Lee DeWyze Wins American Idol 2010 in an Upset

After an entire season of competition, it came down to 2 final contestants battling to become the 2010 American Idol. Both reside in the midwest.  Lee DeWyze from near Chicago and Crystal Bowersox from just outside Toledo. Crystal was the odds on favorite from day one. Lee grew week by week through the entire season. Lee was only “good” on the final night of competition, while Crystal was spectacular most every week and hit a high note on the finals night.

This year’s top 12 contestants teemed up for many solo, duet, and group songs. They were also joined on stage by past and present pop music superstars including Orianthi, Alice Cooper, Chris Allen, The BeeGees, Michael MacDonald, Christina Aguilera, Hall & Oates, Alanis Morrissette, Carrie Underwood, Brett Michaels, Chicago, General Larry Black, William Hung, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Berino, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Hicks, Janet Jackson, Joe Cocker, and numerous previous season runners-up.

Comedy breaks were used to roast Simon Cowell on his final night on American Idol. Dane Cook performed a “Simon’s Insults Song” and was cut short when a previous year’s disaster went on a rant and refused to relinquish the microphone.  Ricky Gervase added insults and Paula Abdul made an appearance.

It was announced that Lee DeWyze is the 2010 American Idol winner. He finished off the night by singing his soon to be released single “Beautiful Day”.

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Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crystal Bowersox vs. Lee DeWyze American Idol Finals 2010

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The finals American Idol started off rocky for Crystal Bowersox. In the opening segment, her microphone was knocked out of her hand and fell to the floor as she walked down the aisle through a crowd of fans reaching out to touch her.  Lee DeWyze had his microphone safely tucked in his front pocket. Crystal was escorted back into the crowd and was waiting direction from a director/body-guard when the camera focused on her in a state of confusion.

Ryan Seacrest welcomed Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze for the final night of competition and explained that they would each sing three songs. One from a past performance of this season, one chosen by executive producer Simon Fuller, and one that will be released as a single if they win.

Lee DeWyze chose “The Boxer” from Inspirational songs week and played acoustic guitar while performing. It was a solid performance, but lacked excitement or conviction on this, the final night of competition. Next, Simon Fuller had him sing R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”. The song fit his style very well and he performed it very well.  Finally, his American Idol song was U2’s “Beautiful Day”. I immediately thought, “what’s up with that?” For the first time, an American Idol’s debut song will not be an original song if Lee wins. The judges agreed that he has a very commercial voice and did not have a great final night of the contest.

Crystal Bowersox started off with “Me and Bobby Magee” from Billboard #1’s week. She wailed in Bowersox style and gave a great rendition of the classic Janis Joplin song. Simon Fuller had her sing “Black Velvet”. She wore a silky dress, left her guitar backstage, and nailed it. However, I thought she was uncomfortable with the dressed-up look and had trouble navigating the stairs in high heels. Finally, she performed an original song titled “Up to the Mountain”. The judges all agreed that she saved her best performance for last and gave her high praises. personally, I thought it was an awful song sung really, really well. I couldn’t find the melody and will never be able to sing along with it on the radio, but it was O.K. to just listen to.

The competition is over, but who will win? Based only on the night’s performance, Crystal should win–hands down. However, this is American Idol, and the winner isn’t necessarily going to be the best singer. Both have personality issues. They are not as open and forward and polished as we would like them to be.  Lee is good-looking, has a mainstream style, is relevent to what is popular in music, has grown the most over this entire season, and is very popular on the internet. However, he peaked last week instead of this week, and this week was only good, not great. On the other hand, Crystal has a very certain style which may or may not transcend into popular music. There has been little doubt that she consistently sang the most songs great and that she has an incredible vocal range. However, she was great from the beginning which set her bar a little higher than the others in the competition. Arguably, she has improved the least, because she was so good from day 1. She did have a very good night on the last night of competition–which falls heavily in her favor.  I think the judges would unanimously name Crystal Bowersox as the new American Idol after this week’s performance. However, the American public has to support their favorite by phoning in to vote. Anything can happen, but based on this week’s performance, Crystal Bowersox should be our new American Idol.

