Well, last night we finished the 8th season of American Idol. I admit it I'm a junkie. I've watched every season and loved them all. Just call me a slave to pop-culture. It's ok... I like buying into the hype. I appreciate how each year the judges, the fans and, of course, the contestants become more sophisticated (generally). But one thing hasn't changed and that is, I ALWAYS like the underdog - is it my nature to root for them or do I like things that the rest of America doesn't? Every year I have wanted the 2nd place contestant to win.
Here's a little recap just in case you have forgotten (or missed a season)
Season 1: Kelly Clarkson - winner
Justin Guarini - 2nd place
Season 1 was the only exception to this rule of wanting the 2nd place contestant to win. Of course Kelly Clarkson rightly won. Cuz in the grand scheme of things there were no other contestants. I mean really...
(Just as a side note I heard Justin was trying to get one of his songs into the new Twilight Movie - hmm, who knows, maybe its good)
Season 2: Ruben Studdard - winner
Clay Aiken - 2nd place
I really liked Ruben and I thought he had a great voice. I wanted Clay to win. Clay should have won.
Season 3: Fantasia Barrino - winner
Diana DeGarmo - 2nd place
Well maybe this year didn't count so much... I didn't like either one of these finalists, bleh. In the end though I was still rooting for Diana because Fantasia bugged (and still does). SCREEEEECH!!!!!!
Season 4: Carrie Underwood - winner
Bo Bice - 2nd place
Now here's where I went wrong and I have since repented. I thought Bo should have won. I really liked Carrie but I felt like she did this weird "disconnect" thing with her eyes when she sang(I thought she looked bored or something) . She still does it, but now I recognize it as "effortless singing."
This is a very dumb reason to write her off, and my exact point about becoming more sophisticated in being able to hear, see and judge talent. Carrie is BEAUTIFUL and is one of my top 3 favorite idols, ever! And Bo??? Where exactly is he?
Season 5: Taylor Hicks - winner
Katherine McPhee - 2nd place
This year was another weird year. Taylor Hicks? I mean, come on... He's likable and everything but this year should have gone to Chris Daughtry. Taylor and Katherine were just poor substitutes for the real deal.
Out of the two, I wanted Katherine to win. But she hasn't done much either. Very sad for the both of them.
4th place???? This is absurd! He's a total STAR!
Season 6: Jordin Sparks - winner
Blake Lewis - 2nd place
Here's another one I have repented of. I was disappointed when Jordin won. She was so young and I was afraid of what she might produce. I thought she won because of the song the the 2 finalists sang at the end. It's the same song. Jordin rocked it! Blake did not! It did not fit his vocal style at all. He was robbed.
I now love Jordin's songs. I have them on my iPod. I'm glad she won. Her age had nothing to do with it.
But I still love Blake, where is he? Come on Blake throw us a bone!
Season 7 David Cook - winner, David Archuleta - 2nd
Last year was a particularly tough year. I really liked both the Davids a lot. But in the end, I had to go with David Archuleta. His voice is "like butta". I mean I'm not kidding! I'm glad they both have successful albums. I own them both, I like them both, but I have to say that, even now, I listen to David Archuleta more than David Cook.
So now this brings us to Season 8, the one that ended last night. This is the first season that went just how I though is should. The first 9 contestants going off in whatever order... fine for me. This left us with Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.
As much as I love Danny he needed to leave when he did. It made me sad when he had to go though.
This left us with Kris and Adam.
Adam was the popular favorite from the beginning. He is radical, and theatrical and very
talented. He isn't bad looking and he is shockingly humble, despite his dramatic appearance and personality. He grew on me over the season, even though I was a little put off by his
persona, and a little annoyed by his lifestyle choices,
I really grew a little thing for him during the group number that Paula choreographed. He was very entertaining to watch. There is no doubt he has talent on MANY levels. I found him to be quite versatile, quite likable, and quite a good choice for an American Idol.
When Kris came on the scene, it all changed. The first time I heard him sing on the show I was like, "Wait a minute! Stop the presses! Who is THAT?" He is by far the best looking guy this season, he's the boy next door, he plays the guitar AND the piano, he has a cute little crooked mouth when he sings, he has great hands, and my personal favorite; when he plays the guitar and the microphone is on its stand, I love when he stops playing for a minute and holds the mike with his pick hand. He's got his finger all curled up (holding his pick) and it is just the best. I searched high and low for a picture of him doing this but only found one little blurry one. I guess you'll just have to go rewatch his performances.
I've ended up downloading all his songs. He is without reproach (to coin a Jane Austin phrase). I literally can not stop listening to his voice. It does so many cool things. I wish I knew vocal terms so I could tell you what it is I'm hearing that I love. Maybe there aren't words for his little inflections. But to me it sounds effortless. Like he doesn't plan for his voice to do certain things at certain times but it just does it, and it turns out to be the best thing that could have been done at that particular moment. Now, maybe he DOES plan it all out (what would I know) but to me it is purely beautiful.
I know about now you are saying, "Stef, I think you've developed a little crush on that guy." And though I'm a little red faced over it, it's true. I've watched during past seasons as my friends were enamored with the likes of Elliot Yamin, David Archuleta and David Cook. It was funny to me and now I'm as guilty as the rest.
But the point of it all is that the person who won is the one I wanted to win... this has never happened before... not since Kelly.