Finale Thoughts

Well, people. By the time you read this, one person will have joined the ranks of crowned Idols past. Probably about 49% of people who have watched the season will be outraged and 51% will be ecstatic…that’s just par for the course at this point, right? 🙂 Man alive, there were lots of Idol alums in the audience and boy, were there a lot of things happening up on that stage! Thank goodness we have our trusty guide, Ryan to see us through the mayhem!

A few initial thoughts:

  • Randy was lookin’ GOOD tonight! Imagine that…and him without his sweater.
  • Not to add to the rumor that’s probably already percolating that I’m an American Idol conspiracy theorist, but it seemed like the intro video leaned Crystal’s direction…the judges were raving about her while admonishing Lee to “fight harder” and telling him that his second performance was “better”. To the average viewer, I think this might not bring anything to mind but I’m wondering if the producers skewed it that way maybe to make the results more extreme if Lee wins?
  • Seems like there were a few bugs on the technical side of things tonight–like not really clearing Ryan’s head with the camera shot before heading to the opening credits.
  • I’m nostalgic that Simon’s leaving, but not so nostalgic that I didn’t yell “Button your shirt, Simon!” at the TV screen (and an empty room).
  • Ryan underscored that this was a tight race – less than 2% separated the finalists. Yeah, yeah. We get it!

The intro/recap video yielded some interesting information:

  • Chicago had the biggest audition turn out this season: 12,000 came, 13 left with golden tickets
  • Did you know Lee DeWyse used to be a paint salesman?
  • We’ve watched…I’VE watched…14 weeks of performances. Wow.
  • Almost 500 million votes were cast

Top 12 Perform “School’s Out”

I’ll admit it…the only reason I knew this song is because I heard it while playing Guitar Hero. I was a little disturbed at the school children that looked like zombies (are zombies the new vampires??) but it all made sense when I saw Alice Cooper descend the stairs. What I found pretty hilarious, though, was seeing Tim Urban’s bobbing and smiling head next to Alice Cooper. Now that’s a funny picture. 🙂

Also, who missed Didi??? Me too.

Kris Allen performs “The Truth”

 

RYAN! Turn your mike off! I’m trying to listen to Kris Allen!!

Some sort of technical difficulty allowed us to miss the intro of Kris Allen’s performance and instead hear Ryan and someone else speaking (Stage Manager Debbie?). I don’t know what’s being done about this, but I happen to believe that heads should roll. The bridge of that song was awesome! I mean, Kris had more of a stage presence than when he was on the show (which I would expect) but he’s still the beloved sideways mouth singer he’s always been.  That’s why we love him!

Simon Cowell Tribute Video #1 – The Lowlights

Basically this whole video was a montage of Simon crushing the dreams of would-be singers everywhere, him dogging on Paula and Ryan and Randy doing some really bad acting. I thought it was a great recap…

Siobhan and Aaron sing “Living in a World of Fools” with two guys whom I don’t know…

 …but both held their microphones really far away from their mouth. Speaking of microphone holding, I’m not sure why Aaron Kelly thought it would be cool to hold his microphone with only his thumb and pointer finger and the rest of his hand splayed out. It seemed really distracting to me! I did think that both Siobhan and Aaron sounded great…having the chance to sing without the pressure of competition must be nice. I can only assume that the other guys on stage with them are the Bee Gees? Or a segment of them? Help me out, here, guys.

Michael Lynche performs “Take it to the streets” with Michael MacDonald

The name Michael MacDonald brings two thoughts to mind.

#1 – I wonder if he’s getting a cut of the McDonald’s franchise?

#2 – I wonder if he has a farm?

Seriously, who IS this guy?

That said, I love it when the bass players get doooown as the bass player was doing tonight during this song. If I had any skill on a stringed instrument, I’d play the bass.

I thought Big Mike outsang the white-haired dude.AND he didn’t pick him up, which is probably good for the guy’s fragile bones. Nice job, Big Mike. Way to learn personal space!

Dane Cook performs “The Things that Simon Says”

I was a little unsure of what to make of this. In concept, it’s brilliant – creating a song from critiques that Simon has given over the years. In execution? Not so much. I couldn’t understand half of what he said but I thought a few things were funny:

  • The only time he says “yes” is when someone just asked him if he said “no”.
  • The honesty of Abe Lincoln and the charm of the guy who shot him (That’d be John Wilkes Booth, Dane. And I didn’t even have to google that. True story.)

What’s unfortunate is that at the end, Dane was joined on stage by Norman Gentle, Tatiana, etc. etc. Oh gosh. What a menagerie! I was kind of in disbelief.

Since this is kind of my area (marketing and creative thinking), I’m going to put a thought out there that it might have been more funny if they actually played a game of “Simon Says” in some creative way. Nice try, guys. But no cigar (those things will give you cancer!)

The Top 6 Girls perform “Beautiful”/”Fighter” by Christina Aguilara medley joined by Christina Aguilara

I liked this performance and I thought the girls did an admirable job with the songs but, boy howdy! Pitch problems, Lacey!

