May 24, 2006

"Americal Idol" -- the results, I mean, really, the results!

It's the big night. It's gonna take two hours. But we will have an end. And it's not like you even have to bother. Because you know what the end is. Taylor Hicks won. Hasn't DialIdol showed him way ahead every single damned week? So they actually have to try to entertain us. That's the upside of all this nonsuspense.

In Phase 1 of this attempt to entertain us, they bring out rejected Idols and their idols. Paris Bennett sings with Al Jarreau. Is Al Jarreau embarrassed to stoop to this or happy to get such a gigantic audience? I don't know. But I wish him well. He's a brilliant singer. People like him used to go on "The Ed Sullivan Show" where they were juxtaposed with puppets and acrobats. Why is this different? Leave the lovely Mr. Jarreau alone. We see Chris Daughtry singing with Live, side by side with Ed Kowalczyk. Is Ed comfortable? Is Ed thinking I'm doing this for money? Is Ed thinking God bless Chris for loving me enough to imitate me or is he just exploding inside at the bizarreness of it all? Then the weirdness climaxes as Meat Loaf sings with Katharine McPhee. Noooo. I've blotted that out. What was Meat thinking? That she was horrible? That if he was as sexy as she he'd be the biggest star in the universe?

And stuck in there is a cute and genuinely funny comedy routine with Wolfgang Puck and Kellie Pickler. He's trying to teach her about food, and she's hiding the escargot in the napkin. Give that adorable girl a TV show, please.

In Phase 2, they purport to give out awards. This is just an excuse to go way back into the bad auditions file. We hear four bad women and four bad men, one of whom cavorts on stage for us.

After the longest commercial break in the history of television, we get another dose of Puck and Pickler. (She goes all Annie Hall about lobsters.) Then Phase 3 begins. Ryan introduces: GUYS! "Takin' Care of Business." It's Ace 'n Kevin 'n Bucky 'n Chris 'n Elliott. Now Taylor comes out, harmonica-ing. "Tobacco Road." (I was just hearing this song on XM Radio today, the Ten Years After version.) Now it's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow." Suddenly, it't the 1992 Democratic Convention. Yesterday's gone!

Uhh...ohh... we seem to be back in Phase 2, with "Proudest Moment" awards. Elliott's mom wins, and, really, she's about the coolest Idol family member ever. Claudette! She's adorably jolie laide, and she looks just like Elliott. Now, Elliott Yamin sings. And introduces Mary J. Blige! All the stars are getting in on this action tonight. And what a tribute to Elliott: Blige shows up. "American Idol" rules... if Blige shows up.

Carrie Underwood sings. She's in a country place. I haven't been following this. "Don't forget to remember me." I kinda have.

"The Randy Jackson Award for Public Speaking." To Ronetta, for bleepable crap. This is the low point of tonight's show. I don't like this disrespect to Randy. Ronetta plays the role of Ronetta, accepting the award. Let's ignore this.

Cut to Taylor. He starts "In the Ghetto," then introduces Miss Toni Braxton! Disturbingly, she can hardly sing. This is a weird moment, and it's clipped short. What just happened?

Time for the big "GIRLS" medley. "I'm a woman. W-O-M-A-N." Lotsa Paris here. We feel that if only she'd had a chance to prepare -- lord, she's only 17 -- she'd have held up the female end of the competition. "I'm Every Woman." Nice to see Mandisa back. But then... it's also too strained, too desperate. (Bring back the guys.)

Back to the awards. The next one's for imitation. And the guy who wins is the Clay Aiken imitator. He accepts his award and agrees to sing. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me." Midway through the song, the real Clay -- the guy! -- comes out and is singing along. Fake Clay freaks out but does the duet anyway. Omigod! It's Clay! In person! It's Clayyyyyy!!!!

Phase 4. Burt Bacharach is introduced and he staggers over to the grand piano, but I'm not going to make fun, because he starts to play a beautiful, beautiful song. "What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love." Taylor Hicks begins the sublime lyric. Hey, dammit, the show is really entertaining tonight. It's two hours, but they've got material. "The Look of Love." Ace and Melissa (I think it's Melissa). "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" -- Kellie. Aw, now it's Bucky singing "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head." Aw. Mandisa sings a little prayer for us. Lisa Tucker sings "Alfie." What's it all about?... Are we meant to take all that we give?...

