We finally made it to the American Idol Season 11 finale! After watching these kids audition, sing and perform ridiculous group numbers for half a year, it’s only fitting that we watch the finale to see how it all turns out. Actually, if all you want to do is find out how it turns out you can just watch the last minute-and-a-half. But then you’d miss out on a ton of cheese-tastic performances!
It’s come down to Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, two singers that, while talented, are so boring that they make my eyes glaze over. (The only saving grace is watching Phillip make those weird faces while he sings. He always looks like someone surprised him and grabbed his junk during the performance.)
Anyway, the night starts off with a group number featuring all of the Top 12 (even the Mexican guy who got eliminated first and no one remembers.) They sang “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars, a song that Joshua nailed earlier in the competition and now basically owns. They should have just turned off everyone else’s mikes and let Joshua sing and show everyone that he was, in fact, robbed of the ‘Idol’ title.
Before we know it, the performance turns into some sort of creepy dance party. Everyone is running all over the stage, doing the splits and bouncing in sync. I think the ‘Idol’ dance choreographer was taking moves from those special ‘Brady Bunch’ musical episodes. (I know I’m not the only one that loved when the Bradys became The Silver Platters….you did too!)
After that catastrophe, Ryan Seacrest informs us that over 132 million people voted after Tuesday night’s show, setting a new world record. (USA! USA!) Oh, America. We all need to get lives. Seriously.
For the first of the 900 musical numbers, Phillip was paired up with a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). Apparently, “C” and “R” were too busy performing at whatever Indian reservation casino would book them because only one “C” was able to attend. While they sounded great during their musical numbers (yes, numbers. Was it really necessary for them to sing two songs?!) I’m sure nearly all the younger people watching had no idea who CCR was. In fact, I’m fairly certain that most of them thought they were watching Miley Cyrus’ dad perform with Phillip.
Next came a “fun” montage of clips from the season in which the judges were doing stupid things and saying things that made no sense. Technically, nearly any moment that the judges were onscreen this season could have fit into this montage, since that’s basically all they do every show.
Joshua is next to perform. He is singing Elton John’s “Take Me to the Pilot.” Everything’s going great until Fantasia Barrino busts out onto the stage to join him. All I can say is, oh girrrrl. What the hell did you do to your hair? It literally looks like an animal crawled up on her head and died. I think she probably got her weave here.
Even worse than Fantasia’s new dead animal ‘do was her singing. She screeched her way through the performance, nearly drowning out poor Joshua’s voice with her horror-movie-esque howls.
Up next is a special tribute to the judges, which is just basically a salute to J-Lo. Well..there’s a fresh new idea. This entire season has essentially been ‘Idol’ trying to figure out more ways to work in J-Lo’s mug (or clothing line, or new songs, or creepy younger boyfriend) into the show. I miss the old days, where the show focused on the contestants, not the fame-obsessed narcissistic judges.
After that, the Top 12 ladies sang some crappy songs in sparkly dresses. Poor Erica Van Pelt looked like a soccer mom standing up on the stage with all those little girls. I also felt bad for Shannon, who reached for a high note several times during the performance…and failed miserably each time.
Of course, no finale performance would be complete without wheeling out some has-been to sing along with the kids. Since Donna Summers recently kicked the bucket, they lined up Chaka Kahn to do the deed. Wearing a full Spandex sparkly body suit, a big red clown wig and most likely at least 10 pairs of Spanx (which, sadly were not enough to conceal her “curves”) Chaka just murdered the song, Fantasia-style. She should also be murdered for wearing that outfit in public. Just saying.
Let’s speed things up a little. Phillip and Jessica award cars to their mentors. Phillip and Jessica get cars for themselves. (Jessica can’t even drive yet. At least she’ll have a new place to store all the Justin Bieber posters she couldn’t fit on her bedroom wall). Rhianna performs. I yawn continuously throughout the performance.
Skylar performs next. Naturally, they’ve paired her with the person she’s been compared to all season: Reba McEntire. They sounded great together; however, I can’t help but wonder why Reba is dressed better (and younger) than Skylar. Poor Skylar looks like a rock ‘n’ roll pilgrim, while Reba is sporting a sexy and sleek black ensemble. Something is very wrong here.
Moving right along…we get a look inside Steven Tyler‘s dressing room (creepy) and get to hear Jessica sing “I Will Always Love You” again (boring). Why are we even going through these charades? We all know Phillip’s going to win. He’s had this in the bag since the auditions.
Next it’s time for the Top 12 guys to perform. I can hardly wait to see which “legend” will be foisted on us. It’s gotta be either Stevie Wonder or Smokey Robinson. ‘Idol’ has both of those guys on speed dial.
In an exciting twist, they bring out Neil Diamond. Poor Neil. His voice left him sometime in the 1990s and he basically just talks through his whole performance. I never thought I’d miss Stevie Wonder but…
After that, the ‘Idol’ kids sing the phone book. (No. Really. That happened.) Then it was time for…wait for it…another Jennifer Lopez performance! And because one of J-Lo’s crappy songs is never enough, they let her sing two!
If you didn’t vomit from the performance, you surely upchucked at the next “very special moment.” Former ‘Idols’ Ace Young and Dianna DeGarmo came up on stage. Apparently they are dating now and perform together on Broadway. Ace, who is dressed like Jesus for some reason, says he has something he wants to ask her. You can see where this is going. He asks Dianna to be his wife and she gleefully accepts. Is it wrong that I was secretly hoping she’d say no, just because it would have been great television? I suck.
It’s Hollie‘s turn to perform, and they’ve paired her with former ‘Idol’ winner Jordin Sparks. Jordin obviously went to the same weave store that Fantasia did because she also had some creepy mermaid hair running down her back. Hollie sounded better than she has all season during the performance, but I barely noticed because I was staring at Jordin’s hair. I think she and Fantasia may be sharing a wig.
Next it’s time for another group number that also serves as a tribute to recently deceased BeeGee, Robin Gibb. The only thing that was fun about that performance was watching HeeJun and Jeremy attempt to hit the high notes. That was HIGH-larious!
Jessica hit the stage again (um…is Phillip even in this finale? I’ve seen that kid like twice!) This time she was performing “And I Am Telling You” with Jennifer Hudson Holliday (the original singer of that song). Steven Tyler and Aerosmith then came up to perform a few numbers. Does everyone get to perform? Next thing we know Randy will want to stand up on stage and talk about how he’s worked with Mariah and Whitney for like 15 minutes.
Finally, after everyone in the building has performed, it’s time to announce the winner. Not so fast kids–Phillip and Jessica have to come out for one more song. Poor Phil looks like they just ripped the IV out of his arm and pushed him out on stage. He’s pale and is forced to sit on a stool during the performance. (I’m assuming the stool looked more glamorous than a wheelchair.)
Finally, it’s time for the results. And the winner is…Phillip Phillips. Shocker. He starts to sing his coronation song, which is possibly one of the most boring ones yet. (I miss the days where they would write a special song for the winner. Who could forget the lyrical masterpieces that were “I Wanna Be Inside Your Heaven” or “This is My Now.”)
Phillip is overcome with emotion and is unable to finish the song. (Awww..bummer!) The show ends with him hugging the judges and his family.
See you next year, ‘Idol!’
(Photos: John Shearer/Invision/AP; Michael Becker/FOX)