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'American Idol' - 'Finale Results' Recap (Season Finale)

by Kona Gallagher, posted May 27th 2010 1:15AM
american idol final 2
It's been a long season, but we're finally at the end. Simon is saying goodbye tonight, and we're going to crown another American Idol. Both contestants are deserving, although Crystal impressed me a little bit more last night. Regardless, when the winner is announced at the end of the episode, I'm going to be happy. They both deserve it, and I'm sure they're both going to go on to have a career.

Of course, the weird school uniforms make me think that the careers they are going to go on to are of the weird married-stripping-team variety, a la Steve Carell and Tina Fey in 'Date Night,' but Ryan did say we were in for a lot of surprises tonight, so I'm just going to go with it.

It turns out that the uniforms are for a super-awkward Top 12 performance of 'School's Out,' including a stage full of 12-year-olds in Alice Cooper makeup -- plus a very out-of-place looking Alice Cooper, who appears to be the only person actually singing live. The whole thing is just bizarre, and is one of those ridiculously bizarre things that makes 'Idol' so fun.

Kris Allen, "The reigning American Idol," as Ryan calls him, performs next. He's singing his new song, 'The Truth,' and it becomes quickly apparent why Kris's career hasn't exactly exploded in the past year: There's nothing really interesting about this song at all. He's always really good, but this is nothing more than background music, and I kept on tuning it out without even realizing what I was doing.

This is followed by a montage of Simon's lowlights throughout the past nine seasons. The hosts are all interviewed-- including Paula, in which they make fun of Simon for his uh, "amazing professionalism" while at the judges' table, including his love of eating during performances and just laughing in the face of contestants.

Every time I see any members of the Bee Gees, all I can think of is "The Barry Gibbs Talk Show" sketch that Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake do on 'SNL.' For that reason, it's really difficult for me to take this 'How Deep Is Your Love' performance seriously. This is also difficult because I was never fully able to take either Siobhan or Aaron seriously.

Big Mike gets to perform 'Takin It To the Streets' with Michael McDonald (of whom Timberlake also does an excellent impression). They both do a great job and Big Mike gets to have a big finish, which is pretty nice for him. Since he gets to sing without another contestant, I'm looking forward to what Casey is going to perform.

The next segment has me really torn. On one hand, Simon's greatest insults! Yay! On the other hand, Dane Cook! Boo! The song begins, and for his part, Simon kind of looks like he's going to punch Cook in the face. Or vomit-- I'm not exactly sure which.

BUT THEN IT TURNS INTO THE GREATEST THING EVER. Cook is in the middle of the song, and a bunch of people who Simon was mean to during auditions (plus Norman Gentle, who is awesome) come onto the stage, and one dude, who's name I don't catch despite the fact that I've watched this thing half a dozen times, hijacks the mic, and has "a Kanye moment." You can see the look on Cook's face, which is, "Aw, Christ." That look is enough to tell me that this was not some cute thing the producers have planned.

The guy goes on and on about how it's his night, and nobody cares about Simon, and he's going to replace him. If I wasn't sure that this is spontaneous, I certainly become more sure when he shoves a girl who tries to grab the mic from him, and Gentle finally wrestles it away. The camera then does a hasty pullback because it's getting real. Aaaand it's a quick cut to commercial. Live TV, folks. God bless it.

When we return, there's no mention of anything that just happened. Instead we get the Top 6 girls singing 'Beautiful.' It's a shortened version of the song, however, and it turns out to be a Christina Aguilera medley. They go into 'Fighter' next and then Aguilera shows up. She's working on a comeback now, and it's nice to see her back. She finishes the last few notes of the song and goes into 'You Lost Me,' from her new album.

After a satellite appearance by Ricky Gervais saying goodbye to Simon, the Top 6 guys appear onstage to sing a Hall & Oates medley. The Bee Gees and Hall & Oates? This is the dorkiest episode of 'Idol' I've ever seen. Daryl Hall and John Oates show up to continue the medley, and all of a sudden, this really is feeling like a retirement party!

Crystal is performing next, singing the misnamed Alanis Morrisette song, 'Ironic.' But wait -- it's another medley! Morrisette joins her onstage, and Crystal/ Idol Producers/ Fox executives hilariously change the lyrics of 'You Oughta Know' from 'Would she go down on you in a theater' to 'Would she go down with you to the theater." Why yes, a nice theatrical outing would be grand! Thank you for asking. And in song form, to boot! Regardless, this is my favorite performance of the night so far -- it's like being back in high school!

