'American Idol' Season 11, Episode 40 (Finale) Recap - And the Winner Is...
Two hours and seven minutes of performances and, most likely, agony for Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips resulted in a winner for season 11 of "American Idol" tonight.
It starts with another dramatic opener, but I just find myself wondering who the hell chose the font. It looks like the font for the "Jurassic Park" sign. Are there going to be dinosaurs? If so, I'll finally start enjoying this show. The final bit of text claims that "there can be only one." Is it like Highlander? Will there be a swordfight??
No, there will only be awkward group performances from the top 12 (or 10 of them anyway). This is just some of what you can expect from the live tour: white costumes! Unison singing! More Heejun! Joshua doing the splits and being unable to get back up! Weird dance breaks in varying styles!
If you thought Hollie was vocally boring on her own, just wait until you hear her with 9 other people. Is it possible to be vocally invisible? I think she may be. She does seem to have a better grip on the choreography than the rest, though. Girl has some stage presence, I guess. Physically, I mean.
Jessica and Phillip, also decked out in white (white is fancy! It means tonight is special! It's also the color of 90% of the winners from this show!), take the stage. Seacrest asks them if they slept last night. "I got like 9, maybe 9 and a half hours of sleep, so pretty good," responds Phillip. Riveting. The audience screams in adoration. "OMG HE SLEEPS! JUST LIKE ME! MARRY ME PHILLIP!"
Phillip gets his duet with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, as the two perform a medley that includes "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" which Phillip performed earlier this season. Apparently Dave Matthews was not available. No reprise of Phillip's awful Matchbox Twenty performance? An outrage!
In case you forgot how unbearable the audition rounds are because of all the weirdos, here's a montage! I'm having horrible flashbacks.
Joshua comes back to sing "Take Me to the Pilot" by Elton John, accompanied by "the biggest inspiration" of his life (his words), Fantasia. It is, as you might expect, very churchy, and full of wailing. In a good way. You know.
A montage of Jimmy's gaffes shows that he keeps calling Jennifer "Jessica," which is his daughter's name. And, clearly, the name of one of the contestants. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does that.
The women of the Top 12, i.e. Elise, Erika (who is now blonde), Skylar, Hollie and Shannon, perform another medley, but I can't hear them over the sequins. Shiny. They're joined by Chaka Khan, who is still alive.
Rihanna takes the stage next, coming out a prism box in some kind of alien/ancient Egyptian theme. She performs "Where Have You Been," to which I respond, "Sitting here and recapping this dumb show for three hours every week. Wanna come over and hang out?" To which, had she heard it, she would have undoubtedly responded, "No thank you."
Skylar gets a famous-person duet of her own, and I'll give you three guesses as to whom they paired her up with. Yes, that's right! It's her vocal doppelganger Reba McEntire! The two of them perform a song that I assume is called "Turn On the Radio." Skylar is pretty much jumping up and down the whole time. She enjoys this, and that makes her fun to watch.
We get a look inside Steven's dressing room, which includes Playboy bunnies, a sloth, and a monkey. Which was all placed there for the purpose of this segment. Because Steven is crazy, y'all! This is the single dimension to his personality!
Jessica comes out on her own to reprise "I Will Always Love You," which seems more technically accurate with this time around, but maybe a little less emotionally connected. Still, by all means, this girl should win tonight. She won't, of course, but she should.
The guys of the Top 12 come out to do another medley, just as a reminder of how much better the women were this season. Ooh, and they're wearing black. Even fancier. The color scheme of the night seems to be an absence of color. Is this a Neil Diamond medley? Oh no, it is. God help us all. Neil Diamond himself comes out to complete the medley, after which Seacrest tells us that Neil is touring. "Check out Neil Diamond!" says Seacrest. The 13-year-old girls who watch this show respond, "Who the eff is Neil Diamond?"
Randy's montage is of him saying the same damn thing over and over, that contestants can "sing the phone book." Following that is a little video of the Top 12 actually singing the phone book as a gospel choir. It's actually kinda cute. It goes on far too long.
Following that is a very clearly lip-synched performance from Jennifer Lopez, and she's joined by Lil' Jon. Ah, so this is what he's doing after "Celebrity Apprentice." JLo later reveals her abs, and things get slightly more interesting.
After former contestant Ace Young proposes to other former contestant Diana DeGarmo on stage (she says no! Kidding. I wish she did), Hollie does her performance, taking on "You'll Never Walk Alone," joined by Jordin Sparks. Hollie is flat on a couple of the big notes, and thankfully Jordin takes the really high ones.
The guys come back out AGAIN to do a Bee Gees medley. A messy Bee Gees medley, in memoriam of Robin Gibb. That goes on longer than it should, but thankfully we transition to Jennifer Holliday and Jessica singing "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." Jennifer has considerably more bravado than Jessica. She almost smacks the kid in the face. She also makes Jessica more or less vocally disappear on stage, which is not an easy thing to do. Jessica does get a pretty awesome run at the end, and the two nearly bring the house down. That was fun! That was singing!
More actual singing and fun comes from Aerosmith, whom Seacrest is very excited to introduce. Steven Tyler is a lot more bearable when he's singing than when he's making up folksy sayings and hitting on teenagers.
Actually, 10 minutes into their performance at the end of a two-hour show, I take that back. Make them go away.
I'm practically asleep by the time Jessica and Phillip come out to duet "Up Where We Belong." Feels like there's been a lot of Joe Cocker recently. I might be confusing "The Voice" with "Idol" at this point. Is it over yet?
Finally! Time for the results! Phillip, by the way, is wearing a tuxedo coat and vest, but it still sporting a v-neck t-shirt underneath it. FASHION.
As it turns out, there was a record 132 million votes for this finale, which confuses me since there was about 25% less of an audience for Tuesday's performance night.
The winner is... Phillip Phillips, of course. Duh. Cute white boy with guitar wins again. His sister is crying, which is cute. Scotty McCreery brings Phillip his guitar, and he sings "Home" again. It's a surprisingly nice song for the moment, and Phillip breaks down during the bridge and starts crying pretty hard. He leaves the mic before the last few notes to go out and hug his family. Sweet moments, and a rather quiet end to the season.
Winner: Phillip Phillips