Tuesday night's performance show left me feeling unhealthy and sluggish, as though I'd just gorged on nothing but Velveeta for over four months. But the results show proved that just like Jello, there's alway room for one more grilled cheese sandwich. And that's how they did the final show up -- buttered up, toasted through, melted down and served without apology.
It looked like it was going to be a depressing mess from the opening White number with Carrie Underwood leading the way, doing a stately and boring sing out to end her reign. And there were a few over-fried bits, but there were also more than enough scandalously hilarious sequences to validate the show's standing as the current pop-zeitgeist.
How good was it? For starters, it accomplished something last night that hadn't happened all season. It got Chris Daughtry to crack a smile while singing. Proof:
There were plenty of guest artists tonight. Paris got to sing a number with Al Jarreau, and she blew him off the stage. Dionne Warwick didn't need to contact her psychic friends network to find out that if she wanted to boost album sales she should appear on the show, and for some reason, they gave her an outrageously long solo. I don't mind guest artists, but at least Al Jarreau, Live, Mary J. Blige, and Meatloaf performed with the Idols. There were a couple of instances this year where artists wanted to be on the show but they made it clear they didn't want to coach or sing with the kids. A couple of them (Shakira, Dionne, and an artist to be discussed later) got away with it, but I wish next year the producers would tell these sycophants to fuck off.
Anyhow, Daughtry got to sing with Live, and it got him to crack a smile, perhaps because even Ed Kowalczyk was really cool and smiley. Good for Chris. What was bad for Chris is that Kowalczyk kind of blew him off the stage. Chris sounded good, until Kowalczyk started to really let loose in a way that vocally Chris never has. But it was a nice moment for Chris and his wallet chain. He earned that, especially considering that later in the show the producers completely pwned him by making him sing the theme from Arthur! You know, that Christopher Cross song, "Between the Moon and New York City."
Comedy gold, that's what that was. Dressed in black suits, the Rat Pack, these guys aren't. (Please note Chris's accessorizing with the suit.) Even though I didn't see his hot brother in tow, I've softened up so much toward Ace Young since he's been booted. Him and that ceaseless smile, I'm starting to believe it's genuine. He came out with Chris and Kevin Covais singing that lame song and just smiled like the idiot he is through the whole thing. I admire that. I truly do.
However, as funny as that was, it didn't come close to topping what they made poor Bucky do. Bucky, he seems like such a cool guy, but I think that he must have done something along the way to really piss off the producers of the show, because during the whole Burt Bacharach medley, Bucky got the distinction of singing "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."
Talk about incongruous? That's as mismatched as having Chris Daughtry sing the theme from Arthur. And both of these things happened within four minutes of each other. Not to mention how Covais also sang "What's New Pussycat?" I'm telling you. I know 200,000 million people watched this show, but if you weren't one of them, you really missed out.
In bold contrast to the spankings those fellows took, I get the gist the producers had honest affection for Elliott, cause they hooked him up right. For starters, he looked hot. Exhibit A;
Second, they hooked him up with Mary J. Blige. Above and beyond, they got to sing U2's "One." Just to refresh your memory, or in case you're not such an Idol geek as I am, last year, Constantine wanted to sing "Beautiful Day" and it was denied. The net result was that Connie got stuck singing that shitty Nickelback song instead and then he got the infamous boot the next night. But Elliott, he gets to pop the fresh-lock lid on U2 for American Idol with one of their best songs. Even better, Mary isn't one of the rode-hard and used up performers. She's actually like, cool. Naturally, it rocked. Mary got all crazy and even did an homage to Taylor by incorporating his crazy arm-wind move.
Okay, so Elliott kinda got shoved aside and out of the spotlight for a large portion of the song, but he sounded awesome at the start, and jumped back in at the end. Check how cute they were:
As if that wasn't enough, they also gave E's mom an award. Oh yah! They gave out mocking awards all night, but they gave the Golden Idol to Claudette for best moment of family bonding. I don't think for one second it was an accident at all that they had her beat out the creepy McPhather for this award either.
