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

American Idol, May 26 – Midwest Showdown Has Some Surprises for the Finale


Kris Allen is back to show the final two a surprise. They think they’re going to a photo shoot, but instead run into Kris who tells them the Ford Fiestas they created with their own graphics are now theirs to keep. They’re excited. The Idols are back to sing My Wish in one last Ford video, that seems to be a culmination of the other videos put together. Ryan’s out onstage with the final two, and Crystal says she’s having a blast, and Lee agrees.

Casey James is out out playing his acoustic guitar singing Every Rose Has Its Thorn, and an electric guitar slung around his back. And we know what this means by this time. . It’s Bret Michaels onstage singing alongside him. That guy is amazing. How does he keep going? Someone needs to chain him to a bed or something. Wait a minute, that sounds like a Rock of Love episode.

It’s Lee Dewyze and Chicago singing a medley of hits in honor of him and his hometown. How cool would it be to have a group named for your hometown singing along with you onstage? However, they were all just upstaged by Bret Michaels. No one’s paying attention to Chicago right now. Matt Rogers is back in Mt. Prospect with the Lee Dewyze fans, and he says it’s the funnest most rocking hometown party. Amen, Brother.

Ryan wants to return to Simon’s favorite subject, himself. This one is called The Flirt. He flirts with his favorite subject, the mirror. We get treated to Bikini Girl again, along with Paula and Simon kissing, and every time he touched his own chest, culminating in Randy waking up in bed with Simon.

And here’s our man, General Larry Platt, singing Pants On the Ground. We had hoped he’d be back here for this. He’s a pretty good dancer, I have to say. The backup dancers all have their pants below their asses, of course. And who comes out next to sing but William Hung.

Paula is in video again, talking about working for the first day with Simon, how he was loud and proud telling everyone how they sucked. She couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth. They were like family, then became like America’s favorite dysfunctional family. And here she is … live tonight. She tells Randy he looks charming, tells Ellen she loves her and asks her to dance, tells Kara she looks beautiful, and tells Ryan he’s so cute and she wants her lip gloss back. She wants to let everyone know the real reason why she left. There’s a baby backstage with Simon’s haircut, and it’s Simon’s turn to feed him. She’s worked with a lot of people over the years, but none of them hold a candle to him. Their relationship on the show has brought her immeasurable joy, and American Idol won’t be the same without him, but as only she can tell him, it will go on. She’s right about that.

The past winners come out to sing, but David Cook is missing, as only one Cook could be on the stage tonight. Wow, this is impressive. If you’re Simon sitting there, you helped create this. OMG, it’s all the Idols, or a lot of them, onstage singing along. Paula enjoys the show from Simon’s lap. Ryan asks Simon to come onstage, and he clearly doesn’t want to, but Paula holds his hand and drags him up. Simon says he didn’t think he was gong to be this emotional, but he genuinely is, and is happy to have Paula back. What Paula said is true, the show will go on, and he thanks everyone as he’s clearly holding back his emotion. He says when everyone asks who’s going to replace him, the truth is the fans are the judges of the show. He’s going to honestly miss everyone, even Ryan. He wants to thank everyone, and says it’s been a blast.

The top 12 from this season are back onstage singing, and are joined by Janet Jackson. She’s sporting a cute shorter do. It doesn’t look pulled back, but shaved recently. She takes over the song from them. She’s singing really whispery soft, so it’s hard to hear her. She follows this with an updated version of Nasty. I wonder if Paula choreographed this for old time’s sake.

It’s the journey of Crystal and Lee which actually started together during the Chicago auditions. It’s the story of a single mom and a paint salesman who traveled 1700 miles to follow their dream. Crystal said in Hollywood she believed she was the next Idol because her kid deserved a better life than she ever had. Lee thought it was his time and his place, knowing there’s a time and a place for everything. “Together they took a journey to become something extraordinary.”

Tonight, they do yet another duet, this time to With a Little Help From Your Friends. And wow, it’s Joe Cocker out to finish singing the song with them. Now there’s an American Idol. He’s older than you’d expect, but he’s still rocking it out. This tops last year with KISS, I have to say. Sorry, Gene. That was freaking amazing.

It’s time to find out who the winner of American Idol is, as the official results are delivered onstage. Lee is already crying, and Mamasox is patting him on the back. The winner is Lee! He is crying even more. The paint salesman does good. He’s congratulated by all the Idols. He’s asked how he feels, and he says he doesn’t know. He thanks everyone and tells them he loves them, then tells Crystal he loves her and hugs her as she’s now crying. He tells Ryan he’s so happy and has never been happier. He sings us out with Beautiful Day.

It’s another year of American Idol for the books. Last year when I signed off, we had no idea the show would change this much by this season, but this time we know it’ll be even more different next year. But Simon’s right; we’re the true judges of the show, and since this is his creation, I think that’s the way he wanted it all along. This one ends with a helluva story, no matter how you look at it. Crystal and Lee were so tied to each other throughout the season, that it’s almost like we have co-Idols. They were both deserving.

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