Thursday, May 21, 2009

You Pick the Title

So the big excitement in the house last night was the American Idol finale. Quite an exciting show they put on. Hubby and I were commenting about wondering how much those people paid to get into that show with all those big names performing. It was so much fun watching the top 13 get to sing with all these huge music greats. The music was great, but the Idol awards, Blech. I could have done without revisiting Tatiana or Norman and Bikini Girl. That is one part of the show they can totally scrap in my opinion.

What struck me through the whole show is the seemingly genuine friendship that the top 2, Kris and Adam, seem have developed. It was really refreshing to watch. As was Kris' total shock and tonguetiedness ( I just invented a word, let's go with it) when he was announced the winner. I think he truly thought he didn't have a chance against Adam.

So why did Kris win was the topic of conversation amongst us last night. Several thoughts came up. First of all, let me say, I thought both final 2 were very, very talented. Just in very different ways. Adam's talent is way more obvious and in your face, while Kris' was much more subtle. That said, why didn't Adam, the obvious judges' and producers' favorite, win? Well this little Canadaian, who picked Kris from the top 32 but having to watch from the sidelines and not be able to vote, is gonna go out on a limb and tell you what I observed from the sidelines.

First, Adam was incredibly talented but incredibly polarizing. Either you liked his style or you didn't. He was very interesting to watch and you couldn't wait to see what he would do week to week with his theatrics even if you didn't like the screeming, but that is exactly the point. Would the general viewing audience of American Idol actually buy his CD, and listen without the visual effects, to his style of music. The majority of American Idol viewers, I'll bet, are not your hard core rockers.

Second, I think the judges and producer's blatant, constant endorsement and near worship of Adam actually backfired on him. I think it galvanized voters to vote for the more mainstream music style of first Danny and then Kris. This was American Idol after all, and their music is supposed to go onto mainstream radio, not a rock station. And it brought out the underdog factor. We all like to get behind the underdog, well, most of us anyway. Well, ok, me. I like to get behind the underdog.

Third, Adam came into the competition already with mega stage and professional experience. I mean the guy performed a main role with Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments, the Musical. (Who knew Val Kilmer could sing, BTW, but that is a whole other post!) He was already the comsumate professional with great work ethic and know how, with his name well known in certain circles. Kris was totally the inexperienced guy next door who had a good voice and a desire to sing, who didn't even know if he could be the next American Idol when asked by the judges. And isn't the point of American Idol to find that unknown gem out there , the one hiding on that farm, or working behind the grocery store till, not necessarily the one who's already in the business in one form or another?

We watched Kris grow and get better and better each week. There is something inspirational about watching the underdog listen to the judges critiques and put them into practice and come into his own as an artist and performer. The judges didn't really critique Adam, they just fell all over themselves each week praising him, except when Simon would mention theatrics, but even then, he was never really critiqued. It didn't grab you and want to cheer him on and become his fan. He didn't grow on you. You were either a fan from the beginning or not.

Fourth, there was the Danny factor. When Danny got out, the question was who would get his votes. It only made sense that Danny's fans would back the guy who's style was more like Danny, which of course, was Kris. And with only 1 million votes out of 88 million separating Kris and Adam at the final three point those votes obviously went to Kris.


Fifth, there was something appealing to the general population about Kris' humbleness, in spite of the fact that Simon told him to cut out the humbleness, even in the face of Simon's disparaging comments the last few weeks and his telling the audience to make sure and get voting for Adam and even in the face of Paula and Kara's outright worship of Adam. Don't get me wrong I thought Adam was actually a very humble person too considering all the "can do no wrong praise" but he did have a very professional confidence in himself and his talents, whereas I don't think Kris really knew how good he actually is.

Sixth, never discount the tweenie vote, with their hundred mile an hour texting talents.

Congrats to both the final 2. I'm happy that Kris won. This will be life changing for him and his cute little wifey. I hope American Idol backs & promotes him well even if he wasn't their choice for the winner. I know I'll be buying his CD. Adam will, no doubt about it, get a big recording contract and go on to huge international fame, I'm sure. All he really needed was the exposure and for big recording execs to see him. In fact, it was probably better for Adam to not win as now he is free to do exactly what kind of recordings he wants without being tied to an American Idol contract and putting out what they deem would make the most money for them.

And that my friends is my post for my "Why Kris Won" or "Why Adam Lost" or "About American Idol by a Canadian" or "I haven't a clue what else to post about today so hey, why not post about American Idol" post. You can go ahead and pick your favorite title.

I've now done a first, writing about American Idol. What could be next? LOL.

18 comments:

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

How about "Living to Sing the Story?"

Susanne said...

Now Melanie, why couldn't I think of that?! You are a creative genius and I need to start consulting with you! :v)

Thom said...

