The final week of season 9 of American Idol is upon us, finally. It seems like it's been months since the audition process began .... oh right, it has been. It's also been months since we knew this was the finale we'd be faced with: Crystal Bowersox vs. Lee Dewyze. And while that may not have made for the most exciting television, I'm content with the two contestants left standing. They've both earned their spots in the finale.
On one side, you have Crystal, the most consistent performer of season 9. Despite being an unconventional Idol contestant, Crystal started out strong and remained strong the entire season. Even her "off weeks" were better than most of the Top 24's best. On the other side, you have Lee, who started out shaky but solid and has improved week after week. Crystal may have consistency behind her, but Lee has momentum. And while Crystal and Lee couldn't be further from Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, the match up definitely seems oddly familiar to last season: a pre-eminent favorite who just so happens to be an acquired taste versus a lovable underdog turned front-runner in a story arc of growth that America loves.
That all adds up to one of (if not the) closest finales in American Idol
history. So much so that in this, the final power rankings of the season, Crystal and Lee are all tied up. While Lee has momentum in his favor, he also has "Hallelujah" backlash and the judges' overt pimping working against him. On the other hand, Crystal, after a few less than mind-blowing weeks, came back last week with the powerful passionate performances that helped make her a front runner all along. Plus, she doesn't have the weight of being the judges' favorite around her neck anymore. Ask Adam Lambert and David Archuleta about that ... because as they both certainly know, being the judges' favorite on finale night is not always a good thing.
It's so close that it seems that what will decide season 9 of American Idol
won't hinge on what happened from January to May, but what happens tomorrow night, May 25th, on the Nokia stage. Do you think either Crystal or Lee have an edge heading in to tomorrow night's show? (Image Courtesy of FOX)