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American Idol Recap: Finale (Part 1)

Did you hear the news, that next season will be "American Idol's" last? To be honest, the writing has been on the wall for a long time. What do you hope to see next year?

I'm going to post tonight's recap before I get distracted. (Unfortunately, last week I fell asleep halfway through and watched it but never got around to finishing the recap.)

• For part one of the two-part "American Idol finale, we began by learning who would leave and not be competing in the finale. The person leaving was... Jax. Clark Beckham and Nick Fradiani would compete for the title. The audience groaned in disappointment, and then Ryan Seacrest showed her the video package created about her. Bummer. I had hoped she was in the final two, but last week's songs weren't her best.
• Tonight, each of the finalists would sing three songs: one a reprise of a song they'd performed earlier in the season, one selected by season mentor Scott Borchetta, and finally their coronation song, a single meant to suit each artist.
• For his reprisal song, Clark, in a button-down shirt and black vest, did the Ray Charles song "Georgia on My Mind," playing the piano. The song was a great choice for him: a song that was right in his wheelhouse and allowed him to groove and show off his vocal abilities. Keith Urban called it soulful and really good. Jennifer Lopez said, "You're singing to win; you're reminding us why you are here." Harry Connick Jr. liked his drive and how he's always stretching musically.
• Nick sang "Bright Lights" by Matchbox 20 for his reprisal song, which he'd sung later in the season and gotten good comments from the judges. He wore just a gray T-shirt and jeans. Jennifer predicted this performance could "get you to the next level." Harry pointed out that the people in home had to vote in order to make the decision. Keith said it's not just about having a great voice but whether the audience could relate to the performers. "I can relate to you, Nick."
• Asked to give her winner for round one, Jennifer opted for a tie.
• For his second song, chosen by the season mentor, he sang "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers, this time wearing a dark V-neck and dark pants, sitting on a stool and accompanying himself on guitar. Again, very emotional and lots of raw but soaring vocals. Harry called this an "inward, soulful performance" and called it great. Keith said, "Do you know how you turn a duck into a soul singer? You put him in the oven and bake him until he's Bill Withers." (Think about it, but substitute the word "his" for "he's".) Jennifer wanted to know who he was singing to -- he wouldn't say -- and said she loved it.
• For Nick, the song was "I Won't Give Up," which he performed at a piano, wearing a white T-shirt and black vest. This could have been one of his best performances, with tender vocals. Keith didn't know that he played piano. He said, "Your heart is so good." Jennifer thought it was "another strong performance." Harry said, "Your strongest thing is how you just lay it all out there on an emotional level." He called it a very heartfelt performance. Being asked who to choose, Harry called it a tie, because he said that Nick won the first won and Clark won the second.
• Clark's coronation song was "Champion," and he performed it in a dark suit and dark shirt, without a tie, in front of a starry background, with four back-up singers. The pop-rock song fit his vocal range, and he delivered it like a pro. Jennifer said he sounded great and it was going to be a tough night. Harry said it was obvious that it's a new song and he's just getting used to it but predicted Nick would have the same problem. Keith called it inspiring.
• Nick's coronation song was "Beautiful Life." He sang it wearing an olive drab military-style jacket with red epaulettes. The song sounded very much like his sort of song, but it felt like it was lacking something that he tried to make up for by running all over the stage. Harry observed the song really sounded like it was written just for him. Jennifer also praised it. Keith felt it was a bull's eye.
• Asked to pick a winner, Keith said he was leaning a little into Nick's camp, "by a narrow margin."
• Who will America choose? Who would you choose? I am a Clark Beckham fan myself.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
theafaye
May. 13th, 2015 10:13 am (UTC)
I'm stunned that American Idol has gone on for as long as it has. It lasted the sum total of two seasons here and the second winner immediately disappeared into obscurity because we just didn't have the talent to sustain more than one season (although the X Factor is still going strong). Kudos to you guys for having enough great singers to keep it going for this long!
alycewilson
May. 14th, 2015 12:01 am (UTC)
Well, we borrowed Simon Cowell from you for quite a few years, and that had a little bit to do with it. Also, don't forget that where talent is concerned, we have a larger population to draw from.

Did you see my post today? Gary is running a short "Idol Minor" writing challenge for kids ages 14 and younger. There will be topics and polls but no eliminations. I've signed up KFP, but so far he's the only participant.
theafaye
May. 14th, 2015 09:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, I saw the post, but if my children were going to do a writing competition, I'd want them to do one run by someone with a stronger sense of ethics.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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