On Wednesday night, after over 122 million votes, the Season 10 American Idol was revealed. But first, as is often the case, the actual finalists, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, were outshined by a star-studded lineup of performers eager to promote their next project.
American Idol ran full steam ahead, packing as much content as possible into their two-hour finale. The highlights of the night, aside from the American Idol being crowned (we'll get to that), definitely included Casey Abrams and Jack Black’s performance of "Fat-Bottomed Girls," Lady Gaga singing “The Edge of Glory,” and although he was without his band, Steven Tyler’s performance of “Dream On” – even if it is only to marvel that Tyler can still hit the high notes.
The Top 13 Girls performed a medley of Beyoncé songs only to be joined by the diva herself. After that number, it was anyone’s guess who the Top 13 boys would sing with. It had to be someone as fierce as Ms. Knowles. Someone who dominates the charts with songs that time-stamped a generation like, “Single Ladies." Someone big.
Someone like . . .
Despite Mr. Jones’s assurances, it was very unusual, indeed.
The night also showcased a performance by Marc Anthony. Jennifer Lopez joined her husband on stage, not to sing, but to wiggle and writhe suggestively whilst millions of viewers watched the two of them together with one collective question spinning in their minds . . . “Why?” (I recommend Marc Anthony and Jay Z start a support group, unless Seal and Lyle Lovett beat them to it.)
American Idol also threw in a dose of humor, including some good-natured ribbing of the judges; such as Randy’s obsession with the phrase “In it to win it” and Steven’s obsession with being an off-color exhibitionist – at least during auditions, after which, he seemingly fell into a prolonged daze that lasted the rest of the season. None of the writers chose to use the judges’ overwhelming ineptness as a punch line since that joke grew old several weeks ago.
The skit between Casey Abrams and James Durbin vying for the most shocking elimination honor was amusing and then Pia Toscano entered the video clip and managed to dampen the mood instantaneously. Stick with the ballads, Pia.
Then, 1 hour and 55 minutes after the start of the finale, the moment viewers were waiting for arrived. Lauren and Scotty stood with their arms around one another, betraying their ages with a shared look of terror and anticipation as host Ryan Seacrest announced that Scotty McCreery was this season’s American Idol.
Scotty handled the win with grace and humility while Lauren handled had the more difficult task of coming in second place and she certainly excelled, offering heartfelt congratulations to Scotty with a poise and generosity beyond her years.
Experience has taught us that an American Idol win doesn’t guarantee success and both Scotty and Lauren likely have a long road ahead of them. Here’s wishing them all the success they desire but never so much that they lose sight of the two wholesome teenagers who shared in this remarkable journey.