It's finally over
But first, to sum up, I guess Jordin's win is pretty much no surprise and the correct choice. Overall, tonight's finale wasn't bad, although it paled in comparison to last year's. It did seem the producers were very aware, though, that this year's crop of contestants weren't a group people wanted to necessarily see a lot of in the finale--there was more time spent on the former Idols than there was on Jordin and Blake, I believe. But I think that actually made for a better show. I was a little surprised, though, they couldn't get a really big star, like with Prince last year.
First of all, one correction from last night--I said that the winner of the song contest was picked by the producers, but that was incorrect. It was actually picked via an Internet vote of the top 20--which I presume were picked by the producers. At any rate, I can't imagine there were that many people that went on the Idol site and listened to all 20 (even I can't imagine doing that), so I presume the fact that one of the writers of the winning song is the pastor at a church helped considerably. Having a congregation able to vote for you couldn't have hurt.
"I Saw Her/Him Standing There"--not much of a reaction at all.
Why exactly are we having Gwen Stefani performing from wherever she's giving a concert? Is this the American Music Awards? (And considering her tour has Akon as an opening act, 8:05 p.m. is pretty early for the feature act at a concert to already be performing. Was that even live?) I presume this was some kind of makeup for her not getting to promote her new single on the "Idol Gives Back" tour--she apparently taped an appearance but they ran out of time (imagine that!) and didn't show it--but it was still unnecessary. And that single was kind of underwhelming.
It's always great to see Kelly Clarkson again on Idol, and I like that new song (that song and the Maroon 5 song appear to be some of the early contenders for this year's "summer song"). Kind of surprised she was on the show so early--as popular as she is, I would think they'd hold her for near the end. But I suppose she was the first Idol, so maybe she went first? (And she needs the least help as far as promotion from this show anyway.)
The Idol Awards--I thought the freakshow ended in February. Do we really need to revisit this and encourage even more freaks for next year?
Then the six male Idols came out and all I could think of was "Didn't we get rid of these people?" But if the price we had to pay for seeing Smokey Robinson was sitting through the return of Sanjaya and Brandon Rogers, I guess it wasn't that bad. How old is Smokey?--because he still sounds pretty good.
Gladys Knight sounded pretty good, too, even if some of those female Idols with her didn't.
As for the Blake-Doug E. Fresh beat-box-off, I'm not really sure what to say. But it was certainly something we've never seen on Idol.
David Hasselhoff showed up--and he doesn't appear to be either crying or drunk.
Now Tony Bennett really knows the Idol credo--he makes a song his own, even if Stevie Wonder did it first.
So is Gina Glocksen a little annoyed that she sings "I'll Stand By You" and then a few weeks later, Carrie Underwood somehow ends up recording the same song and putting it out as a single? Carrie's version--with its slight countrification--is of course better than Gina was, but it does seem like she gave them the idea.
I said earlier I didn't want to acknowledge the Golden Idol Awards, but I did like that the Bush Baby guy admitted that his appearance on Idol was the best thing that ever happened to him. (Take that, Rosie O'Donnell!) And the Bush Baby picture was pretty funny.
That Clive Davis appearance was just bizarre. First of all, it felt like we were at an awards show and the president of the academy came out to bore us for a few minutes to tell us how great the movie or music industry or whatever is. And then, while he probably wasn't intending to, the way he venerated producers, songwriters, arrangers, etc. came across as demeaning the accomplishments of the actual singers from Idol (or was it some kind of dig at Kelly Clarkson, who apparently wrote most of the songs on her own for the new album, a new album that Clive Davis allegedly hated?) But then Carrie Underwood came out and thanked "the fans," and as I've written before, I always am glad to hear someone do that--especially an Idol winner, who wouldn't even exist without regular people like us.
Enjoyed the African Children's Choir--and can't wait to see that lead singer on Idol in 2016.
Does Simon Fuller have naked pictures of Joe Perry from Aerosmith? I guess if we had to see Sanjaya sing again, he picked the right song, and the guitar solo was good. But Sanjaya's pose at the end of that song--the arms outstreched, etc.--signals that he's gotten way too big for his britches. And did that girl ever stop crying, or has it been constant since March?
Green Day on American Idol? Who'd have ever thought a punk band would do that? But they were promoting a benefit album for Darfur, so I suppose it's not as surprising as it could have been. But they weren't actually there and performing live, were they? How did they get set up on the stage so quickly after the Sanjaya-Joe Perry performance?
That Taylor Hicks song wasn't bad, and he put on a pretty good performance. Has anyone heard his album?
Ruben is alive! And he sounds pretty good (although his "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" performance wasn't so hot.) He doesn't seem to have lost much weight over the years, but the duet with Jordin was pretty enjoyable.
Bette Midler? To sing "Wind Beneath Your Wings"? That just seemed kind of random and out of nowhere.
I guess a Idol tribute to Sgt. Pepper was just as random, although this is the 40th anniversary of its release this summer (and as someone wrote today, Randy did his tribute to the album with his jacket last night.) And it did get all the past Idols (save Fantasia, who's starring in "The Color Purple" on Broadway) on stage together, which was cool, although they really didn't sing together. It's sort of like a supergroup, except not quite.
And so this is no longer American Idol's now--we've finally come to the end of this long, frustrating season. Hopefully, they'll do a much better job picking the top 24 next year, and fix some of the problems with the show I've cited over the last few months. But these producers are pretty arrogant, even though they really don't know what they're doing (Another piece of evidence: Do you remember on the first year of Idol, they actually put the judges up in the balcony for the Tuesday night of the finals and didn't have them judge the finals? Yeah, that made a lot of sense.)
Anyway, for those who only read this blog for American Idol recaps, I'll see you in January, but I encourage you to return regularly to see my random thoughts on other television shows, sports, the media and my strange obsessions on various topics. Fingerhut out!