American Idol, 2009 – Episode 40 (5/20/09)

Idol LogoSince there are only two contestants left, a separate post for my weekly power rankings seems pointless, so I’ll just do it here.

Power Rankings:

  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Kris Allen

Who Should Win

Adam Lambert. I thought Kris was better last night, but if we’re picking our new American Idol based on the body of work created over the course of the season, Adam gets the prize.

Who Will Win

Kris Allen. A solid night and the mass movement of former Gokey voters to Kris should put him over the top. I’m not rooting for him, but I can be satisfied with that result.

One of the things that I like about this show is that nice guys can finish first. The music industry can be a nasty, backstabbing, evil thing. But American Idol can, if the contestants can make it through the judges’ and producers’ manipulations, provide a platform for some talented nobody who isn’t a lying, thieving vampire to get the shot he deserves. I don’t know either Kris Allen or Adam Lambert personally, but the online gossipers and the journalists who interview people from their hometowns and such all seem to have the same thing to say: Both of these guys are very nice people. And that makes me happy.

They say the same thing about Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, and hell, almost everyone from this season. They say it about Kelly Clarkson. They say it about David Cook. They say it about Jordin Sparks and Carrie Underwood and many others. That is a wonderful thing, a thing not to be overlooked.

Of course, there’s always the chance that one or more of the folks I’ve been so kind to in this post insists on only getting brown M&Ms soaked in Perrier backstage, prior to screaming at some stagehand and demanding a private dressing room for his poodle. I may be being much too romantic here. I hope I’m not. Talented people who are also good people should finish first once in awhile, and my sense is that, through this show, sometimes they do.

My blog will be very late tonight. Mom and Pops Winslow are in town, and after dinner with them, I have to prepare for an interview that takes place tomorrow for a job I badly need. So I have no idea when I’m going to be able to watch the show. When I do, live DVR blogging and spoilers will be below the fold.

As Eminem would say, let’s get down to business!

One hundred million votes last night. Astonishing. People are very passionate this year.

The segment introducing the judges features Randy saying “for me, for you” over and over again, Kara calling everyone “sweetie” and “honey” before destroying their world, Paula blowing the teleprompter critiques she’s been giving this year, and Simon saying “what” a lot. Well, they do have two hours to fill.

Adam and Kris are introduced. Both are wearing all white. Adam looks like he’s trying out for a part in A Clockwork Orange–The Musical.

Mikalah Gordon is on site in Arkansas with Kris’ fans. Mikalah?

Carly Smithson is on location in San Diego. Now, she I do sort of miss.

The top thirteen is performing Pink’s “So What.” It’s completely appalling. Needless to say, the pain that Pink conveys is completely gone, replaced by brattiness. They should have just let Allison do it solo, since she’s the closest to Pink of anyone who’s ever been on this show.

David Cook is up next, performing “Permanent.” It’s just a piano player and David, which is very effective, even if I don’t care for the song. David’s voice sounds great. All the practice he’s gotten on the road has definitely paid off.

At the end of the song, the full band kicks in. It’s a nice bit of stagecraft.

iTunes sales of this performance will go to benefit ABC Squared, a cancer-fighting organization, in honor of his late brother.

Next is the “awards” portion of the show.

Outstanding male:

  • Will Kinick demolishing “Mad World”
  • Michael Gurr strangling a cat or something–I can’t even tell what song it’s supposed to be.
  • Elijah Scarlett bullfrogging “First, Last, and Everything.”
  • Dean Anthony-Bradford doing something horrible to some song or other.
  • Nick Mitchell/Normund Gentle being Normund Gentle.

The winner–Nick Mitchell. And now we have to endure one his performances. Ack.

Lil Rounds has scored a duet with Queen Latifah. That’s really a better gig than she deserves. They’re performing “Cue the Rain.” It’s better than most of Lil’s performances during the competition. Maybe she should try to be a backup singer rather than being center stage.

Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace warm up Jason Mraz doing “I’m Yours,” later joined by a few of our other contestants. I’m shocked that they’re giving Alexis such a spotlight–will the pimping never end?

Next is Kris’ recap featurette. It’s just like every other recap feature. They finally get to the good stuff, Kris singing “Kiss a Girl” with Keith Urban. We didn’t see a lot of country Kris, but he’s good with this sort of material. If his singer-songwriter type stuff doesn’t sell, he could definitely try country.

Next up are our top girls, including Megan Joy, doing something called “Glamorous.” Will Megan caw?

I guess the song is by Fergie, who comes on stage next. No wonder I hate it. Afterwards, she’s joined by the biggest sellouts in the history of music, the Black Eyed Peas. Was a Dr. Pepper commercial unavailable?

