'American Idol' finale: And the winner is ...

So who's it going to be? Kris Allen? Adam Lambert?

One of these two is going to win American Idol tonight. Well, eventually.


Host Ryan Seacrest tells us that nearly 100 million votes were cast last night and that for the season, more than 640 million votes have been cast. Then he introduces the judges, starting with Randy Jackson and a montage of his most annoying (to me) phrase: "for me for you." Then it's Kara DioGuardi's turn, and a montage of her most annoying thing, calling everyone "sweetie" or "honey," which she kind of stopped after the audition rounds, thankfully. Paula Abdul's montage is her using big words, sometimes correctly, sometimes not. And Simon Cowell gets a montage of clips of him saying, "What?"

Then, both dressed head-to-toe in angelic white, the finalists hit the stage and get reports from their hometown.


Then, the Top 13 (all dressed in white, too), hit the stage for a cheese-tastic rendition of Pink's "So What." The side-stepping choreography and the singing the end part in the round (a la  "Row Row Row Your Boat") really brings it to a new level of goofy.

Next up is a performance by David Cook, who is surely thrilled he doesn't have to do those silly group performances anymore. He sings "Permanent," which sounds like it's based on his experience recently losing his brother. Ryan talks with him about it later, and David says that after the show tonight, the performance will be up on iTunes and all proceeds will benefit cancer research.

In a change of tone and subject, Ryan starts the "Golden Idol Awards" portion of the show, which gives fake awards to auditioners who humiliated themselves earlier this season. Nice.

The first category is for "outstanding male," and once Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle is named, you know who's going to win, so that he can come out and do his "And I am Telling You" schtick again. Sure enough ...

After that, Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah duet on "Through the Rain."  Then, it's Jason Mraz (*swoon*), singing "I'm Yours" with Alexis Grace and Anoop Desai at first, then a bunch of the finalists join them on stage, too.

Then we get to revisit Kris' journey on Idol, from his first audition in which he said that a lot of people are probably better than him, which put Simon off, to the current moment. This serves as an introduction to Kris' duet with Keith Urban on "Kiss a Girl." Did he do much country this season? Seems like an odd duet choice to me, but they sound good.

The performances continue unabated after the break with the female finalists taking on Fergie's "Glamorous." Speaking of Fergie, she then joins them on stage to sing "Big Girls Don't Cry." Then the rest of the Black Eyed Peas come out to sing perform "Boom Boom Pow." One, I agree with what @zap2itrick said on Twitter about HD not being Fergie's friend. Two, Fergie apparently forgets about how she's supposed to skip some lyrics, and they cut away to the Idol logo for a few seconds. Three, someone really should have told Megan Joy to not dance in the audience. That was awkward.

Back to the Golden Idols, this one for "best attitude." Katrina Darrell (aka Bikini Girl) is the winner, and she has some new, uh, assets. Ha, in fact, here's what Ryan says: "I would ask you what's new, but I think I know." She heads out on stage after accepting her award and sings for a few minutes, but then Kara DioGuardi comes out to join her -- and shuts her down. Yeah, Kara was better. She's also wearing a bikini, but it's hidden under her dress, sort of. Ryan says they bet Kara a bunch of money that she wouldn't do this, but she did, for charity. OK, that was kind of funny. But I still don't like Kara that much.

Allison Iraheta then gets to perform "Time After Time" with Cyndi Lauper.

Ryan checks in with the parents of the finalists (they're proud, they're happy, duh), and then introduces Danny Gokey, singing "Hello," after which Lionel Richie joins him for "Just Go," which Lionel usually sings with Akon. Gokey's so similar to Akon! But they aren't done yet; then it's time for "All Night Long."

Then, the finalists -- remember them? -- get some screen time again. Adam gets his "journey to Idol" clip show, which introduces another Adam performance. He comes out in an insane outfit with like metal wing/shoulder pad things and sings "Beth," at which point Kiss joins him on stage for a medley. Once they join him, his bizarre outfit looks positively understated. OK, that was pretty fun. I would still like to see the results pretty soon.

Ryan introduces Santana next, and Matt Giraud joins him for a few bars of "Black Magic Woman." Then the other finalists all come out for "Smooth" -- and too much awkward dancing.


After the Ford commercial, there's footage of David Cook surprising Kris and Adam with cars. Not too shabby.

Then, random, Michael Sarver, Megan Joy and ... Steve Martin?? Playing the banjo? What the ... heck? Turns out Steve wrote the song, called "Pretty Flowers," and it's on his new album. There is a lot wrong with this. I don't even know where to begin.

The dudes hit the stage after the break and sing "Do You Think I'm Sexy." Rod Stewart joins them and sings "Maggie May." I crack up hysterically because it sounds like the crowd goes crazy after he sings, "I really should be back at school." You know how people cheer like maniacs when bands call out their city name at concerts? "OMG, he said Baltimore? Yeeeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhh!" It just seemed like the kids in the front were like, "School! I go to school! Yeeeeeeeaaaahhhh!" Sorry, that was a little labored, but it made me laugh and distracted me from how rough ole Rod looks, so there you go.

More "Golden Idols," this time for outstanding female. You know it's going to be Tatiana, right? Yep, she's a nominee, and the winner, too. They do a joke (I think) about how they have to take a break, and she's not allowed to sing, but she manages to anyway, while being chased around the stage. Heh?

Then it's Kris and Adam -- yay, the finalists! the reason we are here! -- out to duet on "We Are the Champions." There's also Queen, a choir and the rest of the finalists on that big stage. Then another abrupt break. This really has been a choppy, though eventful, finale, don't you think?

Before the results, Ryan asks Simon what he wants to say to Kris and Adam. He says that he doesn't usually mean this (hee), but he thinks they are both brilliant and should be proud of themselves.

At long last, it is finally results time. The winner is Kris Allen!

Hey, Adam Lambert lovers, at least he doesn't have to put that horrendous single on his first album. This is probably going to work out better for him anyway in that regard.


Kris says it feels good, "but Adam deserves this." He also gets a trophy, which is new. Kris is so flabbergasted that he can barely talk. And speaking of that horrible song, Kris has to sing "No Boundaries" again, but at least they start him in a better key than last night.


So that's interesting. I think there was a bit of a backlash because the show was so pro-Adam all season. You know American voters love an underdog!

(Photo by Frank Micelotta / FOX)

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