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American Idol Gets Crowned

The "American Idol" finale opens with the two remaining Idolettes, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert coming out on stage after having finished painting the dressing rooms. Or, maybe they're dental-hygenist Idols. Anyway, they look creepy in their all-white twinsie outfits.


'Idol' host Ryan Seacrest with winner Kris Allen. (AP/Fox)

Show host Ryan Seacrest tactfully ignores the costumes and instead asks them how they are. We gather they are nervous and excited but we can't be sure because both their mics are dead. We're guessing the guys in the sound booth are nervous and excited too.

After brief, painful video visits to Adam and Kris's hometowns, the top-13 Idolettes, including Adam and Kris, sing Pink's "So What," and they're all dressed in white, too. The Singing Dental Hygienists!

Last year's pageant winner, David Cook, sings his tune "Permanent" while the crowd makes like a sea anemone. Will this song never end? After two false stops, he's done. Seacrest notes Cook's had a couple rough weeks -- he recently lost his brother to cancer. Cook tells viewers at home if they buy the download of his tune, the money will go to cancer research. Now we feel bad for hating his performance. Cook says he doesn't know that America can get this year's "Idol" vote wrong. Apparently he's not a regular viewer.

Sadly, when the "Idol" producers were working so hard to make all those changes to mess up this season's show, like adding judge Kara DioGuardi and bringing on The Judges's Save, no one thought to suggest losing the Golden Idol Awards gag from this year's finale. So this year's first Golden Idol goes to Nick Mitchell, aka Norman Gentle, and we're treated to another round of his particular brand of hysteria.

Queen Latifah wants to promote the first single, "Cue the Rain," from her new album out this summer -- so much so that she's willing to let Idolette Lil Rounds join her. We're reminded that Lil may look the part but does not have the chops.

Poor Jason Mraz draws Alexis "Go Get Dirty" Grace and BMOC Anoop Desai to join him in singing "I'm Yours" -- in order to maybe try to squeeze a few more sales out of that tune? We give up -- what is he promoting? Whatever it is, it's not worth it.

Keith Urban's here to promote his tour and his recently released single "Kiss a Girl" and Kris Allen gets to sing along; tweener girls begin to weep openly nationwide. Next to Urban, Kris looks like he could do this genre.

The Femidolettes break out into a Fergie tune and then Fergie herself walks out and lets them stand behind her while she sings a few bars of "Big Girls Don't Cry." Then she pushes the Femidolettes off the stage entirely, and her Black Eyed Peas and some androids take the stage. We're reminded how little hip hop impinges on "Idol" land as we see those portions of their new single "Boom Boom Pow" that are not censored by the American Idol Decency Police.

Fox says the censoring is not the network's doing. The bit where they all go silent and cut to the "Idol" logo is because singer will.i.am decides to stay mum, apparently to keep a naughty word from airing, the Associated Press says. Loosely translated, this seems to mean Fox would not allow the word to air, and will.i.am would not change the lyric, so the network censored will.i.am being silent, and cut away from the shot rather than show him being silent.

"That's why they are No. 1," Seacrest gushes at the end of the performance. "That is how you do it."

The second Golden Idol Award goes to Bikini Girl, Aka Katrina Darell, who naturally, comes out in her trademark bikini and showing off her new store-bought breasts. "I was gong to ask you what's new but I think I already know" Seacrest snarks. Katrina doesn't seem to understand. He offers her one more chance to sing "Treat Me Kind" which she takes. Except judge Kara DioGuardi, with whom Bikini Girl tangled during auditions, appears behind her and begins to sing and upstage Bikini Girl, showing Bikini Girl how it's done by a pro. This involves doing the supermodel stomp and crouching over the big notes. Bikini Girl is totally furious at having been gamed on national TV, and stands there with one hand on one hip while Kara finishes her routine, at the end of which she whips open her dress, revealing a black bikini. Judge Paula Abdul gnashes her teeth and makes mental note to call her agent to find out whether it's too late to negotiate for splashy on-stage wardrobe malfunction for next season.

"We bet Kara wouldn't do that," Seacrest says, explaining Kara has just won a bet and so a donation will be made to a charity of Kara's choosing.

Cyndi Lauper is touring with Rosie O'Donnell this summer, so she consents to sing "Time After Time" with Idolette Allison Iraheta, but only if they will let Lauper play what looks to be a zither -- or some other national stringed instrument of an east European country.

Taking a break from all the pop-star plugging, Seacrest interviews Kris Allen's parents. Why do they sound like politicians?

Mom: "I forgot what we were doing, we're having so much fun. This is a great show."

Dad: "It's the greatest day. We're here appreciating two fantastic individuals, two phenomenal artists, and it's a good day no matter what happens tonight."

We now respect Kris for turning out genuinely modest despite these role models.

Next, Seacrest checks in with Team Lambert, but only very briefly, because those Allens have chewed up so much on-air time, obviously on the advice of their media coach. Adam's mom cops to being nervous. Thank you, Adam's Mom.

This year's second runner-up Danny Gokey is back, singing "Hello," which can only mean he's about to introduce Lionel Ritchie. I was right! They duet on Ritchie's "All Night Long." What's Ritchie selling?

Adam has saved his most theatrical "Idol" outfit for the finale. He's in some leftover "Starlight Express" costume complete with cages for shoulder pads, platform boots, sparkly eyeliner and mascara. He sings a few bars of "Beth" then says "Ladies and gentlemen -- Kiss!" and suddenly Adam's way underdressed. On the other hand, Adam is totally outsinging Kiss.

Here's Carlos Santana performing "Black Magic Woman" -- cue up Matt the Hat, aka Matt Giraud. They're then joined by the Idol Top 13 for "Smooth." All the Idolettes take full advantage of their individual camera time during the pans -- lots of struttin' and posin' here.

And, because it's an "Idol" results show, there must be a Ford Music Video. After which, because it's the finale, David Cook will perform his final duty as American Idol 2008 and hand Adam and Kris the keys to matching Ford Fusions.

It's a defining moment for the two Idolettes:

Kris says: "Wow, I needed a new car so bad!"

Adam says: "This is quite the vehicle."

