'American Idol's ninth-season Top 4 finalists take the stage and sing
By Reality TV World staff, 05/12/2010
American Idol's Top 4 ninth-season finalists took to the stage during last night's live performance show broadcast on Fox.
This week's mentor was Jaime Foxx, who helped the finalists interpret songs from the movies.
The following is Reality TV World's recap of the performance broadcast in the order which the Top 4 finalists sang. Also included are comments from each of the four judges -- Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell -- as well as any noteworthy additional information about each finalist's performance or comments to Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
In addition to their solo performances, the finalists were also paired together to perform two duets. Both duets received excellent feedback from the judges.
On Wednesday night, one finalist will be eliminated based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last night's broadcast, resulting in the season's Top 3 finalists.
Randy said: "So I gotta agree with Jamie Foxx in one way, I'm also looking at this to see who is in this to really take it, what kind of artist are you going to become, are you going to become an artist -- what is the deal? For me, you did nothing with that song, it was just okay. It was pitchy in spots -- no, I'm saying you are the rocker, be who you are, choose a 'Blaze of Glory,' Bon Jovi. Choose some other more rock kind of a song. It didn't work for me, it was just okay. It's true! It's true!"
Ellen said: "Well I see what Randy's saying. I think that there could have been more done with the song. That being said, you're so good and you sang that so well. I loved it."
Kara said: "Lee, you had a great week last week. And I think part of the problem... is it's one of the most difficult songs to sing. It's up and down and all over in your register, and I think that having the arrangement the way it was and not just you with the guitar, you got lost a little, you had some out of tune issues. But, you can't take away from the fact that you are still great and I can hear you on the radio."
Simon said: "Yeah, I'm with Randy on this I'm afraid, and I'll tell you why. There are so many brilliant movies, so many brilliant songs, and so many opportunities for you to find a song and then make it original to you. That was verging on, I'm afraid to say, karaoke -- ie. trying too hard to sound like the original. So it you're choosing a T-shirt it's got to be a 'contestant' I'm afraid that time."
Additional Notes: Simon's "T-shirt" comment was a reference to Jaime's announcement that he was planning to give a "contestant" or "artist" T-shirt to each finalist after their performances.
Randy said: "I don't know what's quite going on tonight. I mean once again this is a cool song made great the late great Michael Jackson. I mean it's got this whole gospel influence kind of thing. I didn't love this for you either man. To me you're an R&B dude, I wish you had chosen some R&B song, and there's so many songs to chose from. It was just alright for me. It didn't really take off ever, and it started kind of rough."
Ellen said: "Well, you can't ever go wrong with the sound of a choir behind you, that kind of is a very powerful sound. And from one of the classic great movies of all time, Free Willy. It's a weird thing that your goal was to get into the Top 3. Your goal should be to win this thing, not to get into the Top 3. I wanted to hear you say that... the goal should be to win the thing. And I feel like you are consistently good-- you always sound good -- [but] I think it was a little bit predictable. That's the only thing I'll say about the performance."
Kara said: "All I could think of tonight is 'I'm Ready For Love' and 'Women's Work.' Because those were songs were I had goose bumps, and tonight I want goose bumps again... but I didn't feel that from you and I know you have more and you played it safe. What you did tonight, you could do in your sleep. I want you to go back to those moments."
Simon said: "I have no idea what Free Willy is, I don't. What's the film about? I'm still confused because I can't connect a whale called Willy and what you just did, it doesn't make sense. It's that same point again, I think that you could have chosen -- there's thousands and thousands of songs... I'm more confused here now. Look, at least -- at least -- you gave it a 100% and I kind of felt that you meant it."
Additional Notes: Michael told Ellen that winning Idol was his "next goal" and Simon that Free Willy is "about a whale."
Randy said: "I don't know if I was really jumping up and down. There was nothing that you really changed about it. It was just kind of a cool, laid-back kind of version of the song."
Ellen said: "Well I wish they would have given you a big-boy guitar. I liked that after last week -- you got beat up a little bit -- and I liked that you came back and did something different with the song. And I thought for a minute you were going to go further with it, which I wish you would of, but I liked that you changed it up. I thought that was really smart and I liked it."
Kara said: "Casey, for me this is you fighting to stay in the competition. Because this is where you're not comfortable -- upfront, vulnerable, attached to the song. For some reason, you have difficulty with that and you like to jam band and kind of do that electric thing. So for me this was actually a good choice."
Simon said: "To be honest with you Casey... personally I didn't think the song or the performance had the substance required on this important night for you. I didn't. I thought it was a little bit lazy and I think that you could have made more of an impact. But look, this is going to be tough. For somebody to go on this night, it's tough. but I do think there's been some very strange song choices tonight, I really, really do. And that was one of them."
Additional Notes: Before giving his feedback, Randy asked Casey why he chose the song and Casey replied that it was because of "a lot of things" -- resulting in Randy, Ellen and Simon poking fun at Kara's crush on Casey throughout the judges' feedback.
Crystal Bowersox, a 24-year-old from Elliston, OH who currently resides in Toledo, OH
Song: "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins
Randy said: "I've been saying this since Day 1 -- you are definitely an artist and I love that you tried to switch it up. It wasn't my favorite performance, but at least you tried to switch it up and make it at least somewhat kind of interesting fit you. So nice job."
Ellen said: "If that performance, I would say, just got crystallized. And I think you actually took that song and made it better. That's really good."
Kara said: "I completely agree with Ellen. You took the song, made it better, and I agree with Randy -- artist! Artist! Definitely artist."
Simon said: "Well look, I'm not even going to ask what that movie's about, I think I'm already in a lot of trouble after the whale film. But I would say that after that performance you Crystal are back in the game."