Recap Grand Finale

So the couple hours we were all waiting for, finally arrived - The Grand Finale Results show! What a waste of time. In character with the whole season, the closing show was boring and filled with commercials that probably had as much time as the actual show.

I refuse to give the step by step event progression in the kind of detail as I normally do. I shall simply select the most entertaining bits, and make mention of some of the other items they hoped we would have found interesting.

The show was filled with singing performances by a wide assortment of celebrities. The actual Idol contestants were for the most part relegated to background music.

Opening the show were Jordin and Blake singing I Saw Her Standing There. As I listened, I muttered to myself, "damn it! Blake is ruining everything". Then Jordin started to sing, and I was like, "good grief! Jordin is messing it up too". Gwen Stefani did a number. Not sure why. Really, if she was not sexy, would anyone care about her singing?

So very poor start to the show. Kelly Clarkson sang Never Again, and I hope she never again does it. It was a most unfortunate choice of songs. Seemed to me like she was shouting for a good deal of it.

Finally the show begins to brighten up as Ryan introduced the Golden Idol Awards. Essentially an award is given to some of the strangest contestants who auditioned, for something. There were 3 such awards presented, but I think we'd all agree only two were particularly interesting.

The first award went to Margaret Fowler. This is the one Ryan once referred to as Big Bird's long lost cousin, or something to that effect. The other nominees for this category of Best Presentation, were also serious contenders for the prize. Miss Fowl...err..Fowler stepped up to receive her prize and gave Ryan a huge wet one right on the lips, taking him down to the ground. Oh, her cell phone actually rang while she was collecting her award. LOL! I really wasn't sure if that was scripted or not.

The third award which was for the category of Best Buddies went to Jonathan and Kenneth. However Ryan and Simon came pretty close to taking the title. Another notable nominee was Antonella Barba and her friend. Jonathan is the guy Simon said looked like a bushbaby. He actually thanked Simon for saying that, as it has apparently brought him a lot of fame since.

The top 6 guys did a number with Smoky Robinson. I think it would have been better without him. Not that there is anything wrong with Smoky, but as we have not seen and heard some of these guys for some weeks now, it would have been nice to hear more from them. It was the same problem with the girls. They performed with Gladys Knight, mainly as background singers. At least there was more entertainment to their item. And it was refreshing to see the Lovely Haley once again.

Melinda got to do a little more backup singing with the folks she normally sings with. Ok, to be fair, she did get to showcase her stuff somewhat. Anyway, this was a pretty decent item.

Blake and Jordin were given a car each (mustangs).

Carrie Underwood performed I'll Stand By You, the song she also did on Idol Gives Back show. I liked it then, and I liked it now. I was never a Carrie fan, but I did enjoy this performance. I suspect the song itself has a lot to do with it, but I don't want to take anything away from Carrie, as it really did sound good.

Clive Davis gave a little speech, where he highlighted the fact that Daughtry has out sold Taylor and Kathryn by a lot. He mumbled some other stuff and then voila! Carrie Underwood is presented with an award.

The African Children's choir were back, and performed an item that they sang in their own language. Nice to see them doing well.

I guess as part of the comedy aspect of the show, Sanjaya was back, performing with Joe Perry. The introduction to this segment had Sanjaya at the end of a list of notable folks such as Einstein, JFK and Gandhi. Well Sanj boy was in his element and did not fail to deliver the kind of performance that we've come to expect from him. Even the Crying Girl, who was back in the audience, was brought to tears again.

Taylor Hicks made his season debut performance. He's still doing the weird looking dance moves, and still milking the old harmonica gimmick.

There was a duet with Jordin and Ruben. Yes, long lost Ruben Studdard. Apparently he is still around. Well the duet was actually fairly decent.

Towards the end of the show Kelly Clarkson came back and sang solo. As she finished her bit, she introduced Taylor Hicks. He did a little something, and then introduced Carrie Underwood. During her singing, the top 6 girls of this season appeared in the background. Ruben Studdard got his introduction and then the top 6 guys of this season gave some background support. This led to some singing by the current Idols themselves. What a breath of fresh air to hear the Lovely Haley Scarnato again. Only Idol winner absent, was Fantasia.

