To be brutally honest, I am not enthused about the final two of this season’s American Idol, and I’ve had a hard time figuring out why. While my favorites don’t always get there, at least I can see why those that did make it did. But this year is just confusing as so many unique, talented people left beforehand. The majority of the fans out there don’t seem happy and have blamed a variety of things as the reason we are where we are, but it’s time to move onward and upward to see what we can salvage here. Each of them tonight is singing three songs, one they’ve done before, one they haven’t done before, and their version of the song that won the songwriting challenge this year.
Also ready to move onward and upward surprisingly is Paula Abdul. Late last night we heard the news that Paula Abdul had fallen over her chihuahua Tulip and had broken her nose. Yet, here she is sitting in her chair, and it looks like she has a different nose, but it looks okay. Surely you don’t heel from plastic surgery that quickly, so kudos should go to the makeup people here. She claims it was just bruised and that she’s fine. Quick-witted Ryan Seacrest confirms that “the bitch is okay.”
While we knew that both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis had been at the Seattle auditions, it turns out that the winning songwriters of the Idol “coronation song” are from Seattle as well. We get a quick Seattle journey video of our finalists, and Blake says he auditioned on a whim after a friend had called and told him of the auditions. After hearing that Simon thought these auditions were the worst ever, Blake planned to change that. He says he didn’t know how bad he wanted it until he got onstage for the first time. Jordin was just waiting for her 16th birthday to arrive as it meant she could then audition for the show. While Randy Jackson knew she’d do well, and Paula echoed that, it was Simon Cowell that was not surprisingly less enthused. This is how the whole season seems to have gone.
Blake had won the coin toss, yet still deferred to Jordin, and she wanted to go last. He steps on stage first tonight and has chosen to redo You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi. He is again onstage with the drummer, and you can see a recent haircut on him plus maybe an additional blonde streak. He seems to change up this version slightly showing a little more of his brilliance.
Randy can’t hear himself talk over the cheers of the crowd, but manages to fit in that he gives Blake a 10 out of 10 on the beat boxing as it was hot with the triplets going on with the drums. however, he thinks the singing was just alright. Paula wants to clean Randy’s ears out, as he’s hearing something she isn’t. She thinks Blake outdid himself and was far superior than when they were singing at the other theatre. She wants to give him more than a 10, like 10 plus 10 plus 10 plus … Simon mentions the obvious, that while Blake isn’t the best singer, he’s the best performer they’ve had. He thinks there was some great energy, yet finds the singing fell a bit flat in the middle where he may have been shouting. What is it with him and shouting? Ryan recaps this first performance for us, saying Simon liked it, Paula was referring to the other studio, and Randy is unpopular. That’s a pretty good summation.
Jordin sings Christina Aguilera’s Fighter and although she has a big crack in her voice, and the song seems a bit too difficult for her, she does pretty well with it until the end when she gets screechy. She seems to struggle in that way with power vocals, often making them shrieky. I can’t for the life of me figure out why during one really rocking part of the song she is standing completely still. I must admit, though, so far, if I ever bought anything I have heard her sing so far, it would be this.
Randy calls this a very interesting show as we hear a small Jordin chant erupt in the Kodak theatre. He feels like we have the great entertainer against the great singer. While Jordin isn’t the greatest at entertaining people, her voice was stellar and brilliant and sounded amazing. Maybe it’s just me, but there have been several other performers this season where we’ve had both entertainment and great singing. I don’t understand why on the final 2 we should be forced to choose which we prefer. Paula says she knew this was going to be one of the best finales and the two of them tonight proved it. Maybe bruising your nose affects your hearing. Simon says on a positive note, it’s great she chose a younger song because she’s 17 and should. He thought her vocals were a bit shrieky in the middle, and calls round one going to Blake. Paula refuses to take a stand not surprisingly, and Randy calls Blake taking round one for entertainment and Jordin taking it for the singing.
My son is identifying with Blake even more as he said he asked for a drum set every Christmas but never got it (although we did finally get my son a set for his birthday this year.) Blake then saw a group perform with a guy beat boxing and thought “Wow, I could do that.” He said he would come back the next week being able to do that, and did. He dad recalls hearing something in the garage one day and thought someone had finally bought him a set of drums. It turns out he was hearing his son beat box for the first time.
I heard Blake was singing a Maroon 5 song, and since he already did one he’s done before, this had to be one he hasn’t done yet. Looking over my hard drive at my favorite Maroon 5 songs, I decided the best one for him to do would be She Will Be Loved, and indeed, it’s his second performance of the night. He does this devoid of beat boxing and sounds great with a good falsetto. Understandably like Randy said, he doesn’t have the best voice out there, but I don’t see Jordin’s as that much superior to his.
Interestingly enough, Randy does call this a nice vocal and says he loves to see Blake sing naturally and pure like that. Paula says it’s good that the big number was first and it’s over, as this sits really well in his voice. He got into the ease of the song and sounded great and relaxed. When is this guy not relaxed? Simon calls it good and safe, but not as good as the first performance. He wouldn’t have chosen this song in the final because he doesn’t think it makes that type of an impact. That’s understandable, but if he’d done something he could fit his beat boxing into, people would complain that’s all he does. Ryan points out Blake has never even seen an American Idol finale before, and here he is on one. Blake just talks about the great audience with the energy and signs, and when asked about nerves says he is just having fun.