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'American Idol' - 'Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox Compete' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 26th 2010 12:00AM
American Idol, Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox
We're down to the wire on 'American Idol,' live at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Live! Based on tonight's performances, I have some thoughts on who should win it, but I'll save those for the end of this recap. It's clear that both Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox are in it to win it.

The show started off with Lee and Crystal making their way to the stage through the audience, a decision the producers might want to re-think in the future, since Crystal lost her microphone twice on the way down. By the time they reached the stage, they both seemed a little overwhelmed. But the show must go on, so here we go.

Ryan Seacrest noted that there would be three segments tonight: Lee and Crystal's favorite songs from this season, songs chosen by executive producer Simon Fuller, and songs they'll release if they win (though they'll probably release them no matter what).

Favorite songs from the season:

Lee DeWyze, 'The Boxer.' I like this version of the song with the little change-ups, and Lee has gotten so much more comfortable on stage since he started on 'Idol.' Randy said it wasn't a high energy song, but it's a great way to start off the night. Ellen said she couldn't be prouder if she'd birthed him herself. Kara agreed with Randy on getting more energy into the performance, and Simon expected a lot more passion and excitement. "That was a kiss on the cheek when I want a kiss on the lips," said Simon.

Crystal Bowersox, 'Me and Bobby McGee.'
Well, if it's high energy they want, this song delivers. The thing about Crystal is she started out fantastic and she's still fantastic. She's always been really comfortable onstage, and she still is. Randy said it started out slow (well, the song starts out a little slow, so...), but he loved it. Ellen called it "compelling," and Kara said she loved it when Crystal first sang it, and she loved it again tonight. Simon said that while the last few weeks haven't been great for Crystal, she's back and at her best tonight.

Songs chosen by Simon Fuller:

Lee DeWyze, 'Everybody Hurts.' I don't know if this is going to be energetic enough for the judges, and it's kind of an odd song for Fuller to choose. Randy said it started off pitchy, but Lee pulled it together. Ellen thought he pulled back too much, and Kara loved that he's "emotionally accessible," even though it wasn't a perfect song choice. Simon thought it was a brilliant choice, but feels like Lee is nervous. He wants a ten out of ten for his last performance.

Crystal Bowersox, 'Black Velvet.' I worried for Crystal as she walked down the stairs, but thank goodness she made it without tripping. The band seemed a little overpowering at first, but she turned it up towards the end and belted it out. Randy loved it, saying "Mama Sox is in it to win it." Ellen also loved it, noting that it's like a Cher concert with all the wardrobe changes. Kara could tell that Crystal wants to win, and Simon said he's almost allergic to the song because so many people have murdered it, but that Crystal "absolutely nailed it."

Songs they'll release if they win:

Lee DeWyze, 'Beautiful Day.' Good choice for a single, and perfect for his voice. It's happy, he's got violins behind him, and he looks completely confident. Randy said the beginning was a little iffy when Lee was trying to walk around the stage, but it started to rock by the middle. Ellen said Lee was "fully present, taking in every bit of these peoples' energy." Kara thought he got a little swallowed up (much booing from the crowd), but that Lee has grown the most on the show and has one of the most commercial voices this season. Simon said Lee made the most of the song, and that he's what this competition is designed for -- someone working a normal job in a paint shop who needs a break. Simon also wished Lee all the best and called him a "great guy." Ryan followed it up with "class act."

Crystal Bowersox, 'Up to the Mountain.'
This is kind of a soulful, religious song, especially with the Dixie Hummingbird-type singers behind her, and a fantastic way to close out the show. Randy called it amazing and one of Crystal's best performances. Ellen said she can't compare Crystal to any other contemporary artist, because she's in a class by herself, with a beautiful, clear voice that just pulls you in. Kara said Crystal was completely emotionally invested and she could see her blossom just with that song. Crystal interrupted here to thank Simon for his thoughtful critiques throughout the season and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Simon called it the best performance of the night and since it's the last critique he'll ever give, "that was outstanding."

Ryan added that they'll miss Simon, but look for a few surprises in store tomorrow night. 'We also heard Will Young sing the show's "go-home" song this season, 'Leave Right Now.' Then ALL the Idols from this season crowded the stage, and that was fun, too.

That's a wrap for tonight! Based on tonight's performances, I'd say Crystal should win 'American Idol' this season, but I know Lee has a lot of fans out there. What say you, TV Squad readers? Who should win, and who do you think WILL win? Come back here tomorrow night and read Kona's recap.

Which of the remaining two contestants will win 'American Idol'?
Crystal Bowersox1572 (65.3%)
Lee DeWyze837 (34.7%)

(Follow @jboursaw on Twitter.)