Which means: Kris will really drive his Fusion. Adam will cash his in for a down payment on a Mini.

Luckiest of Idolettes Megan Joy Corkrey and Michael Sarver get to sing Steve Martin's new tune "Pretty Flowers" while comic/playwright/musician Martin accompanies them on the banjo. Martin's new album came out yesterday.

Seacrest wants to know who Martin thinks will win. Martin has not given it a second's thought; he's here to plug his album. "Well, I know it's a long shot -- but I'm hoping I do," he says, smiling sweetly.

Guydolettes in black suits begin to dance in a line and sing Rod Stewart's if-you-want-my-body number like they're about to go into The Full Monty. Sadly, they do not. Then The Man himself comes out. But not the Rod Stewart who sings American classic standards -- the Rod Stewart who reenacts songs of his youth. Specifically "Maggie May." And we wonder how we could have thought Stewart's voice was so awful back in the day, when it could actually have been this much worse.

Stewart, Seacrest tells us, is on tour this summer and has a new album coming out in the fall. There is a kind of charming old-school TV quality to the "Idol" finale, bursting as it is with plugs and promos.

Another Golden Idol is bestowed on Tatiana Del Toro. The gag here is that Seacrest pretends they are running late and need to cut to commercial, but Tatiana will have none of it and dodges beefy stage managers who try to haul her off so she can perform "Saving All My Love For You" for the fourth time in the show -- or is it the fifth?

Right about now exhaustion is setting in, which means it's the perfect time to have Adam and Kris sing Queen's "We are The Champions" while the producers unload all their leftover fireworks and dry-ice fog, and Queen's Brian May himself accompanies on guitar. It is a fitting end to an Adam Lambert-flavored season. This really is Adam's world -- Kris is just visiting.

And, as we approach the bewitching hour, Seacrest asks Simon to weigh in. Simon declares them both brilliant and unusually nice people. After which some "adjudicator" comes out and actually upstages the two contestants, so they have to move over to stay on camera.

Envelope is opened. Kris Allen has won.

"The underdog! The dark horse!" squeals Seacrest. He asks Kris how it feels:

"It feels good but Adam deserves this -- this is crazy!" Kris says dizzily. Some chick we've never seen before hands Kris the new American Idol trophy; it looks like an old microphone from some broadcasters' convention -- pawnshop material.

Confetti starts to pour into the theater -- huge dollar-bill-sized confetti, or maybe it's the royalty checks Kara thought she was going to cash for writing this year's American Idol Treacle Tune "No Boundaries." Kris begins to slog his way through the worst Treacle Tune ever. He makes a compromise with the song, kind of talking his way through the beginning. But he has to actually sing the chorus, poor slob.

And so, as we bid adieu to "American Idol," we do so knowing we're in for days of navel gazing in the blathersphere, days of questions as to whether married-man Kris, a one time church worship leader, won because he had picked up the votes that had been going to second runner-up Danny Gokey, a widowed church music director.

And, of course, the is-he, isn't-he chatter about Adam will explode into full-on gay-bias debate tomorrow morning. Whichever team Adam is playing for we don't care -- he can sing the national anthem at our stadium.

The appealing thing about Kris's victory is that it's so anti-"Idol." It's kind of like one of those old Frank Capra flicks where the little guy gets caught up in the Big Hype Machine. Maybe singing Kara's gawdawful Treacle Tune is the musical equivalent of jumping off the tall building, like Gary Cooper was supposed to do at the end of his deal with the political bosses in "Meet John Doe." Maybe The People stuck it to the bloated "Idol" machine by electing this un-hero. Or maybe Kris just got lucky -- the third party to Danny and Adam's crowds.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 21, 2009; 5:33 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Comments

I found the show really entertaining. Is there something wrong with me? With no idea who was scheduled to perform, it was actually a lot of fun to see what random musicians would roll out next. The visitors were all straightforward in their plugs, and mostly pretty good. Queen Latifah looked fantastic. Rod Stewart looked like he could hardly walk. Allison Iraheta looked like she was having a blast.

As for the result, I'm disappointed to see Kris win. Not that Kris didn't do well (he exceeded my expectations throughout), but as an American living overseas, I would've preferred to be able to show my friends Adam and say, "hey, take a look and listen to this guy!" In a good way. Danny was my favorite all along, but I would've voted for Adam over Kris if I were able to.

At least Adam went out on a high note. His last two nights were, to me, his best of the season (less screaming, nice diversity), and he was really in his element in the Kiss and Queen performances. Well, both seem like nice people, and I wish them luck.

Posted by: fractional | May 21, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Well the nice guy underdog won this year... this idol year was a season long sympathy vote behind Adam's greatness...we started w/ the "Blind Guy", "Slum-Dog Millionare", Dead-Wife Danny and they practically sqeezed out any chance for the "True-Hispanic" to place the race-sympathy card. In the end, the nice guy (whose wife was hidden in w/ "Kris' Family") emerged as the true sympathy vote against the juggernaught that was Adam. In America's rush to vote for the most sympathetic they lost sight of a truly great singer that won me over in Allison. She deserved to last past Danny (more wooden than Pinochio) and showed what kinda wonderful future she'll have w/ her great duet performance of "Time after Time".

Adam's "Mad World" and "One" on iTunes are album quality and show how polished and ready he is to excell--I think he is actually relived not to have to record "No Boundaries".

So we're left w/ a feel good show but a winner we'll toss in the Idol land-fill along w/ Taylor Hicks, Fantasia, Jordin and Ruben.

Posted by: cdiasmd | May 21, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Cyndi Lauper was playing a dulcimer, an American instrument. I was glad Kris won, I didn't care for Adam at all. I do think the votes from Danny went to Kris.

Posted by: idolwatcher | May 21, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The finale was rockin!! Glad Kris won, he deserves it. Adam was just way too thatrical and over the top, screamed too much. Loved seeing KISS and QUEEN. Adam will get the lead vocalist gig easily for QUEEN. It's his genre.

Bikini Girl brought just enough skank factor to keep the dudes interested.

Hate the fact that poor Kris now has to make his first single that gawd-awful tune co-written by annoying judge #4. Auto tune MUST be utilized for that one!!