This song was seriously the best I’ve EVER heard Paige sound. If she could have sung like this during the show I might have been a little less of a H8er.

The performance was moving right along with the top 6 girls and then I caught a glimpse of some background dancers. That’s when I knew Christina would soon follow. Don’t even try to keep up, guys. I’m a maverick.

Christina Aguilara performs “You Lost Me”

I spent most of the night on Google trying to identify performers and songs but when Christina started to perform, I had to lift my fingers from furiously typing for a moment. C’mon, now, this girl has some PIPES! Even though it drove me a little nuts that she likes to tap her fingers on the microphone and someone needs to take her aside and tell her gently that she forgot to put on paints…

I really think the sound technician on Idol should be fired this season. On almost every song it was difficult to hear the lyrics because the instrumentalists were drowning them out.

Also, I think I should have an iPod touch so that I could get that app that identifies a song. I think that alone would be worth the cost. I mean, there’s an app for that! Now is there an app that can tell me how to afford such a purchase? I’d like to see that…but then I’d need the iPhone to download the app…my, what a vicious circle!

Ricky Gervais’ “Farewell to Simon”

This video package was, in my opinion, the funniest of the night. It started off as a glowing speech would, calling Simon the “King-maker” who turns ordinary people into international singing stars…and quickly diverged into the comedic when Ricky added “And you only take 80% of their wages. What a guy.” I laughed when Ricky told Simon that  he shouldn’t be working at his age and then again at the end when Ricky insisted to someone off camera that Simon just “throws away money”.

Top 6 Guys perform with Dale Hall and John Oats

Again, I should know these people why? Is it too much to ask to get some bona-fide current stars on the stage?

A few thoughts:

  • Tim has bulked up
  • Aaron’s jacket is awesome
  • It’s appropriate for Casey to have the solo role for “Man Eater”.

Crystal performs “Ironic”/”You Oughta Know” with Alanis Morsiette

Crystal must be an Alanis fan. I did think that Ms. Morsiette out sang the MamaSox but it was still a pretty cool duet!

True story – I always thought that her name was Alanis S’Morsiette until high school. What can I say? I like s’mores!

Carrie Underwood performs “Undo It”

Carrie is awesome and rocks whatever performance she gives. Of course, American Idol feels compelled to point out that Carrie co-wrote the song with Kara Dioguardi. I can see that we’re already trying to bulk up the public’s estimation of the remaining judges to cover for the loss of Simon…whoops! Was that another conspiracy theory that just slipped out? Sorry, guys.

[Glee Cast Should have Performed Here]

SERIOUSLY! It’s, like, a no brainer. Why in the world wouldn’t Fox put their two biggest hit shows together for this extravaganza? It’s ridiculous. Ridiculous, I say!

Crystal and Lee get their free Fords

Did both the winner and the runner-up get cars last year? I thought it was just the winner. I can’t really imagine Adam driving a Ford Fusion…but aren’t the Kris Allen commercials awesome?

As Crystal and Lee tell the camera that they’re off to a “photo shoot”, Kris “surprises them” by telling them that they get the Ford Fiestas that they designed. I say, the best part isn’t the car, it’s one on one time with Kris Allen. I found their reaction a little underwhelming which made me think that either A. they knew it was coming or B. they were too tired to care.

Casey James performs “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” with the guy from Poison?

I like Casey so much more after watching him here:

This wasn’t really my type of song, but I thought it was a good job done by both Casey and some other guy. Too bad Casey really sucks at playing the guitar.

[Side Note] Is MySpace staging a comeback? Seems that they are partnering both with Glee AND American Idol?

Lee DeWyse performs a Chicago medley with Chicago

Not much to say on this…I know Chicago is a big deal but I don’t know any of their songs. I like to eat at Old Chicago, though! Does that help?

I thought it was cute when Lee lip syncing with other guy who was doing a solo, but basically I was just biding my time until the performance was over.

Simon Tribute Video #2

More of what you’d expect…Simon’s a big flirt but mostly he likes himself more than anything else…blah, blah.

“Pants on the Ground” Performance

I’m just going to keep it real and raw and keep what I had written in my notes:

OH. EM. Gosh.

No, they didn’t give him backup dancers!!!!

Most of this performance was spent with my mouth dropped open not quite believing what was happening.

OH MY GOSH. WILLIAM HUNG????? NO FREAKING WAY. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!

If you missed the audition round, here’s what you missed:

Video: Simon from Paula’s view

I understand why American Idol brought Paula back to commemorate Simon’s time on Idol. What I don’t understand is why they gave her enough rope to hang herself. She was up on stage for waaaaay too long, causing me a lot of dumb chills and second-hand embarrassment. This makes me remember why I don’t miss her presence on the panel at all.  It is interesting that Simon genuinely thought the show wouldn’t last.

Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks and Kris Allen perform “Together We Are One” with too many Idol alumni to count let alone name

I know it’s weird. I know I’M weird. But even with all the people on stage, I couldn’t help but think that there was someone missing. This mental exercise really tested my American Idol knowledge (and me without my scantron!) but I finally realized that David Cook was the only American Idol winner that wasn’t represented on stage. And why did we not get a performance from Jordin Sparks this season?