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Casey James Eliminated from American Idol

The 3 remaining American Idol contestants were interviewed at length during the show. Their insights to what they go through on a weekly basis, how they juggle their time, along with their hopes and dreams for the outcome of the contest were discussed. The animated “Wild One” Ford video was pretty cool.

The Idols were taken to their home towns where the cameras followed them around. Casey James went to Cool, Texas, where he visited his home town high school and the hospital where he recovered from a serious accident. He gave a small concert at a nearby stadium and was cheered by a throng of Texans.  Crystal flew to Toledo and was met by a huge crowd late night at the airport. The following day included a parade, several live appearances, a family BBQ at her dad’s farm, throwing out the opening pitch at a Mud Hens game, and a live concert where she sang an original song titled “Holy Toledo”.  Lee DeWyze landed in Chicago made the early morning FOX program and threw out the opening pitch at a Cubs game. He went to his elementary school to spend some time with some kids before going to his old job at a paint store in Mt Prospect.  He also rode in a parade and gave a concert.

Travis Garland and Justin Bieber performed live.

The Idols were reviewed on their previous night’s performance. It was announced that Lee DeWyze was going to the finals next week. Crystal Bowersox joined Lee as the other finalist for next week’s show. Casey James performed his swan song “Daughters” as his quest for the prize had ended.

One more week to go and the two favorites are deservingly in the final. It will take a great performance to become the next American Idol.

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crystal Bowersox Hometown Hero Week on American Idol

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With only three contestants left in the 2010 American Idol competition, each singer got to sing two songs. The first was any song of their choice, and the second was a song chosen by the judges. The Idols went home for a Hometown Hero Welcome where they received a text message on their ATT cell phone telling them which song the judges picked for them to perform.

Casey James picked an unknown song, “O.K., It’s Alright with Me” and accompanied himself on acoustic guitar. The song was a safe and easy choice that displayed no vocal range at this point in the competition. The judges agreed that it was a poor song choice that was done well, but there was nothing he could have done with this unknown song to make it his own, because virtually no one had heard it before.

Crystal Bowersox selected “Come to My Window” while playing acoustic guitar and harmonica. The climax of the tune had her wailing in that bluesy voice we are so accustomed to. The judges agreed it was a good vocal and a good song choice, but did not blow them away.

Lee DeWyze chose “Simple Man” and stole the early part of the show by making an excellent song choice while playing acoustic guitar and giving an edgy vocal performance. The judges agreed that he connected with the song (and the audience) and was peaking at just the right time.

Randy Jackson and Cara DioGuardi chose John Mayer’s “Daughter” for Casey to sing. He showcased more of his electric guitar playing ability. The judges wanted him to display more of his artistic, sensitive, and vulnerable side. He just did alright.

Ellen Degeneres picked “Maybe I’m Amazed” for Crystal. She came out without an instrument and did a great job displaying her vocal range. Her voice displayed a tenderness and sweetness that we had not heard much of before. The judges agreed that she was “in it to win it”.

Simon Cowell had Lee sing “Hallelujah”. It was a great vocal and a stunning performance with acoustic guitar.

It is almost obvious that Crystal and Lee will be in the final next week. Casey just did not bring enough to the table to continue in the competition any longer. Crystal has been a strong performer since day one. She already knows who she is as an artist and has been perfecting her persona all year.  Lee has grown in leaps and bounds and has shown the most improvement all season long. The question is:  will Crystal become the next American Idol because she has been very good since the beginning, or will Lee become the next American Idol because he has the most momentum going into the final week, or will it be shocking when Casey becomes the next American Idol because he is a very good musician who is also very good-looking. The American voters will decide…

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Michael Lynche leaves American Idol

4 contestants became 3 tonight after American Idols sang “Songs from the Movies”.

Fantasia, Daughtry, and Bon Jovi performed live, and the Idols made a fun “Put the Message in the Box” Ford Video.

The 3 remaining Idols will get to go home next week for a special day and a mini concert in their home town.

The contestants were brought onstage and Casey James’ name was called–he was told that he is in the top 3. Next, Lee DeWyze was told he’s going back to Chicago–for a homecoming. This left Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche in the bottom 2, waiting to find our who was going home for a concert, and who was going home to stay. It was announced that Crystal was safe–meaning Big Mike was out of the competition. 

