Did American Idol sabotage Casey James?

The answer is undeniably – Yes.

I have watched American Idol since season 2. Through the years, I have noticed that the producers and the judges have their favorites, and try to control the outcome of America’s votes by swaying the opinion of the audience in a variety of ways. The way the producers paint the contestants’ back stories and backstage (and hometown visit) footage. The questions Ryan asks the contestants. The judges’ pronouncements during various TV interviews of who will be in the finale – before America has voted. The dishonest, subjective, often meandering or nonsensical judgments of performances.

In the case of Casey James, often there was no judgment of his performance at all. From day one, the producers and judges have painted Casey James as “the pretty boy who cannot really sing but plays okay guitar.” The producers and the judges continued this story-line throughout the competition, reinforcing it every chance they got.

It started during his audition, when Kara – purported singing competition judge – asked him to unbutton his shirt. If Casey were a woman, there would have been cries of sexual harassment across the country.

When Casey did a quite good rendition of “Mrs. Robinson” in “movie song” week, there was no critique of his performance, there were jokes about an older woman, younger guy (Kara and Casey?) – ha ha.

When they showed the edited footage of the top three’s (Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, and Casey James) hometown visits, pains were taken to show mostly shots of women cooing and screaming at Casey. The one TV or radio interview question they aired, out of all the questions he was asked, was “Do you have a girlfriend?”

There was absolutely no footage of his performances at home, the performances that show him to be the real entertainer that he is, a blues guitarist and singer with exceptional talent that could not be boiled down to 90 second performances of pre-selected pop music. [One can’t do a guitar riff if one has only 90 seconds and part of that has to be singing.] But. The producers showed footage of Crystal singing on her home visit. They upped the ante for Lee’s home visit (Lee is the new chosen one, after the producers have decided that Crystal, the resident “hippy,” is too polarizing and may not sell as many records.) Not only did they show Lee singing, they gave his footage a soundtrack – “The Boxer” – that is the American Idol story of a poor boy leaving home – leading into Lee’s actual performance of the song. If that’s not stacking the deck, I do not know what is.

If they had shown Casey’s performances in his hometown visit, safe from the judges’ critiques, not squashed into 90 seconds – just Casey at a hometown bar playing some awesome blues with a look of pure joy on his face…

America would have seen this.

And this.

American Idol did not want to show this to America. Because it would undermine their top-two decision and the story they have built about Casey James all season long.

Because the “pretty boy” plays a mean guitar and he can indeed sing.

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32 responses to “Did American Idol sabotage Casey James?

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! That Lee has 2 cd’s available on amazon.com is another stab to the heart of Casey. They show Lee as this lowly paint store clerk, shy, without a lot of time singing in front of people. Oh that cute little Lee, how he has come out of his shell and turned into this awesome (NO!) performer before our eyes…. blah, blah, blah. All BS and hype. I had never watched an entire season of AI, and I will never watch another episode, except for MAYBE Wednesday when Casey performs.

    Casey’s fans know what AI did to keep him from the top spot. Actually, I’d like to than TPTB and the judges for doing Casey this favor. His talent is far above this AI circus. I know, if it weren’t for AI, I probably would never have found Casey, so props for that. But the blatant favortisim is over the top and disgusting!!!!

    Love you Casey James. I am a fan for life. I will follow your career, buy your music, attend your concerts, etc. I can’t wait to hear the blues like you played at the Keys. Casey James, bringing back the blues!!!

  2. Very well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you helping America (and the world) see the REAL CASEY JAMES!

  3. THANK YOU GIRL…..his true fans will have these videos to live on until the rest of America and alot of true musicians never watch that show…SO we will keep the buzz going and all of us will move beyond AI

  4. I thought the exact same thing when I watched the homecoming footage. Thanks for the voice!

  5. Well said dear, I became aware of this conspiracy much earlier this season, I told everybody that they already made their minds on who to put in the finale, so no matter what he does they are not going to notice, I really am sooo proud of him

  6. Thanks for saying what all his fans are thinking. I was sooo disappointed when they didn’t show one bit of him singing. (You make a good point about it undermining the shows whole direction this season) Thankful for all the youtube videos out there of his hometown visits. He was incredible and I am in love with his blues playing and singing.

  7. Trophy Wife

    Oh hell no they couldn’t have shown Casey’s hometown performances it’s the Casey James they’ve been struggling to hide all season. Isn’t it coincidental Lee has a CD hitting billboard charts released in January. Hmmm it was released AFTER he got his tix to Hwood. I am so glad the Idol farce will soon be over for him. I bet he can’t wait to get that tour over and start his own career. I will be in line for his first concert and Album. His performance last night was THE MOMENT of the season and then it walked out the door. Ha ha ha Idol way to miss out on a good thing. He’s going to be HUGE.

