Last night’s season finale of “American Idol” had a bit of everything. It even had another somewhat surprising ending, at least from where I sit. Ryan Seacrest promised that there would be a few tributes to outbound Simon Cowell during the night, and there were. But here is how the rest of the show went down, and we’ll sum it up as quickly as we can:
The Season 9 Top 12 sang Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and once we saw the school kids dressed like Alice Cooper we knew the man himself would make an appearance and he did. But he didn’t sound very good.
Last season’s champ, Kris Allen, sang his single “The Truth”…it was a B-plus performance
Then came the first of the Simon Cowell tributes, followed by Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly doing The Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love,” during which the two living Bee Gees (Barry and Robin Gibb) came out and performed with them. That was cool, but they didn’t sound great either.
Michael Lynche came out and sang The Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It To the Streets,” and Michael McDonald joined him on stage. McDonald sounded great in spots, not so great in others.
Dane Cook did a tribute to Simon Cowell and I’ll say it again…this guy is absolutely not funny at all. He never is and I don’t get it!
Lacey Brown and Didi Benami started Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and were joined by the other women from this season, and then finally by Christina, who wound up finishing with a song by herself. Man, can that girl belt it. The finalists from this season had to be thinking, “holy crap.”
Then Lee and the other guys started a Hall & Oates medley and were joined by Daryl Hall and John Oates. Those guys sounded very good.
Then a quick check in with former contestants Janell Wheeler in Crystal’s hometown of Toledo and Matt Rogers in Lee’s hometown near Chicago.
Crystal came out and sang Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” and was joined by Alanis herself. That was pretty cool, but the two of them walking around nervously on stage was hard to watch.
Carrie Underwood sang her new single, “Undo It,” co-written by Carrie with judge Kara DioGuardi. I’m happy to report that we forwarded through this entire performance.
Then Kris Allen presented two custom-decorated Fords to both Lee and Crystal, and they could not have looked more unenthusiastic. Pretty funny stuff.
Then came one of the night’s great moments…..Casey James started strumming and singing Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and I got chills as I knew what was coming….Bret Michaels. He got one of the biggest ovations of the night and rightly so, as the man battled for his life with a brain hemorrhage this past month. And he was just crowned the “Celebrity Apprentice” a few nights ago!
Then Lee Dewyze performed with the band Chicago to symbolize his roots. Yawn.
Another great moment in the show’s history followed, as General Larry Platt returned to sing “Pants on the Ground,” complete with dancers and a band. Even ol’ Larry could dance! He was joined by former contestant William Hung. Just heartwarming, I tell you.
Then Paula Abdul came out and did what looked like a comedy skit to pay tribute to Simon, but it just made me uncomfortable. How about you? I mean, that was beyond weird. After that, Kelly Clarkson and every American Idol champ except David Cook came out to sing together, and they were joined by other former contestants such as Justin Guarini, Diana DeGarmo, and Jason Castro. Then Simon joined them on stage and made a tearful goodbye speech that may have been rehearsed, but probably not.
Then Janet Jackson performed and was half singing, half lip-synching.
Finally it was time to announce the winner, who certainly would be Crystal, right? Well, no! It was Lee Dewyze, ladies and gentlemen. I admit I thought Lee really came on the last few weeks, and was peaking, but Crystal just annihilated him on Tuesday night. But, just like the last two seasons, the person we thought would win did not.
Still, Lee is a humble and worthy champion, and he was overcome by emotion because I’m pretty sure he didn’t think he would win. As Mrs. Mike pointed out, though, Crystal will now get to make an album the way she wants to, and Lee will have to make that co-written 19 Entertainment schlock. Mrs. Mike said this after throwing pillows at the TV!
Thanks for reading everyone, and enjoy your summer!