Tuesday, May 12, 2015

American Idol: Season 14 - Final 2 Perform

Hello America! It is with mixed emotions that I bring you this season 14 finale post.  You may have heard that FOX announced that next season, season 15, will be the final season of American Idol.  I thought, once again, of retiring from this blogging tradition but I am more than determined now to power through to the end.  Announcing the show's final season a year ahead of time was a great idea to drive up anticipation and really plan a great send-off for this groundbreaking show.  I already have a vision of all 15 winners standing on that stage in the series finale and it's awesome.  (Granted, half of them don't belong there and there's a chance winner #14 may be one of them, but whatever!)

That's all I have to say about that for now.  We do have a winner to pick, and before we even do that we have to talk about one more surprise elimination.  Let's dive in.

Eliminated: Jax - What on earth???  I thought she all but guaranteed to be in that final 2.  But, I forgot the almighty rule that has governed this show since season 7.  FEAR the cute guy that wears that guitar! It has never been truer than this season.  The thing is, this year we have 2 of them!

The introverted soulful extremely talented Clark Beckham

vs.

The Pop Song singing, basic chord guitar playing band frontman with an appetite for "MANIC FACE" - Nick Fradiani

I have no idea how this happened.  Nick is in the final 2.  Nick can win this show.  Sure, they've warned us for a few weeks it was possible, but I've been trying since early on to kick him off.  My feelings haven't changed much on the matter.  The only thing that's changed is I accept that he can win this thing, and he very well might.  I'm not going to pretend I like it.  The big question is, who will I pick in the end?  Ugh, I dread the thought.   Let's get into it.

RECAP

Round 1 - Contestant Favorite Performance


  1. Clark - "Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles - Clark just has some really awesome musical chops.  Maybe it's not for everyone watching, but he's a delight to listen to.  Sure, the stage presence isn't really there but he'll grow into that eventually.  The technical skills are off the charts.  And he really brought the soul to this performance.     
  2. Nick - "Bright Lights" by Matchbox Twenty - Nick continued to steal from my Karaoke playbook by going back to one of my biggest hits.  Who knew that if I sang with a little more goofy faces and strummed a guitar where you can't hear me playing it that I could win American Idol too?  He sounded just like Rob Thomas while singing.  I don't mean that in a complimentary way.  But, the man does find a way to get the crowd invested.  That, I guess, is a compliment.   
I give this round to Clark.  I don't care what Harry said.  


Round 2 - Producer Choice

  1. Clark - "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers - By the time Clark finished jamming to an acoustic take of the Bill Withers classic (ouch on the Duck joke Keith!  Got a rewind in our house for more cringing!), I came up with a conclusion of these 2 performers.  Clark, I would pay money to hear this man play his instruments and sing.   Nick, I would pay for a beer in a bar and sing along to the cover songs with my friends.  Clark smartly brought the guitar out for this one and he played it awesomely.     
  2. Nick - "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz - This is a song that I also have played on the piano and sung at weddings.  This dude just wants to be me!  I swear I can't look at him when he sings.  They call it emotion, I call it hyper ventilating through the song.  He had some pitch issues throughout and the faces he makes takes me out of the performance.  Still, it was a serviceable rendition of the tune.  Just nothing special as always.   
I give this round to Clark as well.   

Round 3 - Single should they win. 


  1. "Champion" single by Clark Beckham - This song did absolutely NO favors for the type of musician Clark wants to be.  I think they have a list of songs they can choose from to be their single.  I doubt any of them really fit his style.  This one sounded like a song The Script would put out (which coincidentally was the band that provided Kris Allen with his first single).  Clark looked uncomfortable on the song and the song just wasn't that great.  They rarely are.  Phillip Phillips is really the only one that scored a good first single and lucked out with it becoming the Summer Olympic anthem.  So, the question is how important is it that Clark bombed on this track?  I just don't have the answer.  
  2. "Beautiful Life" Single by Nick Fradiani - What I can say is that Nick's song definitely fit his bland style of bland pop tunes.  He dove head first into the cheese and was going all over the stage, activating the sway bots in the crowd and soaking in the moment.  The dude looked like a winner.  I had never seen him work the crowd like that.  It sounds like he genuinely loves the song that could be his single and he went out there and owned it.  Is it enough to win the season?    
I will give the final round to Nick.  I can't even believe the words left my fingers and appeared on this screen.  But, I just gotta deal with it.

THE PICK

We all know the drill.  I have to go down memory lane every season to recap how I've done over the years.  

Record:

  • Season 1: Kelly Clarkson (winner) vs. Justin Guarini (got it right)
  • Season 2: Ruban Studdard (winner) vs. Clay Aiken (got it wrong)
  • Season 3: Fantasia Barrino (winner) vs. Diana DeGarmo (got it right)
  • Season 4: Carrie Underwood (winner) vs. Bo Bice (got it right)
  • Season 5: Taylor Hicks (winner) vs. Katharine McPhee (got it right)
  • Season 6: Jordin Sparks (winner) vs. Blake Lewis (got it right)
  • Season 7: David Cook (winner) vs. David "the artichoke" Archuleta (got it right)
  • Season 8: Kris Allen (winner) vs. Adam Lambert (got it wrong)
  • Season 9: Lee DeWyze (winner) vs. Crystal Bowersox (got it wrong)
  • Season 10: Scotty McCreery (winner) vs. Lauren Alaina (got it wrong)
  • Season 11: Phillip Phillips (winner) vs. Jessica Sanchez (got it right)
  • Season 12: Candice Glover (winner) vs. Kree Harrison (got it right)
  • Season 13: Caleb Johnson (winner) vs. Jena Irene (got it wrong)
So, I'm 8-5.  I can be happy knowing that I'll have a winning record at picking these no matter what happens this season and next season!  Nothing will ever top my 5 straight season winning streak of picks.  And I definitely have fallen victim to not wanting to pick the guitar man after season 8.  I did finally give in with Phillip Phillips though!  It might have been that single that won me over, actually.  But, I don't remember someone who I thought would be going home in round 12 making it to the final 2, EVER!  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Enough stalling.  Time to make my pick.

