"American Idol" Final Performance Night


"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest wastes no time pumping up Tuesday's final performance show like it's some titanic struggle between two gladiators:

"Tonight is the battle of the acoustic rocker...the guy next door versus the guy-liner!" Seacrest gushes -- and offers a whole lot more where that came from.


From left: 'Idol' contestants Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and host Ryan Seacrest. (Fox)

Actually, it was the Preakness of Meekness; nice guy Kris Allen versus nice Guy Adam Lambert.

The judges, meanwhile, are in fancy dress, as befits the occasion. Randy Jackson has come as a gorgeous Savile Row tailor. Paula Abdul is wearing a bright poison-green satin number. Simon Cowell is in full Il Divo: button-challenged white dress shirt and black jacket. But it appears no one gave the new judge, Kara DioGuardi, the Fancy Dress Memo; she looks very underdressed.

Each of the two Idolettes has to sing three tunes tonight. First, one they've already sung in the show. Not surprisingly, Adam picks "Mad World" and once again, he's going to perform it while bathed in blue light. Only this time he's wearing some long Victorian duster coat and heavy boots, and is standing ankle-deep in dry-ice fog, looking for all the world like Heathcliff searching for his Catherine on the moors. Or, as Simon suggests and not in a good way, like the Phantom of the Opera, though Adam has proven impervious to Simon's musical-theater dings before.

Randy, on the other hand, loves the whole Emily Bronte thing Adam has going on: "I love the long coat -- love the fog!" Randy enthuses. "I'm going to give you an A-plus!" Ditto Paula: "You look astonishingly handsome," she simpers. The American Idol Decency Police rappel down from the balcony seats.

At the piano, Kris parallelogram-mouths his way through "Ain't No Sunshine" and the veins on his neck are straining. He's definitely competing hard from the neck up. Randy thinks it was one of Kris's best performances ever and Kara believes that if we can't feel a Kris Allen performance, there is something wrong with us. Oh, great, now it's our fault if Kris doesn't do well.

Seacrest asks Simon who won that round. Simon calls it for Kris.

"Kris takes Round 1 -- Ding! Ding! Ding! Next!" Seacrest shrieks before they cut to commercial break.

"It's too close to call tonight -- it's time for Round 2," Seacrest says when the show returns, still hanging onto his metaphor for dear life.

"Idol" creator Simon Fuller picks the two tunes for Round 2. Adam gets Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." It's a great demonstration of Adam's controlled range -- one of his best performances all season, once again proving absolutely no genre throws him. And once again we get to look into Adam's wisdom teeth and we know he flosses. He's dressed in a Sam Cooke silver sharkskin suit, white shirt and teal tie.

Kara calls it Adam's best performance ever. Paula is so moved she's on her feet doing an old Laker Girl routine. "That was the best I have ever heard you sing. Ever! Ever! Ever! Ever!" she gushes.

Then Kris performs the whitest version ever of "What's Going On." But he sounds pretty good nonetheless. And he looks helpful. The thing about Kris is he looks like a really helpful person -- like if Josh Groban worked at a hardware store. Anyway, Randy thinks the performance is "a little light for me" and Simon finds it "like three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye." Simon also thinks the performance was "too laid back for a night like this." But Kris has been ignoring the judges' swagger advice all season, so don't expect him to change now. Kris is selling one thing -- laid back. You want Phantom of the Opera, Simon -- go see Adam. Oh wait, you don't want "Phantom" either.

Seacrest asks Simon to call Round 2. "A million percent Adam," Simon says.

And, finally, Round 3 sees the two weary Idolettes compelled to slog their way through this year's American Idol Treacle Tune, which will become the first single released by the winner, who's going to be announced at the end of a two-hour orgy of excess Wednesday night.

This year's American Idol Treacle Tune has been written by "Idol's" own Kara, with, apparently, two helpers. It's called "No Boundaries." It is, hands down, the Very Worst Treacle Tune Ever.

Adam gives it his generic sell-it treatment. Poor guy -- it's like using a race horse to pull a pony cart.

