May 19, 2009

Idol Recap 5/19/09

So final performance night of Season 8 of American Idol. We're down to two contestants who really could not be much more (thank you for proofreading, wife) different. Kris who is comfortable with a guitar, a t-shirt and jeans, has a drop dead gorgeous wife, and comes off as a laid-back rocker. On the other hand, cake the makeup and leather on Adam, give him a massive stage show with multi-piece orchesta and smoke, and try to pretend that you don't know the answer to the worst-kept secret in the history of Idol (pssst... here it is... Adam is gay!!!). Season 6 gave us Blake vs. Jordin. Season 7 gave us the battle of the Davids. Both of those two prior seasons showed marked differences between the two finalists. I'd venture to say that the differences between Kris and Adam are ten times more significant than the differences between the Season 6 and Season 7 finalists.

Seacrest informs us that we need to set our DVRs for an extended finale on Wednesday night so that we don't all call our local FOX affiliates insanely mad on Thursday morning because we missed the announcement of the winner. Translation in general - the producers just couldn't resist all the B-list celebrities trying to cash in on the Idol results show and overbooked it. Also they just couldn't resist booking Tatiana and Norman Gentle for a reprise of the two strangest Hollywood contestants ever. Translation to me - instead of taking 10 minutes to watch the show on DVR, tomorrow it may take me 12 minutes to watch the show on DVR.

On to the reviews of what turned into a great night of competition, ending with a pretty clear winner...

Round 1
Adam - Mad World
Kris - Ain't No Sunshine

I had never seen the original performance by Adam of his song during birth week. I'm thinking that my trip to Italy possibly interfered. Randy gives Adam props for daring to pick a song that he had already sung during the competition when the 30 million watching worldwide realize that it's finally time to tune Randy out forever since he apparently doesn't listen to the groundrules of the performance he's about to judge. Adam gives a pretty damn good go of it although I definitely thought that he was possibly wearing a long gown when we just got the silhouette effect at the beginning. I was relieved that it was a long trenchcoat. Kris countered with Ain't No Sunshine, which I actually thought was not the best performance. I thought that Heartless and his song cover from movie week from the movie One were both far superior. I suppose I understand at the end why he picked Ain't No Sunshine given how similar Heartless was to his second round song and how recent Heartless was performed. I would agree with Kara that Kris finds a way to connect with the audience in every performance. I would disagree with Simon's belief that Kris won the round... I thought that Adam delivered a better performance. I do appreciate Simon's honesty for the first time in that he told us all that he believed that Danny belonged in the finals. Even couched in a positive review for Kris though it couldn't help but be taken as a subtle message that he never had any doubts about Adam.

Round 2
Adam - Change is Gonna Come
Kris - What's Going On

In this round, I also disagree with Simon's take - Simon told us all that Adam won the round and I thought that Kris did a better job. Again, how can the judges complain about song choice when the producer of the show picked the song? Not really fair. Adam takes on the Sam Cooke masterpiece and, in my opinion, just took it about eight octaves and four runs way over the top. Yes, he took it low to show feeling. And he took it high to show power. But he took it way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too fucking high. On the other hand, Kris lent an upbeat tone to Marvin Gaye's famous What's Going On that sounded a little bit like Jason Mraz. Kris proved that he can be a heck of a performer just stipped down to a guitar and some basic percussion around him... no smoke machines or ambient lighting. However, the judges fell all over themselves after Adam's performance and we almost saw the first simultaneous four-way orgasm in the history of network television. I'm not entirely sure there wasn't a simultaenous two or three way orgasm. The judges were swayed by Adam's vocal ability to take a song to insane ranges (even if a song truly doesn't belong there). I think that on pure performance it goes to Kris.

Round 3
Adam and Kris - Shittily written crap-filled drivel by Kara

So in theory they let Kara write the song for the finale, I can only assume, because they were disappointed with the outcome of the submissions from previous years' writing competitions. Really? Idol producers, you're going to tell me with a straight face that you actually think Kara wrote a good song? Alright, and I'll tell you with a straight face that there were the same number of people in the Preakness infield this year as there were last year. There was absolutely no way that Kris was going to win this round. The song was written too high for him. He doesn't have a strong enough voice to rise above a 20 or 30 piece orchesta behind him. If those are qualifications for the winner, Kris shouldn't win. I honestly didn't think either performer did a great job, probably because they were hamstrung by the song. Maybe in the future they can let the contestants pick one more song of their own choosing that they've never sung before instead of force-feeding their first single down their throats. I've written a lot without getting to the point that I didn't want to get to. Adam won. Adam won hands down. If this was boxing, about 35 seconds into Kris' performance, the referee would've stopped the fight. Even the judges were trying to be kind to Kris, begging the public to think about his season as a whole and not just his performance on this song, which was basically IMPOSSIBLE for him to perform in a meaningful way.

Way back about three months ago when the top 36 were announced I said that Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Anoop Desai, Allison Iraheta, and Stevie something-that-I-can't-remember-because-she-got-crushed-in-the-very-first-week were my five contestants to watch. I got two of the top four which wasn't so bad. But week-to-week, I think my predictions have been worse this season than in either of the two prior seasons.

That said, the Idol producers would have us believe that there were only one million votes separating Kris and Adam last week. About the only way then that Kris wins is if a sizeable number of Danny's voters jump ship (and Adam's supporters don't dial the phone 50 times in the next four hours). Given the sum total of Kris' work tonight, and given the sum total of Adam's work tonight over the whole season, I believe that Adam Lambert will be the next Idol champion. He'll be a worthy champion and I think will actually go on to a pretty decent un-Taylor Hicks-like recording career. In many, many, many ways.

Thanks everyone for reading these weekly entries and I hope you had fun watching this season and enjoyed reading these recaps and predictions. See you all in Season 9.

6 Responses:

Anonymous said...

I hope you're right. I definitely voted (numerous times) for Adam Lambert. He's a much better performer/vocalist. Stage mannerism too. I do hope Kris gets something out of this as well. He was good but needs to open up a little on stage. I know I would love to see Adam's concert. It would definitely be a show to see.

Anonymous said...

I HATEEEEEE listening to adam crapface scream at the t.v. and so think if anyone actually listened/downloaded the songs from this season and made a cd, like i did, they would downright agree that kris is far more likely to have a lucrative career in singing/performing. id suggest that anyone who feels adam is superior, please listen back and tell me your ears dont start to bleed and cannotttt take him seriously. p.s if he sticks his tongue out one more time while he hits those notes i will kill myself

Nic said...

I haven't watched AI this season, but I texted in a vote 5 times for Kris last night. Adam's songs seemed so predictable, slow start, boom, then back to slow, and I just didn't dig his high pitch shrills.

I also had happened to watch Hairspray the night before and after hearing Queen Latifah sing Change is Gonna Come and then hearing threw me off and made my stomach churn.

I would totally buy Kris' cd if/when he comes out with one. I really liked his take on Ain't No Sunshine.
Plus he's hot.

But it seemed the judges already predestined Adam to win.

Jeremy said...

Nic, good to see you back! I personally worry about the safety of my marriage given my wife's reaction every time Kris appears on TV. As I said in one of my prior weekly recaps on here, he is definitely now on her "list" (see Entourage).

Nic said...

Heh, I think he looks a little like John Stamos...except blonde.

People over here in Memphis and Arkansas are happy with the results. Totally unexpected though.

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