string together consecutive great performance. He’ll put on one of the performances of the night one week and then follow it up with a choice so out of tune and dreary that you question how he’s still in the competition.

4) Michael Lynche – I’m a big Michael Lynche fan; however, it seems America isn’t in agreement. Big Mike has tons of soul, but has quite a bit of America seeing him as being a one-dimensional singer. Just about every week, you can bank on Michael singing some slow love song. Aside from 2 or 3 performances, Lynche hasn’t branched out from that genre.

3) Casey James – While Aaron lives and dies by the young girls, it’s Casey James who has gotten through based on the (what I like to call) Cougar vote. Women love this guy to pieces. Unlike musicians and actors who may lack talent but get by based on looks, Casey can actually sing and play guitar. Casey has exceeded everyone’s expectations thus far and I think the Top 3 looks extremely possible at this point.

2) Lee Dewyze – My favorite contestant of all and my personal hope to win the show. This guy has excelled at every single genre and has been one of the better performances of the night all season long. His performances of “Lips of An Angel”, “The Letter”, “Hey Jude”, and “You’re Still The One” are 4 of the Top 10-15 performances this season. Not bad when you see they come from 1 person. With that said, I think the only thing that will prevent Lee from winning is the fact that he is visibly shy.

1) Crystal Bowersox – This girl rocks. Her winning this entire shindig would not upset me at all. Like Lee, there’s nothing that Crystal can’t do. The difference between her and Lee is that she has the personality and confidence to go with the talent. I believe that this is why America has connected with her more than Lee. Either way, I fully expect the finale to pit Crystal against Lee. And, as the famous wrestling announcer Jim Ross famously quoted numerous times, that one will be a slobberknocker.

With the depth chart out of the way, let’s get on with tonight’s performances.

Aaron Kelly sings “Fly Me To the Moon” by Frank Sinatra – Aaron sings what is probably the biggest, most widely-known Sinatra song. I can’t help but remember two seasons ago when Idol held auditions in Philadelphia. There was an employee of 610am WIP who actually showed up at the auditions, sang this song in a space suit, and made it onto TV. Anyway, Aaron started off rather rough and sounded extremely flat in his lower registry. As the song progressed, he got better and better. His look, specifically, made the young 17 year old man look like he was in his early 30’s. I don’t think that this was one of his best performances, but it was ok. Unfortunately, at this place in the game, “ok” isn’t going to get it done. You either hit a home run or you go home. Aaron’s mediocre performance came at the wrong time. Score – 5.5 out of 10.

[adinserter block=”2″]Casey James sings “Blue Skies” by Frank Sinatra – Coming off of two straight weeks in the unenviable ‘Bottom 3′, Casey is running out of opportunities of making it out of the ‘Bottom 3′ unscathed. It’s hard to take a song by an artist like Frank Sinatra and make it sound current. Casey was absolutely awful. This was leaps and bounds Casey’s worst performance of the season. It was terrible and Casey looked noticeably shaken and nervous without his guitar in front of him. Even his long-joking love, Kara, told him he was awful and even compared the way his voice sounds to that of a goat. It doesn’t get any worse than that; specifically when it comes from someone other than Simon. The only person who liked Casey’s performance tonight? Aaron Kelly. Score – 1.5 out of 10.

Crystal Bowersox sings “Summer Winds” by Frank Sinatra – Miss “Can’t Do No Wrong” tackles Sinatra. I mean, if the person who is yet to be fazed by any genre of music is going to have a bad performance during any week, it’s sure to be tonight. Right? Well, it actually gave her a battle. The performance was way better then Casey’s, but wasn’t on par with the performances that we’ve come to expect from Crystal. The beginning of the song was rather dreary and just about put me to sleep before the larger notes picked up. Crystal has no worries and probably could have tried her luck at the Spoken Word genre tonight and been fine. Score – 4.5 out of 10.

Michael Lynche sings “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra – Three weeks ago, Michael received the least amount of votes and stayed in the competition thanks to only the “Judge’s Save.” Big Mike was safe for the 2 weeks following that, but found himself once again in the ‘Bottom 3′ last week. I’d say that Mike needs to branch out, take a chance, and WOW the crowd. Unfortunately, he could potentially be strapped by the theme this week. Notice I said “potentially.” Luckily I didn’t say definitely because Mike was unbelievable tonight. His vocals shined and this theme was right up his alley. His soulful blend was perfect for this song and his experience as an artist poured through on this performance. With only 5 people left, that means that 60% of the contestants will be in the ‘Bottom 3′ tomorrow night. I don’t know if Mike will be safe tomorrow, but even if he is in the ‘Bottom 3′, I can’t see Mike going home. He definitely saved himself this week with that performance. We haven’t seen Lee yet, but this was the song of the night. Score – 9 out of 10.

Lee Dewyze sings “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra – And for the first time this season (not counting the small stage round with the Top 12 guys), Lee will occupy the ‘Pimp Spot.’ So, come on Lee and leave that final impression on the public to text their fingers off for you. American Idol fact of the night: The show banned contestants from using guitars tonight. I only really noticed it affecting Casey or Lee. The difference with Lee was the he was phenomenal. His voice fit this song perfectly and he blew it out of the water. This performance literally left me with chills. I’ve only given 2 perfect scores out all season, but any performance that gives me chills deserves another. That was a flawless performance! And best of all, the one weakness Lee has (his personality) shined through tonight more than ever before. Score – 10 out of 10.

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

Hits (People that are 100% safe based on their performances) – Lee Dewyze and Michael Lynche

On The Fence (50/50 chance of going home) – Aaron Kelly and Crystal Bowersox

Misses (The people that have the best chance of going home) – 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

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