All right. After four months of slogging through these boring shows, we've finally reached the finale! It's also my final recap, as there's so litle demand for my efforts here. Enough about me, though. Will our next Idol be Crystal Bowersox or Lee DeWyze? DialIdol says Lee, but we'll see how accurate that is.
The Top 12 group number is "School's Out." They're all decked out in private school uniforms, and a zombie schoolkid choir joins them. This is...interesting, but just then, Alice Cooper himself joins them! Wow! Now that's the coolest musical guest this show's ever had! Way to go, Idol! Few can rock like the legendary Alice!
Kris Allen is back to perform his new single "The Truth." Unfortunately for us, the director forgot to switch off Seacrest's mic at the beginning. This isn't a bad song. I'm probably not going to run out and buy it, but maybe eventually I'll get around to purchasing his album. I don't believe I've purchased any music this year. Money and all that.
Since this is Simon's final show, we get a Simon tribute video full of fluffy comedy. Nothing to see here, folks.
Our first duet is Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly on "How Deep is Your Love." Surprisingly, these two sound good together. Of course, who cares about Siobhan and Aaron when the two living Bee Gees are in the house to sing with them? Barry gets to direct his singing at Siobhan (since she's a girl and stuff) while Robin is stuck singing to the audience as Aaron has nothing to do but stand next to him moving awkwardly. Fun. This song truly is a pop masterpiece.
Michael Lynche gets the next duet: "Taking It to the Streets" with Michael McDonald. When Big Mike introduces Grey Mike, Grey Mike gives props right back to Big Mike. How classy. Let the young 'uns have their fleeting moments of fame. All I can think when I hear this is how much better Taylor Hicks can sing this song today than either of them.
Dane Cook performs a montage of Simon's best insults on guitar. Why is it Idol can only get non-funny "comedians" on their show? He's then joined by a bunch of the staged rejects like Ian Bernardo and the "We're Brothers Forever" guy. Boy, what a waste of time.
The girls all team up to sing Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and "Fighter" before being joined by the real Christina. The Eagler (I'm assuming her surname translates into something like that) belts a little at the end of "Fighter" and then the lights go black for her to sing solo. I don't know this song, nor do I care to. Think you got enough melisma there, Christy?
Ricky Gervais shows up for a brief video in tribute to his friend Simon. Nothing worth writing home about. Just more famous-person filler.
The guys get their medley next. Which artist's music do they get to celebrate? Why, Hall & Oates, of course! They sing "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" and "Maneater" before, yep, the duo themselves is introduced to sing "You Make My Dreams." I like this one better than the girls' because the vocals aren't drowned out by loud music and, frankly, the songs are much better.
Janell Wheeler is Idol's correspondent for Crystal's hometown party in Toledo. Who's Janell Wheeler, you ask? She was a semifinalist who got eliminated the first week. Which season? This one, in fact! You don't remember her? Of course you don't!
Crystal gets her solo moment on Alanis Morissette's "Ironic", and of course, Alanis joins her for "You Oughta Know." Wow. I didn't realize Alanis Morissette was still around. Is it just me, or does Alanis look a little like Kara? Creepy!
Carrie Underwood is back for "Undo It," her "latest smash," according to Seacrest. It probably is, but since I no longer live with my CMT-loving mother, I wouldn't know. Catchy song. I kind of like it. After it's over we learn she co-wrote it with Kara. Suddenly I feel the need to take a shower. Of course, Kara's involvement probably explains why most of the lyrics in the hook are just a stuttered syllable.
Remember those custom car designs the Top 12 made for the Ford Fiesta? No, you probably blocked it out along with most of this season. Well, Kris Allen's back for a video segment in which he presents Lee and Crystal with a couple of Fiestas in the designs they made. Pretty cool. What a perfect segue into the final Ford video, with some song called "My Wish." Neatooooooooooo.
Casey James' gets his solo moment with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Whoa. Could this mean Poison is going to be here? We know Bret Michaels' health hasn't exactly been great lately. He even appeared on the Celebrity Apprentice finale against his doctors' wishes. Whaddayaknow! Bret's in the house! C.C., Bobby and Rikki aren't there with him though. This is almost as cool as Alice Cooper! You've really outdone yourself with this finale, Idol! Bret and Casey continue singing "Every Rose," and while Bret does a solid job, I keep wondering if he's going to collapse on stage or something. Fortunately for all humanity, he gets through it just fine. What a week it's been for Bret Michaels! First he wins Donald Trump's reality show, then he gets to perform on the season finale of American Idol. Gotta say, I'm happy for the guy. Too bad my local grocery store didn't have his custom-made "Trop-a-Rocka" Snapple flavor. I wanted to try it.
