Mrs. High Lord and some of the other people at work (all with two X chromosomes) think Gilles got robbed last night. While I understand their sentiment, is Shawn undeserving of the win? I think not. Yes, Gilles was the most consistent of the celebs and he always performed at a high level. Some times, this pays off (see Burke, Brooke), but not always (see Keibler, Stacy).
I think that Gilles's (and Melissa's, too) problem was that he was so good right out of the gate, he couldn't improve. Contrast that with Shawn who had some ups and down but finished much stronger than she started the season. Like Ty, she steadily improved and her progress was tangible and easily visible.
Like Idol, if someone on DWTS seems like things are coming easily, the audience won't necessarily vote for them. We like people who are average (or bad at something) and then work hard to get better. That's why Ty is such a great story and a great competitor to be on the show. Dancing is also one of those things that you can't fake (like singing). There's no band or backup singers to cover for slip-ups. You either get the steps right or your don't.
That's why 10 celebs started the season without a real shot at winning (maybe 9, although Lil Kim's chances were remote). Shawn improved and got lots of votes because she's young and perky. Under the Idol voting system, I think Gilles would have won. However, with only five votes per phone line and email address, the influence of powervoters is diminished, if not erased entirely.
Based on talent alone, Melissa should have been in the Top 2 along with Gilles, but her two point deficit going in to the fan voting spelled her doom. Still, she showed that with four days notice a hawt girl with a little bit of ballet training, some experience as a professional cheerleader and a lot of talent, anyone can advance to the finale of DWTS.
With 8 "seasons" of DWTS under our belts, let me touch on a couple of points that I think would make the show better:
- Cut down on the number of contestants. I know ABC wants to drag this thing out as long as they can, but this is an issue of 1) availability, and 2) safety. How long can they mine the C- and D-lists for celebs who are willing to give up four months of time to commit to ballroom dancing? Pretty soon, they're going to run out of enough viable live bodies to put on the dance floor twice a year.
Also, how many people have to have major injuries for the show to collapse? Eleven weeks is just too long and too many opportunities for people to hurt themselves. We've seen blown Achilles tendons, broken ribs, eyes gouged, torn biceps, shin splits, etc. and pretty soon celebs might get gunshy at being on if they know that they could end up having major surgery following an appearance on the show.
Drop the number of couples down to 10. That takes three weeks off the show, but it will pay off in the long run.
- Replace Samantha Harris with Drew Lachey. Or Melissa Rycroft. Or anyone else. The Queen of Unintentional Comedy is one of the show's few weak links.
- Get better music. I know Harold Wheeler is doing his best, but there has got to be better and more theme appropriate tunes for people to dance along to. ABC can certainly afford to open up their check book and get the rights to better songs than they've had.
- More Kym Johnson. 'Nuff said.
- Tell fuddy-duddy Len to get over his aversion to hip-hop. To attract younger stars (and by extension a younger audience), the show needs to take a page from the SYTYCD playbook and bring in the following styles: contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. I know the old guy in the middle seat will whine and complain, but it will be good for the show. You don't have to do it every week, but ballroom and latin dances only are getting old.
After all, there are only so many different ways to present the cha-cha-cha or the foxtrot. Mix up the styles and don't be afraid of non-traditional dances.
- Don't ever invite Julianne's real-life boyfriend to be on the show. I want to believe that if my wife ever leaves me, I've got a shot.
While I'm waiting for the show to start, I'd like to briefly touch on the Michael Vick story that's going on in the NFL. In case you hadn't heard, he just go out of jail for financing a dogfighting ring. There are certain people in this country who think he should be banned for life or flayed or worse.
For fighting dogs. Dogs. Not humans. Dogs.
Let me start by saying that I'm not a dog person. I know some people are and that's fine. I'm not.
What does Michael Vick have to do in order to get on with his life? He lost his job. He went into bankruptcy. He lost basically any chance at getting another endorsement contract. He's out millions of dollars. He spent 23 months in prison and will spend two years on probation. For financing a dogfighting ring. Dogs.
Where is the outrage at a guy like Leonard Little? You remember him, right? He plays defensive end for the St. Louis Rams. In 1998, he went to a birthday party, worked his blood alcohol level up to 0.19, then turned his car into a two ton weapon and killed a 30 year old mother of two. He served 90 days in jail, four years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Then in 2004, he was pulled over again for DUI and speeding.
Remember, Leonard Little didn't kill a dog. He killed another HUMAN BEING. Susan Gutweiler. He hasn't even told her kids that he's sorry. Why shouldn't Vick get a second chance if Little can get a $17.6 million contract.