Posted by: RightWinger1 | May 21, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I, too, enjoyed seeing all of the artists who performed in the finale, and with few glitches, integrated the Idolettes in their songs. Not that the show isn't totally treacle, but it still was much better than previous finales.

Is there something wrong with Rod Stewart, or was he just loaded? He stumbled several times while walking to the microphone, and then seemed barely able to sing Maggie May, one of my all time favorites from him.

I said in your online chat yesterday that people were going to vote against having Adam shoved down their throats, and I believe that's what happened.

Posted by: VAmomof3 | May 21, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I think this is going to be a Clay Aiken/Ruben Studdard deal again. Adam's got superstar/staying power and serious vocal chops, whereas Kris is just a talented musician and there are many out there like him. The show was great. If Simon doesn't return, though, I doubt I will. He makes it for me, every week.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 21, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

As a former Danny supporter, I voted for Adam on Tuesday night, again and again and again. Kris won the title but Adam will outpace him in the music world. Of that, I have no doubt. Best of luck, Adam!

Posted by: MILW | May 21, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

You took the words out of my mouth, fractional. There was plenty this season to hate about this show and I was expecting two hours worth of stretched out boredom, but this show was very well done. Seacrest didn't even tease us about the results. Everyone knew they would be at the end, so there was no need to "after the break" crap the whole show.

I loved the Idol awards. I saw Tatiana coming, but the Bikini Girl bit was the best. Lisa, she got new "shoes"! Shoes! The fact that she couldn't sing was hilarious and "The Office" awkward. Then Kara! Wow! It doesn't make up for the treacle tune (of which she is only 1/3 responsible), but she's been working on the stomach. Why cover up, she should be proud of that!

Adam did sound good with Kiss and Queen, but he's only really been good at the classic rock. Where does that leave him for new material? Is he just going to respin old classics? Are we really ready for a revival of hair bands?

Good for Kris. I hope he is able to do what David Cook has done, after he's allowed to flush the treacle tune from his system.

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | May 21, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Having grown up with '70s rock, I couldn't believe the parade of rockers coming on during the last part of the show. Kiss, Carlos Santana, Rod Stewart, Queen! Incredible! It was like two shows in one. The first half was just OK for me, no big deal. But the rockers blew them all away. I don't know what was up with Rod Stewart, but I'll take him at his worst over Black Eyed Peas any day.

As far as the gay-bias against Adam, I don't see it. Would Adam have even made it to the finals if there was gay bias?

I agree the awards need to go away. The bad auditions are a waste of time and bringing them back is even more painful to watch.

Posted by: rme465 | May 21, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Those who think The Screamer is a legit rock star are sadly out of touch. Put him in a room with Axl and see who comes out alive. He can play a rock star on TV, or better yet in the musical theater he was doing all along. Does it not occur to anyone that there is a reason he wasn't "discovered" during his 20-something years performing around LA and peddling his wails to all who would listen? Those who positioned The Screamer as a rock star sadly miscalculated. Was he not much better dressed in a suit singing soul tunes? Maybe that's his thing. Or maybe, just maybe, he is really a Broadway singer posing as an idol. Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom, whatever. Dress him up, let him play a role and rip the high notes.

And let's acknowledge the middle america bias of the voters. If Kris segues into country/pop, he'll sell a big ass pile of records and most of us will never even know it. He fit in better with Urban than Adam did with Kiss (which, by the way, died a slow sad death in the 70s -- What's "current" about that Simon?).

Have to also acknowledge that:

Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas were not my thing, but somehow compelling anyway. Weird.

Steve Martin on the banjo, without a joke of some kind, is like Jerry Lewis singing standards. Blech.

Santana rocks. Always.

Somehow, Cyndi Lauper looks the same age she did in the 80s, and maybe better. She rocks too.

Rod Stewart does not rock. Lionel Richie does not rock.

Kara showed just enough personality to redeem herself. I don't know, I kind of liked her singing.


Posted by: DoorKnob1 | May 21, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I want to start out by saying thank you to Lisa for writing her columns every week. Her snark laden recaps are great first morning coffee reading for me and excellent discussion fodder for my wife and I.

As for last night's show...meh. It was 1 hour and 98 minutes too long and simply one giant promotional tool for everything except the new "Idol". I would like to add that I thought Rod Stewart was pretty good. I've never been a fan of his but I figured that his voice would be as impaired as his mobility seems to be; I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it seems to have held up over the decades.

I was genuinely surprised that Adam didn't win. I've always been an Adam fan and am rather relieved that he can now move away from the Idol "pop" machine and do something worthwhile and meaningful. Even if he doesn't go the music route he at least got huge exposure for his talents as a stage performer.

Posted by: fnht451 | May 21, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow. That was some surprisingly great television. To be honest, I think Kris did have one edge over Adam: his ability to arrange and pick out beautiful melodies to suit his voice. His rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless" is worth downloading.

Maybe Adam should only sing high notes if the melody calls for it. We all know he has the stage presence and vocal prowess of a Robert Plant or Freddy Mercury, so he doesn't have to "improvise in the high register" as Slash said. Often, his best notes are his low ones, at least for me.

That said, once I stopped gaping at his 10 inch platform boots and exo-skeleton shoulder bads, I realized he really rocked it with Kiss. Great performance! I would buy a glam rock album by Lambert. It's his niche to fill because nobody else is making it anymore - so I still listen to Led Zep. And I'm a bookish female, which means it has wide appeal. Adam could also sing a few songs for Queen, another perfect fit, as another commenter posted. He also doesn't have to release "No Boundries" as his first single, which actually suited Kris more anyway.

Posted by: still_shocked | May 21, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

ps: Thanks for writing this column Lisa. I really enjoy it and always read it :)

Posted by: still_shocked | May 21, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Adam was clearly better than any singer last night, including the "stars" that were there. Adam's I-tunes are downloaded way more than Kris. Adam's youtube videos are watched way more than Kris. People have googled Adam way more than Kris. There are more things for sale on E-Bay related to Adam than the other contestants combined. If it wasn't for Adam this season, American Idol would have been a complete snooze. How was he rewarded? America votes for vanilla Kris. Something is fishy about the whole thing, but I guess it doesn't matter in the end. Kris will be another Taylor Hicks (with a mediocre career) and Adam will be worldwide star.