American Idol Season 14 2015 Winner:  Clark Beckham

I gotta stay with the horse I've been riding the whole way to the finale.  There is one other angle of this that people always seem to forget.  The Southern Folk ALWAYS win!  Clark has the look, the guitar, the talent, and the southern vote.  With that, he has some pretty good odds going in his favor.  Throw in the fact that Keith gave Nick the edge and that'll activate the South voting even more so for him!  They said the vote was what .4% difference last week?  That's pretty crazy.  It could go either way.  But, I've enjoyed Clark's performances nearly every week.  Nick made me shrug my shoulders every week.  I do congratulate him for getting this far.  And good for him if he wins.  But, Clark is the deserving winner this year.  Let's see what happens!

And with that we'll close the book on another season.  I'll probably drop a few comments after the finale tomorrow night, but I will not be recapping the finale as always.  You can count on hearing more words from me as we take one final stroll into the Nostalgia of Idol's past over the final season.  I'm excited they have a year to figure out how they want to end this thing and get the past contestants and judges involved in whatever way they can.  Should be quite a "PARTY" as Harry suggested.  Thanks for anyone for sticking around the blog if you're still reading.  Let's do it one more time and then FINALLY say our goodbyes to this show that has been full of several highs and many many lows.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next year! 

8 comments:

Leslie said...

Yep, I was just sure Nick would go and Jax would be in the finale with Clark! I feel the same way you do about Nick, but he sounded more like the cookie-cutter pop Idol last night. Clark is definitely more talented, but that last performance by Nick was really energetic, of course, Clark's song didn't fit him at all. I wonder if the contestant had a say in that last song or if the record producer picked it. We have seen Scott and Clark butt heads when Clark didn't take his advice. Hmmmm. The finale should be a good show. It usually is.

Just wondering....has Caleb done anything since winning last year?

Mike V. said...

I really had no idea on Caleb but assumed he at least released one album. And he did: http://www.amazon.com/Testify-Caleb-Johnson/dp/B00LDCJ104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431548969&sr=8-1&keywords=caleb+johnson

As in if it was successful? Not sure about that. But, I'm guessing these idol alums make a decent living after earning that fanbase. They just don't become superstars like Kelly or Carrie or a few others.

I saw some of the performers that will be included in the finale tonight...it's certainly going to be interesting! I really hope next year's finale is completely filled with former Idol contestants and winners and they really show how successful this show has been. I'm sure they'll do it up.

As for the final 2 this year...ugh. I hear you on Nick. I think there is a good chance that he'll win which just baffles my mind. He certainly filled the role for his final performance. But we've seen this before when the person who "wins" the final week doesn't win the show. David Cook got slammed by Simon on finale night, even though he sounded pretty awesome. He admitted he was wrong before the winner was revealed the next night.

I dunno...whoever wins wins. But if Nick wins, it'll mark the first time I've been "THIS OFF" on a contestant with the rest of the country. lol I've never picked someone to go home in the early weeks to have them end up in the finale!

Unknown said...

I've allowed myself to reinvest in most of the season... and while I'd much prefer Clark, Jax, or even Quentin, Nick is just as deserving to win. He's shown a pretty good amount of growth at the exact right time, and he seems like a nice guy all around. He may not have the vocal chops of Clark, Sarina, Rayvon, or Tyanna, the artistry of Quentin, Jax, or Joey, or even the performance skills of Qaasim, but he sure knows how to stay consistent. He wouldn't be the worst winner ever (Lee, Ruben, or Fantasia get that honor). I mean really, America could have picked someone much worse. Rooting for Clark.

Mike V. said...

I had a feeling deep down this is the way it would go but I just couldn't pick him!

Yes there were worse. We could've been stuck with Daniel seavey as a winner! Lol (hands down the worst performance of the night!)

I may have more to say tomorrow. But congrats I guess to nick! But I'm looking forward more to the potential of what they can do for a final season next year! And it won't even matter who wins. Any talent coming out of it would just be icing on the cake.

Leslie said...

Nick it is! I wonder how close it was? Not my pick, but I think Clark will do just fine! Daniel was so awkward!I can't say I was that impressed with the finale overall, but I'm always touched by the families and their reactions and the overwhelming pride they have for their kid. Must be an amazing ride for all of them!

Mike V. said...

Agreed...finale wasn't anything to write home about. The whole "giving away of cars" thing is getting old too. I knew once Ryan was standing in the crowd with the 2 guys that that's what was going on. And seriously..do we think none of those 4 didn't know they were getting cars??? And Ford Focus??? Yikes they really are cutting costs. I think the contestants used to get Mustangs in the glory days. lol

Yeah I'm sure Clark will be fine. He definitely won't become a huge pop star but he can make a decent career doing what he wants.

As I said, I'm just interested in how they'll close up shop next year. Surely all 15 winners will come back. The only one I'd question is Lee DeWyze (or however you spell it) because he's all mad that they didn't ask him to perform the year after he won and then he got dropped from his label. But just to see them all on that stage and even bring back some of their most successful runner-ups. It would be awesome.

And if they could pull off the unthinkable and have Kelly do a duet with Carrie....it would be fantastic!

Oh right..and there will be a new cast too. I almost wish they just scrapped that and brought back all of the old favorites for a fun tournament. But there's no way they could afford that or that everyone would be available. lol

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