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Season 9 of American Idol has finally been run and won, with Lee DeWyze emerging victorious over Crystal Bowersox. It is arguably the 2nd upset in as many seasons come the final night and one now has to seriously wonder about the voting guidelines… If one had not wondered previously.

Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?

Before the final decision however, there was a surprisingly entertaining 90 minutes or so with a number of left-field guest appearances. Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees and Hall & Oates were hardly predictable guests, while Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson also added to the festivities. Furthermore, there were a couple of performers who took to the stage with the final 3 contestants and the performances were surprisingly good. Well, maybe we can exclude Lee’s song with Chicago, but Crystal & Alanis Morissette, both finalists with Joe Cocker, and Casey James with Poison’s Bret Michaels all made for an entertaining overall package.

Casey with Bret “I’m everywhere right now” Michaels.

Back to the contest, Lee firmly placed himself in serious contention on Top 3 night when he performed best when singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ and fan favorite ‘Hallelujah’. This was pleasing since it finalized the elimination of Casey in 3rd position and also put the 2 finalists under serious pressure come the final night. At the end of my Top 3 column, I wrote the following words: “…but if I had my way; this should be a contest in two between Crystal and Lee, with whoever standing up to the pressure on the concluding night to emerge victorious”.

Lee needs some training on holding a mic

Unfortunately, the end result did not back my assertion up, since Crystal was miles ahead with her final performances. Lee looked terribly nervous singing ‘The Boxer’ second time around, while his performance of REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ was mediocre. Worse still – and what should have been the final nail in Lee’s coffin – his winner’s single; a cover of U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ was average at best. Meanwhile, Crystal hardly put a foot wrong, hitting all the right notes and showing her under-rated range… ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ & ‘Black Velvet’ were both solid at the very least, while her winner’s single; a cover of Patty Griffin‘s ‘Up To The Mountain’ was fantastic.

What most people want an Idol Winner to do.

The decision seemed obvious, yet the American public disagreed; voting Lee the eventual winner. This got me to thinking… If American idol does continue past this season, will a female ever win again? Ignoring the fact that there could be bias towards those contestants who come from large cities (Lee is from Chicago), the viewing demographic is likely to have significantly moved towards a more female audience over the past few seasons. If the live audience is anything to go by, then it certainly has! At the Top 24 stage, the judges (understandably) predicted that females would dominate this series. Yet, come the final 7 contestants, only 2 females remained. Come the final 5, only 1 was left. There has to be a reason as to how Teflon Tim, Aaron, Michael & Casey lasted as long as they did, and the gender of the viewing public is my answer. It was not nearly as much of an issue in seasons past since a higher proportion of families (which included males) watched Idol back then.

I have touched on it briefly in my past few columns, but what of this season’s contestants and their futures? Like most seasons, I believe some will make medium-term careers for themselves. Lee has a good enough voice, but I doubt he has the “IT” factor to be a genuine star. He’s better than Kris Allen, but that’s not saying a great deal, so I don’t have high hopes for his future releases. Crystal will do just fine; her audience is more of a niche market and she is more than talented enough to do well in that market. Elsewhere, 6th place-getter Siobhan is undoubtedly the wild card. Her strong voice could be anything in the right hands, but eventually grated on the viewing public due to a bit too much repetition. The outside chance at a solid career is Alex Lambert (who finished 14th). Still young, and with a soulful voice reminiscent of James Morrison, he could also have a nice little market cornered for himself.

Any final words Simon?

The other major component of the American idol finale was the Simon Cowell farewell. Leaving the show he played a huge role developing and keeping successful, many predict that his departure will be the death knell for the franchise. With ratings already dropping, they could very well be correct. My guess is that there will be at least one more series of American Idol, but with some significant changes to spice things up. And I’m not talking about lame comedians as judges either. Whatever happens, if the next series bombs, then it will probably be done and dusted… Until something extremely similar, but with a different title comes along anyway.





DaveyBoy
05.31.10
Stoopid American Idol voters.