"Dude -- you can sing anything -- you can sing the phone book," Randy raves. Wow, did he just savage Kara's tune? This certainly would mark a milestone in Randy's "Idol" evolution.

"I'm not going to judge that song; I'm going to judge you over the entire season," Simon says. He's definitely just savaged Kara's tune.

"The whole idea about doing a show like this is that you hope you can find a world-wide star," Simon continues. "I genuinely believe, with all my heart, that we have found that with you -- congratulations." Won't he feel foolish if viewers don't crown Adam American Idol.

Kris has slightly better luck with this mess of a song. After he's done, Kara says "I don't want you to be judged on that song." Say what?!

Randy notes the song fits Kris's voice better than Adam's. Paula dodges the song and the performance altogether, saying she wishes him luck.

And Simon also ignores the performance, because he's been saving his yearly "our little boy has grown up" talk for just this moment. Simon even mentions "your mom and dad's faces tell me everything." But, of course, Kris has been a grown man for quite a while -- long enough to have gotten married.

Discuss last night's episode with The Post's Lisa de Moraes today at noon ET here.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 20, 2009; 6:00 AM ET "American Idol"
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Comments

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I felt sorry for both of them having to remember 10 million words squeezed into that stupid song. It would have been great for beat box Blake last year. Hilarious that Simon and Randy couldn't avoid dissing it.

Posted by: kirstenpaulson | May 20, 2009 7:21 AM

Lisa, I agree with you that Adam got a chance to show his singing ability in round 2. I told my wife last night that it wasn't the best song choice for Adam as far as exciting his fans but it was definitely the most complex song of the year for him and he really sang it well.

IMO, Adam sang "Mad World" better last night than the first time.

Round 3, what a disaster for both. I'm not sure I agree that this was the worst "American Idol Treacle Tune" as they are all just so bad.

Prediction here: regardless of who wins, you will not be hearing the treacle tune as the first single released. The simple fact is that neither of these guys could sell that tune. It doesn't fit either one and no amount of studio wizardry will be able to convert that into a money maker for either gentleman.

Posted by: rwrjr | May 20, 2009 7:27 AM

I thought Simon picked lousy songs. I was hoping, for once, that Simon would realize we are in the 21st century now and there actually have been good songs written in the past 20 years. The first round was the best for both, probably because they were the only songs that the guys picked themselves. Kara's song was not good at all (which I suspected would happen), but at least Adam made an effort. Kris didn't seem quite as into it (probably tired) and forgot some of the words. So, despite two rounds of so-so songs, I think Adam won the evening. But at this point it is a popularity contest not a singing contest so Kris will probably win.

Posted by: barbnc | May 20, 2009 7:41 AM

Oh forgot to add. Did anybody else catch the teleprompter while Kris was singing Kara's song?

Barbnc's comment about Kris forgetting the lyrics jogged my memory. My wife thought he botched some of the words too.

Posted by: rwrjr | May 20, 2009 7:51 AM

If Adam could contain the screaming like he did in Mad World, then I'd be for him winning. But that second round performance just irritated me.

Oh the treacle tune. No one is going to write a song worth listening to and not give it to an established artist. The songs on the cutting room floor are the best we are ever going to get. Does it always have to be some inspirational song though?

I agree, something happened with Kris and the words on that last performance.

It was nice of Seacrest to warn us about going late. My TiVo already thinks it is going 2:07. I wonder if he was talking about going past that or just past two hours.

Go Kris!

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | May 20, 2009 8:21 AM

Simon Fuller picked the songs, not Simon Cowell.

Did Paula get a weird spray tan? She was orange.

When Jesus Christ Superstar gets revived on Broadway, Capt. Screamer will have a place. Until then, do whatever with that what you will. I wonder if the blue spotlight follows him down the street. That guy is just downright annoying. The cheerleading by the judges doesn't help. Even if Capt. Volume wins, people will screech fix.

The other kid -- with the Joker mouth -- didn't suck. That should be good enough -- although I swear they jumped to his wife and some baby to deflect the "I wanna marry him" votes of tweens.

I want to eliminate Kara.

I still don't understand a thing Randy says. They should put captions w/translations below him. "It was just a little light for me." What was he supposed to do? Oh yea, stand under a blue light of emotion and feign anguish.

Kerri Underwood shld not cover Motley Crue. First time I ever missed Vince Neal.

"Make it your version" is the ultimate copout. Just the judge's tacit admission that they're generally sick of this "singing competition."

Posted by: DoorKnob1 | May 20, 2009 8:27 AM

I've been an Adam fan from the beginning and still hope he wins, but if he comes in 2nd at least he won't have to record the treacle tune. I've been on the fence about Kara until that train wreck. Can we call it a tie and send Kara home?

Dialidol.com has it too close to call with Kris barely 1% ahead. Statistical tie.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | May 20, 2009 8:37 AM

I don't know if Adam will win but I'm pulling for him!! GO ADAM!

Posted by: MILW | May 20, 2009 8:42 AM

The difference between Adam and Kris, for me, is that Adam is a live, concert performer. You know he'll perform with lasers, fireworks and a legion of dancers.

Kris, on the other hand, is more subdued and intimate in his performance. He's an ear-bud performer.

Posted by: molsonmich | May 20, 2009 8:43 AM

I don't get Kris's "parallelogram mouth" A parallelogram is a plane figure with four sides,having the opposite sides parallel and equal. That would mean he sings out of the side of his mouth, and he doesn't. I think you mean "trapezoid" which is a plane figure with four sides, 2 of which are parallalel. So the top and bottom are parallel and the sides slant in toward each other. I think that is a better description of Kris's mouth.

Posted by: cdydo | May 20, 2009 8:45 AM

ARE SIMON AND PAULA “BREAKING UP”?
Will tonight be the last time we’ll see them together?
Let’s hope not. ..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Opl3TCK0o
See more parodies at http://parodyandson.blogspot.com

Posted by: thincaboutit | May 20, 2009 8:53 AM

I wonder if Randy critiques everything the way he critiques Idol contestants. Imagine him in a restaurant: "Yo man, that lobster bisque just didn't work for me dog, I like what you did with the splash of sherry, but the whole thing just wasn't working for me. Sorry dog." Or maybe: "Dude! That crab cake was the bomb!! You can cook your face off! This chef is rocking the house tonight yo!!!

As for last night's episode. Middling. And superfluous. No one is voting for someone based on last nights performance anyway so what is the point? Next year they should have a running tally of votes and crown the winner based on that.

Posted by: fnht451 | May 20, 2009 8:57 AM

Yeah, I agree, Paula looked cooked well done last night and at least 10yrs older.

Randy was wearing something my kids would have picked out when they were 8. Really bad outfit. Not Saville Row. LOL fnht on the Randy Restaurant Critic!

I'm ok with whomever wins. Adam is thrilling but I have a softspot for Kris. So, what ev.

Posted by: hodie | May 20, 2009 9:13 AM

Kara admitted that the key of her song was not right for Kris. This explains her wide-mouthed surprised reaction last week when Danny got the boot:
.
.
She wrote the song in the key of Gokey.
.
.
Too bad the season had to end with a terrible song. If they insist on a contrived tune for the final, it should be done first. The Idol's favorite should be the last word.

Posted by: david_troy | May 20, 2009 9:15 AM

I'm predicting that this will be the lowest-rated Idol fianle so far.

Seriously, we've know the result for the last 12 weeks.

That said, I thought "glee" was fantastic. A++++, would watch again.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 20, 2009 9:35 AM

"Kris has slightly better luck with this mess of a song."

I was a bit shocked with this comment. Adam's version was just bad, while Kris's version was an outright train wreck. Missed words, as other have alluded to, and the song was just to big for him in the chorus line. He didn't have strong enough pipes.

After Kris's performance, every judge went out of their way to say that he shouldn't be judged by that song. That is code for 'He sucked big time, but we cant trash a finalist on the finale'.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | May 20, 2009 9:37 AM

Adam used the teleprompter also on the last song. I just watched it again.

Maybe Kara will sing it for us tonight and rename it Debacle!

I enjoyed Glee.

