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Thursday May 20, 2010 11:35 am

American Idol 9: Top 3 Results

American Idol’s Top 3 results show began with a montage of clips from the preceding and footage of the contestants visiting their home towns. Only two of them will make it to the star-studded season finale, where one will be crowned the ninth in a long string of American Idols. Along with the title, they will win a coveted recording contract and lasting reality TV fame.

With so much at stake - and Justin Bieber in the house - the show began with a ton of energy. Forty-seven million votes were tallied to bring us the results, which were (as always) tacked onto the end of an hour-long commercial-fest…with a few performances thrown in.

The Top 3 were brought out to the couch early, sitting with to discuss the ups and downs of being a contestant on the show. They talked at length about the hard work associated with being an Idol. “We’re right in the home stretch of it,” Crystal Bowersox observed.

Finally, Ryan brought the judges into the discussion. Randy Jackson said Lee DeWyze has “bloomed,” and Crystal Bowersox has “grown” in the competition. “I think you guys have all found some direction,” he told them.

The Ford video of the week was set to “Wild One” and featured animation. It wasn’t all that great, but none of the videos have been great this year.

Clips of Casey’s visit to his home town followed the video. James is formerly of Cool, Texas. He was given the star treatment in his town, arriving in a stretch limo with a police escort. Gaggles of girls greeted him everywhere he went, several of them chasing down the limo as he rode away. During his trip, Casey took the time to visit Texas Health Fort Worth, the hospital which patched him up after a life-threatening motorcycle accident. He signed a guitar for the staff before moving to a huge outdoor arena to perform for the screaming fans. James was choked up after his video played, which will only endear him to fans even more.

Travis Garland was discovered by blogger Perez Hilton, of whom I am a fan. I would like to take this time to say a word about Idol’s direction, and that word is “bad.” The camera angles have grown increasingly worse over the years, and now many old tricks from the 70s are being used with frightening regularity. Of the performance, I can say only this: Garland is young, and he has a champion in Perez. With time and perhaps strong management, he will be better. One hopes.

Crystal Bowersox traveled to Ohio for her home town jaunt. A day was named after her in honor of the trip. Bowersox was also given a parade. She was in high spirits as she handed out flowers, signed autographs and hung out of the limo’s moon roof. She performed to a packed crowd after meeting the mayor of Toledo. Crystal then performed at Bower-stock, an event arranged in honor of her homecoming. She even got to throw out a pitch at a ball game, and frankly did a pretty good job of it. Bowersox was extremely emotional at the end of her clip, which featured her original song “Holy Toledo.”

Lee DeWyze arrived in Chicago, Illinois for his homecoming. DeWyze threw a pitch out in a Cubs game, visited his old elementary school and was greeted by screaming children everywhere he went. Finally Lee arrived in Mount Prospect, where he visited the paint shop where he worked before becoming an Idol contestant. DeWyze performed “The Boxer” to a huge crowd at Arlington Park racetrack. “This is the best day of my life,” he told the large crowd who gathered to hear him sing.

appeared on the Idol stage to sing both “U Smile” and “Baby” in an ultra-long set. His performance was extremely professional and well put-together. I am sure Justin Bieber fans found it to be extremely enjoyable. Frankly, it was better than some of the Idol performances we’ve seen from artists who have been in the business for years.

Finally, it was time to dim the house lights. The stage turned red as the Top 3 stood shoulder-to-shoulder, neither holding hands nor touching. The first contestant to get green-lighted to the finale was Lee DeWyze, an announcement which had the watching crowd on their feet and applauding with vigor. Crystal Bowersox quickly followed him, leaving Casey James on stage alone with his shattered dreams.

Had to be those two. No surprises here.

Casey James sang us out with “Daughters,” walking among his screaming female fans as he delivered the tune. He gave Kara DioGuardi a smile, fist-bumped Randy Jackson, and squeezed Ellen DeGeneres’ hand as he walked past the judges’ table. Then, he kidnapped someone’s child and began parading around while carrying it. I think he snatched it out of his group of friends and family (at least, I hope so). It was a good swan song for Casey James, and the moment we all expected.

Finally, all the dead wood has been cut away. At last, we’ve reached the Crystal Bowersox/Lee DeWyze finale, toward which the show has been building since Day 1. But which of them will win the crown?

For that, we must wait until next week. In the meantime, get all the spoilers, gossip and elimination interviews from the show right here - check out all our posts.



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