American Idol 8: The Finale

And it all comes to this.  Season 8 ends either with an obvious coronation – or possibly the biggest surprise ending in reality TV history.  Whatever happens, it’ll happen after two hours of music, dance, guest stars, and montage videos.  There might even be a planned surprise or two.  This… is two hours of your life you may not get back… THIS… is the eighth “Making of a Star”… THIS… is one more night at the sold-out Nokia Theatre L.A. Live… and, for the last time in 2009… THIS… is American Idol! *music cue*

I’m going to try to blog each segment as a paragraph, to give the feel of how the show went… because either you’re reading this because you skipped the show, or want to relive it.

8:00 pm: Opening montage, with scenes from last night, in and out of context… and cue Seacrest… after the intro, a few celebrity shots from the crowd as Seacrest opens the show.  “Just under” 100 million votes.  Season total? 624 million votes.  And now, some respect for our four “professional” judges – meaning blooper-reelish highlighting each judges’ crutches.  For Randy, it’s “for me”.  For Kara, it’s “sweetie/honey” (at least it wasn’t her math skills).  For Paula, it’s her meds… I mean, it’s the stunning variety of her vocabulary.  Really.  For Simon, it’s “what? pardon? sorry?”.  After that fluff, it’s the official intro of our two finalists, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert (in that order tonight).   The Idols’ microphones aren’t patched into the Fox audio system, so we can’t hear them well… 🙂 Mikalah Gordon is reporting in Conway, Arkansas on Kris’ fans… and in San Diego, we join Carly Smithson with Adam’s fanbase.  VFTW will be thrilled to see Carly, I’m sure.  And now, the Top 13 with a heavily-neutered version of Pink’s “So What”.  A highlight of the choreography is everyone basically circling around a non-moving Scott McKenzie… it appeared to be Adam’s job to keep Scott from wandering off the stage.  And… *music cue*

8:15 pm: Seacrest intros the reigning Seventh Idol, David Cook, with “Permanent”.  A quick chat follows, of course, about the song and how it relates to Cook’s late brother.  This song goes to iTunes, proceeds to ABC-Squared, a cancer-research charity.  Cook says “America can’t get this wrong” about tonight’s final choice.  Seacrest moves to a podium, to introduce the awards portion of our show.   Wait… the AWARDS?  What the hell are the Golden Idol Awards?  Oh… this is the mock-the-bad-auditions portion of the show.  Carry on.  We start with awful male auditioners.  I really can’t do the badness justice.  Oh, look, it’s Normund Gentile.  I’m calling a Katrina Darnell sighting now.  Back to the awards… the Outstanding Male goes to… who else… Nick “Normund Gentile” Mitchell, who just happens to be at the Nokia Theatre.  And, of course, he’s got the Normund gear on.  And he’s “singing”.  Cancel the Katrina sighting, Tatiana Del Toro has to be on stage later. My brain is melting.  Back when this travesty is over.  … … … … … OK, back… real singing now, Queen Latifah and Lil Rounds on “Cue The Rain”. And… *music cue*

8:33 pm: Right back to live music… or, at least, Anoop Desai.  And Alexis Grace.  And Mr. A to Z himself, Jason Mraz.  It’s Jason’s latest, “I’m Yours”.  And off to Seacrest, who asks the Kris Allen fans to make some noise on the way to the Kris Allen Montage.  After the montage, it’s “Kiss A Girl” with Kris… and Keith Urban, mate.  Of course, when you think about the girl Keith gets to kiss… 🙂 And… *music cue*

8:45 pm: Back to the Idol Girls of ‘09 with “Glamorous”, and that means it’s time for the Duchess… yes, it’s Fergie with “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (along with the girls as backing singers).  And from there… who else?  The Black Eyed Peas and “Boom Boom Pow”.  Complete with a bit of Fox seven-second delay censorship (late note: Yahoo says the silence was from BEP, not Fox)… but while Fox got one, they appeared to let at least one curse through… :)  Seacrest is back, and so is the Golden Idol Awards podium.  Oh no… not more.  Yes, more.  It’s the Best Attitude award… and it’s a Katrina Darrell clip!  And the predicted (and backed-off) Katrina Darrell sighting, with even less of a bikini than she wore for her audition.  Another kiss for Ryan, and he had to mention her obvious… improvements.  Oh, great, she’s going to sing.  I can see two reasons why she shouldn’t.  Ah, the excuse for a Katrina-Kara duet.  Like we needed this?  And, of course, Kara rips open the dress to show off her own bikini (I hope)… for charity, natch.  Off to the second hour after… a… *music cue*

