Bowersox mixes it up with “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Simon urges caution

Damn you, Crystal Bowersox, for making American Idol somewhat watchable.

I have to admit to not actually watching the show (but I have, for Bowersox) and mainly just catching the CB recaps on the internet. I don’t know what it is with this chick, but she keeps picking songs that are like eminently meaningful and have such a high bar for fail that if she did one thing wrong, they would be ruined. Like “Midnight Train to Georgia” or “Me and Bobby McGee” or “Piece of My Heart,” which are all songs that could easily, epically fall flat.

Last night, Bowersox threw a curve ball. She lost the acoustic guitar and standard-issue Phish concert outfit and, with some Pips-ian backup singers and a fancy red dress, knocked it out of the park with an amazing version of “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Usher was impressed. Randy and Ellen and 2nd Paula dug it hard. Simon crisised for a bit because he feels Bowersox might be diluting herself.

Below, a clip of the performance. What do you think? Is Crystal branching out well, or is she one bikini wax away from American Idol plasticity?