American Idol 9 Finals: Week 9 (The Final Four)

Prelude

AOL’s TV Squad blog ran a list today of the most underappreciated contestants through Idol’s 9-season history… check it out, see what you think…

Once again this season, due to the fact that Idol has 4 judges with no self-control, the final four contestants will each sing one solo and one duet – before season 7, the final four each sang two solos.  The pairings leaked early, of course, and it’ll be Lee/Crystal and Michael/Casey doing duets tonight.

And Fox has already announced a planned overrun for the season finale on May 26 – the show will run 2 hours 7 minutes (or so they think), but if the past 2 years are any indication, you’ll want to pad your DVR recording time a bit.  On the other hand, if you just want the winner without the fluff, tune in at 10/9c on May 26, as you’ll join in just as the final two come onstage for Ryan’s breathless announcement… and another utterly horrible song written by Kara DioGuardi for the occasion.  In case you’ve forgotten – and I hope you have – last year’s coronation song was so awful that Kris Allen dropped it from his Idols Live tour set list in the first week.

Here we go… Idol season 9 stumbles onward toward the finish line with Jamie Foxx (again) mentoring “Songs of the Movies”… which duet will we be cringing at… TONIGHT~!?

Showtime – 8:00 pm Eastern

Ryan’s alone on stage, talking about the big dream of being the next big star, to be chose in just “14 days” (actually 15)… then a quick cut to the final four… and…

THIS… is American Idol! *cue the music*

The judges are introduced, then the Four… as we’re reminded about the duets… and the theme… and we meet tonight’s mentor (after a cinematic montage).  Jamie Foxx came bearing gifts… T-shirts that say “CONTESTANT” and “ARTIST”… asking the question as to which one they are now.  Let’s face it, none of our finalists have defined themselves, have they?

Lee – “Kiss From A Rose”, Seal (Batman Forever) – Foxx challenged Lee to “get in touch with his confidence”… Lee’s back on guitar… serious problems with some early notes (including a fitting* near-Siobhanesque accidental screech)… and he’s sprinting through a what should be a fairly slow song (nerves? bad arrangement?)… this could have been a moment to remember.  Too bad he didn’t really grab it.   Yet another “good but not great” performance in a season full of them.

Break…

Back with a reminder that Idols Live tour tickets go on sale this weekend.  Don’t get trampled. 🙂

Michael — “Will You Be There”, Michael Jackson (Free Willy)– Getting the Product Placement treatment this week… his goal was “Top Three”?… and a bumpy mentor session to boot… a bit flat to start… but came through with about what we expected… again, not a star-making performance… but solid.  I am a bit worried that Randy has agreed with my assessment twice so far… 🙂 and Simon’s critique will be oft-quoted, but not here.

SCORECARD: Michael > Lee

Break…

Back for our first duet…

Lee/Crystal — “Falling Slowly”, Glen Hansard/Markéta Irglová (Once) – No phone numbers, no mentor clip… both on guitar, facing each other instead of the audience… really rough start… their voices didn’t mesh at all at first, but once they got past the opening, it started to come together, and sounded pretty good at the end.  I’m not as enthused as the judges (lowering the bar much?), but I think this winds up helping both of them tonight.

Break…

Casey — “Mrs. Robinson”, Simon & Garfunkel (The Graduate) – Um… Jamie asked Casey to seduce him? 🙂 Yes, I get the point… back on electric guitar (I think?) tonight… VFTW’s Goat Boy hits the Goat Vibrato three words in… well, he made it “his own”… one problem… it wasn’t really good.  Weak vocal, odd take on it… he better absolutely nail the duet otherwise he’s in deep, deep trouble… Oh no… Randy had to make the “Mrs. Robinson” joke about Kara?  Really?  And if Casey was looking for any help from the judges, this was the wrong song for that.  The judging became a long riff on the Kara/Casey joke.  Sad.

SCORECARD (Solos only): Michael > Lee > Casey

Break… wait, did Ryan say “classic song from Caddyshack”????  I guess that was meant to laugh us out to break… which is more than I expect from the movie advertised first in this break (Marmaduke)…

Crystal – “I’m Alright”, Kenny Loggins (Caddyshack) – “Classic”, Ryan?  Anyway, Crystal’s in the Product Placement spotlight… Jamie: “it’s not a song, it’s a testimony”… she’s on guitar… We are saved!  A solid, fun, professional, put-this-on-record performance to wrap up the solos… please, let’s wrap this up and crown the 9th Idol… this was a drubbing tonight.

SCORECARD (Solos only): Crystal > Michael > Lee > Casey

Break… Michael and Casey chose Bryan Adams?  They are REALLY going to have to work hard to elevate this… and much as I like Adams’ music… oh, boy…

Michael/Casey – “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?”, Bryan Adams (Don Juan DeMarco) – Should’ve noted that all 4 contestants were on guitar for their duets… Ummm… that was… there.  I mean… um… yeah.  To steal a Cowellism (again), that’ll be forgotten 30 seconds after Glee starts.  A nothing performance of a weak song.  Goodnight, Casey… but at least Ellen gets to say “yes, I have loved a woman” as her entire critique…

The Big Finish:

SCORECARD (Duets included): Crystal > Lee > Michael > Casey

  • My vote: Crystal
  • My elimination: Casey (Sorry, VFTW, but… no.)

Jamie Foxx enjoyed the show.  Thanks for that.  Results are at 9/8c tomorrow night… Daughtry, Fantasia, Bon Jovi, and more padding to fill the hour (or more)… two more weeks, America, and then we can all start watching WipeoutGlee is next on most of your same FOX station…


*only “fitting” if you believe the rumors that surfaced today about Lee & Siobhan, of course…

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), improv tech guy, generally nice person (if you ask me).

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