"American Idol": Episode 41 of Season Nine: The Results

5/20/2010 Posted by Admin


"American Idol": Episode 41 of Season Nine: The Results

The Stage For the Finals Has Been Set

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

The time has come for me to say goodbye to my very favorite "American Idol" contestant ever. And sure I’m bummed out – I felt he brought something refreshing to the competition – but I’m glad he made it this far. This is the only week where I felt Casey’s departure wouldn’t be undeserved. He’s still a winner in my eyes, and I know he has a big future ahead of him.

This means that Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox will be in the Season 9 Finals. Crystal is the first female to be in this position since Season 6, and I think there’s an excellent chance for her to represent for the ladies and take home the title. It’d be an incredibly well-deserved victory, something that isn’t always too common in "American Idol" history.

This final pairing should come as no shock to anyone, considering how much the judges pandered to both of these contestants, as they threw everyone else under the bus week by week. No one else stood a chance.

Crystal was consistently excellent – even her weak performances typically placed her in the Top 3 performances of the night. Her downfall? Other than this week, her most recent performances have been on the weaker end of her spectrum, resting on her past successes. There is a reason why the judges and the country fell in love with Crystal early, and it is because she is a true musician inside and out.

Lee, on the other hand, was the perfect "American Idol" success story, and why I feel he’ll ultimately win – regardless of whether he deserves it or not. Lee is one of those contestants who started off a bit below the radar – he was shy, he was quiet, and although he was good, he didn’t shine as bright as some of the other big personalities. He got better week after week and came out of his shell, and now he seems like the type of guy you’d want to bring home to Mom & Dad. His downfall? He can’t sing on key. I still have it out for him for destroying a Simon & Garfunkel song, which he performed again on his hometown concert, but I can’t deny his musical growth.

I think Crystal is the better contestant, but I don’t think she’s the right "American Idol" winner. And I believe that’s actually a huge compliment. The winner’s record deal is iron clad, complete with a cheesy coronation song, and "Idol" producers controlling the creative freedom of the artists. I don’t want Crystal to make her first record under those terms – I don’t want her to be stifled by what people think is “commercial.” I want her to be true to herself and make a fun record. This is exactly why I didn’t want Casey to win it all either. I want him to make an album that’s true to his heart (and I also want to see him play in small clubs downtown).

Lee, on the other hand, is the perfect guy for that "Idol" contract. He isn’t as established as a songwriter and musician as Crystal or Casey. He will certainly have an ideal direction, but I think he’s more easily pliable than the others. Don’t get me wrong – I like Lee, and I think he’s a talented guy, but I don’t view him as a “musician” in the sense that I view Crystal or Casey. I view him as a performer who can blossom into a musician – after he puts out an album of commercial pop-rock fluff that sells ridiculously well.

And really, this show is all about the producers. The judges are the public arm of the production team, blindly throwing criticism to everyone but the preordained winners. It is not fair the way they run this competition. Great contestants get criticized for not taking risks, while the preordained winners get applauded for doing something that’s “them” – which, the last time I checked, is also not taking a risk. They just change the rhetoric to suit their needs and appease the purse strings paying their checks. Their treatment of Casey James, basically indicating on Tuesday night that he was done before he sang his first note, was not fair. But I think Casey handled it like a pro, and left last night with dignity and grace.

It’ll be a tight race to the finals, as they all seem to be. My money’s on Lee – I think the producers are pandering more to him, and Simon typically chooses songs for the eventual winner (who he thinks will make him more money). But I am excited to see what Crystal has in store for the final performances – because I think she’s going to blow the lid off the competition.

Who’s your pick for the Season 9 champion? Lee or Crystal?

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  1. Anita said...

    You're so right about the judges playing favorites! I don't remember it being this blatant in seasons past. When they'd consistently overlook horrible notes from their favorites, I wondered if I was imagining it. I really hope Crystal wins. She's the best they've ever had!