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Lee was just not very good...Crystal definitely won

May 26 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not going to rip into Crystal like some of the others have but I just want to say that I prefer Lee over her any day. I find that half the time I don't understand what comes out of her mouth but that could just happen because I don't like that style of music. The shrieking is a bit annoying too. All that said, I think that she'll win tonight based on the judges critiques. Because in all honesty, she's been the judges pet throughout the whole season. I want Lee to win but I think that Crystal will end up with the microphone trophy.

May 26 2010 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree with Jimbo, her voice is horrible, specially last night during the 1st two songs, she was screaming the whole time, it was awful , tho I have to say she performed good as she moved around a little, I still hope Lee wins just because he did good in the past and he's been my fave since he auditioned.

May 26 2010 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kelly's comment
David Cook is my Idol!

I have to agree with Jimbo and Kelly. I never got the Crystal love either. She had a couple of decent performances, but overall I found her to be screechy and old-fashioned. I didn't like her attitude either. She came across as snooty and arrogant on quite a few occasions. The way she was overhyped and put on a pedestal over the other contestants was fairly obvious and I truly believe that's why Adam Lambert lost last year. The audience got sick of the judges' blatant favoritism.

Flame me all you want. I am just giving my $0.02 :) Go, Lee!

May 26 2010 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It has been obvious from the very beginning that Crystal was the only contestant who really belonged in this competition. She has tremendous stage presence and the ability to sell a song. Some others have tried hard, but they just don't have that something extra that defines a star.

That said, I won't be sad if she doesn't win. She is a songwriter and Idol has not let her do any of her own songs. If she wins, she will be forced to make the kind of album Simon Fuller wants rather than the kind of album she wants. In second place, she will have more freedom to express herself and will likely be more successful.

It's really too bad the producers can't see that what they do to the winner usually harms their career more than helps it. After all, the only first place finishers that have done really well have been Kelly and Cary.

May 26 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Leroy's comment

Totally agree. Crystal will NOT lose in the real world. Her music will sell like crazy and I, for one, will be right there to make my contribution to make that happen. Lee may be more "marketable" but that does NOT translate to success. Young teen girls only buy CDS for so long and until the next big thing comes along then that artist is toast. I would hate to have that happen to Lee. He seems more fragile than Crystal that way. They both deserve to have success. The difference is he is not quite ready for it right now and Crystal is...seriously folks, its obvious who should walk away with the title, but Lee will probably be crowned anyways...so sad...

May 26 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crystal was fantastic tonight and Lee was just ok. But I think Lee walks away with the title. Lee's voice is more marketable.

May 26 2010 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like both Lee & Crystal, and I hadn't made up my mind as to who I wanted to win going into last night's performances. I think Crystal completely brought it last night, with her last song (and possible new single) bringing tears to my eyes. I truly think that she deserves the title after last night's performances. But, I won't be upset if Lee were to take it home either, I think he progressed the most this season, he just didn't execute last night to the fullest. I think they'll both have bright futures.


May 26 2010 at 8:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jimbo--I sincerely hope you're joking, otherwise, your understanding of music and singing ranks right up there with your likely understanding of quantum physics!

May 26 2010 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They are both good singers and both are deserving of great careers after this but AI is doing everything possible to make sure Crystal wins and that seems to include picking horrible songs for Lee. Everybody Hurts? Seriously?! That song is about suicide! You can't think of a more upbeat song for him to sing? And Beautiful Day put up against Up to the Mountain? I would pick the latter any day of the week no matter who is singing it. Maybe if they made it a even playing field, it could have been more of a competition but it's clear to me who they want and I hope they don't get it!

May 26 2010 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Eileen's comment

See, that's weird, because I see it as the exact opposite. Starting last week, it has been blatantly obvious by the song choices who they want to win. "Baby I'm Amazed" versus "Hallelujah"? A song nobody's ever heard of, or a U2 song? It couldn't be more obvious if they shot at Crystal with a tennis ball gun while she was onstage.

May 26 2010 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cindy Gibson

Well jimbo, you must be totally tone deaf. Crystal was amazing and nailed every song she sang. Lee was swallowed up on the last two songs by the backup singers and those darn violins. He had to scream to be heard. I think his last song will be really good in the studio when he records it because they will not let the music and backups do that to him. He will be able to sing it much better. I think Crystal should win because of her talent and consistentcy. But this is not the nature of this show. The fans make weird decisions some times. Either one could win at this point. Anyway, I think the results will be second to the big hoopla that will be Simon's last night. We will see.

May 26 2010 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

oh god, i hope crystal loses, its a longshot i know, but god she just suckssss so bad......that voice makes me want to stab someone!

May 26 2010 at 4:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Phish's comment

Jimbo--I sincerely hope you're kidding, because otherwise your understanding of music and singing is right up there with your likely understanding of quantum physics.

May 26 2010 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 26 2010 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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