Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American Idol: Are you ready for the finale?

The two-hour-plus "American Idol" finale is tonight at 8. Due to the deadline to get my column into tomorrow's newspaper in time, I'm basically going to have to be writing throughout the show, so I won't be able to live-blog the finale like I have in past years. So feel free to discuss the show as it airs, who you think should/will win, etc. Just remember to be polite, as I know passions tend to run hot with this show.

UPDATE: As things have worked out, I'm attempting to slip in snark when I can on my Twitter feed.

I'll get a post up as soon as a winner is chosen, and then update it ASAP with my column on who won and why.

UPDATE #2: Winner's been crowned, and I have some thoughts on why he won over at NJ.com.

75 comments:

Eric said...

The main reason I’m bound to defend Kris Allen with such ardency (apart from the fact that he is genuinely talented) is this notion that Adam is, well, perfect. I know people like you and I are able to look at the contestants from fair and balanced perspective but it seems like the media and even more so the judges (whose job it is to direct these fledgling artists) have deemed him beyond criticism.

I was glad that he didn’t insert that unnecessary wail at the end of ‘Mad World’ and was actually surprised to see some of post-performance personality out of the guy last night. It feels like a lot of these technical criticisms his so called ‘haters’ had could have been addressed if the judges actually gave Adam some constructive criticism from time to time.

It’s one thing for me to say I don’t think Adam has what it takes to be a lasting artist and it’s another to expect him to receive the same discerning critique as the other contestants.

And I know I’m coming off as Mr. Negativity here but tonight's show really should be less about popular artists and more about the finalists. I don’t remember how they did it previous years, is there any chance they’ll have Adam and Kris sing with some of the stars they’re advertising?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Eric, that's exactly how they do it. With one or two exceptions, the special guests sing alongside various finalists. Adam and Kris will get at least one showcase duet apiece, if not two, and we'll see the other 10 finalists in some form or other.

Adam said...

And Tatiana del Toro, if rumors are to be believed.

Dan said...

I have been in the pro-Adam camp all season and have adamantly proclaimed him head over heels better than anyone else.

I change that position only to say that Kris is a worth finalist. He probably had the best performance last night...his first...whereas Adam was better start to finish. I think if we are basing this on the entire competition, Adam should win b/c he has been solid every single week. Howevever, we all know the results are based on the fan base and not the actual performances.

That said, I really think Kris might pull off an upset tonight. It all comes down to this: Who gets Danny Gokey's votes? Kris is more comparable to Danny, whereas Adam and Danny were anoited "the finalists" from the beginning. So it should be an interesting night for sure.

Either way, I'd buy an album made by either Kris OR Adam in a millisecond. Good stuff.

Adam said...

Also, FWIW, we'll be liveblogging the finale using CoverItLive soon after 8pm at Throwing Things; do join in. As an added bonus, we'll pump Alan's live-tweets into the room.

Hyde said...

@Adam: The news on Tatiana would irritate me, if true. They typically don't involve non-finalists in the finale in any way, except to bring back the occasional gag auditioner like Renaldo last year.

I've given this some thought, and I've decided that the fact that the judges like Adam Lambert is not a sufficient reason for me not to like him. This isn't a criticism of Kris, who has an interesting sensibility, albeit one that seems out of place on such a self-consciously "showbizzy" show. But he's not a small-i or capital-I Idol. Adam is.

Liz Coopersmith said...

@Eric. The notion that Adam is perfect IS annoying, but that's never been my reason for not liking him. He's musical theater (which I do love) NOT a commercial rock star. Compare him to the other Idols who have hit it big - Kelly, Carrie, even Daughtrey, and no. His flash outweighs his substance, like he's afraid that there isn't enough substance. Oh, look, I have a great voice, but check out the painted jeans and spiky hair, and ooh, look at my NAILS! And that has nothing to do with him being gay (although he's never said if he's gay or not, and gee, I wonder why), there are plenty of straight female performers and straight male performers that are the same way. Adam is very talented, but he has always been trying too damn hard for me.

But no, just because I don't like Adam isn't reason enough for me to like Kris. I just like Kris. He reminds me of all the male idols I've liked in the past - Cook, Daughtrey, even Clarkson. Kris is who is, and he doesn't have to dress it up. And what he is is talented. And a good sport, for having to stand there and be told over and over again, with a pat on the head, that he's "earning" and "deserves" his spot in the finals, without screaming at them to naff off.
Adam is going to win, that's fine. But it's Kris's album I'm going to buy.

mrsb said...

