First things first: A big “bugger off!” to all the spoilers. You know who you are — anyone using the social networking site known as “Facebook.”
But let’s get to the show.
The camera panned out over the packed Nokia Theater audience, which featured “celebrities” such as Joely Fisher and “World’s First Supermodel” Janice Dickinson.
BTW … whatever happened to the Kodak? It was good enough for me when I sat in the very last row and witnessed Kelly Clarkson’s win. Yup, I was there. Have I mentioned that yet today?
Seacrest announced that over 100 million votes came in last night. (At least a good one seventh of those had to be compliments of yours truly, voting for Kris Allen.) He also promised plenty of surprises, which took form in the sheer number of guest performances.
Then we “paid respect” to the four judges who have so “professionally” guided us through the season. By “paying respect” I think they mean “mocking them with embarrassing clips.” And I guess “professionalism” means “keeping the show in the news by having catfights via US Weekly.”
We “paid respect” to Randy first, who looked like he was auditioning for “Revenge of the Nerds V.” The producers have to be commended for not going for the obvious: his usage of the words “dawg” and “pitchy.” Instead we revisited the many times he has said “for me” and “for you.” For me though, it was funny enough, dawg, as I guess his outfit was too “recent” to be featured.
Next up was Kara’s repeated usage of the words “sweetie” and “honey” while crushing dreams. Example: “Sweetie, you seem really nice, but you should have a psychological assessment if you really thought you had a chance. Oh, and you’re fat, too.” OK, I made that quote up but they all had that same gist to them.
A lot of people have not given Kara the proper credit she deserves. I think she was an asset to this season, not only due to her singing and songwriting abilities, but also due to her commitment to cutting the BS, like, say, another female judge, which brings us to …
The producers were clearly wary of a lawsuit when it came to Paula’s clips. Rather than poking fun at her odd metaphors or even her QVC jewelry, they opted instead to tease her for her interesting and extensive vocabulary. Not very funny, seeing as most of the words (“brilliance,” “authentic”) are ones that most of us use each day.
They should’ve just gone for the easy laugh and played back her performance of “I’m Just Here for the Music.” To use one of Paula’s vocabulary words, that was “infectious!” (Wait, “infectious” means “bad,” right, like an infection?)
Up next was Sexy …er … Simon Cowell and his “hearing problem.” I don’t care whether he can hear or not, as long as he shows up in his tight T-shirts and says mean things. He is the star of the show, enough said.
Seacrest brought out Kris and Adam, and we checked in with their hometowns. The nauseatingly annoying Mikalah Gordon from Season 4 was back as the Conway, Arkansas, special correspondent. (Why, God?) Last season’s rocker chick, Carly Smithson, reported from San Diego with Allison Iraheta hair.
Donned in all-white outfits, the Top 13 performed Pink’s “So What.” OMG! I had all but forgetten the hilarity that was Scott MacIntyre during choreography! At one point towards the end, it looked like the final showdown was between Glambert and him, rather than Kris, as they were the only two left onstage as the others ran through the audience. Then I realized that someone had to remain onstage to be Scott’s “handler.” (Nice way to get more stage time, Adam!)
The first surprise of the night was a performance from last year’s winner David Cook. The second surprise was the tears that welled up once I listened to the lyrics of “Permanent” and realized they were written for his brother, Adam, who succumbed to brain cancer just a few weeks ago.
The evil iTunes/”Idol” empire has finally been used for the greater good, ya’ll! Cook announced that the proceeds for every iTunes download of “Permanent” would go to ABC Squared, benefitting cancer research. Get out there and download, people! You can make a difference!
Next up was a cheesy yet entertaining way to fill time (and make sure Fox got ratings for a full two hours and six minutes) with something called the “Golden Idol Awards.” “Outstanding Male” recalled the best of the worst from the first round of auditions plus … Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. Nick, of course, received the award in a hooded sweatshirt and pants and then, like Clark Kent going into the phone booth, he morphed into Norman Gentle before our eyes and performed “And I Am Telling You” yet again.
Forgotten Idol Lil Rounds performed “Cue the Rain” with the amazing Queen Latifah. I love the Queen but it seems that Mary J. Blige would’ve been a better choice, as Rounds was often compared to her. Then again, Latifah is the one who had an album to promote.
After the break, Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace started off Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” before introducing the singer himself. Seeing Alexis Grace on stage reminded me again that she should’ve made it to at least the Top 5. And Anoop seemed very at ease just being Anoop; he didn’t offer up any of his infamous impersonations.
The three jammed out before being joined by the rest of the Top 13, minus Kris and Adam. Does “Idol” think that bringing on a star like Mraz will make us forget that they already performed this song as a group number months ago? Regardless, it was lovely.
We reviewed Kris’ “journey,” and then he was joined by country superstar Keith Urban to perform “Kiss a Girl.” (My first thought was, “Where’s Nicole and Sunday Rose?”) Kris proved that he can do it all — pop, blues, country … frat rock. Pairing with Urban was unexpected genius; Kris is so likable that he would no doubt succeed in country, the most unpretentious of all musical genres.
