The Finale Begins On “American Idol”

So this is it. The last time we’ll have a performance American Idol show all year. It begins with all of the pomp & circumstance you’d expect, although Idol still insists on using the ‘girl’ winner in the opening credits. Why, I’m not sure. The only thing we definitely know about this year’s winner is that it will NOT be a girl.

Kris won the coin toss, so he’s going second, but if you’ve been Googling Idol at all, you already knew that. Ryan mentions that we should all build in some extra time on our DVRs for tomorrow night’s show. Thanks for the heads-up Ryan.

Just because this is the last performance episode does not mean that we’re spared any filler. It’s better than usual filler, though, with Adam’s family talking about him being a pain in restaurants. He starts off with a reprise of his Mad World performance.

This time, he gets to come up through the floor to the top of the staircase. He also gets liberal amounts of fog and a Neo Matrix black trench and 80s fingerless gloves. I had heard he was going to do this song ‘with a twist’ and I’m really glad that he didn’t twist it up too much.

Teacher Randy gives him a A! Hooray! Ohh! Hannibal Lecter is in the house! Sorry, I was momentarily distracted by shiny things. Kara loved it & called him an artist. Paula thought it as super and Simon thought it was a little over-theatrical, which elicits a chorus of boos. Then Randy & Simon get into an argument over whether his performance was more Phantom of the Opera or Twilight. It was neither, guys.

Kris Allen just gets cuter. He gave his mom music coupons last year, good for one performance. Don’t you just want to pinch all of them? Kris’ pick is “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and he’s playing the piano. The placement of the piano isn’t helping Kris, as he tends to pull to one side, and with the piano facing the way it is, he keeps pulling his face upstage & away from the audience. It’s minor, but the production folks could’ve helped a boy out. Randy, dawg, thinks that this was Kris’ best performance. Kara blathers on & I notice her black nail polish. Paula blathers on about spirit & being an artist (drink). Simon essentially apologizes for thinking Kris shouldn’t be in the finale. That seems to really get to Kris — he’s probably been waiting for that all season.

Round 2 begins with “Change Is Gonna Come” for Adam Lambert. Simon Fuller apparently wants Adam to take it to church. We don’t get any words from Simon Fuller & his rationale. That shall remain a mystery. I’m impressed with the jazzy style he uses in the performance. It’s one of the few things we haven’t heard from him yet. Yes, he did do the scream, but it worked. Randy thinks Adam can sing his face off. Kara thinks it was his best performance. Paula thinks so too & she punctuates it with a bit of Paula crazy, standing & waving her hands around. Simon thinks that performance put Adam back in the competition.

Katie Holmes-bot is in the house!

Kris Allen’s Simon Fuller pick is “What’s Going On.” This time Kris plays the guitar. I know from previous reports that he will not be allowed to play an instrument for the winner’s single performance. It’s a song that Kris does well, but it doesn’t seem to have the punch of Adam’s performance. Randy thought the song choice was a little light for the room. Ding one against Simon Fuller. Kara brown-noses by commending Simon Fuller’s choice. Brown-noser. Paula declares something & lifts her hands. Simon thought it was friends in a bedroom strumming along & singing the song. He called it too laid-back for the night. Simon then calls round two for Adam.

Final round – the new single, co-written by Kara DioGuardi. Now, in American Idol history, the winner’s first single is the stuff of treacly-legend. Even when American Idol opened up the competition & tried to get a songwriting competition going, it didn’t work. We still got crappy songs. I actually like some stuff Kara’s written, so I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised by this song. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the two different takes on the song. The one thing I’m sure of with round three is that the song will sound completely different from performer to performer.

First up, Adam Lambert. Ok, it’s no different than any other crappy American Idol single. Sigh. I’m a bit disappointed in that. Adam did ok, but the song was a piece of crap. Randy thinks Adam can sing the phone book, but it wasn’t his favorite performance. Kara was moved & proud for giving her a moment. I had a moment too, Kara. Paula thinks Adam is remarkable & she’ll be a fan of his 4-evah! Simon is caught up on the mountains & hurricanes & calls Adam one of the best & most original contestants.

There’s this big elephant in the room. An elephant that says ‘this song sucks, but we can’t say it because one of the riter-ways is over here-tay.

And the final performance is Kris doing the same “No Boundaries” song. See, I’m almost thinking they should start these finale shows with the winner’s single. That way, it’s not the last thing we hear. It gives too much of a ‘meh’ end to the show. Wow! The American Idol performance shows are over! That last song was crap! See, not a good way to end the show. Randy mentions that the key was too high for him, but he thought the song fit his voice better. Kara doesn’t want Kris to be judged on that song, which is darn nice of her to say that. Paula thinks Kris should take it all in. Simon thinks Kris thoroughly deserves to be on the stage tonight.

So that’s it. Now it’s in our hands. Who is going to win tomorrow night? Only our votes will decide the winner, and it’ll take 2 hours to get there. Carrie Underwood serenades us out with “Home Sweet Home” live.