Is Casey James the Dark Horse of 'American Idol'?

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 7th 2010 10:30AM
american idol casey james jealous guy

Pretty boys don't do it for me. Long, flowing locks aren't what generally draws me to a guy. As a result, I was never particularly drawn to 'American Idol' contestant, Casey James. Of course I understood the attraction on an intellectual level -- I do have eyes after all, and he is a very pretty man. But throughout the first half of this season of 'Idol,' he remained little more than a background player to me.

Casey was talented enough, but he never knocked my socks off. I figured that he'd stick around for a while because he's good-looking and he doesn't stink up the stage with his performances, but that after a while, he'd be swept up in a cloud of blond hair and sparkling teeth and he'd become nothing but a distant, blue-eyed memory. That all changed this week, however, when he performed 'Jealous Guy.' All the sudden, I was sitting in front of my TV and a random thought struck me: "I kind of want to make out with him."

Maybe it's because I'm cold and dead inside, but I rarely feel anything when I watch an 'Idol' performance. This, however? I felt this. The danger that you run into with anything in the Lennon/McCartney catalog is that it's all been played so often that it's almost background noise. It's really difficult to make their work captivating. Casey, somehow, managed to do just that.

His performance was simple and understated, yet absolutely riveting. Generally I'm antsy during 'Idol,' especially when I'm reviewing it, because I'm thinking about how much I have left to do, and what I'm going to write next. When this song came on, however, I stopped what I was doing and was just transfixed to the screen. This song, was quite simply, a game changer.

For weeks now, Crystal Bowersox has been the presumed winner of 'Idol.' Of course, weird things always happen on this show when it comes to results, but she's been the clear favorite nearly every week. Unlike everyone else, who appears as what they are, kids thrust into the spotlight who are trying to win a competition, she sprung from Hollywood week as a fully-formed artist. Everyone else needs this competition to grow and find their voice -- she's already done. Everything she does on this show is simply icing the cake.

It's clear that Simon is bored with this, his last season of 'Idol,' and Crystal is one of the few reasons he actually manages to stay awake during the tapings. Michael Lynche has done an admirable job (I adored his 'Eleanor Rigby' performance), but Big Mike seems more like a runner-up than a winner to me. As amazing as he is, he skews a bit too old to grab the teeny-bopper vote.

Last night, however, Casey became a threat. He already has the look; all he needed was a killer performance like this to push him over the top. If he can keep this momentum going next week, not only does he have a chance of winning the competition, but he has a real chance of having something that not every Idol gets: a successful recording career.

You can watch Casey James' performance of 'Jealous Guy' below:

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Jan

Well I'm on my way to being a 60 year old and from day one he turned me into a "cougar". I'd forgotten I liked younger men! I'd like to hear him and Crystal sing together. I think she is a great artist and I wish her and Casey could both win. Aaron and tim need to go back to school or get them a Hannah Montanta type show or I Carly.

April 08 2010 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wulfn1

Ah... I am not the only one who has suddenly developed that cougar instinct watching this kid. Yeah, he comes off as "pretty boy" but I have seen the danger (yes ladies that's what is suddenly so attractive in this angelic youth) in the past several weeks, glinting ever so slightly in each of the songs he has sung. It came out full force this past week. Showed his mettle.

Why everyone is counting Crystal to win I don't know. She is the hands down best they have , but she is not the "Idol". One of the rest of the group will win that title. Crystal will go on to greatness for sure, but not as the winner of this competition. It's just not the way this show works. They need someone they can mold and bring out , good or bad, as something new and exciting. Crystal is so deeply original they would never be able to mold her into the image of pop teen star.
So, I don't see Casey as a dark horse. He is a contender. Young enough to mold, dangerous enough to bring the fans, and multitalented enough to really be exploited by the Idol contract he would sign if he won.

April 08 2010 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

With Crystal as the early frontrunner, almost everyone every week becomes that dark horse to win. This week it was Casey. Last week it was Lee. Before that Siobhan's name was being mentioned as a possible final foe of Crystal. I do think one of those four will take it though. I can't really picture the other five taking it even if they did make the finals, but hey anything can happen.

April 07 2010 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

TV Squad nailed this one. Crystal is and has been the odds-on favorite to win it all this season. She's generally so head-and-shoulders above everybody in the competition, not only in terms of talent, but also identity, confidence, uniqueness, and charisma. But last night, Casey moved himself right up there next to Crystal, with his moving, heartfelt rendition of "Jealous Guy". It was like watching a young, really good looking Joe Cocker up there, crooning out this song with emotions and soul that seem to transcend his age. Really fantastic. The race is on! :)

April 07 2010 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I'm with you on the long haired pretty boy type "is not my bag, baby", and I nearly crossed him off my list as a contender when Kara and Posh told him to strip off his shirt in his first audition. He first got my attention in Hollywood when he sang "I Don't Need No Doctor", but hasn't particular caught my attention again until last night. I even said I thought last night's performance was downright intoxicating...

I think it's unfair for someone to say Crystal (althought I love her!) has this season on lock-down, just like it was unfair for people to say Adam Lambert had last season on lock-down. You never know who's going to steal America's hearts and it usually comes down to these next few weeks' performances.

http://www.orble.com/teevee-american-idol-top-9-perform/

April 07 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davidm3825

My predictions for American Idol tonight is that Aaron Kelly and Andrew Garcia will be the bottom 2 and Andrew is going home.

April 07 2010 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

I think last night's episode was probably the strongest of the competition thus far. Almost everyone seemed to improve over last week, and there were few moments I felt the need to mute my television (a rarity this season). I thought Casey, Lee, and Katie were especially good. While I've normally tuned Katie out...I was intrigued by last night. Could she be someone to start watching out for? http://thesmogger.com/2010/04/07/idol-hangover-the-top-9-perform/

April 07 2010 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jett

One of the most hilarious (while accurate) reviews of the evening I've seen. This line is genius...

"All the sudden, I was sitting in front of my TV and a random thought struck me: 'I kind of want to make out with him.'"

April 07 2010 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jett's comment
hessian

I have never seen the phrase "all the sudden" in print. "All of a sudden", yes.

Sister Agnes beat 'all of a sudden" out of me in the second grade. Try "suddenly" - it keeps the nuns at bay.

April 07 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe stalin

Its the usual reality show problem. Guys (not that theres all that many as a percentage of viewers) will NOT vote for a chick if shes hot. We vote talent. Women on the other hand ... well look at who is left. you should be embarrassed for your gender.

April 08 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Uhh ... no.

April 07 2010 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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