Emim
05.31.10
Ha ha, Crystal...ha ha ha


Just came by to rub it in, Davey ;)

fr33convict
05.31.10
This season was horrible. If only that was enough to put the final nail in the coffin. Sadly, that doesn't appear to be the case.

Satellite
05.31.10
I've never watched more than 10 seconds of American Idol. I'm awesome.

tiesthatbind
05.31.10
Without Simon they really need to just hang it up.

And I will admit that Lee's performance on Tuesday was not his best, but he's still put out a lot of strong performances, the only question is whether they'll let him use his talents in his solo career or (most likely) just put out another made-for-radio snoozefest.

tiesthatbind
05.31.10
Oh, and:

Ha ha, Crystal...ha ha ha

klap
05.31.10
stopped caring about this season after siobhan torpedoed her chances

EBTCardMania
05.31.10
Another part of the continuing feminization of the United States of America.

BSX
05.31.10
Lee shouldn't have even been on AI in the 1st place! He already had two albums out.

EBTCardMania
05.31.10
"stopped caring about this season after siobhan torpedoed her chances"

bish is nuts anyway

DaveyBoy
05.31.10
If Idol was a sporting event & Tuesday was the SuperBowl, the final score would have been Crystal 34 def. Lee 13. The thing is ttb, one of those ordinary performances from Lee is going to be his debut single. That had to count for something. Then again, the U.S public probably preferred that performance since they knew the song & may not have known the one Crystal sang.

I have yet to hear David Cook's album, but it hardly left a ripple... & I think Lee seems like he is on about the same level.

I didn't know he had released 2 albums BSX. They probably let him in on a technicality, since they like to make up the rules as they go along.

EBT, which female pop singer isn't nuts these days?

Foxhound
05.31.10
I thought this show was already gone! Haven't seen it since that fat black dude won.

theacademy
05.31.10
we've got a big big mess on our hands

tiesthatbind
05.31.10
DaveyBoy, that's my worry. David Cook had plenty of talent, what I've heard of his debut is decent but forgettable, and I'm afraid Lee will do the same, even though he has potential to do more.

Emim
05.31.10
They've all gone that way. It's the curse of being first.

Daughtry had the only enjoyable debut, and that was mediocre as well.

tiesthatbind
05.31.10
^Agreed. And he's gone downhill with his last one as well.

Emim
05.31.10
I didn't even listen to it.


REMEMBER ME AS I ONCE WAS!

DaveyBoy
05.31.10
There's no doubt the winners can be over-controlled to the point that they do not retain what made them win in the first place. I've said for a while now that coming 2nd may in fact be the best position. Adam Lambert's LP is definitely better than Kris Allens. Then again, we all knew that was going to happen before each album was made.

Emim
05.31.10
[quote] Adam Lambert's LP is definitely better than Kris Allens.[/quote]

Really isn't saying much.

Emim
05.31.10
Ha ha ha, I didn't even realize I put the quote tags in.


I need to get off sputnik...

DaveyBoy
05.31.10
You're always on sputnik. In real life, I'd presume you'd make hand actions to signify the brackets when you were quoting someone.

So... Is there anyone obvious in the U.S who could take over from Cowell? Someone who knows a little something about music, is forthright, occasionally rude & moderately funny.

fr33convict
05.31.10
Jamie Fox would be nice. He's not overly critical but seems to do wonders with the contestants.

EBTCardMania
05.31.10
^Fuck no.

tiesthatbind
05.31.10
No Simon-No American Idol, simple as that.

ninjuice
05.31.10
Downfall part 1: Unfunny lesbian/terrible judge replaces Paula
Downfall part 2: The best judge leaves
Possible final straw: SECOND terrible celebrity judge replaces Simon

Even without that future possibility, the show is dead, and if the rumors of Howard Stern replacing Simon come true, most of the people still watching will realize that.

Emim
05.31.10
[quote]You're always on sputnik. In real life, I'd presume you'd make hand actions to signify the brackets when you were quoting someone.[/quote]

It's the [i]italics[/i] that are a [b]bitch[/b]

DaveyBoy
05.31.10
Nah, Jamie Foxx does not fit the bill. If anything, he may have got the spot that Ellen got. We need someone with mongrel who can create controversy.

