Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's a twofer


I went into this finale not as hyped as I usually feel. I think it's because I felt sort of apathetic about the results. I like both of them and they're simply very different styles, so may the man with the most votes win, you know? Three years ago, we hooked up the power dialer for Elliott. This year? Not so much.

I hated the stupid montage of video clips of the two finalists. They were way too contrived. Because no way did Kris, of his own accord, say, "I'm the voice in the crowd that needs to be heard" or "I am ready." And no way did Adam, of his own accord, say, "I am 1 of 100,000" or "I am a dreamer" or "I'm a superstar in the making." Okay, maybe Adam. But not Kris.

And then they cut to Ryan standing on a podium holding a mic and all I can think is, "Is that rotating American Idol tower going to fall?" I blame this show for my newly acquired stage PTSD.

And don't you love it when Idol gets all clever? Acoustic Rocker vs. Glam Rocker. Conway vs. California. And my personal favorite: The Guy Next Door vs. The Guyliner.

What on earth was Randy wearing (I could repeat that question for tonight as well)?? And are plaids and strips and polka dots now considered matching? I've noticed this trend recently, and frankly, it disturbs me. Kara work black. Paula wore . . . is there a name for that color? Lime? And Simon wore a jacket. Fancy.

Kris won the coin toss and decided to go second. Brave when you're up against Mr. Over the Top himself. I mean that in a good way since I like Adam. I just think going second after him might sound weak.

Round 1

We learned that Adam used to scream as a baby. And that he was hyper. All the pieces fall into place. And after the Coke bubbles take over his face on the video screen, we are treated to his pick of the season, Mad World. Smart choice. I love it. And he mixed it up from his other performance. Plus he dressed up like something out of Twilight and there was more fog.

I've liked Kara this season but watching her over the past few months has been like observing a steadily building human crescendo. Her use of superlatives is, to borrow one of her favorite terms, ridiculous. She's been steadily peaking and now she can't quite go any higher so she just looks like she tapped into some stash of crazy drugs while she starts screaming extreme adjectives at the contestants. And I keep wincing awaiting the explosion.

We then learn that Kris didn't like to sing in front of his family (something our son feels he has in common with Kris . . . perhaps we have a future Idol in our midst?) but gave his mother coupons for free Kris singing. Awwwwww. Then we got treated to Kris behind the piano singing Ain't No Sunshine, which was awesome. Falling Slowly is still my favorite on Kris, but this was a wise choice. For an underdog, he came across as extremely confident tonight. Brilliant.

Simon gives Round 1 to Kris after admitting that he might've been wrong in assuming Danny would win. Okay, well not in so many words, but we all know what it meant.

Round 2

This was the round of socially conscious lyrics. Adam sang A Change is Gonna Come and it was excellent. Kris sang What's Goin' On and it was very good but a little cheesy for me in arrangement. I do totally agree with Kara that these kinds of songs suit Kris quite well.

Simon calls Round 2 as Adam's (anyone else sensing a pattern year after year?)

Round 3

This is the round we all dread. Unless we're stupid enough to believe that they'll actually write something good for these contestants to sing. They're always looking at clouds and chasing rainbows and climbing mountains and reaching for stars and flying. And it's all a bit gaggy. Adam did okay with it. Kris didn't fare as well. I had hoped he'd "make it his own" (sorry, Greg) and go acoustic on it or something. But no matter what either of them did, the song was awful. Poor guys. That's just cruel. And one of them has to sing it tomorrow while confetti flies and fire sparkles rain down. Ugh.

It's anybody's game. I like them both. I really don't care who wins. Potato. Potata. I predict Kris will win because I imagine he's getting Danny's votes. Plus I heard something about the Christian right voting pro-Christian or anti-gay or something. And the GOP hasn't won anything in a while, so Palin may be mobilizing the voters. Heaven help us all. It really doesn't matter who wins. They'll both do fine. The lines were jammed. Go Adam. Or Kris.


