Everyone was in the house for the grand finale of
American Idol, as Jordin and Blake opened the show with a long-awaited Beatles tune. "I Saw Her Standing There" was a premonition of things to come.
We drifted quickly into a performance by the touring Gwen Stefani singing her song "4 in the Morning." She looked and sounded fantastic.
Red-carpet tidbits - there were lots of Idols both past and present. However, the real stars were ushered past me on the red-carpet press line at the speed of light, as though I had a form of jumping leprosy. I spoke to:
The crying girl.
Blake's dad, Dallas.
Writers of the song "This Is My Now" (as opposed to my later on).
Sabrina Sloan - simply lovely.
Constantine Maroulis - all business, currently starring in
The Bold and the Beautiful.
Kelly Clarkson rocked the heck out of "Never Again" will I put up with Clive Davis yelling at me; I'm a star, damn it! I can't imagine why Clive doesn't like her new album; it's gritty and sexy and it rocks. I like it. A shot of Clive found him looking quite unhappy.
Ryan handed out three Golden Idols, those pesky little awards that they give out every year to the worst of the worst, and they were dreadful reminders of the oddity aspect of this show. Take a trip down memory lane
Best Presentation nominees were X-centric, Isadora Furman and Margaret Fowler. Simon Lythgoe escorted Margaret to the stage, where she proceeded to kiss the heck out of Ryan. I couldn't help thinking he probably wanted to wash his mouth out with a quart of Listerine.
And the nominees for Most Original Vocal were Nicolas Zitzman, Sandy Chavez and winner Sholandric Stallworth. The Best Buddies category went to Jonathan and Kenneth (aka Bush Baby), who were working for
Jimmy Kimmel Live on the red carpet, though Amanda and Antonella, and Simon and Ryan were also nominated.
The Smokey Robinson portion of the show started with our top-six male contestants singing "Ooh Baby Baby." Again with all the white. The Smokinator himself sang "Being with You." The medley finished with "Tears of a Clown." Smokey said of Jordin, "She's got a lot to give. I told her to remember that she's very blessed, keep her feet on the ground and go get it."
Doug E. Fresh and Blake beatboxed, and I thought, "Wow, that was fantastic!" This is what Doug E. Fresh had to say about it: "Blake is incredibly talented and a good guy." He met Blake when he came to the show with his good buddy, Akon. Blake invited Doug E. to beatbox with him that night, and they had a "nice vibe" which led to "the start of our relationship." He went on to talk about being the creator of beatbox. "Hip-hop has five elements - the DJ, the graffiti, the dance, the emcee and beatbox." Mr. Fresh "created it, but [is] still a student." When asked if they had rehearsed their flow before the show, Mr. Fresh replied, "All of it was freestyle on stage tonight." The energy between him and Blake is "so natural." He likes what Blake's about; Blake showed him how to use his Sidekick. He went on to congratulate
AI on adding the hip-hop element this year to the show, saying it would have a powerful impact and it took Blake to intertwine hip-hop and singing.
The top-six ladies then sang "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Gladys Knight was announced and someone from MTV shouted, "Ooh, it's Melinda!" Gladys, looking fantastic in a glittery black top and white slacks sang "I Feel a Song in My Heart," then stepped it up with "Midnight Train to Georgia." The train conductor tooting-the-horn choreography cracked me up - I may have snorted, I was laughing so hard.
Mentor Tony Bennett was finally over the flu and came to serenade the audience with "For Once in My Life." That little trick ending got me! Nicely done, daddy-o! Saw him later in the hallway, and I waved and said, "I'm a big fan!" He was very gracious and waved back. Highlight of my night.
Melinda Doolittle joined BeBe and CeCe Winans, with whom she had toured and recorded as a background singer in the
old days, to sing "Hold Up the Light." This is her kind of music: She sounded ridiculously amazing! CeCe said that when Melinda used to sing with them, "She was shy and nervous." BeBe said, "She was happy as a background singer." They are "very proud of her." BeBe said he "will sing background for Melinda. It's all about having a good time and enjoying one another. Know your self-worth." Surely Melinda knows that by now.
