Monday, May 25, 2009

American's Idle

So did you see the American Idol finale on Wednesday? Wow. The finale of AI is always like a 1970s variety show. A whole bunch of different acts doing their thing with a fair number of them from years and years ago. The only real difference between the AI finale and the 1970s variety show is that AI was relatively entertaining.

Can we just start with KISS? What are these guys? 80? 90? They've been doing "Rock and Roll All Night" for like 40 years! But that's the good thing about performing with all of that face makeup on, I guess. That part of being old, the whole looking old thing, doesn't show. I was amazed that they could all still stand on those 12-inch platform boots/shoes things that they wear. They're old enough, you'd think that they'd be having the vertigo or something. But hey, for those of us who never got to see KISS perform live, well, consider that performance seeing them sort of live. Still alive! There we go.

But really, the most surprising part of the evening for me was when Barbara Walters came out to sing "Do You Think I'm Sexy". Wait. What? That wasn't Barbara Walters? That was Rod Stewart?! Good Lord. (And sporting a lovely plaid sportscoat as well!) They had all of the failed Idols doing a group number of 'Do You Think I'm Sexy', a huge hit for Rod back in the days when he could legitimately ask that question (and could sing without shouting or sounding like he needed to hack a phlegm boulder out of his esophagus). But on American Idol, he looked like he should have been singing 'Do You Think I'm Elderly'. He's aged a bit, that's all I'm sayin'. So much that if question is posed "Do You Think I'm Sexy" the answer could be a variety of things, but none of them would be 'Yes". Even the lyrics "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy" would seem to be aptly followed by " were likely born during the Hoover administration." Or even "...then you're going to need to adjust your horizontal hold."

And he shouted sang my favorite Rod Stewart song, Maggie May, which starts out "Wake up, Maggie. I think I've got something to say to you." But watching Rod Stewart, the apparent octogenarian, sing those lyrics, I felt like it should have been, "Wake up, Maggie. It's time to take our pills." Perhaps "Wake up, Maggie. Where's my robe? When's lunch? Did you steal my hat?" Rod probably could have used some of the left over face paint from KISS. Oh, wait. That's right. There wasn't any left over. My mistake.

He stumbled a couple of times. I was worried he might fall and break a hip. He just didn't look all that great, I'm just saying. And when you're old and you look old and you're kind of stumbling old, it's just not right. Odd Stewart was more like it.

And if you think I'm being too hard on ol' Odd there, I'm not. After Idol had aired, do you know what Google Trends showed as the Number 10 most searched for item that day? I'll give you a hint: It's the same as the Number ONE searched for item during the 6pm hour (after Idol aired on the east coast)! That's right. "How old is Rod Stewart?" Followed closely by "How old is Gene Simmons?" (He'll be 60 this August.) "How old is Lionel Ritchie?" (He'll be 60 in June.) And "How old is Cyndi Lauper?" (She will be 56 in June.) I couldn't make that funnier if I tried! Behold! The graph!

Hil-arious. (By the way, Rod is 64 and will be 65 next January 10. That's way too old to be strutting around on stage with your plaid-itude and pretending to look like Barbara Walters, if you ask me.) Then there was Bikini Girl, a one dim bulbed Katrina Darrell, there for her encore performance. Best line of the night goes to Ryan Seacrest when he said to a newly 'enhanced' Bikini Girl, "I was going to ask you 'What's new?', but I think I know!" Women who think they're hot always feel the need for the after market accessories. And not like there's anything wrong with that, but you don't want it to be obvious that you've added on, you know? They really need to blend with the original model. But I blissfully digress.

Bikini Girl, I think, was seriously shocked when Kara Dio Guardi began singing and came out on stage behind her as she sang. It took her a moment to realize that she wasn't going to get to bask in four minutes of solitary glory. Maybe it had been planned from the beginning, but Bikini Girl doesn't seem like the brightest bulb on the tree, so I doubt she could have acted that well.

