Who would think an indie chick like Crystal Bowersox could pull off a Gladys Knight torch song like 'Midnight Train to Georgia' and save the night from a dull round on American Idol?
Usher, for one, on hand as this week's American Idol mentor. When meeting Bowersox, he asked the singer what her surprise was that she had hinted at last week during the competition. She wasn't telling but this R&B god guessed that Crystal would play the piano instead of her usual acoustic guitar.
FOR PHOTOS OF CRYSTAL BOWERSOX AND THE FINAL 13 CONTESTANTS CLICK HERE
And, of course, Usher was right, being that he's not only intuitive but oh-so-savvy when it comes to star making (think Justin Bieber).
After sitting down at the keyboard while admitting she is rusty, Usher said the whole thing will work if Bowersox could let her piano playing become second nature -- although this writer things the musical master knew that Crystal would pull off the song no matter what.
Whether Usher thought that this or not, she did, and with a group of Pips-like back-up singers behind her to boot.Â Although the piano served as a good prop, it wasn't until a newly coiffed Bowersox came out from behind the instrument and sang to the crowd with no barriers that her presence came through.
Even though this was by far not her best performance, Crystal Bowersox was one of the highlights of an otherwise lackluster evening. Every judge giving this singer the thumbs up -- even though Simon had to throw in a wrench that perhaps the song was too old-fashioned for this hip singer (perhaps he was projecting?).
No matter. As the Gladys Knight song says, "She's not leaving." Expect more special treats from Crystal Bowersox next week on American Idol.