Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

There’s this saying that two is better than one. But apparently, the American Idol trailer folks did NOT want us to go down that path, so they reiterated to us all that there can only be one winner. Thanks, AV people. But I think I’ve got a handle on that one, having not been born yesterday. And having watched ten other seasons of American Idol, none of which ended with a tie.

I may take some heat for saying this. But in my opinion the American Idol finale kind of does for old singers what Dancing with the Stars does for old stars…gives them a moment to shine and feel relevant to pop culture again. By this I do NOT mean that I disrespect the older musicians and nor do I discount what they’ve done for the industry and culture as a whole. Honestly. But can we be real? Some of these folks just don’t sound very good anymore. And it’s sometimes painful to watch. I’d rather see other people perform, is all I’m sayin’.

Top 10 Perform “Run Away, Baby”

The top 10 started off the show in style  with a really fun and energetic performance with relatively no awkwardness. And when choreography is involved, that’s really a big deal. The only time I was concerned was when Joshua went down into the splits and then attempted to come back up and couldn’t get grip with his shoes. That was almost a disaster. But luckily, then I was distracted by the super cool dancers! Those guys were amazing.

Top 2 Revealed

First of all, every time Ryan says “Nokia theater” it makes me think of gnocci. I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s where my brain takes me.

Holy frijole! I can’t believe American Idol broke a world record with 132 million votes on Tuesday night! That’s some craziness up in there.

When Phillip and Jessica walked out. I had two thoughts:

1. Well, Phillip is pulling off the white outfit but would an undershirt been out of line? I’m just saying.

2. Jessica’s white dress was the best of them all. I guess that’s appropriate. And it’s super amazing that she’s made it this far when she had to depend on the judge’s save to keep her in the competition. I don’t think any other “judges save” contestants have made it to the finale.

CCR’s John Fogerty Performs with Phillip Phillips

Okay, so my friend Todd had some pretty brilliant insights about this performance which I am going to share with you. (You’re welcome.) He said that folk singers like John Fogerty often just throw the notes out there and that it’s not so important that they hit them square on…it’s more about the feeling and style than the precise note. And Phillip was forming and hitting his notes right on which made John Fogerty look kind of bad. I think he’s right, but my first response was “ew, this doesn’t sound good.”. 🙂

I made it through “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” and was going strong but when Phillip announced that they would ALSO be singing “Bad Moon Rising”, I almost lost my focus. Here’s my question: why two songs? Why not stick with one and call it good?

And then I felt the “no, YOU’RE the best” pointing trying to give the other person the credit was a little over the top.

“The Judges are Professionals” Video Montage

First I must say that when I learned the term “montage” my life totally changed. Thanks, Greg Spangler!

This video mostly consisted of Ryan being generally awesome (but a bad golf cart driver), the judges (especially Randy) laughing through poor Idol hopeful’s bad auditions, SteTy’s inappropriate comments, and J. Lo acting kind of like a prima donna. Par for the course, really, but kind of fun to see.

Joshua and Fantasia Perform “Take Me to the Pilot” by Elton John 

I wish I could go back in time and not watch this performance.

Fantasia looked like a HOT MESS with that long hair and the crazy eyes. I did not even recognize her, even though Joshua introduced her. She seriously looked like some sort of insane asylum patient that was let out on “good behavior” and could not have worn a more unflattering outfit if she tried. Tight black leather with the sides of the legs cut out and replaced with netting? Nope. Nuh-uh. MY EYES! MY EYES!

Jimifer is Born

This video segment was mostly outtakes of Jimmy Iovine calling Jennifer Lopez “Jessica” over and over, much to Nigel Lythgoe’s dismay. Nigel actually threatened to punch Jimmy at one point. I thought the most hilarious part of this whole thing was when Jimmy slipped and called someone Joshica. Now that’s funny, Jimmy. Why don’t we get to see this side of you more often?

