Thursday, May 24, 2007

Finale: This is Your Amazonian Idol

Are those jazz hands or spirit fingers?

I'm sure everyone knows by now that Jordin Sparks won the whole shebang. I've already been chided by one of my readers (*cough*Les*cough*) for not having the Finale recap up here immediately. So away we go...better late than never.

Last night marked the return of the Annual Ad Salesman's Wet Dream and, to paraphrase that Donutty guy, I can't believe I watched the whole thing. Usually I skip all the two hours of filler and tune in for the last five minutes or so, but I had nothing else to do. Since it might take more than two hours to break the show down chronologically, I'll just give you the highs and lows.

The Good:

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. The first and best American Idol came back to strut her stuff and perform her new single, "Never Again." She's sticking with the slightly hard-edged pop that made Breakaway a hit record, and pumping up the volume just a little more. I love her. However, I did not love the schoolgirl-dominatrix outfit she was wearing, and some of the camera angles just weren't working for her. I can't get away with the mini-skirt/mid-thigh boots look, and neither can Kelly. Our thighs just ain't having it.

Blake beatboxing with Doug E. Fresh. I don't really know if I enjoyed the whole "song," but the beatboxing showdown was fun and it brought a smile to my face to know that Clive Davis and the Idol producers probably had to be difibrillated backstage while watching that performance.

Melinda and LaKisha singing with Gladys Knight. There was actually a whole medley of "Heard it Through the Grapevine"/"I Feel a Song in My Heart"/"Midnight Train to Georgia" with Gladys and the Top 6 girls, but most of that was forgettable or downright nauseating, thanks to the return of Haley. But, during "Midnight Train to Georgia," Melinda and LaKisha got some QT with Ms. Knight, blowing all those other broads off the stage.

Tony Bennett getting over his flu. Finally, he made up for his replacement from Classics week, Michael Buble. I've never thought Tony had the best voice in the world, but he's just so cool. As Randy would say, he's got the "yo factor." He did a nice version of "For Once in My Life," while Paula and Simon gazed longingly at him. I thought Simon might throw his tighty whities onstage, but he maintained his composure. Tony brought the class, baby, and got a big standing O for it.

Melinda singing with BeBe and CeCe Wynans. It was a nice moment, seeing Melinda singing "Hold Up the Light" with the folks she used to sing backup for. She sounded flawless, as usual.

Green Day performing John Lennon's "Working Class Hero." I'm not a huge Green Day fan, but I like them well enough. I wasn't jumping up and down during this performance, but it was good. I used to have a crush on Billy Joe when I was in college, and there was an R.A. in my dorm who looked exactly like him. I never hooked up with either one.

Taylor Hicks singing his new song, "Heaven Knows." Now, Taylor isn't my favorite Idol (obviously that's Kelly) and sometimes I think he's kind of a doofus (sorry, Turnbaby!) but I was pulling for him to win last year, and he reminded me why last night. His performance was just full of fun. He always struck me as a guy who really loves music and is just happy to be onstage. His vocals were right on, but that jacket...yowsa. That jacket should've been burned. It looked like it was made out of funeral home drapes.

Jordin dueting with...Ruben Studdard? Yeah, I know, right? I liked this? Surprisingly, yes. I've always found Ruben's vocal range seriously limited, but he sounded great last night. He and Jordin meshed really well together on "You're All I Need to Get By." My roommate put it best: "They look like a Pastor and his wife revving up the congregation." Agreed. That would be a fun church service.

Bette Midler!? Where the heck did she come from? I've never been a rabid Bette fan, but having a gay roommate precludes me from saying anything bad about her. I didn't think she was bad last night, but she did hit a few "pitchy" spots. And of course she had to sing that damn "Wind Beneath My Wings," which is right up there with "Greatest Love of All" in the "songs that make me want to stick a fork in my eye" category. But, whatever. Bette's a pretty cool chick. Still, I wish she would've sung the song from Rochelle, Rochelle.

The Bad:

The Top 6 Guys. Boooooo-ring. They all came out in white suits to sing - yay! - another medley! You all know how much I love medleys. The boys started with "Ooh Baby Baby," and then were joined by Smokey Robinson and his brand new face for "Being With You"/"Tears of a Clown." Now, Smokey wasn't that bad, so I mean no disrespect to him when I ask - Who could watch this and then willingly buy tickets to the Idol tour?

The Golden Idol Awards. This was just a chance for the producers to bring back some of the "best of the worst" so Seacrest could make fun of them.

