Of course, you're watching.
1. Blake wins the coin flip, but instead of saying what everyone always says, that he wants to go second, he asks Jordin if she wants to go first. She shakes her head no, and he says he'll go first. Wow! Unselfish, gentlemanly. We love him. Ryan tells us they'll each be singing 3 songs: 1. their favorite that they've already done, 2. a new song, 3. a song by the winner of the songwriting contest. I'm glad they've done a songwriting contest, because in the past, the original songs they've done in-house have sucked. But, that said, I note that the winner of the songwriting contest has come up with something called "This Is My Now," and it really, really seems that what has happened is that they've picked something that's most like the in-house crap they've come up with in the past. Time for Blake. He's doing "You Give Love a Bad Name." This is very entertaining, his beat-box version, and a lot of the goodness of it is the percussionist on stage with him. Audience goes wild. Randy: likes the beat-boxing but not the singing. Paula: love, love, love. Simon: "You're not the best singer in the competition, but you are the best performer."
2. Jordin's first song is not the song from a previous show but the song she's never done before. It's: "Fire," a Christina Aguilera song. I don't know the original. Is it this overbearing? Relationship-related histrionics. A mellower midsection seems frantic and inelegant. Oh, am I showing my preference for Blake too blatantly, too blake-antly? Randy: stellar, brilliant. Paula: stellar, awesome. Simon: shrieky. "What a surprise I'm being booed." But when he calls Round 1 for Blake, it's nothing but cheers. [ADDED: Apparently, the name of the song is "Fighter," not "Fire."]
3. Back to our Blake, doing his new song, Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved." "Look for the girl with the broken smile." No beat-boxing. Just pretty natural. Randy: "Great song and a very nice vocal." Paula: "You really got into the ease of the song." (Great Paula comment.) Simon: "Good. Safe." He thinks the song wasn't a good choice because it's not showy, and you've got to see that Paula's comment expressed better taste. Spare me the bellowing. Get into the ease of the song. In the colloquy with Ryan, they talk about how Blake has never seen an "American Idol" finale.
4. Jordin's song that she's already sung is Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing." Randy: you're talented and young. Flawless. Paula: Great. Simon: "Now, that was good."
5. Now we see the winning songwriters. Blake Lewis sings it first. I can't stand the song, which is exactly what you'd expect to win the contest. Nice enough performance. Randy realizes this isn't a great song for him. Paula also comments on how it's not a good song for him. Simon: "It's not the type of song you would normally sing." Well, damn! THEY picked it. Why did they pick a song that would fit one type of contestant and not another? It's like they fixed the competition through the song contest judging. But I think America will rebel against this. [ADDED: Commenters remind me of what I must have heard 100 times this season: the song was chosen by an open voting process. I never cared... until I had to listen to the garbage. The producers must have been pleased to discover that "America" actually likes exactly the kind of crap they'd been writing every year for the finale. This is the show that forces us to see we are actually getting the pop music we want.]
6. Jordin now sings the song the way this sort of song is supposed to be sung. But I hate this kind of song, and so I end the competition feeling chafed by the limitations. I expect the judges to slobber all over this and declare her the winner. But look out, that sort of thing can light a fire under "American Idol" voters. But I don't want to be too pissy about all this. The girl is 17. She ends the song like the words have really touched her and it's the definition of schlock. Randy: "You were the best singer tonight." Paula: she says "frickin'" for the second time tonight. Does breaking your nose cause that? Simon: "It is a singing competition and you just wiped the floor with Blake on that song." So, okay, let Jordin win. Blake will be fine. It will be better this way.
7. With 4 hours of voting and such strong support for Jordin in the end, I think enough dogged Blake fans may spend the whole time voting to put him over the top. And now they bring out Chris Daughtrey -- my favorite contestant from last year -- to sing that "going home" song they've been using all season to soothe the losers on the way out. And the show ends with Blake and Jordin in a sweet embrace.
8. And let's remember what was the coolest thing that happened all season: