Review of the American Idol Finale

26 May

17-year-old Scotty McCreery became the 10th winner of Fox’s American Idol last night, marking a creative season of new judges and exciting talent that boiled down to two country singers in the finals. At the end, 16-year-old Lauren Alaina could not lasso the strong country vote away from the unmistakable croon of Scotty. The win was unsurprising and pretty unexciting. Scotty was practically tagged as the winner when the viewer voting began. He does fit the perfect parameters of a winner. He is a baby-faced, good-mannered individual whose dark voice fits effortlessly into country music. He also looks like a frightening hybrid of Alfred E. Newman and a young George W. Bush. It’s striking, right?

While Scotty winning Idol was rather pablum and seemingly pre-planned, the finale last night was a concert. I have to think that’s why most people tuned in. The night featured guest performances by Lady Gaga, Marc Anthony, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Beyonce, Bono and The Edge (from Spiderman: The Musical), and even Jack Black. Yes, Jack Black, who was his normal hyperbolic and awkward self. Lady Gaga and Bono/Edge performed theatrical sets by themselves, but singers like Tom Jones and Beyonce joined season 10 Idol contestants. Jack Black performed with bearded odd-ball Casey Abrams and Tony Bennett joined the grunty, jazz singer Hailey Reinhardt. Oddly enough, the two most vapid, uninteresting performances of the night belonged to the finalists, but maybe that’s just because I am not a big country music fan. If I had to give the grade of A+ to one performance during last night’s variety act, the title would have to go to the poppy/gospel rendition of “I Smile” with Kirk Franklin, Gladys Kight and season 10 contestant Jacob Lusk.

Jacob Lusk sings gospel. That is just what he does. Idol, though, forces singers out of their “comfort zones” so they can grow comfortable with all musical climates. The result is generally unproductive. Let the contestants sing what they sing well. Unless you are a contestant like Casey Abrams or season seven winner David Cook that demonstrates strong musical ingenuity, it is difficult turning a Carole King song into heavy metal (season 10 contestant James Durbin‘s plight throughout the season). Lusk is comfortable in gospel as displayed above. The performance was powerful. It was jam-packed with vocal runs, a stentorian chorus and, of course, the aura of Gladys Knight. Well done bringing this choir together, American Idol. It made the show.

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One Response to “Review of the American Idol Finale”

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  1. My Thoughts on the American Idol Season 10 Finale 2011 « Lunki and Sika – Movie, TV, Celebrity and Entertainment News. And Other Silliness. - May 27, 2011

    […] Review of the American Idol Finale (musiccourt.wordpress.com) […]

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