I admit, I’m a pretty superstitious type of person. I’m always throwing salt over my left shoulder and knocking on wood. I especially believe in omens. You want a lulu of a bad omen? When the sound on my satellite feed gets knocked out for the first three minutes of an American Idol final performance show. And you know what? It was even worse than that bad omen suggested. Next time, I’m forking the sign of the evil eye at Seacrest before he even opens his mouth.
Taking the long way to the singing part
The night’s ugliness begins with Randy’s jacket. Try to imagine a Confederate soldier colliding with Adam Ant. It hurts just to mentally picture it, doesn’t it? On to Paula, who really, REALLY should have called in sick. Ryan attempts to explain away her more-vapid-than-usual state by immediately bringing up Chihuahua-gate, because you know the poor dear can’t possibly be expected to be clean and sober after breaking her nose. Paula, I mean…not the chihuahua. Mind you, little Tulip would probably be more articulate than Paula is tonight. Simon is smilingly complacent on his end, probably because he’s going to spend all night tapping Paula on her right shoulder, causing her to spin around (well, not “spin”, because it appears her prescription du jour is some form of downers) and yell in slow motion at Randy.
There’s only six songs, after all, so a little filler is required. Ryan’s only too happy to oblige with a dull video journey of Blake & Jordin’s Idol experience. It starts with a bad audition clipfest from Seattle – don’t we see enough of this stuff on American Idol Rewind? – and as Supertramp’s “Take The Long Way Home” plays in the background (why?) we are reminded at least five freakin’ times that both Blake and Jordin auditioned in Seattle. Since Jordin is from Arizona, this is relevant how? Oh yeah, because everyone else who hails from and auditioned in Seattle sucked eggs. But we do have to kill a few minutes till the first break, sponsored by Coke, complete with a sparkly banner that says only, “Thanks for drinking”. Oh, no, thank you, Coke, for giving me a reason to drink. Or is that a personal thank-you just for Paula? Maybe I’ll freshen up my drink just the same.
Promised us heaven but put us through hell
Flashback to last week, and Ryan hosts an overly-ceremonious coin toss to determine who gets to choose the singing order, complete with a super-special Blake-and-Jordin coin. I wonder who had to glue on those tiny paper pictures to the coin? Is that what “interns” do? Anyway, Blake wins but graciously offers the choice to Jordin, who quite rightly does not want to sing first. I’m sure it was simply a nice gesture and not because the “winner’s song” is that bad.
Inexplicably, Blake has chosen to reprise his beat-box version of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love A Bad Name” for his first song. Oh, Jon Bon Jovi…I feel your pain. And I’d be happy to come over and hug you in person. Call me. *wiggles thumb and pinkie*
Blake is resplendent in striped jammie pants and a natty dark gray blazer, but his version of the song is just as cringe-worthy as it was the first go-‘round. My memories of the ‘80’s are ruined, again. Randy (man, I can’t help but giggle every time I see that jacket) gives him a ten out of ten on the beatboxing, but the singing was just aiight. Assuming he’s being polite because it’s the final, he hated it. Paula…does it matter what Paula says when Paula doesn’t know what the hell she’s saying? Simon frankly states that Blake’s not the best singer and the vocals were flat, but he is the better performer. Then I’m completely distracted by a shot of the remainder of the top 12 Idols in the audience, because Phil Stacey is attired in a sailor suit. I hope he didn’t enlist just to avoid the tour.
There’s an echo in here
Jordin’s up, and in another song choice that defies explanation, she’ll be singing Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter”. Did Gwen Stefani week teach you nothing, Jordin? Jordin is outfitted in a black and pale green dress over black pants – guess they ran out of prom dresses. Unfortunately, it’s one of her crappier performances, as she proves without a doubt she’s no Xtina. Her performance skills are not even close – she’s still hunching her shoulders and hovering over the mic stand, even with this upbeat song, and her vocals edge over into screaming territory. Randy, who’s still being polite, calls it an “interesting choice” but says her vocals were stellar. Oooh, a new word. Paula likes it enough to repeat it as her “critique”. Thanks for coming out, Paula. Simon likes the younger song choice but found the vocals a bit shrieky, and gives round one to Blake. But really, if it were boxing instead of singing, you know that Jordin would totally kick Blake’s butt – I think she stopped his breathing when they were just hugging last week.
Note to parents – just buy the damn drum set
Poor Blake. When he was growing up, he asked mommy and daddy to buy him a drum kit every single Christmas, but he never ever got one. In retaliation, he started beatboxing. No wonder his dad cries so easily.
It’s Blake’s turn to give us something we’ve never heard before, and that something is his version of “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5. So I’m hopeful, because Blake did a decent M5 cover just one week ago. Ah, but that was so last week. Here I was starting to think that Blake’s voice was actually not bad, but now…not so much. His high notes are flat-out dreadful, and he sounds both out of breath AND out of tune. It’s disappointing, but maybe he’s just being all chivalrous again and giving this round to Jordin. But get this – the judges give him a gentle pat on the head for this horror show. Randy grits his teeth in a big phony grin and tells him it was a very nice vocal, while Paula says he sssooouunded grrrreat. Yes, it was just like that. Simon comments that it was good, though not as good as his first performance, and “safe”. Considering how breathtakingly bad Blake’s vocals actually were, I’m getting the distinct impression that Simon just doesn’t give a crap anymore.
