The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 19 (Grand Finale)

This is the final episode, the day we’ve been waiting months for! Unfortunately, because I have a flight to catch in a few hours, I have to make this quick, so there won’t be much in the way of commentary.

It starts immediately with Lionel Richie singing All Night Long. The Top 10 comes out near the end of the song.

After Caleb did an eerily spot-on impression of Lionel, Nick Jonas and Jurnee sang Anywhere and Jealous.

Luke Bryan and Gabby sang Sunrise, Sunburnt, Sunset and Most. Well, she sang with him during Most. I’m not really a fan of Luke or Gabby, so I’m sitting here waiting for the song to end. I liked the first song, though. Then they relived his best moments.

Gary Clark Jr., Cade Foehner, and Dennis Lorenzo sang Bright Lights. Those three voices coming together was pretty epic! Their guitar solo was also epic!!

Maddie Poppe and Kermit the Frog sang Rainbow Connection, which is the song she auditioned with.

During auctions, Noah Davis said if he won he’d buy an alpaca. Well, they got him an alpaca!

Caleb and Darius Rucker sang Wagon Wheel.

Surprise guest by Jimmy Kimmel. He has a giant metal cylinder, which he says is a time capsule from the original series.

They recapped the season, then the Top 3 and Bebe Rexha sang Meant To Be.

Now they’re eliminating the first person. Ryan is naming the first person in the Top 2, which is Caleb. Maddie is the other. Meaning Gabby has been eliminated.

The past eliminated sang a pre-recorded parody of Hello.

Layla Spring and her adorable and shockingly talented little sister Dixie sang Blue by LeAnn Rimes. . Wow! Surprise appearance by LeAnn herself!

They relive Katy’s best moments. Then Katy with a “K” and Catie with a “C” performed Part Of Me together on stage! This was a truly special performance.

Yolanda Adams and Michael J. Woodard sang What The World Needs Now.

Caleb and Maddie performed Somewhere Over The Rainbow and What A Wonderful World. Before the performance, Caleb announced that he and Maddie are actually dating. I don’t know how long they’ve been a couple, but if it’s been long that’s kind of ironic they ended up as the Top 2.

Ryan is actually in tears after listening to them perform. It is kind of a perfect ending of the season. We’ve made it all this way and it didn’t just end with him naming the winner. We did get a plot twist in a sense.

But before we get to the final results, we’ve got one more performance. Patti LaBelle and Ada Vox sang Lady Marmalade. I…am ashamed to admit I didn’t know that I didn’t know Patti was still alive. I just looked and she’s 73. Just automatically assumed she’d passed away long ago. She’ll be 74 on Thursday. She still sounds amazing at 74!

Now time for the moment we’ve waited for the entire season; Who is the next American Idol?

The winner of American Idol is Maddie Poppe!

She performs Going Going Gone, and even though she is obviously very emotional, she still managed to sing part of it. It was awesome when the Top 10 comes out and helps her sing it.

They’ve been advertising auditions for season two, so there is going to be another season. But I most likely will not be reviewing it. I’ll probably watch it, just won’t review it. It was hard enough trying to think of things to say this season and I ended up just repeating myself over and over. Most weren’t even really reviews, but play-by-plays. I’ll end this the way I’ve been ending these lately, with a tweet by Catie.

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The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 18 (Performance Finals)

This will be a two part episode, pretty much. Tonight the Top 3 perform (as well as some surprise guests), and the next episode will be the finale, where we find out who the American Idol will be. I said at the end of the last post that I’ll be in a different state and will watch the finale live and write the review live, but my flight was pushed forward a day. So unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it live.

The Top 3 will do three rounds; an original, their most memorable song from the season (“encore”), and one dedicated to their hometown.

Round 1: Originals

First up we have Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing his original song, Johnny Cash Heart. It’s also on Spotify. On this round, the link on the person’s name goes to the YouTube video of the performance, and the link on the song title goes to Spotify. He also has other song on there, so be sure to check them out. I know I was hard on him last episode, but I have to admit it’s a pretty good song.

