American Idol Finale – 5/23/12: A Winner Is Crowned

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The moment we’ve been waiting all season for has arrived!

The crowning of the new American Idol would take place at the end of what promised to be an entertaining show finale.

The top twelve, minus Phillip and Jessica, energetically sang “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars.  Joshua’s small slip in his split was quickly forgotten as professional dancers hit the floor in the middle of the song.

Ryan Seacrest announced that a record setting 132 million votes were cast for the final two!

Phillip played and dueted with classic rocker John Fogerty, frontman of Credence Clearwater Revival.  “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” sounded great with the two of them and the audience was treated to a bonus song, “Bad Moon Rising”.

Seacrest threw to a clip of the rehearsal days, containing the good, the bad, and the oh so ugly!  He also informed the crowd that new auditions for the next American Idol would begin as early as June 7th.  Check AmericanIdol.com for details.

“Take Me To the Pilot” was heard through the pipes of the one and only Joshua Ledet, and his inspiration, former Idol winner, Fantasia!  (Why no Elton John?!)  The two unique voices sounded strong and vibrant and were cut off at the end, for lousy commercials.

A hysterical clip of Jimmy Iovine continually miscalling Jennifer Lopez as Jessica was shown.  The ladies of the top twelve, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Shannon Magrane, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, followed later by Jessica Sanchez, hit the stage to sing a medley of “Ain’t Nobody”, “Through the Fire” and “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan.  They were soon joined by the lady herself, fierce diva Chaka Khan!

Phillip’s musical mentor, Ben Neil, and Jessica’s mentor, Robert Talon, were then presented with their own Ford Escapes, courtesy of Ford and American Idol.  The final two were given Ford Fusions.

“Where Have You Been” by mega-star Rihanna heated the arena.

Country came through with Skylar Laine singing “Turn On the Radio” with look alike legend Reba McEntyre!  Both excellent!

A funny video of Steven Tyler was played.  Only this rocker would have a live sloth, a real monkey, a fake zebra, beautiful playmates, and autographed photos of music legends in his dressing room.  It was a treat to see the actual piano he wrote his masterpiece on, “Dream On”.

Jessica revisited what many considered to be the best of her performances, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.  There’s a reason this girl is in the final running.

It was the men’s turn, as Deandre Brackensick, Colton Dixon, HeeJun Han, Joshua Ledet, Jeremy Rosado, and curiously no Phillip Phillips, sang “America”, “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “I’m A Believer” by American treasure, Neil Diamond.  (“I’m A Believer” was written by Neil Diamond and famously recorded by the Monkees.)  When “Sweet Caroline” began, Mr. Diamond came out to show them how it’s done!

An hour had passed and Ryan teased the winner would be revealed next, but anyone who’s ever watched an American Idol finale before knew we had another hour to go.

It was Randi Jackson’s time to be embarrassed by his repetitive critiques, specifically ‘you can sing the phone book’, followed by the eliminated contestants choir singing a parody song with a phone book.  Scotty McCreery presented him with a gift wrapped Yellow Pages.

Jennifer Lopez promoted her upcoming tour by performing two hot dance tracks with reggae ton duo, Wisin and Yandel.  Her songs were “Going In” and new single “Follow the Leader”.

Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, former contestants and now a couple, returned, saying the Idol stage is like home.  Ryan then handed the mic to Ace and he went on bended knee!  The proposal was a bit shaky in his speech, but I imagine they both were a bit shaky in nerves.  Nonetheless, it worked; they became engaged on American Idol!

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” was sung by Hollie Cavanagh.  Jordin Sparks joined her for an inspired sing along.

Robin Gibb was honored by the guys, again minus Phillip, in a medley that included “How Deep Is Your Love”, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” and “To Love Somebody”.

Jessica performed with THE Dream Girl herself, Jennifer Holliday.  “And I Am Telling You” Jennifer gave goosebumps!  One hopes Jessica understands what a true honor it was to sing with her.

What could possibly follow the power vocals of J. Holliday?  AEROSMITH!  New song, “Legendary Child” has the old sound Aerosmith fans will love.  It was fantastic to know that despite judging a family competition show, Steven Tyler hasn’t forgotten how to be the true iconic rocker he is.  They followed up with “Walk This Way”.

Jessica and Phillip sang as a duet the Joe Cocker’s tune, “Up Where Belong”.

Hope the DVRs were set for a few minutes after ten, because the show ran late!

But it was finally time for the results.

Who would be the winner?

Phillip Phillips?

Jessica Sanchez?

Final thanks to the band, the crew, the fans, and time to dim the lights…

The Season 11 American Idol Winner is…

PHILLIP PHILLIPS!!!

Awarded the American Idol Trophy, and strapped with his guitar, he was left alone on the stage to perform his new single, “Home”.  Overcome with emotion, the winner, Phillip Phillips, was showered with confetti, joined by the marching band, and played out the rest of the song, until he removed the instrument and went off stage to his awaiting proud family.

Best wishes for a long and successful career!  Congratulations to both finalists, and to all who made season 11 as entertaining as it was!  Until next time…

American Idol Elimination 5/10/12

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A group song of “California Dreamin'” kicked off the tonight’s elimination show.

