"American Idol" began the Top 3 performance with Casey James. In the first round the contestants are allowed to pick any kind of song that they would like to sing while in the second round, they would do the judges' choice.
Casey kicked it off with "Okay, It's Alright With Me" by Eric Hutchinson. Ellen DeGeneres said, "I wish you would have brought it. It needed to really blow us away." Simon Cowell was none too pleased with the result either, saying "I think that was a dud song choice I'm afraid, but you sounded good" and adding that it was like a salad.
Crystal Bowersox was next, singing "Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge. Kara DioGuardi criticized, "I did think you got a little lost in the arrangement." But Simon said, "From the very first day to now in the semi-final, you haven't compromised yourself as an artist. You came out here and just decided to do what is you. It's a very honest performance."
Lee Dwyze picked "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Kara gushed, "You showed us everything you've got. Round One goes to Lee." Simon summarized it, "That song was absolutely on the money. I don't think you won round one, I think you just crushed the other two."
Casey came back on the stage with Kara and Randy Jackson's choice, John Mayer's "Daughters". Although Kara and Randy picked it because they thought it should be the direction that Casey takes, Simon blamed them for not giving Casey a big chance. He said, "It was a bit of a lazy arrangement. I hold these two slightly responsible for not giving you a much bigger vocal moment. To be fair, you sounded very very good on it."
Ellen chose "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney for Crystal. Randy said it fit her like a glove while Ellen called it beautiful. Simon told Crystal to thank Ellen for the song choice, adding "What you just proved is that you've got soul. That was terrific."
The last performance of the night was Simon's pick. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" which is now a common song in the competition was selected as Lee's second performance because Simon thought they had not heard Lee's version yet. Randy called it Lee's biggest moment, Ellen was stunned, Kara said Lee owned the night and Simon said, "I'm very, very proud of you. You proved that you are a fantastic singer and an great person."