Posted by: bosher | May 20, 2009 9:41 AM

Doorknob - "I wonder if the blue spotlight follows him down the street" - haha, that was great! I found Kara and Ryan to be simply annoying last night. Didn't think it was a good show. Will fast forward A LOT tonight.

Posted by: anjacarolin | May 20, 2009 9:42 AM

Re: the Finalist's Song -- Good lord, that's the best they could do? After weeks of hearing Kara tell the contestants it's all about song choice, and that they should pick things that show off their range and dynamics, she hands them a song that had a boring, predictable melody with lots of repeating notes within a narrow range. Not to mention the one-cliche-after-another lyrics. You're telling me it took three people to write that thing? I know there's not a chance they'd get someone with some wit like the guy from Fountains of Wayne to take a crack at it, or heck, to bring back the guy who wrote "You Had a Bad Day" but if it simply must be insipid in order to be acceptable, at least make it singable!

I love Adam's take on Mad World, but I agree with Simon that the coat and dry ice thing was a bit much. As Randy shouted out, it was all rather "Twilight" (although I think he thought this was a compliment -- I don't). But the 2nd number was what Adam's all about -- he totally puts himself into it.

Kris was good, too -- his laid back style works for me. You know, I think what's really interesting is that through the whole lead up to the performance weeks -- the auditions and Hollywood week -- neither of these guys was featured. We saw tons of Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Oil Rigger Dude, Tattooed Mom, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Blind Guy, Norman Gentle, Jasmine You're-the-whole-Package, Danny Gokey... I remember Adam being featured once, singing Cher's "Believe," and Kris not at all. And yet they ended up where they are based on creativity, musicality, looking comfortable on stage, and an ability to find their own niche in which to perform. Does this show that the producers and judges may not be as smart as they think they are in terms of spotting who the real talents are? That they, in fact, have a too-conventional notion of what makes a good TV show, or a good pop star?

Posted by: owingsmills | May 20, 2009 9:43 AM

Crap, I forgot to comment on Orangalina. I don't think the spray was even dry when the show started it was so fresh.

fnht451, you forgot, "You can cook the phone book!" :)

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | May 20, 2009 9:53 AM

Gotta agree with niceshoes1: Kris' version of "No Boundaries" was definitely the weaker of the two. I didn't notice the teleprompter for Kris, but I was certainly looking to see if there was one during Adam's performance and didn't see it on the few occasions they panned from behind him out to the audience. I was impressed.

I thought Kris put up a good fight (to continue Seacrest's metaphor), but Adam scored a TKO with the judges waving off the count in the 3rd round.

I doubt, seriously, we'll be hearing "No Boundaries" on any radio station outside of a "morning zoo" type show. I'd bet my eye teeth it would be the first Idol initial single not to reach #1. Or maybe they'll rework it in the studio to make it more palatable. But neither version last night would get past a programming director with adequate hearing.

Posted by: SheldonAlexandria | May 20, 2009 9:55 AM

Okay, last night's show bored me to tears.

First of all, I was immediately frightened by Paula's appearance. She had seemed to be rather sober the last few shows, but last night she looked a little wasted. I've been expecting someone to make reference to her escaping The Emerald City" as her dress looked oddly like something one of the women of Oz would wear. Her coloring/spray tan was so silly looking, I was embarrassed for her! I also felt like I could still see remnants of the Simon moustache on her. There was something funky about her lip.

I felt like each of the judges must have gotten a slap on their wrists before the show began, because they were all so strangely subdued, and nobody seemed to be excited about anything. That being said, I can understand why.

Good Lord, the first song for both Idolettes was really the only exciting thing the entire show had to offer.

Kara's song was SOOOOOOOOOO bad. It was reminiscent of the Blake Lewis year, when he tried desperately to sing a feel good song and just looked goofy, because that is soooooo not him.

I have been an Adam fan all along, and almost hope he doesn't win so he can at least have a little more power in where his career goes from here. If he starts out with that being his first single, it will totally stifle his career.

Funny comment about "the key of Gokey." Totally valid point. I think that despite the fact many of you hated Danny (I did not, btw), he would have probably done the best with that hot mess of a song.

