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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Idol Finale: Minute by Minute...

Though I hate waiting two hours for the winner, I think the show finally figured out how to fill the time in a way that makes sense.

They ditched the always traumatic interviews with people back home and just stuck with music and LOTS of special guests.

In the end (literally), we were left with one American Idol.

For the past three seasons I have updated some of my friends (and their co-workers and families) on all things “American Idol.” It’s one of the things that helped me get this gig. One of the things I do is give them a minute-by-minute recap of the results shows, as they happen.

So, I figured I would share my recap of the finale with all of you as well. If you missed a minute, this will catch you up so you can discuss the show fully at the watercooler tomorrow morning. I probably got a lot of the song titles wrong, but cut me some slack. I’m writing pretty fast.

7:59 Carrie walks out singing…Then, Taylor…Then, Katharine…“I Made It Through the Rain”…The other finalists join them. They’re all dressed in white (an Idol tradition)…Gospel choir joins them…Taylor gets the biggest ovation.

8:01 Intro…Ryan hits the stage.

8:02 Ben Stiller and Heather Locklear are sitting together. He’s not hiding this time…For a minute, I thought Bucky was in the audience, but then I remember he has a twin brother.

8:03 Randy recap…His blue glasses don’t really match his suit…Paula recap to “So Emotional”…Simon recap to “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” The answer is yes, I do. He looks good tonight.

8:05 Uh-oh. Checking in with the hometowns—always a trauma…Jessie and Becky O’Donohue are in Birmingham, Alabama (Taylor’s)…Wow, that actually went well.

8:06 Tamyra Gray is at Universal Studios…That went fairly well too…All the signs had KIIS-FM stickers on them. Nice plug for Ryan’s station.

8:07 Paris sings…Al Jarreau joins her…”We’re In this Love Forever”…Paris is trying to look into it even though she’s singing him under the table.

8:09 Break. Good. I need a minute.

8:13 We’re back. Chris with Live (his favorite band)…Their lead singer kind of looks like Chris…Chris gets a big ovation…The harmony’s not really working…Let’s let Chris sing by himself some, please…Now the harmony’s working…Chris had fun with it…I think this just proved that Chris needs to go solo.

8:16 Kellie goes to Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant for “Puck ‘n Pickler.” He makes her eat snails and she spits them out in her napkin…Wolfgang is in the audience.

8:19 Meatloaf and Katharine do “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”…Yes, the Celine Dion song, if you can recognize it with whatever Meatloaf is singing.

8:21 Kat’s having a hard time staying on key because he’s nowhere near the key…She’s not a bad actress. Maybe all those people who think she should do Broadway are onto something.

8:22 That was a little disturbing. Break…

8:27 We’re back…Golden Idol Awards…Ryan said “First Annual.” Shame, shame.

8:28 Outstanding Female Vocal…Nominations: Cierra Johnson: “O Holy Night” with way long notes, Crystal Perizinsky (The one with the orange tan): “Lady Marmalade, Princess Brewer: “That’s What Friends Are For”…Winner: Princess Brewer. She’s not there.

8:30 Male Vocal…Marlowes Davis: “Fallin’,” Derek Dupree: “Shout,” “Crazy” Dave Hoover: “Bat Outta Hell.” He should win just for that jump…And he does…And he’s there…He immediately jumps into the crowd and almost hurts himself.

8:33 Break. Good move.

8:38 We’re back. “Puck ‘N Pickler”…She’s afraid of the live lobster. I think I’m with her on this one.

8:39 The guys sing together…“Takin’ Care of Business”…Ace leads off…Kevin…Bucky…Chris…Elliott…Taylor plays the harmonica…Bucky and Chris start “Tobacco Road”…Elliott and Ace, then Kevin join. Nice harmonies by everyone… “Don’t Stop”…Into the audience, of course…Hope they do this medley on the tour, though the last song didn’t really fit…Break.

8:47 We’re back. Ford ad: “Don’t Stop.” Didn’t we just hear that?…Recap of candid moments from all the ads while Kat and Taylor watch in drive-in…Taylor cries while watching…Those two do not sound good together.

8:48 Ryan gives Kat and Taylor the keys to their new Ford Mustang convertibles.

8:49 Back to the “awards”…Proudest Family Moment…Nominations: Elliott’s mom in Richmond, Kat’s dad watching her, Chris’ wife at his audition. The winner: Claudette, Elliott’s mom. I agree with that. She’s cool.

8:51 Claudette intros her son…He starts U2’s “One”…Okay, Bono is in Africa. Maybe Mary J. Blige will sing with him? Yes, it is. What is up with her giant white sunglasses?... Does Elliott get to sing anymore?...Okay, a little, but her microphone’s turned up more…Does Bono know about this?...That was more like a solo performance by her.

8:58 Carrie does “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.” I’m not really paying attention because I’m on the phone making ticket arrangements.

9:02 Randy Jackson Award for Public Speaking…Rhonetta Jackson, of course. The cursing ‘Lil Kim lookalike.

9:04 Rhonetta appears “via satellite” to accept her award.

9:04 Taylor starts “In the Ghetto”…Toni Braxton joins him…What is wrong with her? She’s doing more coming on to Taylor than singing with him…At least he gets to sing.

