home Archive American Idol, May 19 – Leather or Jeans?

American Idol, May 19 – Leather or Jeans?

This has to be the most exciting American Idol finale in awhile. Mali, who normally recaps Dancing With the Stars, commented today that she sees the two finalists as leather and jeans. Adam Lambert is the leather jacket that everyone loves, yet it doesn’t go with everything, and Kris Allen is the pair of comfortable old jeans that you can wear anytime with anything. I think that analogy is very apropos. Who are you voting for tonight? Leather or Jeans? Or as Ryan Seacrest explains, The Guy Next Door or the Guyliner?

Here’s how it will work. After losing the coin toss, Adam will be going first. Tonight, each will be singing three songs, their favorite performance form this season, a song chosen by the show creator, Simon Fuller, and another one, their coronation song, co-written by Kara DioGuardi. And a warning, Ryan thinks the show could go longer tomorrow night, so set that DVR now!

Adam’s parents talk about what he was like as a baby, and his dad says he’d scream not being able to sleep through the night. Adam knows he was a pain in the butt in restaurants. He was talkative and super-active, bouncing off the walls, which he figures isn’t too different from now. He redoes the song he did for the “Year of Birth” week, Mad World. We don’t even get to see that beautiful face of his for the first thirty seconds of the song or so because of the heavy fog. He’s wearing a very interesting long coat and boots. It’s hard to say whether it’s better or not than the first time, as he’s usually pretty consistent. I’ll call it just it the same, but that’s not a bad thing.

Randy Jackson tells Adam this is it; we’re down to the wire. He loves Adam showing his sensitive side. Randy loves the long coat, he loves the fog, and he gives him an A+, A for Adam. Kara is so happy he chose that performance, because from the first time he did it, she knew he was an extraordinary singer and incredible artist, making everyone else work to keep up with him.

Paula tells Adam he looks astonishingly handsome, and she is unbelievably proud he’s standing there on the stage right now. She wants him to bask in his moment. This was a great performance, and she loved when he performed it first, and it’s not as subdued, but still haunting. Simon always thought this was his best performance, but for some reason for him, he thinks it may have been a little over theatrical, but perhaps it’s the coat, as it reminded him of Phantom of the Opera. Randy thinks it’s the dry ice.

Kris admits he didn’t like to sing in front of his family when he was a kid. He thinks maybe he was shy about it. They’d pay him a quarter to sing, and then after awhile they had to pay him more than a quarter. He gave his mom a coupon for her birthday, so that he’d have to sing for her whenever she wanted. For Kris’ pick, he’s singing Ain’t Not Sunshine on the piano. He seems to be feeling it a lot tonight, as his confidence has grown since he first sang this. It was good then, and I think maybe a touch more now. This could totally be a hit in today’s music world.

As Kris’ wife nods in the audience, Randy tells him it’s been said about great basketball teams, such as the Lakers that he hopes wins tonight, and this is the thing about Kris. The funny thing about him is Randy can tell exactly what kind of artist he’s going to be and what kind of album he’ll put out. (Are we still talking about hoops?) He hasn’t heard the rest of the night, but he thinks Kris saved some of the best for last. That was one of his best performances ever on the stage. Kara agrees, saying if you can’t feel a Kris Allen performance and he doesn’t move you, there is something wrong with you. He has a way of creating an intimate bond with everybody in the audience and makes it seem like he’s singing just to us. That’s so hard to do and an incredible skill. He’ll kill on his album.

Paula tells Kris he awakened the spirits in all of us with his unique way of “Allen-zing” his trademark all over every song he sings, and that’s the true mark of a great artist. Simon wants everyone to remember it’s a competition, but he has to be honest. When Kris’ name was announced last week, he wasn’t sure if America made the right choice. But he absolutely takes it all back after that performance. Simon just agave me the chills. And by the look on Kris’ face, I think he felt it too. Simon gives round one to Kris.

And now for his song chosen by Simon Fuller, Adam is singing Change Is Gonna Come. He’s subdued n a silver suit and blue tie. I have to note this is interesting, as I never really heard Adam sing soul before. I like this on him, so kudos to Simon Fuller. For one of the first times, I feel him feeling it. He hasn’t screamed yet, but … oops, here it comes. He just couldn’t stop himself. It’s a little over the top for me at the end. As soul doesn’t really need that. Just a personal preference.

Randy tells Adam the song is an amazing R&B classic by Same Cooke, and he showed just now that he can sing his face off, which Randy has been saying since day one. He calls it unbelievable. Kara thinks it could be his best interpretation of a song since the beginning of the competition The combination of the high notes and how he pulled it back and showed the emotion in the song, that’s his winning combination, showing both sides of himself.

For Paula, it’s the best she’s ever heard Adam sing, ever, ever, ever. Not only that, he looks like a superstar up there and whatever happens, she’s in awe of his talent, and she knows with every fiber of her being he will be iconic. Iconic? That might be too big of a promise. Selling a lot of records would have been a good promise to make at this point. Simon jokes that Paula is sitting on the fence after that. He adds Adam is now 100% back in the game after that.

Kris is singing <b>What’s Going On</b>, his choice from Simon Fuller. He chooses to sing this acoustically, sitting on a stool. He picked the right thing to do it acoustically, as it adds to the natural rhythm of the song. Of course the drums on either side of him add to that as well. It’s definitely a foot-tapping thing. Vocally Adam has him beat, but as far as feeling the song, he’s got it wrapped up.


Freelance entertainment and tech writer, editor