Very well written. You bring up much food for thought. I wanted Adam to win from the very beginning. He is so much more the "star" "entertainer" "performer" than Kris ever will be. But you bring up many fine points about Kris as well. He won yet, he needed this to get his career, if he so chooses to pursue one in music started. Adam on the other hand will not. I'm sure record producers are lined up for him already. Yes his music might not be main stream but he's got real talent. I firmly believe you are so right that Kris got Danny's votes and the "tweenie" vote is what put him over the top. But I think he is also going to go down and be like Taylor, Fantasia and Reuben...who cares. They have been boring and done really nothing to break out. Adam I think will be the Kelly or Carrie. It was a great season and I congratulate Kris and Adam. Oh a title: "Beauty and the Beast"

Faith said...

LOL...wow. You put alot of thought into AI!
I LOVED the finale (NOT bikini girl nor norman but it was rather funny to see Tatiana....). I think Adam didn't win for many of the reasons you state however, I would rather he was the "idol" of the year because he is so. different. Americans tend to stick with the "all american clean cut person" IMHP. Adam's vocals were amazing. Kris is good but....I won't run out and buy his cd. Just like I haven't bought David Cooks. My teen DOES have David Archeletta's and it is pretty good if ya like teen pop!

Karen said...

I've never watched American Idol, but have been half listening to the discussion about last night's finale. You've convinced me. Kris deserved to win;)

Barbara H. said...

I think I am with you on jut about every single point and thought here. Adam was incredibly talented and I love his voice on "Tracks of my tears," but I'm just not into the noisy rock -- I had the sound muted much of "rock week." But he was definitely fun to watch and I wish him well and think he will gain much from the exposure of AI. He seemed to have everything else but this big break, and now he's got it.

Loved when Kris's wife came up at the end and he was buried in her shoulder!! So sweet!

Willow said...

I haven't been following AI and haven't heard either of them sing. How do you say completely out of touch?

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Excellent analysis, my friend!

ellen b. said...

My humble opinion :0) is that I would enjoy seeing Adam in person because of his entertainment factor but Kris' Cd is the one I would buy and listen to over and over again. He has a style and does it well...
Adam proved he's a performer and actor and can do any style well but I don't know if he has his own style...

Finding Pam said...

I have missed this season bc I watch Dancing With the Stars. DWTS ended last week so I was able to watch AI. WOW! That was some kind of awesome finale. I loved how they brought back some of the old guys from my generation.

I think Adam has a huge presence about himself and will be one of the greatest artist out there. He definately has a following.

Kris on the other hand seems so very shy. I am happy that he won, but I am not sure he has the same drive that Adam has. Softly, quietly singing his way to the end.

Chatty Kelly said...

Excellent wrap up! I loved it.

Canandians get American Idol up there? Wow. Small world. :-)

Laura said...

Girl I really enjoyed reading this post AND I don't even watch American Idol. LOL

Brenda said...

I didn't get to watch AI much this season but from what I did see, I kind of liked Kris. Not sure about 4 judges though.

Barb said...

What a fantastic post, Susanne. You expressed it perfectly and I couldn't agree with you more, about every single one of your points. I totally agree. I actually really liked Adam and that's weird because I don't like heavy rock but something about him drew me in. However, I wasn't surprised that Kris won - I had a lot of faith in America and the way we pull for the underdog. Kris is as talented as Adam, just in a very different way.

My favorite moment of the whole amazing show last night was the very end when Kris hugged his wife and buried his face in her shoulder. And that's saying something because Wake Up Maggie is maybe my all time ever favorite song. :-)

Lynn said...

Great post! I think you summed it up perfectly. And thanks so much for linking to that Adam Lambert/Val Kilmer clip. Who knew?! That was great fun to watch. I'm such a big fan of the show, and this year I really thought all of the top 5 were so stinkin' talented, I could have seen any of them as the winner. I am thrilled to pieces for Kris, and am really looking forward to hearing what he and the other top contestants come out with next :) Thanks for summing it all up so well. I think you may have a future in writing reviews for TV Guide :)

janjanmom said...

Just came across your blog...I agree with all of your musings and have had most of the same ones.

I'm sad for Danny. And for Rod Stewart, 'the morning sun when it's in your face really shows your age'. I still love him though.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Susanne, if I'm not mistaken, this is also one of the LONGEST posts you've ever written. Such detail! Such passion!!

I don't know why we didn't get into AI this year (probably weds night church that befuddled our best laid plans??). I really didn't have much of an opinion of their voices, but I will say, I really am not fond of (as my kids call them) GIRL JEANS, which one of the contestants had a penchant for wearing. Maybe that's what finally lost it for him...

Chappyswife said...

I loved hearing your take on it, and you made some very good points, things I hadn't thought of.

I didn't follow AI too closely this year - even forgot the finale was on since it was a church night for us! I was more concerned about a project I had worked on for Sr. night and if it would go off without a hitch or not. lol

I have since youtubed the Keith Urban and Kiss performances and watched them. There couldn't be 2 different acts, could there?