After airing the weekly Ford commercial where Phillip was conspicuously missing, he was called up to hear his fate.  Hometown Hero’s welcome and final 3?  Or an end to a long journey?

After a review of last night’s performances and Jimmy Iovine’s opinion, Ryan sent him back to the couches to keep waiting.

What an annoying way to fill the hour and keep suspense.

Hollie was up next with the same fate as Phillip…to wait on the couches.

David Cook returned to promote his new single, “The Last Song I’ll Write For You”.  This is a beautiful heartache song, and it was great to see Cook, a real rocker, back on the idol stage.

Joshua got pulled up with the same result, as was Jessica.

All four contestants sat on the couch, each anxiously awaiting the news.  They’d have to wait a little more, however, as Jennifer Lopez commanded the arena with a sultry song and dance.

I’m not sure how appropriate it is for a judge on a talent show to be promoting her own upcoming music and tour, especially in a sexy outfit.  One thing’s for sure, though.  She is gorgeous, has fun dance music, and her tour with Enrique Iglesias is gonna be en fuego!!!  Lots of fun and international times to come!!!

Dim the lights, here we go, the first person heading to the final three is…

Jessica Sanchez!

The second person to make it through…

Joshua Ledet!!

Inset painful commercial break here.

Two left.  Phillip Phillips?  Or Hollie Cavanagh?  Both go home, but one gets to do so as part of the final three.

Oh the agony of being so close…

Two different styles.  Both talented.  One more comfortable on stage.  One with a more powerful voice.

Last person in is…

Phillip Phillips!!!

Best wishes to Hollie.  She’s evolved so much from the beginning.  Her swan song was the torturous words of the lovely tune, “The Climb”.

Final 3.  Game on.

American Idol Elimination 5/3/12

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In case you got side tracked by tuning into MTV.com for the Justin Bieber interview, here is a recap of tonight’s American Idol.

After the first order of business, saving Joshua, the ultra cool Coldplay performed “Paradise” from their album, “Mylo Xyloto”.

Hollie and Phillip were called up front and center with Ryan sending Hollie to the bottom two.

Looking lovely as ever, former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood returned to the stage, singing the title track to her new album, “Blown Away”.  Side note: the wind machine was making her dress dangerously fly away, bringing her close to a wardrobe malfunction!

Skylar and Jessica soon had their agonizing moment in the spotlight, until Seacrest announced safety was to be handed to Jessica.

Coldplay came back to sing “Every Teardrop A Waterfall” with strong energy.  What a great band!

Hollie and Skylar stood as the bottom two.  Both talented, both ever so close to the singing title, but one’s dream to be crushed.

The person leaving was…Skylar Laine.

Top four left in the competition.  

 

 

American Idol Elimination 4/26/12

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The night began with a tribute band hand-picked by Queen, performing “Somebody To Love”, by Queen’s Extravaganza.

Elise was thrown to the bottom, while Jessica moved to the top five.

Former Idol contestant from last season, Stefano, returned with his new single, “I’m On A Roll”.

Joshua and Hollie were up next; no surprise here, as Joshua was saved and Hollie was sent to the stools.

Katy Perry attacked her hit, “Part Of Me”, with military style.  Cute, but “Rhythm Nation” it was not.

Skylar vs. Phillip landed Skylar in the bottom and Phillip to the top 3.

Skylar was soon sent back to safety, and there stood the bluesy rocker with the power vocalist.  Both heads down.  Holding hands.  Who was to leave the competition?

After the obnoxious, drawn out commercial break, the answer was…

Elise.  She left with the song that earned her highest praises, “Whole Lotta Love”.

Top five remain.

 

 

American Idol Recap 4/25/12

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Despite the terror of knowing this week’s theme for American Idol was the legendary music of Queen, I sat meditating in peace before the show, trying to convince myself it wouldn’t be half bad and to have an open mind.  

The nightmare evening began with a medley by the remaining hopefuls, accompanied by Queen members and rock gods Brian May and Roger Taylor.  As a group and during the chorus, the six sounded semi-ok.  Then they sang individually…and I could just imagine Freddie Mercury turning in his grave at the destruction of his music.  Mercury isn’t easy to sing at all.  Even Elise and Phillip, who had a slight edge with their edgier voices, were disastrous. 

The epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was ruined by Jessica.  Let’s forget that they chopped up the song’s arrangement for time constraints.  This young girl tried to match her vocal abilities to the late, great rocker Freddie Mercury.  The judges mentioned that rock was not her forte, saving my tv from a shoe being thrown at it.

Skylar destroyed “Show Must Go On”.  As this symphony is more of a ballad, she had a decent chance to do it justice.  She tried too hard, sounded a bit course, and the twang and the screaming along with  Randy’s approval, did nothing for my nerves.

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was yelled through by Joshua.  It had a swing vibe, but was subpar compared to his past performances. 

Elise took on “I Want It All”.  She almost restored my faith in this poor idea for a theme, until she added unnecessary runs.  She did ok, though, and I appreciated her comments regarding how hard it was to sing a Queen song.

