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Expect The Unexpected And The Unexpected Never Happens

With the usual dosage of pomp, and an extra shot of circumstance, American Idol's 8th season came to a thunderous close tonight.

The entire season was full of twists and turns.  Where the show lacked in talent this year, it made up for itself amply with surprises.  The first and possibly most noteworthy of which being that Mamapop let me post on their site. More than once.  Talk about lowering your standards.

And so, before I say one more word, I just wanted to say thank you to Amalah and Sweetney and these crazy kids who write here all the time.  I may have nightmares about your email distros for years to come, but I'll still miss you all.

And thanks to all their regular readers for patting my head and waiting me out.  It's over, I swear.

And for the record, I hate glitter and I think unicorns are weird.

And now, onto tonight's show.  Adam Lambert.......

Sang with KISS, dudes.  All season I've been trying to find some way to bring up that tongue and make some sort of Shannon Tweed reference, but then you'd all know that I watched porn and my good girl image would vanish faster than Megan Joy's dreams and then where would I be in life?  Fortunately, I didn't have to bring it up.  THEY DID.  

The whole season was full of unexpected little gems.  Did anyone notice that Scott never once so much as stumbled on that stage?  I would have fallen all over the place, and I can see where I'm going.  How awesome was it that Paula finally admitted to having a drug problem and then finally admitted that she never admitted that she had a drug problem?  I'd have bet you my firstborn that they'd never get anyone from G&R, not ever poor, washed up Axle Rose, on the Idol stage, but there was Slash showing them all how it's done. And I certainly never expected David Cook to say hi to my kids.

That?  Did not suck.

But I'd have called that one before I called Ryan kissing a skank in a bikini.  Though, in fairness to him, she didn't exactly give him a choice in the matter.  And so he and Simon got to sail through to the finale maintaining their Ambiguously Gay Duo superhero personas.  As for said finale show, I'm not sure which I saw coming less...that Kiss would agree to appear on Idol, or that the producers had the foresight to get that match.

And that they then got Cyndi Lauper to sing TIme After Time with Alison, and it was truly outrageous, especially with slide steel guitars.   And for the first time in my life I can say that I think Cyndi Lauper is hot, which not even I expected to ever say. 

But hell, you give Susan Doyle a slide steel guitar and I swear, stuff would tingle.

I probably should mention that I think Danny could have stood there just as easily as Kris did, he's just got a different sort of goodness.  His gruff edge to his voice is a perfect compliment to Kris' smoothness.  Either one could have been on that stage tonight, mentally rehearsing their concession speech to Adam.

See, the thing is, Kris and Danny and Alison, they're good singers.  They were probably the only four this whole season who were anything better than High School Musical, but they're young.  They're just singers.  They have their thing and they see that thing and it's clear and pinpointed at the end of a telescope that they're looking into, and they are charging forward towards it.  Adam, he's looking through a kaleidoscope.  He sees things the others can't, that many performers today just could never, because he's a musician.  He can pull music out of anything, and that's perfectly obvious.  Watching Adam this season has been like watching Michael Jackson at a table with a few spoons on it, and the whole time he's being interviewed, he's doing something with those spoons and making incredibly mind-numbing music.  WITH SPOONS.  Michael Jackson may be dipping his face in acid every night and snorting pixie sticks from outside the gate of Neverland Ranch and may never be your best choice for a babysitter, but that man is a musical genius and there is NO denying that.  Even if you hate him with every breathe of your being.  Even if you will never get him.  Even if you wrote him a letter in 5th grade because he was a Jehovah's Witness and you were a Jehovah's Witness and so he totally should have answered your letter but he didn't because he's a big jerk-face, monkey loving robot from outerspace.


My point is that Adam could very well be our next Michael Jackson.  That Adam is a musical genius.  That he gets music; not just notes and keys but the concept of music as a bigger thing, a living, breathing, moldable force.  He sees it differently than you or I do, just like the waiter at your favorite restaurant sees the floor and the tables in a different way than you do.  They see lines in the floor, they see seating patterns, where you just see a bunch of tables scattered around.

Adam is going to be huge.  I don't know how, exactly, but he's just getting started.

This is where I should confess that I actually like American Idol, that I don't just watch it for the fuck-ups but that I take it fairly seriously.  Because I'm waiting for something.  And I think it's coming.

See, a few years ago we had this pretty little southern Christian white boy who stood on a stage and did something no one expected him to; he sang the music that black people sang, and moved his scrawny hips with a little slice of soul.  And with that simple act, he showed a hell of a lot of people how terribly wrong they were about almost everything, and he completely changed the world.  He also ate all our fried chicken, but you can't have everything,

Where would you put it?

And just after that, a couple of kids with bad teeth and atrocious hair sailed across the sea and played music that was just weird.  It was nothing like anyone had ever heard or expected to hear before.  A lot of people hated it, a lot more didn't get it, and a lot more (like me) took a long ass time to truly appreciate the sort of vision and talent it takes to jump from living in yellow submarines all the way to holding us in their arms, with their fingers on our triggers, and having it all work beautifully.  And those four guys changed the face of music forever.

