This is… AMERICAN IDOL!!! We’ve been watching and cringing for days, weeks, months and what seems like years now as one by one amazing (Elise Testone) and awful (DeAndre Brackensick) singers alike have been knocked off to make way for our final two contestants: Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez.
At this point in the game we’re all over the Ford commercials, the ever-fully posed and presented Coca Cola glass labels and the countless referencing and lack-luster “live” performances by previous Idol “winners” whose biggest show to put on their IMDB profile is typically a mall opening somewhere in middle america and for that reason I’m not going to ramble too much tonight but rather focus on the facts. Who will win: the Filipino princess or the scruffy young buck? As this season has been the most poorly and overly-produced of any I’ve ever seen, I wonder if the pushing we’ve seen in the past week to have another WGWG (whitey boy on his 6-string) take the gold will come to volition as he’s handed an amazing finale song (and final singing spot) on an ivory platter and as poor Jess is given some Kara DioGuardi-esque crap and left out to dry. Or, will the backlash from this corrupt posing bring out the Sanchez fans in full force? Hell, does it even matter when dialatune or whatever the hell it’s called can make 17,000 votes for you with a click of a button?? No matter what, both kids have been humble and sweet the entire time so however this ends I wish them the best and a pox on the house of exec producer Nigel Lythgoe. Let’s get to it!
Watching this you get a decent enough image of how Idol sees these two as performers: Jessica the big voice, power ballad blaster and Phil the acoustic, groovy and semi-country cute kid. I think they both have places to grow as they’re so damn young- Christ, Jessica is only 16- but for now I kind of agree with this as their starting point. Moreso with Phil as I think Jess is gonna come out with Carly Rae Jepsen style gay hits that the DJs are gonna love remaking for the next circuit party and I personally can’t wait to dance to her!
Back to tonight: it’s announced that there’s been more votes than ever with 132 million… seriously, Idol, you expect us to believe that’s your real “number”. Let’s look at what matters when corrupt redial websites aren’t included: this finale week is the LOWEST ratings they had in the entire 11 year run of the show. THAT’s what matters and shows that you are not doing something right. The first act is a group (puke) medley by past contestants of this year: Jeremy Rosado, Shannon Magrane, Erika Van Pelt, Heejun Han, DeAndre Brackensick, Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Skylar Laine, Hollie Cavanagh, and Joshua Ledet. Singing (puke again) Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby“, this show demonstrates just how sad it is as X-Factor had the ACTUAL original performer on their stage a year ago doing this while Idol throws together a sloppy rendition of clashing sounds and singing styles. I hated it as I do all group songs and felt like it a perfectly ominous and sad way to start a night of likely disappointments off. While I enjoy shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” who throw together brilliant ensemble pieces, it DOES.NOT.WORK. with this style of show.
Anyway, we turn out sights on the judges decked to the nines and the two finalists who announce they got no sleep and a full 9.5 hours Jessica and Phillip respectively. How obvious is it this kid KNOWS he’s got it in the bag? I’m sure Nigel slipped him the good news at midnight to keep him rested and looking cute for the show today. They perform “Who’ll Stop the Rain” together and then “Bad Moon Rising” (I’ll put up vids when I find them). They actually don’t sound too too terrible as a duo but again their voices- though great in their own ways were not meant for one another and I just wish we’d get to the announcement that we all
fear know is going to happen: that sleepy mcCute face took the whole thing.
Wow this was terrifying. I’m not sure if they decided before hand this was going to turn into a screeching contest but that’s all we saw for three minutes straight. Oh, that and Fantasia’s ass-long extensions and split WAY too tight cat suit. Likely they would have looked better wearing the other person’s outfit but I did NOT enjoy this performance. There was about four words they essentially repeated over and over again much to our dismay and the judges (of course: it’s Josh) loved it. Also, an Elton John song for Joshua? Come on Idol, you’re making the joke too easy for me! NEXT!
Next is in fact even worse. The Top 12 Girls (which include disasters like Shannon Magrane mind you) take on Chaka Khan‘s “I’m Every Woman” and sound just awful singing a super dated song. Hell, they couldn’t even pull out a pro-woman Beyonce diddy to try and stay relevant. This show is stuck in the 80s and still believes that 60s hits are “pretty much still en vogue”.
FINALLY there’s a real performer as Rihanna takes centre stage to perform “Where Have You Been“. Sadly this was done better IMO on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, so still behind the game Idol. Rihanna sounds good which I’m happy about and puts on a sultry performance that isn’t too often seen on this way too family-friendly show. (Again, I’ll put up a vid as soon as I find it).
