So, we have our winner on American Idol: Kris Allen. At a certain point, midway through the incredibly-long-seeming two-plus-hour finale last night, I began to get a feeling this was the way it was going to go down, and then it went. Sigh. Ever since that terrible Gokey mess got voted off, I told myself it didn’t matter who won — the amazing sex alien from planet Glitter, Adam Lambert, or the pocket-sized cutie with the great teeth, Kris Allen. But you know what? Apparently it did, because I’m disappointed. I wanted the Glambert to win. Related, sort of, is that I really had believed all those rumors of a David Bowie duet, and had gone so far to imagine those two little Ziggys pairing up on “Under Pressure” (with Lambert on the Freddie Mercury part, natch). Believe me, if that had actually happened, my heart would have exploded with happiness. For a moment there, when Mr. Lambert appeared onstage wearing those weird deconstructed wings and singing “Beth,” my heart leapt into my throat. But then I realized it wasn’t going to be Bowie, it was going to be Kiss. Still kinda awesome but not really the same.
And that, people, is the feeling I have on the American Idol finale, and so too then for the entire season. We saw a glimpse of something incredible and dared to believe maybe this was the year (Obama! Obama!) that the uber-dramatic cabaret kid — who was so spookily self-assured, a pretty-eyed thing who didn’t apologize for wanting to give you every inch of his love or who wasn’t at all troubled when TMZ tried to out him, or when pictures on the Internet of him kissing a guy merited discussion by Bill O’Reilly — would get confetti dumped on his very glossy goth-y head. Let’s face it, his voice is bananas amazing. But I don’t think it was any of the above that kept Adam Lambert from winning. Nor was it because Kris Allen is a safer choice, or just plain cuter. I just think we’re all suckers for an underdog story and man, that Kris Allen kid had the momentum of underdogdom like nobody’s business, because at some point people just started to assume Adam Lambert had it in the bag.
Oh, well, Adam Lambert will surely go on to fame and stardom, and maybe Kris Allen, with his Ray Pruit-looks (he was so poor he couldn’t afford the second ‘t’!) and easy coffeehouse strumming sound, will, too. Great! But what about that crazy finale? There was too much to look at! But here, in no particular order were the weirdest and perhaps most awesome moments of the night.
*Steve Martin on the American Idol stage. Sure, I had heard this was happening but somehow my brain kept rejecting it as a concept. Steve Martin! American Idol! Playing the banjo and grinning rather tightly while the chick with the crazy tats and the big oil rig dude sang, rather prettily, a song he wrote! Also, extra bonus points for getting a big ole laugh when Ryan Seacrest asked him who he thought would win; “I know it’s a long shot … but I’m hoping I do.” Watch it here.
*Cindi Lauper and Allison Iraheta duet on “Time after Time.” Sure this song has been covered to death, but you know what? It’s still awesome and these two ladies sang it oh so well together! The video is here.
*When that super-annoying Bikini Girl chick and super-annoying fourth judge Kara DioGuardi had a sing-off which involved Kara stripping off her dress to show that she too has a (hot) bikini body. I’m still not sure if I think this is great, or perhaps the worse thing I’ve ever seen happen live, ever. See?
*Nicole Kidman’s husband and Kris Allen paired up for a very nice-sounding duet on some song I’ve never heard of. It was precisely at this moment that I realized Kris Allen was going to win. Apparently, 38 million out of the 100 million votes for Mr. Allen came from his home state of Arkansas. Which is weird and also very, very impressive. Was Nicole Kidman there? ‘Cause Katie Holmes was up in the Nokia the night before.
*Simon Cowell in his weird unbuttoned shirts. There are no fun videos to link to, but for the past two nights, it’s all I could think about. Seriously, unbuttoned down to his socks. I love you, Simon, please don’t leave the idol!
So, goodbye American Idol. You’ve sucked so much time out of my life I’m not sure if I love you or hate you anymore (I do know I’m more than a little embarrassed for thinking about you so much). I guess we’ll just have to see what 2010 will cough up. You know I’ll be there.