"A chair is not a chair..."
It's that absurd lyric Tamyra once sang, and now it's Elliott. Dear, sweet Elliott. "What's New Pussycat?" Kevin Covais. Ick! But kinda awesome. "Caught Between the Moon and New York City." "Close to You."

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Dionne Warwick.
Well, it's established: "American Idol" is the new "Ed Sullivan Show." Dionne Warwick is here, singing "Walk on By" and "That's What Friends Are For." Taylor and Katharine wander out and then all those other characters. Taylor holds Dionne's hand and popdom is complete.

There's a "male bonding" interlude here... I've got nothing to say about it. Aaahhhh... come on! We're so close to the end. Let's get to it!

Finally, the results....

And... I'm speechless... it's Prince....

Aw... that's sublime....

Commercials....

Now, Taylor's singing "The Time of My Life" and Katharine bops out over to him. They can both relax and enjoy the moment. They totally know what the answer is on this suspenseless but awesome night. I think the lack of suspense pushed them to make it a good show, and they did.

Ryan tells us it was 63.4 million votes, more than any President has ever received.

"Here we go. The winner of 'American Idol,' Season 5, is: Taylor Hicks!"

Taylor: "Soul Patrooooooollllll!"

Hey, don't complain. He deserved it. He made America love him. What did he have? A bit of a voice. A love for soul music. A willingness to throw himself into the spirit of it all. We laughed. We responded. Who else ever made that happen? He's just a guy in the middle of music who made us feel something. Shut up!

38 comments:

Tim Sisk said...

What the Hell! What's up with all the recording stars deliberately trying to upstage the AI contestants! And Toni Braxton mumbled and dropped 75% of her singing lines trying to pose and look sexy! Who does she think she is, Cher?!? And who does Mary J. Blige think she is, Aretha Franklin? I guess she took Bono and U2 at there literalist (One! I'm the only one singing dangit!) Let poor Eliot sing, please? /rant

Word verification: "adpal" as in the long commercial breaks.

Jonathan H. Adler said...

Live on American Idol? Now that's funny. When I saw Live in concert ten days ago Ed Kowalczyk and the rest of the band repeatedly made fun of Idol. In retrospect, they must have already been scheduled to do the show.

Jonathan Adler

Irene Done said...

This is the best 2 hours of live TV I've ever seen. It's also the worst. Good Lord, I love American Idol.

Wickedpinto said...

And what a tribute to Elliott. Blige shows up. "American Idol" rules... if Blige shows up.

She was "bigfoot"ing elliot every chance she got, pushing front, centering herself turning elliot into a sattelite, while she sang over him. Watching that made me think of the anna gastmeyer bit about celine dione.

one word about mary, "B@#h"

PatCA said...

This is my all time fave Al Jarreau song (a Christmas carol) on my favorite Christmas album: Al Jarreau on the "Cherry Tree Carol."

this album

Anna said...

Someone needs to tell Taylor that he sounds like an annoying 4 year-old when he screams "Soul patrol! Soul patrol!"

Dawn said...

Oh, was AI on tonight?

Dave! said...

Whoa. Prince. That shocked me, too.

knoxgirl said...

Holy crap! I knew something was coming when Ryan said, "no more surprises." But PRINCE?!?!?!?!?!?! I about pissed my pants!

Props to the Idol producers for that one.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Al Jarreau graduated from Ripon College and came back to school at the height of his Grammy-winning popularity to receive a special alumni award. He is a warm, charming, humble, kind man. I love him.

Professor A: Thank you for so faithfully blogging this season. Your previous blogging got me watching this year. So glad I did! This was good, clean, All-American fun.

Irene Done said...

I totally take back that part about it being "the worst," which was written right after the Ronetta-Toni Braxton episode.

This really was great. Prince?! OMG!

Hayduke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chuck b. said...

