Look at that. Matching thumbs! As an act of solidarity, Kris Allen’s been sporting a blue thumbnail while Adam Lambert’s corresponding digit is polish-free.
Aw. I’ll admit it. I like my finals warm and fuzzy. And what can be cooler than these two guys–so obviously from different backgrounds and worldviews–who respect each other nonetheless. Culture war bullet–dodged. Whew.
This year, I like both competitors. And while I’d like for Adam Lambert to take it all–I think he’s brought it big time every single week on that Idol stage–I’d be perfectly OK with a Kris Allen win. We’ve got two really talented guys with really different styles. Adam is the extroverted song stylist, while Kris is the introspective song interpreter. This week’s final is gonna be full of WIN, I tell ya.
Adios Danny Gokey. His exit interviews with the press were eye opening. I see the guy who tried out for Idol 4 weeks after he buried his wife not as an opportunist, but as grief-stricken and desperate to make sense of her tragic death. The problem is, a grief stricken guy is in no position to make sound decisions. A karaoke reality show is really a sh*tty vehicle for working out grief, and is hardly a substitute for, say grief counseling. But I’m not blaming the folks who criticized him either. Foks who tune into reality TV to escape, you know, reality were bound to recoil at having a contestant’s raw grief flung in their faces. For votes no less.
And I’m not blaming Danny who appeared naive, socially awkward and vulnerable. I’m blaming the people around him–his sister’s photo flashing family who sought the camera rather than talk him out of a colossally terrible idea, his rolex-loving pastor egging Danny on to further his own agenda, and Idol producers who used Danny’s grief to pimp for votes and ratings. The whole deal was a bad one from the get go.
The worship leader from Milwaukee who seemed to know nothing of current music, or have a clue about his own gifts would have been a terrible winner. I can’t even imagine what TPTB would have done with him. Better that he goes back to Milwaukee in 3rd place where he can run his heart foundation with a higher profile. He’ll make gospel records, and in that world he’ll be a hero.
A last word: Danny, free to be himself without worrying about votes, has been telling the press he wants to start a “movement” a “revolution” with his music. Good luck with that skippy, and I’d suggest walking the walk rather than just talking the talk…
Onward, and upward, peeps.
Kris Allen’s risky acoustic rendition of “Heartless” was a game changing performance that stunned and surprised many. It was surely an Idol moment, one that will be talked about after this season is over. That unassuming singer/guitarist from Conway Arkansas has nads of steel, peeps. He’s kept his cool throughout this competition, turning out consistently good performances week after week.
He was cannon fodder to be sure, at first. But I’ll maintain he’s gotten his share of props from the judges. Simon praised Kris’s semi-final performance of “Man in the Mirror”, telling Kris, “You may have put yourself in the running.” And indeed it did, with Simon’s subtle pimping (and front-runner Matt Giraud butchering “Viva La Vida”) playing a part. After country night’s “Make You Feel My Love”, Simon told Kris “I am genuinely beginning to think you have a shot in this competition.” He also praised, “Ain’t No Sunshine, ” “She Works Hard for the Money, ” and of course, “Falling Slowly, ” which Simon called “brilliant.”
Sure, there was Simon telling Kris during Motown week that he lacked confidence, calling his birth year performance of “All She Wants to do is Dance” indulgent (I kinda agreed), accusing Kris of not wanting to win the competition after he performed “The Way You Look Tonight” on standards night and the across the board drubbing Kris got on rock night for “Renegade” and “Come Together.”
But the judges reactions–particularly Simon–to Kris over the entire season, has often been supportive. Maybe it’s not so surprising that the bus folks kept waiting on to back over Kris Tuesday night never came. And maybe, despite all the talk show chatter from the judges about wanting that Danny/Adam final, when Kris busted out the awesome “Heartless” standing his ground in his own quiet way, Simon and the gang cried uncle. And instinctively embraced a good TV moment when they saw one. The water coolers are still buzzing…
Adam Lambert, the contestant with all the buzz, didn’t sail into the final as Idol watchers assumed he would. Ever since Adam’s appearance in the Bottom 2 Top 5, the press and the blogosphere have considered his elimination a real possibility. And as other contestants fell away, there’s been questions about where those votes were going, and if maybe Adam peaked too early, or that America isn’t as in love with Mr. Lambert as the press is.
But, It’s all good.It’s better for the show that Adam didn’t sail into the finals. And better for Adam. Neither Kris or Adam is a sure bet at this point, making this year’s final a nail-biter we haven’t had since the Clay/Ruben battle back in Season 2.
Who will win? I don’t think I can make a meaningful prediction until after the show Tuesday. Much will depend on individual performances and how evenly matched Kris and Adam are. If Kris isn’t allowed to re-arrange his songs, and/or Simon Fuller hands him a crappy song to sing, his hands could be effectively tied. But at this point, I’m not sure how keen TPTB are for an Adam Lambert victory. The suspense is pretty awesome.
I’ll give a tentative prediction a shot.
Heading into the final with plenty of momentum and buzz, Adam Lambert will win American Idol. With his outsize performance style and mad vocal chops, Adam is going to kill on that big cheesy coronation song.
Don’t hold me to that, peeps.