Yes, the Idol machine was in a generous mood last night, handing out Mustang convertibles to both Taylor and Katharine, and even more awards. Most of the awards were an excuse to showcase some of the most cringe-worthy and hilariously bad moments of earlier in the season, but it did allow us to briefly reconnect with Rhonetta.
Potentially, she's the best female potty-mouth of the season, edging out even me. Also thanks to the awards, we got our first ever documented stage-diving incident, courtesy of crazy Dave Hoover, who made a brief reappearance to accept.
All hail Dave Hoover. The only man on Idol who can make Taylor Hicks look downright sedate.
But that wasn't the end of the awards. Oh no. They pulled out the last stop and gave out the last award to the best impersonator of the year. For this, they brought out the big gun. And by that, of course, I'm talking about Clay Aiken.
Just when you think American Idol has started to take itself seriously, they bring back Aiken, sending the Claymates into a furious, frothing puddle of goo, and they have him serenade his own creepy, gayer-than-Clay doppleganger. Truly, it was a high point, even for this season.
After all that, what else can they possibly do for us? Well, besides getting Chris to smile onstage, they also got Katharine to showcase a different emotion. Fear. Witness:
They paired her up with Meatloaf for "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" and I guess there was supposed to be some symbolic storyline going on. Cuz the Loaf kept clutching and fluttering around a red scarf while Katharine acted as though she was in peril of the scarf, I suppose to showcase her acting chops before final curtain call.
As if that wasn't enough, they didn't forget Kellie Picker either. Instead of having her sing, they showcased her true talent of acting dizzy as she sat down to eat with Wolfgang Puck. (I guess maybe gross receipts at Spago are down?) In the process, we got G-rated porn as Wolfgang forced escargot in her mouth.
Alas, fellows, thanks to this interlude, the burning question was answered. Kellie, she spits instead of swallows.
As if that's not enough, they also ran a judges' greatest hits, where we heard Randy saying "Dude" and "Dawg" a whole bunch, and saw Simon feeling himself up quite often. Paula's, naturally, was the most entertaining. Crying, wildly jumping, and last but not least, lap dancing:
It was also at this time that Ryan coined a whole new euphemism for "intoxicated." He deemed Paula the "compassionate" judge. You bet I'm gonna be adding that one to my vernacular. "Hey girls, let's go that new club tonight. Someone else has to be the designated driver cuz I'm ready to get totally compassionate, man."
You think that's enough? Oh no. It didn't stop there. The good times just kept rolling as they riffed on their own growing uh, tendencies, on the show. Although they denied us a best of Pickler-McPhee lesbian love-fest, they did an homage to "male bonding." The real showcase was that little cowboy kid and his two pals from the Hollywood week rounds, but it hit the mark for me with the first nominees, Chris and Ace.
Just in case you thought it was just me and my filthy mind who equated Daughtry with gay porn and picked up all the homoerotic subtext to this season, that segment should be proof to everyone that I'm simply not that deranged. I feel vindicated. And slightly warm.
So. That should've been enough, shouldn't it? But they had one more. This was the most rumored guest artist all season, but they managed to keep squashing the rumors. But then, finally, in all his purple majesty, he appeared:
What I noted about this performance was that he had an even better light show than Chris ever got. Well, that, and Prince should be inspiration to Elliott -- short guys can get plenty of pussy. Well, that, and that Ace should take note of what a good falsetto can do for you.
After all those highlights, there really wasn't anything left to do but crown the winner. If the hometown visits of last week weren't enough of a clue for you, they showed us the hometown parties going on for Taylor and Kat. In Birmingham there was a stadium packed full of crazed fans: kids with their hair dyed gray, the camera panned all around to show waving signs, people screaming for Taylor. Out in LA, Tamyra Gray held her ground and they didn't dare use a wide-angle shot as they herded about 50 people from Universal Studios theme park around her and stuffed some signs in their hands to show support for Katharine.
Also throughout the show, my shallowest impulses rose to the surface of my mud-puddle shallow soul. I don't know if it was the shiny new Mustang or the impending million dollar contract, but I started to see Taylor in a whole new light.
First, he came out with that harmonica again. Somehow, someday, this clip will make another one of their G-rated, tongue-in-cheek porno reels.
