Wednesday, May 20, 2009
People I know... good friends of mine, people I've drunk beers with... are all like, American Idol sucks and if you watch it, you're contributing to the downfall of our country's intelligence and we have standards and NPR and one day I won't even OWN a television, what a glorious time that will be.
Well listen, despite the fact that we're otherwise cool and you generally smell nice, seriously, shut the fuck up about American Idol and how it's awful.
We KNOW it's awful. That's the not the point. The point is, because it's awful, it's also amazing. And not in a "so bad it's good" kinda way; that shit is for The Biggest Loser. It's awful because it's a perfect mirror of our nation's psyche, fucking ALWAYS.
Look at tonight... Adam Lambert, who has a voice like a neutron bomb, but is "weird" and "makes us think about gays" and "wears make-up like a GIRL, OMG," did not win though he was clearly the more talented of the final two. Who did win? Kris Allen, who's got a very nice voice and is very talented, but is an aw-shucks sort of fellow who wears a lot of plaid and probably snuggles better than anyone you've ever met. The guy is practically MADE of snuggles. He doesn't even fuck... he only makes love, then writes a song about it.
So OF COURSE he's going to win in a head-to-head competition with Mr. Tragically Delicious Dark Music of the Theater's Mournful Soul. Kris Allen is safety and strong arms... Adam Lambert is a shower of shrieking sparks and a pass-around tray of amyl nitrates.
And don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of BOTH. I thought, for once, America got it right... the final two, you couldn't really make a bad call. But I do think Kris winning writes large what is still... FUCKING STILL... on America's mind; i.e. we're still sort of scared that the gays will make us gay with their gay power.
Then again, I'm not actually gay, so I guess I really shouldn't speak for them re: the shit they have to deal with. Besides, maybe they all voted for Kris because he's totally dreamy and Adam, talented though he is, got to be a bit much sometimes.
Anyway, so that's THAT part of the finale. Let's do a quick rundown of the Super Special Celebrity Guests:
Queen Latifa - I liked her in Chicago, but then I haven't really cared for her since. Also, what the fuck was she wearing tonight? A skin-tight leotard with all the zippers in the world? Why do that? If you're a big lady, go blowsy, or sassy-tits like Aretha. Don't call attention to where you're round. The song she sang with Lil Rounds was eh. C-
Jason Mraz - Much as I think him and his hats are all, collectively, a bag of douches, I really like that "I'm Yours" song, to a stalker-ish degree. Also, doesn't it feel like that song of his, "The Remedy," was released back in like 1993? Why is that. It's only been around like six years or something. Weird. "Mraz" must be a dead language word for "time warp." B-
Keith Urban - Who gives a shit. I spent most of his duet with Kris hitting the queso and trying to remember whether or not he was Australian, because otherwise how would he have met Nicole Kidman. It doesn't make sense any other way. D
Cyndi Lauper - God, I love her. When parents think of their kid going off to be "artsy," she is the kind of girl they picture their son or daughter eventually dating, with the weird hair and the clothes from hell's thrift store and an accent so thick it could crack blocks of toffee. Bless her heart for embodying that all these years. I urge you to pick up "She's So Unusual" from back in the 80's. There weren't many better albums from that decade. A+
The Black-Eyed Peas - Fuck them and the meth lab that shat them out. They smell like balls and they run down the back of your throat like cocaine snorted off a "We Are the World" cassette single. Everything about them is like multi-ethnic lit cigarettes in your eye. Even their backup dancers won't show their faces. F-
Lionel Ritchie - Hey look, Lionel Ritchie is still around. C+
Steve Martin - Anyone who's ever bought one of his comedy albums knows that he's all about the banjo, and that by the by is awesome, but him being here was totally a "I'd like to sell some albums" move. And there's nothing wrong with that; dude's Steve Martin. He can do as he pleases. It just sucks that he got stuck performing with Meagan Joy and Michael Sarver, the two worst voices in the Top Ten this year. B+
KISS - Haha, whoa... that was big and loud and shiny and everything at once on a stage not built for so much old man rock fury. They're getting a little long in the tooth to be sporting the classic makeup... it's really defining their wrinkles so they look like Halloween masks... but how can you argue with "Detroit Rock City," "Rock & Roll All Night," AND Adam Lambert in wire-frame shoulder pads singing "Beth" like he just thought of it just now and YOU'RE his Beth for all eternity? A-
Rod Stewart - Points for busting out "Maggie May," which is a genius song no matter what your opinion of Rod the Bod is, and some more points for that wicked jacket, but... wow... the voice ain't what it used to be, huh? Sounding a little creaky these days, my man. Still got the moves, though. Or at least a joints-and-back-friendly approximation of same. B-
Queen - Well, as much of Queen as you're going to get without a Ouija board. Brian May is alright, but nobody... not on the stage tonight, or in the world today (with the possible exception of Mika)... can touch Freddie Mercury. That buck-toothed bastard had it going ON, always. But anyway, what's left of Queen showed up and Kris and Adam sang with them and it was okay, I guess. Kris was kind of punching above his weight with the high notes, but who cares. C+
The Show as a Whole: C'mon, there's not even an argument here... A+, all the way, because it delivered what it was supposed to deliver, pipin' hot and freshly baked. It might be the end of the world or whatever, but man is it a tasty descent into the darkness.