A Constantine Maroulis sighting. Yeah, I saw him sitting there behind Ryan, pouting and making his googly eyes at the camera while Seacrest was trying to introduce Tony Bennett. God, that guy is a greaseball and a half.

The last Ford commercial of the year. They always suck, but this one didn't even seem to have a coherent theme. The Top 12 were in a freakshow, then at a bubble party, then they were all cowboys...I didn't get it. And worse, they had to go and destroy Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" for no reason.

Jordin and Blake getting brand new Mustangs. Punks!! Instant fame isn't enough, apparently. They both get to drive away in my dream car. Grrrr.

Carrie Underwood performing "I'll Stand By You." First of all, this cover is hardly a minute old and it's played out already. Secondly, the vocals were not very good. Now, I like Carrie, but this was definitely not her best performance. It sounded like the words kept getting caught in her throat. Yo, yo, yo, what I'm trying to say is that it was just aight for me, dawg. Oh, and Carrie also illustrated my least favorite fashion trend - the tattered evening gown over jeans look. What junkie thought that one up? Paula?

The tribute to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Following the night's of theme of "no theme," this out-of-left-field medley brought back all of the past Idol winners (except Fantasia, who's on Broadway right now) and the Top 12 to sing various songs from the classic Beatles album. Kelly did well with the title song and Carrie redeemed herself with a great vocal on "She's Leaving Home." Aside from those two performances, the whole bit was pretty shaky. Taylor couldn't quite pull off "A Day in the Life," and even Ruben looked confused as to why he was singing "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." When the Top 12 joined everyone to sing "With a Little Help From My Friends," I kept wishing that Sanjaya would've sung the first line, "What would you do if I sang out of tune..." Unfortunately they gave that job to Chris Sligh, so whoever arranged that song obviously doesn't know a good opportunity when they see it.

The Ugly:

Margaret Fowler's appearance. This lady won the first Golden Idol award. Fortunately, I never saw her original appearance during the auditions. How nice of everyone to force her on me now. The only way I can describe this mess is to say that an insane, fat woman wearing several dead baby chick pelts ran up on stage and molested Ryan. I don't know if this segment was supposed to be funny, but all I know is that one of Jerry Springer's guests must have escaped from his show. I hope the short bus took her back to wherever the hell she came from.

The Puppetmaster: Clive Davis. I've made no secret of my loathing for this guy, which only grew after his appearance last night. Basically, he just showed up to tell everyone how many records the past Idols have sold and how rich we're all making him. Then he presented Carrie Underwood with a special "meal ticket" award.

SUNJAYA. Yes, I'm back to spelling his name incorrectly. He deserves it after last night. Just when I had started to think that I missed the guy, purely for comic relief reasons, he reminded me of why I was so glad to see him go in the first place. He came out with the Michael Jackson wind machine and some dance moves borrowed from his "The Way You Make Me Feel" video and destroyed "You Really Got Me" all over again. This may have been worse than the first time he did it, if you can imagine that. The crying girl was there again, obviously forcing out her tears this time. She must be all cried out by now. And who was Sunjaya's partner in crime? Joe Perry from Aerosmith. When Seacrest said his name, I could hardly believe it. Joe Perry? Really?? He can't possibly need the money. Does he really think this is cool? Any shred of respect I had left for Aerosmith (which was all pretty much destroyed when they recorded "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing") is totally gone now.

The Results:

As I already mentioned, Jordin won...just as I predicted. Even though I had a weak moment last week and thought that she might go instead of Melinda, I had a feeling she would win early on simply because she appealed to the young girls. My predictions were actually pretty good this year, as I went 8-3 on picking the cast-offs from the Top 12 down to the Finale. I didn't count the week where no one got voted off, because they were just trying to mess with my average!

And now it's over. I get my life least until next January. BeckEye, out!


Travis said...

Great recap.

Will you be performing a similar service for So You Think You Can Dance?

I'll be watching, but haven't decided yet if I'll do a recap. I guess it depends on whether the dancers appeal to me. Last year they did, but I didn't have a blog at that time.

Thanks for you praise of Taylor. It was in short supply last night.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's a long time betwixt now and January. What's on the Beckeye's plate till then?

Les Becker said...

Chided you?! Me?! I told you; I was worried you were dead (I really was, you know...)! And I avoided every spoiler site and didn't watch the show just cuz "Nobody Does It Better..." in the recap. Nobody.