I was just reading about Tobacco Road last night. Written by John Loudermilk. Love that name.

Hayduke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brendan said...

Ann, be honest: do you see yourself buying any of this guy's future CDs/singles?

Jim H said...

He's just a guy in the middle of music who made us feel something. Shut up!

Yes, feeling repulsed is feeling something ;-)

chuck b. said...

Rumors about Prince making an Idol appearance were discussed at the coctail party we had for the Queen episode.

Is this an appearance I should turn on the TV for? Please advise soon.

Rob said...

Well, I come from the school that says Hicks is your plain vanilla bar band singer. However, he has the courage to stick with his schtick, most notably with the repetition of his goofy "Soul Patrol" slogan with fist circles. He has followed basic ADVERTISING 101 and made himself a brand. He is a competent singer who can do near perfect Michael McDonald imitations. As such, I only really liked him on "Taking it to the Streets". I thought his version of "Try a Little Tenderness" was horrible compared to Otis Redding. I still can't understand what people liked about it. However, he rarely was horrible (NO MORE JOHN DENVER SONGS-----EVER!). I like him better now, particularly because Elliot Yamin had such nice things to say about him.

However, and understand I am a guy, Katherine McPhee can intoxicate me. Her singing was up and down, but when it was good, it was really good. I particularly enjoyed "Till you come back to me" I think it came near to matching Aretha.

Didn't she sing rings around Taylor on "The Time of My Life"?

Simon said...

"Ryan tells us it was 63.4 million votes, more than any President has ever received."

Yes, and the worst thing was that the simpering prat sounded proud of it.

MadisonMan said...

I was cringing when that young young young young boy was singing "What's new Pussycat". He looked way too innocent (and did I mention young?) to get away with that lyric.

I was working in the kitchen, and had to go downstairs to annoy my kids and sing along with all the Burt songs. And Dionne sounded good -- though she couldn't quite hit this high notes on Walk on By at first.

Having Dionne and Prince on, though, just underscored the big heap of Blah AI served up with its winner this year. But those two did entertain!

Rob said...

Went back and listened to Taylor Hicks sing Try a Little Tenderness. It was horrible. Really.

Tristram said...

"Ryan tells us it was 63.4 million votes, more than any President has ever received."

Yes, and the worst thing was that the simpering prat sounded proud of it.


Of course the truth is that 110 million votes were cast in the last election, but since it was evenly split, neither candidate got more than 56 million.

I'd also say something snarky about voting multiple times, but I don't feel like it.

I really didn't want either of these two to win. When Chris was let go, I stopped caring.

Long term, career wise, Paris and Katharine will probably sell the most records / win the most awards. Chris, in the right situation could be succesful, at least sales wise. The rest? Eh, not so much.

But, you know if the Cowboys had sung like they did tonight back before the finalists were chosen, I don't think the judges would have been nearly as harsh. Though not spectacular, they were at least credible for amatuers.

Ann Althouse said...

You know what didn't happen? Kat and Taylor never re-sang those awful original songs. I think in every previous season of the show, those damned original songs got re-sung.

misterbrad said...

"You know what didn't happen? Kat and Taylor never re-sang those awful original songs."

Uh, yes, Taylor sang it at the end of the show.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

I was glad to see Taylor win. Katherine will do just fine; she is too marketable to simply disappear. Congratulations to the both of them.

Chris was a favorite of mine earlier in the competition, but he got repetitive. That made me lose interest, as familiarity breeds contempt. The "pass the Doritos, dude" vote was not large enough to carry him to the final.

Simon actually commented on that repetitiveness factor. Chris' chance to break free of the pack was the Queen week, and he picked an obscure song. I think that was his undoing, or at least a major part of it.

Week after week Chris shouted, popped veins, tilted his head slightly to his right, and leaned back slightly. I think if one watched all of his performances back to back with the sound off, it would be difficult to tell them apart.

Taylor? OK, he is not the world's best. But he had the angles covered. He has a winning personality, does not take himself too seriously, genuinely loves music, and can really sing. He is just. plain. fun.

hygate said...

Of course the truth is that 110 million votes were cast in the last election, but since it was evenly split, neither candidate got more than 56 million.

