A record 122.4 million votes came in last night to support the final two on ‘American Idol '- the most votes in the history of the show. Remember last year when the world predicted that ‘American Idol' would never again achieve its previous glory? Remember when we thought that America just didn't care anymore about watching bad auditions and following no-name wannabes? Remember when the country decided that there wasn't another human on the planet that could criticize and humiliate quite like Simon Cowell?
Well let tonight's season ten finale of the show serve as proof that ‘American Idol' is very much alive, kicking, and still breaking records. In fact, Ryan quickly revealed that all the votes from this season alone reached over ¾ billion. Perhaps all of the season ten changes that were supposed to doom the show were in fact the ones that saved it...
The top 13 kicked the night off with a group performance of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Let's just say that if they gave the same performance at GLEE's nationals last night, they wouldn't have made the top ten list either. The song was awkwardly under-tempo, and the cheesy choreography didn't do them any favors. Come on now- we all know you can do better than that!
James then took the stage with Judas Priest to sing "Living After Midnight" with enough pyrotechnics to melt Antarctica. The leather-studded, guitar solo filled performance was full of energy and brought the judges to their feet. I only wish we could have seen him bring down the house like this last night...
Gospel star Kirk Franklin and everyone's favorite church-going southerner Jacob Lusk then sang "Smile" with music legend Gladys Knight. And the performance really wouldn't have been complete without a full choir to back them up, right? Right. I can't lie; it was one of the more polished and most entertaining performances of the night. Well done, Mr. Lusk!
Next up was one of my season 10 favorites, Mr. Casey Abrams, who was joined by comedian extraordinaire Jack Black to sing Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." I admit that the pairing was initially a bit confusing, but after taking a minute to let it sink in, the match-up seemed obvious- who else could really match Mr. Weird Beard's crazy stage presence?
The six ladies of the top 13 then flaunted their inner-divas with mega-medley that included "Single Ladies," "Irreplaceable," "Get Me Bodied," "If I Were a Boy," (which Haley totally rocked out) and "Déjà vu." Beyoncé herself then joined the sexy, scarlet-clad females on the stage to perform "Crazy in Love."
Haley then took the stage with yet another music legend- Tony Bennett, and duetted to a very jazzy "Stepping Out." I doubt the performance took anyone's breath away, but it was awesomely retro none-the-less.
In what seemed to be the most random guest appearance of the night, TLC was joined on stage by Lil Jon and some of the top 13 ladies (Asthon, Thia, Karen, and Naima) to sing a medley of "Scrubs" and "Waterfalls." Don't get me wrong- I'm never opposed to jamming to some classic 90's hits, but didn't the girls already do their medley? Why are you here?!
Tim McGraw and Scotty then duetted to his hit "Live Like You Were Dying." The duo complimented each other nicely in the appropriately understated performance, which seemed like a very clear indication of what we can expect from Scotty in the future.
We then got the traditional montage of token crazies from earlier in the season, hosted by radio personality Big Joe Repka. Remember him? It's been far too long since we've seen that angry lady fall down the stairs, or the gymnast crush the Idol camera man. Oh crazies, how I've missed you!
Next up was JLo's hubby Marc Anthony, who gave a very rousing performance of something in Spanish that I couldn't identify (once again leaving me wishing that i hadn't taken German in high school). He was of course joined by Ms. Lopez who affectionately shook what her mamma gave her in her fringe covered leotard. Sexy.
The six boys of the top 13 then took their turn to sing a great big medley- this time a tribute to Tom Jones. The charismatic jam session featured "Kiss," "She's a Lady," "What's New Pussy Cat," "Love Me Tonight," "Deliah," and "It's Not Unusual" (which Mr. Jones headed himself). Hmm I wonder why Scotty sang with the boys but Lauren didn't belt it out with the ladies earlier...
The Mother Monster herself then sang her new single "The Egde of Glory" on top of a structure that bore a striking resemblance to Pride Rock. (God, I love this song). Decked out in a headdress that you would never expect to see on any other human, Gaga rocked it out from the top of her mountain- until the end that is, when she decidedly jumped off the cliff. Hope you're okay Gaga!
Ms. Alaina was then joined on stage by her personal Idol Carrie Underwood to sing "Before He Cheats." Lauren killed the high harmonies, but performance wise she just didn't compare to her perfectly polished partner. You've gotta give her credit though, I can't be easy to upstage the incomparable Carrie Underwood.
Then came the big Broadway moment of the night- and no, I don't mean that someone busted into "Don't Rain on My Parade" or started a kick-line. Broadway's own Spidey, Reeve Carney, and SPIDER-MAN composers Bono and the Edge sang the eerie "Rise Above" from the recently revamped production. Hooray for Broadway on primetime TV!
Rock god Steven Tyler then gave a surprise performance of "Dream On" that had Randy fist pumping and JLo looking like a giddy fan girl. I still can't believe this dude is 63 years old.
Then the moment of truth...Ryan revealed that SCOTTY MCCREERY would join the pantheon of past ‘American Idol' winners as the Season 10 champion! Congrats Scotty! Did I call it, or did I call it?
And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I conclude BroadwayWorld's IDOL WATCH (Season Ten Edition)! Don't forget to check in next January when Season 11 kicks off!
Miss the Top 2 sing last week? Click here for a full recap!
Emmy Award-winning AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive produced by Simon Fuller, Founder, 19 Entertainment, a division of CKX, Inc.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; and Nigel Lythgoe, President, Big Red 2 Entertainment.
Among the many American Idol finalists and winners to appear on the Broadway stage are Fantasia, Justin Guarini ,Jordin Sparks,Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Tamyra Gray, Constantine Maroulis, Frenchie Davis, Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks.
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