American Idol Finale: The Live-Blog

Adam Lambert and Kris Allen: who will be the next American Idol?
Adam Lambert and Kris Allen: who will be the next American Idol?
Michael Yarish / FOX

Everybody excited for tonight's preview premiere of Glee? I know I am. But first we have to get through this bullshit. Show of shows! Part one of the end of a long Idol season, marked by an abundance of bad dancing, unmemorable white boys, baseless support of the untalented, pity for the disabled and the widowed, and the first time that the Christian Right didn't take down a gay contestant--yet.

8:01pm. "I am the next American Idol," both Kris Allen and Adam Lambert proclaim. But only Adam seems to be sure of it, considering how the producers/judges have been pimping him all season long.

8:03. Ryan: "The battle of the acoustic rocker vs. the glam rocker. Kanye vs. California." What? "The guy next door vs the guy-liner." Hahaha, who wrote this stuff?

8:04. Paula in bright neon green, Kara in black, Simon in gray sports jacket. Oh look it's Carly Smithson (Season 7). And Sheryl Crow? Kris won the coin toss so he chose

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8:05. Tonight's plan: Favorite performance from the season, a song chosen by (show creator) Simon Fuller, and the new single (co-)written by Kara DioGuardi.

8:08. Yay! So You Think You Can Dance two-hour premiere on Thursday! Yay! Glee preview next. Jane Lynch is soooo hot.

8:09. Finally we get some back-story on the elusive Adam Lambert. As a child, he screamed all the time. His parents seem so normal. And kind of embarrassed. Adam's pick for favorite performance all season is "Mad World." Good choice. He's wearing a cape? Bad choice. The lighting is terrible--Adam looks like a manga character. Anyway, performance was fine. I don't like when they repeat their songs, so whatever. But it was nicely understated--I only hope he tears through the rest of the night. Randy gives him an "A for Adam!" So what does that mean, "K for Kris"? Kara talks about Adam's season performance as a whole. Paula calls Adam astonishingly handsome. Danny Gokey in the audience ("It should have been me!!!"). Simon says the coat made it overtheatrical, reminded him of Phantom of the Opera. Randy shouts out "Twilight!

8:15. Kris was a shy boy, and apparently also cheap. He gave his mom a coupon for a song as a birthday present. Oh please, like we haven't all done that. His choice is "Ain't No Sunshine." No one remembers him doing it before, I think because it comes from the stretch of several weeks when we he was completely forgettable. Guess it's a good move, because it feels like he's singing a totally new song.

8:19. Everyone in the audience on Kris's team is dressed for prom. Randy says this was one of Kris's best performances. Kara shouts that Kris gets intimate with the audience. Paula says he awakens the spirit in all of us. And I think she used "Allenizing" as a verb. Simon says after that performance, he's sure Kris deserves to be in the finals.

8:20. Simon proclaims Kris winner of Round 1.

8:26. Simon Fuller's choice for Adam Lambert is "A Change is Gonna Come." He's in a slightly shiny gray suit. The song is soulful, and then he does his arena rock screams in the second half, which is bizarre but also expected. Adam's father is also wearing shoulder pads! It's a disease! Randy tells Adam he can sing his face off. Too true, Randy. (Just close your eyes when Adam does those extended notes.) Kara loves it, and Paula gets on her feet, says Adam will be iconic. Simon tells Adam he's back in the game.

8:30. Katie Holmes with Suri in the audience!

8:35. Kris is up, and Simon Fuller gives him "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye. Kris puts his coffeehouse singer/songwriter spin on it, complete with jaded shoulder shrugs at "war" lyric, and closed-eyed feeling. He's totally rubbing it in Adam's face that he can play musical instruments. Randy thought the performance was too light. Kara says Kris is the kind of artist who can deliver the message of social change. Paula says he made Marvin Gaye proud. Simon says it was too laid-back for the finale.

8:39. Simon declares Round 2 Adam's.

8:43. Here's Kara's song for the victor, which is frankly on the line for judgment as much as Adam (in acid-washed black jeans)'s performance. Some lyrics: "Pain...hurricane." "You can go deeper." (That was written for Adam, surely.) "With every step you climb another mountain." I don't want to hear this on the radio.

8:47. Randy: "Dude you can sing anything...but that..." Kara is proud. Paula: "Adjectives can't express..." Simon makes fun of the mountains and the hurricanes. But he doesn't twist the knife, due to Kara's ability probably to hurt him dearly in a physical fight. "I'm not going to judge the song, I'm going to judge you." Simon appreciates Adam's season-long presence.

8:49. Ryan: "After the break, Kris takes on the same song." So... tune in? How do you make that sound enticing?

8:51. Betty White's in a movie with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock!

8:53. Last chance: Kris Allen sings Kara's mess, which is called "No Boundaries." And it's terrible. But contrary to what Simon says, it's really hard to judge the singer without judging the song. This is really unfair to both contestants. Anyway, Kris isn't this kind of singer. "No Boundaries" Unplugged, maybe. But he does this like he knows he lost. Randy says Kris should be proud of himself for his work all season. Kara says she doesn't want Kris to be judged on that song, and she hopes people vote on the season instead of her crappy song. Paula says this was the most exciting finale, even though this was actually really anticlimactic. Simon tells Kris he's greatly improved since the beginning of the show. This is like a break-up speech. Thanks for playing, game over.

8:58. Simon does not declare a Round 3 winner. But we all should declare Kara DioGuardi the Round 3 loser. And we can all look forward to Adam screaming "You can go deeper" on the radio for the next six months.

8:59. Ryan Seacrest warns us to set our DVRs for some extra time tomorrow, because they are planning on running overtime. And Carrie Underwood, who's been pimped out beyond all measure this season, comes out to sing her "going home" song live, while we watch touching footage of all the cast-offs. There's Blind Guy. There's Megan Joy doing her ugly dance. There's a grown man crying. There's Bikini Girl, Norman Gentle, crazy Tatiana del Toro, and that other gay guy Nathaniel.

9:03. Four hours to vote for Adam Lambert!

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