Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol 8 Finale, Part I: I've Almost Got My Life Back!

Well, folks, this is it. It's that time of the season when we look back and shriek in horror, "Where the hell did the last five months of my life go?"

And it's time to crown a new American Idol. That too.

Seacrest informs us that our Top 2, Adam and Kris, will each sing three songs - their favorite performance from the season, a Simon Fuller pick, and the Idol single, co-written by Kara DioGuardi. This year, AI has opted to not give us a variety of new songs, as they smartly did last year with the Davids. They have also dumped the songwriting competition (hey, did I ever tell you guys that was MY idea?), probably so Kara can feel like she has something useful to do. And she'll come through. I have complete faith in her ability to drop a steaming turd of a song on these two poor guys.

Ryan also tells everyone that because of all the super happy fun times planned for tomorrow night's big Finale, the show is already scheduled to run long, so we should all set our DVRs accordingly. Gee, thanks for the heads up, Ry Ry, but I think people are aware by now that the show runs long about 90% of the time.

Kris won the coin toss before the show, so he decides to go last.

Adam Lambert starts things off with his highly-praised cover of the Gary Jules cover of the Tears For Fears song, "Mad World." Apparently, there is still a bunch of dry ice left over from Jordin Sparks's performance last week because the crew is just dumping the rest on Adam. I think the Glam One may be playing it safe here. Maybe this was his favorite performance from the season, but I think he should've really gone for it and done "Ring of Fire" again, because that's one of the performances that everyone remembers from this year. (Although, I was kind of hoping for "Satisfaction," because that's still my favorite of all of his performances.) Thankfully, he doesn't plop down in a chair this time around on "Mad World," opting instead to strut around the stage in a leather duster. Randy, who is dressed like a social studies teacher tonight, gives Adam big props for the jacket and an A+ for the performance. And, yo, you know what he loves about this performance? That Adam is singing something he already sang on the show. Mmm hmm. As if he had a choice, dawg. Kara gets very overexcited and blahs a lot of blah. Anthony Hopkins is in da house! Get that man some fava beans and a nice chianti, 'cause he's eating Adam's performance up. I have no idea what Pauler is saying, but neither does she. Simon says this was his favorite Adam performance during the competition, but he feels it was a little "over-theatrical" this time around. People boo.

Kris Allen chooses exactly the song I knew he would, "Ain't No Sunshine." It was clearly his best of the season, so he would have to be an idiot to go with anything else. If he had picked "All She Wants to Do Is Dance," I would've seriously bought a plane ticket, flown out to LA, found him, and beat him about the head with a Don Henley CD. Not because I really care whether or not he wins, but just because that kind of stupidity makes me angry. Luckily for Kris and his head, he made the smart choice and performs it well, once again. Yo, you know what Randy loves about Kris? He can tell what kind of artist he'll be and what kind of record he'll make! Yeeeeah, yeeeeah, yeeeah! You know what I love about Randy? That he is saying something he already said on the show...NINE MILLION TIMES BEFORE. And that includes starting nearly every critique with some version of "Yo, you know what I'm loving right now?" Kara loves Kris and shows it by pointing and shouting a lot. Paula's spirit has been awakened by the Allenization of this song. Simon says that, last week, he wasn't sure that Kris should've been voted into the Top 2 over Hokey, but now takes it back and gives Kris Round 1.

After pounding the "We need to know who you are as an artist and what kind of record you'll make" theme into our heads all season-long, it only makes sense that Simon Fuller's song choice for the flamboyant, emo Madame Glambert would be an old soul/R&B song about the Civil Rights movement. Right? I get a weird feeling that Fuller picked Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" to trip Adam up, but if that's the case, he failed miserably. Remember Syesha Mercado's dull, shrill cover of this last year? (For your sake, I hope you don't.) Well, take the complete opposite of that, slap a little mascara on it, and add in an extra dash of awesome, and you have Adam's version. This is definitely one of his best peformances. The boy has soul! Who knew? Much of the song is understated and down in his lovely lower range until he finds just the right moment to bring out his inner Dreamgirl, nailing those trademark shrieks. You know, the Dawg has been saying it since Day 1 - Adam can sing his face off, yo. Kara and Paula think this is Adam's best performance ever. All Simon will say is that Adam is 100% back in the game. Really, Simon? I'm sorry...when was he out? (Of the game, that is, jokesters. I know what you're thinking.)

Hey, it's Katie Holmes-bot! Does Tom know she left the house?

