Wednesday, May 21, 2008

AMERICAN IDOL finale

Okay. Change in plans. Couldn't wait until Friday. Had to comment on David Cook winning.

This won't be an actual review since, well...I didn't see the show. I'm writing from the Dodger Stadium pressbox. Unless Ken Griffey Jr. sings in rightfield I have nothing to critique.

But I must say I was surprised and pleased that David Cook won. Not that I disliked Archuleta. He could certainly sing Dan Fogelberg songs. It's just that, well...I'm not twelve.

And I also hated how his early coronation robbed the show of any suspense. Yes, there was the twist at the end but that's like a romcom where Hugh Jackman gets the girl instead of George Clooney. Big shocker.

At the end of the day I think America just couldn't stand hearing one more "Gosh!"

I only hope David Archuleta's dad doesn't ground him for a year.

As for the show itself, I'm guessing it was the usual bloated padded finale. Did they do the bit where the contestants sang with established acts? Did Brooke White sing with Axel Rose or Jason Castro with Barbra Streisand? Did they cart out all the other contestants? Were there a couple of big group numbers like salutes to Nirvana and Christian Rock? Did former losers anchor coverage in the finalists hometowns where we got to see thousands of excited sheep?

How many times did they plug itunes? And Coke? And Ford? And AMERICAN IDOL summer camps or museums or tanning salons or whatever else they've dreamed up to fleece the public? How many plugs for the upcoming tour? The over-under in Vegas is 50. Will there be an AMERICAN IDOL Renaissance Faire this year?

How many former AMERICAN IDOLS sang? How many former AMERICAN IDOLS could they find?

Did they show the bad auditions for the 90th time and bring the worst ones out on stage so the country could humiliate them just once more?

Was the show so overproduced that the Orange Bowl halftime show was demure by comparison?

I'll be interested to know if I'm right about any of this. And if I am, then that's the problem. When the only thing unpredictable is the outcome and even that's a big ho-hum it's time to rethink things. As Simon (the only thing worth keeping) might say: "It's stale and old fashioned. No wow factor. Poor format selection. Sorry"

So congratulations to David Cook. And good luck next year to you 100,000 idiots who are probably starting to line up at stadiums right now. Will I be watching? Yeah, hell, probably.

40 comments:

HEATHER said...

I must tell you, David Cook sang with ZZ Top!! Then Brooke sang with Graham Nash! Bryan Adams sang with all the boys!
It was pretty enjoyable for me, but these are the groups of my teenage years, so they had me at hello! Then they had the craptastic Jonas Bros. on and um, I don't get it, but then I am not their target audience.

Ian said...

Product placement? In addition to the usual plugs for Coke and Ford, there were two movie plugs, for "The Love Guru" and "Tropic Thunder." The bit where Mike Meyers came out on stage was a real low point; the high point was Carrie Underwood, who kicked George Michaels' butt. Anyway, Ken, you have forever ruined Lisa Edelstein for me. You know what I mean.

Allen L. said...

I just want to say that the Cook brothers are going to spend the next year getting la-HAYD!
Great ending. Nice upset. America takes the bs, the ringers, the pre-anointment ointment, Randy's "I'm in the tank for squinty the right armed begger" love and shoves it back in their faces.
I think...wait for it....yes. I will buy this kid's record if for the only reason that he seems to be genuinely a nice guy, he's got a little integrity, a little grit and he plays the game with a wink in his eye that brings a Burt Reynolds "can you believe the shit I'm putting up with" quality to it.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Damn you Ian, I'd already managed to drink Mike Meyers excruciating appearance and overwhelmingly extended plug of his unwatchable garbage movie out of my head, and then YOU REMINDED ME! Thanks a bunch! You wasted almost half a gallon of my vodka! Now I have to drink it out again. (So at least there is that upside.)

But Little David A was a victim of early bedtimes; his voting base couldn't stay up late enough to keep on speed dialing for him. But in the great tradition of Hilary Clinton, he's not going to concede or quit, but keep on campaigning. The Super Idol Delagates may still weigh in. His dad's new motto? "It ain't over when it's over."

