Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Popularity wins over Talent in Season Finale - Who won? [Recap]

Well, American Idol fans, you know I'm not very thrilled right now.  America has chosen incorrectly.  And I may owe Adam Lambert an apology, because they may have chosen incorrectly 2 years straight (no pun intended with that last word).  And hey, I liked Kris Allen too and was happy he won.  But now, looking back it is clear what is happening to the show.   It has utterly become a popularity contest.  It is the only way I can explain what has happened and what is happening.  There are many more Text Messagers out there than there were 8 years ago and there are many teenagers with cell phones.  I think it could be skewing the vote a bit.   Don't get me wrong,  I like the person who won as a person and I am happy that he can make his dreams come true, but I cannot possibly agree with the results based on the 2 contestants standing.  If you had asked me last week yes, I may have been fine with it.  But when a contestant doesn't even show up to the finale, and we still vote him in, what does that say about the voting public?  We don't care about the performances?  We don't care if they're just going through the motions?   Whatever, maybe I'm just getting tired of the show.  It has been 9 seasons after all.   Ladies and Gentlemen meet your 9th American Idol!

American Idol 2010 Winner: Lee DeWyze
My Pick: Crystal Bowersox

Good thing I wrote the highs and lows before I got the results.  Because I'm not sure what else I can stomach to say!   It was a very fitting conclusion to a very bad year of American Idol.  (Okay, I found something to say)  I am left uninspired to continue writing about this show in future seasons.  That takes a lot too, I survived FANTASIA and wanted to write more!  We are all left with a radio single of a song that was already an overplayed hit by the biggest Rock Band in the world.  (U2's "Beautiful Day")  But, hey, that's how it works.  Crystal wasn't everyone's favorite person, and not everyone's favorite musical style.  She may have had the goods, but that's not who America wanted representing them as their Idol.   That's fine, I guess.  I think this season was messed up long before we got to this finale, so I shouldn't be too upset!

The finale overall was a decent night.  I get into more in my LIVE BLOGGED Highs and Lows.  All of the Simon send-off stuff was pretty good.  I do not think it was overdone at all.  He will be sorely missed from this show.  I am not sure what they'll do without him!  Stunt casting with Sir Elton John?   I've heard rumors.  I may be inclined to check that out, but not sure if I'd be inclined to stick around!

Well, that's enough of me blabbing on and on, let's get into the fun part of the recap!  My LIVE BLOGGED thoughts as we went through it!  Here are the highs and lows.  

