Though “American Idol” has lost 20 percent of its viewers this season, it still remains on top of the ratings and somehow had a record-breaking 132 million votes to decide who the winner would be. And the winner is...
Not so fast. This is the big show. Lots of ad revenue to add to the coffers. The seemingly endless filler is only two hours, but by the time season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo got engaged live, onstage to season 5 also-ran Ace Young, it had already seemed like hours upon hours of bad music and silliness. But there was still plenty more to come.
The show began with a group number that reminds you why these finalists didn’t make it to the end. The highlight was the dance break featuring former contestants from “So You Think You Can Dance.” It’s a great show because they can. (And it starts its new season Thursday night.) Next up, the judges descended from on high and while Jennie from the Block inched her way down the steps in a barely covering anything, skin tight dress, the cameras panned to an audience shot featuring someone that could’ve passed for Lisa Rinna (bad collagen and all). If it was her, said camera person should be fired on sight.
Next to descend was Ryan Seacrest in black tie. He really is getting good at this. After his usual spiel and a quick camera shot of Jane Lynch, (looking just like a gym teacher), it was time for Phil Phil to make music with JohnFogerty. The duo did a great job with the 1970 hit “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and 1969’s “Bad Moon Rising.”
Next time you’re hosting a retro event, call Phil Phil’s agent. Next up was a stupid video montage of the judges (sadly not the only one of the evening).
But wait, it gets better. Third place finisher (quick, who finished third last year?) Joshua Ledet came strutting out in what looked like Liza Minnelli’s sparkling jacket singing a Gospel-style rendition of “Take Me to the Pilot.” And when you thought it couldn’t get worse, out wobbled his all-time idol (his words) Fantasia. Stuffed like a sausage into a sparkling jumper and sporting what looks like Cher’s wig, the big-bootied Idol and Joshua proceeded to screech back and forth until a merciful commercial break.
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Next stupid montage - Jimmy Lovine accidentally calling Jennie from the Block Jessica a million times. ROTFLMAO.
Seacrest called them the final 12 ladies but there are only 6 of them who certainly proved why they didn’t win. A Chaka Kahn medley killed some time before, you guessed it, an appearance by Chaka Kahn. Another big butt stuffed in a sparkling jumper. Wardrobe has some explaining to do.
More filler - brand new Fords for the finalists and their musical mentors.
After the much-appreciated commercial break Rhianna performed “Where Have You Been” and reminded us why she’s a star. Young, hot, relevant...not looking good for the aspiring Idols.
Also ran Skylar Laine met her idol Reba McEntire for a duet of “Turn on the Radio.” She’s actually pretty good and has more of that elusive stage presence than any of them. There may be hope for her - Kellie Pickler’s doing okay.
Next stupid montage - Steven Tyler’s “dressing room” complete with Playboy bunnies and a stupid collection of props.
The top 12 guys took the stage (again there were only 6) and did a Neil Diamond medley. Guess who showed up just in time for “Sweet Caroline?” That’s right, the very same Neil Diamond who begins his national tour next week. The only thing that could’ve made this segment less contemporary would’ve been a surprise visit by the original Caroline (Kennedy Schlossberg).
Final stupid montage of the night - clips of Randy saying people could sing the phone book followed by a choir of finalists doing just that. Seriously tragic.
Hang in there, it’s almost over. Holly Cavanaugh and season 6 winner Jordin Sparks did a church-like duet of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” That should keep the young people watching.
The final 12 guys (5 if you remember) did a musical tribute to the Bee Gees since Barry Gibb was such a good friend of the show.
One of the evening’s best musical moments was the duet between Jessica Sanchez and the original “Dream Girl,” Jennifer Holiday. The woman who made “And I Am Telling You” and the 16 year-old wannabe blew the roof off the Nokia Theater with one of the best finale performances ever.
Not to be outdone, Jennie from the Block lip-synched her way through an 8-minute medley that involved lots of dancing and the requisite showing of her perfect abs and bodacious booty. But can she sing?
Steven Tyler rounded out the visiting artists portion of the show with a little band called Aerosmith. After unveiling “Legendary Child,” their first single in 6 years, the ultimate rock star (even though he’s currently doing a Burger King commercial) brought the house down with “Walk This Way.”
The finalists reappeared to kill all the momentum with their duet of the 1982 classic “Up Where We Belong.”
Wake up, it’s over. The winner is crowned. Phil Phil seemed surprised, but didn’t he notice the 12 drummers drumming backstage? They were there to help him begin his reign as the new “American Idol” by performing his first single “Home.”