AI10 – 5/24: Six Ways To Country Hell
What is there to say about this last performance show of the season? The short version: It was so bad, so horrendously cheesy, so absolutely, irrevocably tedious beyond compare that it's barely worth recapping. In fact, I put it off as long as I could, that's how bad it was. Oh, well. I'm going to give a quick rundown of the performances and stick a fork into this stinker once and for all. Read on.
Cheeseball Intro: Comprised of tearjerker videos of Scotty and Lauren's entire sappy journeys on Idol, from audition to homecoming and, quite inexplicably, a montage of David Cook and Carrie Underwood. Are they trying to say Lauren is just like Carrie and Scotty is just like David? Maybe on some other planet than Earth... I almost tried to squeeze out a tear while watching this malarkey but my DVR fast forwards so efficiently, I didn't have enough, uhmm, time. Hey, I did say almost!
Dramalama: Whaddaya know? Less than an hour before showtime, a pathetically desperate bit of drama unfolded on the internet when news “leaked” that Lauren lost her voice due to severe laryngitis and may have to drop out. Breathless updates stated gravely that Haley was rehearsing three songs, you know, just in case she had to step in and replace poor Lauren at the last second. As if! Seacrest makes a big deal of reassuring everyone that Lauren is more than ready to sing, going so far as to bring the show doctor on stage for a final diagnosis. As attempts to garner sympathy votes for Lauren go and a final try to make this boring contest seem a bit more than a one horse race, this was a less than inspired idea. Lauren declares she is just hunky-dory and ready to sing-song all night long. Okay then.
Contestant Cheese Selection: In the first round of songs picked by the finalists themselves, Scotty is singing “Gone”. He thrown in everything he can strolling about the stage, behind the judges, in front of the judges, squinting into the camera trying to make seductive faces and generally acts as if he has this thing in the bag already.
Lauren chose, “Flat On The Floor” and brought a bit more interest although that's not saying much. Her vocals are at least grittier a little, less pageant queen. I guess that laryngitis wasn't so severe after all.
In the end, Seacrest rattles off voting numbers but we hear zilch from the judges. Woohoo! All I can think about is that if they had only shut up during the entire season things would have gone very, very differently in this finale. My suggestion for next season: Don't let the judges talk!
Personal Idol Cheese Selection: Instead of some boring producer pick, the second round consists of songs picked by Scotty and Lauren's own personal idols. Scotty's idol, George Strait picked his own song called “Check Yes Or No” - gee, how inspired – which Scotty strums out on the guitar while wearing a plaid shirt like he was playing at a local weekend hog fair. He croaks his way through this lackluster performance that feels too “small” and pedestrian for a finale showing.
Carrie Underwood's pick for Lauren is something called “Maybe It Was Memphis”. Maybe this was some big hit once, maybe it's a good song, maybe I just can't sit through country, I don't know but I muted her in order to gawk at her dress which looked like it came straight off the set of Toddlers With Tiaras. She accessorized this horror with crystal encrusted cowboy boots. Did this feel like an Idol finale performance? Again, no, it didn't. It felt ordinary and uninspired.
When the judges finally remember their roles and pipe in with their comments it's predictable all around. Randy thinks Scotty was just brilliant but, oh, Lauren was great too but Scotty's got round one and Lauren owned round two. JLo, great connoisseur of country music, agrees with Randy because it's just easier that way. Steven takes an even easier cop-out, giving Lauren both rounds because, you know, “she's prettier” than Scotty. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, judges on Idol determine singing ability based on contestant's looks. This is the new thing. Get with it!
Final Single Cheese: Mercifully, we're almost to the end. The last songs of the night are the singles that the Idols will be releasing after the finale. They'll be coming to your local country radio soon. Scotty goes first with an infantile yawner called “I Love You This Big” which has cheesy, ridiculous lyrics but worst of all reminds me of a four year old stretching his arms out while saying that to his mommy. Amazingly, Scotty is wearing a jacket for this round and he does a decent job of the first 10 seconds of this crap that I could stomach before fast forwarding.
Randy yaps something about how this song showed Scotty's range – huh? - and thinks he's IN IT TO WIN IT! Naturally. Why else would Scotty be at this freakin' finale otherwise? Why the hell would he have auditioned for the show in the first place? JLo thinks he sold it and I don't remember what Steven said but I'm sure it was complimentary.
Not to be outdone, Lauren is singing a song called “Like My Mother Does” which is a reheated cover from a former loser Idol's album and it's all about her mommy. She is wearing a virginal prom dress, belting it out earnestly and even going down into the audience to hug her mother for good measure. Can't say she's not trying all the tricks in the book or that her song isn't much better than Scotty's. If I cared about this at all, or if this were a world in which a girl could win again, even a country girl, Lauren should be taking this one. But I don't and it isn't.
Randy and Steven thought Lauren owned the last round as she “sang with feeling” and “it's a tight race” but JLo just couldn't make a pick. Whatever, judges, whatever.
And with that, we're done for this season and... Oh, wait, here's a pre-taped bit from David Cook closing out the show with a performance of this season's boot song “Don't You Forget About Me” but my DVR cut off mid-song. Oops. I'll just rent “The Breakfast Club” instead.
Thanks for reading. Peace.