My secret favourite Skylar Laine gets some solo time to shine as she deserves it taking on Reba McEntire’s “Turn on the Radio“. While she STARTS on her own, they “surprise” us by having Reba take stage and duet the country fave together. The both of them sound killer together as country girls- I find- mesh well and they play off one another beautifully. The winner is Reba but Skylar the sweetie absolutely holds her own and they look great together.
Following this is Jessica Sanchez singing “I Will Always Love You“, which she kills of course and looks amazing as always doing it. Sadly, they ruin the run of good performances by pulling in the Top 12 Boys (too many terrible ones to name them all) who try out Neil Diamond’s “America“… how lamely patriotic. Moving into “Crackling Rosie” and “I’m a Believer” I’m bored and fast forwarding like a mofo to avoid rolling my eyes out of my head. Thankfully the artist himself takes the stage to sing the iconic “Sweet Caroline” (though I actually love the Puckerman Glee version of this one) as he’s “backed up” by the awful boys. In his 70s Mr. Diamond still kicks their asses.
Oh god, wait for it: LOPEZ SINGS AGAIN!!! Honestly, that’s what this year has been: commercials, producer machinations and Jennifer Lopez singing every “new” song of hers. Doing “Going In” and “Follow the Leader” I’m honestly ready to shoot this god damn show in the knee cap mafiosa style to get them to move this idiocy along.
Just as she finishes her overly sexual and not exactly amazing sounding and likely lip-synched songs, we get MORE Idol bullshit as former Idol competitors Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo are called up on stage as the first official “idol couple” and (oh god) they pretend to get engaged for the first time “live” in front of a million viewers. I included the video to show just how dumb not only the show is but how dumb they must think we are to a) believe this crap and b) think that we care.
Next up (god I want this postponing to end, don’t you?) is Hollie Cavanagh singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as she’s joined by the much better and much more talented Jordin Sparks. You remember Jordin right? She was the last girl to win this show now FIVE years ago… and likely the way last night’s sabotage went will retain that title at the end of the show today.
Blah, the guys come out AGAIN to sing some BeeGees hits and it sounds worse than anything else we’ve heard tonight and we move along to Jessica (thank god- actual talent).
Now THIS was a booming song to go out on. Jessica is not only finally matched but nudged out by the amazingly still huge chords of Holliday who performed what most cite as Jennifer Hudson’s hit from “Dreamgirls“. As Holliday takes control and Jessica steps aside you’re blown away by the control and goosebump-giving sound of this impossible tune. They played off one another as if they’d been singing together for years and looked thrilled to be there. I loved this and thought it was sweet that Jessica got to get a lot of herself into this one even though the thing was absolutely owned by the black beauty next to her. I daresay this was the song of the entire season and couldn’t ask for more out of either of them. This will likely be referenced (when Jessica loses) as why she should have won this entire season but oh well. Can’t change what Nigel controls!
God, then freaking Aerosmith goes on stage to do “Walk This Way” and sound FINE, I mean they’re a hundred so what do you expect. Back to the real meat (time’s running out Idol!!): the contestants are back and singing “Love Lifts Us Up” by Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker. They sound sweet but I’m here to see a winner crowned!!
Okay. Here we go. No more ads, no more acts: just the announcement. It all comes down to Seacrest and a cue card as he grabs all our attention. The winner is announced, it’s Phillip Phillips!!! The crowd goes wild- as they’re prompted to- and Jessica politely and enthusiastically hugs her conquerer. Heejun Lee gets a little too familiar with my crush than I’d like and Seacrest hands him his guitar to sing his Idol original piece: “Home“. He holds it together for most of it until actually quite endearingly he starts to lose it at the end and tears up in the drum march and gets sweetly overwhelmed by the millions of ticker tape flying about it. He takes off the guitar and heads to his family as he can’t quite finish the piece and hugs them all. While this isn’t the ending a lot of people wanted the boy has class and is adorable no matter how you slice it. He is humble as humble gets and without a drop of pretention and I do wish him all the best. No matter how we spin this win and see the evil hand of Idol in this result, you can’t be mad at this boy who did nothing but sing and smile week after week. Congrats to Phil and we ALL know Jessica is going to be JUST fine and show this program just how brilliant she can be. Thanks for watching and reading folks! Let me know what you thought below!