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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol: The Winner is Revealed

I haven't been the best blogger recently, but I have managed to be pretty consistent about American Idol. So I figure I can do one last live blog for the season. Here we go:

Starting off the night is the Top 12, along with the dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, "Get Ready." There isn't much to say about the song, except that the camera people barely let us see the dancers. What is the point of having them on the screen if we aren't going to watch them? I couldn't even tell if they were the dancers from last season or from the new season (I cannot wait for the season to begin--the summer would be so boring without it). I do have to take some exception with the commercial describing the show as "the original and best dance competition." Did they not watch America's Next Dance Crew? JabbaWockeeZ!

David Archuleta and David Cook. "Hero." I didn't know it would be possible for me to compliment Archuleta, but he and Cook sounded really good together. I would not have guessed that would be the case.

A "funny" bit on the Guru Pitka. I'm not saying that the Mike Myers character wouldn't be funny in a movie or as a bit on SNL, but it just did not work here.

Syesha Mercado and Heidi Klum's husband. I thought they did a good job together. Syesha really loosened up a lot during the season, and now that she isn't competing for anything she seems most at ease.

Jason Cook, with an encore of "Hallelujah." There isn't much to add to what I said the first time about this performance, but now that the season is over it is clear that this is where Jason peaked in the competition.

The Davids (Cook and Archuleta, not Hernandez) are given new Ford Hybrids. Did anyone else notice that the toes of David Cook's boots are really turned up? They are Wicked Witch of the East-worthy.

Donna Summer medley. Amanda is just awful. It is impossible to understand the lyrics through her growl. I am so happy she was eliminated so early so we didn't have to suffer through her for more of the season. She looks like she can't remember her dance moves, doesn't care, and would rather be anywhere else. Excellent!

And a special performance by...Donna Summer. I'm a big fan of Donna and she still sounds pretty good! Her new song wasn't very exciting, but she sounded good on "Last Dance." And if it weren't for "Last Dance," how would we know when a wedding is over? We all owe Donna a debt of gratitude.

Carly Smithson and Michael Johns, "The Letter." Why does the stylist always want to put Carly in black tights? She was wearing black tights earlier with her red dress and now with her black dress (at least it looks more appropriate with the latter). The devotion to the black tights seems a bit odd. Does she have tattoos all over her legs that they are trying to hide? I didn't love this performance from Carly. On the higher notes I felt that she was straining, which is how I felt often during her performances throughout the competition. Michael sounded pretty good (although Carly had to do the heavier lifting with the song).

Jimmy Kimmel did another performance, but the only notable part of it was that Simon was holding a little kitten during an early audition episode. Speaking of kittens, the foster and resident cat have fought three days in a row. Bad times.

The top six guys singing "Summer of '69." CHIKEZE! God, I missed Chikeze. I also love "Summer of '69." I know it's not cool to like Bryan Adams. I know it's not even campy-cool. But I can't help it. "Summer of '69" is a great song. It's all nostalgic, which I'm a complete sucker for. The harmonizing on "Heaven" was pretty bad, though--I couldn't identify the singer who was singing the low part, but he really did an awful job. I'm going to guess David Hernandez, who was really over-performing. Poor David probably feels like he had to make up for his early departure.

David Cook and ZZ Top. David sounded really good. But what was up with Mikayla Gordon's the post-song interview of David Cook's music teacher? It wasn't the teacher that sucked, it was Mikayla, with her screaming and shrieking and inappropriately fancy dress. I thought she had gone away.

Brooke White and Graham Nash, "Teach Your Children." This was such a perfect song and partner for Brooke. Yay Brooke!

Okay, so I am guessing the people who are on stage are the Jonas Brothers, because they are all young and curly haired and cheerful-looking. Oh, and I think I saw Justin Guarini in the audience. I don't know if Gobo has ever hated a pseudo-celebrity more.

Now it is the time where they make fun of people who can't sing, bringing one back for more...hilarity? I can't be the only one who wonders whether some of these people are borderline mentally handicapped, right? It's all very disturbing, with the USC band and cheerleaders and the pathetically bad singing performing so that everyone can point and laugh. Disturbing.

David Archuleta actually doesn't sound bad singing with One Republic. There, I said something good about him. And he didn't sound bad on his earlier duet with David Cook. Perhaps I like him more when he's singing with someone else? Strange.

Jordin Sparks is back and singing a song while wearing an unfortunate gold lame-looking dress. Will Jordin ever learn how to dress?

Old video of Gladys Knight! Singing one of my all-time favorites, "Midnight Train to Georgia." Along with Jack Black, Ben Stiller and...some other guy? Thanks to Ryan, I now realize that was Robert Downey Jr. I had no idea.

Speaking of unfortunate dresses, Carrie Underwood is singing. I get that Carrie has lost a LOT of weight since she was on Idol, but this isn't even a dress. It's a blazer. The fact that she isn't wearing pants underneath it does not elevate it dress status. I actually spent the entire song staring at her crotch to see if she was wearing some kind of hot pants underneath.

I'll interrupt my Carrie crotch-staring with a little Idol trivia. Did you know that two American Idol winners are vegetarians? Yup, Carrie and Ruben. Pull that one out at the next cocktail party you go to and you're sure to impress.

The top 12, one last time. Hopefully this means a few more shots of Amanda looking absolutely miserable. Oh, a George Michael medley! I don't think I need to share my feelings on George Michael yet again. There is a bit of irony in the top 12, who will be the property of the Idol enterprise for the entire summer tour, singing "Freedom."

George Michael! George Michael! George Micheal! Singing "Praying for Time." George's facial expressions are a little...odd. I wish he had sung the song a little straighter (no pun intended, really), without some of the embellishments. But it is his song, after all. It's just such a beautiful song on its own that it really doesn't need help. This version sounds a little like what Archuleta might have done with it had he thought to sing it during the performance. But he's still George Michael and he still sounded pretty good. A little odd how George brought up his cold (was he embarrassed of his performance?) and Ryan's little laugh dismissing him--did Ryan even hear or understand what George had said? And does Ryan have to call him "GM?"

It appears all of the Idol contestants' individual performances are over. Davids Cook and Archuleta, Syesha, Jason, Brooke, Carly and Michael all got to do solo songs or, in the case of Carly and Michael, a duet. Do you think Kristy, who was eliminated after Michael, was annoyed that she didn't get a featured role?

And now, for the reveal...well first, the judges speak. And Simon surprisingly apologizes to David Cook for being borderline disrespectful last night. Wow. And the winner is [spoiler spoiler spoiler]

David Cook. And then my DVR went out. At the very second that Ryan said "Cook." I just spent about a half hour looking for the final clip on youtube, and finally found it (it is scary to remember what life was like before DVRs and youtube). I'm really happy that Cook won, and I'm happy that he seemed so happy. He genuinely comes across as a really nice guy. When he put his arm around David Archuleta during his performance I really felt that he was being big brotherly toward him and that it wasn't all a big act. The AI victory song was, of course, pretty crappy, although it didn't sound as bad as it usually does. I credit that to David singing it, since the lyrics mentioned rainbows, a beating heart, and this being the time of his life.

So tonight we had Donna Summer, Chikeze, Gladys Knight, Amanda looking absolutely miserable, George Michael and David Cook winning. An all-around great night!



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