Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Column You Did Not See in Today's H-D

As I mentioned to you guys last week, I started to have a change of heart about the “Idol” outcome and I promised you’d read about in my “Herald-Dispatch” column. So late Friday night/early Saturday morning, I poured my heart out onto my laptop.

But something about it bothered me. It was just too different from what I had written throughout the year. So I got out of bed and wrote an entirely new column. That new column is what appeared in today’s paper and online.

Just like a deleted scene on a DVD, this is the column you did not see in today’s H-D:

Every April, I start counting down the weeks until “American Idol” is over and I can get my life back. But then, at the end, I find myself sitting in front of the TV wiping away tears as we watch the confetti and pyrotechnics shower our newest American Idol.

But for some reason that didn’t happen this year and I don’t know why.

I should have been thrilled that Kris Allen won. After all, I predicted it in my blog, so it made me look smart. And he had been my favorite contestant for much of the season, so I should have been jumping up and down all over the place. I mean, I did vote for him a dozen times Tuesday night. But I just sat there, finished my blog, and then turned the channel over to something else. I decided to blame my apathy on that horrible winner’s single and Kris’ state of shock, which kept him from showing any real emotion.

But Thursday morning, just for the fun of it, I decided to download both Kris’ and Adam’s versions of the winner’s song, “No Boundaries.” Kris’ was okay and a big improvement over what we heard on the show. But then I listened to Adam’s. It was like a punch in the gut. I could actually close my eyes and see the confetti and pyrotechnics flying. But this was not the winner’s version.

And that’s when it hit me. The reason I wasn’t happy that Kris won was because I knew in my gut that America had made a total mistake. In the three and a half minutes it took me to listen to that song, I had a complete change of heart. I was now siding with the Adam fans that were posting angry comments on my blog. I believed that Adam was robbed. And with each listen to the song, the doubts got worse and worse.

All of my thoughts about how this vote was America standing against the “Idol” machine and refusing to accept the choice shoved at them went right out the window. I wanted to rewind the night and see Adam on that mini-stage screaming his heart out about mountains and hurricanes.

I still believed what I wrote last week. That Adam would be fine win or lose, but Kris needed to win. I just felt like a major disservice was done by the best singer not winning. So I spent the better part of Thursday just trying to figure out what I was going to say to all of you on this page.

I told you I take this show pretty seriously.

Finally, it was the voice of Adam Lambert himself coming through my telephone that convinced me my initial instincts were right after all and that America did get it right. In a conference call with the media, Adam was downright jovial talking about his experience. “I really feel like I won by getting to the final,” he told us. “It’s not about the title, it’s the experience. I was able to use ‘American Idol’ as a platform. Now I have a career.”

So did the best singer win? No. But did the right singer win? Absolutely. Adam is going to be just fine, and without the “Idol” title, he may have a little more freedom to do what he wants. Kris needed that title to make a name for himself. Without the win, he would’ve become just another “Idol” finalist. Now we can look forward to hearing what comes next from both him and Adam.

However, I must admit there’s a part of me who would really liked to have seen Adam get that winner’s moment Wednesday. Those pyrotechnics would have worked great with that scream of his.

Thanks to all of you for going on this journey with me this season. It’s been a pleasure. And thanks to all of the people behind the scenes that made me look so good every week.

And because it’s a tradition that someone should continue, let me end this column the proper way…

Henderson, out!