Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Idol 13: And The Winner Is...

Well it's a wrap. American Idol Season 13 has concluded and the winner is...the rocker, Caleb Johnson. No, I am not surprised. Anyone who faithfully watches Idol should have seen this coming weeks ago. That doesn't mean I agree with the results, but it is what it is.

As disappointing as the results might be, parts of the finale show were actually pretty good. I will write about all of the performances manana (that's tomorrow for all of the non-Spanish comprehending peeps out there) so check back later.


Performances and commentary on the night:

The show started with "the box" everyone had to wait in before proceeding to see the judges. This time Caleb and Jena are there together and when the light flashes, they enter the stage for the finale. Caleb sings "We Will Rock You" by Queen and Jena sings "I'm Just A Girl" by No Doubt. Together they sing "It's Only Love" by Bryan Adams. They sound pretty good. I hope this is how the rest of the show proceeds.

Next up on the night "Home" with Sam Woolf. He sounds good, until Phillip Phillips comes on stage and then he loses the "ooooooo's" tone. Phillip takes over and sings his new single "Raging Fire" while Sam is now a backup singer in the band. Short-lived duet, but I love P2, so I won't complain too much.

Jennifer Nettles takes the stage to sing "That Girl," then she is joined by Jessica Meuese for, of all things, "Wrecking Ball." Jennifer and Jessica sound great together. I'm surprised how much more I like this song with Jennifer and Jessica singing it. Of course, I'd like it better if my cat meowed it rather than hearing Miley sing it.

We are now tortured by a performance from Jennifer Lopez of her new single, "First Love." If JLo put on some clothes and quit the sexually explicit gyrating all over the stage...Oh that's right, America's family show isn't for families any more...Keep going JLo. NOT MY CUP OF TEA!!!

"Love Gun/ Shout It Out Loud" by Caleb and KISS. Yes, Caleb's dream has come true. The old guys with the platform shoes and makeup have happily accepted the offer to sing with the next great rock star.  Lots of pyro and strobes for these guys. Caleb actually looks small next to the mega platforms. Keith and Harry are rockin' out. Harry looks a little out of place in the velvet tux jacket though. Ryan brings out Caleb's "little" brother to meet his Idols. Houston is as tall as the members of KISS, but he isn't wearing platform shoes, just the black and white face makeup.

Hey, my predication from last week came true. Aloe Blacc is performing with all of the Idol Guys tonight. "The Man" is the song for Aloe, Sam Woolf, Ben Briley, CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, Alex Preston, and Caleb Johnson.

The final Ford video has Majesty and Sam filling Caleb and Jena's "riders," dressing room wish lists. Caleb and Jena are surprised with brand new 2015 Mustangs, to boot.
Then Jena and Caleb introduce us to their musical mentors. Dr Sheri Jaffurs is Jena's choir teacher and Josh Sawyer is Caleb's guitar teacher.(I didn't know Caleb played guitar. I've never seen him play.) The two mentors receive 2014 Ford Fusions. (and manage to act like they didn't know they would get cars, even though mentors have received Ford cars for the past 3 seasons, at least.)

Time for the Idol Girls to hit the stage, but first Demi Lovato sings "Don't Really Care." Then Majesty Rose, Kristen O'Connor, Emily Piriz, Malaya Watson, Jessica Meuse, and Jena join Demi on "Neon Lights."

Next we have Jena at the piano for a little of Paramore's "Decode." Then Paramore joins her on stage for "Ain't It Fun." Jena sounds pretty good with Haley Williams. This song is fun, especially when all of the big yellow balls/balloons are released and we can't find the stage or the judges table any more.

It's time for a legend. No, Wait! it's time for John Legend singing "You And I." Malaya Watson joins him for "All Of Me" which isn't as good as the Idol producers were hoping. Malaya's voice doesn't work quit right with Mr Legend's.  How sad.

Jason Mraz is obviously a very giving friend, because he is actually sharing the stage and his new single "Love Someone" with Alex Preston. This is by far the best performance of the evening,and maybe even the whole Idol season. These two sound awesome together.

Next we have a very bad idea. Randy and Ryan's family have talked Ryan into singing tonight. he will be singing Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting For You" and it is awful. Richard joins Ryan, but doesn't seem to pleased to have Ryan howling on stage with him. Thank goodness that is over. Stick to hosting, Ryan.

Time for a little country music from Darius Rucker as her performs "True Believers."  CJ Harris and Dexter Roberts join Darius for "Alright."  It it was alright.

Caleb and Jena do a singing intro for Lady Antebellum as they perform their new single "Bartender." No Idol were involved in this number.

In a "Idol First," Randy, Harry, Keith and Jennifer take to the stage together to perform Cyndi Laper's "True Color" and Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." JLo oddly sounds like a little girl on "True Colors," but Keith kills it on guitar during "Go You Own Way." Harry plays keys and piano and Randy is on bass. Jennifer shows her instrumentalist side by beating the heck out of a tambourine while spinning in circles. The producers should have recruited a "big name" drummer for this number. (Not to take anything away from the Idol Band drummer. He did a fine job. Just seemed weird not knowing who he is.)

And, finally, The Winner of Season 13 of American Idol is............. Caleb Johnson. (But I already told you that at the start of this post.)

Here's a little behind the scenes info not included on the program:

According to Twitter posts, MK Nobilette, who finished 10th this season, was absent from the show due to illness. (That must have been some illness, to miss the finale.) She will be on tour this summer.

Former Idol contestants spotted during the show and on the Idol Red Carpet:
Phillip Phillips - only Idol alum to perform - Winner, Season 11
Jessica Sanchez - Runner up, Season 11
Jeremy Rosado - 13th place, Season 11
Haley Reinhart - 3rd place, Season 10
Casey Abrams - 6th place, Season 10
Didi Benami - 10th place, Season 9
Scott McIntyre - 8th place, Season 8
Allison Iraheta - singing as a backup singer with Idol Band - 4th place, Season 8
Blake Lewis - Runner up, Season 6
Mikalah Gordon - 11th place, Season 4

(Out of the 12 previous seasons of American Idol, out of 120 top 10 finishers alone, these are the only Idol Alum the producers could muster up to represent the Idol dynasty. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. Are all of the rest sick of TPTB or out on the road? Only one previous winner and two runners up. Please Idol. Get your act together for next season. )

Idol prognosticators had a few interesting points about how to predict the winner which I found interesting.
1. If you win the coin toss for placement in the finale and chose to go first, you will lose. (This is what Jena did.)
2. if your name does not have double letters in it, and especially if you shorten your name and lose the double letters, you will lose. (Jena did this also when she dropped her last name of Ascuitto.)
3. if you are from a Northern State and up against someone from a Southern state, you will lose. (That's three against Jena.)
4. the winner is never in the bottom 3. (Jena was a wild card pick to continue in the Top 13.)
5. majority gender in top 3 wins. Alex, Caleb and Jena were top 3. (Jena loses again.)
6. the contestant with the fewest hairstyle changes wins. (Jena loses that one too. Major change for her.)
Just a few weird things to make you think.

Well, that's it for Season 13 of American Idol. It is what it is. I'll see y'all next year for Season 14.

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