Other items that some possibly found interesting were:
Blake beat boxing with Doug E. Fresh (who was much better than Blake at it)
Tony Bennett singing
Bette Midler...(sounded not good)
Ford video

Ok, so that wraps it up for the grand finale, or is that grand flop?

Oh, I forgot to mention one other thing that transpired in the last few minutes of the 2 hour presentation. There were over 74 Million votes (a record btw), and Jordin Sparks won. Well I already declared her the winner from last week, so it's already stale news to you readers.

Folks, I intend to update this site as need be, but I do expect that I'll be scarce between now and next year. However, feel free to post here any American Idol ideas or theories you find interesting.

Congrats Miss Sparks!

Melinda Doolittle's Elimination

Some Melinda fans have surmised that there must have been some fixing of the results, since Melinda was clearly the best. Is there any merit to this theory?

You can see my previous posts concerning Phil and Sanjaya, and the bottom 3s. I have been an advocate for fixing throughout the competition. I also believe that the powers behind the show wanted a boy- girl finish, from very early. However, in the case of the top 3, when Melinda got eliminated, I do believe that was the genuine voting result.

Here's why. In the previous week when Lakisha got eliminated, my sources indicated that Melinda was very close down there with her. Jordin and Blake however were way ahead. Now it is true that a lot of people who voted for Lakisha would now turn over their votes to Melinda. However, Jordin would also have benefited from that to some extent. So it still would have been tough for Melinda to catch up Jordin. It would also have been difficult for her to surpass Blake. Remember Blake being the only guy left, would get votes from those who just wanted a guy to win. Also, his beat boxing set him apart, and when you add to the mix the fact that he appeals to a lot of young silly girls, then it is expected that he would be a true contender for the finale.

Now I do believe the actual result was very close. However, I think Jordin and Blake managed to legitimately just edge Melinda out. Having said all that, it should be emphasised, that leading up to the top 3 show, the producers or the powers that be, orchestrated things so that Blake and Jordin would have had the best chance of reaching the finale. The premature elimination of Phil (and even Sanjaya) allowed Blake to sail through to the finale. Phil would have split some of Blake's vote count, and with his improvement over his last few performances, threatened to outlast Blake. A lot more could be said, but to avoid getting into too complicated analysis, I'll leave it here.

Incidentally, the pairing of Jordin with Blake, if that's what the producers really wanted, indicates that they wanted Jordin to be the American Idol. For there really is no competition between the two. Jordin wins hands down.

Recap Grand Finale Performance

After tons of auditions, and many weeks of contestant cutting, we finally arrived at the grand finale performance show, with just 2 contestants left -the fortuitous Blake Lewis and the vocally apt Jordin Sparks.

At the start of the show we learnt that Paula had broken her nose over the weekend. Actually for anyone paying attention to American Idol news, this was already known. Ryan probed her a bit as to what happened, and she explained that she fell over her dog. On learning that the "bitch" (I'll let you decide who this refers to) was ok, he proceeded to get the show off the ground.

A little recap was played from the time of the original auditions. Apparently both Blake and Jordin did their auditions in the same city (Seattle).

Then came a scene from last week's results show that was not aired then, where the coin toss was made to determine who would perform first in the finale. Well the coin landed on the side that had Blake's image, which meant that he got to choose who would go first. He asked Jordin if she wanted to, and when she answered in the negative, he volunteered to go first.

Round 1

Blake's first song was You Give Love A Bad Name. This is one that he had done before some weeks ago and which he got rave reviews for, mainly for the beat boxing. So again, he repeated his performance, and again, the drummer guy made him look good. It was certainly an entertaining showing, so he gets credit for that at least. Randy said he gives him 10/10 for the beat boxing, but the singing was just alright. Paula retorted that Randy is hearing something that "we" are not hearing. She felt he did even better this time than the first time he did it. Simon commented that he is not the best singer in the competition, but he is the best performer.

In the audience were:

The Lovely Haley (and company)

Up next was Jordin singing Christina Aguillera's Fighter, which she had not done before on the show . I wasn't too impressed with the start, and I was thinking that the problem was with the song. But then things picked up very nicely. I did enjoy it, and have to give Jordin her due. Excellent vocals. Randy said she was stellar, brilliant and sounded amazing. Paula claimed she knew this would be one of the best finale's ever, and Jordin's and Blake's opening proved that. Well whatever one thinks of prior finales, certainly this one would even have been better if it was Melinda vs. Jordin. At least then Jordin would have some competition. Simon was happy to see that she chose a song more fitting for her age, but felt that she was shrieking in the middle. Consequently he awarded round 1 to Blake and thereby lapsed into poor judgment.

