Thank goodness for Tivo. I don’t understand how anyone watches Idol without it. Tonight’s finale lasted over two hours, but it took me less than 45 minutes to watch it. Usually with the results shows I only watch the last five minutes, but tonight was the big old season finale so I felt obligated to at least attempt to watch the whole thing. I didn’t make it very far.
I got about three seconds into the first chorus of Gwen Stefani’s live via satellite guest spot before the first bloop. For those unfamiliar with Tivo, there’s a secret hack that you can program into your remote to allow you to instantly advance thirty seconds forward. I abuse this feature. Especially when watching Idol.
And I wonder if my increasing impatience is a contributing factor to my overall boredom with this season. One of the things I blooped past this season were the little between-song biographical sketches they do on each contestant. I didn’t watch any of those this year. So I didn’t really care.
Or maybe it was because there were four really good contestants who were obvious favorites from the very beginning. And all of them made it to Final Four. No upsets, no underdogs, no controversy. Yawn… Bloop bloop bloop to the end to confirm that they all made it through another round.
I’ve watched and voted on all six seasons of American Idol so far. I’ve enjoyed the show each season. And every year before this one there was always someone who I felt compelled to vote for…repeatedly. Kelly Clarkson was my girl from the moment she sang that Aretha song. I probably voted for her 50 times. So yeah, she owes me. You’re welcome.
Every season had its share of offbeat weirdos in the finals. People with good voices and great (or crazy, or at least funny) personalities. Remember George Huff? I loved that guy. And homegirl Jennifer Hudson got me hitting redial more than anyone. I was genuinely pissed when she got cut.
This year, the only remotely weird person in the finals was Sanjaya. And he was more of the shitty singer character (e.g., John Stevens, Anthony Federov, Kevin Covais) than the guy you’re rooting for even though they don’t have a chance in hell (Taylor Hicks—doh!). By now, each season’s Final 12 have become as predictable as the cast of the Real World: same people, different haircuts.
But I liked Jordin, Lakisha, Melinda, and Blake all along. And they all made it to the end. Jordin won, but does it even matter? Clay didn’t win. Neither did Jennifer Hudson, and she’s got a fucking Oscar now. Several other Idol losers have major label albums out. Whether they sold or not is another story, but even winning certainly doesn’t guarantee sales, does it, Taylor?
So although I didn’t really care one way or the other about the results tonight, I had to watch for the spectacle. Guest stars, fucked up Paula with a broken nose from tripping over a dog, etc. So what follows is an edited transcription of some notes I scribbled down in between gulps of red wine and cold pizza.
Gwen Stefani – Promoting her tour and a new single, which was not good or memorable. Her dress was cool. After 30 seconds, I’d heard enough. Bloop bloop bloop…
Kelly Clarkson – “Never Again.” I like her growly rock voice but where’s the melody? Where’s the hook? Was Clive Davis right? And her outfit looks terrible on her. Thigh-high boots look great on Kate Moss, but Kelly’s a little too normal sized to get away with it. Sorry. Nice close-up on Clive applauding afterwards.
Top 6 dudes – bloop – Wait, is that SMOKEY? Yep, he looks pretty good and sounds okay. Of course, his past accomplishments more than make up for any missteps tonight. Smokey Robinson had the sweetest voice of anyone—male or female—at Motown and wrote some of the most clever lyrics in the American songbook.
Doug E. Fresh – I kept hoping they’d go into “Ladi Dadi” but no such luck. It was still entertaining though. Blake is good if not very original. Beatboxing is fucking cool, I don’t care what anybody says.
Top 6 girls – Who’s the guest going to be? Diana Ross? Nope, Gladys Knight. Bloop bloop.
Tony Bennett – I hate this third rate lounge singer. Fuck him. The only reason he’s getting any recognition now is because all the cool people from his generation are dead. He sucks. Bennett doesn’t deserve to wipe Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin’s ass.
Soul couple and Melinda – Not sure who they are, listened for two seconds, don’t care. Bloop.
Carrie Underwood – I voted for her. She sounds good doing that Pretenders songs. Has some big country hair. Weird outfit though. Open-fronted, floor-length dress over jeans? Huh?
Clive Davis – He loves Daughtry. He loves professional songriters. He clearly does not love Taylor Hicks or Katharine McPhee. Gives Carrie Underwood an award for selling six million records. In just the United States. Country folk apparently have not yet figured out how to use the internet. (Kidding! Filesharing doesn’t kill sales, bad music does. Right?)
At this point, with an hour remaining I had caught up with my Tivo, which means I could no longer fast-forward, so I watched an episode of Iron Chef America to give the Tivo another head start. Morimoto lost to a cowboy in Battle Chili.
African kids – These little kids had more personality than all the other guests combined. This was great. Clive Davis should hire Max Martin to write and produce a hit single for them.
Sanjaya and Joe Perry – Flashback. Even the crying Sanjayamaniac was recycled. Lame hair, too. I kept hoping David Lee Roth would bum rush the stage and show Sanjaya how it’s done. Oh YEAH!
Green Day – “Working Class Hero.” When did Billy Joe turn into Ryan Adams?
Taylor Hicks – I liked him when I thought he didn’t have a chance in hell. But this is boring. And here we’d made it through three segments without a bloop. Not four though.
Ruben and Jordin – Jordin looked awesome in a great dress. She’s adorable. Ruben looked like Suge Knight. Did I tell you about the time I saw him at P.F. Chang’s? No shit.
Bette Midler – Come on, Bette. Have Barbara Walters hire you for the View. Just stop singing this song already. Bloop bloop bloop.
Sgt. Pepper medley – Oh my God. What the fuck is this? Seriously. WTF? This whole thing was awful. Kelly screeching “Sgt. Pepper” and wearing a backless halter top? Her ass was bursting out of the top of those pants. That is a terrible look. She looked like she belonged at the mall in Michigan. And Taylor over-emoted the hell out of “Day in the Life.” Painful to watch. He even aimed his finger at his head as he sang the “blew his mind out in a car” line. Uggh. Carrie’s version of “She’s Leaving Home” was pitchy and boring. And Ruben’s “Lucy in the Sky” was so weird I thought somebody had dosed me. What the fuck was that? Bad idea. Executed terribly. OMG.
And then Tivo stopped recording at 9pm Central. So I would’ve missed the ending since it ran over its scheduled time slot. The results! Fortunately, I could just rewind live TV back 30 minutes and watch Jordin win and see Blake graciously concede. Woo hoo. She sang a very schmaltzy song that was written by Clive’s professional songwriters. It almost put me to sleep.
So that’s it for American Idol. At least until January when it starts all over again… Stinkfest out.
PS – To enable the “30 Second Skip” hack, click the following buttons on your remote while watching something in your Now Playing list: SELECT – PLAY – SELECT – 3 – 0 – SELECT. You should hear three blings which tells you it worked. From now on, your Advance button — the one that sort of looks like this: >| — will be your 30 Second Skip button. It will change your life.