Finally, it's all come down to this, Idol fans, your top two: Kris Allen, the petite shy guy from Conway, Arkansas, and Adam Lambert, the bigger than life seasoned performer from San Diego. (Though looking at their matching outfits tonight, it's getting harder to tell the difference, at least with their mouths closed.)
Many thought it would be Danny Gokey and Adam rockin' the Nokia Theatre in L.A. tonight. But like Howard Dean in the 2004 primaries, one fateful scream appears to have derailed Danny's chances of making it to the finals, though he will no doubt wind up cutting a record anyway.
So who will it be, America? Who will be your next American Idol? Will it be Kris Allen, who clearly has the sorority girl and cougar vote? Or will it be Adam Glambert, who has the judges and producers and the likes of Jamie Foxx and Katy Perry wildly applauding each time he takes the stage?
And while Randy, Kara, Paula, and Simon judge, you get to be the jury as each contestant lays out (or sings) his case as to why he should be the next American Idol.
[In other Idol news: According to published reports, Idol contestants Anoop Desai and Megan Joy are now an item. Whoa. Didn't see that matchup coming. Vedy intehvesting.]
First up... Adam once again singing "Mad World."
Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttts sooooooooooooooooo slooooooooooooooow. I find it hard to tell you, and you'll find it hard to take, but the dreams in which I'm dying may indeed feature Adam Lambert singing "Mad World." That was downright painful. If he had just speeded it up a wee bit... and lost the dry ice and the frock coat. But clearly I am the only one who felt she was waiting for grass to grow, because the judges clearly already decided that Adam is your next American Idol (except for Simon -- God bless his T-shirt covered heart).
And before all you Adam haters start fuming, I used to really like Adam, AND I like the song "Mad World," the original Tears for Fears version.
Next up, Kris singing "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone."
Okay, folks. I am telling you RIGHT NOW, I am voting for Kris. I am no fan of ballads (power or otherwise) or "love songs" (nothing but love songs), but I would buy this single if Kris released it. That was BEAUTIFUL. And his wife, Katy, looks gorgeous.
Bravo for the judges FINALLY acknowledging that Kris is in it to win it.
Like Simon said, Round One goes to Kris.
Round Two Adam: Sam Cook's "A Change Is Gonna Come"...
No clue why Simon Fuller picked THIS song for Adam. Odd choice. (J-THREE-O just ran out of the room -- and Adam is screaming. Now I know why Simon Fuller picked that song. Gotta get in that trademark Adam Led Zeppelin screaming trill.)
I am still waiting for a change to come with Adam's performance. But it was same old, same old Adam, though to the judges that meant it was "brilliant." Me, not so much. Yawn.
Okay, I may be alone here in my own little universe, but all of Adam's performances sound exactly the same. I can tell you exactly how he is going to sing -- and that there will be at least one trademark Adam Led Zeppelin screaming trill. 'Nuff said.
Simon Fuller's choice for Kris, "What's Going On."
Okay, WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THESE SONG CHOICES? Did I miss the Motown Night memo? I like Motown but I could use some less town.
You know what I like about Kris? He's a musician. And he clearly loves playing music. Just look at his face while he plays the guitar. He's transported.
Yeah, he doesn't have the flash or panache of Adam, but he's keeping it real, dawgs.
And as for Randy's criticism, yo, dude, your BOSS chose that song, not Kris. And as for you, Simon, F.U. with the whole "it sounded like three friends strumming in a bedroom to Marvin Gaye." And enough with rearranging every single song "to make it your own." Sometimes it's okay to just sing the damn song the way it's supposed to be sung. Feh.
[Aside: If I see one more effing commercial for Glee, I'm going puke on my keyboard, which would be bad as I'm off warranty. Hasn't Fox ever heard the expression too much of a good (or bad) thing...?]
Back to Adam.... They picked a song written by Kara DioGuardi?! Well, good to know it will be yet another lame American Idol anthem. (Still waiting for a change to come.) Should be fun listening to the judges critique this one.
My objective opinion: Sucky song, mediocre performance -- but there was almost no way for Adam to do a brilliant job with this one. Will it matter? Doubtful. But not a great way for Adam to go out. Randy nailed it -- definitely not Adam's best. Kara needs to go. Wow, Simon the diplomat. Who'da thunk it?
[J-THREE-O has muted the Glee commercial. Love that child. Of course she has memorized them, but she's far more entertaining.]
