American Idol: America’s shocking decision?

Last night’s “American Idol” finale proved that while we have endured many crappy performances this season from the likes of KC and the Sunshine band, Lady GaGa, Frida Payne and even Idol judge Paula Abdul, they showed that they always save the best for last. I’d say this was one of the best finales, maybe the best yet. And for me, the outcome didn’t suck either. But more on that in a minute.

Ryan Seacrest announced that almost 100 million votes came in, and a record 624 million votes this season. Then they announced each judge and had little clips of them from this past season, focusing on each of their quirks, which was pretty funny. And I’m still seeing red from Randy’s bow tie. Then Adam Lambert and Kris Allen came out wearing all white…what? And after showing Kris’ fans in his hometown in Conway, Arkansas with host Mikhala Gordon, and Adam’s fans in San Diego with Carly Smithson, it was the first group performance–the final 13 all wearing white (oh now I get it) and singing “So What,” after which exactly one dude in the studio audience stood up and clapped. Does anyone remember Jorge? And poor Scott McIntyre was being pushed and pulled all over the place. Jasmine Murray reminded us of why she was booted off early on in the finals when she soloed….ouch!

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American Idol: live TV can be painful to watch

Last night on “American Idol’s” results show, there was more proof that live TV can be awkward and extremely difficult to watch at times. Reality TV is sometimes too much of a reality check.
But more on that in a minute.

After the recap, a Motown medley and the obligatory Ford video (I confess to reading the sports page during all of this), Season 2 champ Ruben Studdard peformed his new single, “Together.” And judging by how big dude is, I think he may have been singing about his relationship with a cheeseburger. But that’s okay, because after the song as he was talking to Ryan Seacrest, Ruben lost about 10 pounds of sweat. Ewwwww.

On to the results. Adam Lambert, safe. Matt Giraud, bottom 3. Yikes…what the hell was America thinking? Admittedly, I didn’t think singing Marvin Gaye was smart, but Matt did a decent job with the song. Kris Allen and Lil Rounds, both safe. Michael Sarver, bottom 3.

Then came a creepy duet for the second straight week….Smokey Robinson and the hot and much younger Joss Stone. They sang “You’re the One For Me” and if you thought Randy Travis ogling Carrie Underwood was creepy, go watch this one again.

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American Idol: Motown week challenges top 10

“American Idol” just gets more full of itself. From the way they that “Tell them what they’ve won, Don Pardo” announcer that brings out the judges and perpetually peppy Ryan Seacrest, to Simon drawing a mustache on Paula and laughing so much that he can’t deliver a fair critique of Allison. Just get over yourselves, people! It’s about the singers, or at least should be.

What follows is a recap of last night’s Motown performances, with the great Smokey Robinson coaching the finalists, and the great Berry Gordy in attendance. Keep in mind these are grouped into the good, in-between and bad based on my opinion, not the judges.

THE REALLY GOOD

Allison Iraheta was in the pimp spot last night, and she hit a long fly ball that would have cleared two baseball fields. She sang “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and I think we all keep forgetting Allison is just 16, because she has ridiculous pipes, and shows almost no signs of being nervous. Randy said it was “blazing hot,” Kara said “wow,” Paula said she looked fantastic and sounded awesome, through her Crayola mustache, and Simon said, through giggles, that it was one of Allison’s best performances yet. No, it WAS her best Simon…you were too busy acting like a 5 year old to notice. How in the world was Allison in the bottom 3 last week? Well, she shouldn’t be tonight.

THE PRETTY GOOD

Matt Giraud took on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Look, this is the exact song I was quoted in a Fox News article on, saying that no Idol hopeful should attempt it. But Matt actually did the song justice. I kept thinking he is no Marvin Gaye, but he did the best he could. Randy said it was challenging but that Matt did a nice job, Kara said she thinks all the girls watching liked it and that Matt is coming out of his shell, Paula said it was a nice job and Simon said it was a brilliant choice and a cool performance. Considering Matt went first, that’s pretty damn good.