Or last night if you're being technical (hey, we got a late start watching it). I love finale nights. I love all the extra fun stuff they do -- funny skits, awards, famous guests . . . it's a party! Oh and they all dress in white and there are gospel choirs . . . I love finales! I'm giddy from the opening.

100 million votes. Sweet Frances. The GOP did rally indeed.

I loved the hilarious judge intros. LOVED them. For me for you, sweetie, it was uncompromising, distinctual, masterful brilliance. What was that?

Talking to the Idols at the onset with nonfunctioning microphones was a little anticlimactic.

But yay, the Top 13 entered in full force dressed in white! It was a little West Side Story meets Grease for me (for them), but I like seeing them all again. And I love that Matt had a matching fedora for every number tonight.

I read a very moving article about David Cook and his brother's passing a couple of weeks ago and, no lie, I cried. Hearing him sing that song tonight was very tender. I was amazed by his maturity and composure singing that haunting melody to those poignant lyrics. I love David Cook and thought what they did with that song was great. Nice guy, great rocker. Love him.

Our first Golden Idol Award goes to Norman Gentle. Raise your hand if you didn't see that one coming.

Then we listened to Lil butcher yet another song, only this time she did it while singing with Queen Latifah. Why she got to sing with a famous person, I don't know. They usually do that with the top 3. Wasn't she like 6th place? It, unsurprisingly, wasn't good. I don't understand the air time.

Loved Jason Mraz's group number. That guy rules. Plus he was wearing a peace t-shirt, cool hat, and was barefoot. He's like a total frat boy hippie. I like it. Choosing Alexis and Anoop was wise and having all 13 join in was great. I really enjoyed it.

Kris sang a duet with Keith Urban. Surprising combo, but I liked it. I dig Kris on the guitar. "I Wanna Kiss a Girl." I thought it would've been cute if he could've actually kissed his wife after that number. Mark noticed that they didn't have Adam sing this song. Enough on that. Was it me or did Kris sound better than Keith?

We were subjected to more crap that is the girls of this season. Glamorous, they sang (and spelled even). But glamorous they were not. They all looked hideous. What the ?? But then Fergie came out and sang. She has the face of Kirstie Alley but the body of, well, not Kirstie Alley. Ahem. Then they brought out the Black Eyed Peas. Holy hell, what was that?? Disturbing, but yet you couldn't help but watch those walking optical illusions. Boom, boom, boom. What on earth were they saying when the FCC imposed its 2-second rule and cut out part of the performance? Because if you listen closely, it should've been imposed twice. And it wasn't. Boom Boom that.

Ryan said, "Boom Boom Pow." I don't know how he stays employed.

I could've done without the return of Bikini Girl. Except for the part where they totally mocked her and new ladies (which were totally double sided taped, by the way). And the part where Kara came out and totally mopped the floor with her. LOVED that. And I love that Kara totally whipped open her dress for charity, too. At least she bares all for a good cause.

When I heard that Allison was going to duet with Cyndi Lauper, I was not excited. In fact, I was annoyed that they hadn't arranged a better match for our rocker girl. I recently heard Cyndi Lauper and it was decidedly NOT good. But I take it back. I liked it a lot. Cyndi is odd and plays the sitar. That's kind of cool. And they had a cool Indigo Girls sound about them. It was a really cool duet and the dynamics and harmony were fantastic. Allison is seasoned. You have to remind yourself that she hasn't yet graduated high school. Excellent.

Ryan does brief interviews with Kris's parents (why don't they ever talk to his wife??) and Adam's parents. I love that Adam's mom was singing along to EVERY song performed tonight.

Danny did a duet with Lionel Richie. Tonight I noticed how many songs Lionel has sung that have to do with playing as a way to avoid work. Chill. Just go. Party. Karamu. Fiesta. Forever. All night long. Raise the roof and have some fun. Dance on the Ceiling.

