American Idol: Upset 2009
By Noah Michelson
3. Queen Latifah sings with Lil. I won’t join what are probably going to be the throngs of spandex pantsuit haters (because YOW!). I will simply advise Lambert -- who isn’t reading this anyway so it’s really just me talking and wishing to myself -- to stay far away from her and any career advice she wants to dispense.
4. NO FANTASIA! What gives? Every single Idol winner of the past seven years graced the performance stage this season except her. And I counted them off, thinking that they were doing to save the wildest, best Idol for last. But no. Did she actually offend Fox’s sensibilities with her astoundingly awesome, manic, Season 7 performance of her not-quite-hit-single “Bore Me (Yawn)?” I hate everything that isn’t about her.
5. All the female contestants, pitch-impaired and desperate, singing a Fergie song. The excellent Allison notwithstanding (and possibly Alexis, who I think didn’t get the fairest of shakes), they’re the Here’s Why You Voted Us Off Dolls.
6. Ugh. Black Eyed Peas. The worst. Seacrest says, “Three Grammys, ladies and gentlemen,” proving that in a post-post-Milli Vanilli world, the Grammys are still nonsense. They perform some non-song where everyone’s yelling “Boom!” Because that’s what they do. They repeat catchphrases over and over until you’re beaten down.
7. Cyndi Lauper with her legs spread open playing one of those stringed lap instruments that I can’t identify, singing “Time after Time” with Allison. Very sweet, if a little unfocused. And I kept waiting for Cyndi to segue into that song about Milton Greene needing a kidney, a moment that never arrived.
8. Kris and Adam get free cars. They were just out taking a stroll on the studio lot with all that spare time they’ve had lately, and the cameras weren’t even anywhere in sight. Then BAM here’s David Cook. He just wants to bro it up with them and walk alongside for a bit, shoot the shit. But wait, now David Cook is giving them keys to their new Fords that just happen to be sitting right there on the strolling path of Fake Manhattan or whatever set they’re on. It’s such a surprise. No top two contestants have ever been given free Fords on the last episode like that, right? Cut to Justin Guarini. He’s still got his. Burger King bags on the floor. Shit’s real dusty. But it runs, you know?
9. ADAM WEARING AN EXTREMELY SPARKLY EXOSKELTON. This sort of makes him the safe network television version of Klaus Nomi or Leigh Bowery. And that’s fine. I’m in favor of whatever pushes the shit forward, even a few centimeters. Then he sings with KISS, who are now super old but still working it. Adam drops the guitar-licking opportunity ball once again. Then he sings what I think is going to be a duet of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” with Kris, but it turns out to be “We Are the Champions” with Kris and Queen. The Queen guys’ collective thought bubble: “How cheaply could we get this poof in the carapace to replace our current lead singer?”
10. Rod Stewart stumbling about. In his great collection of music essays titled <i>Songbook</i>, Nick Hornby says, somewhat ruefully, of Rod, “There’s a man who’s never let you down.” I have a dumb story about him too. I got into a weird staring contest with Mr. Stewart once at fancy L.A. store Fred Segal. I was being accosted by a crazy employee. She was loud and causing a scene. He was there shopping, standing like five feet away. He stopped to look. I was annoyed by the employee and by the fact that Rod was gawking so hard. So I stared back, with what I guess was a kind of crazy Sissy Spacek murders everyone at the prom expression. He blinked first and I won. Life in Los Angeles can be difficult, so that felt like sort a victorious moment for me.
11. A truly shocked Kris Allen sputtering, “Adam deserves this.” Confetti in everyone’s hair.
-- DAVE WHITE
Previously > AI: Terrible finale song round-up