Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Idol X Championship

Okay, so we missed the performances... they were Tuesday night, airing about the time The Lovely Steph Leann and I were flying over Texas, then Mississippi, flying into Birmingham later in the evening.  It sat on our DVR all day today while she was at work and I was slingin' coffee.  And it sits on our DVR now, as we watch the DVR's finale of Celebrity Apprentice... I'm watching Marlee Matlin and John Rich duke it out, and as much as I enjoy this show, this is actually the first time I've ever watched the finale of Celebrity Apprentice all the way through to its conclusion.  I found out Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers and Bret Michaels were winners the day after... but I just saw John Rich (of "Big &...") take the crown.  Marlee Matlin didn't hear a thing.

Anyway, its time to watch some Idol... some American Idol... We'll get through the performances first, I believe three per Idol, then we'll get through the 2 hour finale in about 30 minutes (there is a lot of fast forwarding that will happen...)

(but before I get to the Idol shows, let me give you the scene... The Lovely Steph Leann watched both shows back to back earlier tonight.  I left The Cabana and headed over to the studio to record The Deucecast Ep VIII: Dead Man's Podcast, available for download on iTunes on Friday.  I got home and she was still zipping through the show, so I ran upstairs to sort laundry while she finished.  The show ended for her, I came back, she left me and went upstairs to bed, and I am now watching the ending to the very underrated, excellent "State of Play"... so as soon as this movie is finished, I'll start the Idols.)




We open the show with a video of an 8 year old Carrie Underwood, then smashcut to her winning a few years back.  The we see a similar video of David Cook as a youth, then see him winning.  Then we see videos of young Deep Voiced Scotty and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina singing, then their auditions, then them now... I can see the comparisons between Carrie and America's Darlin' (and by comparison, I mean, they are both country chicks--I am in no way saying that America's Darlin' is anywhere near Carrie Underwood) but David Cook and Deep Voiced Scotty?  Not seeing it. 

Here are the judges, and here comes Seacrusty to tell us how important tonight is... which is a waste of time, really, because unless you just watching this show tonight for the first time, you know how important tonight is to the show--and who is going to pick the penultimate show of the Idol season to pick it up for the first time?

Rumors hit the interweb that America's Darlin's Lauren Alaina had strained one of her vocal cords, and apparently, My Next American Idol Haley Hotness was on standby, though if she were able to compete, and then won the show, how big of an asterisk would that have been? 

Each will sing three songs tonight


Deep Voiced Scotty picks up the first song, with Montgomery Gentry's "Gone", done earlier this season.  I always felt bad for Montgomery Gentry, a duo who's heyday was in the 90s and early 2000s, and every year, they lost the "Duo of the Year" award at the ACMs and CMAs to Brooks and Dunn, who won like, 40 of them.  And now that Brooks and Dunn have broken up, it would be Montgomery Gentry's time... except, their time is... well, "Gone". 


Eh, song was good. It was Deep Voiced Scotty. 

Up next is America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, singing Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor".  Not only does she almost do a Dr. Richard Kimble Dam Dive off the top step with a stumble (she catches herself), you can tell her voice is struggling to keep its tone.   Not bad.  Deep Voiced Scotty was better.

Judges remain quiet.


Deep Voiced Scotty's Idol?  George Strait, who picked "Check Yes or No" as the song to sing.  Love it.  This is a great song, its cute, its fun and its perfect for our Idol Country Guy.  

Without the judges yapping and telling how how J-Lo loved it, and Randy the Dawg declaring that everyone is In It To Win It Dawg!!, this is going quite fast...

America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina's Idol is... Carrie Underwood.  If someone had told me when I started this post that the over/under on how many times I'll mention Carrie Underwood would be around 3,788, I would have laughed, but not anymore.  Seriously.

She's singing "Maybe It Was Memphis", from Pam Tillis, one of my Top Ten Favorite Country Songs of All Time.  This song is perfect for America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, and I know every word of it, and I'm actually singing along.  This song is awesome!

Love it!  I have Pam Tillis' Greatest Hits on cassette...

She does, however, lose awesome points from that dress.  Only 7 swans and 3 labradoodles were injured in the making of that outfit.  Nevertheless, she jumps to the top of the music leaderboard.

