I think [[Crystal Bowersox]] should win this year’s American Idol. No doubt about it.
[[Lee DeWyze]] is a nice guy and all that, but he really doesn’t light my fire. Yes, there’s a hungry, ambitious singer hiding behind those earnest blue eyes, but I think Lee has been oversold and can’t possibly deliver what the judges have been promising.
Now, I’m going to tell you why I think Crystal should win. It’s not because she’s been the frontrunner since early on in the competition. That’s not a reason.
Crystal should win because she’s a talented artist: a musician and songwriter who appreciates a richer musical legacy than what was in last week’s singles chart. She has the most developed sense of where she wants to go with her music and she’s not afraid to snap back at the judges and speak her mind when she has to. I like that.
And as I mentioned when I reviewed last night’s Top 2 show, Crystal has an incredibly strong voice. She can handle the subtleties in any song she’s given. Unlike Lee, who operates on only one level: rock voice. To hear what I mean, listen to Lee’s version of The Boxer alongside the original Simon & Garfunkel version. Singing in a gruff voice does not equal passion or drama. Listen to three Lee DeWyze performances in a row and you’ll quickly realise it all sounds very samey after a while. With Lee it feels put-on, with Crystal her performances are heartfelt and nuanced. She’s a professional, while Lee’s just learning to be.
I’m going to gloss over Crystal’s weaker Idol moments by saying that she was hit by some bad theme weeks and song choices. When you see her singing Me And Bobby McGee, you’ll see her in her comfort zone – and as [[Randy Jackson]] said, that’s a song you could see on her album. Once she’s past the banality of Idol themes, she’ll be free to choose songs that play to her strengths and show her in her best light.
There’s something else: Bowersox represents a shift in [[American Idol (TV Series)|American Idol]]. You’ll have heard it mentioned a few times by the judges this year. They see her as a route to the singer/songwriters who’ve snubbed Idol in the past. And I think they want to make American Idol more about confident artists who have more than one dimension. People who can write songs, play instruments and add to the music scene rather than just cover old classics.
I think a win for Crystal opens up a previously untapped market for American Idol and potentially draws from a more talented pool of singers. And I support this because I think Idol needs to be a more serious competition. I’d hope that someday in the future, contestants on Idol get to write and perform some of their own songs to show us just how good they are. It would at least prove that they’re not record company puppets, but creative people with their own ideas.
So there. Vote For Crystal Bowersox as your next American Idol. And if you won’t think of Crystal, think of the kids.