Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Finale Performances: Round 1

I always forget how big the Kodak Theater is until they do that dramatic pan-out to the audience. It is an appropriately huge setting for a huge event. Yes, this is huge, people...the American Idol finale.

I'm into it. I'm done griping about Sanjaya and Melinda's horribly early ouster -- I am embracing tonight's festivities. Go Jordin! Go Blake! May the best man or woman win.

It's good to see the judges in their Finale Finest. Despite the "break," Paula's nose looks the same to me, but she does seem like she might be taking some pain meds for the "accident." Good for Paula -- she finally has a valid reason to be on meds in front of 30 million people.

Ok, deep breaths, here we go with the performances...

Blake Lewis - "You Give Love a Bad Name"
This was clearly the performance Blake was going to choose to reprise, and with good reason -- it was easily one of the two most buzzed about performances of the season (the other being LaKisha's "And I Am Telling You"). And, truth be told, I think it seemed just as fresh and original this time as it did the first go 'round. In fact, if I could forget that I was listening to an old 80's tune, I could picture Blake giving this kind of a performance on something like MTV's Video Music Awards.

Maybe I'm crazy and I've just fallen under his spell, but I thought this was one hell of a performance. An excellent start to the evening.

Jordin Sparks - "Fighter"
Wow, these kids really are bringing their A-games tonight. The best contestants ever on American Idol (Kelly Clarkson, Tamyra Gray, Clay Aiken, the list goes on) continued to challenge themselves week in and week out, to the point where they were choosing more and more difficult songs and one-upping themselves every week. Jordin, too, has that quality -- I mean, "Fighter," by Christina Aguilera, is a hard song to sing, and picking it for her finale performance was a risky move.

But boy did she nail it! My goodness, she sang the hell out of that song, hitting some crazy high notes there at the end. Sure, she didn't move an inch (you should see Xtina perform this in concert!), but with vocals like that, why should she?

Round 1 Goes To...
As Randy said, this really is the battle of the entertainer vs. the singer. Both were at the top of their games in their respective comfort zones, but I'm gonna have to agree with Simon that Round 1 goes to Blake.

Click to read American Idol Finale Performances: Round 2

Click to read more American Idol News/Commentary

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