'American Idol': How about some Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze originals for Tuesday's finale?
Image Credit: Michael Becker/FoxOn Wednesday night’s American Idol results show, we learned that finalist Crystal Bowersox has been pushing all season long for a night of contestants’ original compositions. And it’s about dang time, I say! After all, when we cast votes on Fox’s reality juggernaut, we’re not just passing judgment on who can pull off the best cover of Elvis or Shania or the Rolling Stones. We’re weighing in on which contestant(s) we think have the best chance of sustaining a viable music career — of producing the franchise’s next “Since U Been Gone” or “Last Name” or “Live Like We’re Dying” — in a post-Idol world.
Considering that over the next few months, Crystal and her finale partner Lee DeWyze will be thrown into the studio with A-list producers and writers with the goal of cranking out debut albums under the 19 Recordings imprint, doesn’t it make sense for us to want to hear their original tunes prior to the final vote? I’ve put in a call to the folks at Fox and 19 to see if, perhaps, Ken Warwick & Co. are taking Crystal’s suggestion under advisement, but so far, I’ve gotten no response. (At least they played her “Holy Toledo” on Wednesday’s results show.) And before you wave your hand and dismiss the finalists’ ability to have a say in the sound of their debut records, bear in mind that David Cook and Kris Allen, the two most recent Idol champs, wrote or co-wrote the majority of tracks on their major-label discs.
Two other reasons to get behind this idea: There are a number of Crystal and Lee originals streaming at YouTube, and they’re actually quite good! (I took the liberty of embedding two of ’em below!) Secondly, even if half the Idol audience would prefer to hear our intrepid Top 2 covering other artists’ hits, the finale always introduces us to a blasted “coronation song” that turns into a punchline before midnight. What are the odds that Crystal or Lee’s clumsiest ditty could be worse than “No Boundaries” or “Inside Your Heaven” or “Do I Make You Proud”?
In a season that’s been accused of being boring, sleepy, and offering viewers the same old same-old, here’s a totally viable idea that could infuse Tuesday’s finale with a sense of excitement, a promise of the unexpected, and (fingers crossed) some music worth downloading. What do you think? Take our poll below! (And to get all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak. [Related: ‘American Idol’ recap: Texas Toast; Simon Cowell ‘loves,’ but does not own the rights to, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’]