It's the night we've all been waiting for! The showdown between Care Bear and Adam Fucking Lambert! Or, as Seacrest will tell us, the battle of the guy next door versus the guyliner.
We are at the Nokia Theater in L.A., 7,000 strong. Two are left standing but only one . . . can take it all! (TM Seacrest) This is the final performance show and this . . . is American Idol!
The show opens with a montage of different auditions and we get to see Adam Fucking Lambert's initial meeting with the judges, as well as Care Bear's. Care Bear, complete with his newsboy cap, looks like he's just crossed the country in search of work during the great depression. Adam Fucking Lambert, even pre-Adam Fucking Lambert, still dazzles.
Seacrest trots down the Intergalactic Staircase, which is flashing various shades of blue. Camera pans to a shot of Camryn Manheim (God, The Practice was a good show) and her son who look absolutely thrilled to be there. Hi, Camryn! Camera then pans to a shot of Kara, who looks like she got a whiff of something completely rank.
Seacrest, in his somber gray banker's suit, tells that this is the battle of the acoustic rocker versus the glam rocker, Conway versus California . . . the guy next door versus the guyliner. I think we get the point.
Judges' intro! The one and only Randy Jackson is wearing a brown suit, red checked tablecloth shirt that he surely stole from LRR's outfit earlier this season and a tie designed by Mr. Bubble. The colors and patterns are really wild. I think this showdown is fucking with everybody. Well, thank goodness Randy is still clearly the president of his own fan club. Kara is dressed in some black dress and no straight, severe hair and bangs and that's really all I can say. Paula . . . someone's been at Mystic Tan! Paula is doing her best impersonation of a Prell bottle (remember Prell?) or a happy, gleeful (read: inebriated) little leprechaun who is reading to go skipping and frollicking over the Lambert rainbow. Sassy Pants does not have a Hanes on! Oh my God! He's wearing a gray jacket and button down shirt! Hold me now!
Care Bear and Adam F. Lambert take the stage. Huh, is that Carly "Plant" Smithson? Who are some of these people in the audience? Care Bear is decked out in ripped jeans, a Simon-esque Hanes shirt, pendant and black leather jacket. Adam F. Lambert is dressed for someone's funeral all in black - - black pants, shirt and jacket. Smokin'. Seacrest asks Care Bear "are you ready?" (I assume he's talking about the final performances). Care Bear says "totally!" Geek Patrol unite! Seacrest then asks Adam F. Lambert "are you all set?" Dude, I think Adam F. Lambert was born "all set". Adam says "totally!".
Care Bear won the coin toss lost week and has chosen to perform second tonight (finally, Care Bear gets the pimp spot!) In case there is any question at all that Idol would dare to pull shenanigans (snort!), a film of the actual coin toss is on the big screen above the Intergalactic Staircase. And no, it's not in slow motion with arrows and captions.
Seacrest breaks the evening down for us. Each "guy" will have 3 songs - - his own favorite from the season, a song chosen by the show's creator Simon Fuller and the winner's single, co-written by Kara. Each guy will have three separate phone lines to call in on but only one text number. There will be 4 hours to vote after the show. Seacrest will be in a taffeta ballgown and performing "I Look Pretty" after the performances. Oh wait, maybe he didn't say that. I do notice, however, that Simon and Paula appear to be holding hands during this breakdown. I'll bet Seacrest will talk to Simon about this later!
Seacrest also gives us a heads-up that tomorrow night's finale is scheduled for 2 hours but since the Idol producers can't even wrap up a results show within an hour, there is no way in hell the big finale will finish on time, so adjust your DVRs accordingly. Then Seacrest says we are "lockin' it on Idol". Yeah, I'm not sure either.
In case you wonder what kind of dazzling brilliance Adam F. Lambert brought to the world as a baby, your question is going to be answered! Apparently Adam didn't sleep through the night until he was 18 months old. Yep, his parents deserve sainthood because I would have lost my fucking mind. He was also a screamer, even then. He screamed instead of slept. Per Adam, he was a pain in the ass to take to restaurants because he screamed. Also per Adam, he was hyperactive and bouncing off the walls - -pretty much how he is today. And with that, we're ready to start.
Adam F. Lambert's personal choice is "Mad World" (yay!). The stage is covered in blue light and there is smoke and fog everywhere. And then . . . and then . . . Adam Fucking Lambert is rising above the stage like a Great Intergalactic God of All Things Fucking Amazing. The fog machine is cranking out overtime, a light behind Adam F. Lambert looks like the full moon, Adam is wearing a black duster a la The Matrix and he is a perfect rendition of Count Dragula. I am in flove. His voice is absolutely beautiful and haunting and there is so much emotion, I have chills and feel like I am a better person and the world is a better place just because I am listening to Adam perform this. Not a single bum note, absolutely flawless. I would buy this song by Adam F. Lambert in a heartbeat.