Round 2

After a break, Blake is shown recounting how he always wanted some drums when he was growing up, but he never got. Then one day he saw a group performing and one of the guys was beat boxing. He fell in love with it from there and started doing it himself.

For his second performance, Blake did Maroon 5's She Will Be Loved. He had some pretty decent moments, but was really bad in other parts. Also, he was just flat at times. His falsetto needs some work; it was only ok. Randy thought it was a great song, and very nice vocal (a strange comment I do say). Paula said he sounded great. Simon commented that it was good, safe, not as good as his first showing of the night, and didn't think it was so wise to choose that particular song since it probably won't have much of an impact.

As there was with Blake, there was likewise a little recounting of Jordin's growing up, and how she got involved in singing.

Jordin chose to do A Broken Wing for her second performance. This is one she did earlier in the season. I felt the singing was great, but the song itself could do with slightly more work. Randy thinks she might be the most talented 17 yr old he has ever encountered. He said it was brilliant, flawless and better than the original. Paula started with the "you look adorable bit", but she did have more positive comments to add. She expressed that Jordin was "in great great vocal voice tonight". Simon's only feedback was, "Now that, was great".

Round 3

This is the round that features the song that was selected from the song writing competition. The winning song is called This Is My Now.

I think Blake actually did decently on this one. It was one of his better performances I would have to say. Randy acknowledged that this is not the kind of song that would suit Blake, but conceded that he did well nevertheless, and told him that he didn't have to feel too bad about it. LOL. Paula had nothing but praises. (Is anyone surprised?) Simon thought it was odd and made reference to the jumping around in the middle. He took that as a sign of frustration. Simon understood this is not really the type of song Blake would normally sing, and so concluded that he needs to be judged based on his prior two performances. He also mentioned that his feeling that Seattle had talent was now proven right.

Then it was Jordin's turn to give her rendition of the same song. Jordin is more of the ballad type, so one would expect her to do well with it. She did not disappoint. However she did have an unnerving look on her face near the start, as if she had forgotten the words. Thankfully that was not the case. Then again, not many would know if she actually did. She did have a little trouble finishing the song, as her emotions apparently overloaded and brought her on the verge of tears (in the good sense). She must have realised how well she was doing. Randy emphasised that it is a singing competition and so Jordin wins for the night. Paula...nevermind. Simon reflected that he didn't think she was good enough to make it to the finals up till last week. Then he apologised, and remarked that she wiped the floor with Blake on that song. Indeed!

Ryan asks the judges for their final comments. Randy did not hold back on his feeling that Jordin won. Paula couldn't come to a decisive conclusion, as usual. Simon awarded Blake the best single of the night, but gave the overall prize to Jordin.

Closing the show, was a little something from Chris Daughtry, live on stage.

As I declared from last week, Jordin is the American Idol. I will not relent on this. She will beat Blake by a significant margin. A pity we were deprived of a more exciting finale with Jordin facing Melinda. Now that would have been a tough one to call.

Recap Top 3 Results Show

Well the show to tell us who will be in the finale finally arrived. I must say that the result is somewhat depressing, and so it is with some struggle that I prepare this recap.

Commencing the show was a little clip of Homer Simpson announcing or trying to anyway, the results show.

From this early we are made aware of the fact that Brandon was in the audience. Remember Brandon? (see his pic further down)

We all know the top 3 contestants got to return home during the week prior to their performance. The results show was essentially a recap of their trip back home. Each contestant were met by mayors/governor, and a great many fans. In addition, it seems they each got a day dedicated to them in their respective states.

Jordin Back At Home

Blake Back At Home

For some reason Blake seemed to have had almost all female fans. That proves to me that he hasn't really made it so far based on his singing.

At Blake's home town, the following guy was spotted.

Recognise him? I can't say for certain, but he seems to be the guy who appeared challenged in some way, who auditioned earlier and became friends with the guy Simon said looked like some creature in the jungle with the big eyes.