9:06 Uncomfortable moment alert as Toni puts Taylor’s arm around her. Yikes! Break…

9:10 We’re back. Katharine leads the girls on “Feel Like a Woman”… “Trouble”…Paris…Lisa…Katharine…Melissa…Kellie…Mandisa… “I’m a Woman”…Katharine leads “Natural Woman.” She’s getting to sing a lot…Lisa…Paris. Why couldn’t they let Mandisa do that one?...“I’m Every Woman”…Now it’s Mandisa’s turn…And of course, Mandisa strikes a pose.

9:14 Back to the awards…Best Impersonation…Nominations are Kenneth McErone as Cher doing “Believe,” Seth Strickland as Michael Jackson doing “Thriller,” Michael Sandecki as Clay Aiken doing “In the Still of the Night”…Winner: Michael Sandecki and he’s there.

9:18 Michael sings “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”…Of course, Clay’s there. What’s up with his hair?! He looks like one of the Beatles!...Michael’s shocked…He sings with Clay. That’s pretty cool…Okay, Michael, you can shut up now…Ryan goes and gets Michael and gets him to sit down. Good job, Ryan…His hair may be weird but his voice is still fine. I LOVE YOU CLAY!!!...Break…

9:24 We’re back…Burt Bacharach goes to the piano for a medley of his songs. Didn’t we do that last year?...Taylor starts “What the World Needs Now” and misses the key…Katharine…Ace, looking good in his suit, does “The Look of Love”…Melissa in a rocking dress. Ace appears impressed…Kellie does “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”…Bucky: “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”…That was actually not bad. Good job, Bucky!...Mandisa does “Say a Little Prayer”…Lisa: “Alfie”…Tell me again why I thought she was good…Elliott does “A House is not a Home”…Paula is, of course, enjoying it…Kevin does “What’s New Pussycat?” The crowd loves him.

9:32 Chris and Ace (Yikes!) and Kevin do “Arthur’s Theme”…Can we shove Kevin off the stage for just a minute?...Paris does “Close to You”

9:33 Paris intros Dionne Warwick for “Walk On By”…She’s faring better than Al Jarreau…Of course, Dionne starts “That’s What Friends Are For”…Taylor and Kat join her and then the rest of the Idols.

9:36 Taylor and Elliott put their arms around each other…Dionne completely misses the last note…Burt gives Dionne a hug…Ryan’s microphone’s not on…After the break…

9:41 Back to the awards…Best Male Bonding…The nominees are Ace and Chris (YIKES!!!), Ryan and Taylor (for lying on the floor), and Garrett and the “Brokenote Cowboys.” Gee, wonder who’ll get this one…Yes, the Brokenote Cowboys are there. They sing “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”…That one guy’s pretty good.

9:45 That was kind of cool…The winner’s kind of becoming an afterthought…Ryan says the surprises are done. He again asks the audience who they want to win…The camera shows the audience, but the lights start to blink on stage (but we don’t see the stage). Back on stage are two scantily clad women dancing. What the heck?

9:46 Ryan lied. It’s Prince!!! PRINCE!!!???!!!

9:47 Does that mean we’ll get a Prince theme night next year?

9:48 Didn’t know the song, but that was awesome!...He does another one…He still sounds great. He just made everyone else who performed tonight (except for Clay, of course) sound like total amateurs…Look for his songs to get majorly downloaded now.

9:49 Prince and his ladies leave the stage without acknowledging Ryan…After the break…

9:53 Are we going to have time to name the winner? Nice Coke ad. It says “Drink Coke. Now tell us the winner, Seacrest!”

9:54 We’re back…Taylor starts “Time of My Life”…Now Kat joins him…Kat, never wear a dress that you have to hang onto…This announcement is going to go quick.

9:55 They really don’t sound that good together. It’s too low for Taylor…Kat, don’t move too much. You’ll fall…Taylor wants to dance, but she can’t in that dress.

9:56 Moment of truth…63.4 million votes. Ryan says that’s more than any U.S. President has ever received.

9:57 Ryan intros the vote certifier. Kat looks confused. That’s not what she was expecting…The certifier hands Ryan the envelope.

9:57 The winner is…

9:58 Taylor Hicks!! YES!!!...Birmingham celebrates…Taylor breaks down…David Hasselhoff is crying…Kat doesn’t look surprised.

9:59 Ryan asks what Taylor would like to say to his fans. He screams “Soul Patrol!”…Kat thanks her fans.

9:59 Taylor sings “Do I Make Your Proud”

10:00 Taylor yells that this is the American Dream…Choir joins him…

10:01 Yeah, I know it’s a crappy song; but I’ve got chills…The pyrotechnics start…Taylor says thanks to the band, the Idols and his fans…Taylor, please stop saying “Soul Patrol!”…That’s what I’m going to write on my sign for Huntington…Confetti flies.

10:02 Taylor gets a big hug from Ace and then everyone else…We’re out!

I have to wonder if maybe they decided not to let Katharine and Taylor sing alone this year because they got so much flack for her song. What if she had won? Sheesh!

So, again, congratulations to Taylor Hicks, our new American Idol.

Please feel free to post a comment and let me know what you think. And feel free to call me on my “Idol” insanity.

Or do it in person in September…