Top 6 Ladies Performance with Chaka Kahn
The top 6 ladies sound great! I have to name Erika and Elise as MVPs of this one. When Shannon sang, I was taken aback because it’s been so long since I’ve seen her that I forgot that she was even in this season (sorry, Dad!). Holly rocked…and looked so cute in her bubble gum pink sparkly dress. Chaka Kahn, however, she did not hold up her end of the bargain and her outfit was almost as terrible as Fantasia’s. Whose idea for her to walk down those stairs? I thought she was going to fall. She also seemed like she couldn’t remember the words…and also like she might have been high.

It must have been a thrill for the girls to sing with her, though.

Ford Montage and Car Bequeathalment

Yep, I just made that word up. I’m a maverick. I love that Colton got a noticably big cheer when he appeared on screen. Yay, Colton! Still listening to his rendition of “September” on my May playlist, in case you’re wondering.

As they did last year, Ford gave the contestants the opportunity to thank their musical mentors. Phillip chose his brother-in-law Ben Neal (For the record, I love names that are two first names) and Jessica chose a family friend, Robert Talon who may just be the tiniest man I’ve ever seen. I bet Jessica’s family was all like “Dude! Jessica! Why didn’t you pick us so we could get a car?” Oh, because, the mentors got a car just like the contestants did. So everyone was happy.

Rhianna performs “Where Have You Been?”

With all the lasers, I expected Rihanna to be performing some sort of heist where she had to navigate the beams. But it turns out, they were just there for show. I didn’t see a single limb sliced off. Which, I suppose, is really good for the Idol legal team.

I did not understand why that guy on stilts was in the performance. But, Rihanna can sing! And it was an interesting performance, but I still feel like this is the night of bad outfits. I should just point out that she definitely wasn’t singing during that chorus. Definitely not.

Skylar Laine and Reba McIntyre Perform “Turn On The Radio”

Okay, let’s not kid ourselves. Skylar blew Reba away in energy and vocal and completely showed her up. Reba was a good sport and they did sound amazing together. Their voices really are very similar.

And that fiddler should get honorable mention just for being able to pull off that hair…

A Tour of SteTy’s Dressing “Room”

This dressing room was really a house. Just a few quick thoughts that flashed through my mind during this segment:

  • SteTy is a better actor than I’ve ever given him credit for. This was way better than J.Lo’s Ice Age promo.
  • There is more pink in there than I would have thought.
  • Is that sloth for real?
  • Yep, this confirms it! Steven Tyler is one weird dude.

Jessica Reprises “I Will Always Love You

What can I say? She was flawless and gave a top-notch performance.

Top 6 Guys Perform with Neil Diamond

I’m going to say that the guys do not as good of a job at blending as the ladies here. But, I gotta give credit where credit sis due. As much as I dislike DeAndre’s falsetto, it’s a plus in these situations to bring depth to the harmony.

Well, Neil Diamond kind of sing-talked…and looked generally like Mr. Rogers. But all we needed to do was wait for the chorus of Sweet Caroline (does anyone really know the verses?) and all was well.

My favorite version of this song would have to be this one:

The Idols “Sing the Phone Book” for Randy Jackson

Other than the final results, this was the very best part of the evening. I love that they called Randy out literally on his comment that any given contestant could “sing the phone book”. So the video montage gave what was only a brief snapshot of the many times he’s doled out that particular phrase and then we cut to the Idols in choir. Holding phone books like choir folders. And singing phone numbers, advertisements, and generally poking fun at the concept of “singing the phone book”. And at the end, Joshua went off in a typical gospel run and all the other Idols looked at him like it was the most annoying thing ever.

Which, of course, I loved. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I laughed my face off. And I echo Ryan’s urging for Randy to get some new material.

Jennifer Lopez Performs “Going In” and “Follow the Leader”

I knew the instant that I saw J.Lo start her performance fully clothed that it couldn’t last long. Also, the dancing with the trampolines? Ah-maze-ing. I’d like to install trampolines along my normal walking routes so I can be just as cool. I love the Step Up movies. It’s pretty much my only chance to see my favorite So You Think You Can Dance contestants after the shows are over.

And these musings pretty much occupied my thoughts throughout the performances. That, and a thankfulness that MC Hammer pants are not yet back in style.