Or where is everyone's outrage over Donte Stallworth of the Dolphins? Remember him? He was allegedly drunk and used his Bentley to run over a guy in Miami. That's a guy . . . another human being. Not a dog. Where are the calls to ban Stallworth for life like there were for Vick right after he got arrested.
There are lots of people playing professional football who are not the kind you want dating your daughter. These include convicted spouse/child abusers, drug users, gun-toting thugs and some who are just plain stupid. I recognise that the NFL is about talent and not character, but for people to think that Michael Vick shouldn't get another chance to play because he did bad things to dogs, that's outrageous.
Back to Idol.
I've been reading around the blogosphere and from the informal survey I've taken, it seems that the majority of people think Adam is going to win. Like Gilles, he's been too good all season. However, also like Gilles, he could be upstaged by the pretty young kid who's got nothing to lose and low expectations.
Our friends over at DialIdol predict a Kris upset, but statistically won't make the call. Remember that last year, they predicted the landslide win for David Cook and claim a 97% accuracy rate.
A friend of mine says the oddsmakers in Vegas are paying 2-3 for Adam and 6-5 for Kris (that is, you have to bet $3 to win $2 on Adam and $5 to win $6 for Kris). I'm just happy that no matter which of the guys wins, I won't be outraged (like I was when Fantasia beat Diana or I would have been if Archuleta had beaten Cook).
Both guys seem like genuinely nice people and I think both could be very successful in the music industry. Last night's show didn't help them, though. Was it just me or was the final singing show of the season rather boring?
Seacrest introduced them as "the glam rocker vs. the acoustic rocker", yet neither did a whole lot of rocking last night. Why did they not get to sing whatever they wanted? Why is Simon Fuller picking a song for them in the finale? And if they're trying to be contemporary pop stars, why were the aforementioned Simon Fuller picks both over 30 years old?
And who let Kara go near the CCS? That was the worst steaming mound of bantha poodoo anyone ever dumped on the Idol stage (which is saying a lot considering how gawd-awful the CCS usually is). We can only hope that next season, they come up with something better or do away with the song altogether.
After tonight, what will we do until next year beginning in December? I hope you guys will check in with me every now and then. I know I don't blog other stuff as often as I should, and without Idol, I'm really something of a boring guy (hell, even with Idol, I'm a pretty boring guy!), but I hope everyone will take a moment every month or so and drop me a line.
Have I mentioned that I'm going to see the midnight showing of Terminator: Salvation? Have I also mentioned that I'm still pissed at Paramount for not having a midnight screening of the new Star Trek?
We're back in the big theater for the finale. How do I score tickets to this show next year? I guess I should suck up to Fox/Fremantle/19E if I want to get comped, huh?
Seacrest opens the show and makes it all about him and the judges. Blech. The piece mocking what each of the four says is kind of funny, especially considering how mean-spirited the show has been to the singers in the past (remember the whole "other door" thing from a couple of years ago?).
Then Seacrest cuts to Mikalah Gordon (why can't we rid ourselves of her?) in Conway and Carly Smithson in San Diego. Someone please get LaToya on the line and send her to Arkansas, pronto!
Now it's time for the Top 13 group sing. It's too bad Alexis, Jasmine and Jorge won't be going on the tour with other 10 of them. What are the odds that Alexis stabs Megan or Scott for taking up her spot? At least Scott didn't fall off the stage.
Next up, David Cook gets some stage time. Welcome home, big guy! I thought they did away with the swaying mosh pit.
I'm afraid that I fell behind in the live-blogging. My father called, so I had to put the DVR on pause. The call dropped because cell service along I-10 in north Florida blows. If he calls back, I'm going to have to take another call.
Without a commercial break, Idol cuts to the semi-regular finale "awards" segment where they mock the different singers who didn't quite make it to Hollywood or the big stage. I FF through the bad audition segments. Why didn't Norman Gentle make the Top 13? He would have been waaaaaayyyyy more entertaining than Jorge.
Skipping yet another chance to sell some airtime, Seacrest introduces Lil (and her Rounds) along with Queen Latifah, whom I love, but absolutely shouldn't wear lycra.
Now we break for some commercials and then Anoop and Alexis take the stage for the bubbly "I'm Yours" along with Jason Mraz.
Seacrest asks all the Kris fans to stand, which can only mean that there will be a gratuitous shot of his hawt wife . . . and there she is. What would be his farewell montage then airs. I like the guy, but I don't know that his style is Idol worthy. He gets a one-on-one performance with Mr. Nicole Kidman.
