It’s mega-diary time once again, kids. A time to give the blow-by-blow, the play-by-play of the most important events in pop culture.
The only question is whether or not this is the last time the “American Idol” finale warrants such treatment. The mega-diary is reserved for TV events like The Oscars and The Emmys (and by all rights The Super Bowl if lack of sobriety didn’t prevent cataloging that evening), but I’m not sure how much longer “Idol” is going to fit.
With Simon’s departure and dwindling ratings, this night next year could be on a part with the season finale of “Survivor” or any other reality TV Show competition. I’m just not sure it can maintain a cache worthy of the mega-diary treatment for one more season.
So, with that, here is what could be the third and final “American Idol” Finale Mega-Diary:
8:02 – Ryan comes right out proclaiming the finale “one of television’s biggest events”. Not so sure anymore Ryan.
8:03 – We get the first Lee vs. Crystal on the audience noise-o-meter. Lee a decided winner. Seems like the declaration will be a bit anti-climactic.
8:03 – Randy manages to boo Simon while giving him a standing ovation. Confusing.
8:04 – It appears to be Harry Potter night on the “Idol” finale as Crystal and Lee come out in strange Hogwarts garb. I can’t wait to see what they’re dressed up for.
8:05 – I like the cut to Toledo where the correspondent does a voiceover, but can’t even get a second of camera time. I’m sure she feels great.
8:05 – Oh! It’s a “School’s Out For Summer” group number! What’s the over/under on lame production numbers of this song where the singers dress up like catholic schoolgirls and boys? I’d say it’s gotta be in the upper five figures.
8:06 – Legendary? Alice Cooper is cool and everything, but legendary? I’d put him on a level between Tood Rundgren and Hall & Oates in terms of musical importance. I think we’re getting a bit loose with the adulation there.
8:12 – My stars! It’s Kris Allen, with Ryan gaffing on the microphone over the top of his song. I can honestly say the only time I’ve seen or heard Kris Allen outside of “American Idol” is when he’s talking about how much he loves his Ford Focus. Fifteen bars into this dud of a song and I understood why.
8:16 – The beginning of this Cowell package reminds of a time when Simon was incredibly shocking. When his raw criticism was something that brought people in just because of the crazy shock value. Now it just seems clichéd. I think his influence on the television landscape is totally underrated.
8:18 – Other than the actual clips of Simon ripping people, this montage was gratingly unfunny. Really? We decided to go with the original premise of people saying nice things against clips that are in opposition of their statements and then celebrating in contrast to their earlier sentiments? Where did they get that idea? Every lame wedding toast ever given?
8:19 – What do you think? Could Barry Gibb swallow his brother whole or would he need to cut him up into two pieces. I know it wouldn’t be much less than that.
8:20 – Also, where is the Bee Gees Jukebox musical? I suppose that would just be a stage version of “Saturday Night Fever”, so I guess it’s not fake-original enough for the creatively bankrupt broadway, but I still can’t help but feel like they’re slacking.
8:26 – Oh please oh please oh please tell me that Michael Lynche is just a prelude to a Michael McDonald sighting. That’s all I want on this finale. All I want in the world.
8:27 – Yes! There he is. Without moustache! In fact, I could’ve sworn I thought he sang “Take this moustache to my brothers” instead of “message”. I’ve always said that Michael McDonald is not made fun of nearly enough in the public discourse, but after watching him struggling to hit any notes during that performance, his appearance just made me kind of sad. He didn’t sound like Michael McDonald – and without that weird voice, he’s just not worth making fun of.
8:29 – So I timed Dane Cook’s set before he was (mercifully) interrupted and it only lasted about 75 seconds. I wouldn’t have believed it if it weren’t for my clock’s second hand – I thought that was a solid five minutes.
8:31 – I found it fitting that a complete non-talent would swipe Dane Cook’s microphone and attempt to hijack the show for a minute. I’m just wondering why the producers didn’t cut away more quickly. Maybe they thought it was part of the act at first – can’t put any level of lame comedy past Dane Cook I suppose.
8:34 – Ahhh, Lacey Brown. You were my favorite of the finalists (after the insane departure of Lilly), so nice to see you again, even if your voice cracked audibly.