None of this year's contestants have said whether they are gay or straight. Why should Adam be any different?

I like Kris just fine, he seems like a swell guy with a nice voice. That didn't keep me from fast forwarding through every song he sang last night. I watched all of Adam's (even that horrible, horrible Kara song).

Maybe he's theatrical and over the top, but that doesn't mean he can't be a star. Look at David Bowie, Elton John, Marilyn Manson, KISS, practically any band from the 80's!

I'd go see a concert by Adam because I know I'd be entertained. I don't want to just stand there while someone sings. I can sit in a coffee house and hear someone just as good as Kris (who again, is a good singer). He reminds me so much of last year's Jason Castro (but with the ability to actually speak out loud and not look like a goof).

No matter who wins, I will be buying a ticket to see Adam Lambert where ever he ends up singing.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Don't have time to both live-blog and tweet, but if you check out my Twitter feed, I'm trying to slip in comments when I can in the midst of this nonsense.

Nicole said...

Why are they doing the Golden Idols again? No one wants to see the famewhores again. The only moment worth seeing what the Clay wannabe meeting the real Clay and since nothing will top that, why bother with this pathetic comedy?

verification word = alan on... I'm sure it means something.

Patrick said...

mrsb-

We know Kris is straight- we see his wife every week. We know Gokey is straight. Allison is presumed to be straight- Ryan joked about her and a guy in the audience going on a date, "Someone to Watch Over Me" was sung about a guy. Matt is presumed to be straight, if Kara's judging about "Let's Get It On" is anything to go by. What's-her-name who sang "Every Little Thing [He] Does is Magic" back in the semifinals was straight, and she changed the lyrics of that song to reflect that.

Adam and the show has very carefully avoided putting a gender on any person he may be in love with- none of the jokes or judges comments that allude to a person, Kris's story about the genderless "ferris wheel operator" is the closest we've gotten. His songs have avoided gendered expressions of love, and I know in the studio version of "Tracks of My Tears" a lyric was changed from "if you see me with another girl" to "if you see me with somebody else".

I'd love to go see Kris in a smaller, more relaxed venue. Big stadium concerts aren't really my scene, though they clearly are what Idol seems to be looking for, so for that reason I'd like to see Adam win, but Kris is the one I'd go see live.

Alan Sepinwall said...

My analysis of the winner here.

Blair Waldorf said...

The highlight of the show for me: Fergie's Louboutins. Damn. I want those shoes. I'd gladly pee myself onstage for those shoes.

Was the Tatiana thing for real or staged? On a related note, I think bikini girl was truly shocked and mad to see Kara on her stage.

JD said...

I'm happy that Kris won. As Alan says in his expert analysis on nj's website, Kris probably benefited from the judge's (and media's) obsession with Adam. Adam will make hit records, Kris will make hit records but Kris will now have a little more promotion thanks to his win. I'm still a fan of the Jason Mraz music that Kris seems ready to make, so I wish him well. Now it's time for So You Think You Can Dance. Woo Hoo!

wcdixon said...

Great analysis Alan...thanks much for your terrific TV coverage, not just for Idol (I only watched tonight final hour and all the over runs into "Fringe") but all the television programs you write about.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Was the Tatiana thing for real or staged? On a related note, I think bikini girl was truly shocked and mad to see Kara on her stage.

My guess is Tatiana was staged, and Bikini Girl's outrage was real. BG's not a good enough actress to fake that reaction, while all Tatiana does is act.

Nicole said...

I did a quick lyric search of the BEP song and I still can't figure out why they cut out a segment. I think someone fell asleep on the job. Nigel would have never let that happen.

I was surprised that Kris won, but he isn't a horrible choice. However, I think we will still be talking about Adam in three years, whereas Kris is kinda like all the other John Mayer/James Blunt types out there.

Granola Mom said...

Though I really think Kris is a great guy, I was disappointed to see Adam loose, especially seeing him really hold his own with KISS and singing Queen.

I think Kris was a little shocked that he won, which was cute.

Not a fan of Kara, but I was thrilled to see her come and take the spotlight from over tanned, over boobed Bikini Girl. And yes, I think she was surprised and royally hacked off when Kara came in behind her. Ha! It was one of my favorite parts of the night.

J said...

Excellent analysis, but the only thing that made me look up from work through the entire show tonight was Lambert singing "Beth" and knowing that things were going to go pyro. If the Idol producers are guilty of pandering to him it's probably because, despite being unable to run a show, they certainly recognize a showman when they see one.

amysusanne said...