And then not too long later, a group of guys who were steadily pioneering what ended up being another, different sort of massive social revolution decided to take a chance, be bold and daring and unexpected, and they ended up bringing two groups of people, two styles of music, two completely different American cultures together in a way that there is no way they ever imagined they would simply by singing hey diddle diddle with their kitty in the middle of the swing like they just don't care.  Taking a chance at a high school dance never paid off so well for anyone, ever, especially Eminem.

Which leads me to Adam.  Maybe he's a bit theatrical, maybe he digs his costumes a little too much for our liking, but maybe that's because we got so used to girls wearing nothing and singing less, maybe we grew so accustomed to guys in ironically distressed designer t-shirts singing the simply obvious, hold the salt, that we don't know what to do with Performance.  We don't know how to react when someone comes a long and reminds us that music can and should be an art form.  That it's a romance language.  That is has boundaries that still have some room to be pushed.  That the fat lady hasn't sung just yet on what we can do with 5 lines on a sheet of paper and a good #2 pencil.

Which is why it's totally okay that he lost.  Even if no one expected it.  Even if Kris was like, "Um, but this is Adam's trophy" and even if Ryan couldn't just let Kris have his moment, but had to bring Adam back out on the stage one last time.

Because maybe music is coming back, and maybe Adam is going to pave the way for that.

Mr Lady, out.

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Wow. Just wow. Adam is to music and you are to writing. An artist.


i agree that adam will be huge, but if he's such a musician then why did we never see him play an instrument?

never mind me, i'm just bitter because i wanted matt to win. he went to my high school and for some reason that made me love him.


I actually think this may work out better for Adam,in that he'll be slightly more free to do what he wants to do rather than be tied to the "American Idol" image

Love, love, loved your recaps. WITH SPOONS.



If this guy actually gets music (no I still haven't ever watched the show), it's probably a whole hell of a lot better that he didn't win. Ya know, for his street cred.

Also, I wasn't originally clear that we had changed topics and I was trying to picture Clay Aiken in Elvis's spot until I got that we were smack in the middle of a metaphor kinda thing and I hadn't realized. Which was genius. Because Clay Aiken? Is no Elvis. And picturing him swaying his scrawny little hips? Almost made me throw up in my mouth a little.


Well said, Mr. Lady. Well said.


Mr Lady, you are the best. That post captured exactly how I felt about Adam. Please come back for next season, okay?

blissfully caffeinated

At the very least Adam does not have to sing that godawful Kara Dioguardi song for the next year. So I'm happy about that. (And I'm pretty sure he is too.)


Personally, except for Carrie Underwood, winning Idol is sort of like the kiss of death so I'm not sorry Adam didn't win. He'll be better off not to have sing Idol crap music for the next two years.

Nice work Mrs Lady

Im Nates Mom

The only thing more entertaining than your recaps was playing the show in slow-mo and making up dialogue for the performers to say to eachother. Like last night, when Adam was hugging Kris: "Oh, god he's been trying to hug me all season. Look man, I told you, I love my wife." And then Adam laughed and said, "I'm glad I didn't win because now I don't have to sing that horrible song that Kara wrote." And they both snickered and rolled their eyes. I don't know what I'm going to do on Tues and Wed nights now.


Kelly Clarkson has also done well for herself in addition to Carrie Underwood. I agree that it's probably best for Adam to have not won, so he's not so "restricted" and it's best for Kris that he did win to help his career. I have enjoyed the recaps as well. Won't you come back, won't you come back, won't you come back tomorrow? (Or next season). Oh and I'm so happy that commenters haven't harped about rigging and red neck voting and all that as I've seen on other sites. Go MamaPop readers!

Kim S.

You wrote the hell out of that. Kudos.


Love the kaleidoscope line. Agreed, agreed, agreed.

Mr Lady

Awwww, shucks. *blush*

Mr Lady

That is an understandable reason.

I miss the days on Idol when they didn't all play instruments. The days when they JUST sang. I think the whole guitar/piano thing detracts from the singing. THat's just me, though.

Mr Lady


Mr Lady

And now, I'm puking in my mouth, too. Ewwww, Clay Aiken.

Mr Lady

Thank you, sugar. :)

Mr Lady

If I forget how much I hate writing recaps before next season, I totally will. It's kind of like childbirth. Which is why I keep cranking out people.

Mr Lady

True dat. Double true.

Mr Lady

And Kelly Clarkson.

I find that #2 usually does better. Case in point: Clay *puke* Aiken. Chris *ohmygodmakeitstop* Daughtry. Some things just shouldn't be left to the American Public. *cough Prop8 cough*

Mr Lady

Like MXC, with guitars. Someone should do a Mystery Science Theater 3000, Idol style.


