Ray Mickshaw / Fox

The Final American Idol Is...

Don't worry, you won't have to sit through, or even read about, all the montages to find out.

Trent Harmon, ladies and gentlemen!

Yes, that's right: another white dude who sings country music! It only took fifteen seasons to find him. We truly are a blessed nation.

But American Idol has always been about the flash and suspense, and there are exactly two hours and six minutes worth of musical medleys and cameos to get through before the final farewell. Sanjaya is there! Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are there! J.Lo's mom is there! Simon, Paula, and Randy are there! Carrie Underwood is there, and she was only supposed to show up in a pre-tape! Heck, POTUS even makes a pre-taped cameo to introduce the show/encourage voting. Sure, he alludes to a parallel between the youth vote of America and this show's demographic that doesn't exactly match up, but still...he's there. In spirit.

So now, for the last time (at least until Fuller sells a reboot somewhere), here's how Idol falls on the Spectrum:

Ryan Watch

10

Someone's been reading along, because Ryan shows up dressed to impress in a mix-and-match tux (silver gray jacket, black pants and bowtie). It's sharp and well-fitted, and -- most importantly -- makes Ryan look really great when he's standing next to BRIAN DUNKLEMAN.

That's right, folks, that dude's back for one night only. Poor Brian's only moment on stage is spent saying (probably) contractually obligated nice things to Seacrest, but to Blondie's credit, he takes it all with a well-rehearsed smirk and seems genuinely touched that Dunkleman thinks he's done a decent job solo for the past fourteen years. The show could have ended with just the two of them strolling off into the sunset, and I would have been perfectly content.

Unnecessary Performances

7

Sure, everyone has a favorite random Idol (I will always love you, Clark Beckham), but Kara DioGuardi isn't one of them and we definitely didn't need her to sing a P!NK (sp?) song. Technically, her appearance is part of the Pop Medley, but since that doesn't need to be 7 minutes and 54 seconds in length...point made, right? Also unnecessary? The acoustic medley and whatever they want to call that thing where Diana DeGarmo came out looking like she was auditioning for Nashville.

Surprising High Notes

9

How much did we all miss the Three Divas (Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia Barrino, and LaToya London)? So much. It doesn't even matter that Fantasia has visible panty line (vpl) and J.Hud has perennially bad posture, their harmonies are still the best of the night.

The Harry Connick Jr. Variety Hour(s)

7

...because the only thing cuter than Harry is Harry singing with a precocious child (Marley Fletcher).

Guitars: Fashion Or Function?

8

Finally, function! Phillip Phillips, Lee DeWyze, David Cook, Kris Allen, and Nick Fradiani do justice to their low-key Bowie tribute, foregoing flash in favor of showing of talent and skill. It makes the performance a standout amongst the others and good on those guys for being comfortable enough just have fun with it all.

Let's Get Woke

4

What is it going to take for artists to stop working with Dr. Luke? Looking at you on this, J.Lo, because the message of doesn't really mean anything if the person who produced it is the scum of the Earth.

Also, major VPL on that last green leotard look of yours.

Schadenfreude (Or, Stupid Is As Stupid Does)

2

Oh, William Hung. I worry that you're still not in on the joke. Are you? Do you have a normal life? Where do you even get a lilac puffy shirt?

Unanswered Mysteries of a Shallow Kind

8

Do you believe that Ryan, Randy, and Paula were really surprised by Simon's walk-on appearance? Does it make you sad that Taylor Hicks's hair is more white than silver now? Why was Steven Tyler talking about Niagara Falls? How crazy is it that Kelly Clarkson can be that pregnant and wear those heels? And how menacing that Seacrest's last words are "Goodbye America...for now?"

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