I'm really glad I missed Sunjaya. I too, will never be able to listen to Aerosmith with the same amount of respect.

Layla (aka Barbara) said...

"I thought Simon might throw his tighty whities onstage, but he maintained his composure."

Well, I missed the show (at a graduation ceremony) but this was WAY better than watching it. Thank you!

I agree - what the heck was Joe Perry thinking? I hate it when that happens.

Yeah, Kelly is great, but I hope she reads your blog and gets a clue about her wardrobe choices.

ArtfulSub said...

Your thoughts should have centered on Chris Sligh who was clearly the best male singer in the competition and proved it again last night.

Not sure if this was anti-chubby bias or Anti-Christian.


Happy Villain said...

I have to say, as fun as your posts have been, I am thrilled that it's finally over and the entire country can move on...temporarily. But what the heck are they going to do next season?

Coaster Punchman said...

Loved the Margaret Fowler description. And I'm starting to adore Kelly Clarkson, a fact that embarasses me slightly.

LoraLoo said...

Kelly Clarkson is a pretty amazing singer, but I agree. The outfit didn't suit her at all.

WTF was that Clive Davis thing all about? He needs to shut up and count his money. That was irritating.

Blake's performance with Doug E. Fresh was probably the performance I've enjoyed the most any season.

cube said...

Your recap was so spot on that I felt like I'm reliving the whole experience.

I loved the Melinda moments. She will do just fine.

Bette Mit-te-rah? I laughed. I cried ;-)

BeckEye said...

Travis - I'm not sure if I'm that into the dance show. I'll probably be watching it though, if for no other reason than my roommate is addicted to it. I also like that new show "On The Lot."

Barbara - I have no idea. I'm scared! I guess it's back to the young Hollywood fire-crotches.

Les - Well can't you pull some strings to get me my own show or something? I'll even take something like "The Great White North."

Layla - You're welcome. Joe Perry redeemed himself slightly by later playing with Kelly, but it was way too late.

Artfulsub - I've mentioned before that I liked Chris and didn't think he should've gone so early. However, as boring as he was, I think Phil technically had the best voice of the guys.

Happy Villain - They've already started promoting their "band search" spinoff, so I'm sure it will be 2 days of AI, 2 days of the band version of AI and then maybe 1 day of "The Best of the Worst." Then AI can finally dominate the TV all week long.

CP - Don't be embarassed. Love Kelly. Hipsters be damned!

Lora - I'm interested to see what Blake will do now that the show's over. And after he goes on the stupid Idol tour.

Cube - Why, thank you. Yeah, I don't think anyone's worried about Melinda.

deadspot said...

You had a lot of good stuff to riff off of, but I couldn't get past this.

Seacrest was making fun of people for being no-talent schmucks? Seriously? Ryan Seacrest?

cube said...

Yeah, but I don't know if reliving that experience was such a good thing :-P

suz50 said...

I loved your recap of the finals. I was pouting and boycotted them due to the unfairness of the Melinda shove-out. I did read, however, reveiws of few acts that night namely the Bette Midler fiasco. Sources say people will be clogging the phone lines requesting refunds for Bette's appearance in Las Vegas as replacement for Celine. Bette should have sharpened her pipes a bit.


Tanya said...

I love reading your blog about AI. Whenever I missed an episode, I'd just read your commentary. But I have a question- Why no comment on the bushbaby? I almost peed on myself I laughed so hard.

Metal Mark said...

What do you watch now that this is over?

Dale said...

I couldn't figure out which of Clive's eyes to look into, the one up high or the lower one. And poor Smokey, he couldn't cry a tear now that they've got his eyes surgically opened that far. Nice recap and a hilarious time reading all of them as we've gone. Disneyland next?

Bond said...

Finally here...excellent recap

I agree Taylor had a had time with the Beatles number...but his Heaven Knows was right on last night...well minus the courtesy of an introduction....

BeckEye said...

Ah, I just got back from a long Memorial Day weekend trip and I'm too tired to answer everyone who I didn't answer yet. But, thanks everyone for reading my AI ramblings every week. It couldn't be nearly as fun to recap "On the Lot" or "So You Think You Can Dance," so I probably won't even try. Back to the land of Lohan, I guess.

kellypea said...

Talk about being better late than never, I guess I'm here because we no longer get to bash AI. I do agree that Tony was terrific. Go figure.

Well, on to "So you think you can dance."

Simon wears tighty whities????


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

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