  8. I agree!! Thanks for letting America know..We love you Casey and know you will have a great career no matter what. You have tons of fans who love you so much including me!

  9. Brilliant critique!! Puts into words what we have all been thinking! Thank you!

  10. Idol apparently hasn’t learned from last year with Lambert/Allen. Just bc the executive producers think someone will be more marketable than others doesn’t necessarily translate to sales once they win. No offense to Lee, but if they think he’s going to sell they need to pick up the poor reviews of his cd and the outrage from fans who feel they pimped a contestant over others with more talented voices. If they had been smart, they’d actually look at the huge demographic of fans, reviews, votes received of Casey and at least say hey let’s give this guy a chance. I think Casey knew he was being undermined and if rumors are true Crystal is having similar issues backstage. Which explains their bond. Most people were voting to push Lee out, most bloggers want to buy Casey’s music over Lee. There are others that don’t like Casey, but he has more people that like him than any other contestant this season. I am interested in his interviews and what he’s going to say about his Idol experience. I know Siobhan has been outspoken about how unfair the producers, judges were. It’s ok though, he’s going to be the true winner of Season 9 in terms of sales.

  11. A-MEN!!

  12. Awesome read …I really luv the honesty of this story…Casey was gracious throughout the competition and he did accomplish what he wanted ….he has a fanbase now..think he will be among the music legends…

  13. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this article! It says what his fans (and even those who are fans of others) have furiously witnessed! Casey is soooo much better than AI ever portrayed him to be. Furthermore, he is about as humble and gracious as they come. They were disgraceful to him. He is the ONLY one from this season I would stand in line for. Casey, you ROCK!! Your Crew loves you!!
    –Casey’s Crew #400

  14. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!! You nailed it!!!!!!! And another thank you for using my videos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These videos shows us the REAL Casey James at his BEST and doing his music his way!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so glad all this humiliation from week to week is over for him….he will go on to sell more records than Lee’s album released during the show….WTH is up with that???? and what he realeaases afterwards!! And I don’t really expect alot of sales from Crystal either. I still say he will outsell BOTH of them combined!!!! And since he won’t be held down by AI restrictions he will be able to move in a positive direction with HIS Music and go on to do it HIS Way!!!!!!! This is my hometown boy and we Texans are not the only ones super proud of our boy….America and Internationally, people are singing the praises of our Texas Angel and I get a feeling it will be going on for quite some time!!!!!!

  15. This has been happening since day one on AI… No news to me.

  16. Those are great videos, they need to be seen.

  17. I really liked Jason Castro and a couple of others that season, but when I looked online to purchase tickets I wasn’t about to pay that much. This year, I paid the almost $100.00 per ticket (after the convenience fee and all) to go see the only one I even care about, Casey James. I will continue to support him throughout his career.

  18. Great article. I now THIS is the real American Idol. But this season has just been the absolute worst manipulation I ever seen. And when such a warm, gracious, talented person like Casey is the brunt of the conspiracy it makes it even harder to swallow.

    The really pulled out all stops this season to slight Casey, everything you say plus:
    1.) Make him change his song choice at the last minute
    2.) Neglect to have his amp on stage for his first song so he was left to quickly stuff the amp cord in his pocket and launch into song with no prep
    3.) Neglect to even turn the lights on for the first five seconds of the song.
    4.) Along with criticizing the performance, laugh and joke amongst themselves about the mishap at Casey’s expense. Then laugh again after his second performance.
    5.) Choose a song that fit Casey, but too lukewarm to be the a caliber of a “final three” performance, thereby making it easier for them to criticize even a stellar performance and/or continue to marginalize him as a performer who appeals only to women and girls.

    The whole thing is just beyond disgusting.

  19. I TOTALLY agree. I never believed in the conspiracy theories before, but this guy is GOOD and we never got to see that. Why on earth they decided they wanted a Lee/Crystal finale is beyond me. BORING. Casey Lee has talent, composure and style. Watch the video of him singing “Too Sweet for Me” on Youtube. He is a performer. Not like the other two, who have no stage presence what-so-ever.