Simon joined all his protegés on stage and in what was a really a very sweet moment thanked us for the support, fun, sense of humor stating, “America is really the judge of the show and they’ve done a phenomenal job”.

Simon’s final words? “It’s been a blast – thank you.” We’ll miss you, Mr. Cowell!

Top 12 perform (minus Lee and Crystal) with Janet Jackson

It took me a really long time to realize who this was. It wasn’t until the second song when she started dancing that I realized that it was Janet Jackson. The whole performance was a little bor-ing for me, even with the wicked cool lasers. Also, when I finally figured out that the lyrics to the second song were “nasty boys” I started fast-forwarding. But really, I think the true story is that I didn’t have any idea what she was singing until she was almost done. SOUND GUY!!

Recap video of Lee and Crystal’s Journey (again)

Take a look at this copy! I wish I was this good of a writer.

“In the city of Chicago a single mom and a paint salesman were just two faces in a sea of dreamers. they traveled 17– miles to follow their dream. Ordinary people, ordinary lives together they took a journey to become something extraordinary.”

Crystal and Lee perform with Joe Cocker

Why does American Idol insist on packing these kinds of shows with artists that had their hay-day a long long long while ago?

Results!

Oooo…I dig the sparkly envelope!!

As Ryan receives the results, poor Lee bends over like he’s got the breath knocked out of him. Crystal’s comforting attempts to calm him down, but it’s pretty clear that he’s petrified.

As Ryan waxes eloquently on about certified results or something, I saw Crystal mouth the words “Come on Ryan!” And then…the next American Idol is…

LEE DEWYSE!

And as stoked as I was to hear Ryan say those exact words, I had to laugh my face off when I saw “Lee Wins” flash up onto the big screen. C’mon, now. I  don’t think we really need a blatant “Lee Wins” on the screen!!! Sheesh, we’re not dumb.

Lee’s response to his win was really gratifying. While surrounded by his fellow Idoloonies, I saw Crystal whisper to Lee, “I knew it.” But the best part?

Ryan: “How does it feel to be the next American Idol?” (If there’s an obvious question within reach, Ryan will grab it)

Lee:  “I don’t know!”

Then Lee proceeded to say “This is amazing” about 48 million times. But I can’t find it in my heart to be hard on him…I’m sure it’s hard to wrap your mind around words in a moment like that.

At this point, Lee finally remembers Crystal and gives her a big hug.

As Ryan tries to squeeze every sound-biteable phrase from the new Idol, the intro to Lee’s new single started playing. That was a cool moment. Lee was obviously emotional but kept it together better than I thought! And there were cool waterfall sparkles…combined with lasers? I think someone in production is playing with a new toy…

THERE’S THE CONFETTI WE KNOW AND LOVE! Someone was working some serious over time to cut all those little strips of shiny paper. At one point while he was singing, Lee tilted his head back to hold a note and I was a little concerned that he might get confetti stuck in his throat. But I’m a hypochondriac that way and it seems like Lee is perfectly fine.

Before Lee can even finish his song, the “19” logo flashes and the show ends. NOW they cut it off? They are already minutes over…and Glee isn’t even on next! Why can’t Lee finish singing? I was a little perturbed.

In any case, I’m so thrilled with the results! Of course, you knew that. Thanks for being on my own “American Idol” journey. It’s been horrid and thrilling and everything in between. 🙂

For the last time this season…Haddock out!

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6 thoughts on “Finale Thoughts

  1. Jennifer Pam says:

    you crack me up and make me feel old all in one sentence! I, of course, knew all of the artists, remembered their songs, and nostalgically pondered the difference between the “stars” of today who look good, but can’t sing, and the singers of yesteryear that had great voices without a lot of physically attractiveness (though Bret Michaels was considered a sex symbol during the hair band days). I will say that I was surprised by the “oldies” as you call them, considering the age range of the viewers. I was, in part, shocked by the outcome, though I really didn’t care either way. Sorry, but I have always believed that Lee never really hits his notes (something is a fraction off) and that you might have been drawn in by his dreamy bedroom eyes. I will still be your friend and I will see you on Saturday:)

  2. Jenn Hughes says:

    Amy, I have never watched AI and don’t follow all the drama, but I do sometimes enjoy reading your recap because I can TOTALLY see your personality in your writing.

    I am commenting today because I THINK IT IS HILARIOUS THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO MICHAEL MCDONALD AND HALL AND OATES ARE. Clearly, you were too young to have an appreciation for fine eighties music!! Ha ha. I guess AI targeted the wrong demographic with those two acts!! 🙂

    Enjoyed your recap. Feel like I watched it myself!

  3. paula morris (@IamPaulaLM) says:

    You WERE just kidding about Casey James’ guitar playing right?? Casey is a star!!!! How do you like him now? If you still dont that means you have never seen him LIVE! GO! See him live then you can review him properly. Every Rose Has Its Thorn was by far the outstanding performance of the night AI 2010.

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