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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

American Idol Finale: A running diary

I thought I might keep a short running diary of the American Idol finale, although I always fast-forward past the stupid "we're in your town" stuff.

Paris: I thought she sounded good, although something sounded a little odd at the end--I couldn't tell if it was her or the guy she was singing with.

Chris: Sounded good when I could hear him, but he was drowned out a bit, I'm not sure whether it was by the band, by Ed Kowalczyk or by bad sound on the mics.

Kellie: When they said they had a show called "Puck and Pickler" that was going to teach Kellie about some of the finer things, I hoped that the other star was going to be Puck from Real World: San Francisco. Alas, it was Wulfgang Puck. I could have done without the "charming" bit on how Kellie is a bumpkin. Hoping it means she won't be singing. Kellie got a short haircut, I'm surprised. Kind of ballsy.

Katharine...and Meatloaf??!! Oh no, Meat. He's totally oversinging "It's All Coming Back To Me." Until this moment I had thought the recorded version was oversung! I now see how wrong I was. Katharine sounds good, though! I am impressed to me that Katharine is able to sing without bursting into laughter at the overwroght Meatloaf.

Okay, did Kellie Pickler not realize that the meat and fish she eats were at some point alive? The acting is ridiculous. Are members of the audience actually laughing?

The guys are singing. I had forgotten about Kevin. I had not forgotten Bucky. Elliott looks a lot better. His hair finally grew long enough to not look awful. Oh, god, Taylor just walked out. Yech. Chris can't be happy that Taylor is walking in like the conquering hero while Chris stands to his side. Great, Ace falsetto. The night wouldn't have been complete without one of those.

I just realized this means we will probably get to see Mandisa sing something for a few minutes! It's been so long since she was on. Poor Mandisa--had she not been kicked off in country week she might have made it really far. Maybe even the final two.

This Golden Idols thing is annoying. I imagine Wilder is crying along with Elliott's mother during this clip. Katharine's father is not all that endearing. How old is Elliott's mom?!

This is interesting. Elliott singing "One." If he doesn't sound good, there is certainly no blaming the song. Okay, he sounds really good. Why didn't he choose thing as his song last week?! He might have made the final two. Although I would have liked to hear Elliott sing this without Mary J. Blige. She's totally overpowering him, and their actions look strange on the stage together--Elliott's sway with Mary J's jumping around.

Carrie Underwood: Is she our "current" American Idol? Is this a pageant now? Well, I guess it kind of is. Why can't Carrie just sing "Alone" instead of this country song? I know this is her actual hit and everything, but...you know how I feel about Carrie singing "Alone." Carrie looks so much more comfortable on stage than she did while on Idol. I guess it helps that she is sitting down and not doing that squat she liked so much.

Taylor and Toni Braxton in the ghettooooooooo. Does anyone else think of Cartman arriving at Kenny's house when they hear this song? If you have never heard it, it's totally worth a listen.

Yay! It's the girls' song! Katharine is much more the star of this than Taylor was of the guys' song. The pants they put on Mandisa were a really bad choice. They usually did such a good job with her wardrobe. Paris looks super-cute in her skirt and boots. Mandisa is finally getting a chance to sing. Yay! I'm surprised they gave her as much play as they did on "I'm Every Woman." Kellie and Melissa clearly got the shaft on solo time.

Why is this Michael Sandecki on my screen? Please don't tell me David Bowie dyed his hair dark brown and had really, really bad plastic surgery. Oh my god. It's Clay Aiken. I guess I hadn't seen him since he had spiky hair. He looks horrible.

After his hit performance on The Apprentice, it's...Burt Bacharach! With the Idol contestant medly. Melissa is walking across the stage like she is about to pee any minute. Bucky is having trouble hitting the not-very-high notes in "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head." Mandisa sounds better on "Say A Little Prayer" than she did a few minutes ago. Lisa's facial expressions are just odd when she sings--they don't ever seem to fit the song lyrics. Elliott sounded good again. Kevin is just...not good. Chris singing "Theme from Arthur." I hope that's not the extent of his solo. He had to share it with Kevin and Ace, each of thom got to sing earlier in this segment. Paris sounds okay, although not so great on the low notes. Dionne Warwick does not look bad. She's 66! "That's What Friends Are For!" It's 1991! I'm at the Eighth Grade Dinner Dance with my Best Friends Forever. I wonder what happened to those girls.

"Brokenote Cowboys" actually don't sound that bad! The one with the blonde hair isn't as good as the other two, but the other two are pretty okay.

PRINCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My friend Scott is going to be mortified. He loves Prince. I'm pretty sure he must hate American Idol. Maybe Elliott can come out to stand next to Prince. I wonder who is shorter.


Taylor wins. Oh well. I wonder how many times he is going to say "Soul Patrol." Yup. There he goes. Katharine was very gracious in her loss. Now Taylor has to sing that cheesy coronation song. Nice little shout-out he worked in there, even though he had to say "Soul Patrol" a few more times while doing so. And the Hoff has tears in his eyes.

How come first year Kelly and Justin sang the same coronation song in the first season, Clay and Ruben sang different songs the next year, Fantasia and Diana each sang the same TWO coronation songs in season three. ThenBo and Carrie each sang two original songs, only one of which was sung by the both of them. And now Taylor and Katharine are back to the season two model? Has anyone explained this?

Okay, show over. Sorry for those who think a running diary is just a lazy way to write a post. You would be right.

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Blogger Laura Ingalls Wilder said...

Awesome post, Red. It was fun to relive the show through your post. Of course I was BAWLING when Claudette (yes, she has a name) won one of the awards and put it this way, I was choked up every time Elliott took the stage. And even choked up when Taylor won. I mean I just love everything about this show -- it epitomizes everything about the American Dream and that's why I love (almost) every second of it. A few months ago Elliott was a pharmacy clerk and Taylor was singing in bars for his friends. It must be truly amazing for them to be where they are now.

And how f'ing amazing is Mary J. Blige. She always makes me cry because she always has so much raw emotion in every word she sings.

OK, this comment is totally nonsensical and rambling and oy.

I'm happy for Taylor, and agree that Kat was gracious in defeat. Tonight's episode made me forget how boring last night's was. I thought tonight was pretty great. (I should admit, though, I only watched about half because my husband was breathing down my neck to start his 3-hour Lost marathon. And then when I finally ceded the HDTV, he found out that the first 30 minutes of the 2-hour part hadn't taped. Oh god. That was not pretty in our house. The dog was under the bed, put it that way.)

5/24/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger Laura Ingalls Wilder said...

Oh. In case anyone is wondering how I decided what to include in my hour - I stopped it any time Kat, Taylor, Chris, or Elliott sang. And I watched Paris's first performance, which I thought was pretty great.

And of course I'll watch the whole two hours sometime this weekend. And probably another time in a few months when I'm craving Idol.

5/24/2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

Oh my gosh! That was seriously one of the best things I've ever seen on TV. Al Jarreau! Dionne Warwick! Mary J. Blige! PRINCE!!!

I could have done with less of the bad people from auditions. And less Meatloaf. Also, can Toni Braxton not sing? I could barely hear her. There seemed to be some weird moment between her and Taylor that the cameras cut away from.

I thought Kat was great last night. So much better than she's been the past few weeks.

Clay Aiken is seriously weird looking. But that guy's reaction to him was awesome.

5/25/2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger Laura Ingalls Wilder said...

Prince was awesome! I can't believe the show has become one that can attract these stars! It was awesome.

I have to say I actually in a sick way enjoyed the Meatloaf/Kat song.

5/25/2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

There's something seriously wrong with me. I feel so out of touch with America. I actually tried to watch the finale last night, and just could not get into it. As soon as Meatloaf took the stage I was out of there.

5/25/2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

Holt, you CHANGED IT when Meatloaf came on???!!! You weren't transfixed? You weren't thinking to yourself "how does this happen? Did the producers think this sounded good?!"

This was the most awesome AI final I have ever seen, save the fact that the final two we had to choose from were so boring. Although I agree about Katharine--had she sounded that way for the past month or two, she would have been an easy choice. All of those songs were within her range and she sounded really strong.

It's too bad she couldn't seem to figure that out earlier.

5/25/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

I think the same thing that keeps me from being able to sit through humiliation comedies like Meet the Parents is what keeps me from having any interest in watching Meatloaf sing.

5/25/2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

I fast forwarded through Meatloaf. I strongly suspect that his presence can be explained by some corporate relationship between his label and Fox.

5/25/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

Two more things:

1. Chris was really put to shame in that duet with Live. He looked and sounded pretty much like Ed Kowalcyzk, but just a little bit less so. He should have done a duet with a member of the opposite sex, like the rest of the top 5, but I guess women don't really "rock" like Chris.

2. Prince. Wow. What a great singer, dancer, and just all around performer. Every minute he was on stage was electrifying. Minnesota's in the house!

5/25/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

I don't watch Idol (although I caught Taylor butchering Levon on Tuesday), but I have to say this phenomenon amazes me. In December, Mrs. Bartender and I were driving across Oklahoma (seriously) when we passed through Checotah. Not only was there a giant billboard proclaiming it Carrie Underwood's home town, but there was an OFFICIAL HIGHWAY SIGN. Your tax dollars, hard at work!

5/25/2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

Forget road signs, it's such a phenomenon that an entire HOUR on NPR was devoted to it this morning.

5/25/2006 12:21 PM  

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