Photo Credit: Jeff Kowalsky/PictureGroup
And then there were three. And on Fox's American Idol (8 p.m. ET) that means…hometown visits. This week, the remaining contestants -- Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James -- bask in some local love in Toledo, Chicago and Fort Worth, respectively.
During Tuesday's performance episode, viewers will see parades and key-to-the-city ceremonies, and at least two of the finalists throw out the first pitch at a major-league game. The hometown visit is a longstanding, feel-good tradition on the show. But it's inevitably overshadowed by the live drama unfolding on the stage. The top 3 are, after all, competing for a spot in next week's final sing-off. The stakes have never been higher.
Unfortunately, this year's penultimate episode doesn't have the buzz of those in years past. That may have to do with the season's lackluster vibe, according to some critics, anyway. And some fans agree: Ratings are down 10% this season.
During Tuesday's show, the singers will sing two songs each, a judge's choice and a contestant's choice. For Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres chose Paul McCartney’s "Maybe I'm Amazed." For Lee, Simon Cowell selected Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” And for Casey, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson chose John Mayer's "Daughters."