Phillip awkwardly traipsed through “Fat Bottomed Girls” to the same amount of success as Elise.  

“Save Me” was sung by Hollie and…she did it!  She performed the power ballad brilliantly.  And yet, the judges thought it wasn’t as fantastic as I did, confirming my theory that their ears were definitely clogged the first hour.

Luckily the second half of the show was the contestant’s pick.  Jessica dedicated Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father Again” to her soon to be deployed father.  Not gonna hate on her for two reasons:  I’m not a heartless monster and she wrecked that tune, in a good way.

Skylar took on Jason Aldean’s “Tatoos On This Town”.  Destined for country is this girl.  In her element, she did a good job.

Joshua returned with Indie Arie’s “Ready For Love”.  His vocals were the ill shiz-nit, son.  Excellent performance as usual; Joshua deserves to be in the finale.

“Bold As Love” by Jimi Hendrix was presented by Elise.  It was cool, groovy but hard to understand her at times.  The bluesy rock vibe is her style for sure.

“The Stone” by the Dave Matthews Band was done by Phillip.  Unfamiliar with the song, and not fond of the artist to begin with, I’m thinking Philly may be in the bottom tomorrow night.

Hollie knocked out Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”.  Bonus:  the judges loved it, too!

The first hour was complete fiasco, while the second hour was quite entertaining and impressive.  Tune in tomorrow night to see who makes it to the top five!

 

 

 

 

American Idol Elimination 4/19/12

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The final seven sang “Dancin’ in the Streets” as a group, before Seacrest sent Hollie to the bottom three stools, and Joshua back to safety.

Former American Idol Kris Allen sang his new single, “Stand for the Vision of Love” from his forth-coming album, “Thank You Camellia”.

Elise got thrown to the bottom while Jessica survived this week.  After a longer more appropriate video montage of the late great Dick Clark, Colton was also sent the stools.

LMFAO was “Sorry for Party Rockin'” and this group always looks like they have a good time.

The good times continued for Elise, as she was given a reprieve, and there was power voice Hollie with cutie Colton.  Unfortunately, Colton was eliminated.

Considering this was his second go ’round for AI, and he wasn’t even supposed to be on the show this year, seeing as he was there for his sister’s audition, he did quite well and should be proud.  Best of luck to the remaining six.

American Idol Recap 4/18/12

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Ryan Seacrest said a quick word about the unfortunate passing of legendary radio/rock and roll pioneer Dick Clark.  The awkward sentiment was rushed unceremoniously and the audience was informed that the contestants would be singing #1 hit songs from the year 2000 till today, as well as a soul song from the past.

Hollie took on Adele’s monster “Rollin’ in the Deep” to great success.  She sounded strong, still looked slightly stiff, and managed to get positive reviews from the judges. 

Colton appeared with skinny red hot leather pants, and a hot pink streak in his faux hawk.  He sang Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and did good!  The low notes weren’t fantastic, but the rock vibe was stellar.

Elise and her wind machine, (something every girl should walk around with!) performed Alicia Keys’ “No One”.  The raspy tone was par for the course, abut it seems like America might just be sending her a message by consistently landing her in the bottom three.  

Phillip strangely chose Usher’s “You Got It Bad”, and we were treated to a sultry side!.  In the words of J.Lo (who made Mr. Phillips blush), his version was ‘sexy’.  

Jessica was out for revenge and seemed a bit humbled while singing “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys.  The only thing more fabulous than her rendition was her huge, diamond-shaped wire earrings!

Skylar knocked it out with Lady Gaga’s country rock version of “Born This Way”.  Four words for it…she came to play!  It was quite good, and I’m finding her new found fighting spirit more amiable. 

Joshua sang Fantasia’s “I Believe” and the kid killed it.  You could feel the meaning behind the words he was singing and he performed the hell out of that song.

Hollie returned with a good luck clip from the Liverpool Football Club, (HELLO!!!) and “Son of a Preacher Man”.  Listening to it, it was great.  Watching it was a bit weird.  This is a soul song, with a little sin hinted in, and it was sung by a young, blonde all-American looking but British, girl.  The judges approved though.

Colton played piano and sang a twisted, heart-felt, alternative rock version of “September”.  The judges expected more, yet I thought it was great.  Alas, the standing ovation he’s searching for will have to wait another week.

Elise gave us “Let’s Get It On”.  Another job well done, which the judges said she didn’t connect to the audience with.

“In the Midnight Hour” came about courtesy of Phillip, sans guitar!  He appears kinda goofy without his guitar crutch, and as Steven Tyler stated, ‘brilliantly awkward’, but he sounded amazing growling through.

Jessica overdid “Try A Little Tenderness”.  She sounded forced; I didn’t care for it once again and if America wants to keep her, the votes better come in.

Skylar owned “Heard It Through the Grapevine”!  She did wonderful and was like Randy said, ‘a party’.

“A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke was presented by Joshua.  Not sure if he fully connected with it, but he wore it out for sure!

Who can truly predict how voting is going to go?  One thing’s for sure; the save is gone, everyone is up for elimination and it’s anyone’s game.

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