  • We start off with unintentional comedy of showing a video of Lee's hometown and everyone was wearing "VOTE 4 LEE" t-shirts.  They know the voting is done, right?  They couldn't make t-shirts for the results show that said "LEE FTW?"  Ahh good times! 
  • Kris Allen performs "The Truth" - minus the mic issues for the first 10 seconds, he did a great job.  I always liked that kid!  Well, not always, I thought he'd be kicked out of the Top 12 first.  But he grew on me pretty quickly!  That being said, I'm not gonna run out and buy his album either! 
  • Loved the Simon retrospectives.  It was very predictable they were going to do it and essential!  The guy needs a big send off because the show will never be the same without him.  Also glad they got Paula Abdul to come back and do some interview clips!  If Simon gets Paula for X Factor, I would be recapping that show in an instant!  But don't hold me to that! 
  • Mike Lynche performs "Taking it to the Streets" with Michael MacDonald  -  Man, Mike sounds just like Michael MacDonald.  Maybe he should form a Michael MacDonald cover band!   My wife is on fire tonight.  She said MacDonald looks like George Lucas these days.  Good times.  
  • Top 6 Girls sing Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful", "Stronger"   - Actually didn't sound too bad!  So funny that I can't remember half of these girls' names.  Namely Paige escaped me and Lacey!   NICE, here comes Christina!!  Oh wait, she only got to sing one measure of a good song!  Now she's going to sing a new song that is kinda dull. 
  • Christina Aguilera performs "You Lost Me" - Song was not good, but her voice is amazing.  I always thought she was better in the Britney/Cristina battles of yore!  
  • Ricky Gervais is awesome.   That is all! 
  • Top 6 Guys do a Hall & Oates Medley - You know what that means!  The real deal can't be far behind!  Here they come!!  Philly is representin' on Idol tonight!  They do have some awesome 80's jams in their repertoire.
  • Crystal Bowersox performs with Alanis Morrisette! - Crystal does a little "Ironic" which is my favorite of the Alanis tunes.  Then they both did "You Oughta Know"  and it was HOT!!!   
  • Carrie Underwood performs "Undo It" - So much better than her last single "Temporary Home".  Truly still the best example of an American Idol winning success story.  And to make my night complete, I hear Kelly might be there too!  (except I heard who she's performing with.  I am not happy!)   She did an awesome job.  Kara should stick to writing songs instead of judging American Idol! (btw, I did write this before Ryan told us!)  
  • Crystal and Lee were given the Ford cars they designed earlier.  I would never drive anything that hideous but nice sentiment!  Plus the Ford Music Video was tied to it and that always gets a highlight! 
  • Casey James performs Poison's "Every Rose Has its Thorn" with Brett Michaels - Man, I keep hearing this guy is on his death bed, but he keeps making appearances everywhere!  This performance is making me nervous like Brett is going to collapse any minute.  Makes for very engaging TV.  Great tune though, great performance. 
  • General Larry Platt performs "Pants on the Ground" -  Lookin like a fool with your pants on the ground!     SPECIAL GUEST WILLIAM HUNG is there!  Yeah, they may have gone too far but hey getting the hall of fame auditioners together is never a bad thing! 
  • Paula Abdul is there!!!!  Niiiiiice.  While it was great that she was there, that comment about their LOVE CHILD was the worst joke ever!  But M.C. Skat Cat got a shout out!  Awesome.  In the end it was very sentimental.  But she needs to stop talking now!   Great montage for Simon.  
  • Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen perform "Together We are One" along with many previous top 12 contestants!  Woa, Justin Guarini, Bo Bice, Ace Young, Jason Castro, The Artichoke!, Elliot Yamin, Constantine, I could keep naming people.  But no David Cook?   And yes my wife said it.  Poor Kelly has let herself go.  She's still my favorite!  We almost had all Idols on stage, but one still had to miss it.  This was pretty emotional!  
  • Yeah yeah yeah, Great speech from Simon, "America is the real judge of Idol"   That's all well and good but that doesn't mean the show will be as good! 
  • Janet performs "Nasty" - I was gonna put the whole Janet performance in the Lowlights, but when she got into the hits, it got pretty good!  Those dancers were a little bizarre though! 
  • Crystal and Lee sing "With a Little Help My Friends" the Joe Cocker version - And of course Joe Cocker is there!  The wife continues with the good calls.  Randy needs Joe's Jacket, STAT!   Awwww I think Crystal is awww struck right now by the "living legend" as she referred to him.  Good stuff!  

  • Top 12 Perform "School's Out" - Complete with Prep School uniforms and an awful sounding Alice Cooper.  What on earth does this have to do with American Idol????   Classy tied up shirt and cleavage look was the epitome of class by the way, NOT!!  (oh sorry, I thought I was back in grade school with that performance so I had to bring back some of the slang!)
  • Idol does not seem ready for this finale.  They had Kris Allen's mic turned down and Ryan's turned up during the first 10 seconds of the performance.  Yikes.  
  • Siobhan Magnus in the Siobhan/Aaron duet.  She always sounds like she has marbles stuck in her throat or something!  And the Bee Gees looked kind of ridiculous in those Double Breasted suits (according to my wife!).  Well Barry wasn't wearing it, but the other guy that I never knew his name was!    Aaron, I have no issues with, but apparently he holds the mic kinda strangely.  

  • Dane Cook pays tribute to Simon Cowell with a song called "Simon Said" - Had a chance to be a lot funnier and they ruined it with Tatiana Del Toro.  Wasn't that last season?  Yikes.  
  • American Idol is using My Space.  How retro of them! 
  • Lee DeWyze performs with Chicago - I miss Peter Cetera.  I really wanted to like it, because Chicago is awesome and all.  But their singers don't match up to what they used to have.  And I'm not quite sure Lee was even singing!  Please tell me he's not going to win this thing!
  • Janet Jackson performs - I think it was a tribute to her brother but I heard some lyric about having a password to her phone?   And why does she have BOY hair?  And is she trying to SOUND like Michael too? This is very bizarre. 
  • Have I mentioned Randy's attire tonight?  Woa.   
  • Jump the Shark Moment - These Idol finales have overdone the whole "let's perform a song by an old artist and then bring out the actual artist with the top 12!"  It was cool in season 5.  Some seasons after.  But remember in season 4 when only Carrie and Bo got to sing with their idols?  (Rascal Flatts and Lynyrd Skynyrd respectively)  

And there you have it.  One more year down in the never ending search for a superstar.  We have months to forget this show exists only to be pulled back in in January.  The only thing is, I'm leaning very much towards not returning.  At least not 100%.  It's been fun recapping the show for the past 7 or 8 seasons, but I think I have lost my interest in it!  I think the show is slowly deteriorating each year from the show that it used to be.  New Producers, new judges, new rules.  I'm interested to see what Simon is going to do with X Factor in the fall of 2010.  Like I said, if he pulls Paula into it, I may be intrigued to take up blogging that.  But we'll see how it goes!  I may check in on Idol from time to time but I can't promise to be your full time guide through the seasons.   I thank everyone who has stuck with me on these journeys and I hope you have enjoyed my endless rants whether they were positive or negative and enjoyed them for what they were!  Pure Entertainment!

