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"American Idol" Finale

By admin Published: May 20, 2009

Notes as the show proceeds, with digressions to basketball. The result is near the bottom of the post, with a few comments. The bracketed material was added after the telecast, when I went back to look at some things. And, at the end, the first official act of post-win commerce.

Odd bit to start the show, poking fun at the way the judges talk. Randy needled for saying "for me." Kara for "sweetie," when it could have been much more apt to compile her use of "artistry." Simon for not hearing. And Paula ... for using big words. Nothing about her incoherence. And nothing that might offend her.

Mikalah Gordon in Conway, Ark., looking terrible. Carly Smithson in San Diego. Bad hair but better makeup than Mikalah.

Group sing with the top 13, AKA the group on the tour and three others. Still think a big moment during the tour will be an Adam/Allison duet.

David Cook performs. Black armband, touching. Waving fan arms, artificial. Song, uninteresting but in an "Idol"-friendly way. Ryan mentions a tough couple of weeks and David acknowledges his brother. Song's going on iTunes as a fund-raiser for cancer research; Cook's voice cracks sadly when mentioning that.

The annual, terrible Golden Idol awards. Ten minutes to Cavs-Magic. Winner for outstanding male is Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. Who also performs "And I Am Telling You." Which, of course, has none of the spontaneity of his doing it during the regular show.

Duet by Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah. "Cue the Rain," Latifah's new single. Energetic, and a reminder that Lil could be entertaining when she wasn't desperately trying to figure out what the judges want. Maybe not great, but entertaining. And I'm thinking about buying the single.

Got the game on the Slingbox for the moment, waiting for the tip. Then will probably put the game on the TV and "Idol" on the box for a bit.

'Noop sings with Alexis, then joined by Jason Mraz (whom Kris has channeled a lot this season), with other Idolettes on the sides of the stage. Fair, although Alexis was rocky on her opening solo.

Ryan introduces tape of "the journey of Kris Allen." Leads into Kris singing "Kiss a Girl" with Keith Urban. Peppy and Kris holds his own -- but singers like Urban, Mraz and Latifah, though engaging, are not so technically overwhelming that they'll show up the "Idol" contestants. And the game has finally started, with Cavs scoring first 4 points.

Commercial on "Idol." Going to the game on the TV, "Idol" on the box. Delay at the game because of damage to a 24-second clock. Back to "Idol."

The "Idol" women sing (although the group part seems prerecorded). Tattooed Girl is still bad. Fergie joins them. Besides performing as if the Idolettes aren't there, she offers a vocal that would not win "Idol." Enter Black Eyed Peas. Audio goes silent, video goes off the group for a moment during the song.

The game has resumed.

Another stupid "Golden Idol" award. Cavs lead 9-2. Bikini Girl wins the award, for "best attitude." Is apparently singing, but I have the sound up for the game. Kara joins BG. Whatever they're doing, I hope it's not that thing Kara cowrote. And this is no match for the Clay Aiken/Clay wannabe surprise on "Idol" back when. [Went back to this after the show was over. Bikini Girl awful. Kara's not much of a singer, either, but she did get to show up BG.]

Cavs lead 14-4. While "Idol" is in commercials, score works up to 19-6. Allison sings with Cyndi Lauper. "Time After Time." I listen a bit, and they sound good together.[Went back to this, too. Not as compelling on full listen.]

Ryan talks to Kris's parents. [Then Adam's.]

Danny sings "Hello." Will Lionel Richie be joining? Yes, there he is, for another song -- a medley, in fact. And Cavs lead 28-14. By the time they finish, Magic has trimmed it to 28-17. But during an "Idol" commercial, Cavs push it back to 33-17. I've been thinking Cleveland might need six games to dump Orlando. They're making it look a lot easier right now. [Much later: I also thought Gilles would win "Dancing With the Stars." Brutal loss. Let's go back to Cavs in six.]

Adam's journey is presented. He then sings, wearing wings, and is joined by KISS. "Detroit Rock City," "Rock and Roll All Nite." Finally got some earbuds to listen. He fits well. And it's a lot bigger number than Kris got. [Considering how big this number is, and how much Adam dominated in "We Are the Champions," the show must have been planned and staged with the assumption that Adam was going to win.]
Cavs lead by 13.

