Thank God it’s over. After a rather uninspiring season, the ninth American Idol Derby finally limped to an end. And the end was almost as unsatisfying as it was last year. Lee DeWyze, the shy, former paint salesman, took the crown with only 2% of the vote separating him and runner-up Crystal Bowersox. After lackluster performances Tuesday night, DeWyze crawled across the finish line nearly hyperventilating just before his name was announced.
It was deja vu all over again. DeWyze pulled a Kris Allen, as the dark horse sneaking in ahead of the early favorite. It’s all getting so predictable and tiresome for fans of the show. When the performer with the most talent doesn’t win two years in a row, maybe it’s time to step in and give the judges a bigger part in the voting process, like “Dancing with the Stars.” Crystal Bowersox is obviously going to do well with her career. But isn’t it time for Idol to give us an ending where the contestant who wins is the one who deserves it?
The finale show itself had few highlights. The segments “honoring” Simon Cowell were amateurish and irritating. The show itself dragged on and had very little to do with Lee and Crystal. The producers seemed to be throwing anything and everything on the stage to fill time.There was the usual parade of guest performances, including Alice Cooper, ’80’s hit makers Hall and Oates, Chicago, Carrie Underwood, Joe Cocker, and Alanis Morrisette, singing a duet with Crystal Bowersox, whose strong, clear alto was far superior to the established artist.
The brighter moments of the night included the surprise appearance by ailing Bret Michaels, singing “Every Rose has its Thorn,” with third place Idol contestant, Casey James. Christina Aguilara gave an emotional and riveting performance of a song from her new album. Janet Jackson’s rousing rendition of “Nasty Boys” was a missed opportunity by the producers. It would have given the show some needed edge and given some of us a much needed thrill if only they had Adam Lambert strut out on the stage as Idol’s ultimate “Nasty Boy.” In fact, though Adam was a mentor this season, he was M.I.A. among the large group of former Idol performers invited back to pay tribute to Simon Cowell. Curious, since he isn’t on tour until June 4th.
The confetti fell and so did all hope of seeing the best singer win the title of American Idol,which we have been told for nine long years is a “singing competition.” All in all, an unsatisfying end to a pretty unsatisfying season. Crystal was robbed and so were we. For those of us who are barely hanging on at this point, American Idol needs to give something back to the growing number who are getting weary of the show we devote so many hours to watching, only to see mediocrity rewarded. The fact that many of the show’s past winners fail to have as successful careers post Idol as some of the top five finishers, such as Clay Aiken, Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, and the charismatic Adam Lambert, should indicate that something is wrong with the process. That bodes well for Crystal. We will surely see her star rise if the show’s history teaches us anything.
With Paula’s exit last season and now Simon Cowell leaving the show, perhaps it’s time for those disenchanted viewers among us to join them.