AMERICAN IDOL Recap: IDOL Delivers Fantastic Finale and Crowns a Worthy Champion
A journey that started nearly a year ago officially ended tonight. From tens of thousands auditioning last summer to one being named the 13th American Idol. For my money, Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene were not only the two most deserving contenders for this season's crown, but they were so by a wide margin. The contentment with knowing that either would be a worthy champion added to a show that returned to the bygone era when IDOL Finales were the highlight of each TV season.
Tonight's finale opened not with Ryan Seacrest's traditional "This is AMERICAN IDOL," but instead with a nice callback to the auditions, that led into Caleb wailing on "We Will rock You" by Queen and Jena coming to the stage backed by four female punk dancers while singing No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl". The two then got together on Tina Turner and Bryan Adams' "It's Only Love." This was a great, high energy way to open the show, a sign of many more exciting (and some perplexing) performances yet to come.
I'm not going to critique each of tonight's performances, as this is a celebration of all that was good this season, and there was good this season. But I will provide short, sometimes snarky, reviews of each song (I will be back with pictures of each performance as soon as FOX makes them available).
Sam Woolf and Phillip Phillips
"Home" and "Raging Fire"
Six-Word Review: Was Sam Woolf's mic even on?
Jennifer Nettles and Jessica Meuse
"That Girl" and "Wrecking Ball"
Six-Word Review: Who needs the rest of Sugarland?
Three-Word Review: What the wind?
KISS and Caleb Johnson
"Love Gun" and "Shout it Outloud"
Six-Word Review: Where is Caleb's makeup and leather?
I love Bad Lipreading as much as anyone, but what was the purpose of that on the IDOL finale?
Aloe Blacc and The Idol Men
Six-Word Review: Group singing turns good song terrifying
As much as I bemoan the silly Ford commercials every week, they did a nice job surprising Jena and Caleb with new 2015 Mustangs. They then allowed each finalist to invite his or her musical mentor to the finale. Once there, Jena and Caleb presented Dr. Jaffurs and Josh Sawyer respectively with 2014 Ford Fusions.
Demi Lovato and The Idol Women
"Don't Really Care" and "Neon Lights"
Six-Word Review: PLEASE replace JLo with Demi Lovato!
Jena Irene and Paramore
"Decode" and "Ain't It Fun"
Six-Word Review: I wanna go to Jena's concert!
John Legend and Malaya Watson
"You and I" and "All of Me"
Six-Word Review: Terrible key choice, but Go Bucks!
Alex Preston and Jason Mraz
Six-Word Review: Excitement comes to a screeching halt
Ryan Seacrest and Richard Marx
"Right Here Waiting For You"
Six-Word Review: Weirdest Idol moment since William Hung
Darius Rucker, Dexter Roberts, and C.J. Harris
"True Believers" and "Alright"
Six-Word Review: Hootie! Hootie! Hootie! Hootie! Hootie! Hootie!
Three-Word Review: Why no finalist?
Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and Randy Jackson
"True Colors" and "Go Your Own Way"
Twelve-Word Review: You need to stick to your day jobs... oh wait a second...
Now onto the real reason we are all here tonight...
Season XIII American Idol
After winning, Caleb tried to perform his lackluster coronation song, but was quickly ambushed by the rest of this season's finalists. I felt like after his interview faux pas and "vocal hemorrhage," Caleb was coming off as a less than likeable dude, but it was nice to see how much the rest of this season's competitors genuinely seemed thrilled for him. He did finally start "As Long As You Love Me", but what a sweet moment when he stopped mid-song to hug his family.
Well now that Season XIII is over, are you happy with Caleb as your champion? Let me know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @BWWMatt.