Wednesday, May 21, 2008

miscellaneous mutterings...

With less than three hours remaining until we mark the end of season seven, I feel the need to say stuff, especially considering this blog will pretty much wrap up shop and take a hiatus for awhile after the hoopla surrounding this most intriguing year dies down. So you can either keep reading or resume your regularly-scheduled life, cause I'm gonna cuss.

The choice is yours. But this is for me.

I keep reading spoilers and predictions about tonight's finale. And I can't help but get a little antsy. The talk is all about guest stars, guest stars, surprise appearances and guest stars. I swear, if the producers forget that tonight is not about holograms and fancy special effects, that it's not about opening the stage to the "biggest star in the world" I will swear. I swear I will swear.

This is the show that celebrates those kids. Those twelve kids and those two guys who have given of their sweat, have forsaken sleep, have cried, have been applauded and have been humiliated over the past few months all so we can cry, laugh, criticize, condemn and applaud them. It's their show. Give them their limelight one last time.

My ideal opening? I want the Davids to stand center stage, with a single spotlight illuminating them and I want them to sing the damn phone book. Maybe then Randy Jackson will shut the hell up. Or buy a damn thesaurus.

I want there to be confetti, cause confetti is cool, and I want there to be flames like they had for Leona Lewis. And I want the cannons that shoot the confetti and flames to be in the mosh pit. Immolation assures good ratings.

There. Got that off my chest.

It's been a very interesting day (thank God for vacations!) reading the various message boards (some of which are very scary places for which I do deserve combat pay). The Archie fans are basking in the glow of their boy's success last night, and the Cookie fans are still a little ticked at the unbalanced attack on their boy by the judging panel.

I don't dispute that Archuleta won the evening, but I hardly think - even after a rewatching this morning - that it was close to a KO. (And was that boxing metaphor taken, perhaps, about 50 minutes too far?) And it's bringing out all kinds of conspiracy theories because, let's face it, aside from a stripper past and a DUI arrest, there hasn't been that much in the way of controversy this year. And this show wouldn't be American Idol if there weren't at least one conspiracy theory floating around.

Were last night's judges comments scripted to vault the young Archuleta into the crown because Simon Fuller, et. al. are anxious to get him ready for the Disney channel pilot season? Or were those comments an attempt to ass-kick the Cook fans out of complacency, so they would flock to their phones to dial and text their fingers bloody?

After all, Simon did make the rounds of the talk shows this week, assuredly making the Cook victory prediction and he did give David Cook a "you and I have a secret" wink after his last critique. (And it's not the same kind of secret he has with Seacrest.) So why the switch after praising Cook the week before for taking risks then ripping him a new one last night for not playing it safe with the last song?

Was that a bus? Or was that a clever ploy to ignite his fans to powervote and get ambivalent fans to get off the couch when they otherwise might have thought Cook had it in the bag? Or might they want to boost the suspense to see the front-runner Cook get TKO'd by the previous frontrunner Archuleta, that little upstart who finally broke free of those shackles that had been confining him.

I don't know how much validity any of these theories have, but they sure have contributed to interesting speculation while we await the final verdict. And it really shows that, after seven seasons, we all tend to watch this show with incredibly cynical eyes.

What is interesting is that, if you listen to the media, tonight's going to be a slam dunk for Archuleta. And I can see it going that way. After all, he's a cute kid with a great voice and the entertainment world is filled with cute kids with not-so-great voices who are making gazillions of dollars. Get his daddy out of the picture, get him some performance experience, and he could become a marketable commodity.

But if you go beyond the media, the prediction pundits are all calling for a Cook victory. I am not the biggest fan of DialIdol as a prediction tool when there are more than five contestants, mainly because it's a self-selected sample of users and the margin of error is something along the size of the Atlantic. But I can't argue its accuracy when there are three or less contestants, and it's never been wrong at two. And right now David Cook is sitting on an 11-point lead. Of course it can't account for text votes and whether the users are a representative sample of the overall voting population is an issue. A four-point lead, I would shrug off. But double digits says something. Like maybe people did pick up those phones (or, more accurately, fire up those phone modems) with a fervor.

But the most telling are the betting sites. Now we're talking cash, not pride. The online betting sites still have David Cook as the overwhelming favorite to win tonight, last night notwithstanding. That I don't take lightly. Betting sites don't part with their money easily.

So tonight could shape up to be a real barnburner (that's kinda like a humdinger) after all. We haven't had one of those since Ruben edged out Clay in season two, after Clay was told, by Simon, that he'd probably won the competition on the strength of his closing number.

Cook should win. Of that I feel strongly. He came out of nowhere, totally unpimped and has had the most innovative, risky, edgy performances consistently throughout the season. Archuleta started strong, faded a bit in the middle but came back as a true fighter (sorry for the boxing pun) in the final round. Simon told David Cook that he didn't have "that winning moment." He was right. But so what.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. If all the winner needs is a moment, why did this thing start in January? If all we want is a moment, let's just run a three-week summer mini-series. Thankfully this ending isn't like some of the past seasons, where we ended up with one deserving and one less than deserving contestant. This year we have two deservers.

It's just that one deserves it more.

If Cook does win tonight, what a perfect scenerio last night provided. The kid got his glory moment on the stage - one that he earned and deserved. He will be remembered for that, as well he should. The other gets his glory moment tonight. Both get contracts, both get media attention. It will be billed as the upset, the show gets extended attention, more than just the Thursday chatter, as fans battle it out for weeks, rushing the stores (or iTunes) to prove, monetarily, that their David was the true winner.

If last night was a set-up, it was well-played.

But I guess we'll find out tonight.

Now will somebody please hurry and install that killer cannon.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

jenifer as usual, i agree whole heartedly.


8:05 PM, May 21, 2008  
Blogger Kristi Mantoni said...

"And I want the cannons that shoot the confetti and flames to be in the mosh pit. Immolation assures good ratings."


It just reminds me how much I miss you during the off-season!

9:05 PM, May 21, 2008  
Anonymous JessiJames said...

so, how do you feel now that it's over Jenn?? :)


11:08 PM, May 21, 2008  

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