Then, for the first time, Taylor showed that he's got a little more than just soul in his trousers when he was checking out Toni Braxton during their duet:
Alright, Taylor. He was bringing out the Constantine in me.
But the best was when Taylor was crowned the winner. Of course, he was happy. I'll also note that for all the grief I've given her, Kat took the news with the utmost class and grace. I also noticed that they did not show her parents and their reaction, though.
But it wasn't all joy throughout the Idol fiefdom. Nearly everyone in the place seemed pleased. Even the Knight Rider got misty for Tay-tay! Wooo!! I have photographic evidence of this. But please, as you inspect this screenshot, please note that there's someone who doesn't look so happy. See if you can pick him out. I gave you a hint:
(ETA: Okay, now that's hilarious. Some of you gave me a clue. I'm a dumbass, or I was just overly compassionate last night. But that's not Nigel. It's David Fucking Foster who coached the Idols for love songs night. Nevertheless. He was still a sourpuss fuck about the whole thing. He can join these assholes:
in the audience fucktards hall of fame for the season. And I'm betting that somewhere, Nigel was pissed off.)
In case you missed it, here was Simon's reaction:
Priceless. Truly priceless. He sure doesn't look compassionate about the news, either.
I have to believe they planned that. "Okay, let's act like a couple of limey fucks and let the people continue to think we never wanted Taylor to win this thing. It's good TV." Damn right it's good TV. The only thing that'd be better TV is if those reactions were genuine! I so hope they were sincere and genuine! I'd like nothing more than to believe that Taylor pulled the ultimate coup de grace by winning Idol against their wishes. SOUL PATROL, baby!
Last but not least, Taylor got to sing his "Do I Make You Proud" one last time. The only thing missing from these festivities was some fireworks to really put the exclamation point on it all. Lo and behold, the pyrotechnics were unleased:
Please note in that picture, not only are there massive fireworks going off behind Taylor, but he's doing his signature soul/pee stance!
Now I ask you, was that one hell of a satisfying season or what?
I just want to say thank you very much to everyone who stopped by here to read or comment or who's passed around a link to this blog. Idol was a lot of fun this year, and I had a great time writing these 'caps. But I'm truly appreciative to all my pals who stopped by to check it out, and for all my new pals who found this place. Taylor said that as a singer, he wanted his voice to be heard. Well, a writer wants to be read. You've all made me feel like a very lucky superstar. I got plenty of help putting these write-ups together every week, and in case I didn't plug them enough, I owe thanks to these sites. When it comes to news and downloads and commentary, fans always do it best:
MJ's big blog -- the biggest fan-run Idol resource and a great spoiler site.
Rickey.org I don't know how Rickey keeps up with the MP3s and vids and does it so quickly. He is awesome. He is appreciated.
Graycharles.com for the hottest Taylor news and the coolest Taylor downloads.
Yaminions.org for all the essential Elliott news, and all the unessential Elliott love, and for plenty of laughs.
Survivor Sucks is still the snarkiest, funniest board on the web, and their Idol forum rocked it this year. But hey, fuckers, stop using my bandwidth -- upload my screenshots to your own servers!
I've had a couple of people ask me if I'll be doing recaps of any other shows now that AI is done. I don't know. I didn't plan on doing Idol. I just got a little too obsessed with the show this year so I started writing. I love television. But over the summer I watch unhealthy amounts of baseball, and no one needs that recapped, that's what SportsCenter is for. New seasons of Deadwood and Entourage will be starting, and I'll watch those. I love those shows. But honestly, I can recap every single episode of them as such:
Dust. Double-cross. Mustache. "Cocksucker."
Turtle is high and doesn't get to bang anyone. Drama isn't quite as high as Turtle and he bangs someone ridiculous. Vince bangs someone gorgeous and makes a lot of money. E wants to keep banging the same girl who gives him trouble and he waffles about working for Vince. Ari wisecracks and intimidates someone and talks about banging his wife.
So. I'm sure there'll be some noteworthy news regarding Idol over the next couple weeks as it fizzles off, and I'll be keeping up with it and commenting when possible. But then there's always season 6. So if nothing else around here tickles your fancy, I'll see you in January.