American Idol: Finale part 1 - Adam and Kris perform
by Kona Gallagher, posted May 20th 2009 12:13AM
"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.
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.
|Adam Lambert||881 (49.0%)|
|Kris Allen||917 (51.0%)|