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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • IDOL411: Lee is DeWorst as Crystal gets 'back in the game'

    The Top 4 “American Idol” contestants offered a very strange tribute to cinema on Tuesday night, singing songs from movies like “Caddyshack” and “Free Willy” while being forced to stare into Jamie Foxx’s eyes.

    Lee DeWyze opened with Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” … and to use an Ellen-esque pun, we think he was DeWorst of all the contestants. A few of those opening notes were pretty rough, and there were moments when you could barely hear the guy. Moreover, “Batman Forever” is not one of the movies we think of when we think of great cinema … or great music for that matter.

    WATCH: Lee DeWyze Perform Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.”

    Casey James also failed to impress. As soon as we heard he’d be singing “Mrs. Robinson” from “The Graduate,” we KNEW it was just a matter of minutes before someone cracked a cougar joke about Kara. Post-performance banter aside, Casey’s version of “Mrs. Robinson” felt too somber and serious to us — we wish he would have done a rocked-out version of the song. But hey, at least he chose a good movie.

    Crystal Bowersox picked it up a little with “I’m All Right” from “Caddyshack.” The song was well-suited to her voice and style, but we think she should have gone with something a little more targeted at the “American Idol” audience. Regardless, Simon said she was “back in the game,” and for once he had nothing nice to say about his guy crush Lee DeWyze. Point goes to Crystal.

    WATCH: Crystal Bowersox’s performance of “I’m All Right.”

    While the media (and this blog) seem to have boiled down the contest to Crystal vs. Lee at this point, our pick for best of the night actually goes to Big Mike. For us, his performance of Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” from “Free Willy” was the only solo performance of the night that had any emotional impact whatsoever.

    It also provided good material for the judges. Ellen made us LOL when she sarcastically referred to “Free Willy” as “one of the classic great movies of all time.” But the best part was when Big Mike tried to explain “Free Willy” to Simon, stammering: “It’s about a whale … that they gotta save.”

    VOTE: Casey or Big Mike: Who should go home?

    As for the duets, Crystal and Lee complemented each other nicely on “Falling Slowly,” and Mike and Casey were charming on “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman.” The latter performance was trumped, however, by Ellen’s endearingly honest but somewhat awkwardly received response to the song: “Yes, I have loved a woman.”

    It was just one of many silly moments in what was largely a silly tribute to the movies. Between the strange song choices, Crystal’s boyfriend’s American flag pants and the distracting tattoo on the back of Jamie Foxx’s head, it felt more like a freak-show audition week than the third-to-last week of the season. That said, we can’t wait to find out who goes home tomorrow night: Mike or Casey.

    —Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman, Amos Content Group

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