Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lee vs. Crystal

I read on TMZ today (because, yes, that's what I do) that in rehearsal, both contestants were such bundles of nerves that Crystal stopped mid-song and forgot the lyrics and Lee supposedly got angry and left the stage when he was accidentally hit with a violin bow.

Watching the intro, I thought Lee looked collected. But Crystal and the cameraman? That was another story.

Ah, live television. Poor Crystal dropped her mic while high-five-ing everyone down the aisle. Lee, on the other hand, coolly placed his mic in his pocket while strolling down the aisle seemingly nonplussed. Crystal seemed flustered when she couldn't figure out where to stand among the audience and then it turned out she wasn't supposed to stand there at all, but rather get on stage, so Lee beat her there. Is that a foreshadowing of what's to come?

Crystal won the coin toss, so she of course chose to go 2nd. 3 songs tonight. Here we go.

1. Contestant's Choice:

Lee - "The Boxer"
His video intro made me like him even more. What a cute kid. His song was great. Simon calls it a kiss on the cheek rather than a kiss on the lips. Using that analogy, both kinds of kisses are nice and getting both enhances the effect of either. I like how he kisses either way. :P

Crystal - "Me and Bobby McGee"
Her video intro made me wonder, where's her mom? Crystal was excellent and totally gave me chills.

Round 1 goes to Crystal.

2. Producer's Choice

Lee - "Everybody Hurts"
Awesome choice. I don't think I could've predicted that song choice at all, but as soon as I heard it, it fit like a glove! I don't know if I would've made a connection between R.E.M.'s sound and Lee's, but it works. Plus this was R.E.M and a gospel choir and that's just extra cool. It was fabulous on him and I love his stage presence.

The audience, however, drives me crazy . . . Shut. Up!

Crystal - "Black Velvet"
This song has been done to death on this show, so it was hard to imagine her pulling it off as anything other than stale. However, they rocked it up and she did the song (and the arrangement) justice. It's just too bad they made her wear such an unflattering dress and awful heels to walk down those stairs. It was all very distracting. But her voice? She gave me chills again!

HOWEVER. When Ryan talks to her in between songs, she's a little too "Macy's Day Parade" - ish when she talks with him. Maybe it's her constant use of the word "Ryan." I suppose anyone would sound "Macy's Day Parade" - ish if they kept saying someone's name after every sentence. Especially if they threw in a "Thank you" (or 19) along with it. Gag.

Round 2 was tied.

3. Winner's Song

Wow, so this year they went with already-produced songs instead of the same old crap they've used for the past 8 years. No amount of song writing contests or Kara DioGuardi lyrics has been able to de-cheese the winning songs, so stick to already-awesome songs? Winning concept. Give that guy a raise.

Lee - "Beautiful Day"
I love this U2 song. It's so . . . NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Yes, that was the sound in our living room tonight as our local cable company cut out about 10 straight minutes of the show. Well, thank God for the internet, because I don't watch countless horrid auditions and 5 months of this show, week after week, to miss the final performances of the season. So, we high tailed it to my computer and watched Lee and Crystal perform the winner's songs. I'll keep it simple. Lee did great (and I can totally see how he might've gotten hit with a violin bow). And . . .

Crystal - "Up to the Mountain"
So did Crystal.

That's really all I have to say about the final songs. Maybe it's the distraction of the video cutting out. Maybe it's that I'm trying really hard to be open to the idea that Crystal could sound more deserving than Lee. Maybe it's that I'm tired and have a headache. I don't know, but I will say this.

I do think Crystal sounded fantastic tonight. And Lee sounded great, too. They are BOTH excellent. I like both their sounds. Heck, I'd even buy BOTH their albums.

That being said, Crystal almost swung me over to team Crystal tonight. ALMOST.

You see, I was thinking, as the show progressed tonight, that it worked very well in her favor that they weren't allowing time for them to TALK between songs, because I find her ingratiating when she does. And it was all going so well. Until. Until . . .