9:00 pm: The second hour starts right on time with the Last Girl Standing (Seacrest’s words, not mine) – Allison Iraheta – dueting with Cyndi Lauper on “Time After Time”.  After that, we check in with Kris Allen’s parents, who seem… rather composed, actually.   And we cross to Adam Lambert’s parents, who seem… a bit nervous.  And now, on stage, Danny Gokey.  Since he’s singing “Hello”, we can guess who’s next.  And here he is… Lionel Richie, who duets with Danny on the Richie/Akon single “Just Go”… and Richie’s iconic “All Night Long”.  And… *music cue*

9:15 pm: We’re back to see Seacrest with the judges, shilling the tour and the Idol Winner iTunes Pass… into Seacrest getting the crowd to cheer for Adam Lambert, which takes us into the Adam Lambert Montage… and then to Adam, doing Kiss’ “Beth”.  Which means, face paint and all, it’s KISS (and Adam) with “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock and Roll All Nite”.  And… *music cue*

9:25 pm: Back live with Seacrest bringing out a true legend.  Carlos… SANTANA!  (emphasis mine)  We start with the classic guitar riff into “Black Magic Woman”.  On vocals?  Matt Giraud… then all of the Top 13 doing “Smooth”.  And after all those good feelings, it’s the Useless Ford Video (with clips from all the other Useless Ford Videos)… into a pretaped “Big Surprise” for Kris and Adam with David Cook.  Both guys get 2010 Fusion hybrids.  And now… for something completely weird.  Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, and musician (!) Steve Martin on banjo.   It’s a song that I completely fail to recognize, because it’s a Steve Martin original called “Pretty Flowers” from his new album.  Martin predicts that he will win Idol, and… *music cue*

9:39 pm: Back to the stage, with the Idol guys doing “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”.  In keeping with the pattern tonight, here’s… Rod Stewart, and “Maggie May”.  Umm… Rod sounds a bit… worn out… but then again, didn’t he always?  Cross to Seacrest, and our last Golden Idol of the evening for “Outstanding Female”.  Gee, I wonder.  Yeah, it’s Tatiana time.  Seacrest “tries” to go to break, but Tatiana commandeers the microphone… Seacrest plays out the scene… Tatiana sings “Saving All My Love For You” AGAIN as two “security guards” chase her off stage badly… and my ears bleed… if this is comedy, give me the commercial break… thankfully… *music cue*

9:52 pm: The two finalists finally duet… on Queen’s “We Are The Champions”… with Queen providing the music.  You know… Adam would fit with Queen if they need a lead vocalist… as the rest of the Top 13 provide backing vocals… and… *music cue*

10:00 pm: We go into the overrun (RATINGS GOLD~!) with Kris and Adam on stage.  Seacrest throws it to Simon for the last words before the results – he thought they were both brilliant, incredibly nice people, and they should both be proud.  “The future is all yours”.  The independent auditor from Telescope brings out the envelope with the results (hmm… where’d THAT idea come from?).  Dim the lights, here we go… the journey has ended.  Your Eighth American Idol is… Kris AllenWell, hell, I got it wrong two years in a row. Adam Lambert goes stage right with the rest of the Top 13 to begin his soon-to-be-incredible career.  The one-time 50-1 longshot stays on stage, thanks everyone in sight, says Adam deserved this, gets a winner’s trophy… and thanks the fans.  Seacrest thanks the crew and fans… and Kris takes us home with “No Boundaries” (which, it’s almost unanimously agreed, may be the worst coronation song ever).  Credits and… *music cue*

Your late local news is next.  Idol returns in January for season 9.  So will I.  But hey, keep reading the blog, I might actually have something non-Idol related to read once in a while… 🙂


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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