Image Credit: Michael Becker/FoxBring back Andrew Garcia! Okay, not really, but after watching some wispy-voiced Perez Hilton protege bop around the American Idol stage in a leather vest from the Irene Cara collection (spring 1983 line), it made me realize maybe some of season 9’s more maligned finalists aren’t quite as bad as I’ve made ’em out to be. But that doesn’t matter now, ’cause we’re down to the final two: two contestants and two episodes (but, alas, still four judges). [SPOILERS ahead, west-coast friends, so back away from the computer if you haven’t yet watched tonight’s results show.]
In a shock to absolutely no one, Casey James was sent packing tonight, a fact that was foreshadowed when producers failed to include even a tiny snippet of audio from the lanky guitarist’s performances during his hometown visit to Cool, TX. Seriously, Ken Warwick? I mean, the guy may have taken a “happy just to be here” approach to Top 3 performance night, but it would’ve been nice to hear what kind of blues he broke out for his Texas audience. I guess that’s what YouTube is for, since Idol results night is apparently now about advancing the causes of Justin Bieber, Perez Hilton, and (lest we forget) AT&T.
And so now, we’re down to Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox. The former received the most loving hometown-package edit, complete with crying parents, crying contestant, and an awesome racetrack setting. (Arlington Park FTW!) I admit it: The segment left me slightly choked up, although I never actually had to reach for the Kleenex. Crystal’s hometown visit included the sounds of one of her original compositions (“Holy Toledo”), a move that I consider a significant step forward for the Idol franchise. Is it too late to hope that Idol‘s producers might allow Crystal and Lee to each perform a self-penned ditty at next week’s finale? I can’t think of a better way to help salvage what by all counts has been an uninspired season.
Anyway, I’ve got a full TV Watch recap to write — look for it in the early morning on EW.com [UPDATE: it’s live!] — so for now, I turn the conversation over to you. Did the right person get sent packing? How are you feeling about the Crystal-Lee showdown? What do you want to see from that duo next week? And who’s going to win it all? Sound off in the comments below, and to get all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak. [Related: Meet Travis Garland, the new discovery from Perez Hilton performing on tonight’s ‘American Idol’: it’s a Music Mix Q&A!; ‘American Idol’: 10 Under-the-Radar Successes]