Going into the first half of the American Idol season finale, I thought the finale was going to be like comparing apples and oranges. Songstress Jordin Sparks has the vocals while beatboxing Blake Lewis has won the crowd over with performances. However, Jordin, as Simon Cowell put it, wiped the floor with Blake with the final song and, unless the voters are deaf, dumb and blind, sealed her victory.
Blake won the coin toss last week and chose to sing first. Each contestant sang three songs — their favorite from an earlier performance, a song they’ve not sang on the the show before and the winning song from the American Idol Songwriter contest. The finale came down to this last song.
For his favorite, Blake chose his rendition of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” While the choice highlighted his beatboxing ability, it did nothing to make his vocals shine. Although I still prefer Bon Jovi’s version, I think Blake had a better performance the first time he sang it. It seemed like he was dancing around so much that he wasn’t connecting with his microphone. Or maybe it was just that the acoustics are different in the Kodak Theatre.
For his new song, Blake chose “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5. While this choice ventured away from Blake’s beatboxing, it was still a safe song for him. It didn’t challenge him. Blake had a nice performance, but we saw nothing new from him with this song.
On the other hand, Jordin chose something different from anything else she’s done for her new song with Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter.” It wasn’t her best performance, but it was still nice to see Jordin rock a little.
But Jordin really knows how to showcase her voice and that’s exactly what she did with her choice for her favorite song. Jordin’s rendition of Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing” was just as beautiful this time as when she sang it during country week.
Now we are down to the winner of the American Idol Songwriter contest — “This is My Now.” The song was written by Jeff Peabody and Scott Krippayne. Scott wants to write “music that reflects life, resonates with people and touches the heart.”
When I heard Blake sing this song I wondered why it won. Obviously this song isn’t Blake’s cup of tea. But it’s the first challenging song he’s had in a couple of weeks and he wasn’t up to task. I’d like to comment more on his rendition, but to be honest all I could hear was the background singers. I can only guess there was a reason they were drowning him out.
At this point I thought Blake had won the contest. The judges made excuses for Blake after this performance saying that it just wasn’t his genre and that he should be judged on his first two performances alone.
Then Jordin took the stage and it was a whole new ballgame. “This is My Now” came alive as this beautiful song that was describing Jordin’s experience at that exact moment. Not only did Jordin belt out this ballad flawlessly, she made you believe in the song. If I had any doubt that Jordin
could become had become a pop star, they were washed away with this single performance. I think she should make this her first single. Jordin blew away Blake hands down. And now I know why “This is My Now” won.
Now it’s all over except for the voting.
The show was rounded out with file footage of the Idols’ journey this season and some background information. The producers shamelessly promoted the next Great American Band and the American Idol Live Tour. We learned how Paula Abdul broke her nose tripping over her down and Ryan Seacrest remarked that he was glad that the “bitch is okay.” Of course, Paula spent the entire show talking a lot without actually saying anything. We saw cameos of all the other finalists in the audience. And finally we were bombarded with commercials for every Fox reality show out there. The show closed with a performance of “Going Home” by Chris Daughtry’s band.
Based on Tuesday’s performance, I think that Jordin should be crowned the next American Idol. My heart still says Melinda Doolittle should be the winner, but since I have to choose between Jordin and Blake, I would have to go with Jordin. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blake won. Despite Randy Jackson reiterating the fact that this show is indeed a singing contest, it does boil down to popularity among the voting crowd (read teenagers who have time to spend four hours voting).