The chances of correctly predicting the winner of American Idol this season are truly 50/50. Will the better performer from last night win it all, or will the other contestant’s fan base help to seal the victory? In all honesty, the outcome doesn’t really matter. Both young country artists will get record deals, and most likely each will record the original song that was written for them for the finale.
Perhaps last night’s finale was entertaining for country music fans. But for the rest of the country, this finale just fell flat. Despite the judges attempts to create excitement around the performances, there were no memorable moments from the show. Actually, there was one, but it had nothing to do with the show. The most exciting part of the show came when Fox broke in with a severe tornado warning in my area, forcing us to pause American Idol on the DVR and seek refuge in a closet.
Thankfully, we were able to fast-forward through most of the show, including parts of some of the performances, which surely would have had Simon rolling his eyes if he was still a judge.
Scotty McCreery won the coin toss, but elected to defer to Lauren Alaina, making the coin toss an exercise in futility. Alaina obviously chose to go second. This act of chivalry shows that the finale was not really a competition, but rather a country music television show which would have been more at home on CMT.
For their first song, the contestants got to choose their favorite performances of the season.
McCreery started the show off with “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. No offense to McCreery, who is adored by millions, but I thought that he’d be “gone” long before most of the others in the Top 13. Those who love him probably loved the performance. Those who don’t were probably as bored as I was.
Alaina, fighting through a damaged vocal cord which caused rumors to spread that she would be replaced by Haley Reinhart, did a decent job with Carrie Underwood’s “Flat on the Floor.” Despite the setback, she looked very confident on stage, but it was evident that she was having difficulty hitting the big notes.
The second song was chosen by the Idols of the Idol contestants.
George Strait chose one of his own songs for McCreery to perform. His rendition of “Check Yes or No” was a snoozefest. Of course, I don’t know the original version, so it might have been great. Given the choice, I will check “no” for this performance.
Carrie Underwood chose “Maybe It Was Memphis” by Pam Tillis for Alaina. She did a decent job with it, straining to overcome her injured vocal cord at times, but overall, it was better than McCreery.
Why the judges didn’t comment until each contestant performed twice is beyond me. I’d like to think that the producers made a wise decision in not forcing the viewing audience to listen to the same generic comments twice.
Jennifer Lopez told Scotty that she couldn’t think of a more explosive way to start the show. Really? Explosive? Was she watching the same show as the rest of us?
Randy Jackson, wearing the dumbest outfit that he has ever worn on the show, proclaimed that they were both “in it to win it.” You have to wonder at this point if he is somehow cashing in every time that he utters that idiotic catch phrase.
Steven Tyler, who has gone steadily downhill as a judge from the beginning of the season to the finale, spewed some gibberish before stating that Alaina won the first two rounds because “she’s prettier than Scotty.” When Tyler talks about how pretty these girls are, he always sounds like a dirty old man.
For their third and final song, each contestant performed an original song that was written specifically for them. It would be surprising if either song gets much airplay on pop radio as both songs are made for country radio.
McCreery performed a song called “I Love You This Big.” Clearly, many voters feel this way about Scotty. Anyone who has been reading my reviews of American Idol this season knows that I don’t feel this way. I think that he is good for what he is, but I am still shocked that he became this unstoppable force on the show.
Alaina performed a song called “Like My Mother Does.” It was a typical formulaic country song. Alaina did a decent job with the song, as she always does. Personally, I was just happy when the song ended, putting a cap on a very disappointing season of American Idol.
Actually, there was one more performance to end the evening. For reasons that no one but the American Idol producers will understand, David Cook ended the show with a cover version of “Don’t You Forget About Me.” The song was originally made popular in the 80’s by the band Simple Minds. The irony of the band name and this decision by the Idol producers was not lost on me.
Even the most diehard Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina fans will admit that this was the most boring finale ever if they are honest with themselves. There was not one standout performance, and no excitement. A season that once had great potential, went out in such boring fashion, that you have to wonder if the audience will shrink next year as better shows like The Voice and X-Factor threaten the American Idol empire.
This finale could have been the best ever if the voting during the season had gone a different way.
Pia Toscano had plenty of detractors, but she would have been a much better finale contestant. James Durbin would have walked away with this victory if he replaced either of the finale contestants because he would have made the show exciting. Since I don’t have the luxury of choosing the winner between the two best contestants, I have no choice but to pick who the winner of Country American Idol will be.
And the next American Idol is…
It defies all logic that a one-trick pony who has never delivered an over-the-top singing performance will win a singing competition. But the voters love him, and that is what matters most on American Idol. He and Alaina will probably both go on to have careers in country music. Alaina is the more deserving of the two, but that hasn’t mattered all season, so there is no reason for it to matter when crowing this season’s champion.
Perhaps the most telling moment of the finale was having someone other than the two finalists close the show with a song called “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Personally, I cannot make that promise to David Cook, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina or American Idol for that matter. This show may not have run its course for many, but for me, there is no reason to return.