Now it's time for the girls to sing one of Fergie's many songs that involves spelling. It leads into an appearance by the former Black Eyed Pea herself. After their song ends, will.i.am takes a break from presidential campaigning and teleporting around the Wolverine movie to sing his latest song.
Was it just me or did they just bleep Fergie? The Fox HD feed just cut to the Fox logo and there was no audio. The TV upstairs (which is not on the HD feed) didn't have an interruption, so it may have just been me.
Now it's time for more "awards". Of course they bring back Bikini Girl who uses this opportunity to show off her new boobies. I mute the TV. And I really didn't need to see Kara falling out of her dress.
Remember my promise, America: If you, the good people of the United States will amend your constitution to allow me to become president, I will enact and then enforce a law that prohibits reality show results episodes to exceed 30 minutes in length. Upon passage of such law, I will immediately abdicate in favour of someone imminently more qualified.
The next Idol to sing is Allison along with 80s icon Cyndi Lauper. Damn, I lurve me some Cyndi. I love the unplugged "Time After Time". Why couldn't she be the mentor for 80s week?
Kris's parents seem like the nicest people. I guess the apple don't fall far from the tree, huh?
Then we get some face time with Adam's family. His mom is kind of hot; not like Bo's mom, but close.
If there was one thing that could ruin the show for me tonight (besides the inane filler and other crap that stands between me and the finale results), it's having to listen to Gokey sing again. His duet with with Nicole Ritchie's dad. Wasn't "Hello" the song where that girl made the creepy clay sculpture out of Lionel's big head? What the hell song are they singing?
Jambo nipe senti moja! Yeah, jambo, jambo!
Way to party o' we go'n'! Oh, jambalai!
Jambo nipe senti moja! Yeah, jambo, jambo!
It's 9:14 and it's time for Adam's farewell video. Then he takes the stage in a suit he borrowed from the prop room for The Running Man along with KISS. How the hell did they get the guys on the Idol stage? I'm sure they told Gene that it would make them a gazillion bucks. Adam should have come out in the make-up.
This is what should have happened last night: rockin' the house. This was even better than David Cook with ZZ Top last year, and that was the benchmark for collaborations between the Idols and an established act.
Carlos Santana gets some screen time. It looks like Idol has brought out the big guns this year. Matt G covers his third eye with a fedora, sings a verse of "Black Magic Woman" and is then joined by the other Idols for the best group sing of the season.
Then it's time for some Ford product placement. I'd feel gyped if all I got was a crappy Fusion Hybrid and Bo and Carrie got Mustangs.
WTF is Steve Martin doing on sage with Lieutenant Rasczak and Megan? Was Rascal Flatts booked this year?
Oh, wait . . . Steve plugs his new album. I know I'm cynical about the people who appear on Idol (cuz the majority of them are there to sell something), but Steven Martin (Pink Panther movies aside) is a Renaissance Man of sorts. He's not only an accomplished author, comedian and actor, but he's a fantastic banjo player. It's too bad he didn't show off a little while Michael and Megan were singing.
After a quick break, the guys take the stage wearing black suits singing some Rod Stewart. Wasn't he a mentor on the show a few seasons ago? For standards week or something? He was shilling for his latest CD I believe. Now here comes Rod and he looks like he got his jacket back from Randy.
Why do they have people on Idol if they're not singing with this year's crop? I like it when the final show of the season is about closing out the season, not having washed-up has-beens on.
Oh, Heaven help us! I can't believe they're bringing Tatiana back. Actually, I can believe it. I think I'm going to be sick.
According to my clock, there are 15 minutes left in the scheduled part of the show. Then the guys take the stage for a rousing rendition of "We Are the Champions". Adam overpowers Kris, which is something we should expect. What I didn't expect was an appearance by Roger Taylor and Brian May. I think "Princes of the Universe" would have been much more appropriate.
They cut to a quick Coca-Cola commercial then the stage is left with only Seacrest, Kris and Adam. Simon has some uncharacteristically kind words for the pair. Then some guy brings out the results of the performance show and in an Idol first, the results are "certified", whatever the hell that means.
It's time for results. Seacrest dims the lights and announces the winner as . . .
Holy crap! DialIdol got it right! Good for you, Kris! He gets a trophy, too? I'll bet Fantasia feels like she was ripped off . . .
Now Kris has to do the unthinkable and sing the big steaming turd that Kara helped write. I think that's the only thing Adam is relieved he doesn't have to do.
I'm stunned. Mrs. High Lord is speechless. I'm going to have to cogitate on this for a little while. I think even Kris thought Adam was going to win.
Check back later this week or early next for some final thoughts on this season. Thanks for stopping by and come back next year (if not before).
High Lord. Out.