They did Adam's montage and I'm sad to say that they emphasized how Randy Travis didn't like Ring of Fire but failed to add how stupid he and Simon were on that one since THAT was a B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T performance. One of my very favorites. I LOVE that Adam rocked out with KISS complete with black and white face make up and wagging tongue (KISS, not Adam). It was AWESOME. KISS both scared me and impressed me when I was a kid. Not much has changed. It was so freaking awesome. And I loved the spiral-y fire rain in the background, even if the KISS guitarist is too old to smash his guitar the first 4 tries.

They then brought out Carlos Santana (I LOVE IDOL FINALES!!) and Matt Giraud joined him on stage with a black fedora and a shirt to match the guitar. It was AWESOME. And then all the idols in black and red came out to jam along to Smooth. Very nice.

Cool Ford commercial with Adam and Kris singing a nice tribute to all of the top 13. Very sweet.

Then David Cook presented them with what wasn't really that much of a surprise at all--new Fords! I see Kris driving that. Adam, not so much. Not sure what I see him driving though.

And then, in tonight's "What the . . . " moment, as if to totally parody the messes that are Michael Sarver and Megan Corkrey in one fell swoop, they had them sing songs about going out to dinner and walking by the river (la la la la la la la la) together 30 years ago while Steve Martin played the banjo. It was all a bit . . . bizarre. And horrendous. I mean really, really awful.

The boys came out looking smashing in their dark suits. And unlike the girls, who didn't look one bit glamorous, the boys did look sexy (well, some of them) as they sang, "If You Like My Body and You Think I'm Sexy." Rod Stewart came out and actually sounded all right for an older dude. He's still got it.

And then again, not surprisingly, Tatiana "graced" the stage. I called that before the finale even started. I called that during her tedious auditions and all the horrible camera time they've invested in her. Yuck.

The treat of the night for me was . . . I got my wish!! Adam did Queen!! WITH Queen! He is Freddy Mercury reincarnated! You could tell the band was LOVING him and eying him with a "I hope you lose so you can come be our new lead singer" look. That. Was. AWESOME.

While they sang, the gospel choir filed out, since there are like a hundred of them. And you just knew that, gods help us, one of them was going to have to sing that terrible No Boundaries song again, this time with gospel choirs.

And, as promised, Idol went over and the winner wasn't announced until after the initial 2 hours. Simon said a bunch of cheesy positive stuff, sounding a bit like Paula to be honest. Incredibly nice people? Both of you should be very proud? The future is all yours? Who's dipping into Paula's stash now?

Poindexter walked out, blocked the Top 2, and announced that he had a secret envelope. Ryan opened it up and announced Kris Allen as the winner. Adam looked genuinely happy for him (and I'm betting he is) and Kris was speechless. He kept trying to talk about Adam and the others while Ryan perpetually interrupted him (seriously, how is he still employed at what he does?).

He sang No Boundaries better than he did yesterday. It was so fun to see him sing it again, surrounded by the Idols, and then seeing it all hit him as he hugged his wife and cried. I knew he'd win (see, I AM clairvoyant) and I'm fine with it (though our son is not). I think we've mostly felt like whoever wins, wins. They'll both do fine.

Kris moved behind the judges and avoided the raining fire cheese that usually is the final song. Cute kid. Nice guy. Good singer. I'm happy for them both. And I don't have that stupid No Boundaries song in my head. No, instead I have this in my head:


terahreu said...

Brilliant recap. I have only seen a very choppy version. It has been overly frustrating seeing a 1/4 of EVERYTHING. It was good to get a coherent picture of the final show.

Kris will do great. I wish there was a little more mush when it comes to his wife but I wonder if they advise against that. Preteens after all. The dream of availability must be there for the vote.

I agree about the song. Although I couldn't hear the entire version (thank goodness)--Yuck! Ick! From what I can see Kara can only contribute horrific lyrics and a pointy finger. What is with that?

Jillo said...

So I am not an idol watcher. I totally have to limit my tv or that would be all I do. So Idol had to go. =(

But did you know that The Blanks are a real band? They have a CD and everything. Here is there website It will tell you all about it. =)

emily said...

that blanks song is awesome.