Just a weird show all around. bleech. I had hoped for more!

Posted by: Iteachmusic | May 20, 2009 10:24 AM

More on Randy-The-Restaurant-Critic:

For me, for you, that Hollandaise was a little light for me.

Re Adam's coat - forget the Phantom of the Idol. It was very early to mid-1990s Highlander, and I kept expecting him to pull a light sabre out of the back of the collar. Passe. Over. Been there/done that.

Same with the blue light and the tragic face.

But speaking of faces, no - the funniest one to me was not Paula's particular shade of tangerine, but Kara's - twice - on the actual hearing of "her song."

The first time, I thought I could hear her mentally swearing, "My agent - the schmuck. Had me hold out for a shared writing credit for this t*** when I coulda had a piece of the AI Tour box office???!!!"

The second time she heard it, I thought - "She's not thinking how incredibly cheesetastic this is; she looks like she's got a great big hunk of that cheese stuck right in her songwriting throat."

So how ironic that - for once - Simon C. failed to "call" the performance. Is that because he looked through the fog and the Highlander coat, right into the crystal ball, and saw that what he had foretold was not such a sure thing?

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 20, 2009 10:24 AM

Kris will win.

Adam is better. Much better. Better voice. better range, better presence.

But Kris will win.

Adam sang with great control last night, as if he had heard all the misguided "screeching" comments. Even his upper register notes were well controlled. And I thought he won all three rounds. Kris did as good as he could with the songs he had. As noted his first was the best and it was downhill from there. He would have been a good folksinger back in the day. Funny how they rarely mention or show his wife. I guess they are trying to keep the single girl vote.

Kris is good. Adam is great. But middle America isn't ready for Adam, so Kris will take all of Danny's church choir votes and ride off into the sunset with the title. And this won't be the first time the better singer didn't win...think Clay Aiken, Katherine McPhee, Melinda Doolittle, Daughtry, etc. The good thing is we didn't have to watch Danny and Matt sing 3 times each.

It is too bad the producers took a potential exciting night and kind of put a damper on it with the format. The song Kara wrote that they forced on the contestants was horrid, and having to listen to it twice was really a downer. As Lisa said, the judges didn't even care for it so they just ignored it. I did make one great prediction last night. Before Paula spoke for the first time, I said to my wife "She's proud." And sure enough, she was proud.

Posted by: ZiggyZ | May 20, 2009 10:29 AM

Ziggy, they panned on Kris's wife at least 6times during the show. She was the pretty blond standing next to a twin of hers holding a little girl. They have shown her a lot during the season. Even Simon remarked earlier in the season they should have left her home so that she doesn't turn off his young femaie fans.

Posted by: hodie | May 20, 2009 10:44 AM

I have to say, I thought Kris's version of No Boundaries was AWFUL! When Adam was singing it, i thought, "Uh, oh, this is not good." But then Kris's version made me cringe.

Kris's Ain't No Sunshine was phenomenal; the rest was blah - par for the season with Kris.

Adam did well in keeping his Steven Tyler in check. He belted without too much screeching. I thought he was good, not great.

Neither one blew me away. Best part of the night was Glee. That show is great! I will def be watching next week. Now we just need to find a board to comment on it :)

Posted by: AmuseMe | May 20, 2009 10:49 AM

Re Kris and his wife - and Adam - and "orientation", etc.

Doesn't anyone remember the historic performance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Girls were screaming, and fainting, and swooning in one of the greatest displays of public hysteria I've ever seen and, underneath John Lennon, the first primitive screen "crawl":

Sorry, girls. He's taken.

Now, they didn't bother with that for Kris, because in fairness to giving equal time to all competitors, then I suppose they would have had to subtitle Adam:

Sorry, girls. He's just not that into you.

But we already knew all that - about both of them; and anyway, I didn't see any fainting or swooning because this fan involvement is a little light for me - a lot less "hysteria" and a lot more "hype".

