Tuesday night's "American Idol" marked the beginning of the end of season nine, with Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze facing off in a three-round showdown. OK, it was less of a showdown and more of a beatdown, with Bowersox easily handing DeWyze his hat. Although Lee was the favorite going into this week, his newfound confidence must have been left at the door of the Nokia Theatre. (Even the mice at the Nokia Theatre had to have been saying to each other, "What's this wimp's problem tonight?")
In round one, each contestant reprised an old "Idol" hit, but the rule was that they were not allowed to sing it as well the second time. (Kidding. Except I'm not.) It turned into a battle of the gibberish, and the la-di-dahs of "The Boxer" lost out to the la-di-dahs of "Me and Bobby McGee" by a nose.
Simon Fuller got to pick the songs in round two. DeWyze started R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" strong but got lost in the middle, and Bowersox sang "Black Velvet" with some grit but got lost on the stairs of the set. (Why couldn't she find her way around Tuesday night? During her entrance from the audience she looked as though she was confused too.)
Finally, round three was where Lee and Crystal each debuted what would be their first single should they win. With "Beautiful Day," DeWyze told America he wants to be the lead singer of a U2 cover band. With "Up to the Mountain," Crystal told America she wants to be the next American Idol.
Will MamaSox's stellar showing be enough to win her the crown? Will Lee's triumphant top-three showing be fresh enough in voters' minds to forgive the fact that he choked this week? Did you think Crystal's message to Simon was a sweet sendoff or an awkward example of brownnosing? Leave a comment below.
Join Jim Cantiello for our live stream of the "American Idol" finale red carpet this Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET, only at MTV.com.
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