Thanks to MJ from mjsbigblog, my friend Nick and I got to sit in the best seats in the venue – front row near the joint of the main stage and the catwalk. In fact, there were only two seats in our row, and they were ours. We really couldn't have had a better view.
The 10 performers each performed solo sets of 2-5 songs (taking the stage in reverse order from Didi Benami – 10th place – to Lee DeWyze - the season's winner). Most impressive were Siobhan Magnus (who sang a high energy set that included Rolling Stones, No Doubt, and Muse covers), Casey James (covered and played striking guitar on songs by The Black Keys, Shania Twain, and more), and, of course, Crystal. Her set was punctuated by a highly emotional version of original song, "Holy Toledo," a one-night only performance for her hometown crowd.
The rest of the contestants ranged from good to alright to hokey, but overall the concert was cheesy, entertaining, and fun. With the right mix of talent, hard work, and luck, I can see a few of this year's contestants having a successful music career.
Check out the rest of my American Idols Live in Toledo photos here.