The two hour, season finale special started, as it has for 9 seasons, with the burning question, Why does Ryan Seacrest have a job on television? We are down to Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. Both will have recording careers, so it does not matter who wins, and it’s not even why we watch. We watched for only one reason. Mr. Simon Cowell.
The opening number has the Michael Jackson guitar chick playing, and the top 12, doing a group performance of “School’s Out”, by Alice Cooper. Just as our eyes are about to bleed, Alice Cooper comes out to sing with them. By sing, of course I mean lip sync. They have his mike all but turned off. It’s Alice Cooper, we know he can’t sing. They robbed us by not letting him belt it out.
Then Cris Allen sings. If they didn’t say he was the reigning champ, I wouldn’t of known. He is forgettable, and his song is forgettable. I remember the good old days when actual singers like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood won. This guy could be in a bar, in any town in America, and I would think the same thing I think of him as the American Idol, nothing.
First video tribute to Simon, and the first appearance by Paula Abdul. It was cute, and funny. It is clear that this man makes the show, and it will hardly be worth watching without him. What we also see, is that while Ellen is funny, Ryan, Randy, and Kara should all be thanking God every single day that they have a job. I seriously don’t get them.
The two remaining Bee Gees sing next, with ousted contestants Siobhan and Aaron. They all sound great, and it’s a good number. The Bee Gees are amazing, the music never gets old, and apparently neither do they. They look a little fuller, and a little grayer, but their voices are in tact.
Big Mike is now singing the Doobie Brothers classic, “Taking It To The Streets”, and out comes Michael MacDonald. I have loved Michael MacDonald for as long as I can remember. The Doobie Brothers were made fabulous by MacDonald, and he sounds exactly the same as he always has. Great song, great pairing, great musical moment.
Dane Cook does a musical tribute to Simon, by putting the things he said to music, with a song called “Simon Said”. It’s catchy, and has a couple of funny things. Then the producers make a huge mistake, by inviting some of the rejected contestants to come out and dance, while Cook sings. Some guy takes the mike, starts ranting, and they immediately cut to a commercial. Did they really think one of theses fame seekers would not ruin the moment?
The top six girls do a tribute to Christina Aguilera, and it’s painful. Some songs should just be left alone, and unless you’re Christina, you should not sing hers. Aguilera comes out and sings for ten seconds with the girls, and then they all leave, and allow the master to do her thing. This girl can sing. She can’t pick out a cute outfit, but she can sing like nobody’s business.
Ricky Gervais sends a video message to Simon, and it’s brilliant. He is hilarious, the bit is fantastic, and a highlight of the show. The interesting thing, is that as Ricky is doing his shtick, it becomes clear that whoever replaces Simon, must be English. There will be such a huge void when he is gone, that it will somehow be easier to handle if at the least the accent remains.
The top six guys then do a Hall And Oates tribute. It proves that as a group, the men are more talented than the women. Hall and Oates come out, and they look exactly the same as they did in their hay day. They have not changed. They sounded good, and their music stands up to the test of time. Loved seeing them. If only the contestants were as entertaining as the special guests.
Crystal sings Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”. If I were to channel my beloved Paula, it was a little pitchy and she screamed part of it. Then the only person who can really pull off Alanis, Alanis herself, comes out, and they duet on “You Oughta Know”. Morissette kills it, and we are all reminded that Jagged Little Pill needs more play time on our iPods.
Carrie Underwood sings her new song “Undo It”. This chick is amazing. She is beyond gorgeous, and beyond talented. As American Idol dies a slow and painful death, we got a glimpse into a time when they struck gold, and it was good. She is phenomenal.
Lee and Crystal get their new 2011 Ford cars. They did not seem that excited about it. Probably because they knew they would have to make another annoying Ford video. I’m all about product placement, but the Ford videos are painful, and tonight was no different.
Casey James sings Poison’s “Every Rose Has A Thorn”, and you figure it’s a tribute to Bret Michaels, since he’s has such a hard time lately. Then Michaels comes out, and sings the song with Casey. Awesome. I love Bret Michaels, and he is the ultimate rock star. A seriously great moment.
It’s Lee’s turn to pay tribute to the city where he auditioned and hails from, Chicago. He does a melody of Chicago songs, with Chicago. Then we have another video tribute to Simon. Silly, and not that funny. But it’s always good to see Paula. We’re almost done, and still hoping she makes an appearance.
It’s time for the classic “Pants On The Ground,” by General Larry Platt. We are given the special gift of guest performer William Hung. Funny, and oddly catchy song. I’m not too embarrassed to say that it might end up on the iPod.
And then there was Paula. She came, and she looked fabulous. She was not funny, and went on too long, but she looked terrific, was wonderful, and it would not have been acceptable if she were not there. She got to not only say goodbye to Simon, but for herself. It was redemption for her, because she knew, they all knew, we would have been pissed if they did not have her back.
There is a Frank Sinatra “My Way” tribute which was sweet, but the highlight of the evening came when all the American Idol past winners sang a song together. Sadly everyone was there except for David Cook, but it was really great. We were reminded that some amazing talent was found through this show, and by through this show, of course I mean by Simon, and by talent, of course I mean everyone but Taylor Hicks.
The big superstar finish comes courtesy of Janet Jackson. She has cut her hair super short, and it makes no sense that someone can be that attractive. She sounded great, looked great, and the song was beautiful. She then sang Nasty, in what will undoubtedly be named the most unfortunate outfit of 2010. Seriously awful. Really, really, really bad.
Crystal and Lee give their last performance of the night with the classic “With A Little Help from My Friends” by Joe Cocker. It was good, until Joe Cocker joined them, then it became great. Is it just me, or was anyone else surprised he was still alive? I could have sworn he had passed. Brilliant performance.
Overall it was a start studded two hours, and worth the investment. I will miss Simon Cowell on American Idol, and plan to follow him to his new show. He looked handsome tonight, genuinely touched by the tributes, and happy to have Paula there with him. They gave him a proper send off, and that was important. Good luck to you Simon.
Mazel Tov to Lee DeWyze. Your life is about to go nuts. You are only 24, and having your dreams come true at such a young age can be scary. Just be true to yourself, and always remember where you came from. Call your mom. Often. Enjoy this moment, and no matter how hard it gets, how tired you are, or how overwhelming it becomes, it will all be fine, if you remember to keep the faith.
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