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…

2012 Billboard Music Awards Recap – 5/20/12

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This year’s Billboard Music Awards was hosted by Modern Family’s Ty Burell and Julie Bowen, funnier on their show, decent jokes throughout the show.

LMFAO kicked off the BBM Awards show with a medley of their hits.  It was an atmosphere of party rockin’ that you wanted to be a part of, complete with a boogying zebra in sparkly underwear, a pink teddy bear, and happy dancing!

Justin Bieber was awarded the Social Artist of the Year Award, and with near 22 million Twitter followers, it was a no brainer.

Robin Gibb, who passed away an hour before the show, was given a moment of silence.  Cancer claimed another disco legend; Gibb was only 62.

Katy Perry won the Spotlight Award, the only other recipient being the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.  She plugged her new movie out July 4th weekend and teased her upcoming performance as one of her most personal songs.

Kelly Clarkson sang her new single, “Dark Side” in a beautiful red dress.

The Wanted brought the European club vibe in the MGM Grand, by singing “Chasing the Sun” and “Glad You Came”.

Miley Cyrus looked ridiculous in her outfit, a white tuxedo jacket that was trying too hard to be sexy, as she presented Wiz Khalifa with the New Artist Award.

Chris Brown lip-synced to “Turn Up the Music” but displayed a great physique and dance routine.

Natasha Bedingfield came out to pay tribute to Donna Summer by messing up the lyrics to “Last Dance”.  Worse was the network cutting to commercial before it was done.

Woman of the Year went to sweetheart Taylor Swift.

Usher performed his hot dance track, “Scream”, where the woman in a red cape in his intro turned into a man in a tux!  Props for the magician trick and for turning it out.

Hot 100 Song of the Year went to “Party Rockin'” from LMFAO.

The Biebs took to the stage with HEAVY Michael Jackson influence.  He did a great job; nice choreography, black lights with fluorescent costumes and singing live.

Adorable Carly Rae Jepson sang her catchy smash, “Call Me Maybe”.

Top Duo or Group went to LMFAO.

Carrie Underwood sang “Blown Away” with the strong tornado wind machine.

Lil Wayne won Male Artist of the Year.

Linkin Park, an underrated fantastic rock band,  sang “Burn It Down.”

Chris Brown took R&B Artist of the Year.

“Wide Awake” was performed by Katy Perry in a white wedding dress while swinging on a giant rope swing.

John Legend sang “The Greatest Love of All”, while Jordin Sparks took on the monster, “I Will Always Love You” with beautiful results.

Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown received the Millennium Award on behalf of the Voice, Whitney Houston.

The Goodie Mob & Cee Lo Green join together to sing “Fight to Win” as the one legged dancer in a soldier’s uniform stole the show.  Jean Sok from Michael Jackson:  the Immortal Tour was the talented young dancer.  (Highly recommend, awesome show!)  Then came their tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys, through the anthem “Fight For Your Right”!

A Long Island band won Billboard and Chevrolet’s Battle of the Bands!  Patent Pending played on probably the biggest stage of their life, “Dance Till We Die”.

Nelly Furtado came out ghetto fabulous with “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)”.  Dancing in heels?  Ha!  Try dancing in stilts like her performers did!

Stevie Wonder received the Billboard Music Icon Award, after reminding the audience how iconic he is by dueling with Alicia Keys on “Higher Ground” and “Overjoyed”.  Stevie requested an ‘impromptu’ chorus of Alicia’s song, “Empire State of Mind” for his birthday.  After his speech to love one another, he sang “Join Our Love” and played harmonica!  Ending the telecast, he sang “Superstition”.