@Nicole:

"Nigel would never let that happen" has been uttered by me during Idol this year as much as I mutter "Shut up, Probst" during "Survivor". Good grief. It's like cable access some weeks.

I wasn't really sure why they would cut away from Fergie. Tbh, the only reason it even occurred to me that it might have been the censors doings was the bizarre cutaways at the Emmys a couple of years ago. Maybe there was outside noise. Maybe an ad lib (though she doesn't really do that). Or maybe the director just fell asleep again.

Kara might have had more annoying moments than not, but she won me by screwing up Bikini Girl's moment in the spotlight. Excellent.

And while I have been an Adam fan in the sense that he's very talented, but not an Adam fan in the sense that he's the innovative genius that people keep telling me he is, these past two nights have had some of my favorite Adam moments. Otoh, Kris held his own. I like the underdog and I like Kris, so I'm happy with this win, but I found myself really enjoying Adam the person tonight instead of focusing solely on Adam the theatrical performer. It was nice to see both of them relax for a bit.

SaraK said...

Terrific analysis, Alan. I went straight to your column as soon as the show was over to get your take.

MB said...

I doubt the bikini girl/Kara thing was much of a surprise to anyone - the rumor was reported on the radio (Z100) this morning, if a rumor gets spread that far I'm sure anyone involved must have known the entire deal too.

Ryans reaction to BG was pretty priceless though.

Gotta feel bad for the girl - pretty sad that your whole existance is defined by wearing a bikini on a television show.

Hyde said...

The guy who went toe-to-toe with Kiss and Queen was the one who didn't win?

Alan, there may be something to your analysis, but is anyone going to go out and buy a Kris Allen CD because they don't like Adam Lambert? I really think this could replace Taylor Hicks as the most inexplicable in retrospect result ever.

Every so often I get these little reminders that yes, I live in the United States of America. Tonight was one of those times.

Condi said...

When did American Idol become Survivors? I know they're game shows and popularity contests, you know what, nevermind...

usty said...

@Hyde...yes Adam held his own with Kiss and Queen and that is amazing, but when were they last relevant to current hit music?

Kris held his own and sounded damn good with Keith Urban who charts current hit country singles constantly.

usty said...

Oh yeah, and I would buy a Kris Allen cd because I actually LIKE Kris Allen and the type of music he seems to make on a weekly basis. There are lots of people out there who agree with me. He can do that acoustic college rock vibe that tons of people my age (mid-twenties) enjoy listening to.

Ben said...

Great commentary. This was very much like an election and the more contestants went home, the more there fans flocked to Kris, the safest and most contemporary singer in the field.

- All the hype and buzz for Adam was a major turn off. I remember watching the Celeb Apprentice final and was so pissed that Joan win, BUT it would have been ok if Trump had call her on some of the BS.

Same with Adam. Because the judges never called him on out on the shrieking, among other things, it felt like the fix was in. People do not like that vibe.

Final point: Adam is a fantastic talent, but not album singer. With him, half of the point is the visual. Kris and his laid back vibe are all about the radio. From that perspective it totally makes sense that Kris won

mj said...

@alan - in your excellent commentary you mentioned 3 songs that Kris performed well. But I thought you omitted the song that turned him into a contender: his rendition of The Frames' "Falling Slowly". I think I recall you calling that the performance of the night when he performed it. Probably the performance of the season?

Liz Coopersmith said...

I'm glad Kris won, because I wanna buy his album. And it's not like the judges chose him, the voters did, which shocked the hell out of me,frankly.
But for all the pouters who are so upset - yeah, Lambert didn't win, but of course he's going to have an album, because Cowell may be stupid, but he's not THAT stupid. Adam will be around for as long as you want him around, so buy buy buy!

Adam said...

Yep. Allen grew and changed; Lambert came fully formed. Like Sparks over Doolittle/Lewis and Cook over Young David Archuleta and his Dead, Dead Eyes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, do me a favor: if you go to NJ.com to read the column, please don't read the comments. Please.

the2scoops said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hyde said...

@usty: Kris sounded good with Keith Urban--I might even say better than Urban, although I'm not enough of a fan of country music to judge. But there wasn't much showmanship to it.

I don't know how many records Adam will sell--the season-long concern about the relevance of the style he favors is not unfounded--but at the very least he should have a tremendous career as a live performer, and increasingly that's where the money is (as David Cook is finding).

@Adam: I've seen others make the comparison between Kris this year and Cook last year, but Cook was Archuleta's obvious major rival by the time the final 12 began, and the co-favorite by the time of "Billie Jean." Whereas Kris just kind of kept on surviving.

