Wednesday, May 26, 2010

'American Idol 9' - What started in Chicago ends tonight

Welcome to the final live blog of the season! Phew! Let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Lots of teasing about what "started out in Chicago." Interesting that Crystal and Lee met at the first audition all those months ago and are the last two standing. Ryan teases us by telling us that only two percent separates the two finalists. It's rather vague, though, in that he said "all season."

Ryan intros the judges, including Simon Cowell who is sitting at the Idol judging panel for the very last time. Crystal and Lee take the stage dressed in school children outfits. They are overwhelmed. We see the hometown crowds in Toledo, Ohio and Mt. Prospect, IL. Janell Wheeler is hosting Crytal's party.

First number is "our Top 12" singing "School's Out for Summer." Orianthi is on lead guitar and totally overshadows the finalists. Casey introduces Alice Cooper who continues the tune, drowning out our Top 12 completely. They all stomp around and look totally stupid.

After a slew of commercials, Kris Allen performs his new single, "The Truth." There's some kind of sound screw-up at the beginning and we hear Ryan talking over the opening. Kris seems to be lip synching this one. It was just one year ago that we had that strange moment when Kris was declared the winner and his mouth fell open in shock.

Bo Bice and Kimberly Caldwell are in the house.

After Kris sings, Ryan starts out a video "tribute" to Simon. Clips of early audition rounds, including Juanita Barber ("What About the Chillrun") and William Hung! Tee hee. Lots more to come, we are warned.

Siobhan and Aaron start out singing "How Deep is Your Love," and are joined by Robin and Barry Gibb, the two surviving Bee Gees. Unfortunately, Siobhan ends up singing better than Barry and Aaron shakes nervously. Jordin Sparks is dancing in the aisles and David Hasselhoff offers up some polite applause when it ends.

Back from another long commercial break, Michael Lynche is on the Adam Lambert Memorial Staircase singing "Takin' it to the Street" and intros Michael McDonald. The Michaels continue the song.

Now, a special song by Dane Cook featuring some of Simon's best insults. "Simon Said" is pretty cool, but the best part was bringing out some of the contestants that Simon said these things too - the Brittenum Twins, Tatiana DelToro, Ian Bernardo, and Renaldo Lapuz! I think Normund Gentle was in there too, but can't rewind because my dog ate my remote. Wow! That was great!

Lacey, Didi, Katie, Siobhan, Paige, and Crystal open up "Beautiful."  Gee, do you think Christina Aguilera is the next guest? The girls sound horrible, except Paige, who is actually rather good. Yup, Katie intros Christina, who had to be cringing back stage listening to them butcher her songs. A slew of dancers come leaping out along with her. Show them how it's done girl!

While Christina is singing, let me toss in one complaint. Why all the "old" performers on this show tonight? Are they trying to appeal to the older viewers? Well, if so, they're not. I'm pretty old and I don't really want to listen to bad performances by people who used to be amazing. End of rant.

Ricky Gervais is on camera from some remote location to honor his "good friend" Simon. "You only take 80 percent of their wages!" Heh! Gervais continues on, wondering if they can go round by Simon's house because he just "throws away money."

Lee opens "I Can't Go For That" and is joined by his good buddy Andrew. The rest of the Top 12 boys join in. There's Timmeh! Big Mike jumps on the stage and the theater rumbles.It's a Hall and Oates medley, so guess who the next guests are! Darryl Hall and John Oates emerge. At least they can still sing, unlike poor Barry Gibb. The boys sing backup.

Ryan chats with Crystal's father who is looking fly in his leather outfit. I love Crystal's dad! Crystal opens "Ironic" and intros Alanis Morrisette. Crystal blows Alanis away.

We return. Ryan intros Carrie, saying it's hard to believe it's been five years since this next performer was crowned! She's singing her new single "Undo It."  Carrie's lookin' fierce in leather and high boots. This song is closer to pop than country, actually, and I am rather enjoying it. Best performance of the night (but that's not saying much)! After the performance, Ryan tells us Carrie wrote this song with Kara.