So now the American Idol Tour will be a Cook's Tour.

Anonymous said...

Actually intrade dot com a couple of weeks ago was favoring Cook. /Kate

Tallulah Morehead said...

Come to think of it, Mike Meyers's five minutes of televised torture - excuse me, I mean Enhanced Questioning - was more accuarately an anti-movie plug, as it's impossible to imagine anyone who saw his nails-on-a-chalkboard, laboriously not-funny AI appearance then going out and seeing the movie. The idea MUST have been to repell viewers, as it's the only possible outcome.

But it did make the rest of the show look better. I think I'd rather see the feature-film version of HEY PAULA than THE LOVE GURU. I'll bet it's even less-coherent than Paula.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you didn't watch it? Except for a few details, you nailed it....

l.a.guy said...

I didn't see the Oscars this year, but did the previous year's Best Actor and Actress present the awards to this years winners?

Hey it's the finale of American Idol-- what do you want them to show, Dodger highlights? They only have so many elements to work with. It's not fair to suggest the show is on auto pilot, they cut "crazy auditioner" packages out almost entirely, they moved to a new venue, totally redesigned the stage and managed to keep Clive Davis off the stage for two hours.

The show was worth watching just to see the Gladys Night and the Pips piece. The stage looked amazing and the music was generally top notch.

If you don't like this year's finale then you should just stop watching American Idol.

Complaining it's predictable just because it features some of the same musical elements is like be annoyed that practically every baseball game you watch has nine innings.

Nathan said...

Seeing Mike Meyers bless people by saying 'Mariska Hargitay' was mildly amusing once. Twelve times is Mike's code for telling us, "My contract says I have to be here, but, really, this is as good as the movie gets. Don't say I didn't warn you."

Oh, and yay, Cook!

Tracy said...

I actually liked this finale much better than the previous two that I saw, which I recall as being incredibly corny and lame. This one didn't seem so bad, but maybe it's because I liked the guest performers (ZZ Top and Graham Nash and I LOVED The Gladys Night video) more.

I also enjoyed seeing my honey Jason Castro again and still love his version of Hallelujah. Sorry.

With AI, I have learned to either ignore the parts that are stupid (product placement) or shamelessly embrace them (contestants group songs).

webbie said...

I sqeeled like a little girl when the guys started singing Summer of 69 becuase I knew Brian Adams was coming. Yes, I was bouncing up and down in my chair and clapping and singing along. And I let out another shreek when DC sang with ZZ Topp.

I really didn't see the rest of the show, I had it on for back-ground noise while I was working.

But I am happy my boy won!

Sebastian said...

I never watched a single minute of this show and I am proud of myself for that.

It's funny to read this stuff here but sometimes it all sounds like baaaa baaaaa baaaa...

Tom Quigley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doktor Frank Doe said...

Being in the Pacific Standard Time zone where most things occur and yet we're almost the last to know any of them, I simply logged on to Yahoo early found out the winner and avoided all the trauma of two-hours worth of anything FOX.

Shay said...

A particularly nice touch - after 7 years, they still can't get the trains to run on time. My TiVo (with 10:00 commitments on two other channels) cut of a split second after the word "Cook". Many other people's TiVos apparently cut off a split second after the word "David", leaving a lot of frustrated folks out there.

Was it really necessary to pack so much into the show? I mean, really, didn't Jimmy Kimmel get enough chance to be not funny during IGB? What exactly were Ben Stiller and Jack Black shilling in their pointless skit? Asking people to watch two hours of drivel and painful noncomedy only to fail to fit in the ultimate point of the whole broadcast is just sloppy.

American Idol needs to go on a fairly serious diet.

Anonymous said...

I sat out here in the desert and marveled at the utter lack of imagination in this production. I kept my TV on mute most of the time. Watching (for a moment) Mike Meyers pimp out his movie was embarrassing. I hope this "Mama Rose" dad allows David A. to return to high school this fall so he can experience the final year and graduate with his 2009 class. BTW, he is a straight 'A' student.

Padre fan hiding in sack said...

