It was uncomfortably suspenseful, watching the final show of the season the other night. I hadn't been following this year's American Idol auditions, and didn't know the who's who. I hadn't planned to see it, but having written a post that ordered me to "Drink In the Kids," I had to watch the show.
One look, even before I heard them, I knew the competitors, Adam and Kris, were miles, worlds apart. You can't compare an Elvis Presley to a ... a Pete Seeger? A Crosby?
(Can't come up a right name -- I'm no longer hung-over from two hours of drinking in the kids as I was the other night, but thinking about it puts in a haze, gives me a mild case of celebrity-itis.)
The "Stars" who performed with the contestants, except for Steve Martin, were barely known by me. And Martin, his genius reaching for a new kind of fame in the idolizing Idol generation, behaved so modestly, so shyly that he almost disappeared.
The choreography, pacing, programming were utterly expert. Something about being so, so utterly bothered me. It isn't hard to create easy, interesting steps for non-dancers, who are willing to work their asses off. And all the show's contestants, Adam and Kris, plus those who'd been eliminated, were hot and ready to do anything. (As they're weeded out in the previous shows, you get the feeling they'd jump through fiery hoops, die, kill for a win!)
The "Star Power," the "names" who were invited to perform with the contestants -- it worked for the Idol audience, but I didn't really know who they were. So, even as I was waiting, a little bored and restlessly wondering who was going to win, producer-Em peeked at the clock, which tells you how many minutes till the winner will be announced.
Okay, time to get to what I felt about what's been all over the news since the show aired.
The girl in the bikini singing with Kara the judge, who shocked, surprised, and delighted everyone with -- zip -- just one gesture on the last note of their duet, and Kara's bikini underwear was in front of our eyes.
Will we ever forget Janet Jackson's accident during the super bowl -- zip -- one gesture -- J.J's nipple? (Yoo hoo, folks -- any seamstress can tell you that one gesture takes careful placement and just the right kind of stitches on the Velcro.)
I was embarrassed for Kara being so utterly yucky proud of herself. As for the other judges -- Paula Abdul, always in the groove, was groovishly approving. Simon just blinked . It wasn't his night, though he's good fun, blunt and truthful as the main man in other Idols I've watched.
I was riveted throughout the duet between Allison and Cyndi Lauper in white tights, legs apart like a guy -- riveted on Cyndi's white-covered crotch below the keyboard that lay across her lap.
I looked at ... how many reviews, commentaries, comments? Easily two dozen! No one mentioned that crotch view of Cyndi. (Did I get the name wrong? No. I checked it thoroughly -- don't want to appear fixated on wrong views of private parts.)
Real opinion: I found the show exhaustively over-produced. But skillful, an absorbing two hour extravaganza. Whenever I've tuned in American Idol auditions -- the achingly needy candidates with whom I identify -- their wanting, needing, practicing, praying, slaving away -- all that to be famous, all those heartbreaking rejections -- it's always fascinating, absorbing.
Why did the country boy Kris win? He has a pleasant powerful voice, good diction, believable dramatic intensity, but no hugely impressive or unusual songster's talents. Why did the powerful performer, startlingly great-looking Adam lose? Get less votes, despite all of his abilities, which were much stronger than the country boy Kris'?
Was it that America is in the mood for someone less slick?
Adam is slick. Could it be the homosexual feeling that flickered, briefly when Adam was off-guard, caught in a couple of candid shots? Maybe. But I, as hirer, an employer who's seen lots of handsome guys with this AC-DC flicker ... I don't think so.
I hope it's that our country is in the mood for someone less slick. Kris is slightly boring. The polished bravura of Adam is more of what we expect in a super star. He can sing, dance, sell anything.
My bet: We're going to hear and see more of Adam Lambert.