Crystal Bowersox dipped her finger into the Lennon and McCartney songbook and pulled out a serviceable vocal performance of “Come Together.” But what made the Crystal Bowersox Come Together performance unique and memorable was Ernie the didgeridoo player. At fist blush, it seems like a rather bizarre instrument to incorporate into a cover of a Beatles tune, but somehow it worked.
It’s understandable why Crystal Bowersox is the front-runner of season 9 of American Idol. She is an immensely talented singer and she has a distinct “indie” quality that will most probably lead to a relatively successful career as a recording artist and performer(whether or not she wins Idol).
Many Idol fans are complaining that season nine has been a colossal dud and that nearly all the contestants are uninspiring. But I beg to differ. Crystal Bowersoox ranks right up there with the best contestants in Idol history. And I don’t even think that Bowersox is the best of season 9.
The problem I have with Mamasox is that she is very one dimensional. All her performances sound alike and that might preclude her from reaching the highest reaches of pop stardom. I would guess that Crystal Bowersox doesn’t give a rip about that, but to many fans of popular music it’s a definite drawback and, in my view, does not bode well for Bowersox’s longevity as a recording artist.
On the other hand, Siobhan Magnus, who is the best of season 9, is a highly versatile performer; you never know what you’re going to get (with the exception of excellent vocals) when she steps onto the stage. She has an astonishing vocal range and the judges have not shown enough appreciation for the quality of her voice in the lower registers. Indeed, it is a unique and magnificent instrument.
And then there’s Lee DeWyze, who possesses that best voice of all the male contestants of season 9. He had an off night last night (he covered “Hey Jude”) but he seems to be hitting his stride in terms of his comfort level on stage, and I’m certain that if he isn’t sent home tonight, he will redeem himself triumphantly in the near future.
Adam Lambert, who will be the guest mentor and performer next week, was solely responsible for making season 8 the outstanding season that it was. He is arguably the most charismatic performer to ever grace the Idol stage. Given his degree of unbridled talent, it is understandable that, for many Idol fans, all present, future and past contestants pale in comparison.
Thus, it is an unfair comparison to make. The standard of comparison should be all the past seasons of Idol as a whole, and not Adam Lambert in particular. Using that standard of measurement, season 9 has been pretty darned good.