Well Ken, you nailed it. You probably didn't even know about this:
...celebration of the new "American Idol" attraction that will open at Disney's Hollywood Studios(TM) at Walt Disney World(R) Resort in Florida in January 2009. Currently under construction, it’s the first attraction anywhere in the world based on...


All I have to say is 'Oh my f&cken G*d!'

But is it really that surprising? I guess next year they will have the finalists sing on stage with the Mickey and Minnie. (But Simon will like the duet with Goofy and give the kiss-of-death to next years hottest contestant.)

michael n said...

Ken--

I loved the reference to the Orange Bowl halftime show. My wife and I, who are not particularly football fans, used to watch the Orange Bowl halftime show every year just to see how low the brow could go. My personal favorite was the year they sank a pirate ship with Goofy at the helm at midfield to segue into "Under the Sea."

Regrettably, a few years ago they stopped showing more than a minute or two of the halftime show.

Tom Quigley said...

I imagine that Big Davids's win was a backlash against all the predictions during the season that Little David would be the eventual victor. I think it would have been hilarious if, after Seacrest announced the winner, there was a mad rush up to the stage and a mob of people surrounded a distraught Little David, and over the all noise, confetti and confusion of the moment, we heard snippets like "What the hell happened?" "The fix is in!" "There, there, little David, don't cry! We can start our own competition and win it -- 'Mormon Idol!'" "Next year we'll do 'Dancing with the Stars' -- and get Julianne Hough to be your partner! Or how about a pony? Will that make you feel better?" and "Get your ass backstage and be prepared to feel my boot up it!"

Meanwhile, David Cook is standing off to one side of the stage with only his brother and his mom, virtually forgotten, meekly calling out "Hey!.... Over here!... I'm the guy!... Yoo-hoo!... American Idol!... Right here!..." And when no one pays any attention, with a "So this is how it's going to be" look on his face, he drops his microphone, and forlornly walks off into the darkness (kind of like a Woody Allen moment when Woody was still writing movies where he was trying to be funny instead of psychoanalytic)...

As for the rest of the show, for me Jack Black's performance was the best one of the night. Neither Donna Summer or George Michael looked too healthy (and these days I guess, George doesn't seem comfortable performing anywhere other than in the men's room of a public park)...

Finally, I loved Simon's remark just before the end of the show when he told the two finalists "This year, I really don't care which one wins." I think if you read into it, what he was actually saying was "Basically I don't don't give a damn which one of you wins, because I make $40 million a year and it sure as hell isn't by producing people like you two. As far as I'm concerned, you can both run out onto Figueroa right now and get hit by a bus for all I care..."

Ah, the reverence of it all!

Mary Stella said...

Sure, Ken, you want us to think you were at the Dodger game, but you actually snuck into the last row at the AI finale and that's how you knew exactly what happened!

I enjoyed the show, too, except for the audition reject slaughtering Music of the Night. At least, I think that was the song. Hard to tell amid the marching band and incoherency.

I'm convinced they tell Simon, Paula and Randy who won before the finale show starts. How else to explain Simon's lame, "After reviewing the tapes of the performances, it was a much more even night than we originally thought." Then he actually apologized to David Cook.

Basically, Simon backpedaled fast enough to win the Tour de France in reverse.

Ken, I'll put in an early plea for you to continue recapping AI next season. The recaps are too much fun to read. I always write my recap for my blog, then read yours. It's humbling because you're so much funnier. It's also a great learning experience.

cpo snarky said...

I agree with mary stella. Simon's mea culpa to Cook was wayyyy too convenient. I think he knew who won, and was trying not to look like an asshole. Unfortunately, he's seven seasons too late for that.

I thought Jack Black stole the show. He could mug his way through the phone book...

And, while watching Carrie Underwood's performance, I found myself sporting her last name.

RAC said...

Okay...

What else is on?

Amber said...

You pretty much nailed it. The overproduction, shilling for product and the "Up With People" segments. I always feel so sorry for the poor bastards having to do song and dance routines right out of the "I'd Like To Buy the World A Coke" commercials.

