Tuesday's "American Idol"" was to be, in the words of Ryan Seacrest, "a theme fit for a star," and all about paying tribute to the movies. And with cool-as-a-cucumber mentor Jamie Foxx and several interesting song selections in tow, the top 4 gave it their all. Sort of.
The judges agreed that the evening's two duets, "Falling Slowly" by Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze and "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman" by Michael Lynche and Casey James, were better than the contestants' solo performances.
And there's not much question that Crystal and Lee's dueling-guitar version of the Oscar-winning "Once" tune originally sung by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová shined the brightest.
The judges wholeheartedly agreed. Randy Jackson said, "Great song by two great singers!" Ellen chimed in, "You're the new Captain and Tenille." Kara agreed, "One of my favorite moments of the entire season. You brought out the best in both of you, that's what duets are about," and Simon even heaped praise, saying, "I wouldn't call that good, I'd call it fantastic."
After their performance, Lee and Crystal hemmed and hawed about how awkward it felt to be gazing into each other's eyes while strumming and singing, but that brought about an adorable Bowersox reveal that she has a "musical crush" on Lee anyway, so it was a fitting pairing.
So why was this song a good fit? To begin with, the movie from which it originates, "Once," is about two musicians who fall in love with each other.
They meet randomly, discover a shared love of music, record an album, toy with a romantic relationship, then ultimately part ways. In real life the film's co-stars, who were friends before making the film, became romantically involved during filming, which makes the story all the more sweet. And on top of that, the film was made on a shoestring budget (only about $160,000) and Hansard and Irglová went on to win the 2008 Academy Award for Best Song with one of the most heartfelt acceptance speeches in recent Oscar memory.
Given that backstory, it's hard to imagine Bowersox and Dewyze's performance doing the original justice, but the judges and "Idol" audience seemed to heartily approve.
What did you think? Which songs were your favorites? Who do you think will be eliminated tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!
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