THE BIG FINALE...FINALLY
Well, you all, this is it. Until this time next year, tonight's winner will be known as the new American Idol.
Jordin and Blake open the show singing "I Saw Her Standing There." Need I say just how great Blake sounds on this song? Hey, they were great together. That's cute! "Wooooooooo!"
Gwen Stefani performed "Four in the Morning" via satellite, from somewhere on tour.
Kelly Clarkson sings her new single "Never Again." I understand that there was a little controversy behind this entire album - It showcases a whole, other non-bubbly side of Kelly. Hey, I'll bite. I like mad Kelly! Then, she flashes that bubble gum smile afterward. Priceless!
The first Golden Idol Award is for "Best Presentation." The race is between X-Centric, who informs us that he is now a full-grown panther and he's the most exciting entertainer on planet Earth; Isadora Furman who sounds like something nasty; and Margaret Fowler who, dressed in the most hideous yellow outfit (yikes!), finally revealed her true age to be around 50. Margaret wins and I'm embarrassed for her. But, I have got to give her points for nearly killing Ryan with that smooch. Heeeeeeeeehe. Jennifer Hudson is in the audience, and she does not look amused. Margaret calls herself a "poem-writer" and proceeds to read something she wrote. What a shame.
The Top 6 guys sing "Baby Baby" a special arrangement by David Thomas of Take 6 (a gospel a cappella group). Chris Sligh and Phil Stacey have never sounded better. I especially loved their falsettos. That was great. Smokey Robinson joins them to sing "Being With You" and "Tears of a Clown." That was very nice. Liked it. A lot.
Blake's spotlight moment tonight is with Barry B. and Doug E. Fresh. I feel as though I have been transported back to 1992, watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire. Their beatbox-exchange was cool. You know what, Blake fans? Blake Lewis will be just fine. This was easily one of the most entertaining moments of the night.
The next Golden Idol Award is for "Most Original Vocal." The nominees are Nicholas Zitzmann, who butchered Simon's favorite "Unchained Melody," looking crazed all the while; Sandie Chavez, the teacher whose audition was unintelligible; and Sholandric Stallworth, who yelled "If Ever You're in My Arms Again." Oh. Wow. He won and appeared looking a little more...er...uh...together. Randy requests that he sings "Silent Night," and it was barely audible. Why people subject themselves to this torture for five minutes of fame is beyond me.
The Top 6 girls sing "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." I love Gina's hair. LaKisha sounds great. They are joined by Gladys Knight for "I Feel a Song in My Heart" and "Midnight Train to Georgia." Memories of a bright orange blouse and mini-skirt assuage me. I'm glad LaKisha got a moment. Melinda's dress is very cute. Gladys is a firecracker. She's still got it. I loved it.
Tony Bennett! Oh, we get to hear him sing since he fell ill the last time. He sings "For Once in My Life" from his Duets album. Love him! This man is a legend. He actually brought tears to my eyes. Man oh man! I had to give him his very own Paula-clap. Awesome. I would have loved to see him and Sherman Pore together. A true Idol indeed.
When you aspire to be a singer, you want to sound like Gladys and Tony in your latter years. Amazing.
The next Golden Idol Award is for "Best Buddies." The nominees are: Jonathan & Kenneth - You'll remember Simon comparing Kenneth to a bush baby. Well, Ryan showed a picture...sigh. Amanda and Antonella - Moving on. Simon & Ryan - Interviewing a couple of weeks ago, Simon said that Ryan is like a puppy who always wants to sit on your lap. "Sometimes, you just have to swat him off." Jonathan and Kenneth win. In the words of Jonathan, there was "lots of red carpet" since they auditioned for Idol. But, if Simon hadn't said what he said, Kenneth says, "I wouldn't be where I am. Lighten up! I have!" Yeah, well...I feel sorta bad.
