With just four contestants left standing, “American Idol” mixed things up on Tuesday, adding duets to the competition, but one singer stood out above all.
Crystal Bowersox once again gave performances that left the judges marveling over her artistic prowess.
The dreadlocked blonde first hit the stage, dueting with Lee DeWyze on “Falling Slowly,” the song from the movie “Once” (songs from the movies was this week’s theme). Crystal and Lee faced each other during the song, singing the lovey-dovey number to each other (with Crystal’s boyfriend watching from the audience), and their rendition made the judges swoon.
“Unbelievable. Dude, that could be a hit right now,” Randy Jackson said.
“One of my favorite moments of the entire season,” Kara DioGuardi added.
Crystal’s other number — Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright,” from the movie “Caddyshack
-- was unexpected, but also, highly praised.
“That performance, I would say, just got Crystal-ized and I actually think that you took that song and made it better,” Ellen DeGeneres said.
“I would say after that performance, you Crystal, are back in the game,” Simon Cowell added.
As for Lee, he stumbled a bit on his first song – Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” from “Batman Forever,” which the judges said he added too little variety to.
“You did nothing with that song, it was just OK,” Randy shrugged. “It was pitchy in spots.”
Michael Lynche also had trouble with his solo song – “Will You Be There” from the movie “Free Willy” – confusing Simon, who had never seen the film.
“I have no idea what ‘Free Willy’ is. What’s the film about?” Simon asked following Michael’s performance.
“It’s about a whale,” Michael laughed.
“Well, I’m still confused because I can’t connect a whale [named] Willy and what you just did,” the Brit said.
Casey too got some grief for his song choice. After singing the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Mrs. Robinson,” Randy took the opportunity to tease Kara over her season-long Casey crush.
“What’s the meaning in that song?” Randy asked.
“A lot of things,” Casey said straight-faced.
“Dude, I figured that. Kara?” Randy laughed. “I thought that you sounded cool on it… I’m just curious about that subject matter and where you’re going with that.”
Michael and Casey, however, were able to redeem themselves with their duet to the Bryan Adams classic “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman,” which the judges were impressed with. Randy said it “sounded really good,” a comment Simon echoed.
And Ellen chimed in simply, “As a matter of fact, yes, I have loved a woman.”