I actually feel sorriest for Cook, the winner; I don't think he ever intended on winning the show and getting locked into a 7 year contract having to sing god knows what Clive Davis might have him do on his first CD. "Amazing Grace" done in disco style. I mean, who knows?

Poor Cook. :(

We noticed several weeks ago that his enthusiasm was waning. He stopped being so happy when the judges praised him and instead had this "I just swallowed a golf ball" look on his face. It even seemed like he "threw" a couple of songs, didn't try his hardest.

But my faith in the musical taste of Americans lifted a bit! I mean, I can't believe so many people voted for Cook! I'm happy about it, Cook was by far the most all-around talented but I'm surprised. Cook is too, apparently, ahahaha!

Oh and I definitely know about the movie "Love Guru" now. Oh yes, I know more than I *ever* wanted to know. O_o That was outright *embarrassing*; wait until you see it. You know how sometimes on SNL they can't end the bit (okay, maybe a LOT of the time) and they go on and on beating the already weak joke into the ground and you're pleading inside, "Oh please stop now...please be done, have you no sense of SHAME, sir?".

Yeah it was like that.

Oh and the bit with Gladys Knight was cute, well the Pips were. Again too long, but hey, it's AMERICA!

Our middle name is OVERBOARD. And our last name is DENIAL.

Can't wait to read your real review! And yes, as someone else said, please reconsider doing next year. We're all burnt out right now. You'll recoup.

We all will. We always do, right? We'll be lured in by the auditions ("I'm just watching the auditions this year and that's IT!") then the Hollywood week ("I just want to see what a few of them do and THAT'S IT! I really mean it!") and next thing you know, you'll be hooked.

May as well resign yourself to that right now, Ken.

You're not immune; none of us are. Mwha-h-ah-ahaha!

ed berman said...

You Tivo owners pay so much for the service - and then on all those season finales the gizmos can't handle the extra ten minutes! I thought those machines were supposed to "know" when to record the show. I think you should get your 29 dollars back for the month.
America to Archeleta: now go upstairs and clean up your room

Amber said...

Oh one more thing! (yeah, I know, I am long-winded) BUT!

The show "So You Think You Can Dance" premieres tonight and it's actually quite good. Better than AI, I think, and I'm not a dance-type person; I come from a family of musicians and I loathe the shows "Dancing with the Stars" or "Dance with Your Mama" or whatever crap "Dance" shows have been out there.

But there is something about this show that makes me happy in a way none of these other reality shows do. Can't put my finger on it, but it's true.

But it's good! Really! Try it for a least a few weeks!

One downside; Mary, the female judge, feels compelled to scream when she likes something (if you watch the Soup, you may have seen the clips). It's annoying, yes, but it's not the show. The show is(was) very good.

If you ever liked AI at all, chances are you'd like this show too.

Annie said...

Ken not only nailed this year's finale, he nailed NEXT year's finale. Reminds me of the Dilbert site's Corporate Motto Generator - click a button, it scrambles some words such as 'paradigm' and 'incentiveness,' and voila - instant company statement.
So many shows, so little minds.

jbryant said...

cpo snarky: re Carrie Underwood - imagine how the folks in the front row must have felt. I think it may have been a Basic Instinct moment for them.

I thought overall the show was a step up, a nice ending for an absurdly overhyped season. And the best, well, only, man won.

sebastian: are you one of these folks who'll only cop to watching PBS and the news? :)

News flash: watching Idol doesn't relegate one to the short bus, and not watching isn't a one way ticket to MENSA. As a singer, I enjoy seeing the contestants tackle the challenges. The absurd and horrible aspects of the competition just make it that much more of a "water cooler" show, one of the few left. I certainly understand anyone who couldn't care less, but they should be careful while patting themselves on the back - they could pull a tendon or something.

Hugh Betcha said...

There were times when the finale show veered between being a bargain basement version of "Last Comic Standing" (especially when Mike Myers showed up) and prom night on Brokeback Mountain. Remember that opening number with all the contestants? And Brooke dancing like Herman Munster. I still expected her to freak out and stab Seacrest in the neck with a fondue fork. Plus, the two Davids seem to keep gazing at each other with "I wish I knew how to quit you!" in their eyes. I am very glad David Cook won. Davey Archuleta probably had a crying breakdown in the Fox alley like Neely O'Hara in "Valley of the Dolls" but he'll be fine. I pray for him. Personally, I think his secret role models are Judy Garland, Elton John...and the Menendez Brothers. Cook's win was also a big F-You to Archuleta's creepy father and his stage dad agenda.

