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!

Then David Cook sang his new single, “Permanent,” with a nod to his brother who recently passed away from cancer. Good song, by the way….and co-written by two people who know how to write good songs, Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and Chantal Kreviazuk. (ahem, Kara).

Then the first “Golden Idol” award, for the most outstanding dude in the early part of the season, and by outstanding, they mean “stand out” and not “awesome.” Nick Mitchell, aka Norman Gentle won that one, and had a chance to perform for us all once again. That is one funny dude.

Then Lil Rounds sang with Queen Latifah, and as Lil’s outfit made her look like one of those giant black and white cookies, Mrs. Mike correctly pointed out that Queen Latifah might eat her. Then Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace began singing a Jason Mraz song, followed by the top 13 AND Jason Mraz helping them finish. I don’t know exactly why, but I can’t stand this guy.

After that came the video journey of Kris Allen, including the initial auditions which WE NEVER SAW, thanks to the Idol producers. Then Kris had a very cool moment, a duet called “I Wanna Kiss a Girl” with Keith Urban. How cool. But not as cool as Adam’s showing later…

Then it was the girl finalists singing “Glamorous” along with Fergie, and then followed by another awesome performance by Fergie’s day job band, The Black Eyed Peas. After that it was the next Golden Idol award, this one for the person with the “best” attitude. The winner was Katrina Darrell, aka “Bikini Girl,” who came out in an even skimpier bikini and some new boobs. Katrina was handed the microphone and sang the tune she auditioned with, Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love.” Since Kara had chided her at the audition, Kara joined Katrina on stage, and then at the end of the song, flashed everyone with her own bikini bod! She was clearly embarrassed, but props to her for taking one for the team. The best though, was when Seacrest said to Katrina, “I’d ask you what’s new but I can already see.” Ha!

Then a super, super cool duet of “Time after Time” with Alison Iraheta and Cyndi Lauper. Holy crap, Cyndi looks great and sounds great….good for her. After that it was Danny Gokey singing with Lionel Ritchie, after which the two hugged for about five uncomfortable minutes.

After the break, Adam came out and started by singing KISS’ “Beth,” and I started getting goose bumps in anticipation of what I thought might happen. Yes, KISS came out and Adam got to sing with them amid huge pyrotechnics. Wow, just wow. Adam and KISS, or Kris and Keith Urban? Adam got the better end of that deal. Sorry, Mr. Keith. Then Carlos Santana performed along with the finalists.

Then David Cook presented Adam and Kris with brand new Fords, probably their pay for doing those crappy videos all season long. After this, comedian/bluegrass performer Steve Martin (along with his producer and band member John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame) appeared with Megan Joy and Michael Sarver. After this, the guys all sang Rod Stewart’s “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” and I hid the remote, because Mrs. Mike can’t stand Rod. Well, there he was, looking all his age of 64 (thanks ChaCha)….yes, Rod is beginning to look like a crusty old grandpa.

Then the Golden Idol award for “best” female, and guess who? Tatiana Del Toro, who they had fake through this act of grabbing the mic and singing while fake security guys chased her off the stage.

Adam and Kris were center stage after the break, and they were singing “We Are the Champions.” Uh-oh! They both got to sing with Queen! Wow… Adam got to sing with KISS and Queen in the same night? Dude had to have crapped his pants. Anyway, we were thinking that maybe this meant Adam was going to win, just because the song was better suited to his range.

Finally, the moment had arrived. Adam and Kris stood together with Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest asked Simon what he thought, and Simon gave some politically correct rant about both of them being brilliant, nice people who they were proud of. Oh really Simon? You didn’t think Kris deserved to win, why didn’t you say it? You’re always honest, after all.

The moment of truth….after nearly 100 million votes, the winner of “American Idol” Season 8 is…..KRIS ALLEN! My boy won it all! Look, Adam is a great singer and performer, but I had a feeling Kris was just that much better Tuesday and that he had more overall fans voting than Adam, despite being much more low key a performer. Kris was so overwhelmed, clearly not believing what had just happened, and Adam was of course gracious in defeat. But the best part? No, not that Kris got to sing that awful Kara song again. It’s that today we can stick the big middle finger up in the air to the Idol producers and to the judges (ahem, Paula and Simon) who all but handed Adam the crown. It goes to show that they don’t always know what they’re talking about, right? Sorry, I just have to gloat a little.

I want to thank you all for reading this past season and for enjoying the ride with me. Congrats to both Kris and Adam, and also to Danny and Alison, who were both good enough to be in the finale but didn’t quite make it. See you all in January, unless we have Idol news to report during the summer. Oh, and if you’re out in the sun this summer, don’t come back to school looking like Paula Abdul. MmmK?