Last but not least (I hope), Kris tackles "No Boundaries," possibly the suckiest American Idol anthem ever (and that's saying something). I actually think he's doing a decent job. It's just an impossible song to sing. Still, better than Adam. (Sorry Adam lovers. I just like this version better.) As for J-THREE-O, she left the room after the first few chords.
Again, not Kris's best performance, and not the best performance to go out on, but I'm with Randy, that song fit Kris better -- and I really think Kara needs to go. Now. And she can take Paula with her. But I'm with Simon that Kris should be proud and deserves to be on that stage.
As to who will be your next American Idol, I am not going to call it. I think Kris probably has the Danny Gokey vote/voters, but the judges and a lot of other people I know really really want Adam. In either case, both of these guys are going to have musical careers -- and probably very successful ones at that. Because on Idol, even if you lose, you're a winner.
Lines are now open, and I'm off to text my vote for Kris.
Will update this post tomorrow night during the finale.
UPDATE #1: Per DialIdol.com, Kris has a very slight edge over Adam in the voting, but statistically it's a draw. And as DialIdol.com does not account for texted votes, just measures the busy signal on the lines, it's not as accurate as it used to be. Still, I bet the vote was close -- and that Kris could win, though I think it unlikely. Stay tuned, Idol fans...
RESULTS SHOW UPDATE: This has GOT to be the weirdest, wackiest, wildest American Idol results show EVER. Not even close. Just finished watching Adam and Kris and am speechless (though I can still type, barely). The spouse just said "They should have painted Adam's face white, too." Ya think? And what was he wearing? New Year's Eve balls as epaulets?
Except for the Danny Gokey - Lionel Richie duet, because I hate Lionel Richie with the intensity of a thousand suns and his music makes me want to hurt people, the duets have been the best part of tonight's show. The Kris Allen - Keith Urban duet was terrific. The spouse (a former professional musician) said he could totally hear that on the radio (high praise). And I really liked the Allison Iraheta - Cyndi Lauper duet, too. Beautiful. Even Queen Latifah and Lil Rounds were good. (I don't count what Kara did with Katrina a "duet" -- more like soft porn.)
But the group numbers... aaaiiieee. Not pretty. Thank God I got out of buying American Idol concert tickets this year.
And that Ford commercial? Huh? Wha? Was that Ford's sales I heard tanking? Hey, enjoy your Ford Fusions, guys! You earned them!
Wow, Steve Martin. STEVE MARTIN!!! I love Steve Martin. But Michael and Megan just TRASHED his beautiful song. Did you see the look of PAIN on Steve Martin's face? It said "They're fu@king up my song! Damn. Why did I agree to do this stupid show?" Dunno Steve. Talk to Cyndi and Lionel and Rod. It's all about the Benjamins, Steve-O, and that new album dropping tomorrow.
Oh yippee, ANOTHER group song. Does Rod Stewart have pictures of Simon with farm animals or something, or vice versa? OMG, that was EMBARRASSING. Worse than a Russian cruise ship karaoke performance.
And speaking of Rod Stewart. I think he shouldn't have spent the weekend at Bernie's, if you catch my drift. He looks like DEATH. Yowza. Did they give him a shot of something so he wouldn't fall over? And who exactly is the target demographic here? Rod Stewart? Lionel Richie? Cyndi Lauper? And please don't tell me I'm the target demo, even though I grew up (sort of) on those guys. I much prefer Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson and Jason Mraz.
Wow, and I totally forgot all about Tatiana del Toro. But how quickly we remember. That was just sad. And I was sure Whitney was going to pop out and start singing. (Did you catch the look on Ruben Studdard's face?) Sad.
Okay, Idol has now totally crossed the line into Ultimate Karaoke. : - / Is this some extended commercial for Fox's new show Glee? Seriously. This is like some bad (really bad) high school musical.
Thank GOD: At last... THE RESULTS... And... And... And... After a nationwide vote of 100 million... KRIS ALLEN.
OMG. WoW. Kris Allen is your new American Idol. NO ONE would have even thunk it six months ago -- a month ago. Not even Kris! My guess: It was the Danny Gokey voters who put Kris over the edge. Simon and Kara are totally in shock. But don't despair, Adam fans. I have two words for you: Chris Daughtry. 'Nuff said.
Okay, that's a wrap, folks. Surprised? Bummed? Think Adam was robbed? Leave me a comment.
UPDATED AT 10:50 A.M. 5/21/09: Just read Courtney Hazlett's Scoop column on Idol, re why changes need to be made to the show next year if it wants to keep viewers coming back. I don't necessarily agree with her first two suggestions, but her third one, about cutting the final song is DEAD ON.
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