I think American Idol might have run out of surprises last night, as [[Casey James]] finally got eliminated. The two singers heading for the Season 9 finale are [[Crystal Bowersox]] and new frontrunner [[Lee DeWyze]].
Casey’s struggled throughout the competition with fairly ambivalent comments from the judges. They’ve had a lukewarm attitude to his performances, despite Casey having a very strong sense of his musical identity. If you’re a fan of Casey’s, you may feel that this week’s songs were career suicide/sabotage for him. After roundly criticising his first performance for being ‘alright’, it transpired that Randy and Kara had chosen an even sleepier, more boring song for him to sing.
Still, it’s not all bad news. There’s a point in [[American Idol (2010 Series)|American Idol]] where it’s almost better to get eliminated and retain some control of your career, rather than win the thing and have unrealistic expectations of the public foisted upon you. I think Casey has a bright career in his own particular musical niche, and I think he proved that he’s got the vocal and guitar chops to succeed.
It’ll be better when he can go back to performing songs he likes rather than trying to be the artist [[Kara DioGuardi]] wants him to be. Trust me.
Facing each other in the final…
Elsewhere, Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze progress to the finals. Five weeks ago, I’d have told you Crystal was a dead cert to win the competition. But she’s had less positive comments lately, and I’m not sure if the judges are seriously less impressed with her, or if it’s all a ruse to generate tension for the final.
Again, like Casey, it feels like Crystal’s been pushed in a direction she’s not totally comfortable with. Watching her homecoming performance footage, she seemed much more at home and confident, especially singing her own original songs. It was nice to see her getting emotional about having the chance to play her own songs.
Lee, on the other hand, seems to have raised his game. If you listen to his various soundbytes on Idol, you’ll hear that he’s absolutely driven to win. And he’s not hiding his ambition anymore. Still, his homecoming footage was every bit as emotional as Crystal’s. It’s hard not to like his earnest, humble attitude.
Casey plays it out…
No sooner that he got the news about being voted off, [[Ryan Seacrest]] thrust a microphone at Casey and told him to sing off. He reprised Daughters from the previous evening, but gave an emotional performance where he walked through the audience, posed with a fan, hi-fived the judges and stole somebody’s little girl to finish the song. I can only assume from the blonde locks that the little girl was a relative!
I think Casey James is one American Idol finalist that I’ll be following in future. What about you lot – will you be looking forward to a single or album from Casey in the future?