These back to back two-hour finales are really too much. First it was Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night, which was a joy. Then the following night it was American Idol, which was an absolute bore. I literally thought it would never, ever end. What’s even more excruciating was the seven minute overtime factor. This show knows how to torture its viewers. There was a lot of group performances, duets, a trio, montages of the final two contestants, surprise appearances and a fitting tribute as well as a special good-bye to Simon. The latter was spread out through various parts of the show. I’ll highlight my favorite parts and what I felt was completely unnecessary.
My Favorite Things
For starters the opening number with all of the Top 12 finalists singing School’s Out by Alice Cooper who made a grand entrance while the song was in progress complete with Alice Cooper-esque make-up for himself and the choir. One of my good friends is a huge Alice Cooper fan, so I was thinking of him the whole time. Too bad Alice could not add his unique brand of theatrics to it. That would have made this finale a lot more tolerable.
Out of all the older performers who appeared on the American Idol finale Barry and Robin Gibb proved they still have it vocally, even if it isn’t up to par on their stellar recordings. I always enjoy seeing what is left now of the Bee Gees since Maurice’s passing. Their music absolutely lives on.
Out of the countless lame comedic moments on American Idol’s past and present comes one that is so filled with the driest of humor. I was actually laughing over Rick Gervais’ comic tribute video message to Simon, because he simply did not want to make the short jaunt to the Nokia Theater. I can’t say I blame him.
I’m not a Hall and Oates fan whatsoever, nor will I ever be; however, I actually enjoyed their performance. Granted, Daryl can’t hit the high notes anymore, but he sounded phenomenal compared to some of the other acts featured later on.
This wasn’t such a highlight for me, but another friend of mine is the biggest Alanis Morisette fan in the entire universe. When Crystal was doing her solo number by starting off with Ironic by Alanis Morissette I could hardly contain my sheer excitement for my friend. Sure enough Crystal introduced Alanis and there she was. Haven’t checked my friend’s Facebook lately, but I think he is still walking on cloud nine.
When Casey James performed Every Rose Has Its Thorn I just knew Bret Michaels would be coming out any second. That to me was one of the brightest highlights of the entire finale. Thank you American Idol. That was a great moment.
Previously Paul Abdul was only shown on the filmed tape messages talking about Simon, but I had a feeling she was inevitably going to show up. All of s sudden she appeared like an apparition on stage. Everyone went wild, including myself. I never realized how much I missed Paula this season. She gave her speech of what it was like working with Simon. Afterwards Paula Abdul joined the judges table where she should never have left in the first place.
Following that, all seven of the eight American Idols, sans David Cook, came out to sing a farewell song to Simon Cowell. Later on the former American Idols were joined by the alums from seasons past. Too bad you did not get a chance to see all of them. The camera kept going by some of my favorites, like Elliott Yamin, for a fraction of a second.
The Disappointing, Inappropriate, & Unnecessary
One of my favorite groups growing up was Chicago. This is a pop/rock group that was filled with some of the most stellar musicians ever. They aren’t what I’d call a vocal group, though some of their early hits featured many memorable songs. I must confess I was excited to find out they were going to be in the finale. Let’s just say it wasn’t what I expected. Musically they were excellent, but vocally was a whole different story. It didn’t help with Lee DeWyze adding in his mix. Overall this was a bad idea. Chicago is a highly sophisticated group musically. One of the band members was on his way to an audition for the Chicago Symphony when he saw a band notice looking for a horn player. That band ended up being Chicago and he landed their audition instead. I felt Lee was a bit out of his element with them.
Sorry to say I didn’t get it or enjoy the Pants on the Ground hype during the auditions. I certainly did not appreciate the performance of this ditty in the finale. At first it started out nicely then it got raunchy at the middle. Then it got weirder with the appearance of William Hung towards the end.
There were too many ballads from the musical guests such as Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson that was literally putting me to sleep. However, I enjoyed Janet’s high-energy song with the dancers. With a Little Help From My Friends sung as a trio with Lee, Crystal and Joe Cocker did not work for me unfortunately. I felt it may have confused some of them with the call and response part of it. I think what would have worked was have Lee and Crystal sing together, then Joe Cocker sing the rest on his own. Nevertheless I was happy to see Joe sing this great song he did at Woodstock.
After what seemed like an eternity Ryan announced the new American Idol. It was Lee Dewyze. That has been extremely obvious for weeks now. This finale was just a formality. I truly wanted Crystal to win, but it was inevitable the show’s producers and judges wanted Lee to absolutely win. That’s all there was to it.