The Idols get their new cars in a pre-recorded clip featuring Kris Allen. They are getting the very same Ford Fiestas with the graphics they created. They don't seem all that excited, though? This leads us into a "best of" the season's Ford videos. Crystal and Lee are on stage. Crystal says she's having a blast.

Casey James is up next singing "Every Rose has its Thorns." And then, Bret Michaels returns from the dead to sing along with him. Wow. Wasn't expecting him. It's not often a celebrity gets that close to dying and then shows up on Idol a few weeks later. Somehow, though I'm a bit nervous watching him.

Ryan announces next season's auditions are going live on MySpace. Not sure exactly what that means, but we'll check it out later.

Lee is singing with Chicago - completely out of tune, natch. Lee sounds like he's giving birth, but the guy singing for Chicago isn't much better. This is pretty awful.

Matt Rogers (Season 3) is in Mt. Prospect with the crazed Lee fans. Then there's another video montage tribute to Simon. Paula's featured on these vids, but so far, we haven't seen her in the theater. I'm betting she'll make a grand entrance at some point.

General Larry Platt performs "Pants on the Ground." Larry busts some moves putting the young 'uns on stage with him to shame. He is joined by William Hung!!! This has to be the worst finale yet, but in some perverse way, I'm totally digging it's awfulness. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm following along on the VFTW message board!

Another clip of Paula reminiscing about Simon. Is it time for Paula's big entrance? She says she's proud to be his friend. And here she is on the Idol stage once again! The judges all stand. She greets the judges, finishing up with Simon. She goes on and on and on. Jeez!  She says the show will go one without him, just like it went on without her.

More video clips with Frank Sinatra singing "My Way" in the background.  After this barf-fest, Kelly Clarkson is up, along with Ruben and Fantasia. Carrie joins them and then Jordin! They even invited Taylor! Kris Allen comes up last. No David Cook? They are singing "Together We are One." Wow, a gathering or winners! They are joined by an assortment of former Idols all dressed in white. I see Bo, Archie, Constantine, Diana, Blake, Castro, Justin G, Elliott... too many to name. Paula is sitting in Simon's lap. This might be the only performance I'll watch again.

Simon hits the stage. He says he didn't think he'd be this emotional and that it's great to have "this little one" back (Paula). He chokes up. He thanks everyone and hugs Ryan and Paula.

How are they gonna follow that? Oh, with another group sing! "Our Top 12" had a quick change from their white Simon Cowell tribute outfits to black. They are joined by Janet Jackson singing  who's chopped off all her hair. Wow. It's like listening to Michael. Of course, it's lip synched, so it might be Michael.

JJ drops the vampire dress and we're off with some "Nasty Boys." Finally, something we can dance to. This show's felt like a funeral so far or an homage to entertainers past their prime!

Now, with about six minutes left, we turn our attention back to Crystal and Lee, and their journey from Chicago to this moment. They are singing "With a Little Help From My Friends." And of course, Joe Cocker takes his cue. He looks about 80! Actually, he looks like Fred Sanford! No joke. He can still wail, though. Taylor Hicks must be having a conniption!

Finally, we are going to find out the winner. Edward Boddington makes his annual appearance with the certified voting results in an envelope. "After the nationwide vote, I can now tell you the winner of American Idol 2010 is... Lee DeWyze."  Fireworks explode in Mt. Prospect. Our Top 12 surround Lee who is overcome with emotion. "OMG, OMG," he keeps saying. "I've never been happier in my life." Now he has to sing "Beautiful Day."  Confetti falls, Lee yowls his song, and we are, blessedly out!

Thanks to all of you who took this journey with me this year despite the mid-season blog switch! I intend to continue to posts tidbits here, especially once the tour gets underway. There's always lots of fodder during the tour. Watch for the Idols on Larry King Live Friday, if you can stand it! And with that, I'm out...

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