It was announced earlier this week that FOX plans to cut the American Idol results shows down to 30 minutes. I wish that this was instituted last night. There was so much filler during the results show, I almost would have preferred a lip sync-tastic group song than a long sit-down with the contestants, some random YouTube performer, and the most overrated pop star on the planet. Seriously, show the hometown visits, give me some results and yay, the show's done in 30 minutes!
Speaking of hometown visits, they were the highlight of the show other than the actual results. I have found that no matter which contestant I happen to be leaning towards, all of the hometown videos make me teary-eyed. I can't help but be happy for all of the contestants to get a chance to go back to their hometown and be cheered on.
First up was Casey James' visit to his hometown of Cool, Texas. For me, the best part was when Casey went back to the hospital that took care of him after his accident. To go back and thank the doctors and nurses for their care is a pretty stand-up thing to do, so I applaud Casey and Idol for making that a part of his visit.
Crystal Bowersox's visit was next. Crystal went home to Toledo, Ohio. I loved that Crystal was filming everything going on around her, can you imagine how hectic that day is? Crystal's shocked reaction to the fan who told her he was getting her autograph tattooed to his chest was pretty funny. I loved that her concert was named "Bowerstock." The most touching part for me was that they actually played Crystal's original song, "Holy Toledo," during her video. That's an Idol first, right there. Crystal's reaction to Idol playing her song was heartwarming; as she said to Ryan during the post-video interview, "That's my song!"
Lee DeWyze's video followed, and for me it was the most touching out of all of them. Lee just looked simply in awe of everything going on around him in his visit to his hometown of Chicago. From throwing out the first pitch at the Cubs game to visiting the paint shop he used to work at, he seemed to take everything in and recognized how far working hard toward one of his goals got him. The part that got me was when they showed him performing "The Boxer" in front of thousands of people during his hometown concert. The part where he got choked up right before the chorus and fought the the tears to finish the line, "but the fighter still remains," made me reach for my box of Kleenex.
I am not kidding when I say I love the hometown visits. Other than finale night, they're usually my favorite part of the season. (Yes, I am a huge sap.)
With a little over eight minutes left in the broadcast last night, Ryan finally got down to revealing who made the Final Two of the season. The first contestant announced was Lee, who literally jumped for joy. I love that he kept it real — he wanted in to the Top Two, and I thought his reaction was legit. When Ryan announced that Crystal had gotten into the Top Two, her reaction made me raise an eyebrow. Her "I'm safe?" response was eye roll-inducing. There was no way that Casey was going to get to the finale over Crystal and even he knew it. It was written all over his face after Lee was put through the to next round.
What also bothered me was how they rushed Casey do his swan song. I don't understand why they rushed him, since they showed his goodbye video after he was done singing. Kind of rude, but I guess him being able to at least have his sing-out should be enough.
Next week Lee and Crystal go head-to-head for the title of American Idol. What would you like them to sing?