Depending on your perspective, the American Idol finale is either the best two hours ever or the most excruciating two hours of your year. Either way, it never fails to be a kind of crazy, psychedelic blend between a televised award ceremony and a giant Ford commercial that brings the season's contestants back to the stage for one last time (until the tour that is).
America smashed all Idol records with 97.5 million votes, 56 percent of them for David Cook. Simon admitted that he called it wrong, that upon viewing the show at home he realized the night before was not a blowout. Which is what many of us were feeling. I'd still call the result an upset. There was a lot to cover so let's get down to it. To see my thoughts on the night, read more.
- The opening act was cool and the kids sounded great but it was really hard to tell the So You Think You Can Dance dancers apart from the Idols. At one point I thought, "Hey, look at that. Brooke White doing the splits. Oh wait, no."
- Jason Castro once again sounded gorgeous singing "Hallelujah." It's one of, say, two songs he should ever sing. And that doesn't include anything from Cats.
- You know who should avoid choreographed dancing at all costs? Amanda Overmyer. And we heard about Donna Summer's new single. Um, yay?
- I'm sorry, did I see Ryan Seacrest attempting to break dance? Surely I was a bit delirious and the So You Think You Can Dance kids were just blending in again, right?!
- Sigh. Michael Johns' duet with Carly Smithson (who looked and sounded great) and then more Michael Johns when the six guys sang. . . Keep the Michael Johns coming!
- An American Idol theme park: "You too can live the dream." Just. . . wow.
- David Cook rocking out with ZZ Top was really cool. It's hard not to look smoking hot with those bearded legends playing backup for you.
- Pairing Brooke White with Graham Nash to sing "Teach Your Children" was really smart and probably a dream come true for her. But why not Carly Simon? She has a new-ish album out and those two on stage together would have blown my mind.
- Grrr. . . why do they bring the crazies back every year? I hate it! This is what you take up my time with waiting for the results?! Renaldo Lapuz, one my Caption It people? However, I admit the whole spectacle was worth it to see Paula get on up there with the crazies to dance. And Renaldo kept singing even when the music stopped. Yeah, it's time for a commercial break.
- I did not like Jordan's song nor did I like her outfit. What the heck was she wearing? I felt bad for her that she had to follow that One Republic/Archuleta goosebump-fest but still, yikes.
- Robert Downey Jr. as a back up dancer to Gladys Knight was so freaking cute, I thought I might faint. Oh yeah, Ben Stiller and Jack Black were there, too.
- Did Carrie Underwood borrow her outfit from Renaldo? Regardless, she took on that stage like the pro she has become and brought down the house.
It all ended with a big tribute to George Michael and then the man himself showed up to sing "Praying for Time" (the song Carrie Underwood sang on Idol Gives Back). And of course Paula shed some tears and rambled something about dreams and hope. David Cook was crowned. Both guys should feel proud, but I'm so happy with the results! You?
Photos courtesy of Fox