Whooo hooo!! Waaahhhh!!!! Oohhhh mmmmmyyyy gggaawwwdddd!!! See? Just like being at the Kodak Theatre. All we're missing is a sign that says "Bice is Twice as Nice!" and a pair of Underwood Underoos flying toward the stage. And maybe ear plugs. Seriously, for the first half of the big two-night showdown, they sure weren't skimping on the schmaltz with the originals. Cripes, it was all the final two could do to keep from spontaneously bursting into Hallmark greeting cards. Thankfully, they also got to reprise one of the songs they covered during the season, so at least there was a break from the badness. And since Bo and Carrie both give me the happies and I can't have Vonzell up there I gotta go with the one who was able to make these awful tunes less painful.
"The Long, Long Road": Not too shabby, Bogart. The last note, not so much, but overall, this Bo-only ditty could give our Bice-cake the owner of the No. 1 prom theme song by this time next year. The backing chorus is a nice touch, too. Very Fantasia. The singer, not the trippy Disney thing.
"Vehicle": Please. The man was born to hit this song.
"I Want to Be Inside Your Heaven": The song both had to endure belongs to Bo. Wow. When Simon says that it's been a privilege to have the guy on the show, you know he turned it out. Or "brought it home," as Randy kept throwing around like it meant something. Sure, Carrie brought it home, too. It's just that Bo's version had a lot more fun going out with him on a school night, you know?
"Independence Day": I've said it before, I'll say it again: Carrie can blow. I've also said that Simon knows his stuff, and he's never been so spot-on than when he told our countrified Kate Hudson that she should have gone with last week's "Crying." Not that this sucked. It was just eh.
"Angels Brought Me Here": Who wrote this dreck? Miracles, angels, dreams coming true? Good lord, it's like "A Moment Like This" meets the Pax network. And though I have no idea what Paula was rambling on about Carrie's lifetime of achievements or whatever, the unabashed emotionalism and soaring vocals here, even the teeny crack at the end, may have totally swayed me.
So where does this leave us? Well, if you're like me, on the phone. Voting for... guess. Damian J. Holbrook
(Can't get enough American Idol? Watch our exclusive interview with Idol finalists Bo and Carrie right here. Also: Watch Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez dish about the show on Idol Chat's "Idol: The Final Showdown," Thursday, 8 pm/ET on TV Guide Channel, and catch exclusive video of their most recent discussion and predictions here. And don't miss our two upcoming TV Guide Channel specials: "TV Guide Live at the Idol Finale" (Wed., 7 pm/ET) and "Idol: the Final Showdown" (Thurs., 8 pm/ET).
The Bad Girl's Guide
Ahh... welcome to the wonderful world of summer TV. The time of year when networks expect our standards to be lower, so they dump all the mediocre junk they've been hoarding all season, including this sitcom, which is aiming to be like Sex and the City, but lands in the general vicinity of Men Behaving Badly. These are just selfish single women in their thirties who seem like immature college kids. So these bachelorettes indulge their id by tormenting their boss, ignoring deadlines and engaging in many generally irresponsible habits. Part of the problem is that on network TV they really can't be as bad as they want to be; the worst thing they really do is call each other "bitches" as a friendly greeting. A giggly pot-smoking scene just makes it even more obvious that this little comedy would have been much racier and more fun if HBO or Showtime had picked it up instead. That said, Jenny McCarthy is actually pretty amusing, but her friends and coworkers are bad and not in a good way. Her friend Holly can be kind of fun, but too forced; her neurotic boss is annoying; the receptionist is clearly gay but irritatingly talks about his female fiancée all the time. Worst of all is her roomie, Sarah, who looks more like a scared single girl afraid of growing old alone than a sassy fun-loving "bitch." The most annoying part of this series is that no matter what metropolitan city it's supposedly set in, there is no way that an ad exec and a sales clerk could afford this massive, shabby-chic apartment or would have an office bigger than most studio apartments. Call it urban space envy, but I guarantee that my fantasy about having that office was more entertaining than JJ's little daydreams. I was willing to ignore the super-size spaces when it involved my Friends, but these gals will never become any more than people I hung out with at a party whose names I forgot a few minutes later. Angel Cohn
