Tuesday, May 19, 2009

AI- Top 2 Performance

We see bits and pieces of Adam’s and Kris’s auditions, and a synchronized “I am the next American Idol” (they must tape all of the Hollywood-bound saying it because while someone might have predicted that Adam would go the distance, I’ll bet the farm that no one saw Kris coming).

There is a huge studio audience tonight (did I ever tell you all how I nearly won a trip to the Season 6 Finale, courtesy of the Washington State Lottery?). I wish I was there right now.

Randy, in a plaid jacket, purple gingham shirt, and purple polka dot tie, looks like my 8th grade science teacher. Kara has very pretty curly hair and an elegant one-shouldered black dress. Paula is overtanned in unlined lime green satin (we'll see shortly, just how unlined the bodice is). She has the unfocused look of someone who ought to be wearing glasses. Simon is sort of Studio 54 in a half-unbuttoned white shirt and dark jacket.

Carly Smithson is in the house. So are the rest of the Top 13. Some of them look positively underwhelmed (I’m talking to you, Matt).

Tonight Adam and Kris are going to sing three songs apiece- their favorite song from the season, a Simon Fuller choice, and the coronation song (written by Kara). Ryan mentions that the 2-hour finale, will not, in fact, be over in two hours, so we should set our DVRs accordingly. I, personally, don’t have a DVR (and would not miss the finale anyway), but I appreciate the heads up.

Kris won the toss and elected to go second, so Adam is up first.

Adam’s parents are attractive and mainstream, and very proud of their son, who used to be noisy, hyper, and sleepless (I had one like that. It’s exhausting.)(He’s not like that any more. Well, okay, he’s still occasionally noisy). Adam has very wisely chosen to reprise Mad World. He’s wearing a black wool trench coat, fingerless gloves, lots of fine neck chains, and a black boutonnière. They’ve trotted out the smoke machine, and ramped up the drama (neither of which are necessary). For the first time, I notice that Adam has gorgeous eyes, though mostly I’m listening to his flawless and beautiful performance. Wow!

OMG! Anthony Hopkins! Hannibal Lechter is in the house!

Here’s a shocker: Kris was an adorable kid. His parents are still adorable, and adoring. Kris is singing Ain’t No Sunshine. He’s sitting at the piano, in a short-sleeved white tee, a black vest, and several braided leather bracelets. This is also an excellent choice and a lovely performance. Once again, Kris proves that he deserves his spot. And since it’s my night to notice things that everyone else likely saw long ago, I suddenly realize that Kris has some guns.

After the first song for both, Simon calls it for Kris.

Simon Fuller chose A Change is Gonna Come (the song that made me fall in love with Taylor Hicks), for Adam. Despite the earrings, Adam looks very 50’s in a gray polished cotton suit and blue tie. Again, wow! I would never have paired Adam with the blues, but this performance is wonderful.

Simon Fuller selected What’s Goin’ On for Kris. I love this song, and I love the bongos and the arrangement. Kris is wearing a ratty t-shirt and bleach-spotted jeans, and accompanies himself on the guitar. It’s not as strong a performance as Adam’s, but comparing them is like comparing apples to telephone poles. At least this is the last time this season that I’ll have to hear Randy complain about song choice when the kid didn’t choose the damn song.

Simon calls this round for Adam. So, is that cute little blonde girl Kris’s daughter?

Next up is Kara’s coronation song. Adam is wearing a black jacket with an oddly textured shoulder, and confusing pants. I can’t decide if they’re metallic and vaguely MC Hammerian, or if that’s an optical illusion. The boots look like they came from a galaxy far far away.

The song? It’s hard to tell. I can’t make sense of the lyrics, and the melody eludes me completely, but I’m pretty sure that it involves striving and overcoming and rainbows and puppies, wrapped up in a tidy, screaming package.

Kris is going to sing the same song. Ah, the title is No Boundaries. Kris is wearing a wrinkled black jacket with epaulets and big patch pockets. And yep- rainbows and puppies and optimism- all the usual coronation song schmaltz in a schmaltzy coronation song. Thanks, Kara. The judges damn Kris with faint praise, and Kara admits that the song wasn’t written for him. They very carefully do not say that they expect and want Adam to win, but it's obvious just the same.

Lookie here! It’s Carrie Underwood, in all black, with a bustier and sparkles, and boots that are definitely made for stompin’. She’s singing Home (or whatever the title of the song that they’ve been playing all season). They show clips of the famous and infamous. The loved and reviled. The good and bad. I have an enormous affection for all of these kids (well maybe not for Megan. Or for Normund Gentle. Though I admit to a small hope of seeing Tatiana tomorrow night). It’s been an amazing season, and I am glad I’m not voting tonight. A couple of weeks ago, I would have said that Adam had a lock on the title. But tonight, I’m not taking any bets on the outcome. I can’t wait to find out who’s going to win this sucker.

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