Next up were the five girls of the Top 13 singing Fergie’s “Glamorous.” I guess at some point we had to expect a tiny solo from Megan Joy Corkrey, but whether expected or not, I’m never quite prepared for the sounds that emanate from that girl’s mouth. Fergie joined the ladies for “Big Girls Don’t Cry” before the rest of the Black Eyed Peas took the stage. Cut to Megan Corkey having some kind of dance seizure in the aisle.
We got back to the “Golden Idols” with an award for “Best Attitude.” Nominees included famewhore “Bikini Girl” Katrina Darrell, crazy trainwreck Alexis Cohen, and (tranny?) Tiffany Shedd. Of course the prize went to Bikini Girl, who came out sporting frosted hair, her signature uniform and a new rack. Seacrest even quipped, “I was gonna ask you, ‘What’s new?’ But I think I know.”
I had all but forgotten her Bobble Head singing technique, but I was refreshed on it as she performed “Vision of Love” in her bikini. Then, unbeknownst to her, the curtain lifted and revealed Kara, singing the same song … only much better. Finally! At one point, all Darrell could do was put her hand on her hip and stare. Then Kara ripped open her dress to reveal …. a bikini! It was even better than when Clay surprised his doppelganger a few years ago on the finale.
Allison performed “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper, proving that she should’ve been in the Top 3, if not the final round. (BTW, does Cyndi Lauper ever age?)
Hokey Gokey made it to the Top 3 so they had to give him his own number. He gave us his rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” before being joined onstage by — you guessed it — Lionel Richie himself. (BTW — I wrote the last part of that sentence before it actually happened; that is how predictable it was.) Is it bad to say I enjoyed David Cook’s version from last year better?
Then they sang Richie’s recent single “Just Go” before breaking into “All Night Long.” Who doesn’t love that song? It just screamed group number/street party; why didn’t they bring the other Idols out?
We followed Adam’s journey, which mentioned again that he’s been doing this since he was 10. Doesn’t quite seem fair if you ask me. Glambert then came out in even crazier shoulder pads than he normally wears (not sure if he was going for “angel” or “wasp”), “special occasion” eye makeup that featured rhinestones and a pair of platform boots that would make Ginger Spice blush. His ensemble — and his voice — was perfect for the KISS medley that came next. Glambert sang “Beth” and then was joined by the band for “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.” It was a real spectacle, complete with pyrotechnics (my favorite!).
Carlos Santana took the stage next. Who would be his performance partner? Clearly Jorge Nunez, right? Wrong! It was Matt Giraud singing “Black Magic Woman.” Then the Top 13 came out for “Smooth” and Jorge did get his solo. (That muchacho should’ve made it further than he did.)
There was a Ford music video, which was basically a clip show of past Ford music videos set to Adam and Kris singing. Then they tried to act excited as David Cook presented them each with a Ford Fusion. (You know that they’ll be putting down cash on Bentleys by month’s end.)
There was yet another guest performer, comedy legend Steve Martin, who used his banjo to accompany Megan and Michael Sarver. (Ha! This time’s the joke’s on you, Mr. Martin!) Those of you who follow this column know that these two are not my favorite Idols. In fact, if I were to rank them, they’d fall behind Jorge, Anoop and that cursed Hawaiian idol from “The Brady Bunch” (but just above Lil Rounds).
The eight guys (eight!) from the Top 13 wore their skinniest ties for their version of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” (I do, Anoop!) before introducing a geriatric Rod Stewart to sing “Maggie May.” Don’t get me wrong; I love him, my mom loves him, and clearly Janice Dickinson loves him (Do you think they’ve ever slept together?), but I was afraid he might break a hip when he did some of his “moves.”
Back to the time-filling “Golden Idols” with the nominees for “Outstanding Female.” There were a few terrible singers and then … there was Tatiana del Toro. I was wondering when she would resurface! Of course, she received the prize and rushed the stage singing “Saving All My Love for You,” even as Seacrest protested that they needed to go to break. I’m 85 percent sure it was all “staged” for comic effect but it seemed very real. Ruuuuuuuben Studdard sure looked shocked, anyway.
Kris and Glambert dueted on “We Are the Champions” and then — well I bet you know where this sentence is going — Queen came out, along with the Top 13. There was also a random group of show choir type people backing them up with jazz hands. No, really. (Are they from “Glee?”)
And after the nationwide vote of over 100 million, the winner of this year’s “American Idol” is … KRIS ALLEN!!!!
“Idol” shocker! What an upset! “Dark horse” no more! He was the first recipient of a brand new “Idol” winner’s trophy and, it must be said, it is a lot classier looking than the “Dancing With the Stars” trophy.
Don’t get too down, though, Glambert fans. Like I said on Tuesday, the winning single, “No Boundaries,” does not seem like the kind of song that Adam would ever choose to sing. He will now have the freedom to be the artist that he wants to be.
And can I make a suggestion? He would make a great choice for the David Bowie character if someone ever does a “Labyrinth” remake.
Thanks for reading. See you next January!