Is Casey James the Dark Horse of 'American Idol'?
by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 7th 2010 10:30AM
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: