May 27, 2010
Posted: 03:52 AM ET
*Note: the "American Idol" recaps are a series of blog posts from "Morning Express with Robin Meade" Technical Director, Keri. Keri knows what every button on that giant panel (above) in the control room does, and she presses most of them while putting "Morning Express" on your TV every day. Keri is also a long-time Idol fan and provides the Morning Express writers and producers (who typically go to bed way too early to watch "Idol" live) with a recap. We get a kick out of Keri's "take" on the show, and thought you might as well. The opinions below are Keri's alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. Here are her impressions of last night:
Season 9 of American Idol has come to a close. Simon makes his exit, Lee takes the title, with speed texing tweens at his side, and my DVR breathes a sigh of relief as it gets a reprieve from its arduous task of recording this show’s much too long season.
I know I’ve spent most of this season wishing to be sucked, warp speed, into an alternate universe where Simon, the Han Solo of AI, still had his heart in his clever derisive witticisms, Paula remained an adorably incoherent yet always entertaining fixture holding it all together, and Season 8 was on continuous repeat as if caught in a bizarre perpetual time loop. But alas, the paradoxes of time travel have kept me and my DVR firmly fixed in Season 9.
Having said that, Lee and Crystal somehow managed to make the final few weeks of the season somewhat compelling and engaging (though as I watch the parade of Idols take the stage while writing this, that feeling diminished slightly in the relativity). As the season closes, I’m not screaming at the top of my lungs, “Simon, take me with you!” Instead, maybe now I am just speaking it in a soft but firm tone of voice.
So how did it all go down last night? Let’s talk about Crystal and Lee, since they are what the finale should be all about (though you would have never known it last night). After that, your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to continue on to read about Simon’s send-off and all the star performances, if you are so inclined. There were some pretty fun moments (the reappearance of Paula, the Top 6 girls with Christina Aguilera who were all kinds of awesome, Bret Michaels took a break from hospital visits and his new apprenticeship to sing a duet with Casey, Janet Jackson showed some serious skin with some “Nasty Boys,” and there were more Idols together on stage than I have ever seen in my life to help send Simon off), but it wasn’t exactly last season’s finale or anything. Here’s how it all played out…
CRYSTAL & LEE:
CRYSTAL AND ALANIS MORISSETTE:
LEE AND CHICAGO:
CRYSTAL AND LEE DUET, JOINED BY JOE COCKER:
This would be the point I would usually head into a downward spiral of Idol withdrawal looking for distractions until January. Somehow, I don’t think that is going to be a problem this time around.
I might have joked all season that this would be my last as a viewer. But the truth is, like it or not, I am a creature of habit. If Idol is on my TV, I will watch. Well, at least I’ll give it a chance… maybe stick around to see who replaces Simon. See if maybe they can find an impressive crop of candidates and return to being the television ratings death star. It’s like a book that everyone tells you is wonderful but is really slow to get started. One that you are ready to put down, give up on, and forget all about, but you fear you might only be a few pages away from the best read of your life. Of course, that is why I have suffered through, in their entirety, some seriously mind-numbingly dull books.
So where is Idol headed? With Paula’s absence, Simon’s departure, Ryan’s wackiness, and after a seriously unexciting season… What does next season hold? And will you watch? Or will you free yourself from this television phenomenon? And did America get it right this season?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled Tuesdays and Wednesdays…
Keri's recap of Simon's Farewell (featuring the return of Paula Abdul) and the Guest performances (Brett Michaels? Wow.) is coming up on the next page... but first:
Hey there, it's Robin. I bet Keri is looking forward to a break from American Idol because she has rocked this blog all AI season! Seriously, great work Keri. Now, if you are watching our morning show going "where do I see Keri?", you don't. She is a loyal behind the scenes employee, very important to our show success everyday. But she doesn't have to write the AI blog, yet does so in a fabulous way every week! Thank you Keri!
And now... for the crazy mashup of singers and bands from Joe Cocker to the "Pants on the Ground" guy to Chicago to the Bee Gees...
This is “the end of an era,” Ryan declares as he tosses to the first video montage paying tribute Simon. Some of his best critiques… like the sound a cat would make as it jumped off the Empire State Building. There were auditioners cussing him out, “He can shove his crumpets up his bleep!” And Paula! She reminisced about her years with him.
There were some comedy bits not really worth going into detail. (Dane Cook and some of the most critiqued Idol wannabes… Norman Gentle, Tatiana, etc. Ricky Gervais, via sattelite, had a send off, calling Simon a kingmaker who discovers stars and only takes 80% of their wages.) More video montages.
Then Paula Abdul showed up live on the Idol stage and attempted a comedy routine, but it was a little awkward when she kept pausing for laughs that never really came. Paula was followed by another video montage set to “My Way.”
Then the parade of Idols began. Beginning with Kelly Clarkson, one by one, all the American Idol winners took the stage (Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Jordin, Taylor, and Kris… Wait! Where’s David Cook?) to sing “Together We Are One.” As Paula sat on Simon’s lap, even more Idols to joined in. All the careers that Simon helped begin (even if some didn’t last long)… Justin Guarini (still with the hair), the fiery Allison Iraheta, the adorable David Archuleta, Diana DeGarmo, Jason Castro, Matt Giraud, Elliott Yamin, Ace Young, etc. It was an impressive sight seeing them up there, and it really reminded me of the impact this show and Simon have had on pop culture. Though there were some noticeable absences (Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson… to name a few).
Ryan brought Simon on stage, amidst his Idols, for a speech. Referring to Paula, he said it was “great to have this little one back.” He doesn’t think it matters who replaces him because America is the true judge. They all have done a great job over the years (“… and even you” Ryan). He’s going to miss everyone, and “It’s been a blast.”
KRIS ALLEN: The reining American Idol returned to sing his latest single, “The Truth.” After Ryan’s mic was on (and hearing him talk about his mic not being on) at the top of the song, Kris was great. Oh, how I miss Season 8.
THE BEE GEES WITH SIOBHAN AND AARON: Siobhan and Aaron started off “How Deep Is Your Love” as a duet and were joined by the Bee Gees. Siobhan sounded lovely, but I was hoping they would give her something more dramatic.
MICHAEL MCDONALD AND BIG MIKE: They sang “Takin’ It to the Streets.” Umm, could’ve done without this one.
THE TOP 6 LADIES WITH CHRISTINA AGUILERA: Led off by Lacey and Didi, the Top 6 ladies looked fierce as they sang “Beautiful.” Then they ripped it apart, launching into “Fighter” with a rocking Siobhan leading it off. So this is what the promise of a “girls’ season” might have become… totally awesome! Christina joined them for the final screams and then took off her jacket and turned things down with a beautiful ballad. But what was she wearing? A black corset, black panties, and sparkly stockings that blended right in with the night sky lighting. Hmm.
THE TOP 6 GUYS WITH HALL & OATS: The Top 6 guys sang “I Can’t Go for That” and “Maneater” and were joined by Hall & Oats for “You Make My Dreams.” Umm, Sorry. I completely zoned out during this.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD: 5 years since her Idol win, Carrie seriously rocked the stage with “Undo It” in skin-tight leather pants and a shrug that looked like metal wire wedding cake frosting.
CASEY WITH BRET MICHAELS: Casey started of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on acoustic guitar but switched to electric when Bret joined him on stage. Bret, in his signature bandana and hat, was looking pretty good. Casey wailed on the guitar solo. Oh, how I hope for a hair band theme next season! Pretty please.
PANTS ON THE GROUND: With the one performance we all knew was coming, General Larry Platt returned to sing “Pants on the Ground” complete with a dance crew and a guest appearance from William Hung. This got old real fast the first time around. I didn’t need to see it again.
JANET JACKSON: This season’s Idols began singing “Again,” but then Janet took over the reigns. It was a soft, sweet performance. But the headset mic she was wearing in addition to the handheld she was holding let me know there was more in store for us. Cue the Adam Lambert lasers, the dramatic lighting, and “Gimmie a beat!” The “Nasty Boys” join the stage. Janet’s dress is removed to reveal a bodysuit with very revealing fishnet windows along the entire side of her body. Undressing seems to be the theme of the number as the dancers get progressively less and less covered as the song goes on. Thankfully, they had plenty of layers to remove.
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Posted by: Morning Express Technical Director Keri
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