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 20, 2009 11:04 AM

Just like people shouldn't be labeled, singers shouldn't be made to sing the same final song that leaves the lasting memory before voting. These two guys have completely different styles, and their versatility (or lack thereof) has been proven throughout the season. Agree it should be the singer's choice. Danny continues to be my fave this season, but my fave rarely wins. Kris has a beautiful, pitch-on voice, but my opinion Adam should win. He's pretty awesome.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 20, 2009 11:06 AM

AmuseMe, if I heard correctly, Glee was just a preview last night. Fox moved it to the fall season, so you've got to wait for it. That can only hurt it, I hope you guys remember it when the time comes. (Didn't watch it myself, I already watch too much stuff as it is.)

Posted by: MaltyCharacter | May 20, 2009 11:21 AM

Whoever wins, wins... Different performers and they will both make records. Kris should play clubs/small venues and Adam should play arenas.

Best part of the night...how awesome was GLEE?!?!? LOVED IT!!!! I was literally on the floor laughing when the teacher turned pot dealer was upset about a toilet seat cover. Rachel is a great character with the way she comments on the QB's girlfriend and the part where cheerleader girlfriend says... 'Let's pray.' I was rolling on the floor. And the previews looked awesome for the Fall... a hysterial pregnancy???? Oh, I have to see this! Too bad we have to wait so long for the next episode and this was only a 'preview event.'

Posted by: lsac | May 20, 2009 11:23 AM

You mean this dopey show is going off the air? For good I hope. If ever there was a program that typified the term "chewing gum of the mind", this is it, followed closely by all the other inane so-called "reality" shows. If you like this stuff, you are a donkey, and probably voted for bush.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | May 20, 2009 11:26 AM

I'm beginning to think Kara may be able to achieve the virtually impossible; she may be able to kill American Idol singlehandedly. You're so right, Lisa! That was without doubt the very Worst American Idol Treacle Tune in the show's history, which is saying a lot. Worst by a country mile. By 100 country miles. By comparison, "This is My Now sounds like "Over the Rainbow". Whatever-horror-they-foisted-on-Fantasia was brilliant compared to this pool of 'musical' vomit.

First, it has no melody. It is virtually unsingable. The lyrics are a joke (hurricanes and mountaintops indeed). The chorus goes at a machine gun pace without offering singers the slightest chance to exhibit nuance or subtlety. Both Adam and Kris struggled vainly to deal with that monstrosity, but it was an impossible task. Thank goodness, Simon publicly ridiculed it (and Kara) in front of 30 million viewers.

Kara's songwriting reputation, which was her one and only saving grace, is now in tatters. She is a national joke.

And guess what? We get to listen to that Horror again tonight at the show's conclusion. The new Idol has to sing that Thing, which simply can't be done successfully. That's one incentive for Adam or Kris to remain an Idolette instead of becoming an Idol.

Posted by: Brookelover | May 20, 2009 11:39 AM

adrienne_najjar, go outside and enjoy the beautiful day, kiddo. Hope you have a nice day...truly.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 20, 2009 11:40 AM

Based on that song last night, please dump Kara - she doesn't even have good common sense - to actually be proud to have that song shown around the world and have her name on it? It was disastrous!! Mountains and hurricanes and no boundaries? A 10-year old could write a better song. I'm hoping now that Adam doesn't win just so his first single is not that cringe-inducing song. Run Adam - get away from these people as fast as you can - just like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood did. You got the exposure you needed, now please untie yourself from these crass, commercial "boundaries." Record your own songs and bring in Allison for a couple - it'll go through the roof. Surprisingly, I agreed with Orange Paula last night - Adam is going to be iconic.

Posted by: ryjus | May 20, 2009 12:10 PM

Nice recap, Lisa. Definitely agree about the "race horse pulling a pony cart" analogy re: Adam + Treacle Tune of Doom. I had some hope for it this year b/c it was being written by professionals. At the very least, I thought, pros aren't going to put lyrics like "magic rainbows" in it--surely, we'll be spared that, I thought. @_@ Well. How very wrong I was... Any shred of credibility Kara the Songwriter had before has just been chucked out the window. WTF????

