Casey went back to Texas and met boatloads of fans, female fans. He finds out that Randy and Kara picked Daughters by John Mayer for him. Randy says they picked it because the whole idea of the song is a great direction for Casey, as he’s kind of a commercial singer/songwriter. Kara thinks Casey needs to show his vulnerable side, and she thinks it’s a viable song for him as every artist needs to know their audience, and his audience is women and girls, and that’s who this song talks to. This is one of my favorite John Mayer songs, and the jury is still out on it in the beginning, and as he reaches the chorus, I don’t think he’s comfortable with it. He nods to someone in the audience, and I’m hoping it’s Raggedy Ann or his mom. At the bridge, Casey picks it up and shows that vulnerability a little bit and finds his comfort zone with it.
Randy tells Casey the first song he did tonight he wasn’t so much in favor of, but he thinks this fits him like a glove, and he hopes he continues in this direction. Ellen agrees and thinks it was beautiful for him and thinks there will be a lot of daughters and mothers and maybe even sons voting for him. She liked it a lot. Kara tells Casey it showed the more artistic side to him and that’s where he struggles, and that’s really where he shines. She’s happy with their choice and thinks he did a good job and changed it up where he needed to without straying too much from the original.
Simon has been cracking up behind Kara this whole time. He thinks it was a much better song choice than the other one, but his only issue was like Randy “bleated” about before about arrangements, this one was a pretty lazy arrangement, as they chose a song where the climax is a pretty limp guitar solo, and he holds them responsible for not giving him a better vocal moment. Kara says the song isn’t about that and tries to explains as she and Simon get into an argument, as he tells Casey he sounded very good on it, and he has the whole night, but the song didn’t have the wow factor.
Crystal goes back to Northern Ohio and greets her fans, getting a text saying that she is singing Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney, picked by Ellen. She likes that choice. So do I. Ellen says tonight she loves the song and it’s amazing, like Crystal, and she wants her to surprise people. Everyone knows what she does, and she wanted to show some range and let her tear this thing apart. She sings without her guitar tonight, surprisingly enough. As my son walks through the room, he says this is so Crystal, and I have to agree with him on that one. She takes the catwalk for a bit and sings to the crowd. She’s definitely showing her range and that she can rock it out without her guitar.
Randy tells Crystal it was aan great song, great vocals, and announces, “America, we’ve got someone else in it to win it right here.” Ellen says she couldn’t have asked for more, that’s what she was hoping she’d do and she did it. Ellen seems on the verge of tears I thnk. Kara notes Crystal didn’t change it up much, but what she did was show parts of her voice we didn’t really hear until tongiht. She really pushed and not using an instrument was a huge risk for her. Crystal did a lot of risky things, and Kara thinks it paid off.
Simon must admit when he heard the song choice he was a little surprised, but what she proved after that was that she has soul. She walked outside of her comfort zone, and he thinks after that she may be thainking Ellen next week for putting her in the final. Ellen and Randy fist bump. Crystal says it wasn’t outsid eher comfor zone, and she thinks she looks good. Is she talking about her boots they joked about or the song?
Lee came back to my area, coming home to the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. He gets his text message from Simon while he’s on the airplane, and finds he’s singing Hallelujiah. Simon explains tonight we’ve heard it before, but probably never like we’re about to hear from Lee. He likes him as a person, and we always talk about a moment, and this is his night, and he wants him to do something that shows he has the potential to be a great artist. Lee sings with his guitar, and I have to admit I dismissed Tim Urban singing it earlier this year, as to me it’s Jason Castro’s song. But tonight Lee isa bringing tears to my eyes with this version. I’m forcing my fingers to type as my mouth is hanging open. Simon’s right. This is his night.
The audience gives Lee a standing ovation, and Randy tells him he’s been waiting all season to see who’s going to throw down the whole gauntlet to try and win the whole thing. He has to give it up to his boy (Simon), as he set Lee up. Randy thinks this is Lee’s biggest moment at the biggest time in his career on this show. It was unbelievable. Lee looks … scared … or amazed. He says thank you to Simon, as when he first found out whe was singing it, he was worried, but he followed through with it and is now so happy he did it. Ellen is sure glad he listened to Simon and if he had doubts, that he trusted him, as there’s nothing more to be said, as it was stunning.
Kara tells Lee this is what the show is all about, someone who starts the show in one place and ends up here tonight in an incredible epic moment. He is the heart of the show this season and he just owned the entire night. Simon is very proud of him because when they sat down last week, he put himself where Lee was. He was working in a store before this looking for a break, and this show has given him a break. Most impotantly tonight he proved he is a fantastic singer, great person, and he really hopes for him that he makes it to next week. Lee says he felt the first one, but the second one it was one that pulls everything out of you. He watched everyone singing along and it was a moment, and then to get the reactions from the judges … and he trails off, but we know what he means.
I think after tonight we have a high probability of having a Midwestern Showdown for our Final 2 on American Idol next week between Chicago and Ohio. Casey sounded great tonight, but his performances just didn’t quite pack the same punch as those by Crystal and Lee.
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