<i><b>THIS</b> is AMERICAN IDOL!</i>


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Live Blogging The Finale With RT and K

Idol Finale Recap: Just like Highlander, there can be only one!

This was an extra special Finale, because for the first time ever, Master K and Rubbertoe got to team up and check out the finale together! Dr. L was so jealous! But she had to work while we were able to slip away and spend the day at Idol. It was so much fun. 

We were able to have a few beers and some tacos before the show,

and RT got some pictures of some of the superfans. One guy had a sign with every member of Jena's family's signature except hers -- you gotta admire his tenacity but it was bordering on creepy. We got there early enough to get great seats, about six rows back on stage right. Idol Wannabe Sighting! We saw Emmanuel Zidor posing for lots of pics down front. Don't remember who he is? I think he got knocked out in Hollywood or shortly thereafter:

So onto the warmup. The guy working the crowd up deserves a special mention. He was like a little Ryan Seacrest clone on crack. He took about a million selfies with the crowd and kept up the DJ action with music from his cell phone. Songs I never thought I'd hear at an Idol event, like 2Pac and Dr. Dre singing California Love: "Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreamin/Soon as I stepped on the scene, I'm hearin hoochies screamin'"--it was pretty funny hearing the crowd sing along.

Idol-adjacent sighting: Jena's brother was working it for all he was worth pimping himself out for pictures. RT pointed out how funny it was when there was nobody left to snap one with, he looked so lost LOL. 

So we ran through rehearsal on going nuts/bananas when Ryan kicks off the show, and then Seacrest appears, looking like Ricky Ricardo's maitre-D at the Copacabana in his ivory jacket. The show begins. You can't hear it on the TV, but throughout the show there are continuous random screams of "WE LOVE YOU JLO" or "HARRY!!!" and occasionally a contestant's name. 
They kick it off with a funny video of Jena and Caleb battling it out on a prom stage. Then the contest begins, with songs chosen by Simon Fuller, longtime Idol producer.

Jena sings Dog Days are Over, by Florence and the Machine. I have to say, she sounds really good in person, and she knows how to work the stage. We thought it wasn't bad. A good start to the show. The judges love it, of course. 

They cut to commercial, and then Caleb comes out to sing Dream On, by Aerosmith, the classic. This guy has some pipes. Holy crap, he just kept building. I don't know if this comes across on TV, but the crowd reaction to him vs Jena's 1st song was about 3x as enthusiastic. He definitely took Round One.

Next was Idol's Favorite Moments. Jena does the Elvis song, I Can't Help Falling In Love. RT turned to me and said, "really?" He wasn't blown away the first time, like the judges seemed to want everyone to be. She does an OK job, but after it was over, Rubbertoe shrugged and said he didn't really hear anything this time that blew him away either. I almost forgot, they had the Seacrest Lite Guy come out while we were on the break to warn us not to clap during the next song. This was it. I guess he didn't want us to ruin a "moment", but there wasn't really one to screw up. They praise her like it's one, for sure. All I kept thinking was, now we heard her do Creep twice and this song twice, in case we didn't get it the first time.

We really had a good laugh watching Randy trot over and hold up the numbers after the performances. HA! I guess they had to give the Dawg something to do, that redundant sack of crap. 

PS, all the security guys standing around acting menacing on the edge of the stage looked like they were straight out of the Russian Mob. 

So Caleb does Maybe I'm Amazed again. I was amazed at how well his voice had recovered after they had reminded us One million times last week that he had a strained vocal cord. No problems tonight. He did another stellar job. of course the judges had to play it up as if it was Jena's round this time -- I can assure you the crowd was not as conflicted. After they hemmed and hawed that it was a "tie" now going into the third round, one of the ladies beside us called BS on it. Regardless of the motives, they try to perpetrate some drama. 

The Director comes on the mic during the break and tells us that if we stick around, we can see the judges sing (to be aired tomorrow). Of course we are! More on that later. 

So Ryan comes back from the break and reminds us Jena was the first ever Wild Card to make it this far, OMG! Rubbertoe called this tactic way back in the season. They have to trot it out so we can factor that into our voting for this Plucky Underdog. She sings her "single", and it was OK. Catchy. RT has a theory that they give the contestant they want to win the better song. This one maybe had more of a melody.