Melinda's spotlight moment happens with Bebe & Cece Winans of the infamous Winans family. There are tons of them, and they are everywhere. I noticed they dropped the key a little bit because Melinda's part was originally sung by Whitney Houston. You can only imagine how high that was. I loved Melinda's upper register. They haven't recorded together for years, but as a duo, Bebe & Cece are phenomenal. Bebe's a hottie. Ah ha! She gets a standing ovation from the judges. Love my Mindy Doo!
We see one final Ford video to "Time After Time." Awww...a little nostalgic.
Jordin and Blake get the standard new Ford Mustangs.
Carrie Underwood reprises "I'll Stand By You," this time live. I like it better this time around, although I'm loyal to Gina's version.
Clive Davis makes a special presentation to Carrie Underwood, who has sold 6,000,000 albums in the United States alone. Way to go, Carrie!!! He also gives shout-outs to other Idol contestants who have done well - namely Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, and Jennifer Hudson.
Ohhhh...they brought back my babies with the African Children's Choir, singing a song in their native language. Thankfully, my favorite hasn't gotten his permanent teeth. He is absolutely adorable. Well, all of them are. Gotta love that rhythm. Hard to believe they are so young.
Sanjaya sings "You Really Got Me" with Joe Perry of Aerosmith. So much for that rumor that only the Top 3 would get spotlights. Hey, he's more popular than Blake and Jordin put together now. And, now that he's off the show, I'm perfectly alright with him, and he does a decent job. The little teary girl is in the audience, crying, and a thought crossed my mind from my youth, "You want something to cry about?" Hehe. Enjoyed Big Bird's sister jamming in the row behind her. Hey, and Joe Perry's guitar solo? Uh...awesome!
A pre-recorded Green Day performs "Working Class Hero." The lead singer always looks so...gloomy. But, I've always loved his eyes...very expressive...with or without the guyliner.
Taylor Hicks sings "Heaven Knows." Talk about onstage energy. He absolutely loves being up there. The harmonica! The harmonica! Season 5....take me back....please! Soul Patrol!!!
Jordin Sparks duets with Ruben Studdard. Ahhhhh! The Velvet Teddy Bear! They sing "All I Need to Get By." Ohhhhh, wow. That harmony didn't quite gel, but heck, it's the freakin' finale. So what? Hey, Mr. Studdard's lookin' good these days. Wonder if Mandisa's out there in the audience? Woo-wee!
Sitting next to Brad Garrett at the judge's table, Ryan introduces Bette Midler, who sings "Wind Beneath My Wings." I always get a little teary when I hear her singing it because it reminds me of Beaches. Love my chick flicks!!! Bette had a little choreography going on - flapping the "wings," swishing the leather skirt...hmmmm. She inspired Paula and Randy to try their hand at dancing, which went right over my head because I thought Paula broke her toe two days ago when she tumbled over Tulip. Go figure. Jerry Springer appears to be moved to tears. Godspeed to Ms. Midler. Love her.
And, of course, the winner of American Idol 2007 is Jordin Sparks, hereby solidifying her spot as the youngest American Idol winner ever!! Surprise, surprise!!!!
Kelly Clarkson starts off a tribute to Sgt. Pepper. She's still the best...ever. The ending of her song segues into Taylor's number. Hey, have I mentioned that Taylor looks great? That silky gray shirt was sexy. He introduces Carrie. I like her much better this time around. She introduces Ruben Studdard. He starts out a little rough, then gets much better. Oh, okay. This was all of the Idol winners with the exception of Fantasia.
This is followed by a medley from the Top 12 Idol contestants. Is this a first for the entire Top 12? Normally, I thought it was only 10? Huh?
Ryan informs us that there were 74 million votes last night. Jordin's gown is absolutely beautiful. Randy predicts Jordin will win. Paula cops out again. Simon picks Jordin to win it all.
CONGRATULATIONS, JORDIN SPARKS!!!
Finally, I live in a tiny town of about 6,000 people. This past Friday, we had our first casualty from the war in Iraq. When it happens to someone that you know, it suddenly becomes more personal and hits home. For all of you service men and woman who daily defend our freedom, I sincerely thank you and wish you well!