Randy says "yo, yo man, check it out" a few times before anyone stops cheering or cares that he has anything to say. Can you really take seriously a man who has lava lamp bubbles on his tie? So he says THIS. IS. IT. (if he says "you can really sing!" tonight I am flying out to California personally to bitch slap him). He says Adam is showing his sensitive side to start this great duel and "right now . . .that performance . . I love the long coat, you're rocking the long coat . . . I love the fog . . . " (ADD much, Randy?) He gives it an A+ - - an A for Adam! Kara is so happy that Adam chose that song to perform because she knew from that song that not only is Adam an extraordinary singer, he is also an INCREDIBLE. ARTIST. I can tell from Kara's body language as she's saying these things that she is threatening Care Bear to dare to take away Adam's tiara) She says that Adam changes the game up from every other contestant.
Holy shit! Sir Anthony Hopkins in the house! Love you!
Back to judging. Paula tells Adam he looks astonishingly handsome and she is unbelievably proud of him that he is standing on the stage right now.
Anoop! Breakfast Club! Matty G! Douchey Geekey! LRR! Marlboro! Alexis Grace! All in the house!
Paula continues by telling Adam to bask in it, this is your moment. She thought "Mad World" was a great song for him and she loved the way he performed the song. She thought it was a subdued performance and gave us a little taste of what we're going to see. (Because we all want a little taste of Adam F. Lambert) "Brilliant job". Simon said he always thought "Mad World" was Adam's best performance of the season although he thought tonight it was a little bit over theatrical (telling a cow not to moo, Simon?). He said maybe it was the coat (no way! That coat is bad ass!) It reminded Simon of Phantom of the Opera. Randy interjects with "No! Twilight! Twilight!" Seacrest hops and skips out and says "We're off!"
Now we get to see Care Bear as (more of) a wee one. See an Olan Mills portrait of the Care Bear family. Care Bear says he didn't like to sing in front of his family growing up and they would have to pay him a quarter to do so. Smart businessman. Care Bare Momma shows us a coupon he gave her several years ago as a birthday present, made out to "mom" for one guitar performance. Care Bear Momma says this was the best gift ever! This family is so cute I can barely stand it.
Care Bear chose "Ain't No Sunshine" as his song choice. He is on the piano and can his feet touch the pedals? Hee. I even check to see if he's sitting on a phone book. Nope. Anyhow, he's attired in a black leather vest (the bikerish kind, not the douchey, banker kind) and he's busting out the side-mouth movements. He is totally owning that stage right now. I mean, no fog machines, no inky blue lights, no duster . . . but it's all about Care Bear. His voice is rich and emotional and he is every bit as good as he was doing "Ain't No Sunshine" the first time, if not better. Not a single bum note there. Even Simon appears to be clapping his hands grudgingly after that performance.
Randy starts the righteous judging off with his usual "yo!" and his big honking watch. Seriously, I think that sucker is the size of a small car. He tells everyone to "check it out" and then proceeds to talk about the Lakers playing tonight - - what the fuckity fuck, Randy? - - and says the funny thing about Care Bear is that Randy can tell exactly what kind of artist he is and what kind of record (yes, record) he will make. Of course, Randy doesn't tell us what kind of artist or what kind of record that is. He thinks this was one of Care Bear's best performances ever on the Idol stage. Then he says "yes! yes! yes!" I think someone has slipped a Red Bull into Randy's Coke cup. Kara says she's "gotta agree with Randy". She says if you can't feel a Care Bear performance and he doesn't move you, there is something wrong with you. I think she meant to say "if you can't listen to a Care Bear performance" but maybe she did mean "feel". I don't know - - old Aerosmith = "Cryin'" in Kara's world and "Studio 57" versus Studio 54. It's a toss up. Anyhow, she says that Care Bear creates an intimate bond with everyone in the audience and he makes us feel like he is singing directly to us - - and that is SO. HARD. TO. DO and an incredible skill that Care Bear will KILL on your album. Kara is intense tonight. Randy shrieks out a "Yeah!" Paula says that Care Bear awakens the spirit in all of us - - not the dazzling, sequined, feathery spirit that only Adam F. Lambert can awaken, but the corn-fed, middle America, Ford-driving spirit. She says that Care Bear has a unique "Allen-izing" way of trademarking every song he sings and that is a true marking of a great artist. Goodness, Paula is doing some extra tripping over her tongue tonight. Maybe she accidentally drank her spray on tan. Simon says that we just need to remember right now that this is a competition (thanks for the reminder, Simon. Where would we be without you?). He said that when Care Bear's name was announced last week, he wasn't sure that America made the right choice. The audience boos him. But . . . he says he absolutely takes all that back after that performance. Care Bear looks like he might cry tears of stars, snowflakes and rosebuds. Seacrest sashays on out and says that Care Bear has had a rising momentum the last few weeks. He asks his BFF Simon who wins Round 1, Adam F. Lambert or Care Bear? Simon thinks for the briefest moment and gives the title to . . . CARE BEAR! Seacrest says that Round 2 is coming up next . . . ding, ding, ding! No, really, he actually said ding, ding, ding. As in ding dong. Ding bat. Ding-a-ling.