Posted by: barbnc | May 21, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Well that was downright entertaining! Loved the performances, I had no idea who was showing up, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the Black Eyed Peas, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper. Kiss and Queen can still rock! Rod Stewart can not...as for what was "wrong" with him HE'S OLD! He's 64, he didn't stumble walking to the mic, that was him "dancing" in a arthritic way. Man his voice has suffered. Nicole Richie's dad has some sort of "best of" CD out I think.

I have been anti-Kara all season, she won me over last night. The look on bikini-girl's face was PRICELESS! Kara outsang her, and then when she whipped open her dress proved it wasn't jealousy that made her take on bikini-girl in the first place. Her shyness at showing her (pretty darned good) body was charming. I hope it's a big check that goes to her charity.

Did anyone notice that Tatiana lost her accent again?

As for the results, I liked both Kris and Adam. Adam turned out to be a sweet guy, not an annoying poseur (his interactions with Allison were adorable.) And Kris was always a sweet guy. And they both sing well.

I can't wait until January!

Posted by: HollywoodGirl | May 21, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You guys realize that not winning Idol doesn't mean that you can "break free from the machine," right?

Everyone who makes it to voting (I guess 36 this year) signs a contract with "Idol" (19 Entertainment, BMG, whomever) for a certain length of time. The people who make the final 12 have to sign a contract for even longer (I think it's 10 years).

Idol owns Adam Lambert. What is he, 28? Idol will own Lambert until he's no longer marketable (and beyond). He gets to "break free" of nothing. The only thing he achieved by not winning Idol was that he doesn't have to record that terrible treacle tune.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 21, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"I have been anti-Kara all season, she won me over last night. The look on bikini-girl's face was PRICELESS!"

Most people have been anti-Kara all season (I never had a problem with her, per se). I have to believe that the whole Kara v. Bikini girl won over a lot of people, it was arguably the best part of the entire evening.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 21, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I only watched the last ten minutes of the show, and boy am I glad, because Rod Stewart's voice triggers my gag reflex, but only marginally less so than his face does. Good thing I missed that particular spectacle :)

I was not surprised that Kris won, but I was disappointed. The few times I actually watched the show this year, Adam was the only one who made any impression. He's awesome and I'd totally buy his albums. Kris is just ok, pretty boring.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | May 21, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

America got it wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

It was blantly obvious that Adam was by far the better singer. In fact he was the best singer in the house all night, including the pros. He rocked with Kiss and he was better than any of the group's members. He rocked Queen. He was better than Lionel Ritchie, and Rod Stewart was an embarrassment. In fact, Adam could step in and front for Kiss or Queen or any one of a number of groups and make them better. The group numbers with the other idols and the duets with Kris and others highlighted the fact that Adam is undoubtedly superior to everyone there and maybe everyone so far.

Yet after the announcement Adam seemed truly happy for Kris, although Kris couldn't really understand how he won. It seems as though he thought Adam should win. But good for Kris. He can be top dog on tour for a year, although Adam will be the star, and then have a low key moderately successfull career. I enjoyed the "land-fill"comment...I was thinking scrap heap but that will do fine.

Losing may actually be the best thing to happen to Adam, as it will bring less scrutiny to his personal life, although he doesn't seem too worried about what people think. I, pesonally don't give a husky flying canary what he does at home. He is a treat to see perform.

I, too, enjoyed the spectacle..er show with all the unexpected guests. Carlos Santana can still play his a$$ off. It was fun to see Allison again singing with the ladylike posed Lauper.

Was there ever a worse note than the opening one by bikini girl? It almost made my ears bleed. Speaking of bikinis, for all the grief we have sent her way, Kara came out smokin. She sang well and looked surprisingly hot when she flashed us. Maybe she should stick to performing and give up the writing gig.

So, America, even though I predicted it, my wife was terribly disappointed. She thinks you are idiots. I am ok with it. As I said yesterday, middle America isn't quite ready for Adam, but if he can get some good songs, the world of rock is in for a treat.

Posted by: ZiggyZ | May 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

OMG, what a show! I can't believe it! It was truly great. Those of you snoozing, go see your doctors, something is wrong with you. OMG, OMG I can't believe HE was actually on the show. I had to immediatly call my friends. I'm still shaking. NORMAN GENTLE ROCKS!!!!

ok, ok, all kidding aside, I really did enjoy the show. Fractional, ditto.
Loved Adam's Kiss outfit. Thought the Bikini Girl bit, a little mean but funny as he11. I'm also truly happy Kris one but would have been happy with both. I would not lump him with Hicks and the other Idol mistakes. He will do well. I look forward to seeing what both of them do. I actually tried to download itunes from both of them yesterday but my ipod is too old to accept the new formats and my computer doesn't have recent enough software to accept the new istore update. I was very bummed out. Anyone know any solutions around this that doesn't involve big bucks?

Posted by: hodie | May 21, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Super congrats to Adam and Chris - you both deserve long, successful careers. Never foget where you came from - stay as humble and down to earth as you both are. May God bless you and continue to enrich your talent.

Posted by: ryjus | May 21, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Lisa who watches so I won't have to. And thanks to all of the bloggers who have kept me entertained for the past couple of months.

"See" you guys next year!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | May 21, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I would be nervous if I were Paula. Kara not only has a better singing voice than Paula, she's also got a better body. Kara totally redeemed herself with the Bikini Girl sketch. There was no Auto Tune needed for that performance.

Posted by: jonathonbinet | May 21, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice how much better Adam was with Queen than Kris was? Kris couldn't hit any of the big notes and was simply struggling to keep up. And when it was time for Adam to hit the big notes, Brian May looked visibly impressed. My guess is that he's seeing a young version of Freddie Mercury. It wouldn't surprise me if Queen offers Adam the lead singer gig. They need a singer now that Paul Rogers is going back to a Bad Company reunion.