Ace and Diana’s Proposal

So, apparently, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo have been dating for some time. In that time, Ace decided to grow some nappy hair and Diana adopted cool nail polish. Also, since this stage will always be “home” to them (even though they’ve not stepped foot on it since Diana was on season three and Ace was on season 5), Ace decided to propose to her on stage. And Kieren lent his lighting and Ryan played the role of wingman. Listen, I’m all for love and I want it to lift us up to where we belong and everything but this was incredibly awkward.

Ace took the opportunity to toute their Broadway success, promote the jeweler who made the ring, etc. It was a self-promotional placement rolled into an proposal! And I might have been able to stomach that IF his voice wasn’t so cheesy.

What I took away from it all? Ryan’s a super helpful and stealthy person to have in such a situation. Of course.

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Hollie and Jordin Sparks

Okay now. Hollie and Jordin should have just kept walking…together…right off the stage. This performance was kind of a mess. It started off okay, Jordin entered off pitch, and then everything kind of just went downhill from there. Once positive thing I can say: maybe Jordin could help Fantasia with her extensions. ‘Cause she looked gorgeous.

Robin Gibb’s Tribute – A BeeGees Medley by the Top 6 Guys

Well, that was…shall we say…not crisp. This performance was a very sweet idea but not quite executed well enough. Still, it wasn’t terrible. And it was a nice guesture.

Jessica and Jennifer Holliday sing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going”

Holy. Freaking. Cow. Jennifer Holliday has what must be the BIGGEST mouth I’ve ever seen. It’s almost snake-like and I expected her to detach her jaw at any moment. THAT THING IS GINORMOUS!

Not being a psychic, I can’t tell you what she was thinking. But if I were to wager a guess, I’d say that she was bound and determined not to be upstaged by Jessica. This performance was (to borrow a SteTy phrase) over the top and hard to watch at time because of the facial expressions going on. But it was also amazing and intense and crazy-good. At one point, the camera shot to J.Lo to see her reaction to the performance and her face was contorted in a grimmace. That made me laugh.  All in all, a stellar and glittery performance.

Aerosmith Performs “Legendary” and “Walk This Way”

I should clarify that when I made the “Dancing with the Stars” remark, I did not lump Steven Tyler in that mix. He’s still got it and I’d much rather watch SteTy than J.Lo any day of the week. This performance was just a rocking good time and fully worth the time. You go, SteTy.

Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips Sing “Love Lifts Us Up”

Hmm. Okay. They really should have left well enough alone. This song did not really do much for either of them…especially not Phillip who wandered in and out of the pitch. Jessica didn’t really even try to blend and the whole thing came off like they’d practiced it once backstage before they went on. And given how many performances they gave this week, that’s a very real possibility.

Final Results for the Final Time This Season

One question: Should we really trust our AMERICAN Idol results to an Englishman? Well, if it’s good enough for Nigel, it’s good enough for me.

And the winner is…

PHILLIP PHILLIPS!

And Scotty McCreery hands off the trophy and Phillip’s guitar. I remember thinking “If Phillip loses it, I’m totally going to bawl my face off”. And then that’s exactly what happened. Hey! Maybe I AM psychic!

Phillip started singing his single “Home” and got off to an impressively solid start. But somewhere around the bridge, he just started to cry and could not pull it together enough to finish. And then I started to cry…and then the ugly crying commenced when he took off his guitar (the song was not finished yet, the marching band was still marching) and walked down off the stage to be immediately enveloped by his family.

Are you kidding me? I love this guy!

I’ve heard all season about the fact that Phillip has been sick, but never from the stage and never from Phillip (he’s SO not a complainer!). So last night when the confetti filled stage faded from my television screen, I googled it. And found this article.

I’m sure part of his breakdown was the fact that he was so excited that he can finally have surgery and not have to deal with the constant pain! And I was so relieved for him when I found out today that he’ll have surgery in the next week or so.

I cannot even tell you how glad I am that he won, nor how excited I am for his CD to release. But first, Pheel better Phillip!

Haddock out!

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