Bar band dude CJ (Chris Johnson, nobody blames him for trying to jazz that name up) was a surprise survivor – a relatively average singer who outlasted many who should have wiped the floor with him, but who didn’t have his stage experience and savvy.
The show pitted Kayce Haynes against Jordan Sasser for the final male spot, but I imagine the actual battle was between Kayce and CJ. They were the two bar band rockers and each somewhat borderline; Jordan was probably one of the top few to get in.
Chris is probably a one-and-done, but you never know. He’ll be fun as long as he lasts; he knows how to perform, he should have lungs of leather after singing six nights a week for so long, and he has the creative gene.
CJ’s showcase performance:
CJ in his natural element, singing some Skynrd:
CJ Johnson “I’ll Be” – Edwin McCain: C
The song was too big for CJ’s voice. He has four-banger power and an average tone, and this song is a hill that needs a V-8 to climb it. CJ’s best shot on Idol is to sing high energy songs that don’t make him hold notes. I don’t think he was as out of tune as Manny was, but like Manny and a couple of others he seemed like he was riding the melody, not commanding it.
CJ with David Cook “The World I Know” Collective Soul
David Cook, as much as anyone, got me hooked on Idol. He was a normal guy, a rocker with a cool voice but no formal training, no Berkeley or Julliard “Fame” style background. CJ has Cookie’s hardscrabble bar band background, but unfortunately he doesn’t have his cool voice.