Rob and Amber Get Married
OK, first things first: I actually like Rob and Amber. I know that's not a popular opinion, but I've talked to them a couple of times and they seem genuinely happy together and, as grating as Rob can be, he actually kind of cracks me up. I did grow up in New England, after all. I really thought it was sweet that Amber wanted to get her dress made by a local Beaver, Pa., dressmaker instead of some haute couture designer. That said, I can't even deal with watching my own hourlong wedding video, let alone this two-hour extravaganza. This is the exactly why I avoided Trista and Ryan's nuptials like the plague. Not to mention that I'm sick of hearing about their Panamanian love affair, when Rob fell for Amber's slammin' ass and Amber loved the way Rob looked shirtless with a hammer. So romantic. Oprah party-guru Colin Cowie or CC, as Rob dubbed him was on hand, courtesy of CBS, to pimp this wedding, though he seemed utterly baffled at the prospect of having surf and turf or sausage and peppers at an upscale affair. And the product placements just kept on rolling in. I'm guessing they didn't have to dip into Ambah's million bucks or their runner-up Race winnings to pay for this swanky to-do. I did wonder, since Rob and Amber managed to get pretty much everything they could wish for a fully decked-out new house (which his parents actually bought), access to the Red Sox' spring training, fancy food and a huge party if they were miffed that Mother Nature uncooperatively decided to make the wind gust out of control and blow Amber's veil around, getting it stuck in a flowered archway. (Which my friend Monica said she deserved because the veil looked like a flowing roll of toilet paper.) I also couldn't help but be curious that I didn't notice any former Survivor or Amazing Race cast members at the shindig. (Someone spotted TAR's Ray and Deana, but they're crazy, so that doesn't count.) Does that mean that people didn't enjoy Romber's scheming and conniving game play enough to still be friends with them? Or did they just not want to be on camera? The guests who actually showed off for the cameras were Rob's Beantown buddies. When one of them wore an "I heart Rob" T, I actually laughed out loud. And seeing those big, burly guys redecorating was much-needed comic relief. I'm just hopeful that the overexposed reality duo will take a break from the limelight for a while, because even I don't want to see them on "The Surreal Life: The Married-Couple Edition" anytime soon. AC
One Tree Hill
Yes! Now that is how a finale is done! Dag, Jake split town to find awful Nikki and their kid, leaving Peyton in a pile of tears and perfect curls until her possibly real mom showed up looking just like Laura Palmer. Lucas finally told Brooke that he loved her seconds before she left to visit her folks. More tears. Deb came home from rehab and raced right back into saving Nathan from his plague of a dad. Hailey showed up in time for the end credits. Even more tears. And someone torched Scott Motors with a drugged Dan inside. No tears, just cheers. It was classic. At first I thought it was just going to be a poisoning, what with the laced scotch. Then the cameras panned to that gloved hand and the lighter. I felt like Krystal and Alexis were gonna come rolling right through the window of Dan's office! Which wouldn't have been too shocking, since the damn thing was shattered twice tonight. So as we fade to black, let's check our list of suspects:
Deb: The worst husband in the world lied to Nathan about Deb's pill addiction to trick him into moving back home and named her as the co-owner of his fraudulent business. Too obvious.
Nathan: Um, hello? The last 17 years of horrifying fathering? But too Greek-tragedy.
Whitey: Maybe threatening his career and blocking Nathan from attending basketball camp pushed this one over the edge? Yeah, but he's too kindly-old-wise-coach.
Hailey: Dan did force her into filing for an annulment from Nathan, right? Nah. She's too... Hailey. We love her.
Lucas: The dad he never wanted cut off his heart-med funds, abandoned Karen when she was preggers with him and has spent at least one scene in every episode growling about how his bastard son means nothing to him. That would be too cool if it were him.
Andy: The dude's a guest star, Dan had him deported and Karen will never love him like she loved Keith. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Keith: Big bro hired Jules to dupe him to the altar, bought out his business and stole Karen from him when they were teens. Remember, she did spot him on the street, so he could be back home to settle the score.
