by Jason Matthews
As the dying whale carcass of this show lumbers slowly to the season finale shore, the machinations of the producers have become more and more transparent. It is clear as day that all involved want Crystal and Lee in the finale. From the low-fi song choice given to Casey to the anchor spot and gospel choir backup for Lee to the continued gushing over Crystal, American Idol was practically BEGGING us not to vote for lazy, lady-haired cougar bait Casey. Really though, who can blame them?
When you get to Top 3, reviewing performances is a bit redundant. We know all we need to know about the talent and skill of these kids, good or bad (mostly bad), so it’s really just who we like and don’t like as contestants. To that end we won’t be reviewing the performances from last night. But here’s a quick recap of last night’s show:
Ryan hates this season the most ’cause he had to give up his patented ‘THIS… is aMERIcan IDOL!” to the Top 3. The judges wake up, remember they are on camera, and then swiftly go back to sleep. Casey’s up first, he’s barely trying. Same as it ever was. The producers keep cutting to the audience where people are holding up signs for Lee. Always a good idea to show how little the audience respects the talent currently on stage. The judges automatically transfer $50 into your personal bank account so you won’t vote for Casey.
Crystal’s up, she’s fine, same as always, and the judges crank their BS up to 11 and practically step on throat of Melissa Etheridge’s reputation (who, by the way, has a really kick-ass new single on the radio) to call Crystal great for the 47th week in a row. Crystal forms her Caucasian dreadlocks into the shape of “DUH.”
Lee hits the stage, the crowd goes donkey-balls nuts, he sings as gruffly, blandly, Nickelback-y as humanly possible and the judges take turns having a compliment orgy over the thing. Somewhere in the world, David Cook just rolled his eyes, put on a pair of leather pants and full on blew the minds of an arena full of people. Same as it ever was. Lather, rinse, repeat, credits.
To make a very near perfect generalization, the Top 2 for every season of American Idol is always a dead heat, talent-wise. The Sanjayas, George Huffs, Scott Savols and Haley Mercados never make it this far. A fun personality and a catchy hook only get you so far; you have to be a real gamer to sing in the finale. Because of this, Top 3 is the most predictable results week of every season.
Casey James is going home. Let’s talk with facts, people, and those are the facts. Crystal and Lee gave two standout performances each, showed charisma, made smart choices, worked the crowd, and, you know, CARED. Casey looked half in the bag, bored by the spectacle, disinterested in the judges’ comments and not particularly upset when he got called out for being mediocre. He may become a top-selling country artist (and I believe he will be), but for now, he’s a disappointing, unworthy Idolist. All he had to do was show he really CARED about being the next American Idol and we would have considered vaulting him over Lee. We’re desperately seeking reasons to not be fake-wowed by his wannabe Daughtry ass, but Casey refused to give us any. And for that he will be sent home, so he can spend more time with his “music,” and by “music,” I of course mean “putting shiny conditioner in his lady hair.”
We’ll be back next week for an in-depth analysis of who deserves to be the Next American Idol. Until then, let’s all thank ABC for moving the Lost finale to Sunday so we Idolists can be free to attend the funeral for this hollow, empty season.