Tuesday, May 24, 2005

FINALE: Initial Impressions

Lots of hoopla. Lots of flourish. Lots of people. Lots of Idols. How great is it to see the gang all back together. But someone stole my Anwar and replaced him with some bald guy. Oh well, I'll deal with that later. And I loved the retrospective. Got to see my boy Leroy!

Biggest complaint of the evening? Judges who criticize the song choices of contestants who try to sing songs they had no say in choosing. I say when 19E gets some half-decent songwriters, then complain. Otherwise, no sniping from the judges about how atrocious a house-written song is, and no whining when no one buys it. Perhaps one day, when they start putting money behind their Idols, maybe those Idols' rookie singles will be met with a bit more respect.

Nonetheless, there's plenty of time to argue management decisions. Now it's time to quickly jot my initial impressions of tonight's six performances, reserving my right to readjust and realign, and as always, from worst to first.

Bo Bice (Long, Long Road) -- Good Lord, who the hell picked this song? One of Bo's biggest assets is his connection with both the performance and the audience. He phoned this one in, and who could blame him? It was a dreadful song, and his ambivalence toward it was painfully obvious.

Carrie Underwood (Inside Your Heaven) -- Carrie missed more notes in the front part of this song than she hit, and, while Simon was right that it was better than Bo's first outing, the nerves really seemed to show.

Carrie Underwood (Independence Day) -- Simon was right that this performance was a bit strident, but, except for one bad note at the end it was on point, in tune and as well performed as it was the first time.

Bo Bice (Vehicle) -- Bo seemed a bit more reserved with this performance than I remember from the 70s show, but, coming after that dreadful first outing, it was strong, it was fun, it was vintage Bo. I still don't understand why this wasn't chosen as the compilation CD offering.

This is a TIE:

Bo Bice (Inside Your Heaven) -- The only way I will buy this CD is if his name is on the label. Bo has that unique ability to take a mundane, somewhat boring song, and flip his Bo switch and transform it into magic. He did what Carrie just failed to do with the same song, he made this song magical.

Carrie Underwood (Angels Brought Me Here) -- I knew when I heard this song by Guy Sebastian that Carrie could turn it into something great. And she did. If I have one complaint, that is easier in the studio than on a live stage in front of millions in the last performance of season four of American Idol, is that this song is so much more effective less urgently presented. But it was beautiful. And I will buy it.

So that's it. Who will win? Don't have a clue. Don't really care, actually. Both of them are terrific. They've proven that since January. All I do know is that, if the rumors surrounding the Wednesday finale reveal are true, it's going to be fun.

See you then.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the rumors about the finale?

11:58 PM, May 24, 2005  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!