About LauraBelle

Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 9, May 11 – Someone Get Simon to the Nearest Red Box


I started speculating this morning that we would be getting duets tonight after remembering the fun we had with that this year, and by the time I posted my suspicions, it was a known fact. It’s duets night. Crystal and Lee together anyone? I’m hoping, at least. The song list long and varied, and not overwhelmingly great, but I’m guessing this group is going to do great things with songs of the cinema with guest mentor Jamie Foxx.

When the Idols meet up with Jamie Foxx, he asks who’s going to win, admitting it’s a trick question, and Crystal tells him they’re all winners. He feels music is the soundtrack of our lives, and I have to admit, I have made a soundtrack to my own life before. If you haven’t done it, try it. There’s never a bad song that way!

Jamie tells the Idol the songs they’ve chosen are big songs, so it’s a big task what they’re taking on. He wants them to figure out how to take what they have and elevate it. It puts more pressure on them to deliver, so they have to up the ante. He has brought “Contestant” and “Artist” shirts with him, challenging the Idols to sing tonight with that concept in mind, and he’ll present them with one at the end, depending on whether they still sing like a contestant or sang like an artist. Simon Cowell tells Ryan Seacrest to put the “Contestant” shirt on, and figuring the “Artist” shirt is a baby tee, he throws it to Simon.

Lee Dewyze is up first and Jamie works with him on his song choice of Kiss From a Rose. Jamie gets right up in Lee’s face to listen to him sing it, which he did to Danny Gokey last year. If you smile, laugh, and giggle, that means you can’t perform in front of millions of people. He has to get in touch with that confidence, and if he lets the audience feel it, we may be looking at the American idol. Tonight Lee sings with guitar and confidence. He has a slow start, but kicks it in at the chorus. I like it on him. He also adds a little different thing in at the end. Artist.

Randy Jackson agrees with Jamie in one way, that he’s also looking for who’s in it to take it and what type of artist they’re gong to be. He doesn’t think Lee did anything with the song and felt it was just okay and pitchy in spots. He’s the rocker and should ahve chosen something else like Blaze of Glory, yet that wasn’t even on their approved song list. Ellen DeGeneres sees what he’s saying and thinks there could have been more done with the song, yet he’s still good, and he sang it well.

Kara DioGuardi notes Lee had a great week last week, and she thinks part of the problem is that it’s one of the most difficult songs to sing. Having the arrangement the way it was and not just him and his guitar, he got lost in some ways and had some out-of-tune issues. But you can’t take away from the fact he is still great and she can hear him on the radio. Simon is with Randy on this, because there are so many brilliant movies and brilliant songs and so many opportunites to find the song and make it original for them. It was verging on karaoke, i.e. trying too hard to sound like the original. He thinks Lee only earned the Contestant t-shirt. Lee felt good singing the song and says all season he did his best to take songs and do what he felt best.

Michael Lynche gets to do some stool chat with Ryan and talks about the pressure this week, saying there was the pressure of the family and hometown really wanting you to get into the top three to bring it home. That makes him prepare a little differently. A year ago Mike made a goal to get into the top three, and he’s so close, increasing the pressure.

Big Mike meets with Jamie and is singing Will You Be There, and Jamie thinks he’s feeling a little like he shouldn’t be here, but Jamie feels he should be. He tries to loosen him up a little, asking him to dance, then punches his hands. His hurt hand is became of Big Mike. He won’t take the Contestant shirt and says he’ll be back for the Artist one. Jamie thinks once he lets go, he’ll really shine. Mike sings tonight from Adam’s stairs, and he seems to start off singing too low, then brings it up to a more comfortable level. I think he just earned his t-shirt. This is classic Big Mike with smooth vocals and big notes.

Randy isn’t sure what’s going on tonight, noting it’s a cool song made big by the late great Michael Jackson, with Mike’s whole gospel focus. He didn’t love it for him and wishes he would have chosen an R&B song that was more suited for him. Ellen thinks you can’t go wrong with a the sound of a choir behind you, and says it’s from one of the classic great movies of all time, Free Willy. It’s a weird thing that his goal is top three, as she thinks his goal should be to win this thing, and I have to admit she has a point. He always sounds good, but she felt it was a little bit predictable.

All Kara could think of tonight with Big Mike was Ready for Love and This Woman’s Work, because those were songs where she had goosebumps. She wants goosebumps again. She didn’t feel that and knows he has more, but played it safe. What he did tonight he can do in his sleep. He ponts out there’s more later from him. Simon says he has no idea what Free Willy is and asks what the film is about, producing laughter from everyone, but he’s being dead serious. He’s told it’s about a whale that gets saved. He can’t connect a whale called Willy with what Mike just did and says it doesn’t make sense. He thinks he could have chosen another song. When Kara tells him the song isn’t really about a whale, he asks if it’s about a willy. He felt Mike did give it 100% and meant it. Ryan asks Dori to explain Free Willy to Simon. I’ve got Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove if he wants to borrow it to catch up.

We’re on to our first duet, and this one is between Crystal Bowersox and Lee as they take on Falling Slowly from the movie Once. Before they even start, I’m about ready to jump out of chair, as this is one of my favorite songs and movies of all time. They both have guitars and harmonize together wonderfully, facing each other the whole time. I think these two need to do a whole album together. They end it with a hug.


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