Kris is generic. He's milque toast. he's not bad. but he's forgettable. He might churn out some good music and he might sell some records but he will be forgotten soon enough. Adam will make a much more lasting imprint. You might not like the imprint, but it'll be more lasting.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | May 21, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't disagree with some of you more. But then, I'm one of those who thinks there's a reason why we don't like big teenagers dressing up at Halloween going Trick-or-Treating.

Generally I avoid "vote off" shows - but this one was so entertaining (save for the stupid "Awards" - with the one brilliant Kara exception.) I even enjoyed Seacrest's comment to Bikini Girl about "what's new". I just wish he'd added "shoes".

I also think that the pro talent showcased illustrated mightily some of the points Lisa and responders on this list have been making all along. Ultimately - who stands the test of time?

It's beyond me how anybody thought that KISS does - but I always thought they were more tongue-in-cheek (pun intended) than, say a David Bowie - who seemed fairly serious about his spiders.

Personally I don't see a great worldwide career in retread KISS and QUEEN covers - but I do hear Kris Allen on that Kara radio. A performer, in the long run, can do a lot worse than "competent musician". Take Carlos Santana for example. Test of time? Timeless. Who isn't ready to head for a weekend in Vegas to catch his show?

And Lionel Ritchey can still get the house in a samba party mood. Notice all the people singing along? Those are tunes that stand the test of time - not "Chicka-boom" or whatever the Black-Eyed Peas did.

Now Fergie can sing. She did Heart on a previous show and was fierce. But the "hippity hop" (as my grandmother used to call it) is monotonous and doesn't have the staying power of a melodic tune.

Cyndi Lauper - still great. Rod Stewart - only slightly less cringeworthy than the Stars of Disco. Back in the day, my friend used to say he reminded her of a rooster. Sadly, his goose is cooked.

Yes - he was stumbling - yes - he's lost his voice - and I guess he's going on tour because, for his age, he probably has more children under the age of 18 than anybody in Hollywood - and I would suspect the concomitant child support payments. [see, Paula isn't the only one with a good vocab]

Kris Allen sounded (and that's the key word for me) so RIGHT with Keith Urban. And so "now" - he thoroughly deserved the nod - and I am only sorry that he doesn't seem to believe that.

I am delighted for Adam that I think his personal dream already came true - he got to wear glitter, platform shoes and sing with Kiss and Queen. Rather than "middle America isn't quite ready" for him, however - I rather fear he was born 30 years TOO LATE. Where were people who think like that back in, say, 1978?????

We were more than ready for David Bowie, Studio 54, Plato's Retreat and a whole lotta other "hard core" stuff back in the '70s - but the world has actually moved on - and that which did not kill us, made us (if not stronger) actually reflect on that which almost did.

"Starlight Express" indeed. I would wish much more for Adam than a lifetime in an Andrew Lloyd Webber rep company. But that may be what he just signed up for in the AI Tour.

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 21, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Adam is a fabulous vocal talent. But in the words of my two year old who started crying when KISS and Adam took the stage, "Adam scary."

Gay or not, the guy is theater all the way. It has limited appeal. Is he going to be successful? Absolutely, on Broadway. With the theater struggling so mightily, who isn't going to offer this guy parts to pump up their box office? But what kind of record could he make? He sounded great fronting Queen. So is he going to make 70s-era stadium rock anthems? "Mad World" was a fabulous take. Is he going to make drama-dripping emo-pop? I could honestly see Adam going the Kristen Chenowyth route, some acting, some theater, release some albums in varying genres when he feels the need.

We know exactly what kind of artist Kris is, which is in the Jason Mraz, John Mayer, or even the Keith Urban, Brad Paisley kind of country-folk-pop-rock singer-songwriter vibe.

There were about as many votes in this election as in the last presidential election. Just because Adam came in second doesn't mean he didn't have a ton of support. He simply got edged about by a guy who also deserved to win.

Posted by: BDC241 | May 21, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

jqw, I respectfully disagree with your notion that the hard glam rock bus has moved on and those who are Adam fans are out of touch. Rock is definitely back. Just look at all the teenagers today wearing the old Kiss and Pink Floyd t-shirts. Look at the popularity of Guitar Hero, with the most popular one of all being the classic rock hits. My teenagers are now so interested in that era of music. Queen never went out of style, any kid you ask knows about WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS and Another One Bites the Dust. The Queen version was actually on their ToonDisney CD just a few yrs ago. I am continuously suprised to find that I like their playlists as well as my own. It's just not your cup of tea which is ok. Kris will excel in the down to earth acoustic sound that is also very popular today. There is room for Adam AND Kris in today's music. I am so happy because I liked them both and had trouble choosing.

Posted by: hodie | May 21, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

My apologies jqw, it was Doorknob who said Adam fans are out of touch but I think you may agree. Anyway, I think both are winners.

Posted by: hodie | May 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

You all are nuts or wildly out of touch. Nice guys are not rock stars. Adam is a nice guy. He is not Ozzy. He is not Plant (really, what would he do with the fish?). He is not Axl, Freddy Mercury, Ian Gillan, Vince Neil, or even Bret Michael. Huge huge difference. Huge.

Michael Crawford though? You bet.

Posted by: DoorKnob1 | May 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

As much as I DESPISED Tatiana when she was on the show, she sounded freakin awesome last night!! Umm... hello? Megan Joy? Michael Sarver? Scott MacIntyre? Really? She left them eating her dust vocally.

Excellent column, thanks Lisa! I enjoyed all of you posters too - and I will miss you!

VTDuff - wish we could watch Glee together! If anyone finds a great blog for snarking about THAT show, please share here! Thanks everyone!

Posted by: raquel2 | May 21, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why Adam lost even though he was the better singer .... it had nothing to do with guyliner or Kris' church-boy image. For me it was the video where his parents revealed he was an out-of-control screaming baby. And too obnoxious as a youngster to take out in public. Mixed in with clips of Adam scream-singing. Regardless of anyone's religion or orientation, nobody likes a screaming brat!

Posted by: mr94 | May 21, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

DoorKnob - I agree completely. Rock stars are subversive - they don't train for theater from the age of 10. They drop out of music schools because they don't fit in and they don't really care what the teachers have to say. And rock stars aren't necessarily the best singers (think Bob Dylan) but they have a compelling point of view that others understand and relate to.