And yeah, the song didn't let Adam shine/show off his glorious range at all. But I figured the 5-note range of the chorus must've been there for Kris's sake (the melody did sound like something he'd sing), but there was another problem with that--it's too high for Kris. @_@ Well, even though it was the first time we heard Kris open up his voice and let it wail diva-style (just realized he'd never done that once this season!), he didn't sound bad. Just needs a little practice. Actually, overall, both finalists sounded like they'd only had half a day to learn the whole song (which is probably what happened)--I wasn't impressed by either performance. Hopefully, whoever wins tonight will sing it better, mountains, hurricanes and all... @_@;;;;;;

As for who should win... well, Kris's first round was awesome and he has displayed a level of music arranging talent that I've never seen from anyone in the history of Idol, so I think he's the most likely to produce a non-generic, Breakaway-level good record. But Adam's outrageous talent and onstage dynamism (is that a word?) really does make him the perfect winner of a TV talent show. I won't be devastated if he doesn't win, but he really, really deserves it.

Posted by: Kureno | May 20, 2009 12:21 PM

The best performance last night was by far Carrie Underwood's Home Sweet Home. She put both guys to shame. She is and continues to be this show's Shining Star.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 12:32 PM

Ziggy- it's getting extremely old to hear about how middle of america hates homosexuals and are so tragically unhip that they will push someone like Danny or Kris through.

I am fairly certain Adam will win tonight; however, if he doesn't win, it's a style issue over any sort of culture war garbage. One of the most striking thing about last nights finale (and I would agree the last three songs of the night which the contestants had no choice in were extremely poor choices by the show) was in the difference in performance style of the two finalists. While Adam has incredible control and showmanship he can't help but stride into a bombastic, theatrical performance. Kris, who doesn't really get the credit he deserves for the control and nuance that he has, is obviously more comfortable in a tender, more mellow performance.

America has been given two very different types of performers this season and if they make the choice of one over the other (either of them (and Allison) would deserve it) it is a tastes issue.

Posted by: repricer | May 20, 2009 12:44 PM

Despite what the Adam Krishnas think, the voting is likely much closer than anyone ever thought. If last week, only about 1M votes out of 88M votes separated the two, then both have a pretty good following. One doesn't have to be homophobic to dislike Adam Lambert. Some of us are very homophilic or homosexual and still dislike Adam (I am in the former group and have friends in the latter group). Heavy, screaming, acid rock is very 70's/80's and many of us been there, done that and don't need or want to go back to it. Maybe Adam should just paint a black star over his eye and be done with it.

My wife and I saw the second song and he just couldn't resist and had to let lose with the tongue and squint screamfest in the middle of the song. We agreed with Randy that Adam could sing his face off. It sounded to us like a bad slasher movie and Adam was the victim of the slasher whose face was just slashed off. He screams right up there with the high school girl killed in the first 5 minutes.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | May 20, 2009 1:25 PM

To those that think Danny supporters voted for Kris: I voted for Adam as many times as possible. Far as I'm concerned, Kris was the reason Danny was kicked off last week.

Posted by: MILW | May 20, 2009 1:29 PM

Malty - Thanks for the heads up! I did not catch the whole "tune in this fall" bit. Would have been pretty upset & confused next Wed. looking for Glee and instead finding "I'm a Celebrity - Now Get Me Outta Here" or some such nonsense.

MILW - Good point. Never thought that Danny fans might reject Kris in retaliation. Hmmm, I honestly have NO ISDEA who is going to win tonight!

Posted by: AmuseMe | May 20, 2009 1:41 PM

I couldn't agree with repricer and Dad more - the whole "culture wars" thing is totally cooked up (like the parboiled Theme Tune).

The choice is between those who prefer to WATCH musical performances (and there are many as Lady Gaga evidences) and those who prefer to LISTEN to them.

Many young singers today, and I have to put Adam into this category, seem to think that volume is the key. Hollering = singing. The louder, the better.

Something happened along the way and we lost storytelling. Maybe what happened is the "stories" got lost - heaven knows they are not in the mountains and hurricanes. They must've gotten whirled away in the vortex.

It's not about the tricks - the staircases, the lighting, the fog, the costume or the make up - to me, anyway.

