Sorry for the delay in pumping out the recap for American Idol’s Season 10 finale. I went to Usher’s concert last night where Akon, Dev and The Cataracs opened. One of the best concerts I’ve been too in a while. I’m going to do a separate review later on. Afterward, we headed to the official after party and had even more fun. Sufficed to say, I got home pretty late and woke up a bit groggy. Let me tell you, two hours of Idol isn’t the most effective hangover cure. So enough background, let’s get to the show.

I’m sure at this point, you probably already know who the winner is so I won’t pretend to skirt around that issue. After a record-breaking 122 million votes cast, Scotty McCreery was crowned this season’s winner. He clearly was the frontrunner for most of the season, so I’m not completely surprised. That being said, I gave Lauren an outside chance she could pull it off based on the previous night’s performance. All in all, I’m pretty content with the results. Let’s hope Scotty breaks the recent trend of declining sales for an Idol winner.

With Simon Cowell leaving, many were curious to see if Idol would survive without him. Not only has it, but it’s thrived. Along with the aforementioned record-breaking votes, the finale ratings were up an impressive 12% over last year’s show. A fitting ending to a great season. If you missed any part of the season finale, check out the picture-by-picture recap below.

The Top 13 open up the show with a group performance of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. I wonder how much Gaga gets paid every time someone covers the song.

Never in a million years did I ever think heavy metal rockers, Judas Priest, would ever grace the Idol stage. Was it me, or was the Durbs’ sleeveless top distracting? Not a good look for him.

BEST.DUET.EVER. Lol. These two should have a sitcom together. I couldn’t help but smile during their “Fat Bottomed Girls” performance.

Good on Beyonce for performing with the Top 13 girls. It wasn’t great but better than I thought it would be. Love the unison hair tossing by Bey and all the girls.

Jacob channeling his inner Pip for Gladys Knight.

I’m curious to see what kind of music Haley releases post-Idol. The judges were trying so hard to pigeon hole her into a genre, ergo her duet with Tony Bennett.

Love Carrie’s face here. It’s like she’s saying, “she ain’t no me”. Scotty’s duet with Tim McGraw was pretty good. It seemed natural unlike Lauren and Carrie’s.

I love TLC but this performance seemed out of nowhere. One of the most out-of-tune segments of the night by the Idols. Don’t go chasing waterfalls.

We all know what Idol has done for Jennifer Lopez’s career. Clearly Marc Anthony has benefited from that as well. Personally, I found it awkward and creepy watching Lopez make all googly eyes at her husband during her “sexy” dance.

When the boys first started singing “Kiss”, I thought Prince might be popping up. But when they moved on to the next song, it was obvious Tom Jones was going to duet with them. Every time I hear “It’s Not Unusual”, I always envision Carlton from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” doing his dance.

Ford was in a giving mood all night long. Not only did they give Scotty and Lauren their car of choice, but they also gifted a car each to their favorite high school teachers.

Out of all Gaga’s new songs, I have to say “Edge of Glory” is my favorite. I love how SYTYCD’s Ken Kanemura is always dancing for Gaga.

Surprised Bey didn’t push “Run The World (Girls)” on us one more time. Instead she performed “1+1″

J. Lo got her turn to pimp her music, now it was Tyler’s turn. He sang “Dream On”.

Bono and The Edge performed with some of the cast of Broadway’s Spider-man musical.

Here’s your American Idol Season 10 winner. I may have moaned and groaned about Scotty a couple of times this year, but I’m okay with him winning. I really wanted a girl to win, but content that at least a different genre came out on top. At least we didn’t have another white male pseudo rocker dropping a less than successful album.

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