After 19 week, 40 episodes, and more hours than I can recall without weeping uncontrollably, we are about to reach maximum safe distance from this show. At long last, Finale Night is upon us. Who will win? Will it be the glamorous lady with the shrieky voice, or will it be the kid who wandered on stage looking for a place to spend his Old Navy gift card? Hot or cold? Salt or pepper? Adam or Kris? Everybody has an opinion–including the very valid “I don’t care.” But if that were the case, you wouldn’t be reading this. Would you? This is American Idol. The Visitors are not our friends. They’ve come to rape our planet and kill us. They are not who they appear to be!
Before we crown our Idol (and wouldn’t that be awesome? I’d give anything to watch Adam parade around the stage wearing a tiara and carrying an armload of roses), Ryan would like to point out that the judges are an odd and quirky lot. Randy has a habit of saying “for you, for me,” as in, “That was a bad song choice, for you, for me.” Kara likes to call people “sweetie” when she destroys them, as in “You’re a beautiful girl, sweetie, but you have a face like an enema.” Paula uses big words, some of them of her own invention and most used in no context whatsoever. And Simon needs a hearing aid.
Adam and Kris are dressed in white, for the annual “Salute to Ghosts” moment of this show. Every year, I tell you, with the white. Their mics aren’t turned on, but Ryan insists on asking them questions, anyway. They’re nervous, excited to be here, have to pee, etc. Methinks the mics are off in anticipation of a Group Sing. Lip-syncing is a production nightmare, folks. They activate no mic before its time. Quick cutaway to Mikalah Gordon, big-mouth yenta from Season 4. She’s wearing more makeup than she has face to put it on, and she’s standing amidst Kris’s people in Conway, Arkansas. They all scream with love and devotion. Last season’s Irish Carly is with Adam’s peeps in San Diego, California, most of whom appear to be cheerleaders. Ryan says we’ll see them “in a little bit,” but despite having over two hours of time to kill, that shit don’t happen.
Group Sing. The Top 13 appear from all corners of the place, and all are dressed in white, like it’s their first Holy Communion. They’re lip-syncing to that Pink song about wanting to start a fight. Pink seems like she would get into a lot of fights. I bet her life is like Bad Girls Club, but with loud music and a hot (from certain angles) husband. So everybody’s marching back and forth, bring the “tough.” Blind Scott continues to have no rhythm whatsoever. They get away with singing “you’re a tool,” which on this show is an accomplishment. Fists pump in the air. Allison shoves her vaginal area into the camera. Thanks for that, Alli. Adam balances those particular scales with his own unit, and gets special coverage on the “I’m a rock star” line. Don’t believe the cover of Entertainment Weekly, dude. I’m just saying you should sell a CD or two first. Oh, there’s Jorge. He’s the Cousin Oliver of this show.
Performance. David Cook returns again, this time to sing his new song, “Permanent,” which although I fast-forwarded through it, I think has something to do with his recently-dead brother. Okay, I stopped fast-forwarding for a second. Is it fashionable for singers to not actually pronounce words anymore? Has using one’s lips become passé? This weighs heavily on my mind. Fast-forwarding again, to the interview bit. Seacrest is like, “So, dead brother, huh? Sucks, man.” David says that if you download the performance from iTunes the money will go to cancer research. Fair enough. And it’s a nice change from mosquito nets.
Idol Awards. Ugh. I think they skipped this last year. But it’s back, like a fucking kidney stone. The opening category is “Outstanding Male.” The nominees are some Elmo-sounding guy from auditions, a fellow who sung himself sick at auditions, a man with a foghorn voice, a guy with Gorilla Face, and Nick Mitchell, a.k.a. Normund Gentle (which the show spells as “Norman,” leaving me totally confused). Remember him? He’s the one who dry-humped the stage that time. He wins the stupid award, then takes the stage and sings the Dreamgirls song, this time dry-humping the stairs and a speaker. Did I say “ugh” already? Apparently so.
Performance. Lil Rounds, who’s name is not Kitty-Kat, takes the stage wearing a nicely slimming outfit to perform a duet with Queen Latifah, who is wearing the exact opposite of a nicely slimming outfit. It’s like one of the Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms from Season 1. Put that thing on and your business is on the street.
