At long last, the season 8 finale of American Idol has arrived! It's been fun watching all of the Idols grow in their musical prowess (that's a Paula word), especially Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, the final two performers who couldn't be more different, but are both awesome in their own way.
Ryan started things off by introducing the judges, along with a funny video clip for each of them -- Randy Jackson saying "For Me" throughout the season; Kara DioGuardi saying "sweetie" and "honey" to people who didn't make it past the audition process; Paula's round-up of colorful adjectives (vocal prowess, masterful and effortless, palette, etc.); and Simon's issues with hearing what people say (as in, he could probably use a hearing aid!).
There are three places left in the top 12 ... or... are there ... ? If you haven't watched the show yet, I guess you'll have to read to the end of this review to find out just how many people are actually in the top 12. Until then, the eight singers chosen to come back in the judges' Wild Card Round sang their little hearts out. Let's see how they fared ...
Jesse Langseth starts things off by singing "Tell Me Something Good." Her voice is bluesy, and she looks hot, too. You can tell she's really trying to bring it, and while Randy likes the song, he doesn't think she sang it that well. Kara likes her swagger. Paula is impressed with her tenacity and determination, and says she has a lot of soul. Simon says she's the last girl they chose for the Wild Card Round, and she sang a lot better than last time. But he thinks the song choice is "slightly indulgent." I have no idea what the judges mean when they say that, and Simon must be reading my mind, because he explains that it's all about the singer, when it should be about the judges. Wait...what?! In fact, WTF?! Moving right along...
This episode went along pretty much as I expected, with most of the people I expected getting through to the top 12. Until the wild card round, that is, when the kids and I were screaming at the TV because of the judges' dismal ineptitude at picking people to come back! But first, let's see what happened up to that point. That's my version of "After the break..."
The show started with the group singing Katy Perry's "Hot and Cold," which was one of my favorite songs until I heard them sing it. But even with the awkward dance moves, they seemed to be having fun, especially Nate, so that's what matters, I guess.
I thought most of them did a good job last night, but I was really blown away by Lil Rounds. Really, just give her the Idol crown right now. I can't imagine that she won't go far in the competition, though she reminds me of LaToya London from a few seasons ago, and she didn't get as far as I had hoped. So we'll see what happens with Lil.
Finally, we get to the point where we're starting to see the Top 12. Based on last night's performances, America chose the first three contestants to sail through. But first, we had the requisite judge's banter, promotional spots, and torturous "after the break" moments.
Oh, and the musical number with all 12 contestants dancing and singing "I'm Yours." I'm not a big fan of the choreographed group numbers. They're just so awkward and weird. But whatever.
Then Ryan chatted up the contestants. Anoop Desai said that everyone was fairly relaxed, but then Ryan got all creepy on him and pressed Anoop into saying, "This is the most nervous I've ever been." Way to ratchet up the stress level, Ryan.
Of course we start off with weirdness, as Simon finishes his "sing well" spiel, pauses, waggles his eyebrows at Ryan suggestively, and tells him he likes his new hair. Seacrest tries to play it off, but even through his layers of pancake makeup, you can tell he's blushing. Dave and Maddie, Ross and Rachel, Jim and Pam, and Ryan and Simon. This is the tension that makes television worth watching.
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