Lee gets his musical guest moment by doing a medley with Chicago. This brassy pop-rock doesn't fit Lee's style at all, but there's no denying how good these songs are. I know my mother certainly likes them. They do "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", "If You Leave Me Now" and "25 or 6 to 4." Not very seemless, those transitions.
Matt Rogers is the correspondent for Lee's hometown. What? You mean to tell me the 11th Place finisher from Season 3 is only 45 minutes away from where I am right now? Dang it. Why didn't I attend?
More Simon stuff. This time the video is about his flirtiness and contains more staged comedy. It'd definitely funnier than the first video segment (or anything Dane Cook ever did). Simon waking up in bed with Randy was a nice touch.
General Larry Platt (AKA the "Pants on the Ground" guy) is back, as we all knew he'd be. This time he gets backup dancers and a backing track that consists of a techno loop. William Hung also joins him on stage for his 16th minute of fame. If General Larry's original appearance on the show hadn't obviously been orchestrated by Idol in the first place, I might find this a lot cooler.
Now it's time for one last Simon tribute video, and Paula Abdul comes out onstage after it's over. She seems more coherent and clever than ever, so she obviously has a script and rehearsed that sucker to death. In the biggest production of the night, seven of the eight winners (David Cook being the exception) come out to sing "Together We Are One." A bunch of past also-rans wearing white suits join them to sing backups. Simon then comes onstage to give a speech about how the last ten years were the best of his life and wishes the show good luck without him. At such a poignant moment, I'm almost optimistic about future seasons of Idol. Could a new judge in the "Simon" role possibly help revive the show? Could the producers actually figure out what the viewers want and make Season 10 one of the best ever? I'll probably wake up from this goodwill-induced delusion in a second, but I'll enjoy the feelings of niceness while they last.
Janet Jackson's here to perform some slow song I don't know. Grow your hair out, woman. You'd look better. Quickly we're transported back to the '80s (and Paula Abdul's choreographic history) when a horde of dancers joins her to perform "Nasty." Amazing how different in style these two songs are.
There's a brief recap of Lee and Crystal's beginnings at the Chicago auditions (hey, I was there!) before the Final 2 duet, which is Joe Cocker's version of "With a Little Help From My Friends." Of course, Joe Cocker himself then joins them, looking and sounding sort of how I'd imagine Popeye (the cartoon character, not the blog) in his old age. These aging music stars are nothing if not surprisingly human.
Now it's the big moment. Who's the winner? It's going to be Lee, of course, because DialIdol tells me so. Lee looks incredibly nervous, while Crystal looks happy about being in the moment. The winner is...Lee DeWyze! He gets extremely emotional, as you'd expect him to. He can't even talk to Ryan without choking back tears. Crystal, of course, is a great sport, and seems genuinely happy for him. You'll never get another female winner, Idol. Just give it up. Only tweens and cougars are left watching. There aren't enough of us nerdy guys to offset their impact.
Now for a reprise of the winner's cover single, "Beautiful Day." I feel sort of mixed about Lee right now. One the one hand, I can see how badly the guy wanted to win, and this might be the highest point of his life right now. On the other hand, I know his career probably won't go very far, and he may end up disappointed with the entire experience. He seems like a nice guy, and I wish him the best. I just can't shake the feeling that it's not going to end well for him. Still, congrats to him anyway. He's representing the Land of Lincoln!
And just like that, my recapping career has come to a close. It was fun for a while, but I've realized I have better things to do with my time than meticulously analyze this show and be enslaved to it two nights a week. I'm looking forward to being able to sit back and enjoy it next year without the knowledge that I have to produce an unfunny blog post lurking.
So what's going to become of this blog? Will I let it sink into the depths of cyberspace, existing merely as historical record for Seasons 7-9? Obviously, it probably will end up that way someday. For the near future, I do have something in store for it. It isn't Idol-related, however. You may have noticed a few weeks ago that I changed the layout of this blog as well as the text underneath the title. My idea was that if I ever have something to write about general entertainment, not just American Idol, I could put it here. Granted, I'm not the type of guy who feels inspired to write about pop culture that often, so perhaps after my next project this blog will become inactive.
So just what is this big project, you ask? Drumroll please...I intend to rank every episode of the recently-ended hit TV series LOST. I figured it'd be good to rewatch the entire series as part of this undertaking, though it'll obviously be kind of hard to do that before the Season 6 DVD is released on August 24. I still have Seasons 1-5 to watch until then, so if all goes well I might be able to have my completed project up by sometime in September. Hopefully enough nerds who appreciate that type of thing will stumble across my little corner of the internet and enjoy it.
Until we meet again, this is your humble former recapper Ian signing off.