America’s New Idol

Last night, along with millions of other viewers, I tuned in to watch the finale for the 11th season of American Idol. Unbeknownst to me, the finale would take two hours. I was expecting a one-hour show meaning I would know the result quicker. This perturbed me a little because I knew it would clash with my scheduled time to watch Modern Family.

The show kicked off with the top twelve contestants supporting the “white-out” theme singing a song unrecognizable to me. That was only the beginning of the wardrobe no-nos of the night. (I apologize in advance for my snarkyness in judging the outfits.) Performances continued with artists such as Fantasia Barino (American Idol winner from 2004) wearing what seemed like pants that were too small for her resulting in them ripping along the outer sides of her thighs. Both the person who dressed her and the person who let her go on stage looking like that should be fired. None of that was not necessary. Chaka Khan was another performer who will be talked about on E!’s Fashion Police segment. I don’t think she will like what they will say about her. (Sidenote: I did not know that Chaka Khan was a female.) It was as if Ms. Khan took what Fantasia was wearing, sewed it up, changed the color, and put it on. Disaster.

Okay, enough of my fashion police diva moments.

As the show continued, the intensity of the flashing lights mixed with the strange performances encouraged me to change the channel. Where to? Modern Family of course. Yay!

Only when I tuned back into the last few minutes of the finale did I become nervous and excited. The night before I watched the final two contestants perform what would be their coronation song if they won. I had problems with the song 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez sang. First, due to mumbling I had no idea what she was saying the entire first verse of the song. What I was able to understand came in the pre-chorus where she sang lyrics something along the lines of, “they don’t know the hell we’ve been through [in this relationship].” I’m sorry but I don’t think someone 16 years old knows anything substantial about the hell one goes through in a relationship. If I’m being ageist here then I’ll proudly claim it. Okay, okay. Maybe there is one, at maximum two 16-year-olds who might know. Might. The judges’ commentaries, although not as harshly put as I am about to state it, basically told her it sucked.

Then came Phillip Phillips. At the beginning of the competition this man looked like he was trying to squirm out of a jelly fish when he performed. By this time though, with lots of practice, which probably included him having his feet tied to the ground while he sang, he looked like a performer who had come into his own. His squirms were not as scary but he had enough where one could definitely call him unique. Mr. Phillips song was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. For me the lyrics, the way it sounded, the way he performed it (minus the random marching band wearing blue walking across the stage behind him) was absolutely wonderful. If you didn’t believe he would win over the powerful voice of Jessica Sanchez, you would have after hearing his song.

So last night, sitting on the couch cradling my knees, I paid attentive attention as Ryan Seacrest opened the envelope to announce the winner. I don’t know if he’s done it in the past or if it was because of the name but when Ryan (yes, we’re on a first-name basis) announced the winner, his “Phillllll” before the “-ips” was drug out, at least to me. Now that I re-watch the clip though, it’s not that dramatic. It took 1/2 a second for me to comprehend what he said then in happiness, I squealed, only a little. Truthfully, part of me wanted him to win because I wanted to hear the song again. Also, let it be known that of the 132 million votes, mine was one of them. So if Phillip Phillips won by one, it was because of this girl. Aha. Yep, no big deal.

After congratulations from Ryan, Phillip Phillips was given a microphone and his guitar and the band began the first notes of the coronation song. He started out singing strong. My excitement was running into disappointment as the confetti started falling from the ceiling because unlike previous finale performances, this one did not have the “bang” and emotional component that had accompanied the others. But then it came – he stopped singing when he choked up. After spitting out a few pieces of confetti that had found his mouth, he walked off the stage, handed his guitar to one of the finalists and went to hug his family. Wonderful ending, I say.

You’re probably wondering what this song I keep talking about sounds like. Well, let me make your ears happy!

Here is the clip from last night:

And here is the studio recording of the song:

Why do I like it so much? It’s called “Home” – bam, got me right there already. The lyrics are well stated, the multiple harmonies that were sung came in at the perfect times, the tune is extremely catchy and mellow and Phillips voice goes well not only with the harmony but also the tune.

I have listened to this song at least ten times since I came into work this morning. The only reason I have taken a break from it is because I’ve got at least two of my co-workers whistling the tune. One has already asked what the song is.

Win-ner.

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