It's obvious now looking back that the non-Adam was destined to win this year. Kris was the best of the non-Adams, except for Allison, who lacks the Y chromosome you apparently need these days.

Jason said...

All I can say is, last year I bought two "Idol" tracks on iTunes, both by David Cook. This year, I bought two "Idol" tracks on iTunes, both by Kris Allen. The guy's not a zero -- he's got a style and he does some very good song interpretations.

That said, Adam Lambert's got a good career ahead of him. Maybe Queen has found its replacement for Paul Rodgers?

Jenn. said...

The guy that I've liked the best from the first time that he sang Ain't No Sunshine won, so I'm pleased with that. I was a bit kerflempt that so many of my pop culture buddies loved Adam when I did not, and then my sister noted that I never like the people who scream (and, in saying that, I recognize that Adam and other such screamers hit notes unlike, say, Gokey in Dream On). Whereas Kris is right in my wheelhouse.

Otherwise, I thought that it was an entertaining finale, Rod Stewart notwithstanding. David Cook's performance was awesome, and I liked many of the duets and group performances---not So What, which was a weird song choice, but Kris & Keith Urban's duet was great, and I enjoyed Adam's' Kiss combo and the Queen duet(?). I could have quite cheerfully dropped the "awards" section, even with Kara taking a swipe at Bikini Girl, but I did like the season recaps for each of the finalists.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the judges pimped so heavily on Adam's behalf because his vote totals never were as high as the general public assumed, and they realized before anyone else that he might be vulnerable.

The last time I can remember the judges campaigning THIS hard for anyone was in Season Three after LaToya's departure left us with a final three of Fantasia plus the clearly overmatched duo of Diana DeGarmo and Jasmine Trias. And even after the judges campaigned heavily for Fantasia, she only squeaked past Diana by a 51-49 margin.

The judges' campaigning just might have made the difference that year. Maybe they felt they needed to make a similarly heavy campaign this year because Adam was always behind Danny - and later Kris - in the vote totals. Of course, we'll probably never know the vote totals, but I'd really be interested in seeing if Adam's support was never as heavy as most of us assumed.

I.A.N said...

My Thoughts On the Final Three

- Adam Lambert sounds like he's from the 80's (Queen rock)

- Danny Gokey sounds like he's from the early 90's (boysIImen type stuff)

- and Kriss Allen is current 00's (acoustic)

Eric said...

It’s strange to hear Lambert fans suddenly pegging Kris as the new Taylor Hicks. With his showy performances and the constant (and, in my opinion, overzealous) praise I’ve always imagined Lambert to be the Hicksian one (and I say 'Hicksian' knowing full well how stupid that sounds)-- he's the intriguing reality star whose album potential is grossly overestimated.

Ben said...

Another thought: Forget for a moment that this is the biggest "upset" in Idol history, but it is really the only true upset.

There was not one point this entire season before Danny got booted that anyone thought Kris had a real chance to win. And as Alan pointed out, the judges and others did not his odds were much better even then. And yet he won.

Maybe Archuleta was the favorite going into lst season's finale, but David Cook was 1A all season.

Jordin came from back in the back, but by the finals was the favorite (and really for longer if you could read the tea leaves).

Reuben, Fantasia and Carrie were the clear front runners (or at least co-leader) from the start.

Kelly gained ground, but was major factor if not outright leader towards the end. And despite the Daughtry buzz, Taylor was no worse than #2 for most of that season.

Only true upset, ever.

Condi said...

Yeah the nj.com comments devolved into a shipping war - people shipping Adam and Kris with the Idol crown. Seriously, to push this thing to the next level Kris should start dating Carrie Prejean ASAP. Either that or fans demand a recount. Or demand Kris be tested for steroids. Come on Idol producers, let's hype this thing through the summer.

SteveInHouston said...

Alan, thanks so much for steering around the rocks known as "What Does This Say About America?"

I imagine we'll have more than enough commentary from other sources about that specious meme before all's said and done. As it is, I thought your commentary was pretty spot on.

And before I saw the warning here, I read about half of the comments to your NJ story. I've been infected. I think everything I say tomorrow will be along the lines of "Nuh-uh!" or "Yeah-huh!"

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amysusanne said...

Wow. Settle down, man. I mean, I know we're a bunch of slow witted homophobes, but we have feelings too.

Anonymous said...

slow-witted? How dare you!

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amysusanne said...

I was being sarcastic. I don't care how you single me out, but I do think you're laying it on a bit thick, being extremely judgemental of those who don't like Adam (or, rather, those who liked Kris better with the asterisk that that doesn't mean they *don't* like Adam) and are being pretty condescending wrt the intelligence of everyone else. As offensive as you clearly find it when people feel the need to make the PC clarification that their feelings about Adam have nothing to do with his sexuality, I find it pretty offensive that you're lumping these people into a group and labelling them as having homophobic tendencies and *then* throwing in the little lesson about racisim at the end. A lesson that didn't make a lot of sense because it's the opposite of what you're accusing people of doing. People are allowed to dislike someone without race or sexuality being an issue and if they want to point that out then they have every right to. They're also allowed to point out that and the zillion other reasons that they might not like that person (or, again, they like someone else *more*) without it indicating that they're homophobic.

And at the end of the day, it's kind of offensive to Adam to imply that people wouldn't be judging him on anything other than sexuality. Of course he can sing. He can sing very well. But, he's not perfect. Every performance was not perfect. And his style of performing is not for everyone. He's not beyond criticism.

It's a reality show. We know this. We also know that it's a reality show who has ambushed people in the past, so the assumption that Bikini Girl, someone both the audience and the show clearly have contempt for, would be this year's ambush is not a real leap. Of course 99% of it was staged, but you really think that ego liked sharing the stage? I don't.

And cutting away from Fergie because she was lipsyncing? What? That wasn't a normal cutaway, that was the "someone just did something bad and we hit a button" award show cutaway. Given that it's widely known and the show has done nothing to deny that half the group sings this year were prerecorded I really don't see them protecting Fergie from screwing up a lipsynced line. No illusions would be shattered by us seeing her flub something. That makes pretty much zero sense. Nevermind that I'm fully willing to admit that I didn't notice whether she was lipsyncing or not, though if I had to guess based on memory, I'd say she wasn't. "Big Girls Don't Cry" was not a flawless performance. Unless she recorded it live on stage earlier in the day and then lipsynced it...which would show an incredible committment to the idea of lipsynching on a live show.

amysusanne said...

And once again, I've replied to something that was deleted without seeing it before hitting send. Delete me if necessary, please.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, folks. Time once again to remind you of Rule #1 for commenting on the blog:

Be nice. This is an opinion blog, and a place where people can and should argue passionately for their point of view. But there's a difference between arguing with passion and arguing with hostility. If you can't find a way to express your viewpoint without insulting other commenters, or getting strident and self-righteous -- say, equating your opinion with fact, and deriding other people for not seeing the truth of your words -- then either tone down your words until they're more respectful to other people, or don't comment.

It is, in fact, entirely possible to dislike Adam for reasons other than his (perceived) sexuality, and many of us have articulated those reasons (starting with the fact that his upper register often makes our ears hurt). When you start attacking other posters for being bigots, your comments get deleted. Period.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And once again, I've replied to something that was deleted without seeing it before hitting send. Delete me if necessary, please.

No, because you found a way to make your own point without being hostile or condescending about it.

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrsb said...

I think we should all take a lesson from both Adam and Kris, who have been so very kind and supportive of each other both before and after the winner was revealed.

Kris said after his win not to worry about Adam, because he'll probably be a bigger start than Kris will be. He's a nice guy giving props to a friend.

Adam said after the show last night:

"And if there's anything that could come from this experience that I hope all the fans out there can pick up is that even if you're really different, there's a way to get along with each other. It's not about, "Oh, you beat me because of this" or "You're different." It's about finding the common stuff that makes it work. We got up there and did the Queen duet, and we made it work, because we found a common ground with each other."

Kris is not a horrible person with no talent. Adam is not a sore looser blaming his loss on otters (typo, but I'm keeping it).

Both these guys have the potential to be amazing in their respective areas, which will probably be very different from each other. That fact certainly means that there is room for them both at the top, right?

The one thing that everyone has said, time after time, is that both these guys are really nice, humble men. I'm sure they wouldn't want anyone throwing a fit at their loss or in defending their win.

It is, after all, just a show.

in said...

While I don't think they'll be carving Kris' face into the American Idol Mt Rushmore, he was a deserving winner. My wife was an Adam fan all season, but last week she started voting for Kris b/c she realized that he was what she would listen to on the radio.

I agree that there was a definite anti-Adam backlash in the voting, but I don't think it had much to do with his sexuality. Adam showed last night that he is a great performer and why he didn't win Idol: he was born 30 years too late. He absolutely killed with Queen and KISS. My favorite performances of his all season. If we get Dann Faraday to send Adam back to London in 1975, he could be as big as Bowie. 13 year old girls don't give a crap about glam rock.

While the producers and judges threw Kris under the bus (compared to Adam) all season, they did one thing that I think helped quite a bit: they didn't metnion his marriage once in the last 10 weeks. Sure, they would show his wife but she was never identified as such. This probably helped with his fan base.

I've been a Kara hater for most of the season. The winner's song was terrible. But after seeing her in a bikini, I'm willing to give her one more shot.

amysusanne said...

@mrsb: I agree. Kris and Adam have both been totally supportive and classy with each other and it's nice to see. Even the cynic in me can't find anything insincere about their reactions to the results. They both seem like good guys.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Jack, feel free and e-mail me if you like (asepinwall@starledger.com), but I'm really at a loss about what you're seeing here. Nobody's using the "Seinfeld" Defense. The only commenter who even mentioned he might be gay was Liz, and she articulated plenty of other reasons for not liking him. If anything, the "that has nothing to do with him being gay" line isn't any kind of defensive, "some of my best friends are black" kind of thing; it's a pre-emptive defense against the many people on the internet who, for weeks and months, have been loudly declaring that the only possible way Adam could lose would be homophobia. That meme has been out there so much, and for so long this season, that it almost becomes impossible to discuss reasons for disliking Adam without including that disclaimer.

Just look at the idiot commenters on the NJ.com blog, on both sides of the debate. The ones who like Adam and the ones who hate him both seem upset that I didn't want to discuss the sexuality question at all, and so they're flaming me, flaming each other, and generally making fools of themselves.

I have no issue whatsoever with anything about Adam's personal life, or his character, or anything non-performance-related. He seems like a good guy, as the backstage quote suggests. But I enjoyed maybe 30 percent of his performances, and if you asked me to buy an album from one of the two finalists, that would be Kris.

That has nothing to do with anything but my musical tastes, and I don't think I'm alone on this.

amysusanne said...

So, according to the AP it was BEP's decision to go to the twirly AI logo during "Boom Boom Pow". Per Fox, I guess instead of altering an expletive, will.i.am told them to hit the button. That's...different.

Kevin said...

I've been a Kara hater for most of the season. The winner's song was terrible. But after seeing her in a bikini, I'm willing to give her one more shot.Same here, buddy. Can't she judge in a bikini every week?

I like the show, but I can't believe any feels so passionately about one guy to argue to death the other guy stinks. Truth be told, both of these guys will probably fade to obscurity in a short few years, no matter what Paula says. And Adam seems destined to go back to musical theater, maybe just on a grander scale than he's been accustomed to.

I agree that that was kick ass finale. Queen, Kiss, AND Rod Stewart's jacket? All top notch. Love when Cyndi Lauper does True Colors accoustically, but that spasm thing she did at the end freaked me out. Loved that she was on the finale after Alan referenced "Just One of the Guys" yesterday. One of the best lines in that movie was after she tries telling the guy she's a girl, and his response is, "Yeah, and I'm Cyndi Lauper".

Also, Gene Simmons still wearing grease paint at age 60 makes me smile.

Kay said...

I was actually more impressed by the fact that Adam is gay and completely comfortable with himself, than I was with his actual singing.

Kelly said...

Guys, do me a favor: if you go to NJ.com to read the column, please don't read the comments. Please.Hee! I got this message way too late... why on earth did I read as many comments as I did over at NJ? I fear I'll never be the same. I'll say one thing - those commenters know how to use all caps to their advantage. And their powers of articulation are stunning. Stunning!!

I skipped the entire show up until the last 10 minutes. I was happy Kris won as I favoured him the most but I wouldn't have been terribly disappointed if Adam won - the boy's got some pipes on him. Still at the end of the day, the music I'll buy is Kris', only because Adam's upper register makes my ears bleed. And while ear bleeding might be funny the first time, it loses it's appeal on the fifth or sixth go around.

Oh and Alan, great post at NJ, I'd say it was one of your best articles, very thoughtful and well written.

Word Verification - delip. How NJ blog posters express their displeasure towards other posters. Ex: "Don't make me come over there and delip you man. Adam totally deserved to win. ADAM 4EVA!!"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Loved that she was on the finale after Alan referenced "Just One of the Guys" yesterday. One of the best lines in that movie was after she tries telling the guy she's a girl, and his response is, "Yeah, and I'm Cyndi Lauper".

And, because of that scene, to this day I feel compelled to pronounce her name is "Cyndi Low-per" (rhymes with "Wow-per") instead of the proper way, because that's how Rick says it to Terry.

