"Lee Dewyze is your 'American Idol.'"

Well not yet, but he’s probably going to be. From the beginning of the show you could tell Lee had a great voice, but he had a hard time putting together a great performance. He’d sing off key, had bad arrangements etc. etc. He gradually got better week to week. There were a couple of performances here and there when you thought he may be in danger of going home, but for the most part he was constantly improving and after tonight’s episode Lee is the far and away front runner.

We’re down to the final three: Casey James, Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze. Each contestant was going to get to sing two songs, one they picked and one the judges picked. Casey picked a decent song I’d never heard of before. He sang it great, but I’d never heard of it and the judges criticized him for picking a song nobody knew, but said he sang it well. Then Kara and Randy chose John Mayer’s “Daughters” for Casey to sing. Again Casey sounded great, but Simon questioned the song choice, saying the song didn’t have much range.



Crystal Bowersox has been the most consistent of the contestants. What that means is that she started off great, but I think it’s safe to say she hasn’t gotten any better and she may have even lost her effect. She started with “Come to My Window,” by Melissa Etheridge. You would think that was the perfect song choice for her, but it was a mess. Technically she has a great voice, but the arrangement was terrible therefore making her singing terrible. Ellen then chose “Baby I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. Simon said he was kind of confused by the song choice, but that Crystal should thank Ellen, because Ellen may have gotten Crystal into the final two with that song. Crystal knocked it out of the park. She was extending her voice to places she hadn’t all season.

Which leads me to Lee Dewyze; Lee kicked off the show with Lynryd Skynrd’s “Simple Man.” Not only did he vocally nail the song, but it was a recognizable song that he was connected too. He gave one of those goose bump performances that I’ve talked about in the past. Lee was not done however, Simon chose Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” When I saw that I was really confused, because it has been done on “American Idol” before, and done well (by Jason Castro and Tim Urban for starters). Lee’s performance of “Hallelujah” was even better than “Simple Man.” Not to sound like I’m exaggerating, but Lee’s version of “Hallelujah” was the best version I’ve ever heard. So I’m calling it now, the winner of “American idol” will be and should be Lee Dewyze.

BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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