Posted by: dcmjlive | May 30, 2009

The Idol Journey and Aftermath

I don’t know, it’s been a week since Idol has finished. It’s left me with mixed emotions, both happy and sad. After reading two blog posts that I think was well thought-out ( &, I had the feeling to just let it out in one final(?) blog for the year. I don’t expect myself to be as witty as Julie or as thought-provocative as Angela but I’ll just blog the way that I’ve been blogging all this time to whoever has read my blogs.

Never had I been addicted to American Idol this much. It never dawned on me how I would get addicted to this sorry crap of a show. Last year, I would admit that even if I was a fan of the Davids, I had Eastern Europe to fill my needs of satisfaction. I occasionally followed American Idol but I wasn’t as obsessed as I am now. Frankly, I wasn’t obsessed at all last year.

It all started on the audition phase. It’s the first season I actually was able to watch most of the auditions. It was weird this year, less screw-ups, more drama, more talent. So early in the season, I marked my favorites and also marked other people’s favorites. Here’s some names that come to mind: Jason Castro, Tatiana del Toro, Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers, Normund Gentle, Anoop Desai, Adam Lambert, Taylor Vaifanua, Lil Rounds, Scott Macintyre, India Morrison, Michael Sarver, Megan Corkrey and Matt Giraud.

There was one standout on those shorter auditions, a guy who was featured for 9 seconds and sang one of my favorite songs thanks to previous idol contestant, Elliott Yamin. He caught my attention because of his flat cap, I love flat caps, btw. (Side story, I fell in love with flat caps last year too.) But I couldn’t remember his name.

Forward to hollywood, only a few performances stick out though. The first would have to be that slick group of Matt Giraud and India Morrison named White Chocolate that did this soulful and just amazing rendition of I Want You Back. The second is the group performance of Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers and Taylor Vaifanua with those blendings and counterpoints that just worked. I loved Matt’s and Jamar’s performances of Georgia on My Mind and Hey There Delilah. I was shocked by Adam’s performance of Believe as he sounded that I started hating him. Anoop did an awesome job with his more macho version of My Prerogative. A LOT like Cher. And of course, the stylings of Normund Gentle and Tatiana del Toro always bring out sparks.

Little did I know that I was being eaten into the trap of the producers. I listed these few as my favorites: Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud and Jamar Rogers. Then I was heartbroken when Jamar was cut. I was ready to support my favorite, Danny Gokey. But there was this guy, I just said…HE LOOKS FAMILIAR!!! Because he stroke a chord, I remembered his name for a while, Kris Allen. But after that, I forgot him.

Semifinals came and I was there supporting my new favorite Gokey. I was so it to it at this time that I just had to grade the idols for myself. Gokey did such a good job with Hero. You could really feel that love for Sophia. I was all aww when Sophia’s picture was shown. But a soft tinge went, why does this seem a bit cold? Then on to round 2, I was rooting for Matt. I didn’t want any bit of Adam Lambert. But then they sang… Matt SUCKED! His Viva La Vida was the worst performance from a favorite I could ever get. Adam however somewhat changed my view of him. Here was a guy that I would easily support, someone with a way big range. Adam was just awesome! But my favorite performance of the night came from someone I never knew. (Or so I thought) This guy named Kris Allen comes along and just kills it with one of my favorite songs: Man in the Mirror. He was like just kick (pause) awesome. I don’t know but this guy can go far. And then there was this red haired chick who sang Alone really well. Allison Iraheta was the name and my nephew thought she was Filipina. HAHA. Anyway, I was still rooting for Megan Joy too to at least get a spot with her song Put Your Records On. It was Allison not Megan and my new favorite Kris not Matt who went on. I did say to myself that both Matt and Megan deserved to go to wildcard. Then you have round 3 and I just fell in love with Felicia Barton. Lil Rounds and Scott Macintyre were awesome too but she left the same tinge as Danny, something cold. I was shocked the next day to see that my girl Felicia didn’t get in and Jorge did! I was in total outrage. Then when Felicia didn’t get in the wildcard, I felt something bad is going wrong. What has just happened? Favorites Matt, Megan and Anoop got in the wildcard. So the top 13 consisted of favorites: Danny, Matt, Megan, Anoop, Lil and Scott made it as well as three new favorites Adam, Allison and Kris and well the others, I just don’t like them.

In the pre-semifinals round, it was the ouster of Jamar Rogers that glued me to the show. But the semifinals ouster of Felicia Barton, glued me to the show again. It came to me that people that I liked were suddenly falling like flies. But I didn’t want that to happen to my top favorites Danny and Kris.

Come top 13, I was impressed again by Kris with his rendition of Remember the Time. I had my groove on with Danny’s PYT with an excellent command of the stage. Adam was just killing with it with Black or White. And of course the smooth stylings of Matt have endeared me back to him. After this episode, I had added Matt to my list of favorites. Anoop, Lil, Scott and Megan however, they were falling out of my favorites list fast. Thank goodness Jasmine and Jorge left. I couldn’t stand them.