American Idol is about pop stars. Adam isn't a rock star and he isn't a pop star. He'll have a career somewhere in the entertainment industry because he's a talented guy - but he's not a rock star.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | May 21, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Y’know, I said I wouldn’t mind either way, but you really don’t know until it’s happened, do you? I feel awful. Adam was robbed.

Not to detract from Kris, who is truly an excellent musician. But especially after the way Adam tore up the stage last night (as Lisa said perfectly, “this is Adam’s world—Kris is just visiting”), can anyone with eyes and ears deny that this boy is bursting with star quality and deserves to be the winner of this huge, murky, confetti-sprinkled Idol machine??

And I feel for Kris too. His expression said it all—Adam deserved to win. And what he said beforehand about how he hoped it wouldn’t be about religion, homophobia, etc—he knew that if he won, it would be at least in part because people were voting “not Adam” rather than “for Kris.” I know there are lots of real, bonafide Kris fans out there who believe the sun rises and sets with Kris (and they’re justified—he has a beautiful voice, great music composition sense and is adorable, to boot), but I’m fairly positive that a good chunk of those 100 million votes were from disgruntled Gokesters and homophobes who just didn’t want Adam to win. And it’s a sad thing that Kris knows it too, which must really sour the victory for him. I feel sorry for both of them.

My only consolation is that 1) at least Adam won’t be forced to release that horrendous “No Boundaries” as his first single—Kris, at least, can *sort* of pull off the cheese, but it’s totally at odds with Adam’s coolness; and 2) now that the Gokesters and homophobes have had their revenge, at least we don’t have to worry about some rabid neo-Nazi psycho trying to attack Adam while they’re touring in the less-tolerant parts of the country.

So, even though last night will never sit right for either Kris or Adam (and Simon is all but guaranteed to refuse to renew his Idol contract after this), I guess I can live with it. Congrats to Kris—he’s definitely more worthy than a lot of folks who have won the title, but I wish he could have won another season when he’d KNOW he deserved to win.

Posted by: Kureno | May 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Adam was clearly the stronger talent all season long, including in the finale. When Kris said Adam deserved it, he wasn't saying that because it's the traditional nice thing to say when you win. He said it because it is so certainly true. But it hardly matters, I guess. It's just a silly TV show.

Posted by: skrut003 | May 21, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Give'em time, Doorknob. They are only newly famous. The attitudes will come. But I hope we don't go back to the times of rockers biting off heads of small animals.

Posted by: hodie | May 21, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hodie - I really enjoy watching VH1 Classic Rock. What I watch is original footage. What I feel is nostalgia for my own youth.

I would not buy a ticket to a cover band concert - or to "Jersey Boys" - even though I actually really liked the Four Seasons' sound back then.

I would spend my money going to Vegas to catch the Santana show.

Will kids flock to the AI Tour Starring Adam Lambert? Sure! It's a money maker. Apparently they also flock to Miley Cyrus and I don't understand that, either.

I think with Adam it's a role he's playing rather than a lifestyle he's leading - if that's doorknob's point.

12-14 year olds may be quite happy with that. Mazeltov.

Take the analogy back 40 years - who were you into? The Monkees? Or The Rolling Stones?

The Monkees were a group essentially assembled for a TV show. Yes - they eventually made tours, albums, etc. - but they were first and foremost a marketing device.

In the music industry, there's "organic" and there's "machine". It's like tofutti and ice cream.

Machine tooled rock is pretty safe. You won't get an STD or drug overdose. It's low fat and non-addictive. No - I'm not saying the only "good" rock star is a dead rock star - but I am saying that trends that develop organically have their risks built in.

The AI machine is right of center. It's about minimizing risks in favor of greater financial returns. Nobody at the Nokia Theater was in any way at risk by last night's "pyro" show. The club was not overcrowded; the exits were not blocked. It was rated G - for general audiences.

I would not have been caught dead at a rock concert with my parents. If my parents had caught me at the rock concert, I would have been dead.

Eliminate the subversion, the rebellion, the anger and frustration of the late 1960s from the music [i.e., the social context] - and you defang it. You end up with decaf/low fat/no sugar. It kinda looks and smells like coffee - but it won't keep you awake.

Part of the thrill of drinking a cup of java, to me, is feeling your heart race. Otherwise, it's just all brown water. Looks but no substance.

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 21, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey, that wasn't "some 'Adjudicator'" bringing out the winner envelope to Seacrest at the end. That was Tallyman himself (Edward Bodington, President of Telescope, Inc. which verifies the Finale vote count). You named him yourself in Season 5, Lisa. His annual appearance is one of the highlights of the Season for me, for some unfathomably absurd reason. One reason Season 6 was so abysmal was that he didn't show up at the Finale that year.

And where was the American Idol Treacle Tune Gospel Choir to bring it all home at the end? They would have been the perfect accompanyment to Kara's Horror Song.

Congrats to Kris and Adam, who are both excellent. And glad that Kris won, if only to upset the plans of the Idol producers and judges. That is, unless they were reverse-manipulating us all along, plugging Adam and Gokey in order to create a wave of backlash sympathy for a Dark Horse like Kris. One never truly knows, no?

Posted by: Brookelover | May 21, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has watched Idol over the years recognizes that the best talent doesn't always win--Clay Aiken and David Archuletta are examples. Still, being in the top 10-12 (why 13 this year?) pretty much assures the contestants of getting work in some area of show business, and the experience of being on the show has given them a crash course in performance. So winning is not essential--being near the top guarantees name recognition by millions. Personally, I thought Adam should have won. My fav contestant, however, was Danny Gokey.

Posted by: indvoter37 | May 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I've been lurking all year but finally felt like joining in.

1) Everyone singer Adam has been compared to (Tyler, Rose, Plant, Mercury) all broke out of bands, and didn't start as solos. His singing with Kiss and Queen proved to me he has to have a band to play off of and will struggle as a solo.

2) Did Steve Martin look like he was in pain during his bit or was it just me?

3) Gene Simmons in the make up looked like Granpa Munster. Time to let it go guys.

I liked Kris but I also liked the show last night. Nice to see a variety show done well.