And how ironic is it that Donna Summer's butt is now the size of a disco ball?

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

I'll be interested to know if I'm right about any of this.

Only if by "any" you mean "all."

dinah said...

I'm not a loyal fan, but a friend showed me the finale. At the end, where he sang the song that was written by a viewer...I would've loved to have heard that one belted out with feeling. I guess it'll be on the album?

dinah said...

I'm not a loyal fan, but a friend showed me the finale. At the end, where he sang the song that was written by a viewer...I would've loved to have heard that one belted out with feeling. I guess it'll be on the album?

Mary Stella said...

rac asked:
Okay... What else is on?


Are they doing another season of America's Got Talent?

Ken, it's a show waiting for you to recap.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I missed portions because I kept getting bored, and flipping over to the LOST repeats on ABC. Both LOST and AI were shows I had seen before (Although AI was pretending to be new), but LOST at least was entertaining, and there was no danger of Mike Meyers or Jack Black popping up, although when Ryan announced that this year's American Idol was Benjamin Linus, I was shocked, SHOCKED! (Am I the only person who believes Simon Cowell is secretly really Charles Widmore? Oh. I am.)

Consequently I missed the intro of the incredibly tone deaf creature in the white feathers with a whole half time show going on behind him, but tragically not drowning him out, or just tragically not drowning him. Who, or more accurately what, the hell was he, or it? And did he/it hit even one single pitch on key?

I'm sorry, but around the time, I think it was HIGH FIDELITY, that Jack Black decided he was Too Hip For The Planet, and began finding himself vastly funnier than I did, I just lost the ability to be able to stand watching him, and I still would like to pop Peter Jackson in the nose for making me watch him for 3 hours in order to see Kong. Sorry Black fans, but that Emperor is naked. Seeing his smug, self-satisfied-and-self-amused smirk for me left the Pips bit too pooped to pip.

My idea of Hell? Being locked for eternity in a room with Mike Meyers and Jack Black. Toss in Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider, and you have the room I wish on Hitler and Dick Cheney.

But bloated and overlong as the show was, the thought of today's millions of depressed and disappointed Mormons makes me smile.

And it was nice to see once again Amanda Overmeyer unable to even pretend she belongs in a group number. Was it just me, or was she basically going "I can't muster the energy or enthusiasm to get all the way up to these pitches."?

And to think, I could have more productively spent that time in line waiting to see the midnight first showing of RAIDERS OF THE LOST AARP. HArrison Ford, now he's MY American Idol!

Cheers.

Jonathan said...

As I winced through another group number inspired by The Brady Kids, I thought my television was going to turn itself off.

Anonymous said...

Hey--I was watching the Lakers, the Dodgers and the NCIS finale. Did I miss something important?

Tallulah Morehead said...

Hard to say Anonymous, but you sure didn't see anything important.

Anonymous said...

" . . . or Jason Castro with Barbra Streisand? "

*giggles*


;-)

Tim W. said...

"Yes, there was the twist at the end but that's like a romcom where Hugh Jackman gets the girl instead of George Clooney. Big shocker."

Quite frankly, I would be absolutely shocked to see a romantic movie where there was a chance that Hugh Jackman would end up with George Clooney and NOT the girl. Maybe I'm not seeing enough romantic comedies.

D. McEwan said...

"a romantic movie where there was a chance that Hugh Jackman would end up with George Clooney"

I haven't been to a romcom in years, but THAT I would rush to see opening night! George & Hugh! I'd sell my mother to the gypsies to be teh condiment in that ssandwich. I need to turn off this computer now. I suddenly need both hands free.

Karen Scott said...

(and these days I guess, George doesn't seem comfortable performing anywhere other than in the men's room of a public park)...

I suspect you found that joke far funnier than anyone on here.