Another award. Best attitude:

  • Katrina the bikini girl. This segment was painful enough the first time.
  • Alexis Cohen, the nutcase from two seasons in a row, giving the judges the finger again.
  • Tiffany Schedd (sp?) crying and acting weird.

The award goes to Katrina, so we get to watch her run around in a bikini again. It looks like she’s gotten a boob job.

Yep, Ryan makes a joke about it. Then we get to hear her slaughter “Vision of Love.” Kara comes out to prove that she can actually sing. Funny bit; it almost makes it worth sitting through bikini girl’s audition again.

Hooray! Allison Iraheta is singing “Time After Time” with Cyndi Lauper. I love you, Allison!

This is such a beautiful song, and Allison is perfect on it. Just lovely. Are you watching, label people? This girl is the real deal. They should put that one out on iTunes.

Seacrest introduces Kris and Adam’s families, and then we get a solo performance by Danny Gokey.

His showcase is Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” He’s quite good, actually, demonstrating the restraint that eluded him for many performances in the competition. Lionel then comes out, and they duet on a song that I don’t know–maybe Lionel’s attempting a comeback. Danny botches it pretty badly.

A third Lionel Richie song is next–who’s this guy’s agent? This time it’s “All Night Long.” I don’t mind Lionel Richie, but enough is enough!

Time for the Adam featurette.

Oh, my! What is he wearing? He looks like he’s in Mad Max. I guess that’s appropriate, since he’s singing “Beth” by Kiss. Then the gods of rock themselves and join Adam for a little “Detroit Rock City,” affording him some good shriek opportunities. From there we go to “Rock and Roll All Nite.” And Adam throws in one last screech, just for the hell of it. I wonder if this is what the record people have in mind for the future of Adam?

Carlos Santana is next, playing “Black Magic Woman” with Matt Giraud on lead vocals. They transition to “Smooth,” with the rest of the Idol contestants joining in. It’s better than most of the group numbers.

Ford music video. “I Will Remember You.” Ack. At least they get a couple of Ford Fusions out of it.

Megan Joy and Michael Sarver are performing with…Steve Martin? Steve plays banjo in a bluegrass-style combo, I guess. I’m not familiar with the song, but it’s a pleasant little number.

Ah, that’s why I haven’t heard it. It was written by Steve Martin and is called “Pretty Flowers.” I wonder who sings on Steve’s album?

Did we really need a male group number to “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”? This is the worst thing ever. After that travesty, Rod comes out to sing one of the songs he did before he started to suck, “Maggie May.” His great voice sounds a bit frayed. The mandolin player looks like he’s having fun, anyway.

Our last “award”: Outstanding female.

  • Chelsea Marquarte slaughters “Without You”
  • Irene something sings something that I can’t tell what what it is. Oh my gosh, was that supposed to be “Somewhere Over the Rainbow?”
  • Some other chick does something horrible.
  • Finally, Tatiana! Hooray!

They do a bit where she sings “Saving All My Love For You” while security chases her. It’s not very funny, but at least we got to see Tatiana again!

As we approach the end of this endless show, Kris and Adam duet on “We Are the Champions.” You didn’t think this season was going to end without Adam doing a Queen song, did you? (Well, I guess he already did one, if you count his audition.) This time it’s actually with Queen. The other contestants join in on the chorus.

And we are finally at our moment of truth, after what feels like forever.

And the winner is…Kris! That may shock the world, but I called it! The look of amazement on Kris’ face is priceless.

Kris says that Adam deserves this, and he’s right, but Kris is a worthy winner. Congratulations, Kris!

What a season! Thanks to everyone who has checked in on our posts. It’s been a joy to cover the show this year. I’m already looking forward to Season Nine! Good night and God bless.

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4 Responses to American Idol, 2009 – Episode 40 (5/20/09)

  1. zazazuzu says:

    I think you have written a very good summary of A.I. and your point that Gokey’s fans will probably vote for Kris is a good one, I had not thought of that. Either way I think both would be great winners it is two bad they can not have 2 “American Idols”.

  2. Jason Austinite says:

    I have to say that Allison’s duet with Cyndi Lauper was amazing and the highlight of the night.

    I was.actually impressed with Megan Joy’s performance of Steve Martin’s little bluegrass number. Her voice fit better with that song than any of the ones she and while she was still in the competition.

    I knew that Kris was going to walk away with the win. Like I said, commercial vs editorial, and you don’t get much more commercial than American Idol.

    The season ended much better than it began. Looks like Season 7 still holds the title of worst season ever.

  3. […] American Idol, 2009 – Episode 40 (5/20/09) Since there are only two contestants left, a separate post for my weekly power rankings seems pointless, so I’ll […] […]

  4. cs1315 says:

    Hi,Everybody!

    HELP! When (day/time) and what Direct TV Channel will show again the 2009 AI finale?

    Thanks for your help!

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