Lee DeWyze wins 'American Idol' 2010
Wednesday's "American Idol" finale started with the Top 12 Idolettes dressed as the cast of "Gossip Girl" while singing Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer," with backup from the Prep School Zombies and Alice Cooper himself, looking like the proprietor of a haunted house in a strip mall parking lot in October.
2009's Super-Safe Kinda Beige Rocker Guy Idol winner Kris Allen lulls us to sleep with his new single, "The Truth," which is followed by a canned bit about show judge Simon Cowell, who is leaving the show after tonight, which features former judge Paula Abdul. Seeing all these retrospective clips of Simon and Paula, we're reminded of how manufactured the chemistry was between them. But, hey, at least it was chemistry.
Idolettes Siobhan Magnus and Aaron Kelly come out on stage and sing "How Deep is Your Love" which can only mean - here come The Surviving Bee Gees: plump Barry, looking like Old Jesus, and Robin, looking like something that just got up off of the slab on "CSI."
Idolette Michael Lynche duets "Takin' it To the Streets" with Doobie Brother Michael McDonald, after which America's least funny comic - seriously - sings a ditty and talks about Simon's best insults:
"Simon Says 'no' so often the only time he says 'yes' is when someone asks him if he just said 'no'," Dane Cook says.
"You, sir, have the honesty of Abe Lincoln and the charm of the guy who shot him," Cook tells Simon.
Cook's got plenty more where that came from! Fortunately, not on this show. During his number, a bunch of former Idolettes, including Ian Benardo and Renaldo Lapuz (he's the one who sang "We're Brothers Forever"), come out on stage and Benardo grabs the microphone and starts to scream:
Nobody cares! It's all about Ian Benardo tonight. And I'm going to replace you, Simon Cowell....Nobody cares about you! It's all about Ian Bernardo. And I want to say I'm replacing you, Simon Cowell, because I'm more entertaining than you!
After an eternity, a cameraman finally pans away from the guy and out into the audience, and they cut to commercial.
"If you missed it I got Kanye'd on American Idol," Cook tweets minutes later.
"That was not staged. Weirdo hijacked the song. Just glad he didn't hit me in the face w/the mic or 'American Idol' would b 'American Beatdown'."
Sensing the need for a strong comeback from that disaster, "Idol" producers send out all of this year's Idolette chicks to sing female empowering Christina Aguilera tunes, and then Aguilera herself comes out to sing "You Lost Me" to her dress, as she stands on stage in a black bustier and sequined stockings.
Ricky Gervais appears via satellite to talk about his good friend Simon and how he makes dreams become reality for aspiring singers "and you only take 80 percent of their wages." Of Simon's departure, Gervais says "I'm sure there is still some demand for a 58-year-old lap dancer."
Gervais has got plenty more where that came from! Fortunately not on this show.
The Idolette guys get to sing Hall and Oates tunes with Daryl Hall and John Oates. So far this is shaping up as another of "Idol's" trademark Singing in the Waxworks finales. The guest talent is amazingly lifelike!
Crystal gets to sing with Alanis Morissette; they duet her tune "You Oughta Know" which produces the best lyric change in the history of "American Idol." The lyric:
Would she go down on you in a theater?
Would she go down with you to the theater?
They hug each other after pulling that off.
Season four winner, Carrie Underwood comes out all superstar-like, putting all thoughts of Kris Allen out of our mind. She sings "Undo It"- a tune she wrote with "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi.
Oh wait - we're NOT through with Kris yet. He has to hand the keys to Ford Fiestas to this year's two finalists, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox that were decorated with the custom graphics each of them created at the start of the season during some Ford Fiesta plug, who are now wishing they had created custom graphics that involved something a little less geeky than sunflowers and music notes.
These days, Kris is best known as the star of those Ford Fusion commercials that have run all season in "Idol":
In my old car, I had CDs all over the place.
In this car, if I want to play a CD, I push it in and I record it.
The music is IN THE CAR, you know, forever now.
Tonight, he tells Lee and Crystal, "On behalf of the Ford Motor Company here are the keys to your Ford Fiestas."
"This is pretty sick," Lee says. We agree.
Poison front man Bret Michaels makes his second death-defying Reality TV appearance in four days when he comes out on stage to duet with Casey James the Poison tune, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Michaels, you'll recall, suffered a brain hemorrhage in late April and was rushed back to the hospital just one week ago after suffering a "warning stroke," then, this past Sunday, made it to the live finale of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" to win that competition.
Lee then sings a medley of Chicago tunes with Chicago. They all sound out of key. But the Chicago members are really old and, we're guessing, lived hard. What's Lee's excuse?