Ryan, or actually Ford, gave Blake and Jordin new Mustangs, red and blue. Who gets which one?
Carrie Underwood sang "I'll Stand By You." Kind of a downer for this pretty up-tempo finale but it's a beautiful song and that girl can sing.
Clive Davis from BMG (or the hugest music conglomerate in the world) came out to tell everyone how great
Idol has been for the music industry. He said Chris Daughtry has broken through as the best-selling artist of the year. His album is still in the top 10 six months after getting there. He congratulated the judges and Jennifer Hudson, the songwriters who've written all the songs, and Fantasia. But he had yet to even mention the first Idol, Kelly Clarkson. He offered a certified award to Carrie Underwood (for six million units sold of her debut album).
All the way from Uganda, the African Children's Choir performed on the show again. Since we missed them live, they held an impromptu concert for us in the pressroom. They were all smiles and happiness and light, and it was a joy to see and hear them. They picked Jordin to win and said their favorite judge was "Uncle Simon."
Sanjaya was allowed to perform and sang "You Really Got Me" with an aged Joe Perry from Aerosmith. Perry said, "Sanjaya is such a great guy and so easy-going." He was asked if he thought the fans were getting it right: "I've been trying to figure out the fans for 20 years." He had been headed to Dubai to lay on the beach before the band's first show there, but thought this would be more fun.
Holy cow, Green Day! They did a fantastic version of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero," which was off the
Instant Karma: The Campaign to Save Darfur album put out by Amnesty International to raise awareness for the situation in that country.
Taylor Hicks' first performance had him wearing a very cool jacket and looking good. He still reminds me of Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers. But I like his voice and style.
"You're All I Need to Get By" was what Jordin sang with Ruben Studdard, and I was easily reminded of why he was referred to as "The Velvet Teddy Bear" - what a smooth voice. It was a feel-good song and brought the fever back up.
Wearing a leather skirt and looking great, Bette Midler (a huge surprise and treat) sang "Wind Beneath My Wings." Paula and Randy were dancing to Bette.
Kelly Clarkson began the Beatles medley, singing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with Joe Perry. If they ever get that Janis Joplin biopic out, this girl should star in it!!!
Taylor Hicks returned for a "Day in the Life" and Carrie Underwood followed with "She's Leaving Home." Ruben Studdard brought us "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and the kids sang "With a Little Help from My Friends."
Enough already - the show's been on for two hours and we're still not done.
Ryan returned from break to tell us there were 74 million votes and Edward Boddington held the results. The judges tossed out their last-minute thoughts: Randy picked Jordin; Paula was "just proud of both of you. You're both winners"; Simon prematurely (but correctly) congratulated Jordin.
The votes were in... and Jordin took it all! She looked like she was being crowned Miss America(n) Idol!!! "Thank you, mom, dad. I love you!"
Jordin sang "This Is My Now" (again). Her voice was shaky and nervous. Don't know how she's keeping it together. Her dad was even teary-eyed. Group hug and we're out.
Jordin sang "TIMN" but I say "This Is
My Now" - the
AI blog is over!!! Wow, I finally get my life back. Have a great summer, and thanks for reading!
Everyone was in the house for the grand finale of American Idol, as Jordin and Blake opened the show with a long-awaited Beatles tune. "I Saw Her Standing There" was a premonition of things to come. We drifted quickly into a performance by the touring Gwen Stefani singing her song 4 in the Morning. She looked and sounded fantastic. Red-carpet tidbits there were lots of Idols both past and present. However, the real stars were ushered past me on the red-carpet press line at the speed of light, as though I had a form of jumping leprosy. I spoke to:The crying girl.Blakes dad, Dallas.Writers of the song This Is My Now (as opposed to my later on).Sabrina Sloan simply lovely.Constantine Maroulis all business, currently starring in The Bold and the Beautiful. Kelly Clarkson rocked the heck out of Never Again will I put up with Clive Davis yelling at me; Im a star, damn it! I cant imagine why Clive doesnt like ...