I will continue to write about something, but I just don't know what yet.  My slate has been wiped clean! So keep in touch.  I'll be back!   Thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you around!

Ending Credits

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Ian said...

Seriously man, if you don't enjoy doing these recaps anymore, don't do them. I'm quitting too after only recapping for three seasons. If you want to step down now, by all means, go for it. You have the support of at least one of your readers.

I'm disappointed that Lee won too. I mean, I'm glad he's representin' the Chicago area, but Crystal's clearly more talented than him. Oh well. We'll see whose career does better. I wish them both the best of luck.

I thought the same thing about Bret Michaels possibly collapsing on stage. Glad to see he didn't! I was already a Poison fan, but I gained a lot of respect for Bret after seeing him on Celebrity Apprentice.

I actually liked the fact that they got Alice Cooper. He's way cooler than a lot of the guests they did get.

America didn't get it wrong last year! Kris Allen rules!

Mike V. said...

Thanks for your support Ian! I was just trying to let people down easy and explain my reasoning. A big reason that I have kept going is how successful these write-ups have been on So, at least I wasn't doing them for FREE! lol But 42 recaps a season just ties up a lot of my nights! And if this is the product we're going to get, it just doesn't seem worth it to me! Nice to hear you're quitting too.

I wonder how many people will "quit" the show next year. That's almost the only reason I WANT to tune in. To watch the trainwreck continue and see how bad it GOES get!

As for Kris, yeah...I was speaking in the moment and out of frustration. I really thought Kris was a LOT better than Lee. His growth through the show was very impressive and his "MOMENT" with Kanye's "heartless" I can still hear in my head. He deserved to win. And he's still doing fairly well for himself.

Oh well, in the end, it's just a TV show I guess lol

Jase said...

Mike -- I get what you are saying, but of course Idol is a popularity contest! The whole "music industry" is. It and this show are reflections of each other. Think about some of the most popular artists on the music charts these days. How many of them would you classify among the most talented artists out there? Few, if any, qualify in my opinion. (Think of some of the recording "stars" they've had on this show even -- many times the contestants sound way better!) But it is the most popular artists that sell records, and it is the public, the voting public of this show, that buys them and makes them popular. Crystal may have more natural talent, but Lee has the more mass appeal. Hence the result.

That being said, my vote was for Lee. Despite the weak performance on the finale, up to that point his performances were good, and his musical style more to my taste.

Curious if you listened to any of the studio recordings of the songs Lee and Crystal did on the show on iTunes. In my opinion, Lee far outshines Crystal on the recordings.

Mike V. said...

@Jase - everything you're saying makes sense. But that doesn't change my opinion that this year more than others just doesn't sit right with me. I have usually been on board with who won the thing. This year just seems lopsided. And it comes down to this final week of the show. Everyone that has won the show least seemed to be giving an effort in the final week, from what I recall. Lee pretty much just coasted through it. Now, I will agree that Crystal had a few rough patches the weeks before and it gave Lee his moment to shine, but she came into this week and gave 110% to those final performances. I understand how America Works...I understand how the music industry works. But I also see what is happening to American Idol. 3 years in a row, 3 guys that teenage girls could consider cute or "hot" have won. In season 1, Kelly Clarkson beat Justin Guarini. A great singer vs. an OKAY singer but with good looks. Difference? No text message voting that year. You had to be a little more crafty with computerized AUTO-DIALERS to get in mass votes for your favorite contestant. Now in now way am I comparing Kelly Clarkson to Crystal. In my opinion...Kelly had a "MOMENT" every week that she performed.

I think what it boils down to is that I'm just tired of the show. I thought this year's talent was mediocre and the production value of the show dropped so much. Lee winning in the end was just the icing on the cake for me. I just had no interest in the season. It didn't help that the performance night landed on the same night as LOST. My priorities shifted big time.

So no, I have not listened to any of the recordings and really don't care to! I'm sure Lee sounds great on them. But that's not what people are voting on. They're voting on the live performances. Like I said, I liked Lee and last week I was rooting for him to win it all. I just didn't like how it all ended up this week. I know Idol is a journey and the last week shouldn't count. But when you don't see the HUNGER there to win, it doesn't sit right with me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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