The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Sleepy Songs and That One Standout
The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Sleepy Songs and That One Standout
Here's a very random thought: how come the music in coffee shops are absolutely sleepy?

Not that I don't like them. No, I must say I like some of them. They're the sort of stuff I grew up with as a kid, and I'd like to think they form the backbone of my musical tastes. It's just a little ironic: coffee that's supposed to wake you up, sipped in a place that promotes chilling out.

I don't expect American Idol to keep me awake--besides, not everybody fares well with upbeat songs--but for some odd reason last night's performances seriously threatened to lull me to sleep. Take note, not in the I'm-so-bored-I-could-die way.

There were good performances last night. I'm still a huge fan of Siobhan Magnus, and I think Simon's comment was ridiculous because he had a completely different reaction to the same thing two weeks back. I'm glad to see Lacey Brown and Didi Benami back in the game, although I'm not sure they'd be enough to power them to the Top 12. And I liked how refreshing Lilly Scott's performance was, although it's starting to sound a little samey at this point.

And yet those performances really had me reaching for the snooze button. Could be a very wild coincidence, but the girls selecting really sedate songs isn't exactly the best way to kick off Tuesday night.

Cue Crystal Bowersox.

Now, a Tracy Chapman song isn't the sort that you'd expect to wake you up. I still hear "Fast Car" and "Talking 'Bout A Revolution" in my nearest coffee shop, chilling me out in the same ironic way I outlined earlier. Well, yes, I like her songs, but her song picking up an American Idol snoozefest?

Again, it's not that the other performances sucked. But I'm still looking for that wow factor all this season, and all we get are contestants playing it safe and, sometimes, getting it all wrong. (Hello, Katie Stevens.)

Then again, you can't say Crystal took a risk with this song. It's in what Kara said: "it's the sort of thing you'd do on your record." She's been doing the same thing over the past three weeks and it's been amazing to no fail.

Still, I found in her that elusive wow factor. Nope, it's not along the lines of an epiphany-tinged performance or a wild note that actually fits. I was thinking the way Kara did: "man, this is really what I imagined her to do on her record." I was also thinking, "are Crystal and Tracy BFFs in a past life?" It's just a perfect fit.

In a season that, so far, has contestants scrambling to find their identity, it's good to see someone like Crystal very confident of who she is right now. She knows who she is as an artist (hello again, Katie Stevens) and she's reaping the rewards. Sure, the other ladies are getting there--Lacey and Didi getting their groove back, Siobhan giving me the chills, Lilly being quirky amazing as usual--but they have a lot of catching up to do if they're to catch up.

And, take note, she just came from the hospital last week.

(Image courtesy of Fox)