J Fo said...

Wow. That was very comprehensive.

I was pulling for Kris all along, not because I don't like Adam, but because Kris is more my style. Not that I don't love rock at times, but I'm more in to the chill stuff. Seems like there's generally more intelligent lyrics in that genre.

I, too, LOVED the Finale! Even the freaky parts like Queen Latifa in a one piece jump suit and Adam in creepy Frankenstein shoes.

I was a bit freaked out by the Kiss stuff. Adam's outfit was too far out there. AND did you see his SHOES? Holy hellanora! Nasty!

I LOVED the Queen song! I'm a huge fan and he is one of the only vocalists out there that can compete a little with Freddy Mercury. Kris seemed a bit out of place up there even though he sounded good too.

The final song is idiotic. How lame is that? I think they changed the key for Kris so it was in a better register for his voice. Not as bad as the first time. Yikes.

Rebecca said...

The fanale was great. Tell thing 2 I'm bumbed too! I wanted Adam to win so badly. Not that I don't like Kris but I LOVE Adam. O-well they will both go far!

Rebecca said...

Uggghhh - Yes I can spell FINALE. Did I mention I have four children running around asking me questions all at the same time :P.

Dr. Mark said...

That was one of their better finales. Did you catch Ruben and his "What is going on? They didn't have that stuff in Season 2!" look as Tatiana was running all over the stage? Classic.

I was a bit put out that we got extra Megan and Michael and virtually no Scott. Not that he would have sounded good on that Steve Martin song, but surely there is someone that could have sung with Scott as he accompanied on the piano.

Kris is better suited to the post-Idol profession than Adam, even though Adam has incredible talent. Adam will be better served by getting some distance from Idol, a la Daughtry. I noticed Kris sounded better on Wednesday than Tuesday, as well.

As for the final song . . .

I've noticed an evolution in the winner's song over the series.

The first year is a mulligan since it was all new then. It worked for Kelly, especially in Season 1.

Ruben flying without wings was essentially a repeat of the cheesy pseudo-inspirational genre, and also anatomically impossible.

Fantasia had a song written by Tamyra Gray--best song yet. It still had that Idol-ly feel, but seemed more current. It's still one of my favorite final performances.

I'm just glad Bo Bice didn't end up winning because Season 4's offering was back to the original rubbish.

Taylor's "Do I Make You Proud" was a step up from the others, but still lacking.

So, in Season 6 they had the songwriting contest, which, despite the 5 or 6 unique finalists, still gave us hyperbolic over-inspirational bird cage lining, but at least America got to choose (I guess we like trash in the end).

Then in Season 7 the contestants got to choose which final song to perform, but then producers slipped in the actual song to be recorded the finale night (since we would have hated it the night before). Somehow confetti and pyrotechnics couldn't distract me from the sub-par song.

Then this year they thought Kara would somehow rescue us from ourselves. Oops.

(I'm only slightly bitter that my song was passed over in both years of the contest.)

More info than you cared to hear?

Boquinha said...

"Also anatomically impossible." Bwahahahahahaha!

Awesome comments. Do you remember Beatboxing Blake singing that drivel? Ugh, so painful.

Dr. Mark said...

Oh, I remember Beatbox Blake--it was NOT his now! Add him to Bo Bice and Adam Lambert and you have three finalists not well-suited to Idol winner's singles.

I forgot to comment on your inspired inclusion of The Blanks. You've gotta love Ted.

bythelbs said...

I loved the look on Ruben's face. It was perfect. I also loved the look on Randy's face while BEP were performing. He looked like a little kid in a candy store. Priceless.

Why does the American Idol winner song have to be cheesy? I've heard plenty of inspiring music with inspiring lyrics that didn't make me want to vomit and then stick pencils in my ear drums and then shoot myself. I don't get it.

Boquinha said...

LBS (that has whole new meaning now), you're right! He was positively BEAMING!!