Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Go, Go Glambert - Mad World Meets Ain't No Sunshine

It will not even be possible to talk about the American Idol finale without making one glaringly obvious point: The concluding song, No Boundaries, is arguably the worst piece of music (and I use the word loosely) ever written. And I am in no way exaggerating. The recycled climb every mountain, ford every stream (rip-offlyrics gave new meaning to the word "trite," with the sound of music (pun intended) definitely missing. Even Adam couldn't make that clunker into a Cadillac (or even an old Ford), though he gave it a valiant effort. 

I felt actively sorry for Kris, whose less glossy presentation of No Boundaries made its fatal flaws all the more obvious. (He had to be wishing Idol had shown *some* boundaries and chosen just about anything else.) No wonder he sang flat for much of that performance. He was simply trying to match the topography of the song he was dealt. And it wasn't a pretty ride. (Neither was Adam's, for that matter, but at least he stayed on the road.) By all rights, Kara DioGuardi should be thoroughly ashamed of herself, but the amazing truth is that she actually seemed proud of her efforts. In fact, she appeared to be...thrilled. Which puzzled me to no end, by the way.

Equally puzzling was Simon's criticism of Mad World, which was pretty much flawless in my book. I also enjoyed Kris's piano-man rendition of Ain't No Sunshine, a Bill Withers tune that suited his voice and style perfectly. Cowell gave that round to Kris, but I'm calling it a near draw, with a super-slight tilt towards Adam.

Next came the producer's choice numbers, which are always a bit of a crap shoot. In the past, these choices have been less than predictable, and they ran true to form last night. When Seacrest said Lambert would be singing Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come, I seriously thought Adam's goose was cooked. It was hard to imagine him going there, to tell the truth, but he surprised me. Not only did he go there, but the dude arrived in style. In fact, he could have been singing at the Harlem Square Club on "go a little glam" night. And the judges agreed.

Kris was given What's Goin' On, a song by Marvin Gaye that DioGuardi called "socially conscious." Kris probably called it "my worst nightmare." Okay, maybe it wasn't his worst nightmare, but I did kind of groan in his behalf. I love Marvin, but the whole thing came off as "Sam Cooke light," and I think the selection put Allen at a disadvantage. While he did a pretty good job performing it, you can only do so much with a one (or maaaybe two)-trick pony of a song. This time, I think all the judges agreed that the round went to Adam.

Of course, we've already discussed round three but that went to Adam too, not because it sounded good but because he could sing it. Such as it was. Geez. Crikey. It's been four hours now, and I'm still shuddering with distaste for the whole No Boundaries exercise. What was Idol thinking? Was it in Kara's contract that she would get to write the finale? I sure hope so. At least that would make some sense of the horror and give us all a bit of closure.

I really like Kris Allen a lot, and I won't be surprised if he gets a career out of this, but my American Idol pick is Adam Lambert. Do I think he'll win? Maybe.

If enough of his fans voted for two hours straight, like I did. 
(I can't believe I just admitted that...)


PS. If you haven't already, don't forget to check out my giveaway post (the one just before this one). Simply make a comment there, and you'll be included in the drawing.

PPS. Quick note on Shawn Johnson taking Dancing with the Stars:  No way!!! I'm completely surprised by this one, and I attribute it entirely to her fantastic freestyle and Gilles' fairly lackluster one. Flashdance?! (Say what??)


jen said...

Seriously? Two hours straight? Do you really like him that much? I've become slightly disillusioned with Adam over the course of the season. Not with his amazing vocal ability, but just in general. Last night was the first time I've ever seen him try to reign in his shrieking. And, although I enjoy his music, it all seems a little too over the top for me. But I do love me some Kris Allen. I'm just afraid of what fame will do to his cute little family . . .
May the best man win.
(And since I didn't vote for two hours straight, or even once, . . .)

Sue said...

Seriously. It was crazy. I've never voted more than 20 times for anyone, and that was in a final. I'm not sure what came over me, but I do like him...and I agree that he's over the top at times...but I think his voice is completely amazing.

As for Kris, my sister and I were talking about the same thing...his family...but I would guess that success ship has already sailed. Win or lose, he will probably have at least a chance at a career, and my guess is that he will make it.

Honestly, I still can't believe I voted for so long. I just kept clicking redial while I was watching the "Dancing with the Stars" finale. And yes, I am now feeling decidedly uncool.

And you can bet my kids will never let me hear the end of it...

Momza said...

AI ...what to say, what to say.
Adam will go on to have a SCREAMING-INTO-THE-MIKE contract. And head-bangin fools everywhere will love it.
As for me, I'll wait for Kris' first cd to come out and buy that faster than you can say, "Seacrest OUT!"

Fiauna said...

I am not an Adam fan, but I really like his rendition of Mad World.

Those songs that American Idol makes the final two sing are ALWAYS bad. I think it's their way of seeing just how far they can push the contestants.

karen said...

Yeah, I was surprised that Shawn Johnson won it as well. I had her at second, although Melissa is much prettier to watch. My personal pick was Gilles -granted, "Flashdance" wasn't that exciting, but when he has some good choreography, he is HOT! I never did vote though...I'll have to try that next season!

em said...

ok, all i've been hearing about is this horrible song one of the idol contestants had to sing. they showed simon's reaction on the today show this morning...and here i am thinking, "dang, i wish i watched that show."

Becky said...

I agree 100%. Again you took the words right out of my mouth.

Go Adam :-D

NBlake said...

It is Adam all the way for me, and I voted for him a lot of times as well, and I must say, I never vote. I think he is really talented, and he also has a sweetness to him that makes me like him. The range that he has with his vocals is crazy.

I like Kris, and I think he will have a good career if he writes good music.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

Adam should have won. His voice is amazing. The problem is that there are too many teeny boppers who can't take Adam's powerful voice (and the fact that he wont ever have any romantic interest in them)and would rather vote for a cute pretty boy. What a shame! :) Nah...they both have talent and will both do well. I think Adam will actually have a better career because he can differentiate himself from the mainstream because his voice is amazing.

Lisa Loo said...

I wish I could be with you on all this but no satellite here--I have never even watched idol. Sounds very dramatic tho!

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