Michael wasn’t supposed to be here because he was voted off 5 weeks ago. However, the judges chose to “save” him and gave him another chance–he took advantage of this opportunity and survived until this week.

There are only three contestants left and only 2 more performances until we find out who will be the next American Idol.

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Crystal Bowersox Songs from the Movies on American Idol

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This week on American Idol, the 4 remaining contestants sang Songs from the Cinema and had Jamie Foxx as their mentor.  With only 34 movie songs to pick from, this was a very interesting night. Each contestant needed to pick a good song, make it their own, and sing it big. Then they got to sing a second song as a duet with another contestant.

Lee DeWyze did a karaoke version of “Kiss from a Rose” while strumming his acoustic guitar. He did nothing to make it his own. His falsetto was off and he made lots of sour notes. I was not impressed.

Michael Lynche chose Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There”. He had pitch issues and did not make it his own. It was a safe choice but he did not shine.

Lee DeWyze came back with Crystal Bowersox and did a duet of “Falling Slowly” while playing simultaneous acoustic guitars. They interacted and harmonized very well and combined for an awesome version of a song that is not too familiar. The judges agreed it was fantastic.

Casey James chose Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and accompanied himself with a mandolin. He changed it up, made it his own, and made it cool.  The judges didn’t like it–but they were wrong.  He did a great job.

Crystal Bowersox picked “I’m Alright” from “Caddyshack”. An unusual choice for a girl who sings in a bluesy fashion. She took a pop song, turned it on it’s edge and belted out a Crystal version of a classic Kenny Loggins song. Easily the best solo performance of the night.

Casey and Michael did a dual acoustic version of “Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman”.  Excellent guitar playing and harmonizing. The solo portions were a little off, but the harmonizing was incredible.

The consensus of the judges was that the duets proved that all four contestants were excellent performers.  However, this is a solo competition. Crystal and Casey had the best individual songs which leaves Lee and Michael as the bottom 2 this week.

Aaron Kelly Eliminated from American Idol

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The music of Frank Sinatra mentored by Harry Connick, Jr., was the theme this week on American Idol. The 5 remaining contestants had trouble excelling in this genre. For this performance, only Lee DeWyze appeared to be safe.

The show started with a Sinatra Medley performed by the Idols, followed by the “1,2,3,4” Ford video, followed by a Harry Connick medley.

Crystal Bowersox and Casey James were put on one side of the stage and Michael Lynche and Aaron Kelly on the other side.  Lee DeWyze was left and was asked which group of 2 were in the bottom for this week’s votes. After refusing to comment, Lee was told that he was safe as were Crystal and Casey–Michael and Aaron received the fewest votes this week.

Lady Gaga and Harry Connick, Jr. performed live before it was announced that Aaron was out of the competition.  He sang “Fly Me to the Moon” as his swan song and left the stage with no regrets and much experience.

Next week we will hear songs from the movies.

Crystal Bowersox Frank Sinatra Night on American Idol

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With five contestants left on American Idol, this week’s theme was the songs of Frank Sinatra.  It was time for the idols to perform standards from the songbook of the greatest crooner of all time. One did great, four did alright. The American voters will make a tough choice to decide which of these performers will go home and who will remain.  At this point in the competition, it is not always about how this week’s performance went, but how far previous performances can carry you.

Harry Connick Jr. mentored the idols, arranged their music, and played live for this week’s competition.  Aaron Kelly hit all the high and low notes on “Fly Me to the Moon”. The judges said that his clean vocal lacked conviction.  I thought he did alright.  Casey James, sans guitar, did a sexy version of “Blue Skies”.  I thought he did alright, the judges hated it. Michael Lynche was praised for his rendition of “The Way You Look Tonight”. He went from tender to loud and I thought he was just alright. The judges liked it.

Crystal Bowersox performed “Summer Wind” from the Sinatra collection. Her version was sweet, though a bit sleepy. She displayed power and tenderness while staying true to herself. The judges thought she did alright, as did I.

Lee DeWyze was the highlight of the night singing “That’s Life”. He did a believable, heart-felt version of a classic song with a rock twist. Everyone agreed that this was the best performance of the night.

On this night, after this performance, only Lee DeWyze is safe. It is going to be hard to figure out who could get the fewest votes and be sent home this week. So many votes are based on past performances, physical appearance, and judges comments.