That girl doesn't know when to stop or shut up. Her little "Can I say something?" tribute to Simon took the energy (that, by the way, she had totally and successfully unleashed in her performances, creating a fantastic high in the crowd) and sucked it right out of the gigantic room.

If she'd not talked, I might, might have liked her more than Lee tonight. MIGHT. Because she did sound really, really good tonight. BUT. She reminded me why I love Lee (and yes, I vote based partly on personality--always have, always will). It's the nature of the show. It's not just about a sound (though a large part of it IS). It's a love story. I love both of their sounds, but I think America has fallen in love with Lee AND his sound.

They will both put out albums, because they are both incredible performers.

But Lee will win, because he has stolen our hearts.

I can hardly WAIT for the finale. I *love* American Idol finales. And Simon's final show should be a doozy. Bring on the group songs, the keys to the new Fords, and the celebration!


Dr. Mark said...

You're talking about my kisses, right? ;)

So, do we think alike or what? I'm so shocked.

John said...

I completely understand every thought and feeling you expressed about tonight.

However, as Simon, who on Ellen today, said he thought Lee would win, said on the show tonight, "I've changed my mind."

And I agree with Kara that in her last song, Crystal really did drop her wall and show us her heart - and I felt like her comments to Simon were more like a sincere apology for having had her wall up for so much of the season.

That said, I didn't opt to vote for either one tonight because I think it's up to America and I don't have that strong of a preference either way (though I'll admit voting for her after the top 3 night, just to be sure she made it to the top 2).

Speaking of Simon's change of heart, did anyone else notice that after Lee's last song, Simon didn't critique the song at all, but just summarized that Lee really deserved to be there tonight in the top 2?

Though subtle, for those who take Simon's lead, those remarks might just contribute enough support to Crystal to give her a real chance.

Jimmy said...

I think the media buzz is in Crystal's favor right now.

But living in a house full of females, I can see that she has her work cut out for her. All my girls like Lee even though they have to admit Crystal was the better performer last night.

For the record, I've been commenting all along that Crystal deserves to win it. She's just a natural talent. Lee's a nice guy and yeah he grew on the show, but Crystal's just born with it.

Chelle said...

Jared and I were so glad to see the end of the cheesy originals! In fact, before they announced the songs, we were speculating as to the amount of cheese we'd get this year. What a relief! Best change in the show.

In the past couple weeks I have had a hard time with Crystal as well...not with her singing, but with her talking! She needs to stop. My jaw dropped during her little Simon love fest, and I kept turning to Jared hoping for some words. It ruined everything and reminded me why I don't like her very much.

Lee was good, but I didn't find any of his performances particularly moving. It was hard for me to come to terms with how well Crystal did. I just want Lee to win. He's humble. He's got a great voice. He seems to really appreciate the opportunity American Idol has given him.

I think Simon was hoping for an opportunity to lavish his praise on Lee for his final critique. Come on, aren't the judges even rooting for Lee?

I vote for personality too. How can we not??? I think they want us to get a feel for the KIND of people the contestants are. They should be deserving in all aspects and as far as I'm concerned, Lee qualifies in every regard.

Robynne said...

Great review! I was/am a Lee fan, but I definitely think Crystal won the night...she won me over enough that I pretty much don't care who wins it all tonight! I'm sure they both have great careers ahead of them.

I can't believe it was Simon's last critiquing show...I really don't know how A.I. will do without him, even though he drives me crazy sometimes!

John said...

Of interest: Ellen Degeneres just announced she's creating a record label and her first single will be with Greyson Michael Chance, the 12-year-old YouTube wonderkid:

Boquinha said...

By the way, I loved all the comments on here and wanted to acknowledge that. I think Crystal had the better night, but often, like Mark says, by the Top 2, voters already have favorites. They're both great performers! Happy AI season, everyone! :) Enjoy the summer and we'll do it again (with a new judge!) in January.