Casey James is going to win season 9 of American Idol. I’m calling it.
If you had asked me a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have said that. I have no idea what I would have said because I have felt mostly disengaged this season. Since the end of Hollywood week, this season has been incredibly dull.
So why Casey?
He is ridiculously beautiful. Casey James is the reality TV version of Smith Jared from Sex and the City.
That’s not to say he’s not talented – he is – but his beauty is distracting. He’s also had a creepy perma-smile for almost the entire competition which, coupled with his beauty, made him appear rather plastic and disconnected from his music.
But a few weeks ago he had a stellar performance that really made be take him seriously.
Then tonight he sealed the deal with his rendition of “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon. He didn’t sound like a guy in a cover band (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cover bands. But I don’t want to buy a cover band CD when I could have something original and special), he sound like a legitimate musician.
James gets better every week. He’s had a impressive voice all along, but his performances are finally matching his voice and his face. The whole package. Winner.
And what about the losers?
Crystal Bowersox is by far the most talented person on the show. She would be a great folksy-pop-rock-country king of singer-songwriter – someone like Bonnie Rait. She’s cool, and a hippie, and really pretty when you don’t look at her teeth. She’s also consistently good, and on a different level than some of the other contestants.
But there is something about her consistency that isn’t holding my attention. There are no surprises.
I think one of the most compelling parts about Idol is watching contestants grow as the season progresses. Young contestants like Jordin Sparks from season six or even Katie Stevens from this season make really interesting TV because they have untapped talent. Watching them change helps me to feel like we’re going on a musical journey together.
But Katie isn’t ready yet. She has a lovely voice, and did really well this week, but she is just too inexperienced for a season with this many talented singers. Also, she’s dull.
I think it is possible that Lee Dewyze that is going to sneak up and get really good. He has an amazing voice, and this week he was phenomenal with “Hey Jude” (and I loved the bagpiper). But in general he looks awkward on the stage.
“Big Mike” did a great performance of “Eleanor Rigby” this week. It was the first time that I actually gave a damn about him – he was edgy, powerful, dark and in control. But the people of America didn’t vote for him and he would have gone home. The judge’s save makes for good TV, but I’m not convinced that people just forgot to vote for him this week. He’s talented, but people don’t like him enough.
And finally Siobhan Magnus. Sometimes she’s amazing, and sometimes her voice is grating. She’s got talent and I think it is likely she will have some sort of a career. But she’s polarizing, and inconsistent.
As for the rest of them? Not worth the effort to type.