And then there were two. Almost three months after we began our AI blog, we’ve come to the end of the road (cheesy Boyz II Men pun intended). In one corner: Kris Allen, the clean-cut married guy from Arkansas. With his totally barf-worthy brand of country-boy charm and non-threatening good looks, it’s no wonder he’s the favorite of annoying teenage girls and their undersexed mothers everywhere. Also: He’s religious, which some talking heads think will help sway the mostly Christian audience.
Last night, he started off soaring with a dramatic take on Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine and then fell to the ground with a thud after performing a less-than-inspired version of What’s Going On. We won’t even comment on the horrible Idol “single” (co-written by everyone’s least favorite fourth wheel, Kara DioGuardi) he was forced to sing as his third song.
In the other corner: 2009’s answer to Eartha Kitt. We’ve been pretty hard on Adam Lambert all season, but (eardrum-piercing squeals and Tammy Faye-esque eye makeup aside) we can appreciate what his winning would signify for the show and its audience – a move toward accepting a contestant who’s a little different from the cookie cutter mold of season’s past. Read: A big ol’ gay. Though this new mold would be in the shape of a complete douche, we’re willing to accept that compromise.
For last night’s AI play-by-play, read on.
7:58: In celebration of the AI finals, I’m back in Wakefield, MA blogging with Mom, Dad, and Sis. They’re all dying for me to quote them throughout.
8:00: Kris and Adam montage opens the show.
8:01: “Two are left standing, but only one can take it all,” says Ry-Guy.
8:02: Pan of audience reveals Camryn Manheim from The Practice sitting with her kid. “Tonight is the battle of the acoustic rocker versus the glam rocker,” says Ry-Guy. The guy next door versus the guy you wouldn’t want living next door.
8:03: Simon’s fitted tees must be at the Laundromat – he’s wearing a jacket tonight. Adam is wearing some weird chain thing.
8:04: So, each contestant will be performing three songs tonight: their favorite that they’ve performed on the show, a song chosen by AI creator Simon Fuller, and the song that will be released as a single once the winner is announced (co-written by Kara DioGuardi). Kris won the coin toss and decided to go last.
8:09: Adam is up first with a background montage of him as a child. Looks like he was just as annoying then as he is now.
8:10: Singing Mad World. Really? He thought this was his best performance all season? He’s wearing this creepy Interview With the Vampire-style long black trench coat.
8:11: I feel like I’m watching a performance of Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway.
8:12: Adam does a creepy eye stare into the camera. Randy starts his blathering. I’m so glad I only have to listen to him for one more night. Randy gives Adam an A+.
8:13: “You rocked it again tonight.” Woah, Hannibal Lecter in the audience tonight. Maybe he’ll eat Adam’s face.
8:14: Paula says the performance was “haunting.” I certainly agree with that. Simon calls it over-theatrical and says that is reminded him of Phantom of the Opera. Totally!
8:15: Kris Allen montage reveals he was a shy child and that his parents used to pay him a quarter to sing. I’ll pay them a quarter to take his ass back to Conway.
8:16: Kris’s personal pick is Ain’t No Sunshine.
8:17: Smart move on Kris’s part to play the piano. I think it will distinguish him as an actual musician not a campy theater queen.
8:18: Adam is a total creamer but Kris is sooooo GD boring. Simon is clapping. He must’ve liked it.
8:19: Randy calls it one of his best performances ever on the stage. “If a Kris Allen performance doesn’t move you there’s something wrong with you,” says dumb Kara.
8:20: “You awakened the spirit in all of us,” spews Paula. I think we need to exorcise Paula’s spirit. Simon tells Kris that he wasn’t sure America made the right choice when they selected him as one of the finalists but that his last performance proves that he deserves to be in the finals.
8:21: Simon crowns Kris the winner of round one.
8:22: Let’s bring back the McDonald’s filet-o-fish commercial. THAT was the best performance of the season.
8:25: Simon Fuller picks A Change Is Gonna Come for Adam Lambert. Adam’s cheap shiny silver suit from Motown week is baaaaaaacccckkkk.
8:26: Adam doing bluesy soul = my worst nightmare
8:27: I think we’re witnessing the downfall of AL. The screams are out of control.
8:28: Randy says that the performance proves Adam can “sing his face off.” Kara calls the high notes plus the emotion Adam’s “winning combo.”
8:29: “I know with ever fiber of my being that you will be iconic,” says Paula. I think that’s a little bit much. Simon tells Adam he’s “100 percent back in the competition.”
8:30: Kris is back after the break. Katie Holmes and Baby Suri are in the audience and Katie is blocking Baby Suri’s ears from Adam’s squeals. I’m serious!!!!!!!!!!!
8:35: Simon Fuller chooses What’s Going On for Kris and, of course, he’s doing a stripped-down acoustic version with bongos. It’s very smoking-pot-in-my-dorm-room. Not that I would know; I was more of a drinking cosmos in a drag bar kind of guy.
8:36: PS: Who are the two pageant queens in the audience with Kris’ family?
8:37: Randy says it was a little light for him. Too bad you’re not a little light Randy. Kara likes that Simon Fuller chose a socially-conscious song Kris him because he can deliver that message. Blech.
8:38: “I know what’s going on. You tore up that song up and made Marvin Gaye proud,” blathers Paula. Simon says it too laid back for this stage of the show. I think that’s totally BS. Note to Simon and Randy: Not everyone’s a shrieking theater queen.
8:39: Simon says Adam got the third round. I just threw up a little in my mouth.
8:40: American Idol single is called No Boundaries and it was co-written by Kara DioGuardi. Adam’s opening is already sending shivers of terrors down my spine.
8:44: Advice to Kara: Please don’t write any other songs. This BLOWS.
8:45: Kara, there are boundaries – and you crossed a big one in the “taste” category. This song only belongs in Celine Dion’s Vegas show.
8:46: Randy says that Adam can sing anything but that this wasn’t his favorite performance. Again, says something about it being a little pitchy. Well, I’m gonna be a little bitchy: Randy, I hate you.
8:47: My eyes are glazing over during Kara’s comments. “Adjectives can’t express what you’ve brought to this show,” says Paula. Well, that is true Paula because you wouldn’t use adjectives to describe what he brought to the show. You’d use nouns you tard.
8:48: Simon: “Over the entire season you’ve been one of the best, most original contestants we’ve ever had on the show.” Says he genuinely believes they’ve found a worldwide star in Adam. More like a worldwide epidemic.
8:49: Kris sings that train wreck of song next.
8:53: Horrible arrangement is the same during Kris’ performance. The song is definitely better for his voice though.
8:55: When will this torture end? Oh wait, five minutes from now. Phew.
8:56: What’s up with Kris’s weird mustache? Did he lose a bet? I’m just noticing it now.
8:57: Randy thinks the song was better for his voice. Kris says that he’s a great performer.
8:57: Paula says he deserves where he is: “in the spotlight.” Simon says the highlight was the first song he sang. Ouch.
8:58: Phone number montage and Carrie Underwood performance closes the show. At this point, I don’t even care. I’m just sooooooooooooooooo excited for Glee.