We come break from commercial and Seacrest is out in the audience terrorizing a small child and guaranteeing her therapy for years. How do you explain her eventual inordinate fear of spray-on tan, pearly white veneers and hair gel?
For the producer's choice, Adam F. Lambert will be singing Sam Cooke's "Change is Gonna Come". Adam takes the stage in a gray suit, as he did for his original rendition of "Mad World" that those of us who DVR'd it didn't get to see since the dumbass Powers That Be couldn't end the damn show on time. The only reason I knew he worse a gray suit was due to the powers of You Tube. So Adam is in a suit and he's totally hawt and appealing and I think I want a taste of some Adam F. Lambert now. His voice is smoky, sultry and sex-ay and I am digging the performance. There is a glory note at the end but not a shrieky, screechy one. The camera finds it necessary to get all up in Adam's mouth for that last note - - look, ma, no cavities!
Randy found the song an amazing R&B classic and the real reason that Adam F. Lambert is here - - he is a REAL singer. As opposed to the fake one that got booted last week? Kara thought that may have been Adam's best performance EVAH and thinks that Adam uses both sides of himself in his performances. I'm still trying to work that comment out. Paula thought it was the best she'd ever heard Adam sing - - ever, ever, ever, ever! I think she really liked him, ya'll. She was literally squealing like a Lambertini - - you look like a superstar! She tells him "YOU. WILL. BE. ICONIC." Simon declared Adam 100% back in the game - - as if he was ever out. Seacrest glides out on the stage and grabs Adam's hand in a fit of excitement and glee. He says Paula's into the open bar or something, Simon is wearing buttons and THIS is the Idol finale! What a fight tonight! Game on!
Holy fucking Xenu! Katie Holmes and Suri Klein Jackson Hartnett Cruise are in the audience! What in the name of all that is good are they doing there? Aren't there too many wogs and body thetans infesting their space? So Suri looks her usual ragamuffin self (Tom did promise to give Katie a cat, pan and comb in their ScienoNUTtology wedding vows but obviously never promised Suri a comb) and Katie is holding her hands over Suri's ears. Because the music is too loud? Because someone might hear that daddy isn't "Dada Cruise" and mommy is an ass clown nut job? Katie looks her usual shitastic self, and is smacking gum on top of it. Why do I have the sudden urge to give her my order of grits and toast? Oh, and coffee too.
Care Bear gets saddled with Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On" - - it's not a bad song but it's not a "huge" song. So Care Bear takes to the stage with his acoustic guitar and long-sleeved tee, accompanied by a bongo player and drummer. His voice sounds pretty awesome and he is most definitely in his element. I do have to say that in my personal opinion that last note kicked some major ass. Care Bear isn't going down without a fight, people.
Randy says we have ourselves a real live duel competition (his words, not mine) going on here. He says it was a great song choice (so, shout out to Simon Fuller) but it seemed a little bit light for him on the big stage, although it was sung great. I see the Idol bus is revving up for Care Bear. Don't criticize the Bear if you find the song too light - - he didn't choose it. Take Simon Fuller out back and kick the shit out of him. Kara tells Care Bear he has been true to himself from day one and he can perform a song and uplift people, make them think, make them feel and make them change. Uh oh, it sounds like Care Bear is getting close to Adam Fucking Lambert's stage of self-awareness and making the world a better place. Paula says she knows what's going on - - (insert eye wink here because Paula probably has no idea she looks like a limeade self-tanning explosion) - - "you tore that song up and made Marvin Gaye proud!" Simon loved the song but he thought it was like 3 friends sitting around a bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye. Harsh. He didn't think Care Bear grabbed ahold of the song and made it his version and it was too laid back for a night like this. Simon, please see my comments to Randy above. Seacrest boogeys out and tells Simon to leave his bedtime stories out of this. Hmmm, Seacrest is acting like a woman scorned. He asks Simon who gets Round 2? Simon says a million percent, Adam F. Lambert.
Back from commercial and Seacrest is surrounded by what he deems "Old School" - - the top 13 (minus Adam Fucking Lambert and Care Bear, naturally) of Season 8. Note to Anoop - - I have heard the rumors that you are "canoodling" with Marlboro. Don't. Stop right now. Step away from the one with the gangrenous arm, the puppeteer moves and the "caw caw".
