American Idol: Finale part 1 - Adam and Kris perform

by Kona Gallagher, posted May 20th 2009 12:13AM
american idol finale kris adam
"Two are left standing, but only one can take it all." Seacrest breaks it down for us this evening, just in case there was anyone who didn't know what was going on. Each contestant is performing three songs tonight: a song that they've already performed on the show, one chosen by Idol producer Simon Fuller, and the winner's single, co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi.

And what a winner's single it is. Hoo boy. I had no idea a song could be that awful. It truly plumbs the depths and nearly ruins the entire night. Luckily, the guys have two previous performances that hopefully people will remember instead of the final one. Because, wow. Just, wow.

American Idol' Show Photos

    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Danny Gokey performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Matt Giraud performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Allison Iraheta performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Adam Lambert performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Anoop Desai performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Danny Gokey performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Kris Allen performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Matt Giraud performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Adam Lambert performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Allison Iraheta performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


Adam Lambert - "Mad World"

Okay, so the staging of this song is a little over-the-top. With the fog and the trench coat, I felt like I was watching Phantom of the Opera. Plus, what was with that hideously distracting bong/chime sound? Adam's performance of this song is quite good, but there was just way too much going on, and I can barely focus on it at all.

Randy loves that Adam showed his sensitive side and gives him an A+. Kara calls him an incredible artist, while Paula just tells him how proud she is of him. Simon proves that we are psychically connected and actually says that it reminds him of Phantom of the Opera! No one mentions the bong/chime, though.

Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine"

Kris is on the piano, which is a good move: he should be reminding everyone that he can play multiple instruments. The performance is beautiful. It manages to capture the feelings of the original while not being a sound-alike. It's up-beat and heartbreaking all at the same time. Overall, I'm impressed.

Randy tells him it was one of his best performances ever. Kara says that if Kris Allen doesn't move you, there's something wrong with you. Paula tells him that he, uh, "Allenizes" every song. Simon tells him that when his name was announced last week, he wasn't sure America had made the right choice. However, he "absolutely takes all of that back now."

Simon says that Kris wins round 1.

Adam Lambert "Change is Gonna Come"

This is classic Adam Lambert -- with a twist. This is definitely bluesier than Adam usually goes, but it works really well for him. He still can't stop himself from doing the open-mouthed scream thing in the middle of the song, but overall, this is one of my favorite Adam performances in the whole competition. I still hate the last note, and hate the fact that he has to do that with every single song, but I like the bluesy thing for him. It really works.

Randy calls the performance unbelievable, Kara says that it's his best performance and interpretation of a song, while Paula says that it was the best she has ever heard him sing, ("ever, ever, ever!"). Simon tells him that he is 100% back in the game.

Kris Allen - "What's Goin' On"

Kris breaks out the guitar for his Simon Fuller-chosen song. It's a really interesting interpretation, and he brings a lot of energy to it. He also exudes confidence, which is an area in which Simon has previously criticized him. All in all, he knocks it out of the park yet again. In fact, I think he may have even improved on his previous performance.

Randy tells him that his performance was "a little light" for this stage in the competition, while Kara says that he has been true to himself from day one. Paula tells him he made Marvin Gaye proud, while Simon says he loves the song, but says the performance was like "three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye." He also says it was too laid back.

Simon says that Adam wins round 2.

Adam Lambert - "No Boundaries"

Okay, you guys. This song is awful, and I literally cannot understand a single word he is singing. I'm pretty sure I heard "hurricane, nowhere, and care," but I can't be sure of any of those. The whole thing is a hot mess. It's kind of the worst thing I've seen on this show since Danny's horror scream on "Dream On," but I'm sure the judges are going to fall all over themselves with adoration.

Randy tells him that it was a little pitchy in spots, and it was just "alright." Kara, the co-writer, is of course moved and proud. Paula is in awe and tells him that she will be a fan forever. Simon says he's "not going to judge the song," and tells him that he genuinely believes Adam is a worldwide star.

Kris Allen - "No Boundaries"

Wow. Hearing it a second time does not make me hate this song less. I can, however, understand the words a little better when Kris sings them, but like Adam, he hits some bad notes in there. To his credit, however, he seems to have taken the judges' criticisms in the last round to heart. This is a super amped-up performance by Kris standards. He does what he can with it, but it's not something I'd ever want to hear again.

Randy tells him that he has done amazingly throughout this competition. Kara doesn't want him to be judged on that song, but calls him a compelling artist. Paula wishes him the best of luck and tells him he deserves the spotlight. Simon tells him that the first song was his highlight, and that he thoroughly deserves to be standing on this stage.

Wow, what a disappointing finale. Not because of the finalists, they were both pretty evenly matched: great first and second performances followed by craptacular third ones. After such a strong season with two very worthy finalists, it's a shame to see them go out like that. I kind of feel bad for Kara. There's no way she's coming back this season, right? After her inanity at the judges' table and that horrifying song?

I do think Kris managed to pull off the final song a little better, so for that reason and that reason only, I think he won the night. However, Kara was right when she said people should be voting on the season. Going by that, it's anyone's game. I have a sneaking suspicion that Kris is going to surprise us all and take the win, but either one of them could win at this point.

Who is going to be the next American Idol?
Adam Lambert881 (49.0%)
Kris Allen917 (51.0%)

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Adam is absolutely stunning, and sure will win. I can't help the way Kris's mouth and tongue move. It's weird, not sexy at all. Adam is in his own league through the season, and the important point is that he is memorable. Kris is not that impressed. Even though Kris wins and release albums, I'm pretty sure that they will easily become forgettable. Nothing special about him.

May 20 2009 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I HATED Kara's song! OMG, the lyrics were horrible, too many words per note, and the music just droning. Both Chris and Adam were not served well by having to sing that drivel. I much preferred the songs they sang of THEIR choosing. Both men sing well, but I am praying Adam wins, because he is downright phenominal- total package-- gorgeous voice, handsome man, sweet personality, the most talented. I would buy every CD Adam sings on- unless the songs were written by Kara..BLEAH!!

May 20 2009 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Leitch

wow, close voting on the poll. my vote just put Kris ahead by 1 vote. crazy.

May 20 2009 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's blatantly obvious Kara wants Adam to win. Why else would she co-write a song in Adam's range which she admitted was in a key too high for Kris? If AI insists on having the new single as part of the competition, they should at least demand that the song be suited to both competitors instead of favoring one. I liked Adam at the beginning, but he faded fast when he resorted to the scream in every performance. I voted for Kris, but it just might be better for him (vis a vis Daughtry) if Adam wins and AI is stuck trying to deal with the scream.

May 20 2009 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I voted for Adam. His was the best voice in the competition, he seemed to really enjoy the songs he sung (even those that were forced on him), he gave different and sometimes unique impressions of many of the songs, and he was very personable and likable in the "after the song" interrogations.

That said, I now really, really hope that he doesn't win. I thought it was just me, when I watched last night, thinking that the final song was horrible. Reading comments here and elsewhere, I was right! Nobody has said anything nice about it. The winner will be forced to put out this song as his first single? Wow, will he ever be able to come back from such a disaster?

May 20 2009 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, what a lackluster end to this season. I will agree with everyone else: the Kara DioGuardi song truly sucked. Neither of them will have a hit with piece of crap.

I thought neither of the guys were truly up their game, but I think Kris could pull this off simply because he appeals to a broader base of fans than Adam. I didn't start out as an Adam fan, but he won me over. No matter what happens, I think Adam will have the career he wants and might even succeed.

May 20 2009 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Adam won the night, and the season, but I sorta hope Kris wins because he'll have to release that awful song as a single. LOL And as the runner-up, Adam will maybe have more creative control over the content of his album. Because if they take that amazing talent of Adam's, and try to slap it onto crappy schlock like that "No Boundaries" song for his first CD, that would be a really awful thing. Good God, that song was AWFUL. AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL.

May 20 2009 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Perfectly said Gilmore08.
I thought the last song was specifically written for Adam and Kara admitted it by telling Kris that the song was a little high for him.
Heres to hoping Kris gets beter producers for his album.

May 20 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Worst Song Ever

I linked to this post FYI :) Great work!

May 20 2009 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The reason why the first song was great, second alright, and third just god-awful is because of this:
The first song was hand-picked by Kris and Adam, they added their own artistic changes to it, and performed to their liking.
The second song was picked by Simon Fuller, producer of American Idol. An alright song that kinda captures who they are as artists but misses the target, shows how the winner of the show with their contract may be forced to fall into one category and not allowed to produce any form of art.
The third song, wow, the third song was written by none-other-than Kara and it is terrible. How anyone could adapt that song and make it work is beyond me.
The finale setup is just flawed on so many levels: you get to see the artists for who they are, then you see what American Idol wants them to be, then you see what horrible record they are going to MAKE them record.
Sad day for both of these musicians because they could do a lot if they were given a less controlled opportunity than American Idol

May 20 2009 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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