Caleb sings his "winning single". It was definitely more of a rocker tune, but it wasn't quite as catchy. I had to crack up that he gets the explosion at the end, and the whole time he had the Illuminati Triangle behind him onscreen LOL. No explosion or choir or bagpipes behind Jena, but maybe they don't think they need them. 

So Ryan sends us off to the voting with a host of Idols swarming the stage singing the Kelly song Break Away. It was hard to remember some of them -- and what happened to MK? She wasn't there. I did a little investigating and found out she was sick, but will be on the tour. 

So the main show is over. While we wait, the Seacrest On Speed Dude whips the crowd back up with more tunes, this time with some kind of DJ app that blends beats together. RT and I compared notes about who really won the night. Without much elaboration, it was clear that Caleb did better on the night -- but that idol definitely wants Jena to won, so she probably will. Listening back to Caleb's "winning" song, it was much weaker than Jena's, and maybe the explosion was to help mask that. If you look at Caleb's face afterward, he seems a little disappointed -- maybe he was hoping to hear some praise from the judges and didn't get it, or maybe he was bummed his 3rd and final song was kind of light-rock-pop-blah? (Side note, we saw him after the show and he seemed pumped, and happy. So maybe here at the end of the show he was just coming down realizing this was his last song in the competition). 

The post-show cranks up with an Idol "supergroup": Keith on lead guitar, Randy on bass, Harry on keys (two keyboards -- a piano and an electric organ) and Jlo in a cute little dress sitting on Harry's piano, singing lead. before the actual taping, they jam on about four different songs, the best of which were Dire Straits Sultans of Swing and Violent Femmes Blister in the Sun. Makes me wish they could just play a set off the top of their heads…

The actual songs they perform are a pairing of True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, blending into Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. You will see all these tomorrow. (Take note: at some point rearranging the set they bumped Jena's Big Board sign, and it was dangling at an angle -- I kept worrying it would fall and Ricky Minor would go Splat! But it held on the rest of the night. I'm curious if you ever see it tomorrow night.) The 2nd take was by far the best, but the crowd forgot the Ryan Lite Dude's admonition not to clap, and we clapped all through the 2nd run of True colors -- it might screw up the take. Too bad if it does -- as RT astutely pointed out, Jlo was a bit 'pitchy' on the first take LOL. 

So they call it done and they break down the set again. This time they set up a seizure-inducing light array for Jlo's dance number. We were very entertained watching the choreographer working with the Faux JLo and the dancers, tweaking some of the steps. I was cracking up -- it was so elaborate, I couldn't imagine what any more rehearsal was going to help if they didn't know it by now! Jlo came out in a bathrobe and did a little step or tow, and I guess they locked it in.

So when the lights come up, and the stage facade opens, Jlo is now out of the robe, revealing a slinky spangly outfit. I can't tell you the name of her song -- maybe something about The First Time? She kept saying that, and counting off the Second Time, Third Time, etc. It was an OK banging-beat number, but what made it was that Jlo was dancing her ass off. I was actually afraid for her a couple of times, jumping on tables and whatnot. She really is a fantastic performer, she gave 150%. When it was over, just as we were about to leave (RT said, "I can't imagine her doing another take after THAT") -- they said she was going to do another take. Damned if she didn't do it all over again. It might be me, but I felt like the effort made the 2nd take suffer a little. She again danced admirably, but maybe at 125% this time. There was an amusing glitch as her mic was probably supposed to be turned off during one note, after a sequence where she probably didn't really have enough breath, and holy crap was it off-key. But hey, at least she was really singing the darn thing. She thanked the crowd after the songs, a real class act. 

So we made our way outside and strolled by the media set-up with Caleb and Jena talking to the press.

I snapped a couple pics, but there was a pretty good mob so I didn't try to get closer. I almost walked right into Dexter, and could have probably actually talked to him, but by this point I was tired and ready to head home. All in all it was a great night at Idol, and so much fun to share the experience with RT.

Now we just have to wait and see how America saw it…

Dr. L and K Out!

No comments: