Wednesday, May 23, 2012

'American Idol 11' - Phillip or Jessica?

This is it. The end of the season, and of course, the crowning of the next American Idol. Two hours of ga-roup numbers, duets, solos, and guest stars, and then, at 10ish, the coronation. Will Phillip Phillips continue the WGWG streak or will Jessica become the first female winner since Jordin Sparks won 'AI3?' I'm team PP all the way. In fact, I picked PP to win in my pool at the Top 13. If he wins, I can finish no lower than fourth. Not that this means much!

I really debated as to whether or not to recap this show, but in the end, it’s the last show of the season and I’m watching it anyway! 

Frenetic opening in black and white. We see the Top 2 as they emerged from the dressing room to hit the stage for the first time. PP meets Scotty McCreery, who tells him he won’t sleep tonight. And we’re off.

No Voiceover Man tonight? Instead, the Top 12 minus PP and Jessica, all dressed in white, have their first ga-roup number (“Runaway Baby”).  Heejun makes me laugh. Dancers, dressed in black, come out and put the Idols to shame! A female dancer does the jive. The Idols are still be-bopping away on the sidelines. Oh, now they run back while dancers do the jerk. Shannon Migraine looks as though she’s about to burst out of her jeans. You get the picture? 

Voiceover man brings out the judges, who descend the Adam Lambert Memorial Staircase, flanked by the Idols. Lisa Renna is in the house. Ryan follows wearing a tuxedo and poufy hair.

Ryan welcomes us to the show. “Tonight is one of the most anticipated events in television and in just two hours, your next American Idol will be named right here.” He asks for the sign-holders to show their stuff. He tells us a “staggering 132 million votes came in.” Out come PP and Jessica, also dressed in white.

Ryan asks if either of them slept. Jessica said she slept a little. PP says he got about nine hours. Oh PP, how we love you. Next up, PP and a “very special guest.”

PP is performing with John Fogarty. Of course, they are singing “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” PP holds onto the melody, I mean how can he not. Carrie Underwood is singing along in the audience. PP looks like he’s ecstatic. I sing along! As an aside, John Fogarty’s hair color is pretty unnatural!

PP says the next song is one of his faves and it’s an honor to be performing with John Fogarty. PP strums along and lets John take the lead. It’s fun to watch. Now Carrie is dancing! Her husband is with her too. Like an old time reunion up in here.

A time-wasting clip showing moments with the judges and the stupid auditions.

Joshua is singing “Take Me to the Pilot.”  This song will always belong to George Huff for me, but here’s another Louisiana kid taking it to the pilot, or trying to. Joshua intros Fantasia, who now has waist-length, straight hair now and weighs considerably more than she did nine years ago! . Fantasia is out in the audience screeching away. She looks totally out of it. Joshua can’t even compete. It’s a total, red hot mess! He daps Evil Jimmy, hugs ‘Tasia, and they sing over their allotted time limit! George Huff’s version of the song remains unchallenged!

The hilarity continues. Clips of Jimmy blowing his lines, over, and over, and over again.

Oh gawd, the ladies of the Top 12 sing some disco tunes. Elise’s hair is blonde again. She looks a tad chubby too. Shannon Migraine has a solo. Why is she here again? Skylar tries, but fails. Shannon is really trying to make the most of her time on the stage! This is pretty much unlistenable. Hollie leads us off with “I’m Every Woman.”  Chaka Khan enters via our stairway, escorted by a bunch of guys who rip off her cape to reveal her flesh colored cat suit. She’s completely out of tune, but looks fierce. Erica and Shannon Migraine dwarf her!

I’m not making this up. Ryan is at the judges’ table while Randy goes crazy over Chaka. Where’s J’Lo? Could there be a performance in the offing?

Back from the break, we watch the Ford tribute to the finalists. Of course, PP wasn’t in most of the commercials. Heejun gets a big hand. Last week, there was a special gift for PP’s brother-in-law, Ben somebody-or-other and Jessica’s music mentor Robert.  They are both invited to the finale. I thought they were getting cars. They are in the audience, and surprise, surprise, they each get keys to a new Ford Escape. Phillip and Jessica get cars too. Everyone gets a car. Jessica’s mentor is still overcome. I want a car for having to endure all of this.

Now we welcome a “global superstar...” Rihanna. It’s big, it’s autotuned, it’s what you’d expect.

Skylar is back. OMG who dressed her? She introduces Reba and the two of them sing “Turn on Your Radio.” Skylar was robbed, methinks. She really holds her own with Reba. They are so similar in voice. I love Reba and this is probably the best performance so far on this endless show.

Now for a fun peak into Steven Tyler’s house? It’s full of Playboy Bunnys. He has a seal. At least I think it’s a seal. Lots of pictures and memorabilia. Randy is now sitting in the dressing room with the Bunnies. Steven’s sister is making out with some old guy. We see Steven’s organ. Steven has a new fragrance, “eau de Low Tide” (see the skunk). We end this ridiculous interlude with Steven and a monkey on his shoulder.

Now, we relive a favorite moment from the season. Jessica is singing “I Will Always Love You.” You should have sung this last night, Jess.