I'd also say something snarky about voting multiple times, but I don't feel like it.


And you have to be at least eighteen, a U.S. Citizen, and non-felon to vote in a U.S. presidential election.

Ann Althouse said...

And you can only vote once. That's the biggest different. (Plus you don't have to leave your house.)

Ann Althouse said...

difference....

Mary said...

Ann said: "And you can only vote once." - er, in most states. :)

hygate said...

and then there's that whole having to register before the actual election.

Hazy Dave said...

Shutting up.

al said...

I watched the last hour (ok listened while reading a book) as my wife and kids were watching. Taylor reminds me of a lounge lizard - singing every song in his own 'special' way - and ruining most of them. Kathy is, imho, a much better singer and will probably go a lot farther. I think people will tire of Taylor.

Richard Dolan said...

According to Ann, it's the "Ed Sullivan Show" for the 21st century, and it's sweeping the country. The winner is a Mr. Ordinary, and the rest of the cast of characters are a collection of All American types with a few oddballs thrown in for interest.

While I didn't see the show, it sounds like it was fun in a comfortable, get-together-with- friends-and-party kind of way. If that sort of feel-good stuff is where TV-land is at, it sounds like the Republicans are going to have a very good year.

PatCA said...

Idol is feel good entertainment! Not that there's anything wrong with that. We can identify with the contestant amateurs and their tears of pride families--and with Simon's presence, we can also take the elitist position and be above it as well. Brilliant.

Taylor may or may not have a great career, but he's got his shot. Fair? Is it fair, or even plausible, that Ashlee Simpson has a career? It's the biggest showcase in the world, and I'm sure agents and managers are chasing after all of them. They'll get training and experience this year--I thought Carrie Underwood sounded better than last year and I love her over the top country sound. Best of luck to all of them!

P.S. Ann, I think you deserve some free tickets to the show after getting us hooked on this thing!

jeff said...

Carrie Underwood is currently doing very nicely for herself in the Contemporary Christian ("Jesus Take the Wheel") and Country (Best New Artist as the CMA's a couple nights ago) Music areas.

Guess we know what Ann doesn't listen to.

In fact, of all the AI's, Carrie is the only one I hear on a semi-regular basis.

paulfrommpls said...

Slyly condemning or condescending to middle-of-the-road wholesome entertainment is actually a clue to a flaw in the Democratic mindset, Richard. First, because there’s nothing wrong with such things. More importantly: it’s not easy to do. I think what’s actually easier is constantly to focus on the “challenging,” the “groundbreaking.”

I believe I quoted this once before; I think it was Oscar Wilde: “All things change with the exception of experimental theater.”

PornStar said...

Simon made a comment like a month or 2 ago regarding AI being a singing competition when discussing how bad taylor is at dancing and how foolish he looks when he runs around the stage like a madman.

This cannot be farther from the truth...

The fact is American Idol is a T.V. show abova all other things. Yes of course it is a singing competition but again above everything else it is a T.V. show and in regards to AIbeing a television show, Taylor was the clear winner this year.

Katherine is a better overall singer and will most likly go on to be more successful at selling albums then Taylor will but in the grand scope of American Idol the television show Taylor was the winner.

Week after week he entertained us with more than just singing, he won people over with his zany dancing and fearless attitude. His playfulness combined with the fact that he has an amazing voice for the kind of music he sang most of the time and you have your AI winner hands down.

This should be a huge signal to anyone who wants to try and try out for American Idol in the future. You dont have to be the best singer to win this competition. You just have to be the most entertaining.

AI is a T.V. show...not a music concert. The people who vote are not in the audience, they are watching it throught the T.V. which is a completly different medium altogether. Ill be curious to see just how many people take Taylors approach in the coming seasons...well just have to wait and see.

Congrats Taylor and Congrats Katherine...You two were the best 2 of the lot and you both have great careers ahead of you. Bottom line, when all was said and done this year on AI, the best 2 were left standing and the winner clearly was the winner.

Grats and good luck.

PornStar

paulfrommpls said...

PornStar, eh?