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American Idol: To save or not to….

Last night’s “American Idol” results show was just a bit shocking as Ryan Seacrest promised at the start of the show, before or after boasting that 31 million viewers voted on Tuesday night. Dude, we’re proud of you for keeping the network and the producers smiling. Anyway, Grand Ole Opry week continued with a recap of Tuesday’s performances, a group number, a behind-the-scenes look at the little party they threw for Jorge and Jasmine after being eliminated last week, and the Ford video in which the finalists were having a water balloon fight. Nice.

Then it was on to the results….Danny Gokey, safe; Lil Rounds, safe; Anoop Desai, safe; Allison Iraheta and Michael Sarver, both in the bottom 3. Okay, I get Michael, but Allison? She was awesome Tuesday. I’m telling you people, Scott and Megan are stealing votes from better singers. Then Brad Paisley came out and sang his incredibly bland new single, “Then.” Look, I live in Nashvegas but I’m not a fan of most of the formulaic crap that Music Row spits out. But Paisley plays a mean guitar, I’ll give him that.

Then back to business. Scott McIntyre, safe; Megan Joy Corkrey, safe. At this point I’m doing the math. Someone is going to be eliminated that shouldn’t be. Matt Giraud, who is rocketing up the likeability chart, safe; Kris Allen, safe. That left Alexis Grace and Adam Lambert. Adam’s weird Jeff Buckley version of “Ring of Fire” really hurt him, but it was Alexis in the bottom 3. She looked pissed, and understandably, quite surprised.

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American Idol: yee haw, y’all

It’s Grand Ole Opry Week on “American Idol,” meaning the contestants last night had to sing country music songs by anyone who belongs to the Opry, including recently inducted member and former Idol champ Carrie Underwood. Opry veteral and country music legend Randy Travis spent the week in Hollywood training and mentoring each contestant. Country week can be challenging for most of the finalists at best, and painful for viewers at worst. But honestly, there wasn’t anything last night that was so hideous you knew for sure what tonight’s results would be. At least, that’s how I saw it. Here is a recap of the very good, the good, and the mediocre:

THE VERY GOOD

Allison Iraheta sang Patty Loveless’ “Blame It On The Heart” and while I had my doubts about this young (16!) hopeful, Allison proved last night that she is not only going to hang around a bit, but that she could be a contender to win it all. Her voice is just sick. Kara said Allison can sing anything in her own style, Paula said it was rock solid, Simon said it was good but tuneless in spots, and Randy strongly disagreed with Simon, saying it was “dope.” I agree, it was dope.

Danny Gokey came out dressed in this weird white jacket that made him look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters.” Really, whose idea was that? Danny started off slowly with Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” but in the chorus he soared to heights that few in this competition can match. And to be honest, I hate this song. Kara said the second half of the song was amazing, Paula said it was brilliant, Simon agreed with Paula but said he hated the marshmallow suit and that it looked like Danny was going on a polar expedition, and Randy agreed with Kara that he only liked the second half of the song.

Anoop Desai was close to being eliminated last week, so he knew he had to step up his game. And he did just that, with a solid performance of Willie Nelson’s “You Are Always on My Mind.” Paula declared, “Anoop is back!” and that he touched her heart (please…), Simon said Anoop went from “zero to hero” and that it was an excellent song choice, Randy said he showed great skills and that he loved the arrangement, and Kara said Anoop took a classic song and made it sound amazing. Indeed.

Matt Giraud closed the night with Carrie Underwood’s “So Small,” but did a really cool piano version of it. This kid is a dark horse…..remember, his day job is as a dueling piano player, and his only blemish so far was that awful Coldplay song a few weeks ago. Kara said there is nothing small about Matt and that he is a true talent, Paula said it was authentic and honest, Simon said Matt doesn’t get enough credit for his vocal skills the way Adam and Danny do, and Randy said it was his favorite performance of the night.

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