So the coronation/winner's song this year is some chum called "No Boundaries". As we listen to it being sung by first Adam F. Lambert and then Care Bear, it's patently obvious that it was written with Douchey Geekey in mind. It's right up his alley - - it's hokey, it's cheesy, it's corny - heck, it makes "Endless Love" look like a fucking masterpiece. That being said, it's still worlds better than the dreck I've heard before.
The stage is varying shades of purpley and blue and Adam is in a black jacket that appears to have been manufactured by Lego and white Steven Tyler pants with black drizzles on them. Adam Fucking Lambert, Supastah! Damn, Adam has some big, planet smashing feet. Anyhow, he hits some big notes, again without the trademark Lambert scream. It's a good, solid performance but definitely not his type of song.
Randy has said it like a million times before and he's going to say it again because he thinks we're as stupid as he is - - "dude, you can sing anything! You can sing the phonebook!" He then says that was not one of his favorite performances. He found it light and pitchy in spots. Kara is speaking on behalf of her co-writers when she says it's amazing when someone of Adam's talent sings a song they wrote. She says she is moved, she is proud and thanks Adam for giving her that moment at the end. Adam then thanks Kara for giving him that song to sing, and says it was beautiful. Paula is very proud of Adam. Adjectives can't express what he brought to season 8. Neither can adverbs, they are very tricky for Paula. Heck, words in general can be so tough. She should probably just say Adam takes us to a place spiritually no one else can and call it a day. She tells Adam he can sing whatever he wants and she will be a fan forever and front in line. I have a feeling Paula is usually first in line for last call. Simon elects to judge Adam versus judging the song which he obviously feels is a huge pile of dung. He tells Adam over the entire season he has been one of the best, most original contestants they have ever had on the show and he genuinely believes with all his heart (wait, Simon has a heart?) they have found a worldwide star with Adam.
Enter Seacrest, to steal the moment, and ask Adam if he got the job done tonight. Adam thinks he did - - he thought all three songs were different and he embraced the chance to do a Sam Cooke song, which he wasn't able to do during the regular season. He found it to be a great challenge. Damn, I flove me some Adam Fucking Lambert. Seacrest tells him he's a class act and I agree.
Now it's Care Bear's turn to attempt the Douchey Geekey national anthem. Care Bear is dressed in a serious, long-sleeved button down shirt and he is standing alone on the stage, with just the microphone. No purple. No blue. Little bits and pieces of his performance remind me somewhat of Cookie last season. Care Bear sounds solid and he injects some energy into the middle part of the song. It's different from Adam's . . . but in a good way. He seems very much at home on the stage and I didn't pick up any bum notes or pitch problems . . . but of course, I am not sitting at the Judges' Table of Righteousness.
Randy says Care Bear should be proud of himself for what he has done in the competition. He did think the key was a little high (I think Randy is a little high) and says Care Bear probably couldn't hear himself or whatever. He says Care Bear is an amazing competitor and he has done amazing in this competition. Randy thought the song fit his voice better than Adam's and says "good lookin' out and good luck!" And so ends the final judgery of Randy. Kara doesn't want Care Bear to be judged on that song because she did think it was too high. She wants him to be judged on the fact that she wants to jump him badly. And that he is a compelling artist and he has been an incredible person to watch week after week. She thinks Care Bear has come into his own and congratulates him on an incredible season and she hopes people vote on the season as a whole. Paula tells Care Bear he should just take it all in - - he has done an amazing job and she thought this was one of the most compelling finales and final showdowns ever. She wishes him the best of luck and feels Care Bear deserves to be in the spotlight. Simon felt Care Bear's highlight tonight was the first song he sang but watching him onstage tonight was incredible because Simon remembered his first audition, with no confidence and unsure of how good he was. Simon feels he thoroughly, thoroughly deserves to be standing on the stage tonight - - congratulations.
Seacrest dances out and states that there have been some emotional Wednesdays on Idol throughout the season and wants to know if Care Bear did enough. He asks Care Bear if he will take the title tomorrow night. Care Bear says that he and Adam aren't competing, they were coming out tonight to give a good show and he hopes they did that.
Adam Fucking Lambert joins Care Bear on the stage and they proclaim to be great friends and finger the other as the next American! Idol!
So who will win it all? I can't call it. No contest that Adam Fucking Lambert is the better performer and stage presence overall but Care Bear is more middle of the road and more generically marketable.
Personally, I would be happy with whoever is chosen. I flove both of them, they are both talented and both seem like down-to-earth, good guys that I would love to hang out with.
Tune in Wednesday night for the results . . . and don't forget to set your DVR for at least 15 minutes' extra time!