Carrie Underwood, one of the most successful Idols, is up next, singing her new song, 'Undo It." She's really come a long way since 'Jesus Take the Wheel.' It's nice seeing her evolution from a nervous 20-year-old to a confident stage presence.

Casey James is up next, and he's singing 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn,' which is awesome enough, but if Brett Michaels joins him, I will lose it. Then he totally does! Michaels is definitely skinnier, but his weave and spray tan are holding up quite nicely. It's really great to see him onstage after his recent health issues. For a dude who just had a stroke a week ago, he looks and sounds pretty amazing. This is definitely my new favorite performance of the night.

After we get back, Lee performs with Chicago, and keeps the "hits for the olds" coming. You guys, I secretly love all of these shows, but I cannot get over how much this episode is seemingly made for 50 year olds.

Simon gets another video about how he's in love with himself, but then we get the moment we've been waiting for all season: General Larry Platt singing his hit, 'Pants on the Ground.' He has background dancers and everything. It's pretty amazing. I'm still not sure that this song has more than about 15 words, but it's still pretty amazing, and I sincerely hope this guy is making some money off of this. I could deal without the William Hung appearance though.

Paula does a taped tribute to Simon next, and then she appears, much to his delight. Simon gives her a standing ovation, and the other judges follow suit. She has quite a long speech, in which she makes some jokes about not being on the show anymore, and it's pretty fun.

Kelly Clarkson, the one who started it all, is up next. She's joined by all of the winners during Simon's tenure, which is pretty cool. I was wondering what Taylor Hicks was doing there! However, David Cook is noticeably absent, which is a little weird, since he's been on the show this season. They're joined by a crapload of runners-up from previous seasons. It really does feel like we're closing a chapter on 'Idol's' history.

Simon gets onstage to make a speech, and it's clear that this whole thing has genuinely touched him. It's a softer side of 'Idol,' and a softer side of Simon.

After the break, Janet Jackson is singing 'Again' in a bid to make another comeback. She's joined at the beginning by some of the Idols, but then goes solo. After 'Again,' it's 'Nasty,' so we all remember why we loved her in the first place. She's either completely lip-syncing or singing to a backing track, because when they open her mic up during the song, it's an entirely different sound quality.

We finally get a Lee/Crystal performance. Since they're singing 'A Little Help From My Friends,' I don't expect them to stay on the stage by themselves for long. However, I'm really surprised when Joe Cocker joins them, because I thought he was dead. This is probably because while I do associate the song with Joe Cocker more than The Beatles, I associate it most with John Belushi, who is dead. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there was a significant portion of my childhood that was spent thinking John Belushi and Joe Cocker was the same person. In any case, this performance is pretty badass.

The Actual Results

Hey, this episode isn't just a two-hour concert and career retrospective. We're going to get a winner! Here we go: Ryan dims the lights, and Lee is already crying. It's pretty sad/adorable. He's going to poop his pants.

After all of that, Lee wins and immediately loses it. I've got to say, the fact that he immediately walks away from Crystal is kind of poor form. He practically launched himself away from her, which was weaksauce. He can barely contain himself, and he finally goes over to Crystal and tells her he loves her, which is sweet, so I'm okay with him again.

You guys, how on earth is he going to sing this song? He's in no shape for this. He starts 'Beautiful Day,' and it's ... not the best performance, but can you blame him? He kind of gets a hold of himself midway through, but it's still a little rough.

At the end of it all, the right decision was made. Lee wanted this win more than anyone I've ever seen, even though Crystal is the better performer. She's going to do better not being a part of the 'Idol' machine. She can take the exposure and do her own thing, so this is really a happy ending for everyone.

Are you happy with tonight's results?
Yeah! Lee totally deserves the win.551 (40.7%)
No way! Crystal was robbed!803 (59.3%)

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Crysral is clearly the more musically talented, the more versitile, and fun to listen to. Lee sounded the same on every song and became boring. He has a nice voice, but nothing special as like an American Idol should should have. Crystal was the clear winner all the way through the show. When people can't knock her talent, then they pick on her looks. The whole point of the show is to find unknowns and give them a shot at a wonderful career which she will have anyway. Most of these contestants don't have the money to be picture perfect for the competition. As one reader said, this is supposed to be about talent, but when you leave it up to ordinary people, many of whom don't know musical talent as is clearly shown in the tryouts, then you get a popularity contest. I think the judges should have enough say so in the outcome that it truly is a talent contest.

