Patti’s American Idol Season 8 Finale Recap!

Patti attended the American Idol Season 8 finale at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles Wednesday.   Here’s her play-by-play of the action. Thanks Patti!


It kind of weird to do a recap for the live show. Unlike rehearsals, for the live shows, you are seeing exactly what I am seeing being there. There are no …do overs or Ryan and Debbie small talk with the audience. The most I can do is give you some insight into how the audience was reacting and what happened during commercials. And, the theatre is so big, it hard to catch sidestage action.

The scene outside was fun and crazy. The press rectangle (is there an official name for this thing) was set up in the courtyard outside the Nokia. This is where I got to see Blake, Paris Bennett, Jason Castro (adorable), and Mandisa (gorgeous). Inside, just before the show started we got to see the following Idols take their seats; Chris Daughtry, Bo, Ruben, Brooke, and Michael Johns. Chris got a nice gasp and applause from the audience. At 5 minutes to showtime, Cory, the warm up guy introduced the judges. Kara came out first, walked across the stage and went down the steps on the opposite side of the pit. She shook hands with people and waved. Randy was next and did the same thing. Then Cory just stood there waiting for someone to give him the cue for Simon and Paula ‘ but nothing happened. Finally, he got the cue to introduce Ryan. Ryan came out to thunderous applause and told us how lucky we all were to be there to see this amazing show. Still no Paula or Simon. Finally, with 30 seconds to showtime, Cory announces Paula and Simon together. Id say it was another 10 seconds before they finally came out. Paula took the same route the other 2 judges took to their seats, but Simon took the direct route which was the closest set of stairs and right to his seat. They both sat down, maybe one second before the show started. Paula hardly left the judges platform at all, maybe 2 or 3 times, at the most. Simon and Randy left a lot but not everytime, Kara left more than Paula but less than Simon. Paula chatted with the audience during commercials and I even saw some kids have their picture taken with her. A few times when Paula was the only one there, Ryan came down and chatted with her.

There are two things that are so much fun about seeing this show live. One is the set-up for the special guests, during commercials. The other is the amazing sound in this theatre! I watched my favorite parts, when I got home, and the TV feed is so inferior to what we hear live. Why is that? Does anyone know? Shouldnt it be close to the same? I know one thing that changes it is that they block out about 80% of the audience noise for TV. I can understand that, but it doesnt give you the feel for how nuts the audience was during KISS and Queen. These are the two performances where they should have let in a little more of audience reaction.

It was fun knowing who they were setting up for, thanks, to MJs Big Blog, the only surprise was Queen. Wow, did they ever keep that one under wraps! Nothing unusual to say about the set-ups for BEP. Lionel, Urban, Lauper (my third favorite moment of the night), Rod Stewart (yes, he did sound bad in person too. But the audience loved him.) The really fun set-up was for KISS. It was one of the longer commercials and they were getting all kinds of stuff in place, including that black and white cloth drop. I leaned over to my son and said, …This must be for KISS. The audience was just doing their normal stuff of not paying attention, talking to each other, and trying to ignore Cory, when at 10 seconds KISS walked out from side stage and took their places. The audience erupted! When we all saw Adam come out to that platform, with that costume, it was wild. This was an Adam audience. It was hard not to be. When he sang with KISS and Queen his voice filled the theatre. Adam will have no trouble filling up arenas, with that voice. Anyway, during KISS the entire audience was up, jumping up and down, and singing along. It was really the highlight of the night, for me. I wasnt too excited about Adam singing with KISS when I read about them being there, but …Wow! On the TV show, you could see Adam family dancing and singing, well the entire theatre was doing that. There is one section, that is right in front of the tele-prompter, that can not stand at all, all night, and are told that before the show starts. Bummer!

The next big buzz in the audience was when we saw the Queen drum set get wheeled out. Everyone was abuzz with ‹This has to be ‹We Are the Champions with Kris and Adam. Of course it was. I have to say, again, though that the sound on TV was different than what we experienced live. Once again, Adam voice just filled that theatre. Yes, Kris sounded great, but it was nothing compared to Adam. BTW, I really do like Kris and think he is a worthy winner, even though I am a big Adam fan. My son is neutral and felt the same way I did.

The audience reaction to Kris name was a gasp, then wild applause. The Idols had a hard time getting up on that platform, with Kris. As a matter of fact, Allison and Adam were at the end, standing on the floor, when someone went and got them and brought them around the back of the platform and up the other side.

We got to see a very warm and tear worthy extended hug with Kris and Katy. She had a very hard time getting up to that platform, in the first place. Youd think someone, like a PA, would have gotten her and helped her get there. I actually think the judges may have helped her to get up the back! Right after the cameras cut away and the show ended, Kris took Katy face in his hands and they looked at each other. Then they buried their faces in each other, looking away from the cameras. It was definitely a tear worthy moment.

We didnt do any post show activities, although it really easy to. I had a 1 ½ hour drive home and we were both starving so we chose dinner, instead of watching the activities in the courtyard. So we went to the car.

Two random things happened. One was riding the escalator with Neil Boyd (America Got Talent.) Nice guy who said his album is finally coming out next month. The other was all the Idols walking right past my car, as we were leaving the underground parking garage, all of them, except Adam and Kris. They were being herded by handlers from one door to another. Very animated, happy, and munching on little snack bags of chips! Dont they ever feed these kids good food? I got to tell Allison …I loved her! And she said, …Gee, thanks!

I am so glad I got to see this show in person, because the way Adam sounded in that theatre and the way the audience responded to his voice, everytime, really made me see …He is going to be a star! Maybe he is already!

About mj santilli 34832 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!