The cast of Glee is in the audience, too. I can't wait to see that show. I've been looking forward to it for weeks. Hurry up, Idol!

Simon Fuller dumps Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" in Kris Allen's lap (way to be current, Fuller), and I immediately fear for Kris and his acoustic guitar. Seems I have reason to be worried because this is all very drab. I'm just so used to this Jack Johnson/Dave Matthews thing from him. Randy thinks the performance was "a little light," but Kara appreciates that Kris always stays true to himself. (I guess she forgot that she just bitched at him last week for not going further out of his comfort zone.) Paula says Kris "tore that song up," so I think someone needs to explain to her what that means. Simon puts it best: "It was like three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye." Exactly. Way too safe and laid back for the final show. Cowell ties things up by awarding Adam Round 2.

Ryan hangs in the audience with the rest of the Top 13 and introduces the Idol single, "No Boundaries." Adam gets to sing it first. Just one comment here before I go on - didn't they, back in the day, used to have the contestants perform the single at different points in their sets, so that we didn't have to hear the same damn song twice in a row? I wish they would've done that tonight. I can already tell by the title alone (and from experience with these craptastic songs) that I'm going to want to jam something sharp through my eardrum midway through the first performance.

Adam begins singing and...yep, it's an Idol single, all right. It's mid-tempo! He's climbing mountains! He's going higher! He's achieving his dreams! He looks like he wants to cry and/or vomit. Seriously, I can't imagine what it's like to have to sing a piece of dreck like this while not killing yourself and pretending to like it. The performance isn't one of his best, but considering the material he has to work with, it's certainly passable. As Randy has said from Day 1, the boy can sing his face off. He says it again, but adds that this particular performance was a little pitchy and just aight. Kara is actually clapping at the end of the song instead of staring off into space like she usually does. I can't tell if she's clapping to mask her embarrassment over being involved in the writing of that horse apple, or if she's actually proud of herself. She must be proud, because she tells Adam how moved she is that he did her song justice. Paula says that adjectives can't express what Glambert has brought to this season of AI. It's a good thing too, because adjectives always trip her up. Simon says that he won't judge the song (after briefly mocking all the mountain climbing found within), and just says that Adam is one of the best, most original contestants they've ever had and that he genuinely believes that they have found a worldwide star in him. I have to say, I believe it too.

Of course, he would've really knocked my original Idol single out of the park. Because it's awesome.

Unfortunately, we have to hear Kara's wretched song again, this time from Kris, who looks about as excited to sing it as I am to listen to it. As the more vanilla of the finalists, the song fits him better, but he does have trouble with the high notes. And, like Glambert, he also looks like he'd rather be dead than singing this garbage. He works it out though, baby. He does his thing. After which, the judges all but tell him he's lost with a barrage of backhanded compliments like, "Look how far you've come," "You've been an amazing competitor this year," and "We're so proud of you."

Carrie is on hand, of course, to perform this year's kiss-off song, "Home Sweet Home." I'm surprised the judges didn't ask her to sing it directly to Kris. She would've done it. She's just a girl who cain't say no. After this, she'll be guest bartending at Paula's place, and then she'll stick around to give rides to people who've had too much to drink.

So, does Adam have this baby locked up? I think so. I like Kris, but pitting him against Adam is like pitting Bryan Adams against Freddie Mercury.

To be honest, it would be kind of cool if Adam and Kris both just decided that neither of them deserves to be saddled with that abysmal single and hooked up to the 19 Entertainment puppet strings, and refuse the title, making Smuggie the winner by default. "No Boundaries" was made for him.

Find more Idol news and recaps at SirLinksalot.


Falwless said...


Gifted Typist said...

Yeah, Adam's sailing now.

Kris was a disappointment.I thought he might pull it out and give Adam a run, but he didn't have anything left in the tank.

You are right, Kara's song was shite.

Cora said...

Smuggie would have LOVED No Boundaries! You know he was sitting there grinding his teeth the whole evening.

As for Randy, he was dressed like Hagrid going out on a date in HP#4. Nuff said.

And I can NEVER take Kris seriously because he looks like Rick Moranis when he sings.

J. Hi said...

Yeah, a song that can make Adam sound bad is a real stinker. It was painful listening to it twice.

Can't wait to see Cyndi Lauper tonight.

popsavant said...

I liked the unspoken end to Randy's comment after Adam did Kara's song... "You could sing the phone book! [and I wish you had done that instead!]"