Top 11 with the Grand Ole Opry went and two performances moved me. Kris’s To Make You Feel My Love was just what Randy said “tender moments from my tender dawg.” It was just soothing to the ears. Then of course there was Matt’s rendition of So Small. I was definitely sold to Matt and he became my frontrunner along with Kris. So what happened to Danny? Danny for the first time sounded extremely pitchy and boring for me. And Adam? I was totally turned off by Ring of Fire. He did it good but I wasn’t really buying it. Shocker, Alexis left but I didn’t feel that outraged. I thought she deserved to go farther.

Top 10 was MoTown week. I love MoTown and I could still remember Stevie Wonder perform during results night. HAHA. But back to performances, Kris wasn’t a let down and his How Sweet It Is was really sweet to the ears. Matt was also great with his sensual and sexy Let’s Get it On. It made me want to grab a girl and just say let’s get it on. Lil at this point went from OK to bad. I didn’t like Heatwave at all. Gokey also was going down the drain for me. And Adam, I was OK with Tracks of My Tears but it sounded like Cher. Honestly, at that time, I was still trying to rid myself of Adam because of Ring of Fire. This was really Sarver’s time to go and he finally did. Thank God!

What was interesting was that I was slowly becoming more aware of the internet-idol-blogging-sphere that I came across Idolatry for the first time. And when Kristen did that whole skit of love-hate Danny Gokey and the Slezak top three of Adam, Kris and Allison, I had fallen to the idea that hey, I think the Adam, Kris and Allison thing could work. Also, I had made it a mantra to put the go in Gokey. I wasn’t buying anymore the producers pimpage of Danny. I wanted him out.

Top 9 came and it was Top Downloads week. Everyone did mediocre but one stood out, no other but Kris Allen who nailed Ain’t No Sunshine. I mean, this guy is just amazing! He has been consistently giving better performances week in and week out. Allison however struggled with Don’t Speak and I just didn’t feel Flamebert with Play That Funky Music. And Gokey brought out a harp…a harp! How uncurrent could that be? Oh and Matt, You Found Me sucked big time. Matt went from favorite to a rollercoaster for me. Sometimes he was hot, others he was not. But of course, Megan, the weakest, had to go too. She had to caw and fly the coop.

Top 8 was the week I was out of town and didn’t really get to watch. But it was the week that magnetized me to liking Adam again. His rendition of Mad World was just eerily good. The raw emotion of that was so deep. Because of the effect of Ain’t No Sunshine, Kris’s OK performance of All She Wants To Do Is Dance went alright with me. Not the usual high ranked score I give Kris but respectably high still. Allison was hot though because her rendition of I Can’t Make You Love Me was my favorite of the night. She was just so mature and I didn’t expect such a vocal timbre from her. Matt’s Part-Time Lover was also inspired. I loved it so much. Finally, we got Scott out. This was long overdue because I wanted Scott out before Megan.

Top 7 was the week that they did Movies. Adam went with Born to be Wild and all I can do is dance, dance, dance. He totally rocked it out. Matt however continued the rollercoaster and just sucked with the falsetto. But the highlight of the night was when Kris suddenly brought out Falling Slowly. I was just shocked. I was going: What song is this? It’s just so smooth and heartfelt. Matt was saved, shocking…not really. They just had to use the save.

Top 7 AGAIN and Kudos to Kris (yes, this is what idolatry said too), he stroke another homerun with She Works Hard for the Money on the 2nd spot again (forever to be named the Kris Allen Memorial spot). He was just taking this competition by storm in my opinion. Disco week came with the most non-disco but best performances by my favorites. Adam also gave a heart-desperate-version of If I Can’t Have You. Allison made Hot Stuff a rock anthem. And Matt was back to staying alive. Ultimately it was the best time to dim the lights for Anoop and make I’m Every Woman but herself Lil leave.

At this point, the only true emotion I had for the competition was my love for Kradisonatt and my hatred for the pimping of Gokey. It so happened that this was also the top 5. So despite my hate for Gokey, Gokey had turned in the best song of the night, Come Rain or Come Shine so he had to stay another week…grr. Slezak also turned Judas on me because at this point, Idolatry was named the Adam and Allison show a few days later. WTH happened to Kris, Michael Slezak??? Although, I would have to say that Kris’s and Allison’s performances had the most emotion in them. And Matt, sorry bud, but you should be cut not Kris. It was of course, Matt’s time to leave and he had only stayed alive until he had performed his valentine genre, Jazz.

So Rock week comes in, I’ve now attached myself with KrisAllenation. But then what makes me hate the judges so much was pushing Kris and Allison (to a lesser extent) under the bus. I documented it in a longer blog of course and another separate blog on why Kris was pissed. This week prompted me to vote for the first time I’ve ever did just to save Kris. It was also the first show I had watched the results via livestream. It was clear after everything in the blogsphere that Kris should win this thing. Kris is the only emotion I got from this show and to make life fair, he had to just win. While I was fearing for Kris’s life in idol, I couldn’t get myself to fully enjoy the awesomeness of Slow Ride and Allison’s best performance to date, Cry Baby. Allison left despite Danny’s Scream On travesty of a song and Danny’s butchering of the lyrics on Renegade. As sad as I was for Allison, I was really happy for Kris. The whole emotion of having Kris saved was the best feeling in the world. It was justice.

