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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol Finale – From Heartless to Speechless


Allison Iraheta sings Time After Time with Cyndi Lauper strumming away on an instrument. Once they get to the chorus, it’s amazing together, of course. I wasn’t sure about Allison on such a subdued song at first, but mixing it with Cyndi really works, especially as they harmonize together at the end singing different parts.

Ryan talks with Kris’ parents and asks them what it’s like to sit and wait. She says she almost forgot why they were there, as they were just enjoying the show. HIs dad says no matter what happens tonight, it’s a phenomenal show. They thank those who voted and don’t want to be asked about those who didn’t. Ryan also checks in with Adam’s parents, and I never noticed it until Ryan pointed it out, but Adam looks a lot like his dad. He and Kris’ mom are of course excited to be here as well.

Danny Gokey sings Hello and I hope Lionel Ritchie doesn’t come out, as I just want to hear David Cook sing it after last year. Danny does great with it, nonetheless, but it’s not the same as what we had last year. Here’s Lionel, who joins him on the stage to sing Just Go. Again, they producers did a great job with this, as they meet up really well vocally. I’m not fond of the song itself, but they do great together, and then lead into All Night Long and take it into the audience, meeting back up on the catwalk. Hey look! It’s Ruben Studdard singing along in the audience.

Here’s Adam’s journey as we see him auditioning and being focused from the beginning, then Randy Travis being “speechless” about Ring of Fire.” He comes onstage in a weird getup with wings, singing Beth. That means we’re going to be joined by either KISS or at least Gene Simmons. Here they are, as Adam joins them on Detroit Rock City. This moves on to Rock ‘n Roll All Night. Here are the breaking of guitars as Adam does his patented scream.

Carlos Santana takes the stage without any idols backing him up, but frankly the guy’s a legend and doesn’t need anyone. Yet here’s Matt Giiraud singing Black Magic Woman. The rest of the Idols come out and join them onstage as well as it turns into Smooth. I think they’re outdoing themselves with guest stars this year.

The final Ford music video plays out, called I Will Remember You, and it has vignettes of all the other videos they made throughout the season behind them. David Cook then comes into the video for a surprise. He gives a new Ford Fusion to each Kris and Adam, and Kris says he needed a new car really badly. They match in a silverish blue.

Steve Martin joins the stage with Meghan Joy and Michael Sarver ad they sing Pretty Flowers, a song Steve wrote himself. Steve doesn’t sing on it here, only strumming along on the banjo, and I can tell you after reading his most recent book that he doesn’t like his singing voice. I have to admit I like Meghan on this perhaps more than anything else I heard her sing. Perhaps it’s because she’s sitting and not dancing, Steve says after he knows it’s a long shot, but he hopes he’s the one to win the contest.

The Idol guys take the stage singing Do Ya Think I’m Sexy. It’s supposed to be kind of satirical song, and they do it up well, singing it in suits. Now if they all had sock rolls in their pants, it would be even funnier. Rod Stewart joins them as the star power in this building tonight is something else. He sings Maggie May, without the presence of Idols. This was my first Rod record. I had the 45. Do I need to explain to you youngsters what a 45 was? There’s Bo Bice singing along in the audience. And Janice Dickinson playing air guitar? I saw Rod in concert twice, and he does have that natural effect on people.

Here’s the last Golden Idol of the evening, Outstanding Female: Chelesa Marquardt who Randy doesn’t even bother to hide his face for as he laughs, Irene Angeuelova who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, Dana Moreno who thinks dressing sharply will make her sing better apparently and of course Tatiana del Toro and that annoying laugh. We know at this point that she’s going to win the award and that she’ll be on this stage … once again. She pretends to be surprised, as Ryan then tells her to stay right there as they’re out of time, but she rushes the stage anyway. She takes the trophy and sings Whitney Houston AGAIN! Ruben Studdard is sitting there with his mouth open. as the security guards try to escort her off, but she keeps getting away. They finally cut her off with a commercial.

Adam and Kris take the stage together signing We Are the Champions, and the leather/jeans comparison goes to hell, as they’re both wearing leather. Of course, here’s Queen, backing them up. I have to say the sound good together, and I mean Adam and Kris. We also have the fog from last night on the stage for them and 30 or so backup singers, including the Idols.

Just Ryan and and the two finalists are finally on the stage, waiting for the results. Simon addresses them and says he doesn’t normally mean this, but they were broth brilliant last night and are both very nice people. They should both be very proud of what they achieved last night. The future’s all theirs.

The results are delivered by an “adjudicator.” It’s that serious apparently. The lights are dimmed for the final time this season. The winner is … Kris Allen! Even he shouts out “Serious!” He says it feels good, but he doesn’t know what else to feel. He’s definitely in shock. They give him the new American Idol winner’s trophy, and a kiss form the lovely hostess. He thanks the audience, noting they’re the real reason they’re all here. He and Adam get a good hug.

Singing that song we all hate, is our new American Idol, Kris Allen, with No Boundaries. Allison and Adam are hugging each other and crying. You can tell how incredibly close these two are and how much they really are proud of their friend. Kris brings all the Idols out to the judges and hugs them, and immediately when the song is over, his wife climbs the stage, and they seem very reluctant to ever let go of each other.

There were a lot of people that weren’t exactly happy about the changes American Idol made this year, especially regarding the semifinals going back to groups and a wild card round. It’s hard to argue with it, though, when we ended up with one of the most talented bunches ever. This led us to a final two that was so good, yet so different. Simon is right that they both were brilliant last night.

Interestingly, our top two were both in group 2, just like Ruben and Clay Aiken, and Allison was in the group as well, just like Kimberly Locke. In a way, the top two are similar in that neither is necessarily better than the other, and that it all just comes down to personal preference. I think just like all the years, they’ll both get contracts from the Idol machine, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire top 4 does as well. It was just that great of a year.

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