Karen: See Nathan, Lucas, Keith, Deb and Andy. Especially Andy. It is so him. DJH
Well, I hope you're happy. Y'all have been shouting at us when we didn't cover this snappy little medical drama, and now I'm convinced that I am gonna come down with acute intermittent porphyria, just like Sela Ward's new man. And then I'll end up paralyzed, epileptic and stuck with some bitter tool of a doctor genius who wants me to die just so my Sela-equivalent will suffer for sticking him with a bum leg, like a hundred years ago. Great. Thanks, everyone. As if dealing with my HMO isn't bad enough. Oh, and to make things worse, I think my already-addictive personality is full-blown hooked on Hugh Laurie's nasty Mike Brady in a lab coat, which does me a load of good now that the season's over. Though I could really do without the grisly needle stuff, the extreme close-ups of spastic innards and Cameron's tragic realization that House was capable of loving someone, just not her. Mostly because that's going to make things very awkward when Sela and her "I'm still not over you" moony eyes join the hospital staff next fall. Good thing Dr. Feelbad snagged those illegal pills. He's gonna need 'em. Hell, we all will. DJH
Damn! Just as the infamous Trump wraparound hairdo made its first appearance on the head of The Donald (Justin Louis), this two-hour exercise in unauthorized narcissism came to a screeching halt. So unfair.
The movie was not so subtle in its portrayal of Trump as a walking bloated ego. In fact, it was so over-the-top that you'd have to play a drinking game to ease the pain of watching. But be warned: Don't drink every time Trump utters a word of self-praise, like "ambition," "talented" or "accomplished." If you do that, you'll fall over within minutes. Rather, chug after hearing a complete sentence of self-grandeur, such as "I am a mogul. A magnate... I am American royalty." Or when he tells Ivana that women just flock to him. "They look at me. They can't keep their hands off me." Yeah, right. I'm willing to bet that there are a few strong women who can withstand the power of this TV Trump.
Nevertheless, this train wreck of a movie did offer up one gem: Katheryn Winnick, who stole the show as Ivana Trump. I laughed uncontrollably at this dialogue: "Would you prefer to be making love now, Donald?" How seductive. And when Ivana confronts Marla Maples in Aspen? Meow! That was hands-down the cheesiest (and best) part of the movie, reminiscent of those Dynasty catfights with arms flailing in all directions.
The clumsy attempt at the end to catch up to present-day Trump, aka The Apprentice-maker, was abrupt, to say the least. After almost two hours of '80s excess and '90s financial collapse, suddenly it's a decade later and Trump is asked to star in his own reality extravaganza. We learn that he doesn't "like firing people. I've never been comfortable with it." Wow, can't you just feel the irony? I might have, had it not been spelled out for me. Vanessa Rothschild
Oh, it's a happy day in Farmington. Antwone is on his way back to the big house; the strike team is one pair of lie-detector tests away from a fresh start; and Aceveda is finally coming to terms with having been raped last season. And OK, I'll admit it: I got a little choked up when he hugged his wife for the first time in months and promised that it was all over. With all the love and jubilation, you'd think this was the season finale, but no. Scooby and Carl's killer is still at large, Julian is trying to bring down the department for getting a little too tough on crime, and Dutch is still two dead cats and a pit bull away from nailing his latest homicidal head case. Oh yeah, almost forgot: Rawling is no longer content with catching bad guys; she's looking for some bad cops, too, and the strike team is locked in her sights.
Shoot, guess I'd better put the champagne back in the fridge and sit tight for two more episodes until a couple of questions are answered, like:
1) Will Shane and his buddy pass the lie-detector tests?
2) Will Julian cause a whole lot of trouble for the department?
3) Will Dutch do something really disturbing to get into the head of his strangler?
4) Will something horrible happen to Captain Rawling?
5) Will Vic kill Dutch when he finds out he's been messing around with his ex-wife?
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say yes to the first four and a definite 'maybe' to the fifth. They could drag the Dutch-Vic conflict into next season, but we know, thanks to the super scooper, TV Guide's own Ausiello, that Glenn Close will not be back next year. To that I say, "Boo-hoo" really! I didn't want to like her, but she kicks some serious butt in this role! Gonna miss you Rawling. Good luck getting out of the farm in one piece! Dan Roberts
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