May 28 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crystal is talented leagues ahead of anybody this season - including Lee. But little girls who vote love a cute boy face, so Lee wins. It's not a talent competition anymore; it's a pin-up popularity contest. But I'm glad Lee won, because Crystal won't be saddled with the pop-sensibility-bubble-gum-shackles that come with the "American Idol" title. I'll bet she's happy, too.

May 27 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crystal should have lost. An unwed mother is not someone I want my kids to "Idolize" .
Lee is what the show is about

May 27 2010 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After thinking a bit about the last few Idol seasons, I'm sure that if the season one final competition show were to air for the first time today, Justin would win.

At this point it has nothing to do with singing and everything to do with who the little girls of southern and mid-western American would like to #&*%.

May 27 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Leroy's comment

Yes, because only the girls of the South and Midwest vote....

(I'd say it was more the tween girls of America and less the girls of a specific region...)

May 27 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There have been a number of articles in the last few years establishing that Idol has very high ratings in the South and Mid-West and much lower ones on the East and West coasts.

May 27 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll admit that I haven't watched the show in 2 years.

Here's a big question. Is it possible that next year's Idol, without Simon, will be the last? Fox has Cowell's The X Factor planned to debut in fall 2011. Is it possible that Idol won't make it to season 11 and The X Factor arrives in spring 2012 instead?

May 27 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i knew it! ha! all u naysayers! crystal does suck!

May 27 2010 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it was an inevitable outcome, even though Crystal is, by far, the better vocalist. Lee just does not catch my attention and I often skip the end of his performances, usually after he's gotten 'pitchy' for the 3rd or 4th time.

I absolutely LOVED the Crystal/Alanis pairing - I forget how amazing Alanis's voice is live. The lyric change did make me laugh but then I guess it was necessary.

Joe Cocker is hilarious - he looked like someone's drunk Dad at a wedding. Skipped through a lot of the others because they were oooold and boring. Would've enjoyed hearing Paula and Andrew doing 'Straight Up' though (if only so she didn't talk so long!)

Some of the show was cringe, but overall it was alright - Simon did a good job of seeming sincere (even though I'm not entirely sure he was all the time).

May 27 2010 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Crystal's the best singer in the world - just ask her.
Crystal is better than Janet Jackson - just ask her.
I am glad Crystal was brought back to earth. She will do just fine singing folk music at the Lilith Fair.

May 27 2010 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm constantly amazed by the Crystal-hate/bashing that I've seen in the last few weeks all across the interwebz.

"Crystal is stuck-up/cocky/full of herself/a bitch" : Why is it when a young woman is confident and self-assure, she's perceived as all of the above? Why should she act all mousey, demure and uncertain if she's none of these things? She believes in herself and her talent. She's not afraid to speak her mind. That doesn't make her a raging bi-atch, people.

"Crystal's appearance is poor i.e. her discolored teeth with gaps, her hair, a little frumpy, etc": First off, Crystal has diabetes. And that affects dental health. And so she has a few gaps in her teeth. Lauren Hutton had a huge one front and center, and she was a famous model.

And really...people are going to ignore Crystal's obvious talent because of some dreadlocks?

The bottom line is that Crystal was consistently the best performer this entire season. But as it's been said many times now, this show stopped being about talent ages ago. It's all about popularity.

Lee has SOME talent. His voice is weak and shaky, but with the magic of the recording studio, I'm sure he'll put out a decent record. After all, we know how many music makers sound great on the radio and then like utter garbage live. It's all about the magic made in the studio edits.

Crystal will also do well...she has that folksy Melissa Ethridge/second coming of Janis Joplin thing going for her that will appeal to a solid fan base. And she won't have to worry about those people criticizing her appearance.

May 27 2010 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I find it incomprehensible that the viewers selected an Idol who never got through a single song all season without going off pitch several times. I thought this was supposed to be a singing competition.

May 27 2010 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does not really matter who won so well done Lee but the show itself was really bad. Paula wa stoned as usual and is more annoying now than ever. Simon may have tried to sound sincere but he is really happy to be over with this. If it had not been for Ricky Gervais and Joe Cocker this whole mess would have been unwatchable. This show really showed how bad the singers were this year with only Crystal, Lee and Mike having any real singing talent and Casey being a great guitarist. The rest of the kids have nothing to offer anyone.

May 27 2010 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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