I, personally, found the whole Bikini Girl segment very strange. Here's a chick (who if you said her real name to people, I'd guess 95-98% would not know who you were talking about) standing on a stage in front of thousands of people, wearing nothing but a bikini and a smile, and just singing as if it's perfectly normal! Totally natural! See it every day! NO! You don't. But she had no problem with it. None. And that's why I'm going to offer this bit of advice: Bikini Girl, if someone is reading this to you right now, please listen when I say that if you did not cash in on your 15 minutes of fame within an hour of stepping off that stage, it's over for you, baby. People will not care about you or your hot body a month from now or even a week from now, so if you were planning on using this to launch you toward some fabulous money making opportunity, if you haven't signed a deal by now, I'd start looking for other work. (And by 'other work' I mean what you're probably going to end up doing anyway. Porn.)

I'm not a fan of the re-trotting out of all of the failed and delusional Idol tryout folks. That whole act has really gotten old for me. Not as old as Rod Stewart, but old. It's starting to feel like poking fun at the intellectually disadvantaged and the borderline mentally retarded. It's definitely poking fun at the mentally ill if nothing else. But the one girl, whose name is escaping me at the moment, who had the parents who were just as delusional as she was that she was going to be the next American Idol? Um, acorn? Tree? You can make the connection, right? There was no way in hell that she was going to win American Idol, yet both her parents and her were convinced that she was! They kept saying so. Out loud! And while I'm not making any claims to being able to predict the outcomes of events, I can tell you this with 100% certainty, that girl will win a Cy Young award or a Nobel Prize before she will become the next American Idol and that will occur right about never!

Even with all of the glitz and the glamour and the bikinis and the delusions, the strangest act of the evening, on the show which searches across America for the next greatest vocalist, was Carlos Santana playing a guitar solo. Go figure.

One of my personal highlights was when I realized that it was quite possibly the very last time that we will have to sit through four judges ever again. With any luck, those who have the power over these sorts of things will get rid of Kara LaGuardiaDio Guardi so that it can go back to being just incoherent Paula Abdul and the two gents, Randy Jackson and the be-tee-shirted Brit, Simon Cowell. It just took too long to get through all of their comments and that meant that we likely missed out on some spectacularly incoherent moments from Paula! We can't have that! She needs to babble speak!

Low light of the evening: It was when the kicked-off-after-three-shows-contestant Jorge (and his eyebrows which appear to be two dueling caterpillars going head to head) would not leave the side of Kris Allen after Kris was named the new American Idol! This guy was hanging all over him like they had been dating or something. It was simply to get his face in every single camera shot that there was. Nothing but a camera whore, that Jorge! It was so obvious to the point where if he didn't think his face was on camera, you would see him craning his neck to get his face closer to Kris's face. It was pathetic.

I don't know how far I can delve into the fake-roversy (again, "fake controversy") over whether or not Adam should have won, but I'll try to keep it plain and simple. Adam should not have won. Do you know why? Because the result was based upon votes. Viewer votes. The viewers voted. They voted for Kris. Therefore, Kris should have won because that is what, and stick with me here, the majority of people wanted. Why did they want Kris instead of Adam? It's simple. When Danny got booted (after being given a horrible song to sing by the incoherent Paula Abdul) all of the folks who still cared enough to vote were more likely to vote for Kris than they were for Adam. Was Adam a better singer? I don't know. It depends on how often you can listen to the same sound with different words over and over and over again. Every week was superb for Adam, but it was always the same. Hit the high note that we're all impressed you can do. Wag your tongue a little. Wink too often. Leer a bit. And scream at the end. Same act, different lyrics. Every. Week. But that's why Kris won. People liked him better. (A complex theory, I admit, but one I believe to be factual none the less.)

So that's it. Until January, we are American Idol-less. It wasn't a great season. I couldn't tell you one thing that Kris Allen sang except for the horrific 'coronation song' which was wrote for the eventual winner to record as their first single. The finale was by far the best show of the season. But just wait. Come about December, maybe even November, I'll be looking forward to the airing of the tryouts again and trying to remember Kris Allen's name. Aahh...good times. Good times.

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