American Idol 8 Finals: The Final (Round 11)

Last summer, thousands upon thousands of hopefuls descended upon auditions around the country… a couple of hundred got called back to Hollywood Week… cut to around 60, then 36… three rounds of semifinals (and a bundle of nerves and raw emotion named Tatiana) led to 13… then weekly eliminations (except for Judges’ Save week, right about the time we’d have seen Idol Gives Back in previous years)… until there were just two. Tonight, they have one last chance to earn votes.  One last chance to impress all of us.  This… is the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live… This… is the final sing-off… THIS… is American Idol! *music cue*

We get underway with Simon dressed up in a jacket and open-collared shirt… a few random Idol finalists past scattered in the crowd… and a quick intro of our two finalists, and the announcement that Kris Allen won the toss and elected to receive – um – go last.

Three songs tonight: singer’s choice (from past performances); Idol creator Simon Fuller’s choice (what? no Clive Davis???); coronation song co-written by Kara DioGuardi with Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allen.

And Seacrest gives us a DVR warning for tomorrow night’s overrun… plan on at least 15-20 minutes… and then we’re off to break!  Actual singing… next!

Round One – Singer’s Choice

Adam Lambert – “Mad World” (Tears for Fears via Michael Andrews/Gary Jules, Birth Year week) – After a montage on Adam’s propensity for screaming… Ironically, this version was less shrieky than what we got in Round 5 (the version DVR users missed due to another Idol overrun)… I liked it, good start but something seemed to be lacking… not quite sure what.

Kris Allen – “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Bill Withers, Top Downloads week) – Well done with Kris behind the piano… a bit understated, like the Round 4 version that closed that show.

First round: draw.

Yahoo reports that this year’s Idol winner will go to Disney World, and do “When You Wish Upon A Star” in a commercial at the end of tomorrow’s results concert/finale.

Round Two – Simon Fuller’s (Motown) Choice

Adam – “Change Is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke, 1964) – I was about to really complement this when he shrieked. :)  Overall, a well-done performance, if he got a bit too dramatic at points.  Paula’s off her meds again. 🙂

Kris – “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye, 1971) – Wow.  Stripping it down on acoustic guitar really gives the song a different punch… well done and a counterpoint to Adam’s theatrics.  Paula… how do you make a dead man proud?

Second round: slight edge to Kris

Round Three – The Coronation Song “No Boundaries”

Adam – This is where Kris’ coin-toss win will mean something to him.  We’ve heard Adam’s earnest, straight-forward read of the song… now we will get to compare how Kris does the same song…

Kris  – The last competitive performance of Season 8 goes to Kris Allen.  And it’s an equally earnest, straight-forward read of the coronation song, although I liked his closing portion of the song a bit better.

Third round: draw

Overall: slight edge to Kris

The Verdict: Kris didn’t do enough to take this from Adam (something Kara acknowledged, in a sideways manner, in her closing comments to Kris).  Your eighth American Idol will be Adam Lambert.

The massive results-show-slash-all-star-concert is tomorrow night at 8e/7c and will run until sometime Friday. 🙂

And Carrie Underwood sings us out with the exit song “Home Sweet Home” live…  and a montage of the good, the bad, the ugly, and Bikini Girl kissing Seacrest…

FYI, Fox has renewed Idol for the winter of 2010 for Tuesday nights at 8 and Wednesday nights back at 8… with the overblown one-hour results show coming back.  Thanks for not listening, Fox… although I have to admit that the ratings compel them to do the hour-long show.  Maybe they can revamp it to more of a concert-type show with a short results segment?

The sneak preview of (the likely ill-fated) Glee is next.

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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