8:35 – So it appeared the Idolettes were attempting to harmonize on “Beautiful” at one point, but it just sounded like elementary school kids singing a round. I guess 20 million viewers doesn’t warrant rehearsal quite like 30 million used to.
8:37 – I’m not sure why we had to watch three minutes of Aguilera butchery before we got to see the woman herself. Maybe an early Dane Cook exit had them stalling for time? Who knows, because I don’t think Christina is a lead worth burying.
8:39 – This performance was essentially Christina’s first post-Gaga coming out party and I think she was wise to keep it simple and let her voice be the main attraction. Remember, there was a time a few years ago, when the late Xtina was the one pulling down the Gaga-level buzz. She’s wise to go in a new direction rather than trying to compete on that level as she can’t beat Gag’s showmanship, but she’ll always be able to blow her out vocally.
8:42 – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Ricky Gervais is never not funny. It just hasn’t happened yet. What’s that you say? He made a movie called “The Invention of Lying”? Ummm. . .never. . .heard of it?
8:47 – Wow, I’m feeling very prescient. Soon after comparing Alice Cooper to Hall & Oates the guys are rocking a medley of that duos hits. I’m just wondering if they’ll introduce the 80s powerhouse as “legendary”.
8:49 – Ooo, Lee couldn’t quite go for it. Their appearance leads to three observations:. One, I think “You Make My Dreams Come True” is ready to surpass “Don’t Stop Believin’” as the go-to 80s so-bad-it’s-good track. Two, I’m really excited for Hall’s guest-starring role on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ this year. Third, in honor of our dearly departed “LOST”, I’d like to present Oates with the Richard Alpert Award for apparently being unable to age.
8:52 – So it’s Janelle Wheeler in Toledo. She really made the most of her camera time by giggling and being barely audible. Good thing she’s there.
8:53 – To prove Crystal simply ain’t that great, I counted the number of times her voice cracked during this welcome performance or she was horrendously flat or off-key. Grand Total = 8 in about 45 seconds. I understand that she’s nervous, and I respect that, but I hardly think “The most talented ‘Idol’ contestant ever” should suffer that many blunders in such a short period of time.
8:55 – In honor of her guest-starring role on “Weeds”, I present Alanis Morisette with the Mary-Louise Parker Award for woman who looks much better in her forties than she did in her twenties. Alanis is getting it done in the black boots!
9:01 – And here’s Carrie Underwood. Which gives me a perfect opportunity to quickly unveil a ranking that seeks to prove how bad this season is. Here is a ranking of the best Idol Winners at the point they won they show. (This does not take into account performance after the show which is why Kelly Clarkson doesn’t win.):
1. Carrie Underwood
2. David Cook
3. Kelly Clarkson
4. Ruben Studdard
6. Jordin Sparks
7. Kris Allen
8. Lee/Crystal (whoever would have won would have been here)
9. Taylor Hicks
The crazy thing about that list? The least-talented winner actually came from one of the deepest seasons. A season that gave us the multi-platinum Daughtry and Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson. Also, third-from-the-bottom featured the best contestant ever (Adam Lambert) as the runner-up. So not only does that show how poor this season’s winners are in comparison to past champions at this same point, but also shows how unimportant winning this competition is.
9:05 – Luckily, that tangent was so long that I completely missed the Ford Commercial. Huzzah!
9:07 – I think Casey has a chance to sell some records. He has a voice that will record well and certainly the look that girls will love. Plus he clearly has some talent, even if that never shows itself in his completely zero stage presence.
9:07 – Now I’m no doctor, but I feel like I should be flabbergasted that Bret Michaels is able to even walk upright at this point, let alone play guitar and sing at the same time. This is a guy who suffered a nearly always-fatal brain hemorrhage, a “warning stroke”, and a hole in his heart all in the same week. Though I’m sure his contemporaries form Extremes were able to help him out with the last one.
9:15 – I love Chicago, but I just realized that we’re 75 minutes deep and Christina Aguilera was the only contemporary artist so far on this show. The rest of this has been like a Time Life commercial. Are we sure Fox isn’t about to sell the franchise to CBS?
