Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Not a bad finish

The American Idol finale inevitably seems to disappoint because of the format. Ever since the incredibly entertaining finale in season two, where Clay and Ruben each did a coronation song and then selected two songs they hadn't performed before, they've had each singer duplicate at least one song from the season--and then saddle each singer with a horrible coronation song. For whatever reason, last year's finale was a little better than usual--the coronation songs weren't as bad. This year, again, the finale wasn't that bad--even though the coronation song was horrendous--because the repeat songs they both did were really good. So let's break it down.

Adam doing Mad World--Simon was correct in that the fog and the coat and the steps made the whole thing a bit much, especially since the reason this performance was so good in the first place was because it was so stripped down. But it was still really good.

Kris doing Aint No Sunshine--I remember this being good when Kris first did it, but he actually improved it the second time out--what I love to see in an Idol finale. One of his best performances of the season.

Adam doing Change Is Gonna Come--They should let Simon Fuller pick songs more often for the singers, because this was a great choice for Adam--a classic soul song that allowed him to both belt out parts and be soft and soulful at times. A song that was right in his wheelhouse, and yet it was still challenging. And he did it really well. It came close to going over the top a couple times, but never did.

Kris doing What's Going On?--Once again, Simon Fuller does a good job. It's a classic song that fits Kris, and yet doesn't fit him so well that it isn't challenging at the same time. I actually sort of agreed and disagreed with what Simon had to say: Stripping it down to just an acoustic guitar and some guys playing drums did feel sort of small for the moment. Yet I also disagree in that doing the song in this style is what we expect of Kris--it's why we like him in the first place. His most memorable performances have been in that style, so why shouldn't use that style in the finale? As for Kara praising Simon Fuller for picking a socially conscious song for Kris--Kara, idiocy like that isn't going to get you brought back next year. (By the way, the head of Fox Entertainment refused Monday to say there would be four judges next year.) Remember Kara? It's about artistry.

Adam and Kris doing that horrible song--Really, I can't believe it, but this might be the worst coronation song they've ever made us suffer through. A tuneless mess with barely a hook to be found. I think I might have enjoyed Kris' version a little bit more because you could actually make out the weak melody somewhat better, but his voice was sort of all over the place in parts. I hope we don't have to hear the winner sing this monstrosity tomorrow night in the extended show--and is it really that hard to fit everything into two hours? What can't they cut from what is likely to be a bloated show? The 18 different movies they'll have to promote? The 15-minute montage of "How we got here?" They can't control themselves enough to just do two hours and get on with it--they have to threaten us with overruns?

Oh, and if Kara isn't eliminated from Idol because of her annoying appearances at the judging table, she should be thrown off the show for being involved in writing a song that bad.

So who should win? I really have liked Kris improve and develop over the course of the show, and he might be the more viable artist commercially because his style is more current, in some ways, than Adam's. But the fact that he might be more viably commercial shouldn't enter into it--American Idol is kind of like the Heisman Trophy. Every year, people complain that so-and-so shouldn't win the Heisman Trophy because he's not a good pro prospect or won't do well in the NFL. But that shouldn't matter--the Heisman Trophy should be awarded to the best college football player each year, not the best pro prospect. And American Idol shouldn't be awarded to the guy who might sell the most records, it should be awarded to the person who has earned it through their performances on the show. And consistently, Adam has been the most interesting, best performer throughout the season. That's why I think he should win, and will win. Would I be upset if Kris won? No, because he's pretty good. Adam was just better.

Fingerhut out.



Blogger Amy said...

I agree...Adam will win but I am rooting for Kris. Adam was different but he still creeps me out. Kris has come a long way and I will buy his CD anyway.
Also, that Kara song was atrocious.

5/20/09, 1:48 PM  
Anonymous John said...

I have heard from so many people about how awful the song was. I'll run home to watch this tonight after getting my haircut!

5/20/09, 5:11 PM  

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