Melinda Back At Home

After the clip of Jordin's trip back home, Ryan started to give the run down of the judges' comments of her performances the previous night, as if he was about to start giving the results. But he stops just short of that, and tells her she will get the news later on.

Other notable persons in the audience were Lakisha (with Brandon), and the Lovely Haley.

I should probably mention that Blake did the national anthem while he was home, and it didn't sound good. In fairness to him, it wasn't clear whether it was his voice, or just the accoustics of the setting.

Ryan basically did the same thing for Blake as he did for Jordin, in acting as if he was delivering the results.

Certainly one of the great highlights of the show, was the return of Elliott Yamin, the great. This guy made it to the top 3 in season 5, but America didn't think the best vocalist of that season should have had a place in the finale. Well Elliott did a live performance, and it was excellent. Good song and superb singing! Ryan solicited the judges' comments on his performance. Randy said it was hot. Paula replied that she was speechless and so proud of him. Simon said it was not great, but quickly added that he was kidding and it was great.

Throughout the show Simon seemed down. Ryan even called him out on that, and asked why he was sulking. He claimed he wasn't, and mumbled some excuse about it being cold. In hindsight, it seems Simon knew the result, and knew things were not right.

After Elliott's fine showing, Ryan started to introduce the break. In doing so, he said Melinda would be going home after. I was like, "What the?? Did he just blunder and give away the result early?" Then I figured out he was referring to her return trip. Or was I right in my first thought?

The routine Ford video managed to find its place in the show. Song for the video was Everybody Wants You.

After the recap of Melinda's trip home, there was another live performance, this time from the band Maroon 5. A waste of time if you ask me.

Ok, so we finally get to the last few minutes of the show, when the focus is on some incidental details, the actual results. So the 3 contestants are now centre stage. Ryan calls Jordin to step forward. After almost 60 million votes, Jordin is declared a grand finalist. Well this wasn't altogether surprising. We all know Jordin is quite talented and has been a candidate for the finale for some time now. But the question now raised is, what about Melinda? The producers' behaviour throughout the season, seemed to have indicated that they wanted a boy-girl finale. But surely they wouldn't allow Melinda to fall by the wayside. Would they?

Ryan calls Melinda forward and gives the sad sad news, that the road ends here for her. Blake managed to squeeze through. Or should I say, the producers paved his path to get there. Well, it doesn't seem that Simon got his way this time. His girl got cut. I was also wrong in my guess that Melinda was a sure thing for the finals, based on Simon's comment he wanted her there. It seems the producers are not all equal, and they do not all agree.

We all know this result is highly suspicious. Theories and ideas will be forthcoming.

Simon, we feel your pain .....................Jordin can't believe she outlasted Mel

One thing is for sure: Jordin will be the next American Idol. It is by no means too close to call, and so I call it.

Recap Top 3

We have reached the penultimate round of the performance shows. It won't be long now before a new American Idol is crowned. But the final two must be determined, and that's what this round will do.

With just 3 contestants left, each gets to do 3 songs. The judges were the ones to decide the song that they'd first sing. The next song was determined by the producers, and the final one the contestants got to choose a personal favourite.

The Idols were given the opportunity to return home during the week. While they were there, the mayors (or governor) of the respective towns delivered the news to them of which songs the judges selected.

Round 1

First up for the night was Jordin Sparks. Simon was the one who selected her song, and he chose Wishing On A Star. Well this is not one I am familiar with, or at least, I don't think so. While listening to Jordin, I couldn't decide if it was the song itself, or the particular arrangement, but whichever it was, it didn't really appeal to me. However, her singing was great one would expect. Randy said it was a very good vocal and likened it somewhat to Beyonce. Paula thought Simon picked a good song, and said it was a great way to start the show. Simon acknowledged that she sang it brilliantly, but did not like the jazzy arrangement. He prefers the pure version, and so did not think this was one of her better performances.

Paula got to choose Blake's first song. Her pick was Roxanne, by The Police. I wasn't greatly impressed. I thought he did ok. Randy called it a great great performance, and gave it an A overall. Paula said he did her proud. Well we know Paula is biased towards Blake, so it wouldn't be surprising for her to give praises even if Blake came out on the stage and croaked like a frog. Simon did not think it was earth-shattering, and said he could not say it was fantasic; just good.