If a singer can actually "sing the phone book" - then they ought to be able to do in in a real live phone booth, in jeans and a T shirt without having jelled their hair or even brushed their teeth - without caps or veneers - or "styling".

I should be on the other end of the receiver in that phone booth - and I should be moved - emotionally (not "visually").

I am in that camp who find Adam's whole styling/look/approach very has-been.

Nobody on AI can convince -me- that it is "current". The only ones that story will work on are about 12-14 years old who have had no exposure to the original. The only ones who will buy Adam as a "rock god" are those who never saw/heard one.

In fact, I think the phone booth would be a better final "test" on AI than what we have now. Put them in a phone booth and have coverage only on that mythical "radio" Kara is talking about. Tune in and LISTEN - and then vote. No TV show that night.

I know it will never happen - but I can dream.

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 20, 2009 1:52 PM

Fab as usual, jqw3827. I still like my 70's rock, thank you, and appreciate Adam's vocal talent, but you are point on.

I wish somebody would do a Yes tune some year. And that Allison shoulda done Benatar's "Promises in the Dark". And that Danny should be in the final (sigh). But what do I know? I'm just a church-goin', choir-singin', Bush-votin', Middle American that actually knows quite a bit about music...and...GASP...voted for Adam!

My feeling is Idol's acme has been reached and next season may be its last.

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 20, 2009 2:55 PM

Thanks, ILoveToSinga - but apparently I don't know my hair GEL from Jello . . . .

And I'm really Old School. I think that on Rock Night all contestants should be required to sing "Inagoddadavita". They could have a mini "solo" but then be required to do a group number to finish it off - a la "Dancing With the Stars."

This show so jumped the shark with the "rock god" and "icon" comments it's really not funny. David Bowie is an incon; Alice Cooper is an icon; Gene Simmons is an icon; Robert Plante is an icon; and anybody who is doing that schtick in 2009 took the broken molds, pieced it back together and photoshopped it - IMHO.

Have we had so many decades of no-fat, no-caffeine, no sugar that we have forgotten what the real dope tastes like? Thanks to TCBY do generations actually believe that tofutti is "ice cream"?

And, since we started out in a real Randy-As-Restaurant-Critic mode, that Theme Tune sounds a lot like chicken, doesn't it?

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 20, 2009 3:17 PM

Yeah, they lost all credibility with the rock god comments and the genuflecting to Adam. Very good, granted, but sheesh...no Plant or Daltrey or Jon Anderson (or even Ian). Randy, Kara and Paula seemed so hysterical at that point I thought maybe The Alien hellspawn was gonna rip out of their abdomens...or the rookie chef where they'd eaten dinner had mixed up the Portabello mushrooms with the "other" stash. Kinda Pod-people scary. And kinda way over the top. Have fun observing tonight!

Posted by: ILoveToSinga | May 20, 2009 3:31 PM

"Pod-people" - oh snap!

Tonight's show is entitled, "The Night of the Triffids".

Posted by: jqw3827 | May 20, 2009 4:55 PM

While AI is entertaining in so many ways, I always go into a funk when this train wreck is over because I SOOO miss Lisa's column and all of the coffee-spitting up comments you bloggers make. I no longer keep a coffee cup by my keyboard while reading these posts - dangerous.

Especially agree with all: WORST TREACLE SONG ever! I like both Adam and Kris and believe they are now friends - wonder what they said privately to each other about what they were handed.

I was unprepared for the new Paula look - got so used to the Dolly Parton bejeweled and push-up look. WTF? But then I remembered - she loves DWTS! She must have dropped by for a spray tan with the dancers before their results night on way to studio. And the tree frog green frock? So samba satin.

Just wish we were all watching this together tonight. Have fun!

Posted by: MarriedMom | May 20, 2009 7:58 PM

Oh, I can't wait for tomorrow's comments. This show is wild tonight!! Way more fun than I ever expected!

Posted by: imasinger | May 20, 2009 10:46 PM

I thought the show was one of the best, thrilled Kris won and thought your take on it was just ugly

Posted by: olsond | May 21, 2009 3:16 PM

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