  20. Joanne Light

    Casey James was Jason Castro revisited in the AI treatment of him. Casey was a more seasoned musician and defined singer/ spectacular guitarist but they share something–charisma and grace. Idol did the same thing as they did to Casey to Jason in the latter stages after he had astounded people,who understand what a true musical performer is, with unique, soulful interpretations of every song he sang. But who will ever forget the gaff that Paula made that exposed the scripting of the show when she critiqued him on two songs when he had only sung one. I’ll bet when Jason watched this year’s Idol he was standing in Casey’s shoes remembering every insult, rudeness and the feeling of being under the bus. But they both withstood everything with such class, I began to think Texas must be some kind of Nirvana where the men are gentle gods. Anyway, enjoyed the comments on here and have enjoyed my writing ride supporting both of these great human beings and troubadours.

    I listened with some empathy to Same yawn Cowardly on Oh! Pry! Win Fries’! show. He revealed how he goes into a deep depression at times but can not fathom its source–perhaps the pit of bullying with insults so many of his fellow human beings with meanness might give him a clue? If he felt for others, he could make his points just as clearly without tearing people down. No wonder people like Jason and Casey are not his chosen ones. Their light and love must be blinding to one encased in the deep moat of ego. I really hope Simon will grow spiritually in his marriage.

  21. Idol antics, vote manipulation; SO obvious with Casey. It speaks volumes to the fans who supported Casey week after week into the Top3, voting him thru against a stacked deck. Shows we were able to beat the house most times!

  22. This season American Idol was so openly manipulated it was laughable. The only good thing to come out of it is that Casey James received a lot of exposure and now his talent is known, he will be able to play the music he loves and we will all benefit. What a gracious exit. He shone and will continue to shine. Can’t wait for his album and tour.

  23. Agree Completely; Just like Daughtry; Casey J is going to sell more records than Lee for sure. He has the “whole package” Not only does he look good, but he can sing & play guitar too !

  24. I have known Casey for many, many years. He went to school with my kids. I am here to tell you that what you see is what you get with the MAGNIFICENT Young Man! I could not have been more prouder had that been any one of my kids and I guarantee you Casey has been a winner his entire life! I am so happy and so proud to see so many people can see what we have seen all along! You are all SO GREAT! I know his moma will be just BEAMING!

  25. I absolutely agree with all the above. Not to mention the raving about Lee’s performance with the entire US Choral Society behind him while he glory noted in true idol style. Compare this to the beautiful rendition of Daughters by Casey in true artistic simplicity. Gold compared to dross.

  26. Very well said. I just hope that Casey will hit the billboard as soon as his cd is out. That will prove them wrong again for thrashing a very talented singer songwriter and a great player on third place and sabotaged intentionally to make him look not qualified fro the title. But Casey’s Class Exit on the show only proves that Casey is the real star of the show. He just created a moment that made him look the real star compared to the two who was left on stage.

  27. I declared I was not going to get involved in Idol this year. It was just too time consuming. Plus the BS you outlined above is too emotionally draining, and it’s been getting worse and worse each year. But .. out of curiosity, I checked in every so often, and little by little, I became more and more intrigued by this guy. One day, I realized. I was hooked. And now I just can’t get enough of his music! I think that’s going to happen out there in ‘Musicland.’ Those who aren’t hooked now will find him and the rest will be history!