Joe said...

Call me a "JFK was killed by the CIA and Mob" conspiracy nut but...

I will never be convinced that AI is totally honest when it comes to the results. I'm sure they are held to some legal standard but it's not an open sweepstakes or raffle and it's certainly not a government election.

An accountant with a briefcase doesn't prove anything.

I bet somewhere there's a clause in the participants' agreement that gives them room to play with results.

Adam Lambert is a household name. He doesn't need the AI crown. Kris Whatshisname sure does.

What better way to generate buzz and build momentum for the next AI than a remarkable shocker ending?

Ratings are sagging. The show is getting mocked. The formula is getting tired. Need proof: a judge in a bikini! (Let's be happy is wasn't Randy). Boom. Surprise ending and now momentum and the dialog shifts.

It's a TV show where producers should be milking all the drama and ratings out of their property. They have no business worrying about integrity. That is, until they get caught manipulating results.

Kevin said...

And, because of that scene, to this day I feel compelled to pronounce her name is "Cyndi Low-per" (rhymes with "Wow-per") instead of the proper way, because that's how Rick says it to Terry.Me too. Tough to top that line, but Rick does it wonderfully by asking "Where do you get off having(teets)?"

Alan Sepinwall said...

Call me a "JFK was killed by the CIA and Mob" conspiracy nut but...

Hey, I love a good "Idol" grassy knoll theory as much as the next guy, but if anything, this result confirms for me that the show isn't rigged. The producers and judges were so in the tank for Adam all season that the only way I would believe a Kris win was if it was the actual voting result.

mrsb said...

From what I've read, the 3 million people in Arkansas generated 38 million votes? Is that right?

Holy Moly! You know that not every person in Arkansas voted. If only half of them voted, that's still.... well, a heck of a lot of texts/phone calls each!

Now THAT is some commitment.

LA said...

I think the point Jack is making is that while there are legitimate reasons Kris won, we also need to acknowledge that SOME people DID vote against Adam because they are threatened by his (let's call it) ambiguous sexuality.

I totally acknowledge what you wrote in your article, that Kris was the underdog story who showed tremendous growth and was a nice humble guy, and that's great, and I don't begrudge him his talent. And that's a great reason to vote for him.

But I don't want to discount that there *are* people who voted against Adam simply because he's assumed to be gay. They're out there, they are a proven voting bloc, and we shouldn't pretend otherwise.

Jack, if that wasn't the point you were trying to make, my apologies. It IS the point I want to make.

Highlights of finale show: Cyndi/Allison duet, Kara showing up Bikini Girl (and Paula) vocally, Kiss, Queen. Best finale show I've seen to date.

I don't think the best man won, but I think a good and talented man won, and I can live with that. The future is up to each of them now.

LA said...

Hey, I love a good "Idol" grassy knoll theory as much as the next guy, but if anything, this result confirms for me that the show isn't rigged. The producers and judges were so in the tank for Adam all season that the only way I would believe a Kris win was if it was the actual voting result.Totally agree. I'm finally convinced the voting is legit.

Joe said...

Alan:

The producers and judges were in the tank together. It's all part of the set-up. They helped to build expectations. Then they dropped the bomb.

(Paula was not told anything about this.)

Word Verification: STING. (do you need more proof than that!!?)

Hyde said...

@mrsb: It's interesting you mention how well Adam and Kris worked together on "We Are the Champions," and it's clear the two men really like each other. By contrast, Kris and Danny were oil and water on their duet, and I haven't seen any evidence that the men are more than merely cordial with each other. And yet, one reason many thought Kris the chance to pull the upset was that Kris would have some sort of natural advantage with Danny's voters. Since Kris and Danny don't share a similar performing style and didn't appear close, the reason for believing in this advantage (correctly, as it turns out) seems to lie in something beyond just music. That's what some of us who find troubling undertones in this result are alluding to.

Unless Kris has songwriting chops, I see little prospect he'll be able to build a career unless he heads to Nashville. Removed from the imperative to Stop! Adam!, I can't imagine anyone will stay enthusiastic about him.

By the way, I concur with those who don't believe the result was fixed. Why Idol would have any interest in insuring that a popularity contest was won by someone other than the most popular really escapes me.

amysusanne said...

