About LauraBelle

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

American Idol 9, May 18 – Final 3 End It Strong


Wow, final three already. I can’t wait to hear the song selections tonight. Based on what we know from people that were witness to the hometown visits, it’s already old news which songs the judges have picked for these three, and boy, I couldn’t be more excited, with all three of them being three of my favorite songs. And coupled with that, their own choice of song? I just need to say I hope the family didn’t mind too much when I threw dinner at them and told them to chow down as I escaped to the TV, DVR, and my final 3.

Casey James has chosen Okay, It’s Alright With Me by Eric Hutchinson for his personal song choice. He picked it because he loves the song, and when he heard it, thought it was a song he could have written, so it’s a good representation of himself as an artist. Casey has his trusty guitar with him, and I have to say I liked it. If this is representative of the type of artist he is, than I like this type of artist. It’s not as rocking as I would have thought he would do, but it’s … unique. Looking at his family in the audience I have to ask if it’s Raggedy Ann Day. What in the world is that woman wearing?

Randy Jackson tells Casey the funny thing about the lyric is the song was just alright for him as well. He wanted to hear more, more that was unique and interesting, and says you can’t do a safe, kind of interesting song. It didn’t really work for him. Ellen DeGeneres notes it’s the moment like Randy said, live or die, do or die, or live or die, or sink or swim, Lefty Tighty Righty Loosey. She corrects herself to Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey. She felt the same way as Randy and wishes Casey would have brought it, as it’s the night you need something bigger than that. He has a great voice, but he needed to blow them away.

Kara DioGuardi brings up that it’s hard to pick a song that not many people know, especially tonight, as you have to really be fighting for it. When you pick something that’s a first listen for much of the audience, you can’t make it your own and take it to the next level, and she doesn’t think it worked in his favor. Simon Cowell realizes it’s not going well for Casey, and says it’s arguably the most important night of his life, and he’s lucky he has two song choices. He compares it to like the salad before the dinner, with the hope something more substantial is to come. He thought it sounded like Casey was busking for a couple of dollars instead of competitng in the most important night in his life.

Crystal Bowersox gets stool chat with Ryan Seacrest and already has her guitar and harp with her. She chose Come to My W indow by Melissa Etheridge, because it’s always been a favoite of hers, and it’s a song about passions and love and things like that. What she wants to accomplish tonight is to have fun, and Ryan adds it should also be to get votes. She looks absolutely terrific tonight and starts off with the harp, then kicks it off with her voice and guitar. She sounds really good on it, which isn’t surprising since they’re really similar artists. I don’t think it needed the harp, though, I must say.

Randy tells Crystal it’s that time in the competition where they’re looking for a winner, looking to see who’s going to blow it out of the box. He didn’t love the arrangement personally. It’s an amazing song, though. What he did like is her vocal on it. He thought the arrangement was fighting her, yet her vocal rose above it. Ellen agrees that it’s a good song choice, and it’s the exact same type of song she wants to sing. It’s the artist she wants to be, and it’s her comfort zone. She thinks Melissa would be very proud of her.

Kara agrees with the others, saying she did get a little lost in the arrangement, as her tone doesn’t have the rasp and edge of Melissa, so acoustically it would have been stronger. It was still a good vocal, but she thinks Crystal is capable of a moment, and hopes she has one tonight. Simon agrees with the others, as it’s not the most stunning version of the song we’ll hear. Having said that, what he likes about her and what she did tonight, from the very first day to now, is she hasn’t compromised herself as an artist, and he has a lot of respect for her. She came out here and just decided to do what is her. it was a very honest performance, and he feels she made the right choice. She feels good to have sung a favorite song, and she has her mic stand, good friends, her health, and her son’s health, and that’s what it’s all about … Yep.

It’s Lee Dewyze’s shot for some stool chat, and Ryan notes he thinks Lee became a different guy back at home. Lee says it was good to go home and see everyone that’s supporting him out there. He went out there with expectations, and it was more than he could ask for. He wanted to bring the energy back here. He’s chosen to sing Simple Man as he’s always loved it, and all the lyrics always rang true to him. He always likes to pick something he can relate to, as it makes him get it more. He has the absolutely perfect voice for this song. I’d have to say after round one, he’s in the lead. This is amazing.

Randy tells Lee it was a great, great song choice, and he can see him making a record like that. What he loves most is that while he sounded amazing, someone here is feeling like he can win it. He tells Ellen, “Lee’s ready.” Ellen seems to agree and says that’s what they’re talking about. That showed them he’s taking it seriously. She is so proud of him, because when they met him he was like a baby lamb, like a little, shy, gentle, quiet thing, and now he’s like a gazelle or impala, something that springs out.

Kara found that what Lee did tonight was what every contestant needs to do. He showed them everything he’s got. He picked a song with meaning for him, which is so important, and in her opinion, round one goes to Lee. Simon asks Lee why he chose that song, and he explains that when he plays it, he’s so happy to be playing it, and he thought about picking something more current, but he wouldn’t have connected to it the same. If Simon is being honest, he thinks the contestant song choices so far have been okay, but that song was absolutely on the money. He thought it was brilliant. PIcking up on Kara’s point, he didn’t win round one, but crushed the other two.


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