DaveyBoy
05.31.10
Ooh, Howard Stern fits the bill. Is he too much of a d!ckhead though?

cinaedus
05.31.10
Davey, you gotta review the new Bo Bice. My mom is still deciding whether to get it ;-]

BSX
05.31.10
@DaveyBoy: Yes they were independently releashed, but I guess AI doesn't care about indie albums if they're not backed by a major label.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
What's a Bo Bice? Is he an ex-contestant? I haven't seen every season.

That's probably the case BSX, but who knows.

Emim
06.01.10
Bo Bice was a southern rocker type who lost out to Carrie Underwood.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
I'm listening to Saving Abel right now & that's out me off Southern Rock for a lifetime.

tiesthatbind
06.01.10
Ew, Saving Abel. That's not even real southern rock, get some Black Stone Cherry in your life.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
Yeah Foul City, that season should have been ended as soon as Adam lamber sang 'Mad World'.

ttb, one band at a time is even too much when it comes to Southern rock.

ConsiderPhlebas
06.01.10
Isn't Cowell taking X Factor to the states next year? If so, that'll probably take over.



Kelly Clarkson dicks over anyone from Idol or X Factor.

Emim
06.01.10
I think Chris Daughtry was the best (male) contestant they've ever had.

Southern Rock is good, and NOT Saving Abel.

Lambda
06.01.10
Judges should be:

Harry Connick Jr.
Queen Latifah
Dave Mustaine

Amirite?

Emim
06.01.10
Judges should be:

Simon

ConsiderPhlebas
06.01.10
Simon is a:


Douche

Emim
06.01.10
He still has the most accurate criticisms though. Also, lol @ Queen Latifah.

tiesthatbind
06.01.10
Best male contestant: Daughtry
Best female contestant: Kelly Clarkson

And there's no replacing Simon. Doesn't matter how good the new judge is, Simon will forever be synonymous with the show.

Gmork89
06.01.10
People don't realize that there is a difference between good singers and musicians, so far this show has only found good singers.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
Unsure about X Factor in the States, but it's just starting up down under again & apparently he's going to drop by to check everything is running smoothly.

As for best contestants, I think Kelly bolts in the female side of things, but Adam Lambert's run on the show was the best male performance. You may prefer Daughtry as an overall artist, but the risks Lambert took were amazing.

Simon will indeed be tough to replace. They may not even look for a judge that is "good". They may intentionally look for one that is bad to try to jump-start ratings.

Fair point Gmork, but there is also many a good singer - and not good musicians - that are successful in the industry right now. And I'm not just talking your female pop stars... There's a few fronting metal & indie bands too!

Emim
06.01.10
Honestly though, Daughtry laid the ground-work for deviation from the norm on Idol.

Gmork89
06.01.10
Oh ya I agree with you on that, I didn't mean they wouldn't be successful. You could pick people from a crowd all day and have them sing covers for a few months, that doesn't really prove anything as far as them being actual musicians though. Now if they had to write their own music, that would be a different story.

Lambda
06.01.10
Queen Latifah is the best rapper eva.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
If Daughtry did, then I'll give him some more credit. I'll be honest, I didn't watch that season.

Some, maybe many, of the Idol graduates are wanting to write their own music. Not so surprisingly, it is not the winners though!

Emim
06.01.10
You should watch some of Chris' performances on youtube.

DaveyBoy
06.01.10
Might do just that... It's not just because he was singing rock when everyone else was singing pop, was it?

I mean, Adam Lambert totally reconstructed the arrangements of tracks, whether ke kept them in the same genre or not.

Emim
06.02.10
Yeah, pretty much. But he still was the first to go outside the box.

Couldn't stand Adam, tbch.

DaveyBoy
06.02.10
To me, singing rock, no matter what the show, is not exactly going outside the box. The box is too small then!

Homophobe. ;-)

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