Randy's song selection for Melinda was Whitney Houston's I Believe in You and Me. Melinda did great as usual. Listening to her, it is very difficult to tell that she is not an already estasblished star. Randy explained that the reason he chose this song, was to throw her a challenge, seeing that the song is difficult to sing, and thereby see just how good she is. Well he thought it was hot and so passed his test with flying colours. Paula said it was fantastic, and one of her best performances. Simon acknowledged that the song is difficult to sing, which just goes to show how impressed he was, as he remarked that it was her best performance in the last 4 weeks. Round 1 he awarded to Melinda.

At this point Ryan and Randy had a little dialogue, where at one point, Ryan sounded somewhat unintelligible, and maybe a little giddy. Well this prompted Simon to ask Ryan if he were drunk! Ryan looked dumbfounded, and had to ask Simon if he was really asking him that. Most know that Paula is normally the one people suspect of being drunk, so that's probably why Ryan was surprised that the question was directed at him.

Round 2

Now it is the producers who get the power to assign each contestants' song.

Jordin was given Donna Summer's She Works Hard For The Money. I would say it was a fair showing. But the producers could have done a better job in song selection. Anyway, Randy felt it was very nicely done, and commented that it didn't really matter what she sings, as she always works it out. Paula judged it fantastic. When it was Simon's turn to comment, He started laughing at something Paula said, and so had a little difficulty getting out what he wanted to say. It seems he agreed it was a very good performance, but added that the arrangement was a little old fashioned.

Ryan then commented that tonight it is Simon who is not making sense. Again, we all know that Paula is usually the one not making sense.

The producers gave Blake, This Love, by Maroon 5. I listened to him twice. The first time, I watched as I listened, and the second, I just listened. The second time round, I thought it was somewhat reminiscent of Sanjaya's performances, discounting the beat boxing of course. Take that however you will. Randy advised him that when he is going to do a record or album, he should do this type of song. Paula felt that Blake was having a good night. Simon said it was better than the first, did not sound like a copy performance, and was good. Ryan highlighted how difficult it was for Simon to get that out.

Melinda got stuck with the producers' choice of Nutbush City Limits, by Tina Turner. But it turned out to be an interesting performance. Quite lively, and well sung (of course). Randy commented that it was another great song, and encouraged her to make this sort of stuff part of her repertoire. Paula recited, "we love you, we love you, and we love you". Simon was quick to point out that that is why they hired Paula for this show. LOL! Simon loved that side of Melinda, and again, thought it was another brilliant performance.

Ryan asked the judges who won this round. Randy called Melinda. Simon after some hesitation declared it a tie, and Paula followed up with "yeah".

Round 3

Jordin chose to do I Who Have Nothing, the song she did some rounds before that boosted her ratings tremendously. Well, it was a good choice for her, for it was great. Just excellent. And moving! Randy said it was her best of the night. Paula told her she sounded really great. Simon did not dispute the fact that she sang it really well. However, he didn't like that as a 17 year old she was singing a "60 year old" song.

Blake chose Robin Thicke's When I Get You Alone. I guess the first mistake was choosing that guy's song. It sounded bad from the start, and the beat boxing couldn't salvage it. He is full of moves though. Alas, I was not impressed. Randy wasn't too enthusiastic either, and said it was just alright (pronounced the Randy way of course). Paula felt he gave 3 great performances. Simon actually claimed to really like it.

Like Jordin, Melinda chose to do a song that she had done some rounds before, I'm a Woman. Needless to say, Melinda did well. Randy praised her demonstration throughout the night of her vocal range and ability. He said she could sing anything, even the phone book. Simon loved the little "strip tease" at the start. He also lauded her consistency week after week.

After the performance recaps, Ryan asked the judges who they think will be in the finale. Randy said he wanted 2 girls if it is based on singing. Paula wasn't able to say, as she thought it was too close. Well, quite a surprising response from Paula, wouldn't you say? Who would have expected that from Paula? Simon only expressed that he wants to see his girl Melinda there.

Ok, that's it for the top 3 recap. Clearly the top 2 of the night were Melinda and Jordin. But will the producers allow Blake to go through? I have no doubt Melinda will be there. Even if the voters did foolishness and failed to vote enough for her, the producers would see that she is in the finale. Simon has spoken, after all. So it's just a question of whether Melinda will face Jordin or Blake.