Ah... now Seacrusty goes to the judges.... Randy the Dawg tells us that we chose these two (thanks Randy the Dawg!), and how even this is... he awards Round One to Deep Voiced Scotty, but Round Two to America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina.  J-Lo loved it.  All of it.  Every bit of it.   She agrees with Randy the Dawg on the Round Winners.  She must have also known we went to Disneyland this weekend, and in our honor, stole Ariel's dress. 

You should play a drinking game and go back and read the Idols posts from this year--take a shot of Jaeger every time I type "J-Lo loved it".  You'd be a full fledged alcoholic by Week 9, in a 12 step program by Week 6 and by the time you read last week's recaps, you'd be awaiting a liver transplant and Seattle Grace Mercy West because yours was so ravaged by the poison.  Just sayin'.

Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler awards both rounds to America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, because "she's prettier than you are..."  Love the brilliance in judgement.

Taio Cruz singing the winning song in some competition that I ignored partly because of the debacle that produced the crap song "This is My Now" from a few years back, a contest they dropped altogether until this year.  Fast stinkin' forward.


This is the single that will be released if they win, a song that will launch the career of the Idol winner... and for Deep Voiced Scotty?  Its a song called "I Love You This Big", which would be perfect if...

...if you were singing out of a KID'S BOOK IN THE BARNES & NOBLE CHILDREN'S SECTION!!!

"I Love You This Big"?  What a horrible name for a song!  What a terrible name for a song!  This is a horrible song.  Like, this song sucks.  Now, granted, Deep Voiced Scotty is doing what he can with the materials given--he's singing it well... its just a crappy song.  Who writes these things?  Taio Cruz should have handed that other song over to Deep Voiced Scotty.

Its a passable single, but I hope he has better stuff on any album he has coming up.

Randy the Dawg is marveling at the song and Deep Voiced Scotty.   By the way, in that Jaeger challenge a few paragraphs back, take out the phrase "J-Lo loved it" and insert the phrase "Randy the Dawg just declared ____ IN IT TO WIN IT", and you have the same effect.  Back to Deep Voiced Scotty's song, J-Lo loved it.  Take a shot.  And Uncle Steven Tyler thought it was cool.

And finally, the last real performance of the season, America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, who is singing "Like My Mother Does", a song that... well, sucks.  Can the Idol Writers not give the Idols a song faster than 2 beats per measure?  Does every original song have to be a stinkin' ballad? 

Kate Ward from EW says it best:  "Its bad enough that the producers handed America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina a number that would appeal to every speed-dialing mother and grandmother out there, but to choreograph a hug between Lauren and her mom?  I haven't felt this manipulated since Pepsi lured me into drinking the diesel-flavored Pepsi Spice through adorable holiday imagery!  Had the moment been impromptu, it would have been sweet and tear-worthy... but the produceers did not even try to hide the fact that it was planned.  By allowing Seacrusty to escort America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina to her mother's seat, Idol proved that America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina was the series' golden child.  Honestly, why even have a show tomorrow?"

The judges just went nuts--Randy the Dawg yelled and declared her the winner, while J-Lo loved it (take a shot!) and Steven Tyler raved.  They all three gave Round Three to America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina.


My Rank of Performances:
1) "Maybe It Was Memphis" -- America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina
2) "Check Yes or No" -- Deep Voiced Scotty
3) "Gone" -- Deep Voiced Scotty
4) "Flat on the Floor" --America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina
9-tie) "I Love You This Big" -- Deep Voiced Scotty
9-tie) "Like My Mother Does" -- America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina

Part of me wants to Deep Voiced Scotty to win if only because his unbearable single is a little more bearable than America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina's unbearable single...



The required video showing all 4 billion people who tried out, and our 2 that remain, plus quick clips of last nights (or earlier tonight) performances...

Just because she hasn't been mentioned in weeks, its
Pickles!  She said she loved both Idols, but she was
supporting Scotty...
Seacrusty opens the show, telling us all of the performances that will probably be fast forwarded tonight.  Get ready.  Seacrusty then tells us that last night, there was a record setting 300 billion votes, and over the season, there have been something like 45 cowellzillion votes--so many votes, they actually had to make up a name for the number.

Actually, the number he quoted was three-quarters of a billion, and then he tells us that is about 2 votes for every person living in America... and I love the fact that like, four people clapped.  Seeing his stat tanked, he calls for the fans of each Idol to give it up, and they do.  The judges are introduced, and now, here is America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina and Deep Voiced Scotty McCreery!

All of the Idols come back to perform Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"... is it bad that I don't remember some of these people?  Fast forward.

Commercial break.  Fast forward.

I'm sure that The Straight Adam Lambert is thinking it is awesome that he's performing with rockers Judas Priest, but I don't know if he knows that somewhere in this world, the surviving members of Freddie Mercury's estate just realized what happened to that studded, chain filled outfit that Freddie used to wear to the gay clubs, and was mysteriously lost.  Fast forward.

Funny video highlighting Randy the Dawg and the fact that his vocabulary stretches to about 30 words in its entirety, including the words, "Yo", "What's happening in here" and "In it to win it!". 

The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Kirk Frankiln now come out, which explains The Lovely Steph Leann's text from earlier:  "What gospel singer would you want to see perform on Idol?" 

Funny thing about Kirk Franklin--and I'm not knocking the guy, I think he's awesome, and I've even seen him in concert--but he's like the P. Diddy (Puff Daddy?  P. Diddy Money?  Diddy Kong?  Sean Hall?) of the gospel scene... he never sings, he just says random phrases like, "Come on Lord help me!" and "I know you feeling it right now!" and "Whatchoo say" and "Whatchoo say" and "Throw yo hands up whatchoo say". 

Gladys Knight, sans any Pips, just came out and added to the song, and to be honest, I actually enjoyed that. 

Commercial!  Fast forward.

We're back, and its The Eliminated Casey A, singing "Fat Bottomed Girls"!  Speaking of Queen... ha!  And who is with him?  Jack Black!  What... what?  Awesome.

Even without The Eliminated Casey A and Jack Black, this song is just so great, I don't care how mysoginistic it sounds.  And this version?  Fantastic.  Loved it.  This might be the best song of the season... and I mean, the whole season.   If anything, I think The Eliminated Casey A is having more fun than he's had this entire show, and maybe than anyone has on this show this year.

All the eliminated chicks from Idol are doing "Put a Ring on It" .  Fast forward until Beyonce actually comes out, in which they do "Crazy In Love", which I completely dig, as its my favorite B song.  Even Naokeem Arakpo can't ruin this. 

Commercial Break.  Fast forward.

Back, and now we see a Steven Tyler video.  Lots of bleeps and blanked out gestures, random words put together that make no sense, and lots of "if that wasn't Steven Tyler saying it, we'd be sued for sexual harassment" moments.

Interesting.  Tony Bennett singing with My Next American Idol Haley Hotness, who looks ravishing in her silver dress.  And give it up, she's holding her own with Tony Bennett.  That is a moment.

Another video, this time focusing on J-Lo, with lots of clips of guys who are all about some Jennifer Lopez.  Lots and lots of crushes.  Plus, the infamous too-short dress shot.  And The Lucky Casey A giving J-Lo a smooch on the cheek. 

Another performance featuring the eliminated ladies of Idol, with Lil Jon (that makes TWO reality shows that I've seen him on in the same day... odds on that?  40,000:1 before today) and... TLC?  What?  Actually, they are only TC, and L died a few years ago.  So, we get a smattering of TLC hits like "Scrubs" and one of The Lovely Steph Leann's favorite tunes, "Waterfalls".  Fast forward. 

Deep Voiced Scotty and Tim McGraw.  This has to be a seminal moment for Scotty McCreery--I mean, Tim McGraw?  With "Live Like You Were Dying", a song that I truly enjoy.  So, no fast forwarding.  I almost feel like Tim came on the show because Kris Allen had "Live Like Your Dying" last year, and Tim wanted to show American Idol that "This is how you sing a life perspective song... I went skyyyyy diving... I went rocky mountain climbing..."

No lie, for the longest time, I thought he went 2.7 seconds and grew a fu manchu.  I never understood what the 2.7 seconds had to do with a terrible mustache until one day it just finally clicked.  Thanks EZLyrics online! 

Good performance.

Commerical.  Fast forward.

So far, I've pretty much enjoyed several of the musical performances tonight... and now, we see a video of bad performances, bad moves and pratfalls from this past season...

