With just under 100 million votes cast towards deciding this year's winner, American Idol pulled out all the stops for its two hour finale. And what a finale it was!
The dark horse prevailed. Kris Allen has been declared the Season 8 Winner of American Idol. He's come a long way from the guy we didn't meet until Hollywood Week and didn't get to know until the Top 13.
Ryan never released how close the vote came, but I can't imagine that it wasn't close. We couldn't have been treated to two more deserving candidates for the finale. Both men are very, very talented and seem like all around good guys.
And I loved all of Adam and Kris' performances tonight. I had a hard time picking my favorite.
In fact, the whole finale was stunning. Usually, I'm annoyed by all the fluff Idol parade out to fill out their two hour shows. But this show was completely different. It was one stunning performance after another.
The opening number of the night saw the return of the Top 13 singing Pink's "So What." It was really nice to see the whole gang back together again. I've already forgotten some of the faces; it's been so long since we've seen them. But it was nice to see Alexis back in the fold.
Speaking of old faces, last year's winner David Cook returned to perform his single "Permanent," a song he wrote with Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The proceeds from the sale of this iTunes song will go to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), a DC-based organization dedicated to finding a cure for brain cancer.
Next we got to get a look back at the auditions with the Golden Idol Awards.
The first trophy went to Nick Mitchell aka Norman Gentle for Outstanding Male. I'm so glad that we got to see Nick one more time this season. He really added some humor to the beginning of the season.
The next award went to Katrina Darrell aka Bikini Girl for Best Attitude. Is it me or did the bikini get smaller? But the best part had to be when Kara came out and showed her up – vocally! I'll let you guys be the judge of who had the better body.
The last award, Outstanding Female, went to Tatiana Nicole Del Toro. Either she really wants her 15 minutes of fame or she's a good sport to play along as Idol poked fun at her.
But then we got down to some serious singing.
The first duet brought back Lil Rounds and paired her with Queen Latifah for "Cue the Rain." I was hoping without the pressure of the judging we'd see the Lil we loved during the early phases. Unfortunately, singing with Queen Latifah proved that Lil's voice just isn't that great.
On the other hand, Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace sounded wonderful as they sang "I'm Yours" with Jason Mraz. I think it says a lot about Alexis' popularity that she got a shot at the spotlight tonight. Last year, only the Top 6 got to perform, other than group numbers, during the finale.
Now, I don't think of Kris Allen as a country singer, but I loved his duet of "Kiss a Girl" with Keith Urban. They both looked like they were having a ball. This duet was one of my favorite performances of the night.
The stars keep coming, the girls from got to do a medley with Fergie before introducing the Black Eyed Peas.
Another good pairing was Allison Iraheta and Cyndi Lauper on "Time After Time." I always thought of Allison as a through back to the 80s and this duet proved it. I thought they sounded perfect togher. And was Cyndi playing a steel guitar? I didn't know she could play.
And while the producers got the pairing right with Allison, I have to wonder what they were thinking with Danny Gokey. They had him sing a solo of "Hello" before continuing the medley with Lionel Richie. However, no one will ever compare to the David Cook version of "Hello" from last season. I think the producers just set up Danny for a comparison he could never live up to. The rest of the medley wasn't bad though.
Now the next guest performer shocked me. I'd have never guessed that they would make an appearance on American Idol. But with Adam in the finale it seems only right he should get partnered with KISS for a medley. Now that was a performance that rocked!
But the stars didn't stop there. Carlos Santana took the stage with a guitar solo of "Black Magic Woman" before performing "Smooth" with the Top 13.
Then we got one last Ford Video that was really just a clip of videos from throughout the season as Adam and Kris sang "I Will Remember You." And then David Cook handed the keys over to Adam and Kris for their brand new 2010 Ford Fusions.
Idol is full of surprises tonight because I had no idea that Steve Martin had musical aspirations, let alone could play the banjo. But I liked "Pretty Flowers," the song he wrote and performed with Megan Joy and Michael Sarver. The song itself actually suited the pair really well.
Next up, the guys got to sing "Do You Think I'm Sexy" before Rod Stewart came out to sing "Maggie May."
The final duet went to the two stars of the night. Adam and Kris teamed up with Queen to sing "We are the Champions." The rest of the Top 13 joined them on backgrounds. What a great way to close the night. And can I say that I think Adam and Kris actually would do well singing together!
Unfortunately, they couldn't just give us the results and end it there. Poor Kris had to sing "No Boundaries" again.
What I can't understand is if the producers can do such great pairings for the finale, why can't they (and the judges) do a better job picking songs for the contestants to sing.
Top 2 Perform