Mr Lady

We haz the best readers. Period.

Mr Lady

Shucks. Thanks!

Mr Lady

RIght, huh? I can't wait to see what he does next.


I like this, because your writing actually changed my mind about what Adam was capable of. I think you're right, that we're looking for a Big Change in music, and that we're sick of Bikini Girls getting record deals and Vanilla Allens winning the competition. We just don't know that that's what we want yet.

And Shine's comment about Clay Aiken and Elvis had me tearing up, because I thought the same thing. Oh man, that was good stuff.


Ha! I did the same thing, mouth puke and all!


Well... at least Adam's not tied to that gag-inspiring "Mountains and Hurricanes" song.

As usual, I giggled and sighed through your recap, but I was a little sad that you didn't comment on Kara's bikini or Rod Stewart's escapades. Talk about puking in your mouth.

Kudos to the awesome recaps. Now I'm gonna go cry a little bit because I have to wait so long to read another. If that makes you feel bad, you can always say something kinda mean about Kara and Rod. That's sure to perk me right up.


Michael Jackson? Seriously? Oh Baby, I think I need to kidnap you and have some sort of intervention. No? We can hang in my parents basement and listen to Pink Floyd on the HiFi. I'll make Jiffy Pop and we can braid each other's hair. Still no? Sigh...

Truthfully, I had a hard time sitting through the show and clicked back and forth between AI and various Law & Orders. At one point I think I was watching three different L&O shows simultaneously during Idol. Me? Short attention span (perhaps due to after-effects of the OTHER things I did in my parents basement in the 70's)?
Anyway, good for you being able to watch the whole thing. I know I'm going to miss these updates.

Mr Lady

You know I've got every Floyd ever on vinyl, cassette and cd, right? And all the Alan Parsons, too?

I hate than man and the music he chooses to make, but I can't argue his genius. And I REALLY hate him.

Mr Lady

They were just too easy. :)

Mr Lady

I'm sick of GIRLS getting record deals. Grown ups, please.

Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy

My mother, who is slightly disgruntled and always hilarious, claims she will attend the closest American Idol top 10 concert this summer and wear a tshirt that says, "Adam Lambert was raped by AI." She's dead serious. She has already sent numerous emails to anyone that will listen at American Idol about her disgrace. I only wish that this was a joke, but my mother really will wear that tshirt, and she's a business suits gal. I might go with her. MIGHT.

Adam Lambert > Kris Allen


I usually agree with you Mr. Lady, however not so much this time. The Beatles, Elvis, really? Not even close. We HAVE seen this before...it's called Meatloaf, or Broadway, or Rocky Horror Picture Show, etc. IT'S THE CLASSIC ROCK OPERA. It's called combining music and acting. That is why I finally figured out why Adam seems so insincere when he sings, because it's not coming from his soul, it's just him acting and singing. Can't fault him for that, but can't deify him either. There is probably no one more happy than Adam that he didn't win because now he can forgo the Idol record contract and run straight to Broadway. It's been his dream since he was young. I'm happy for him, but not in awe.


I have the urge to add WITH SPOONS to everything I say today. heh.


Oh, I totally did the same thing. Glad I'm not the only one!


Adam is going to be huge. I totally agree. I had never thought to compare him to Michael Jackson but that makes sense.

April McCaffery

Brava, Mr Lady. You captured what I just couldn't even articulate, so I haven't even tried. I AM sorry that he lost, because I have this crazy idea that the best singer should win, and all men are created equal (*cough*Prop8). I know, you're laughing at me. I've already vowed not to watch AI again, but I'll still read your recaps should you decide to do them next season. And it'll be even better that way!

Mr Lady

I love your mother.

Mr Lady



Mr Lady

Silly silly girl.

I vow to not watch it every year. That's worked out super well for me.

Mr Lady

Just without the ewww. Or as much.


Hang on, hang on. I disagree with Stephanie and subscribe more to Shannon's analysis of Adam. He gets music, full stop. He will never have to worry about income the rest of his life. If he isn't performing, he will be arranging and re-arranging new music and standards and really really old bad One-Hit-Wonders, and even classical pieces. Classic rock, classic opera, classic garbage, you name it. If you don't believe me, go listen on YouTube to his arrangement and interpretation of Ring of Fire. Whether you like it or not doesn't matter. It's original. Kris came mildly close to Adam's ability to re-invent a song, but stayed in a safety zone by acoustically stripping tunes down from original multi-layered tracks.

Adam has good instincts about tempo, timing, orchestration, and volume. He might channel Jimmy Page every now and then, but he's still unique at the end of the day. I'm quite pleased he won't be saddled with Kara DioGuardi's mess of a first-release song; instead I'm looking forward to hearing soundbites from his first collection of songs he lays down in a studio somewhere. Bet you anything it won't sound like the previous 3 guys on the radio you just sat through.

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