@Hyde: Remove anything involving sexuality from the mix and consider that that's true to some extent every season. It's just generally seen as a broader issue and once you get down to the final three or four you have people throwing their votes towards the person that they *don't* blame for sending their fave home. A couple of weeks ago fans of both Allison and Kris (the latter of which were bemoaning how horrible Kris must have felt as if that has anything to do with anything) were angry with Danny because he stayed while she was sent packing. Daughtry fans lost their minds when the conspiracy theory made the rounds that his numbers were being rerouted to Kat's numbers and people who thought they were voting for him voted for her. That could only help Taylor. I think there's definite truth to the idea that when you get to the final rounds people are voting against certain people, but I think it's very unlikely that Adam's sexuality played any key role in it. Naturally you could break it down further into the "Danny's the Christian music teacher" vs. "Adam's the ambiguous dude with the Hot Topic gift card" but even though I certainly think there are people out there who are drawn to one or the other for very personal reasons, I don't think it's enough to make a difference.

Interestingly, from what I've seen, a lot of the Kris die hards seem to really like Adam and obviously there are entirely too many Kris/Adam shippers out there chattering on. Their problem was most definitely Danny, who was very similar to Kris in a lot of ways. Danny's fans' problem seems to very much be Adam, which put them in league with a bunch of Kris fans who didn't like them in the first place. It happens.

mrsb said...

All you have to do is cruise a few web sites to see how many people, for whatever reason, really hated Adam.
More than the question of his sexuality, it seems to be based more on how hard the show allegedly pushed him down everyone's throats. The harder they shoved, the more these people seemed to see Adam as a over-blown ego maniac.

Whatever the coupling of the final two, there would be the same conspiracy theories, arguing over who was better and who's going to last the longest.

I, myslef, am content to sit back and just watch what happens. They will either go on to stardom, or they won't. Sitting around spanking the issue all day won't change the result in the end.

Nicole said...

The commenters on the NJ blog almost make the Moonlight freak shows seem normal.

I was happy to see Kris and Adam as the finalists because Danny really annoyed me. Although I preferred Adam over Kris, I don't think he was horrible. I think he won because it seems more likely that he benefited from Danny's votes, in addition to his own fans. While I don't think Adam lost because he may or may not be gay, I do think that there are some people out there that hated him for that reason. I also think that even more people hated him as a result of the excessive judge pimping.

cdg said...

I rarely care too much about any finalist, even my "pick" (and I never voted before), but I became a HUGE fan of Adam over this season - and I think the people mentioning how he seems out of his time are pretty spot on. I am a Gen-X-er, musical taste formed by the likes of Freddie Mercury/Steve Perry/George Michael up through some wailing hair metal singers and Chris Cornell.
There were so many times when Adam's singing hit the HELL YEAH spot for me, and I'm sure has everything to do with my generational experiences. I REALLY hope he finds a way to make popular music, because I would listen to him sing a phone book, but being a Broadway star isn't too shabby either.

Kris was great in his way, which was less compelling to me personally, but I totally see why others like him. I think the underdog story is exactly right and the judges just made worse. Americans luuuve the come from behind win.

Anonymous said...

Being hostile and condescending really is kinda the point of responding to a comment in a blog. I mean, other than the fawners. Right?

mrsb said...

Alan, is it true that AT&T was holding events in Conway giving out phones, giving phones to councilmen, giving out phones with California numbers, having events on campus, in hotels, having batteries and “charging stations” available and training people to “power text”?

Isn't At&T a sponsor of the show? If this is true, and they did not do the same for Adam, how is this competition fair?

amysa said...

I have no idea if it's true or not (though I really doubt it), but when I started hearing about that a couple of days ago I googled and it appears that the majority of comments and claims on this subject come from a dude named Dan (who is seriously spamming any reality board he can find) and a chick named Kerry. Although, to be fair, they could easily be the same person. It's long, cut and pasted diatribes and about half of it doesn't even qualify as conspiracy theory since it's all common sense to the tween text voters anyway. Nevermind that I'm not sure how it's "not fair" for Kris Allen fans to publicly post tips on how to maximize your voting time. Pretty sure I saw plenty of people bragging about how many times they got through for Adam, so it's not like mass texting/voting is limited to one contestant, it's open to anyone who knows how to do it.

As for the phones, I'm going to guess that, if any of it is true, just like in the early years (it seems to have dropped off in recent years) voting parties had AT&T phones available and plenty of party guest willing to sit there and hit redial/resend. If AT&T provided them free of charge I would be really surprised. It's a reality show contest that AT&T makes money off of. They're going to give up money just because they like some kid from Arkansas more than some dude from California? I doubt they care who wins.

mrsb said...

A NY Times article about it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/business/media/27idol.html?_r=2