  28. It was in the air on final 3 night. I knew it, and so did Casey. It was written very clearly on his face, and in the broken heart displayed crystal clear through his body language, from the start of the show til the finish. Casey was going home, whether anyone liked it or not. First, and foremost, Casey James is a genuinely gifted human being. Anyone with merely an ounce of true taste can see that. Casey’s American Idol demise started the day that Kara realized how unprofessional and inappropriate her comments to Casey were. Think back on her first episode. She sat very uncomfortably and stiff, you could tell feeling quite awkward, struggling to fit in with the big guns (Randy and Simon). It’s always trying for a woman to establish herself amidst the environment of powerful men. My best example I could give, would be the typical female police officer ~over-doing the tough-guy act to prove to everyone that she is just as qualified to patrol the streets as as her male counterparts. -Only making herself look weaker. And that much more annoying. ~Sorry to the women in uniform reading this, and even tho of course not all female police officers behave this way, but you know it’s true. Back on subject… Kara sat that episode doing her best to play the part of the badass. Short, “professionally-rude industry” (because, she knows -right?) comments, dismissing contestants faster than the speed of light, without a care in the world. Comments that honestly more than not made absolutely no sense at all. Comments that had no foundation. Then comes Casey James. And Kara the badass turned in to Kara the idiot. Was it just me, or did “Oh Fk, it’s Paula all over again” flash thru your mind. She had worked herself into such a tizzy (BEFORE she met Casey) struggling to show everyone just how powerful she really was, that by the time our beautiful boy walked into the room, I think Kara lost sight of the fasad she was so obviously struggling to maintain, (as that’s what happens eventually to bullshitters -the truth comes out, and often more than not -quite embarrassingly, whether they like it or not), and tripped over just about everything she said, simply because an attractive man had stepped in her line of sight. You and I knew it was bound to happen, sooner or later, and obviously it did -with the distaste of soap dipped in motor oil, thanks to the resounding fact that there are some people in certain jobs -that just shouldn’t have been placed there in the first place. Poor Casey, and any other contestant, especially one knowing the true talent they hold, would have done the same, well of course any man would have -and had been acceptable, so long as it didn’t hurt our eyes, and taken their shirt off to solidify their shot at claiming their stake in the entertainment world. Kudos on the comment by the way in the article, about had a woman been asked to do the same. None the less, as happens too often in the politics of large corporations, employee’s blunders, no matter how monumentous they are, are made to look minuscule, and too often, to cover up what an ass they’re employee made of themself, and the company (ie. -in this case: Kara DioGuardi and American Idol) the inappropriate nature of what was done or said is turned on the receiver ~Casey James. I’m sure most of you can think back and remember the first time Kara rebounded by downplaying Casey’s performance, when he had obviously KILLED it. Making herself look better in her eyes, by showing the world that she wasn’t so hung up on Casey that she couldn’t give negative feedback on a stellar set, guitar AND VOICE. Who the hell could listen to this boy, most certainly whilst looking at him, and not know that this triple (Looks/Heavenly Voice/instrumentally talented) threat was bound for something bigger? Then Kara opened her mouth, and Casey, who’s passion for what he does, and KNOWS he is capable of (Hear that Casey? ….what you KNOW you’ve got in that beautiful soul) sank, knowing that she would bury him. I have been there. Working amongst millionaires. Cut throat dishonesty and then more dishonesty to cover it up. Casey if you read this, please, please remember, that even tho had it not been for that idiot who claims she knows what she is talking about (just because you write great songs -which she has, and ‘might’ be able to sing somewhat better than a bimbo who has no better way to establish herself, than to wear a bikini to a singing audition –and mind you, as well as lacking the capacity to put herself above such trash) , and that it would be you up there tomorrow night, taking that American Idol crown, you’ve got everything it takes to make all your dreams come true. You’ll find your spirit again. You are a kind, giving, compassionate soul who obviously takes value in what other people say. But you need to remember that 99% of the time a vast majority would pay to eat glass, rather than have to endure the opinions of someone with absolutely no class, and obviously no clue. I can’t wait to buy your album Casey.

  29. Spot-on assessment Stephanie. Many target Simon for unfair criticism of Casey. But Simon was just being Simon. For better or worse, he’s fairly consistent and honest until he chooses who he wants to win (Lee) then he overlooks flaws and embellishes praise. Casey’s nemesis has been Kara all along and for the reasons you’ve described. She went ape sh**t over Casey (and really who could blame her), but she and the Idol producers took it so far that in order for Kara to win back her integrity, she had to go way far to the other side with criticism that she tried to mask as “constructive advice” on how Casey needs to show his “vulnerable side” and stick to appealing to his narrow “audience” of “women and girls” When Casey politely said “not all advice was constructive” I gotta believe he was referring in large part to Kara.

  30. After watching last night it became incredibly obvious to me that the reason they wanted Casey out was so that Crystal could go up against Lee. Lee is not at the same level as Crystal and not much of a competition, which gives them the outcome that they decided they wanted weeks ago. They couldn’t have Casey end up in the final two, because he probably would have won.

  31. I am in complete agreement about the manner in which American Idol handles contestants. It certainly was gratifying to have Lee win after the judges were so clearly in the tank for Crystal on the final performance night. If you want to really help Casey (and we all do!), download his music on ITunes, search his name regularly on Google and other search engines to ramp up his hit count, read all the internet articles about him (raising that hit count again), regularly view his YouTube videos to increase the view count and in every other way keep up the internet chatter and interest level for Casey. This is what record labels look for — a built-in fan base, a high level of interest, money in the bank for them. Keep the Casey buzz alive!

  32. Casey James is way too cool to be a microphone waving, canned music idol on a pantomime show. The only good thing about the whole charade is that Idol gave him exposure and us the rare magical experience of witnessing his amazing talent, beauty and grace – an awesome treat in this dumbed-down, world. No matter what the judges said, at the end Casey made the judges appear out of touch and small.

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