Fancy Schmancy said...

Uggh, I couldn't even watch the whole show. Thanks for taking one for the team, Beck, so we didn't all have to sit through that shit. I'll find out from you tomorrow who won, cause I sure as hell am not watching the finale. BTW, is the winner contractually obligated to put out Kara's song as their first single? Cuz I'd seriously rebel if I were them!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I said the same thing about the judges' comments to Kris after song 3 (the formulaic, nasty Kara nonsense). I turned to my partner in crime and said "Did I just imagine that they just wrote him off right there?" Seems not. I still wish they'd let people choose their own songs so they can play to their strengths instead of making them sing whatever stupid covers someone else wants them to sing. LAME.

Shelly said...

HAHAHA!! Bryan Adams against Freddie Mercury is the PERFECT comparison for this finale.

Dave said...

As a former social studies teacher, let me say that I am OUTRAGED that you would associate Randy's hideous jacket with us. I've seen better threads on used car salesmen.

Ian said...

I actually thought Kris did better than Adam last night. I liked "What's Going On" best out of all the performances, and I thought Kris sounded better on the crappy winner's single. They're neck-and-neck on DialIdol, so tonight's announcement of the winner is going to have some drama for a change.

Angell said...

I PVR'd it and hit the fast forward button through the judges comments because I knew you'd do them justice.

Adam was brilliant - the last song was a piece of crap and he's gonna take it home.

I wish he wouldn't though. Simply for the reason that then he's forced into their box and has to do whatever crap they throw him into.

Mathdude said...

Ian. Dude, get back on your medication before anyone notices.

Mathdude said...

Well done as usual.

Tony Alva said...

I LOVE your AI song!!!

If I were either of those guys I'd simply refuse to record that POS for Fuller. I'd say, "Look, I signed the paper, and I'll do the shitty kareoke tour with the talentless also rans, but I'm not recording this terrible song.

Adams wins. As much as I was rooting agasint him, both him and Chris rasined the bar on AI contestants this year. You can tell they're further along than all the others this and years prior just by the fact that they seemed in control of their own arrangements. I still maintain that their records will be piles of poop, but they both have got pipes and talent.

Look forward to your wrap up tomorrow. Are you live blogging tonight?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!! From the opening picture at the top to Kara's disgusting winner's song being written for Smuggie at the end -- I laughed all the way through. Racing to my computer first thing in the morning after AI to read your recaps has become as much a ritual as watching the show and I will miss both for the next 7 months. Perhaps I'll have to find a life.

Anonymous said...

Of the four seasons I have watched, this one has been the absolute least enjoyable for me. So boring and lame. I wasn't inspired to vote last night, but I hope Adam wins. Kris isn't undeserving... in fact, I threw a few votes his way last week. But taking the entire season into account, Adam did more to earn the win (double-edged sword though it may be.) That shitty coronation song... oy veh. I avoid Top 40 radio if possible, but in those unavoidable moments, Adam's version would suck less. Why do they even do the corny coronation songs anyway? Securing rights to release a cover for their first single would make more sense. I'd rather hear Mad World or Ain't No Sunshine. That No Boundaries is pure torture.

I enjoy your writing. Thanks! :)

jolie said...

'twould be full-on awesome if the show tonight were to end with a tie.

red said...

I totally recognize Adam's incredible talent and I think he'd be great fronting a band and will probably be huge in Europe, but I really think we'll hear Kris on the radio more. And I think it could go either way tonight.

Dale said...


Candy's daily Dandy said...

You are so wise...and so right!

I am nervous fo Adam because I think tweeny land has the phermones for Chris and not Adam.

Adam should and will take the crown.

And uh, Paula-lighten up on the self tanner. Kayy?

words...words...words... said...

I thought Adam was slightly better last night. His "Change Is Gonna Come" was by far his best of the evening, but I thought Kris' "Ain't No Sunshine" was the best overall. I think bombastic singers like Adam have a natural advantage over quieter artists like Kris in a showdown like this.

I think Adam will win and I think he should win, but I'm still pissed that Allison wasn't in the final instead of Kris.

More importantly, tonight is the last time I ever have to watch American Idol! I'm done with this show. To paraphrase Seacrest, "Words Out!"

Anonymous said...

"Does Tom know she left the house" made me pee a little bit.

Glambert rocks my socks. Too bad.

As in, too bad he's famous and unattainable. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Gifted Typist said...

Huh? Kris? Huh? Huh? Huh?


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