Time for another Simon Cowell tribute tape. I know this was supposed to be a send-up of Simon, but every scene just points out the giant personality deficit among the other judges compared to him.
Anyway, Seabiscuit begins to faux reminisce about the best performances ever on "Idol" over the years: Fantasia singing "Summertime," Adam Lambert's version of "Mad World." This season, of course, produced no best-performance, which makes this the perfect segue to General Larry Platt singing "Pants on the Ground." Platt's the guy who showed up at this year's auditions in Atlanta singing this number he wrote himself:
Pants on the ground
Pants on the ground
Lookin' like a fool
With your pants on the ground
He's joined by male dancers with their pants around their hips, then their knees, and finally their ankles. Oh, and William Hung, who is wearing his pants up around his armpits.
Some people, when discussing the ho-humness of this season of "Idol," point to the loss of judge Paula who, for the first eight seasons, was the show's resident weirdsmobile den-mother. Paula took a powder after the show's producers and Fox network would not give her a big raise for this season, as they gave to Simon and Seacrest. Paula makes a return visit on the finale tonight to strut her stuff on the "Idol" stage, just two days after CBS announced it would tailor a new dance-competition series to her.
"Hi, Ellen," says Paula, looking all hot-pink minidress and legs, to comic Ellen DeGeneres, who was hired to replace her and did nothing to move the ratings needle.
"Hi," Ellen said uncomfortably. "How are you?"
"Want to dance?" taunts Paula.
"Kara, you look beautiful," says Paula, who looks so much better - and knows it.
"You look amazing," Kara says generously.
"Where's Ryan," Paula cooes. "Ryan, wherever you are, you're sooo cute and I want my lip gloss back."
Paula should have stopped there and gone out a winner. But Paula never did know when to stop. So she delivers a longish speech about Simon with all the comic timing of the host at a downsizing party at an office supply company. Then they make it worse by following Paula with a clip job of Simon, to Frank Sinatra singing "My Way."
At which point, all of the American Idol winners, except David Cook, come out on stage, along with a boatload of current and prior-season non-winning Idolettes, to sing "Together We are One" to Simon.
Wonderful, guys, Wonderful," Seabiscuit says, channeling Lawrence Welk. In final triumph of mediocrity, the acid-tongued Simon, always the dose of showbiz realism, is brought up on stage to be reduced to the centerpiece of this Disney-esque production number. Only disappointment: He wasn't hoisted up by Michael Lynche and held up before the audience, like the Lion King's cub.
"Thank you very much indeed; it's been a blast. Thank you," Simon says.
Idolettes duet with Janet Jackson. Crystal and Lee get to duet with Joe Cocker. Crystal, at least, seems very excited; Lee does not seem to know, or care, who Cocker is. Years ago, Cocker's voice was a rockin' growl. Now he sounds like an old guy clearing phlegm.
Time to dim the lights.
After a nationwide vote
I can now tell you
The winner of 'American Idol' 2010
"Oh my god! Oh my god!" gasps Lee - apparently the only one who had not predicted a DeWyze walkover.
Once again, texting tweener chicks and perimenopausal women, having not yet slaked their thirst for Super-Safe Rocker Boys, have added Lee to their list of "American Idol" winners, beating early front-runner Crystal. Lee becomes the franchise's third consecutive Super-Safe Kinda Beige Rocker Boy winners.
DeWyze follows the super-safe Kris who, similarly, in 2009, beat the spectacularly talented but ultra-polarizing guy-linered Adam Lambert, and 2008'super-safe David Cook, who beat out the spectacularly talented but creepily daddy-dominated David Archuleta.
Weirdly, tweener girls and middle-aged women seem to love to vote for these super-safe guys - they just don't buy their albums or download their singles much.
That's in marked contrast to most of the "Idol"-winning chicks who have become bona fide stars, such as first-season winner Kelly Clarkson and fourth-season victor Carrie Underwood. The most successful male Idolette to date, Chris Daughtry, was booted out with three rounds to go the same year that viewers picked Taylor Hicks to be that year's "Idol" winner.
So Bowersox escapes the whole "American Idol" beauty pageant Syndrome -- shilling for Ford, etc. -- and instead becomes the latest front-runner to be fawned over by the show's judges for most of the season, only to lose in the final viewer-vote.
In an eerie replay of last season, Bowersox had walked off with Tuesday's final performance night -- as did Lambert last year, and Archuleta two years back.
Notice how, for the first time on an "Idol" season finale, Seabiscuit did not say how many votes were cast by viewers? Last year, he boasted of nearly 100 million votes.
To see a gallery of performance highlights from "American Idol's" season nine grand finale, click here.
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