Performance. Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace start duetting over Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” I have come to the conclusion that singing is probably not Anoop’s or Alexis’s strong suit. It’s okay. The world will always need baristas. Anyway, Jason Mraz himself walks out on stage, because who in their right mind would unleash Anoop and Alexis on the world for four uninterrupted minutes of “song.” Normally, I’d be thrilled about Mraz, but I’m sort of over this old single, and there are much better tracks on that album. Sidebar: Jason needs to start eating meat. Yeah, yeah, vegetarian, healthy, blah, whatever, blah. Dude is like stick. Also, he makes a dollar doesn’t he? Boy should wear shoes when he’s on the TV.
Performance. Kris Allen sings a duet with country star Keith Urban. It’s called, “Kiss a Girl.” Not to be confused with the Katy Perry song. Or the Jill Sobule song. There are no lesbians in this one. Only boys, doing boy things, like playing guitar and pointing those instruments at each other, all penis-like, looking like they just came from a fabulous night at Splash Bar, but they’re singing about girls, which is totally butch. This song is stupid catchy. And Kris sounded great.
Commercials. If they ever make a Dark Shadows movie, and if Will Ferrell is in it, I am going to have to hurt him multiple times in his man-place. Heads up, Hollywood.
Performance. The Idol girls are trying to act tarty (in some cases, it’s less of an act than it is a reality) as they sing “Glamorous” by Fergie. Lil and Jasmine seem to be retaining their dignity. Alexis…oy, that girl is a situation. Before they start quoting prices, Fergie herself takes the stage. Fergie looks like Kirstie Alley is trying to break out of her from the inside. She sings the “Big Girls Don’t Cry” song that I love, for some reason, and then the Black Eyed Peas show up on stage and sing for three years. Will.i.am sings something naughty, because we go to dead air for about 30 seconds. (A Google search later, and it looks like the lost lyric was “I’m on the next shit now.” There. Now we can all sleep tonight.) There are creepy dancers, but it’s not enough to carry me through this assault on my ears. Fast-forwardy-forward.
Idol Awards. “Best Attitude.” There’s Bikini Girl being a complete and total pig, with Kara calling her a bitch (except it’s bleeped now, whereas it wasn’t during the original broadcast), Alexis Cohen being a complete and total pig, again, but this time she’s in on her own joke, and some delusional girl who can’t sing, talking smack about everyone in creation, then making whale sounds. And the winner is….Bikini Girl, who takes the stage accompanied by her two brand new, McNamara/Troy-sized breastesses. (Ryan: “I was gonna ask you what’s new, but I think I know.”) She kisses him again, but he’s probably immune after last time. Then she sings “Vision of Love.” Yes, they actually give this crazy-ass beast a microphone and let her perform. Tone deaf is being kind. But halfway through the song, Bikini Girl discovers she’s singing a duet–with her arch-nemesis, Kara DioGuardi. Kara, of course, can sing, and doesn’t even have to try to out-do BG (who, if this is planned, is a great actress, because she looks pissed). The kicker? Just look:
Yes, Kara tore her dress open and exposed herself. But it’s for charity. Really.
Performance. Allison Iraheta sings “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper. Twenty-five years ago, who would have thought that Lauper would not only still be recording, but would be regarded with actual respect? Sometimes the universe does the right thing. Not much to say about this. Both ladies are relatively subdued until the end, when Allison kinda-sorta tries to outsing Lauper, and then Lauper does this thing where she seemingly has a stroke of epic proportions.
Performance. Danny Gokey performs a medley with Lionel Richie. And you are seriously high if you think I’m experiencing that once, let alone recapping it. Skip-de-skip.
Performance. Adam, dressed like the Goblin King, sings “Beth” by KISS. It’s quite lovely, despite how ass-out ridiculous he looks. I mean, the boots alone are enough to make Herman Munster laugh, but the shoulder-poofs are out of control. It’s like he sent his laundry to Narnia and this is what came back. Anyway, lo and behold, who should show up but KISS themselves. Except it’s half-fake KISS, because only Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are there. The other two are fakes in Peter Criss’s and Ace Frehley’s makeup. But they sound like KISS, and Adam tries to keep up, but even he doesn’t hold a candle to half these guys (the real half). So the whole thing is rather silly, because if Adam simply walked off the stage and let them perform, we’d have the same end-result. Amusing to me: the number of children in the audience who have no idea how to process what they are seeing.
Commercials. It’s kind of fucked up that as the years march on, Daniel Radcliffe is turning into a hot piece of lunch, but the kid playing Draco Malfoy looks like Benjamin Button.
