Michael Lynche is officially out of the competition in fourth place. Here is a round up of the fourth place finishers from past seasons:
Season one: Tamyra Gray was a semi-regular on Boston Public, co-wrote a #1 song (“I believe”), starred in 2 Broadway shows and has appeared in several movies in supporting roles. She has an album coming out soon.
Season 2: Josh Gracin is a country music recording artist with a #1 single (Nothin’ to Lose). He has had 4 top 10 singles and 2 top 5 albums on the country charts. He has an album coming out soon.
Season 3: LaToya London had a 3 year run starring in the Broadway touring show of “The Color Purple”. I think that she has an album coming out soon.
Season 4: Anthony Federov has had no large scale success since Idol. He has an album coming out soon.
Aside: Actors are always “reading a lot of scripts” and “exploring creative opportunities”, while screenwriters are “in pre-production” and “talking to studio heads”, and singers are “in the studio” and “have an album coming out soon”.
Also: divorced people are “revisiting their dating options”, the unemployed are “analyzing future opportunities” and Death Row inmates are “exploring the appeal process”. I guess a guy falling off a cliff is in “pre-splatter mode” and somebody having a heart attack is “experiencing a circulation free environment”.
Season 5: Chris Daughtry you might have heard of. He is performing tonight.
Season 6: LaKisha Jones played a key role in “The Color Purple” on Broadway and was Chaka Kahn’s understudy. Also she has an album coming out….
Season 7: Brooke White is writing, recording and touring like a crazy woman. She has a movie coming out soon, and she is hosting part time on a couple of different networks. This girl doesn’t sleep much.
Season 8: Allison Iraheta is going on tour as Adam Lambert’s opening act this summer. No major chart success yet, but she just turned 18.
I’ll get back to Mike later. First-
Fantasia Barrino started the show off, singing her current single. Has the big voiced black female church singer style run its course? Idol has had a ton of them over the years (no pun intended), but none of them have had any staying power as relevant recording artists. Fantasia sold 2 million copies of her first album. She will be lucky to sell a tenth of that with her current album. Idol didn’t even pass one through to the semifinals this season, and the only similar type, Ashley Rodriquez, was bounced in the first week.
After some preamble Casey was sent to safety. I’d rather see Casey next week than Mike, though I would probably enjoy Mike’s going home segment next week more than Casey’s. Well, other than getting to see Casey’s hot Mom again…
Daughtry performed next. While I have to respect his post-Idol success, he isn’t nearly as good a singer as David Cook is. He is more of a Casey James type, with the tendency to bleat a little bit. He doesn’t have the scratch or growl that Cook has, or the power in his vocal chords.
He is probably better than Casey will be, but I don’t assume it. He’s had several years of growth and reps onstage to lock in his intonation, and strengthen his vocal chords. I remember his voice when he was a contestant. I wrote him off the first time that I heard him as one of those guys who can’t vibrato (like Casey), who can’t hold a note in tune (like Casey), and who pushes from his throat, not his diaphragm. Like Casey.
I am not trying to denigrate Chris. Chris and his band are doing fine. I’m just saying that Casey might surprise us once he gets in the studio, and on tour. Casey’s I-tunes Studio versions of his songs are terrific, much better than you would expect from his onstage performances. He is good looking, mature, experienced, plays his own lead parts (Chris just strums), sings harmony, and he records well. Once he gets used to being the star on stage, I can envision Casey challenging the other contestants for the most successful post-Idol recording and touring career from this season’s crop. He is missing ego as a performer more than anything else, and he has plenty of ego in other areas that he can transfer. He can laugh, and he can have fun. He’ll be fine.
Ryan tried to get Ellen and Randy to explain the difference between being on the show and doing what Chris is doing now. Neither of them understood the question. He asked the wrong judges. Kara and Simon would have probably had better advice, but not the correct advice. The missing elephant in the room for this question was Paula. Paula, who toured for years and years, could have explained it in a couple of sentences.
The difference is productive time in a dedicated, professional environment. Chris Daughtry spends thousands of hours every year in the studio and on tour, living and breathing his craft. The last four years have given Chris somewhere around twelve thousand hours of dedicated productive time, with professionals to guide him, to get better at his craft. It’s that simple.
Lee is safe. Mike probably knew at this point that he was going home. He looked poised and cool. He also looked thoughtful, and I think he was in full on self-talk mode.
Bon Jovi performed next. I always saw them as the “Band of the 1980’s”. It was a weird decade, and other bands might have an argument, but I am pretty sure that they sold more albums and concert tickets than anyone. By decade, for fun, the best rock bands:
1950s- Buddy Holly and the Crickets (actually Little Richard, if you call him a “rock band”)
1970’s- Led Zeppelin
1980’s- Bon Jovi
I knew the results already, so I took the opportunity to look hard at a couple of people on the set: Mike’s wife, and Crystal.
Mike’s wife was composed and quiet, with the predictable reservoir of tears held back behind her eyes. With Casey safe, hope was pretty much gone. The wife of the condemned has to brace herself for the worst, while holding out a tiny sliver of hope for the stay of execution. WhenCrystalwas pronounced safe and Mike was done, his wife was ready to accept it. HadCrystalbeen the one that was gone, I am pretty sure that Mike’s wife would have fallen out of her chair and there would have been a lot of hugging on the floor. She. Was. Right. There. Mike was done, so she leaned back and went into damage control, blinking back the flood.
Crystalwas also very quiet, and when Ryan told them to dim the lights, she braced herself for the worst. She put on a hard mask, a face that wouldn’t melt if she was voted off. Mike was cool, calm and collected. He is a leader by nature, and he tookCrystalon his shoulder and when her name was called as being safe she melted into him. Mike just held her for a second, whispered some words to her and stood up straight, asCrystalstumbled to the soft chairs.
His exit video was a reminder of several things that I was mostly irritated at when they happened. Now that it’s all over, though, it was nice to lose the competitive edge for a second and just groove on this very nice man, and his improbable journey. His voice wasn’t as good as probably half of the 181 singers that made it toHollywood. He made it to fourth place, mostly because of his fearlessness on stage and his charisma. His personality is just HUGE, and it allowed him to overcome his comparative lack of singing power. He earned his finish, and he was an asset to the show.
Mike’s future isn’t going to be in the studio. I expect that he will explore that, though, and maybe look at Broadway. When the dust clears I fully expect him to be holding a microphone, but not performing. Mike’s future might very well be in hosting MTV shows or something similar. His personality is his best asset. Mike is driven, and disciplined. He will land somewhere, and “be” somebody.
3: Casey James– I won’t assume that Lee will beat Casey next week. I won’t assume that Casey won’t have a nice post-Idol career, either.
2: Lee Dewyze– I can’t believe that this shy, scared kid made it this far. It’s an incredible achievement for a kid with so little stage experience to make the top three on Idol. There hasn’t been a less stage salted final three contender since Carrie Underwood. She did ok.
1: Crystal Bowersox– She got rid of the nerves this week, and delivered a pair of Idol near-moments on stage. She is the standout talent of the year anyway, and those couple of lesser weeks might have helped her avoid the inevitable contrarian backlash that cost Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert their well deserved titles.