9:16 – I just can’t abide “25 or 6 to 4” without the late Terry Kath. He’s one of the five best electric guitar players ever. And yes, that’s an inarguable statement. Mr. Green Guitar Man isn’t worthy to hold Kath’s pick.
9:20 – Both of Simon’s acting bits were so hideously bad, that I couldn’t helped but loving seeing them again. He’s just so ridiculous.
9:21 – America’s wise to bring back General Larry Platt for the finale. Let’s face facts, other than Ellen stinking, and the show stinking in general, “Pants on the Ground” was the only thing that made it into the zeitgeist this season. In fact, when Platt hit the auditions, that was still a time when the show appeared to still be thriving. And who knew he had those dance moves!?
9:29 – Seeing Paula back on the “Idol” stage and in that retrospective proves one thing: This show was always Randy, Paula and Simon. once they messed with that, it was the beginning of the end.
9:32 – And why did we miss Paula so much? Just go back to that three minutes of trainwreck TV with more bad jokes than a Bruce Vilanch tribute album and a ramble that made Gary Busey seem lucid to find out why. Wow. Just amazing.
9:33 – Simon: “You gotta know when to leave the party.” Hmm, like when you have the chance to own your own show, get a massive pay raise and take down the executive producer with whom you’ve always been at odds all at the same time? Seems like a good time to leave – kind of like you did it “your way”, Simon.
9:35 – I will confess something right now. I’ve only ever voted in this competition one time, and it was for Kelly after the final performance show of the first season. So I have to take credit for her success. All of the credit.
9:36 – Soooooooo. . .where’s David Cook? Simon’s eyes seemed to be asking the same question. Also, this alumni tribute reminded me of the finale of “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”
9:39 – I got a since that as the other judges watched Simon walk up on the stage that all of them were thinking, “Uh-oh, there goes our meal ticket”. Good luck, kids.
9:40 – And a classy speech from Simon to close the show. Wait, you mean there’s still more to come. Like crowning a winner? Like that’s the most important part of the show? Coulda fooled me.
9:45 – Holy short hair, Janet Jackson! (I felt that cliché appropriate since her garb seemed like the get-up of a Batman villain).
9:47 – Gotta get one more in. Worse fashion blunder, Janet’s short hair or her wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl? Discuss.
9:49 – And that song was so boring that I fast forwarded through the last two minutes. Surprisingly, the first use of the DVR fast forward this whole show. Now that’s an upset.
9:52 – I’m sorry, this “Nasty Boys” performance smacked alarmingly of a Janet Jackson tribute on ice, and given the deadness of her mic during the spoken portions of the song, I can only assume that she was lip syncing. I think Janet is moving dangerously into the land of washed-up.
9:54 – I can never get enough of these contestants journeys packages. It’s like a “Before They Were Stars” special and a “Behind The Music” all at once.
9:55 – More inexplicably still alive – Joe Cocker, Eric Burdon or Keith Richards? Discuss.
9:56 – So when Joe tried to hit the legendary big note of this version, he really looked exactly like the Sea Captain from “The Simpsons”. Now, I’m loving me some Joe Cocker, but did I mention that this is really resembling a Time Life commercial? It’s uncanny!
10:01 – Yes, that was a five minute commercial break. Remember when Chuck Woolery used to say he’d be back in “two and two”, meaning two minutes and two seconds? I guess those days are long over.
10:03 – And Lee does it! After 8 weeks atop my power rankings, Lee takes home the crown. I almost feel like I won a little bit, because (and not meaning to brag) I was certainly out in front on the “Lee is gonna win” theory. Never go against the good-looking guy who can play guitar. Not in real life, and not on “American Idol” either.
10:04 – Loved the Lee speech, loved the raw emotion, really like the guy. If I had my druthers Lilly would have won (yes, that will be the last Lilly mention of the year), but it’s certainly wonderful to see a guy who was mixing paint a few months ago on top of the entertainment world.
10:06 – And, to the strains of a confetti-drenched version of “Beautiful Day”, the Mega-Diary comes to a close.