Sunday, May 16, 2010

American Idol Top 3 'Judges' Choice' Picks

By M.S. Chloe

Friday was 'Homecoming Day' for the American Idol Top 3 contestants. During this whirl-wind meet-the-fans/media blitz - which included parades, singing of "The National Anthem", interviews and their first chance to sing original songs for their fans - Crystal Bowersox, Casey James and Lee DeWyze learned what song the judges have picked for them to perform this Tuesday.

This week, the Top 3 will perform 2 songs. One will be the judges' choice and the other is the finalist's choice.

Ellen Degeneres picked "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney for Crystal.

Casey James will be singing "Daughters" by John Mayer, chosen by Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardia.

Simon Cowell picked "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen for Lee to perform.

If two of the three songs don't immediately come to mind, join the club. I don't think I've ever heard of "Daughters", and it took a few secs for "Maybe I'm Amazed" to start playing in my mind's soundtrack, but I think that's because 'maybe I'm amazed' Ellen would choose this song for Crystal. With all the songs that would allow Crystal to show her amazing range and really shine, this song's a bit too safe to sing at this point in the competition. Ellen, we're down to the Top 3, not the Top 24! But then, look what Crystal did to "I'm Alright." Maybe she'll completely re-arrange this song too, and like "I'm Alright", make it better than the original.

Just listened to John Mayer's "Daughters" - no wonder I've never heard it before, it sounds like a public service announcement. Does Kara expect Casey to sit down in an 80's turquoise jacket with his little ukulele and imitate Tiny Tim again? Plus, she's making it too easy for Casey, allowing him to sing the guy mother refers to as "The One-Note Wonder."

And for Simon's choice of "Hallelujah", all I can say is "How boringly predictable." Don't get me wrong, the Jeff Buckley version of this song is one of my all-time favorites. But, hasn't Simon chosen this over-played song before? Tim Urban already sang it this season and Jason Castro gave a great performance of Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" during Season 7. (It's on Jason Castro's new gotta get it!)

So you don't have to go searching around, I've included the videos below.

"Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney:

"Daughters" by John Mayer

"Hallelujah", as made famous by Jeff Buckley:

...and Jason Castro, "Hallelujah" unplugged:

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  1. Two of the three songs didn't immediately come to mind? What??! Seriously? All of these songs are recognizable--and I can't wait to see how they're performed. Lee and Crystal definitely have the ability to make them their own. IMO Casey may be saddled with the biggest challenge--and that is to try to not sound like Huey Lewis doing John Mayer.

  2. I knew all 3 songs - no need to look them up. Have to say I find all 3 to be mismatched. I'm always more interested in what the contestants pick out. It's more representative of the artist they feel they are rather than it being imposed.

  3. "Does Simon really believe that Lee has the passion needed to carry it off?"

    ..I don't know who M.S.Chloe is, but that sounded like a little bit of a rip on Lee. Isn't this blog supposed to be support for him? Forgive me if I read that wrong, though I have to say that without a doubt he has the passion to carry off this song..

    With that said, I do think that ALL of these choices are what the judges would have called "predictable" or "safe" if the contestants/artists had chosen them themselves. But then, I guess that's why I'm not a judge. They certainly contradict themselves enough to confuse the audience - and no doubt, the contestants.

  4. @Jacqui
    I'm a huge Lee fan, but I don't think that was supposed to be a 'rip on Lee'. I think I get what he's saying...kinda like, 'will Lee let himself be vulnerable enough to let the passion out??' We've truly only seen that degree of vulnerability from him once, when he sang with Crystal...maybe he felt more comfortable having her by his side, since he's played with a band for so long?
    I just watched the Jason Castro can tell he is 'feeling' the song just by looking at his face. (Watch it with the volume turned off, the passion and emotion is still obvious!)
    I think M.S. Chloe is saying that this is what we want and expect from Lee doing this song. I know I cried the first time I heard it, balled like a baby when they played it at the end of my friend's funeral (and I hadn't cried up until the moment of the first Hallelujah.)
    So, Lee, please put everything you have into this amazing song, and make us cry!

  5. Sometimes I don't know where these judges come up with these songs or why on earth they match them to the contestants that they choose. Isn't it Simon that is always harping to the contestants about poor song choice and how many songs they have to choose from? With so many songs out there, why choose Hallelujah yet again? How many versions of this song do we need to hear? I agree 100% with Jodi. The songs they choose for themselves are more representative of their musical style and I am sure not nearly as stressful for them to arrange.