It was good, wasn’t it?
Jordin wasn’t as deprived a child as Blake, because her parents were pushing her into “real” singing competitions *coughAmericanJuniorscough* at age 12. Jordin’s second offering tonight is a rerun of Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing”. She’s got another dress/pant combo on, uglier than the first outfit but this time, the vocals are about one thousand percent improved. It’s a very, very nice vocal, and you can tell this is a song Jordin actually likes, because she puts some real feeling into it. Better yet, we get a glimpse of what Jordin is going to sound like in about 10 years’ time, and it’s encouraging. The judges are more than relieved to finally give an honest appraisal. Randy slobbers all over Jordin, calling the vocals “flawless” and – gasp! – better than the original. Paula tells her she’s in great vocal voice. I’m not making that up, I swear…go check your Tivo. Simon chuckles and says, “Now that was good”. And it’s about time.
Blake’s up first…
Ryan introduces the two
bastardstalented young men who won the songwriting competition, Scott somethingorother and Jeff Peabody from you guessed it, Seattle. Scott and Jeff are the sick mindstalent behind the Idol winner’s song, “This Is My Now”. I’m guessing the ghost of Kurt Cobain has nothing to fear from these guys.
Blake (how many ugly sweater vests have they got backstage, anyway?) gets to sing TIMN first, and in case you were wondering – the song, predictably, is pure cheese, the really really smelly kind my dad used to buy on Saturdays from the Italian grocery. And Blake’s vocal, if you haven’t already guessed, is bad enough to be laughable. The song is so far out of his comfort zone he may as well have been singing it via satellite from Seattle. To his credit, though, Blake gamely bounces around the stage and pretends he feels the lyrics. Bonus points to him for not bursting out laughing. Randy is also trying not to laugh – much – and tells Blake not to feel bad. Is there any point in telling you that Paula thinks it was great? I thought not. Simon must actually like Blake, because he simply comments that it was “odd” and that Blake looked frustrated. If that wasn’t enough of a bye, he adds that Blake should be judged on his first two performances. What could Jordin have done to piss him off that much, I wonder?
…but it’s Jordin’s Now
Ryan takes a moment to trek to the upper balconies of the Kodak Theater to sign autographs. Alas, there are no little girls who sob and tremble in his presence.
If this song is Blake’s gutter ball, it’s a strike right up Jordin’s alley. And seventeen or not, you know she knows it. Jordin’s decked out in an absolutely gorgeous knee-length black dress and glittery chandelier earrings, and as good as she looks her voice is better. Her vocals are perfect and she gets the killer glory notes in that Blake isn’t remotely capable of. She nails it by oh-so-slightly breaking down emotionally at the end, and you know Clive Davis must be wetting his pants after her performance. Randy is as effusive as we’ve ever seen him, as he reminds us that it’s a singing competition (he must have heard the rumors that it’s actually something else, I guess) and bellows that Jordin was fire right there! Paula swivels around to address Jordin’s parents, scaring the bejesus out of them, then calls Jordin an angel. Hopefully she’s finished talking for tonight. Simon, go ahead and plunge that tranquilizer dart in her leg right about…now. OK, now for your comments. Simon admits that last week he didn’t think that Jordin was good enough to make the finals but – get ready for it – says he was wrong. That makes twice in six seasons, I think. He also reminds us that this is a singing competition, and that Jordin wiped the floor with Blake on that one. Is there any point in reading votes tomorrow? We could have the coronation now and just get it over with.
Speaking of getting it over with – we’re not done, oh nooooo. Paula’s tranquilizer hasn’t kicked in yet, dammit, because she’s still slurring about how they’re all winners or some rot. Randy thinks Jordin kicked Blake’s scrawny pinstriped behind tonight, and Simon gives “overall singing” - because it’s a singing competition, remember – to Jordin.
Nope, I’m not letting you off that easily, because we’re STILL not done. Chris – as in Daughtry, the band – is singing the night out with “Home”, probably because 19E still owns his ass. Even if you don’t like Daughtry, you know this song, because we’ve been hearing it at every top 12 exit so far. And you thought it was Nickelback. Come on, admit it, you did. It may as well be, since Chris has gone all rockstar since his AI days, and has the surly pout and heavy black eyeliner thing going on now. That, or he’s just trying to needle Nigel Lythgoe.
OK, now we’re done. Really, really done, because tomorrow, Jordin will be crowned the sixth American Idol, unless of course hell freezes over. So, Idol fans, I’m so glad we had this time together…just to have a laugh or sing a song…seems we just get started and before you know it….comes the time we have to say…so long. But before I do, please join me in giving huge props to all the fantastic writers in this forum – Leo, our talented and thought-provoking Idol Guy; Yardgnome, interviewer and recapper extraordinaire; and the incomparable MotherSister, my fellow weekly recapper who’ll be bringing you all the highlights – OK, OK, the lowlights– of Wednesday’s results. And don’t forget to give a big shoutout to all of our tireless FAs, who keep this forum fun and welcoming. Finally…so long…and goodnight!
If you always wanted a drum set for Christmas, PM me.