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Dim The Lights, and Here We Go...

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dim The Lights, and Here We Go...

Download Lee DeWyze's New Single, "Beautiful Day" on iTunes

The 9th season of American Idol came to a close last night with the crowning of the newest singing sensation, Chicago's own Lee DeWyze. While Crystal Bowersox was originally my first choice to win, Lee may just have won me over in the end. Since the beginning of the competition Lee was definitely a front-runner for me, but a series of misses (i.e. - "Chasing Cars," "Lips of an Angel," "Fireflies") had me second guessing myself. It wasn't until his Top 12 performance of The Rolling Stones' "Beast Of Burden" that I really started to see what I saw during his audition round in Chicago.

Not only is he dreamy, but he's got this little-bit-rough, lotta-bit-soulful voice that exudes both sensuality and vulnerability at the same time and when he hits his stride...MAN can he sing. The boy's got pipes! While there were a few mis-steps along the way (i.e. - "A Little Less Conversation," "Kiss From A Rose,")...and a shockingly disappointing finale week performance (where his nerves got the best of him), he pulled it out in the end and won over America's vote. I was nervous last night. Well...nervous AND excited. I was still straddling the fence last night and when Lee faltered during...all of his performances...I thought that there was a shred of hope for Crystal to win, since she knocked it out of the park. After watching the finale though, I feel really good about the end result.

Watching Lee get choked up even before Ryan Seacrest announced him as the next American Idol got ME all emotional. This guy REALLY wanted to win and in the end, I think he deserved it. After being panned WEEK over WEEK for not showing how much he WANTED THIS title...after watching the last few minutes, how can you not see his passion? He was practically wearing it on his sleeve. Congratulations Lee DeWyze! Well done. Well deserved. Lee's single, a cover U2's "Beautiful Day" is available for download now.

Download Crystal Bowersox's New Single "Up To The Mountain" on iTunes

I generally dread the American Idol finale. Almost as much as I dread "Idol Gives Back" and 3/4 of every single Results Show. There's just SO MUCH FILLER! It drives me crazy! That being said...I was pleasantly surprised by this years finale (granted, due to a Comcast issue I missed the first 30 minutes or so). While I'm sure much of the spectacle of it all had to do with Simon Cowell's last appearance on the show...that didn't mean that it was any less spectacular. American Idol delivered quite an enjoyable finale.

Let's first talk Idol singles..."Beautiful Day" by U2 for Lee...and Patty Smith's "Up To The Mountain" for Crystal. OK...well...I need to brush up on my Patty Smith I quite enjoyed Crystal's performance last night. It's a song that fits her vocal style and her whole vibe. "Beautiful Day" is another good fit for Lee's voice and style. It' Kara would say...very commercial, which is good. Lee's got a commercial vibe about him that I think will do better on mainstream radio, and his cover of "Beautiful Day" may go on to prove that point. Gone are the days where American Idols release a cheesy, saccharine piece of pop-garbage (i.e. "A Moment Like This," "This Is My Now") and THANK GOD for that. I've always thought that the American Idols should release cover songs as singles. That's what the X-Factor contestants do! In my opinion, a good American Idol cover song has a much higher likelihood of actually being played on mainstream top 40 radio. Also...don't the contestants spend all season singing covers? Why derail the train just to give some college student the chance to get his or her songwriting break. Keep the momentum going with an updated COVER song. Well done American Idol. Well done.

Let's briefly talk about the finale spectacle itself...starting with Will Young's performance of "Leave Right Now" on Tuesday night's show. Loved seeing Will performing in America, although too bad he was singing over a Season 9 Montage and no one was paying attention. Last night's finale had several highlights for me. The first being an appearance from Ms. Paula Abul, who gave her buddy Simon a proper send off. To that end, the parade of Idol contestants, all singing "Together We Are One" really teared me up. I don't think it was the performance itself...because that was a cluster, I think it was more seeing everyone on stage in one place. Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, Kris Allen...and a whole slew of past contestants all marched on stage and sang their hearts out. Very touching. Seeing Janet Jackson perform was also quite wonderful. She hasn't lost one bit of...anything over the years. Ms. Jackson (if I'm nasty) has still got it going on. Love her new hair by the way, don't you? Solid.

All in all a very entertaining Finale. Given what a shit show this past season was, I am surprised by how much I loved the last 3 hours of the season. The final 2 deserved to be at the top. Crystal, despite not winning is going to be JUST FINE. I look forward to watching the journey these two talented kids are about to embark on. It's going to be quite the ride, I'm sure.

Check out American Idol on the web:

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