Mark Anthony practically making out with wife J-Lo onstage.  Fast forward.

And another video, this time an entertaining one featuring the Idols discussing being eliminated.  The Eliminated Casey A, Blinky James and Stefano Italiano are hilarious, poking fun at one another.  The Peepee Tuscany shows up, wearing a sash that says, "Most Shocking", which actually brings an audible laughter out of me.

Tom Jones with a blank stare... because that is just
about all he can do

And now, the Idols guys song.  Stefano Italiano butchering "Kiss" by Prince, a classic.  How dare you.  Fast forward as I realize its a Tom Jones medley--"Delilah", "Green Green Grass of Home", "Love Me Tonight", "What's New Pussycat" and others. 

Here comes Tom Jones himself, looking like he got the Kenny Rogers Botox--meaning only the bottom part of your face is capable of moving, with everything from mid-cheek up frozen as if its carbonite. 
Commercial break--fast forward.

Ford Music Video--fast foward.

Deep Voiced Scotty and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina handing keys to a couple of chicks that I am sure I would know who they are if I had watched the previous video... and then, Seacrusty tells the Idols they have been awarded any Ford vehicle they choose.

Now, Lady Gaga--fast forward.

Is this Princess Amidala... or Lady Gaga?
YOU be the judge
I feel like I would enjoy Gaga's warddrobe more if Princess Amidala hadn't done it already in the Star Wars prequels.  Just sayin'.

Commercial break--fast forward.

Back, with America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina singing... you guessed it, Carrie Underwood.  Its "Before He Cheats", a song that The Lovely Steph Leann loves so much its kinda scary.  Like, I can imaging her dragging her keys down my pretty little souped up Kia Soul...  anyway, here comes Carrie Underwood.  Fast forward.

Funny video with the eliminated Idols making fun of how young Deep Voiced Scotty and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina are. 

And now, debuting her new single, Beyonce!  Fast forward!

Commercial break.  Fast forward.

The end is near, I feel it.

So, now we have some guy singing a song from the Broadway musical "Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark", featuring the song's composers, Bono and The Edge.  With this musical being so panned, being a financial disaster and having nothing but problems, I wouldn't have picked this show to be featured.  On a funnier note, can you imagine hanging out with The Edge?  "Hey, The Edge, where do you want to eat lunch?" or "Where is the remote?  Oh, The Edge, its by you..." or "Can you pass the collard greens, The Edge?"  Love it.

Fast forward through that song and the commercial to follow.

Steven Tyler's song was about to get a fast forward, until I realized it's "Dream On"... though its kinda amusing, and in some ways sad, at how old he sounds... "eery tyy.. i look an a meeee urrr... passss gaaa cleaaaahhh..." 

I imagine this exchange with the producers:

Producer 1:  We need to get Steven to sing a song
Producer 2:  I'll bet he will want to sing that new crap he just put out
Producer 1:  Tell him no way.  He sings "Sweet Emotion" or "Dream On" or even "Walk This Way"
Producer 2:  What if he wants to do a medley of an old song and his new crap?
Producer 1:  Nope.  He gets one minute. 

And he got about one minute for "Dream On"... though it might be that his voice couldn't hold up...

Commercial break... fast forward.

And so now, the next American Idol.  Deep Voiced Scotty stares intently, while America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina looks as if she's about to pass out.

Seacrusty asks for the final dimming of the lights...

And your winner is...

Scotty McCreery, who keels over with his face scrunched up as he fights back tears.  Surprisingly enough, America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina looks perfectly content with it, like she's just glad its over. 

Its been a great season, about 4000% better than last season that gave us Lee DeWyze winning over Crystal Bowersox... the talent pool ran much deeper, and by the last half of the season, I could have seen Blinky James, or Casey Abrams, of course Lauren or even Haley Reinhart winning it... and whats more, I liked most of them.  When it got down to the final six or so, I didn't want any of them eliminated, because I liked them all too much...

But all in all, America made the right choice, and I have contended all season that country music will embrace him fully, in the way that they embraced Carrie... he probably won't have the kind of success that Carrie has had, but if he has the kind of success that Dierks Bentley or even Blake Shelton had, then he will do alright for himself.

And... well, thats that.

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