In between, all I can do was stay in KrisAllenation. I watched along with the homecomings, listened to radio interviews of Kris, and pushed others to vote for Kris. My main source of fuel was the thought that Kris was now a threat to the producers and that justice should prevail. I was so happy when the judges picked Apologize for him but also excited with what surprise Kris had in store for us. Speculation-crazy was what we were with trying to think of something he could sing. It fell to Mraz and related artists.

So we were completely blown away when Kris sang Heartless. Kris DID it. He made one of the most memorable moments this late in the competition. He peaked at the right time. And after voting 300+ times for him, I was happy yet again that he was safe. I was also rooting for Adam because I really felt that with all the moments he did on the show (and me finally loving Tracks of My Tears and Ring of Fire to some extent) and of course the love shared by Kris and Adam with the nails and the hugs (long run-on sentence here) and just the fact that I didn’t get my Kradison top 3. I really wanted Kradam to be the final 2. And they did. They actually did. At this point, whoever won, I’d be really happy. I want Kris to win but Adam winning would be a victory in itself too. Kris winning would be a win for all cannon fodders. Adam winning would be a win for those who have amazing vocal ranges.

So I’ve backtracked this whole blog right up until last week where Kris won. Needless to say I was so moved by Ain’t No Sunshine. I hated No Boundaries. I hated the last ditch attempt by Simon to throw Kris under the bus during What’s Going On. But also, it was the first blatant show of Adam’s weakness. Adam for the first time was pitchy. And it all came to the two hour finale and when Kris was made American Idol, the victory was just jubilation. I suddenly began to love No Boundaries. I finally completed Kris’s pre-idol album, Brand New Shoes. It was a happy moment that not even detractors could pull me down. But this jubilation lasted for such a short time because the win of Kris turned sour. A win of justice and something that brought American Idol back to its core also brought out too much backlash.

Firstly, all the press could say is that the win of Kris was an upset. This was what was force-fed by the depiction of idol. They had made Adam the clear winner and him losing was just against what was made obvious. The press thought that Adam losing was the bigger story than Kris bringing back Idol to perspective.

Secondly, the bitterberts have become more rampant. There was so much Kradam love in the top three that it’s heartless for Kradam glamberts to suddenly turn on Kris just because he won and became bitterberts. I posted my rant in the last blog with this. It is just a show afterall, why be so attached. Then we currently have the textgate scandal. I mean, how low can people get.

Is this how people are supposed to treat the win of Kris? Can’t the person win silently and couldn’t the Adam supporters be like Adam with his support of Kris? I am glad though that American Idol sticks with Kris winning despite their love for Adam.

Season 8 shows me how sour this show can get. The show influenced the removal of singers far better than those in the top 13 like Jamar, Felicia and Alexis. And I thought Kris winning would bring back the spirit of Idol. But for the desperate bitterberts who have voiced their complaints on the NY times to make this non-story a story, they have reversed the win of the underdog to a rigged scandal that doesn’t even make sense. How could a small group of voters be significant enough to turn the tide when we know Kris won by a landslide. (Reportedly, Kris got around 60% of the votes (a little less than 60million votes) while Adam got 40%. Even with the math, 960,000 added votes is insignificant given the difference of around 20million votes.) The show gets spoiled by sourgrapes that can’t do anything but be stuck in the first four stages of grief and never get to the 5th.

But there is a light of hope. Others are seeing how sour this show has gotten. And we can only thank Adam and Kris for being so grounded despite the sourness of it all. To quote them:

“I would hope that in society today that people would accept Adam just as much as they would accept me. You know, that’s kind of what the world is about: accepting people and loving people. I hope that that’s what me and Adam’s friendship has shown people, that no matter how different you are, that you can still love people and be friends with them.”

“We are seemingly so different, but we found a way to get along and find a common bond, mostly through music, but also just through talking and getting to know each other. And if there’s anything that can come from this experience that I hope all the fans out there can pick up is that even if you’re really different, there’s a way to get along with each other. It’s not about, ‘You beat me because of this.’ Or, you’re different. It’s about finding the common stuff that makes it work. We got out there and did the Queen duet and we made it work because we found a common ground with each other. If there’s anything we can take from this, it’s bringing you guys together is what our goal was, not separating you.”

KRADAM is the ray of hope for all the sourness that idol offers.

If anything, I’m still drawn to Idol not because of the bitterness of it all but because of the awesomeness of Kris and Adam. I can’t stop blogging because people fail to see the beauty of the friendship and brotherly love of Kris and Adam. This is despite all the producer manipulations. Scandals and all controversy surrounding them. They are a flagship of hope and justice and I hope these American Idols will prove to be exemplary rolemodels for us all to emulate.


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