Now for the Top 12 guys. Heeeeeejun. They’re singing Neil Diamond. I wonder who the guest singer is going to be? Poor Jermaine (the one that got kicked off). He could have been up there too. Or maybe he’s better off not!  I’m still wondering where J’Lo is.  Colton singing “I’m a Believer” is not pleasing. Where’s PP?  What, no Neil Diamond? Joshua kind of stars in the finale of this. OMG. Guess who’s here? It’s Neil Diamond after all. Q’uelle surpris. Neil actually looks pretty good, but he can’t sing anymore. And he doesn’t seem to know the words. He can do a pointy pose, though. So that’s something.

I am so ready for this show to end and we still have at least 55 minutes.

Scotty McCreery is in the house. Ryan tells us Adam Lambert’s album is number one on the charts. Now for a fun montage of Randy telling contestants they can sing the phone book. This is followed by the Idols in a choir singing the phone book (song written by Michael Orland). Joshua takes it to church, of course! The others look upon him in disgust. Thank you Michael! Highlight of the night so far!

Scotty has a phone book for Randy. Tee hee hee.

We are bringing out “one of the hottest women on the charts” (could it be J’Lo?). Of course it is. I need ice cream. I wonder if her boy toy will be featured on this one. I’m not going to comment on any of this. Remember last season during the finale she performed with Marc Anthony. Shortly thereafter, they split. When it’s finally over, Carrie Underwood nods her approval, albeit somewhat unenthusiastically.

Lauren Alaina, Taylor Hicks, Ace Young, and Diana DeGarmo are in the house. Ryan calls Ace and Diana up to the stage. Ace’s hair is past his shoulders. He looks like a caveman. OMG he’s going to propose. Ryan has the lights dimmed. Diana clearly had no idea this was coming. "This has always been home to us and I felt that this would be the perfect place to ask a simple question."

Then he gets down on one knee and continues, "We have conquered Broadway together. We have created our new music together. We have an amazing group of people around us. And with the help of David Webb jewelry I have a way to make this last forever. Are you ready? I love you to death. You're my best friend. I want to make this last forever and I will do anything in my power to have the most ... amazing life together if you will have me. Diana Nicole DeGarmo, will you marry me?" Diana cries and Ace puts the ring on her finger. They kiss and we have our first official ‘Idol’ engaged couple.

Hollie has to follow all this with “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Who will be singing with her? Oh, it’s Jordin Sparks. Her voice sounds shaky, but she looks beautiful. A choir joins them. Hollie outsings Jordin.

Thirty minutes to go. It’s pretty sad when the best part of the first 90 minutes is a choir singing the phone book and a marriage proposal!

Ryan intros the boys who are honoring Robin Gibb (who performed at the finale two years ago).  I can’t even begin to describe how bad this is. The Bee Gees were about harmony, and this group is so out of harmony and tune, it’s insulting. I want to mute the sound, that’s how bad it is. Joshua takes on “To Love Somebody” and once again, saves the dismal ga-roup number.

Jessica and Jennifer Holiday sing “And I am Telling You, I’m not Going.” J’Lo is back at the desk. Jennifer starts it off and Jessica blows her entrance. Jennifer doesn’t even look like she’s half trying. Jessy, baby, you’re not going to win this one!!! The song takes lungs and depth. Randy is groovin’ to this. She sort of mocks Jessica!  I wonder what Jennifer Hudson is thinking about all this!!!  J’Hol gets a standing O from J’Lo and Randy. Now Steven has disappeared.

Now for Aerosmith. It’s kind of weird watching Steven perform after watching him sit at a desk all season. Really. Joe Perry’s still got it! Song is a little psychedelic, very old school, but a welcome relief.  And, of course they close with “Walk This Way.” That was fun.

Seven minutes until ten o’clock. Will the show end on time?

Jessica and PP have their final duet (“Up Here Where We Belong”). PP is sitting on a stool and they are singing behind the judges. A choir stands on the Adam Lambert Memorial staircase. A nice moment.

Now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Edward Boddington delivers the envelope. He verifies they are the official votes and a world record 132 million votes have been generated. PP says it’s been an honor to sing on the stage. He honors the band, the fans, everyone. Jessica thanks the crew, the fans, everyone. Ryan thanks them for a great season. Kiren dims the lights. “The winner of American Idol Season 11 is... Phillip Phillips!”  Heejun runs out and practicalloy tackles him. Scotty McCreery hands a guitar to PP - the traditional passing of the WGWG symbol, if you will. “Congratulations, you did it," says Ryan.

WGWG5 sings his single “Home.” Best coronation song ever. PP seems completely unfazed by all of this. Then, suddenly it all hits him and he starts to cry. Oh PP. He keeps playing as the marching band comes by once again, but he is overcome. The confetti falls. PP doesn’t want us to see him cry. He finally gives up when a piece of confetti gets into his mouth. He takes off his guitar, hands it off,  and goes to his family.  Best moment of the night.

As the credits roll, PP hugs the judges and that’s it. End of another season. This could be the last time, kids. But hey, it’s a long time until January!

Thanks for reading this and have a great summer.

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