May 25/26 - The Final
Showdown - The Results
Okay, Gordon's giving the
big show to me tonight, so you've got one more night
Anyway, it's the moment
we've all been waiting for... the big night... A big...
concert? Yes, as part of tonight's two-hour celebration
of the last four months, we are treated to an outdoor
concert hosted by Ryan and two beautiful women. On the
left, Christina Christian, blowing up the charts in
Europe from her season one exit, and on the right,
Jennifer Love Hewitt, who's either a) a really big fan,
b) there to plug her new film "Garfield: The Movie", or
c) currently shagging Ryan.
Starting off with La
Toya, voted off in the round of four, singing "If You
Don't Know Me By Now". Meanwhile, Ryan sneaks off to
Diana's dressing room, where he gives her a surprise --
it's Kim Caldwell taking a break from 5-4-3-2-1 to host
a support party from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. We
even have the governor dressed in pink, who offers up
the bet from Governor Mike Easley. Peaches and NASCAR
tickets against blueberries... and NASCAR tickets.
Then he goes over to
Fantasia's dressing room, where she is bombarded by a
crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum, where second season
sous-Idol Clay Aiken (yes, despite his popularity, he
only came in second last year) is hosting HER support
party, all 6000 of them. And we can hardly hear him OR
the mayor of High Point scream over his own voice, it's
Continuing the season 3
CD concert outside is George, eliminated from the round
of five, singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now".
Paula's dressing room, where Randy is also visiting. Was
it the best season ever? Paula says not just the best,
but the most exciting. She's still feeling like a proud
parent. But she insists there won't be tears... Yeah
Christina's outside with
Ray Romano. He's going for Fantasia. Jasmine, bounced
last week, takes the stage next with "Midnight Train to
Georgia". Meanwhile, Ryan visits his favorite judge,
Simon, in his dressing room. Most difficult thing about
being a judge: being the only one (without sounding
conceited) who knows what he's talking about, citing
Fantasia. He insists that (after a long pause) it's
about the final two tonight. Then Ryan hands out small
Christina's out with
Sharon Osbourne. I don't know why, possibly because
she's just there. The choir is practicing in the red
room, and that can only mean we are minutes from
showtime. Seriously, as we head to the main stage, and
its incredibly giant audience.
Cue the opening
Now, we know that this
is the Super Bowl of singing, so what better way to
start it than Tamyra Gray (whose name has been all over
this finale) singing our National Anthem. Even as an
Aussie is in the crowd (guess Guy Sebastian wanted to
see who won for himself).
Out comes Ryan again, as
he details that after four hours of voting and over 65
million votes (which shatters last year's record), 1.3
million votes separate the two finalists. Randy
says "This is the place to be. If you ain't here, you
Starting tonight's show
with "The Impossible Dream", as Diana (later joined by
Fantasia) shares the stage in the literal and figurative
sense with the powerful first-series Idol Kelly Clarkson
and the velveteen second-series Idol Ruben Studdard.
Four singers, each with their own unique character.
Once again, we go to the
support parties, first to Greensboro and Clay. Guilford
County commissioner Bruce Davis got a few friends
together and erected a massive billboard outside of High
Point. Meanwhile, with Atlanta and Kim, as all they have
is a choir teacher willing to tell all. The mayor of
Snellville is also in the crowd, and reiterates the town
motto: "Where everybody's somebody." And Diana's one
hell of a somebody tonight.
Kelly returns to perform
the latest single off of "Thankful", "Beautiful
Disaster". This version seems to be better than the one
on my CD. And it's.... uh... Sorry, got distracted
After that, we get a
tribute to the guest judges courtesy all 12 finalists,
as they prepare to go on the road this summer on their
50-city tour. And we find out that, like some of
their voices, yellow and white don't work that well. And
after that, a blooper with the makeup girl not knowing
who Barry Manilow is. Almost powdered the pianist. Not
Barry, the pianist.
Rooooooo-ben returns to the stage to perform his latest
single off of "Soulful", "What If". Great song, but
alas, the time to crown his successor is nigh.
RIGHT AFTER Diana takes
the stage with "I Believe". Now theoretically and
historically speaking, the first person to take the
stage solo has always been the loser. Not boding well
for her. Wonder if she realizes that. Well, if anything,
dressing like Celine won't work. Fantasia's next, as she
sings "Dreams." I'm guessing it's a B-side. Both join on
stage for "Knew You Were Watching". Fantasia is singing
the George Michael parts, while Diana takes Aretha.
Okay, NOW it's decision
time. First, some words of thought from the judges...
Simon: [Whoever wins]
will get what they always wanted. Fame, stardom, a ton
of money. It's what it's all about. This is THE BEST
talent show on Earth.
Paula: I think both of you have made all three of us
extremely proud. It's time to move on now, get on with
your careers. Whoever wins this, it's the first day of
the rest of your exciting life. Remember your first
everything, and remember that your dysfunctional family
will be there every step of the way.
Randy: Think about it. You're the top two out of 70,000
people we saw. You should stand proud. You're both
Okay, comments. Randy
called Fantasia brilliant, Paula said she stood out as a
standout artist, and Simon was won over by round 2.
Randy said Diana worked it out and came to win, but was
puzzled by round 3. Paula said likewise. Simon also said
likewise, saying that she didn't nail the competition.
auditions... after a phone vote of 65 million... the
winner of American Idol 2004 is..."
Wait for it...
North Carolina is on its feet, and I get this call from
"You all suck."
But we agreed to agree
that the better singer won. But as she said "Work hard,
it pays off." First words out of the new American Idol's
mouth: "I broke my shoe."
Diana gives thanks to
the fans for their support. "Not only have I grown as a
singer and a performer, I've grown as a person. I'm so
proud to have come here with Fantasia. She's my girl,
and you guys will treat her well."
Fantasia takes us out
with her upcoming single, "I Believe", in the
traditional winner's spotlight. And there's not a dry
eye in the house. And soon, there won't be a dry eye in
the audition rooms as Simon, Paula, and Randy hit the
road in search of the winner of Idol 4.
But for now, after a
season of terrifying lows, dizzying highs, and creamy
middles... Fantasia Barrino emerges the new American