Pausing to meditate while both the game and "Idol" are in commercials at the same time.

Game back. Carlos Santana on "Idol." "Black Magic Woman." Timeless instrumental. Matt G. sings. Taking off the earbuds. Oh, the other guys and gals are there, too. Maybe will listen to playback later.

Final Ford music video. Cavs lead down to 10. Adam and Kris get to admire Fords.

Steve Martin with Megan Joy and Michael Sarver and what looks like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Steve on banjo. Not listening. Ryan asks Steve who's going to win. Steve says, "I know it's a long shot, but I hope I do."

Cavs keeping the lead at 10 or more points. Varejao hurt, looks as if he was hit in the throat.
TNT goes to commercial, comes back when Varejao is up and walking.

Idol men sing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" So Rod Stewart is ... oh, there, for "Maggie May." Sad how ragged his voice has become.

And now we've put "Idol" on the big screen while the Cavs maintain the lead.

Golden Idol for "outstanding female." Please, don't let this mean the return of Tatiana. Alas, she's in the nominee reel ... and wins. Does a bit with Ryan where he wants to take a break and she seizes the stage. [The Golden Idol bits this year have been especially awful.] And then we do get a break.

Cavs lead by 15 at the half thanks to an outrageous 3-point buzzer beater by Mo Williams. Meanwhile, Kris and Adam have begun singing "We Are the Champions" with Brian May and smoke machines.

And, at last, the results. Ryan asks Simon for comment. He says they were both brilliant and, unusually, incredibly nice people and "the future's all yours."

"Almost" 100 million votes cast. No indication that it's a close result. Ryan says the winner is ...

Kris Allen.

Kris says "Adam deserves this. ... I don't even know what to feel right now." [On playback, he looks even more stunned.]

A couple of weeks ago this would have been more of a shock than it is now, with so many things cutting Kris's way. He certainly played to win Tuesday night. And Adam has to be wondering how many different ways he was hosed by the show's overplaying him -- solo magazine cover, the patronizing of Kris last night, the Katy Perry cape -- and his coming to believe he had it won even before he performed last night. Too many ways to build resentment in voters.

In addition, as I said when Shawn won "DWTS" last night, this shows the power of the young voters, especially tweens. And that Kris most likely picked up the bulk of the Gokey fans who stayed with the show, and that "Idol" is still watched by people who for the most part prefer performers who don't veer too far out of the mainstream.

And "No Boundaries" is still a horrible song.

Here's that bit of commerce, in a my email not long ago:

American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen, and runner-up Adam Lambert’s versions of their debut single “No Boundaries” is available at iTunes now. An iTunes Pass for Kris Allen also launches today, featuring a download of his version of "No Boundaries" (19 Recordings), his debut album when released, and exclusive music and video content through the coming months.

With an iTunes Pass, music fans can get new and exclusive music, video and other content from their favorite artists over a set period of time, delivered to their iTunes library as soon as it's available. For the first time, an iTunes Pass is available immediately following tonight's American Idol finale, beginning with Kris Allen's winning single from the show tonight and culminating with his debut studio album.

Fans who purchase the Kris Allen iTunes Pass ($18.99) starting today will receive an instant download of “No Boundaries," and in the coming months will receive exclusive video performances from the 50-city Idol summer tour, the first single and video from the album before it’s released, the album itself with special artwork, a special iTunes-only video holiday greeting at the end of the year, and more.

Additionally, Idol winner Kris Allen’s version of “No Boundaries” will debut online exclusively on AOL’s pop culture news site,

"No Boundaries" was written by American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi, Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allan and produced by Eman. “No Boundaries” was performed by both contestants on American Idol on both the Tuesday night performance show as well as the Wednesday night finale.

On Thursday, May 21st "No Boundaries" will be available at all digital music retailers.

Catch Kris Allen and Adam Lambert along with the rest of your top 10 American Idols on tour all summer, kicking off on July 5th in Portland, OR.

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