Gospel Soundcheck

Can you believe that tonight we see the final contestant performances of this season of American Idol? Did you think back during Hollywood Week that we’d have Adam Lambert and Kris Allen as the final two contestants standing? I’m not surprised Adam’s here; from the beginning he was featured in the auditions. But Kris Allen? Talk about a dark horse.
I’m blogging live tonight as Adam and Kris perform; you can see what they have to say about their Idol journey in some video from American Idol.
I’ll see you here tonight for the finale of season 8 of American Idol!
7:35 PM – Are you excited? I’m excited. In fact, I’m so excited I’m going to have an Abbott’s custard wheel before the show and get my sugar fix. I have to confess, though, that I’m about ready for Idol to be over. I’ve been covering it so closely this season that I’m a bit overdosed. And it kind of gives you a warped view of reality; I feel like I know these people. Today, one of the contestants twittered and I started to respond like I would to a friend, and thought … whoa. Time for the finale.
7:54 PM – This is really quite exciting, for a variety of reasons. In a 25 hours we’ll know who wins this competition. I’ve had so much invested in it that I couldn’t walk away now if I wanted. Next week, though, I’ll be at puppy training class teaching Bandit how to be a good dog. He’s actually already a very, very good dog. It’s really training for me and David.
Oh, and by the way? I was supposed to go to Las Vegas this week with my sister and her husband, but we ended up backing out. While owing taxes this year was a main factor I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the Idol finale would have been difficult to cover from the slot machines. And since some of you really did miss me when I was at GMA … shoot, I can go to Las Vegas anytime, right?
So here we go!

We’re starting with some video clips from Adam and Kris from the early auditions, as well as some clips from their journey. Cool. The energy is almost tangible through the television. Ryan says it’s the battle of the acoustic rocker vs. the glam rocker, the guy next door vs the guy liner. Err … alright. What is Randy wearing? His suit and shirt and tie don’t match. Do they?
Here are Adam and Kris, out to welcome everyone. Kris won the coin toss and is letting Adam go first. Let’s see if it even matters.
The guys will each sing three songs: their favorite song from the season; a song chosen by Idol producer Simon Fuller; and the winner’s single co-written by Kara DioGuardi. This should be interesting.
TiVo warning: Ryan says the show is already scheduled to go long, to make sure you don’t end up missing the end of the show.
Adam’s parents share a little dirt on baby Adam in his video: he was a screaming child, talkative and hyperactive. He’s singing “Mad World”, from the birth year week performances. He’s coming down the stairs amidst fog and shadows. I’m not sure that this was the best choice of song for him. His fans love his over the top theatrics, and from all of the songs he’s done, he could have picked something really … well, Adamesque. Or more Adamesque. Randy says he loved that he showed his sensitive side, the fog, the long coat and gives him an A+. Kara is so happy he chose that song and it showed he’s an incredible artist. Paula tells Adam he looks astonishingly handsome and she’s proud of him. She tells him to bask in his moment. Blah blah blah, Paula. Simon says he always thought it was his best performance during the season but this time it was a little bit overtheatrical. I AGREE. Simon says it’s a little “Phantom ofthe Opera;” Randy says “Twilight.” Adam is going to go on to have a career in film and music or stage.
Here’s some info about Kris from his video: as a kid, he didn’t like to sing in front of family so they’d pay him a quarter. Kris’ personal pick is “Ain’t No Sunshine” and he’s on the piano. Good pick Kris.He did a great job on this song during the season and he’s reprise is even better. You can talk all you want about Adam’s vocals, but Kris matches him note for note, and his music is more accessible. Randy says it was one of his best peformances ever this season. Kara agrees, and says that he creates an intimate bond with everyone in the audience. Paula says he “awakened the spirit in all of us” and “Allenizing ….” something. Simon says we need to remember that it’s a competition. He admits that last week when he heard Kris’ name last week he wasn’t sure if America had made the right decision, but he takes it all back after that performence. I’m telling ya, Kris is going to win.
I say round one goes to Kris – and Simon agrees!
We’re back for round two, and Ryan says it’s too close to call. Simon Fuller picked “Change Is Gonna Come” for Adam. Oh, this is good. It shows how great a singer Adam really is, without the theatrics. OK, I take that back – the end is getting a little over the top. Wow, is that feedback on the mic? Very nicely done, Adam. Very, very nice. Randy says that Adam just showed that the real reason Adam’s there is because he can “sing your face off.” Kara says it mayhave been his best performance and interpretation since the show began. Paula says it was the best she’s ever heard him sing ever ever ever. And he looks like a superstar, and she’s in awe of his talent and proclaims him “iconic.” Simon says that after that performance, Adam is “is 100% back in the game.” That might be tough to beat this round.
Let’s see what Kris has for us after the break.
Kris is singing “What’s Going On.” I LOVE THIS SONG. Kris is back with his guitar; fantastic. I’m sorry, Kris has it all over Adam tonight. He’s proof positive that less is definitely more. Randy says “We got ourselves a real live dual competition”. He said it as a little bit light for the room, etc. Kara says she loves that Kris has been true to himself and likes that Simon Fuller chose a sociallly conscious song. Paula says he “tore that song up and made Marvin Gaye proud.” Simon says he loved the song but it was like “three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye” and said it was too laid back for a night like this. Hmm. Not buying it.
Round two goes to Kris in my opinion. Simon says this round goes to Adam, a million percent.
After the break, the final round. So I’m watching an ad for a new show, Mental, and there’s The Fray’s “I Found God”. Cool.
Hey, there’s Ryan with all of the Idol contestants. Nifty
Adam’s up first singing the song Kara co-wrote. Question: why does the winner’s song have to be so wimpy? In fact, every song sounds the same. Every Idol contestant sounds terrible singing it and it’s stupid. This is terrible. You’d think Kara would have written a decent song for the show and her pet contestant, Adam. Blech. He looks like he’s in as much pain singing it as I am hearing it. Let’s see if the judges will honestly critique it. Adam looks like he just wants to get through the critique. Randy says Adam can sing anything, but that was not one of his favorite performances and it was pitchy. Kara says on behalf of her cowriters that it’s amazing to hear him sing her song. He says, “Thanks for giving me that song, it was beautiful.” Pauls is doing some final fawning. Simon says he’s not going to judge that song but him over the season, and Adam has been one of the best and most original contestants, and that he feels like they’ve found a genuine star with Adam.
Phew, Adam must be relieved that that’s all over. He tells Ryan he really embraced the chance to do that Sam Cooke song; that was a really great performance. Let’s remember Adam that way.
After the break, Kris takes on the same song. Can’t wait to hear his interpretation.
Wow, can you believe it’s come down to this? The final song. The final performance. Kris Allen singing “No Boundaries.” Already he’s 100% better. That song is horrible. HORRIBLE. Randy says Kris should be proud and that key was a little high, but he’s an amazing competitor and the song fit his voice better than Adam. Kara says she doesn’t want him to be judged on that song; it was too high. She wants him to be judged because he’s a compelling artist. Paula says he’s done an amazing job, but gee, no fawning and declarations of undying love? Simon says the highlight tonight was the first song, but watching him tonight has been incredible, and remembers how he was at the first audition, and he says Kris deserves to be on the stage tonight.
OK, is anybody going to admit that that song is just the worst? Seriously. How does Kara feel sitting there? Did she honestly think either sounded good?
Ryan asks if he thinks he’ll win, and Kris says he and Adam decided they weren’t competing but going out to give a good show. I actually love both of them, personally. Whoever wins will be fine with me. But I think Kris is going to pull off the biggest upset of Idol history.
Looking at the recaps, Kris is by far the better performer tonight, just based on my own personal musical preferences. As we end the show, Carrie Underwood comes out to perform “Home Sweet Home” whiile we see video clips from the season.
And there you have it. The final performance show of season 8 on American Idol. What are you waiting for? Go vote!
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