Posted by: TampaSam | May 21, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Agree, indvoter37. Was surprised Adam did not win, but many of those kids will come out well financially, probably better than you or me. My fave seldom wins anyway.

I suspect we will soon see in the headlines that Rod Stewart has ditched his latest wife and is marrying Megan Joy.

The show was most entertaining, a veritable smorgasbord of musical genres...almost. Guess it's too hard to sing along with Yo-Yo Ma.

Thought everydone did a great job last night, ESPECIALLY Kara, whom I always like. Love a good smackdown to put a skank in her place. Have a great summer, everyone!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 21, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

yeah, yeah, I get it. I just don't agree. No prob. I don't think one has to trash hotel rooms, get wasted everyday, or drop the f-bomb every other word to be considered a serious rocker. Is it not about the music? By the way, 40 yrs ago, I was probably listening to what ever played on my wind-up Playskool radio.

Posted by: hodie | May 21, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, there you go.

I think music arises organically from social context (whether it's the blues, rock, Gospel, country or folk) - or, alternatively, it's manufactured on an assembly line in the Music Factory (which bears no resemblance to "The Factory" BTW). Kinda like Kara screwing Part A into Part B for the whole "Boundaries" thing - and then passing it down the line to the poor schmuck who has to sing it.

Or, to use another analogy - you either go pick the mushrooms out of the cow pat - or you buy some chemicals at a Home Depot and brew them up in your RV chem lab.

Life is nothing if not filled with choices.

Funnily enough, The Black-Eyed Peas apparently made a choice to do the same sort of thing last night that certain rockers did back in the '60s on Ed Sullivan.

Rather than self-censor their lyrics, the Black-Eyed Peas just kept stumm. So apparently, you do have to drop some kind of "bombs" to make hip hop music - but I'll never know because I got about 30 seconds of the AI logo instead!

The whole guitar-smashing thing made me laugh right out loud last night. If that wasn't Gene Simmons' freakily long tongue in his smart (and rich) cheek, I don't know what was. That and the Kara smackdown were absolutely my two favorite moments and well worth the price of free admission!

PS - I agree with you Tampa about the bands/solo thing.

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Let me join the choir of thanks to Lisa for her entertaining comments and accurate criticism of AI.

I figured it would be a toss-up late night, but in retrospect it seems that Kris's win was made inevitable because his style (musically, fashionably, etc) is in tune with the Fly Over Country audience (vs the coasts) that is AI's core audience.

Also, who else is sick of the Celebrity Singers who all happen to come from Clive Davis's and Barry Gordy's Rolodex's?

Posted by: molsonmich | May 21, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the producers didn't think Kris would be in the finals since he only got to sing one duet (as did Lil and Alison), not a medley like Danny and Adam.

Anyone else notice this?

Posted by: jamiecw | May 21, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, just tried to post and I think I went on too long -- triggered a moderator warning. So let me break it up. If the long one shows up, it's going to be a repeat. Here's part one:

I think that was the best AI finale ever, thoroughly entertaining, even in its cheesy moments (Steve Martin, Rod Stewart, cuts to Janice Dickinson in the audience making Mick Jagger faces). Enjoyed seeing the Idolettes in duets with celebrity performers, although those group production members knocked some sense into me -- for the first time ever I'd been toying with the idea of shelling out the 60 bucks a ticket including service charges for the AI tour this summer, but I couldn't sit through two hours of them marching around the stage in those Up With People production numbers. I think it was "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" that did it (full Monty Lisa? hee hee hee, now THAT might be worth $60).

No, I think I'll just wait for the Adam Lambert tour. I don't care what kind of music he's singing, or even if it's a style I'm into. He's just exciting to watch. He brought this show to life all season.

And Kris is good, too. I think he showed a lot of creativity in his performances, and though he's not as dynamic as Adam, he's thoughtful and has his own style. I'll be interested to see what happens with him, too. Just hope 19 productions doesn't saddle him with a lot of generic, well, treacle tunes that don't give him a chance to show much personality.

Posted by: owingsmills | May 21, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Part 2:

As for some comments about Adam here today and weeks past, I think there's a real lack of understanding of the situation of the music industry today, especially if you're basing it on the 60s and 70s. My husband was a singer-songwriter for several years, and remained friends with many musicians thereafter. Two things happened during the '80s that make it much harder for an artist to break in: the replacement of live music in clubs and bars with recordings or DJs, and the consolidation of record companies into huge corporations. Before that time, we had many musician-friends who made a good living playing 5 or 6 nights a week, regular gigs -- in Baltimore! That dried up and became impossible. You HAD to have a day job if you wanted to survive playing music. Many just switched careers.

Meanwhile, the layers of bureaucracy in the record company system became very hard to navigate. The idea of entrepreneurial A&R guys who nurtured talent the old-fashioned way, would cultivate them, find them good songs, not expect many sales from the first couple of albums -- that's long gone. For a singer who doesn't write songs, like Adam, it is extremely difficult to break in. For a songwriter who doesn't perform, likewise.

I know we're all Americans and we like to believe that talent and hard work will always lead to success, but in the arts, there's also an element that's out of your control: luck and serendipitous personal connections. Great talent does not always find its outlet. We've got lots of cassette tapes and self-produced albums from people my husband met in his musician days that are absolutely terrific, that you've never heard of, and alas, never will.

Maybe that's why, despite the fact that American Idol is always in part ridiculous, bloated, corny, crassly commercial, and is hosted by Ryan Seacrest, I keep watching. Because it DOES get the attention of the record industry and the public, and gives talented people who’ve been knocking around the music scene a chance. Whether they make anything of that chance is never a sure thing, but I suspect Adam will make the most of it.

Posted by: owingsmills | May 21, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at inferences that folks who live on the coastlines of America are infinitely hipper than folks who live in other geographical regions of the country. Or that if you didn't vote for Adam, you're a neo-Nazi. Good grief. Stereotype much?

The 1600's called...they want their social attitudes back.

It's as logical as saying people who live in higher elevations have hairier legs than those who live in valleys. Or that folks who like creamy peanut butter are more intelligent than those who prefer crunchy.

In my opinion, some of the best musicians in the world play and sing Bluegrass. You may or may not like Bluegrass music, but those dudes and dudettes are incredibly talented. Watch Ricky Skaggs' hands next time he plays a fast one. Try playing like that, your hands cramp up in a few seconds. And you might get 15% of the notes correct.

This is a music contest, all those kids did and will receive wonderful opportunities in their lives, it was fun to watch, nobody's found the cure for cancer here. Music belongs to everyone. Quit trying to make it yet another thing to politicize. It doesn't belong just to you.

And if folks picked Kris or Lil or Allison over Adam or Anoop or Danny, it's just a musical choice, not political statement en masse. If you lighten up and learn to respect others a bit more, your time on this Earth will be more enjoyable, as well as those around you.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

ILoveToSinga: Agreed. The voting results and people's preferences in this instance are not easily analyzed. One of my gay male friends was rooting for Kris to win.

By the way, something I've wondered all season -- do you love to singa, about the moona and the Juna in the springa? If that reference goes over your head, pretend I never asked. That just used to be my favorite "follow the bouncing ball" cartoon when I was a kid.

Posted by: owingsmills | May 21, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I thought Adam would win but we both thought the show was great. When I read an article like this I wonder about the condition of the author's life.

Posted by: alstl | May 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

OwingsMills, you are correct. It is a reference to that classic "Owl Jolson" cartoon...one of my faves as well. Seemed kind of appropo for a blog about music. So glad you relate! You made my day.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 21, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

ILovetoSinga: YouNeedtoChilla

Posted by: molsonmich | May 21, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Molson.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 21, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Gosh I'm going to miss Lisa's columns and all of your many entertaining, insightful, and often, oppositional comments. I appreciate that we can disagree respectfully, though I began getting uncomfortable with the political/cultural stereotypes brewing over the Adam vs. Kris choice.

The best part of this show was seeing again the friendship and non-verbal intimacy between Adam and Kris - two guys with vocal talent and individual artistry, who respected and genuinely cared about each other. When they sang "Champions" with Queen, I was in full throttle love with both of them. I appreciate their example to all of us.

About those white costumes. As soon as I saw them I cringed and thought : "Disney World sanitation workers." Anyone remember a few years ago when the idolettes were all paraded on stage in white for the charity show? When the whole group showed up in white, I thought, "mental hospital staff - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." My husband: "Adam looks like he is ready for a remake of 'Clockwork Orange'."

Loved many of the stars and the joy of the other idolettes to perform with them. (Tho often annoyed by Gokey, I appreciate his talent and thought he was at his best last night with Lionel Ritchie.) Utterly charming. This was their ultimate reward for the stress. But please explain why Rod Stewart, the least talented "star" got to perform alone, and beyond embarrassing? Why wasn't he teamed with an idolette team? I never liked his music, hated his voice, but did find him charming a season or so ago when he was a mentor. But this was pathetic. Don't get it. Oh well. It's $$.

I will miss you all. Hope to see you on another forum. Until the next AI - "for you, for me, sweetie, ***********, what did she say?" ;-)

Posted by: MarriedMom | May 21, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The only lasting image from the parade of mediocrity Wednesday was that of an androgynous dark angel singing a too-brief version of Kiss's "Beth" while coolly gazing down at the thousands peering up at him. He had never looked so beautiful. A true artist.

Posted by: rraustin1 | May 21, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Owingsmills, your Part 2 post was quite interesting!

Also want to say how much I love Adam, and the highlight of the show last night was his performance with Queen. I've heard rumors that they're offering him the job as lead singer, although I doubt he'd take it. Quite flattering though.

Posted by: katillac | May 21, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Being a critic is supposed give the reading audience a fairly based commentary...this was not...I have not heard so much negativity in one review in many a year. Condescending is not a trait appreciated in really good commentary. Ms. de Moraes does no one a favor by her acid tongue...that the show was "schmaltzy" (look it up) OK, but what is wrong with that? Fun and bright lights are not harmful...no one did anything offensive or immoral...there was no blood, or inappropriate sexual acts...it was a TV SHOW people...if you want "culture" go to a museum, attend a Shakespeare play, read a book...but do not expect a show that is meant to entertain to be educational....that is what PBS is for. I am a former teacher and therapist, who has a wide ranging experience with all forms of entertainment and I enjoyed the show, was disappointed at the outcome, but did not take it as a serious commentary on the human condition...it is a TV SHOW!

Posted by: educator2L | May 21, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Gee I hate coming in so late to the party, but wasn't that a great show? Much more entertaining than the usual finales. Reminded me of the old TV variety shows. And Kara's upstaging and ultimate smack down of Bikini Girl was priceless-- and so well deserved! Not that BG would care--she seems impervious to reality! Thank heaven for Tivo so I could replay all the best parts!

I've lurked here for several cycles and I've really enjoyed the columns and the blog comments this time around. This MidWesterner wanted Adam to win. I liked him from the beginning, theatrical persona, screech and all, though it got a little old at times. But then I prefer symphonies over string quartets, so there you go. I came to like Kris after awhile and he definitely fits the comfortable non-offending pop musician image. It'll be really interesting to see what happens in teh next AI cycle--will Adam-clones start popping up in all the audition cities?

Posted by: imasinger | May 22, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Educator, et al.

Pop culture is, in fact, a subject of serious scholarly study. The cool thing about it is that the academic conferences are usually held in places like Las Vegas - while between panel discussions - you could, for example go catch the Santana concert.

There are scholarly journals devoted to pop culture - from TV to music to film to everything in-between. "High" culture is just one form of "culture". So are the performances given in Washington Square Park in NYC.

You can "read" pop culture (and learn just as much about society) as you can from reading Singa's symphony orchestra! There are times when pop culture is a dog wagging its tail - and times when the tail wags the dog - and both are interesting (and "educational") to observers of cultural phenomenon.

Pop culturalists are also prone to snark themselves. They freely confess to having a guilty pleasure about the fringe on DWTS or the many episodes of "Gilligan's Island" they may have researched for their dissertations - and openly blog about it.

KUDOS to them (and I don't have to look it up) - and thanks for the entertainment.

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 22, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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