Wednesday, May 26, 2010

FINALLY the Finale: Did America Get It Right?

So this is the moment when I should climb up to the virtual mountaintop and yell “I WAS RIGHT!” But for some reason, I just don’t feel like doing that tonight.

The finale is never about the final two. It’s about packing in as many stars as you can (usually from the 70s and 80s) to sing with the other contestants. It’s about comedy bits with some of our favorite bad contestants (although tonight’s biggest one was cut off). But this year the finale was about the top two even less than usual. Because this year we had to say goodbye to the man who arguably makes the show worth watching—Simon Cowell. And it’s hard to compete with a man who should be dead taking to the stage to sing his biggest hit (Now slow down a little bit, would ya Bret!).

After all the Idol winners (minus David Cook for some reason) took to the stage to sing to Simon about what he had helped them become, I think I honestly stopped caring who won. I mean, what could possibly follow that?

Don’t get me wrong. I still wanted Lee to win, because I wanted to be right. But it just didn’t seem to matter anymore. And I’m not sure it even mattered to the producers anymore since they didn’t even let Lee finish his coronation song before they cut him off.

But let me go ahead and ask the question I ask every week at this time during the Idol season. Did America get it right? Yes, they did. It’s a bit like Kris and Adam last year. Yes, Crystal is a more talented singer. And she was much better last night. But Lee needed to win. If he had finished second, he would have been just another “Idol” runner-up that recorded one major label album and then faded away. This way, he gets the power of 19 behind him. Crystal will be fine.

So how would I rate the finale? I thought it was pretty good. It got off to an auspicious start with that lame Alice Cooper lip sync, but the rest of the performances were solid. I loved that Hall and Oates got to sing an entire song and Michael McDonald was unbelievable—even though Big Mike appeared to think he was outsinging him (He wasn’t.). Janet Jackson was a disappointment, as was the fact that Kris did not get presented with a platinum award for “Live Like We’re Dying.” I know the producers wanted Adam to win, but he earned that, darn it. I was also disappointed that Ryan did not give a shout out to Crystal at the end. And I think it was terribly rude that no one said goodbye to Rickey Minor. But the Simon tributes were pretty awesome—even if Paula did ramble on a little too long and a little too awkwardly. He will be missed more than I could possibly say. It is not an exaggeration to say the show will never be the same…

And that, my friends, wraps another “Idol” season. I will try and contain my excitement that it has come to an end, but let’s face it. It’s been a long one.

Thanks to all of you who made the journey with me. Thanks to the wonderful people at FOX and the “Idol” PR department who make me look good. And thank you to my editors, Andrea and Robyn. Remember, you can catch my final thoughts on this season in Tuesday’s “Herald-Dispatch.”

But as you guys know, it’s not over. There is still plenty to talk about in “Idol” world and I’ll be here to bring it all to you. I hope you’ll continue to join me.

Until then…

Henderson, out!