Performance. Santana. Carlos, not the band. Playing guitar. Is this a medley? I think it is. I don’t care much for the Santana, either iteration. Matt Giraud comes out and sings a little something and he isn’t terrible. Then the Idol’s join him for that Rob Thomas song. “Smooth,” I think it’s called. There’s a whole lot of caterwauling on stage right now. And writhing. Jorge is about to fuck himself on national TV. Kris Allen can do many things for me and to me–but the boy should not dance. God, I’m so glad Gokey lost. The Idols sound like they’re trying to sing on a moving train while doing jumping jacks to a record that’s playing backwards. It’s that good. Alexis is doing strange things with her ass. What is it with this song? We are about to witness the most ugly, awkward orgy in the history of humankind.
Audience. Heather Locklear’s face looks so smooth she probably shines it with Pledge and a dishrag.
Ford Ad. Last one of the year. To the tune of “I Will Remember You” by someone I’m not looking up. Adam and Kris sing over a bunch of flashbacks to past Ford ads from this season. That’s it? Pssh. Cheap-ass Idol. Afterwards, David Cook “surprises” the boys by giving each of them a Ford vehicle of their very own. They register no surprise because every Top 2 gets a car at the end of the season. You want to surprise the contestants, Idol? Buy them a hooker.
Performance. In three minutes I’ll never understand or get back, Matt Sarver and Megan Joy sing a song written by so-called comedian, Steve Martin. He accompanies them on the banjo. The banjo. The song is some kind of country-bumpkin ballad about two people who have been in love for thirty-something years. It’s like “There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza,” without a punchline.
Performance. The Idol boys are dressed in sharp, black suits and skinny ties, wanting to know if I want their body and I think they’re sexy. Um…maybe, absolutely not, sure, no fucking way, hell yeah, okay fine, I’d sooner become a monk, and no fatties. In that order. Then Rod Stewart literally emerges from under the floor like a C.H.U.D. and sings the super-duper extended version of “Maggie May.” Towards the end, he attempts a little dance. Crack! goes his hip. Pop! go his knees. Old people are funny when they do stuff.
Idol Awards. “Outstanding Female.” The nominees are: A very pretty blonde girl who very much can’t sing, a Gremlin Girl, some shouty chick, and Tatiana Del Toro. Fucking Tatiana Del Toro. Of course, she wins, and of course, we get a “skit” in which she attempts to sing the Dreamgirls song while security-actors try to pull her off stage. I really was expecting a duet with Tatiana and Normund. Come on, Idol, get it together! “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” Think about it.
Commercials. I’d rather stick glass rods into my delicate eyes than pay to see another Transformers movie.
Performance. Adam and Kris sing “We Are the Champions” at the judges’ dais. This show can’t possibly trot out the surviving members of Queen, can it? I mean, Queen without Freddie Mercury is like the Police without Sting. It’s just a couple of guys playing instruments. But nope, they go ahead and do it. With Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums, Adam and Kris play the role of Freddie. Let’s not kid each other, Adam is in his element here. His chemistry with Kris is fun to watch, though. Watching them face each other and sing “we are the champions of the world,” which, for tonight, is totally fucking true, is pretty neat. What’s also adorable is the way Adam’s mom knows the words to all these songs tonight. Everytime we see her, she’s on her feet, singing along. Very cute.
“The future is all yours,” says Simon. It is time for results…
After a new record of almost 100,000,000 votes, the new American Idol is…
I’m not even joking you. Kris Allen won the season. Wow. Just plain wow.
The Idols try to swarm the stage but get held back. Not now, leeches, not now. Seacrest gives Kris a microphone-shaped trophy, because who needs a recording contract when you have a microphone-shaped trophy? Kris is very excited. “Are you freakin’ serious?!” But he doesn’t lose his mind. “Adam deserves this,” he says. That’s sweet, but sshh. There are no tears. Adam comes over for hugs. I feel a little bad for Adam, but look on the bright side: now he can record the kind of music he wants without the restrictions of being Idol-produced. For him, that’s great. He’s the Clay Aiken of this season. People will remember him for a long time. Meanwhile, yay Kris!! He sings the DioGuardi song, his wife finally makes it to his side, and confetti is shed on the masses.
And there you have it. The lid closes on another Idol season and I can finally get some rest. Thanks to Dave McAwesome for providing me with this internet space. Without him, you’d have to listen to me bitch in-person for the last three-plus seasons. Thanks to Wootini for watching every episode with me and for letting me steal some of his jokes (and for giving me that iPod so I can download me more Kris Allen songs). And thanks to everybody who read these things week after week, especially Bill, who commented, like, all the time, my brother Steve, for his funny texts, my cousin RoseAnn, for printing these out for other people to see, and all you folks at the office who took the time to check out my words. Hugs all around.
Till next time…
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