Next is Gabby Barrett, sing her original song, Rivers Deep. When she has multiple performances, she tends to do awful her first performance and doing better the rest. That said, hopefully she does better her next performance.

Maddie Poppe did her original song, Going Going Gone. What’s not to love? Maddie is a fun person, so naturally her song is fun and very catchy.

Round 2: Encore

First was Caleb singing Don’t Close Your Eyes by Keith Whitely. This round, the link in the song title goes to the video of the first time they performed it. This was as good as his original song earlier. Still better than the last episode, though.

Next, Gabby sang Little Red Wagon by Miranda Lambert. As usual, her second performance was better than her first. I don’t know why that’s always the case. Maybe the first one is more of a warmup for her? Whatever the reason, I liked this performance.

Maddie sang another original song, Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up. She is going to win this thing for sure. Caleb and Gabby are good, but they’re generic country. Maddie is completely unique.

Before the third round, they brought in some surprise guests. Singing their own original songs, some of the eliminated from this season return. Yard Sale by Harper Grace, Blue Jeans by Jonny Brenns, I’m A Dreamer by Michelle Sussett, and finally 21st Century Machine by Catie Turner. It was nice seeing all of them again, especially Catie.

Round 3: Hometown Hero

Caleb went back to his hometown of Dallas, Georgia, where they had a massive parade and everything. I forgot that he was chubby when he auditioned, and now he’s lost so much weight. He dedicated Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash to his hometown. Like his first song this episode, I liked this performance.

Gabby returned to Pittsburgh. There was a small parade for her, but she went straight home. It looks like Caleb had a bigger turnout for Caleb even though he’s from a small town and Pittsburgh is a major city. For the song she dedicated to her city, she sang Don’t Stop Believing. Which technically don’t make sense. She’s not a small town girl, and she’s singing it to Pittsburgh, not Detroit. Maybe I’m just nitpicking… Oh! She just forgot the lyrics. If she wins I’ll be mad because Catie did the same thing and was eliminated. This was by far the worst performance she’s done all season.

Maddie went home to Clarksville, Iowa. She went back to her old high school, where she and her principal walked the walls and talked, then he surprised her with her old friends. Then elementary kids sang Rainbow Connection, which was her auction song. It’s fitting that the background song during this was The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, because the song she sang for Clarksville was Landslide. As emotionally powerful as the original is (especially if you know the story behind the album), she somehow adds to it.

The next episode will be the finale, and one these three will be named the American Idol. Hopefully it’s Maddie. She is the only one of the three who brings something different. We already have a million country singers we need a Maddie Poppe to shake things up and give us true originality. But we’ll find out tonight on ABC (or tomorrow on Hulu, like me).

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 17 (Top 3 Revealed)

There was a cold open this time, with the Top 5 singing See You Again by Carrie Underwood. Then Carrie herself came out to sing with them.

Two contestants will be eliminated this episode. The Top 5 will be singing two songs each. One song by Carrie Underwood and one song dedicated to their mother, seeing as this aired on Mother’s Day. Ryan Seacrest’s mother came out and introduced the episode. I don’t know the results. Catie did her usual tweets to the eliminated people, but I avoided it.

Starting things off is Michael J. Woodard singing Flat On The Floor by Carrie Underwood. At this point it’d be cliché to say his performance was good.

Second was Gabby Barrett singing Last Name by Carrie Underwood. She had an interesting entrance. I like the song, I like her, but I didn’t like her performance. It feels like she’s trying to be Carrie Underwood.

Cade Feohner sang Undo It by Carrie Underwood. Of course he turned it into a rock anthem, and it doesn’t even sound like a Carrie Underwood song. I like it.

Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang So Small by Carrie Underwood. I like him as a person, his hilarious in Catie’s and Maddie’s videos, but he sounds like every country singer. I even played a video of him singing to a couple coworkers who love country, but only let them hear it. They argued over which country singer it was. Because he sounds like every country singer, and every country singer sounds the same.

Next was Maddie Poppe singing I Told You So by Carrie Underwood. Now that Catie is gone, Maddie is my new favourite contestant. She flawlessly covered the song.

There was a short skit with Ryan Seacrest advertising Hotel Transylvania 3, then Carrie Underwood performed Cry Pretty, her new single.

Now they’re doing the songs for their mothers. First off, Gabby Barrett sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston. This performance was much better than her first one.

Cade Foehner sang Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is more his usual area, and he did it justice.

Next Michael J. Woodard sang Still I Rise by Yolanda Adams. I don’t know why I don’t just give him the title of American Idol, because I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the one to win this.

Caleb Lee Hutchison sings Stars In Alabama by Jamey Johnson. Again, he sounds like every other country singer. I don’t know why this is bothering me so much now. He sounds the way he always has, and I always liked his voice. But for some reason it’s really bothering me. I’m thinking it’s because it’s so late in the season and he could actually win this. I want someone to win that I’ll actually listen to. So basically anyone but Caleb and Gabby I would listen to. I like the two of them, but I don’t want them to win.

Maddie Poppe is performing God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. She made the cheerful song into an emotionally powerful one.

Now time to find out who the Top 3 are.

Caleb is the first one named

Gabby is second

The final person is Maddie

Which means we’ve just lost Michael J. Woodard and Cade Foehner. So I was very wrong about one of them winning. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve heard of them. I’m hoping Cade starts a band because I love his voice.

Two episodes remain, next Sunday and Monday. I’m actually going to be out of town, leaving Monday morning. I’ll be visiting my family in another state. But, this might mean I’ll be able to watch the finale live, and if I do I’ll be doing the review live. That’d be an awesome way to finish up the season.

The Blogging Dead: American Idol – Episode 16 (Top 5 Reveal)

In this episode, two contestants will be sent home. I already know who got sent home because of Twitter, but I’ll save that for when I get to it. As usual, I’m writing as I watch.

The contestants will be performing two songs. A song from the year they were born, plus a song by the late Prince. There was even a short tribute video to him.

Starting things off, Jurnee performs Kiss by Prince. I almost didn’t recognize her at first because she removed her now iconic braids. But I forgot about that pretty much immediately when she started singing. It feels pointless to say that she’s good, because everyone who has made it this far is spectacular. So I’ll just say that I enjoyed her performance and try to think of something original for each of the other performances.

Next is Gabby Barrett, singing a song from 2000, the year of her birth. I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. I…might have to take back my previous paragraph. I mean, she’s good, just not this time. Most of it she’s nasally, and the last minute or so she’s off beat. Definitely not her best performance.

Michael J. Woodard did I Would Die 4 U by Prince. When Ryan announced that, I got excited because I’ve yet to see a bad performance from him. That’s still true.

Cade Foehner sang a song from 1996, Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel. He turned that song into a rock anthem. I hope he does a studio recording of that someday.

Catie Turner met Nick Jonas! Also, she sang a song from 2000, Oops…I Did It Again by Britney Spears. She somehow took that song and made it her own, making it sound like a Broadway version.

From 1999, Caleb Lee Hutchison sang Amazed by Lonestsr. In the opposite of Catie’s performance, this was basically the original note for note, beat for beat. I sang along and everything. That’s both a good thing and bad. He didn’t make it his own and just copied, but at least he didn’t miss a note and sounded good.

Maddie Poppe sang Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor (which was written by Prince, so it counts). She is a true talent. Her version is actually better than the original, which is hard to do. On top of that, she was playing the piano. As I said, a true talent.

From 1997, Michael J. Woodard sang My Heart Will Go On. Which is basically the exact opposite of the other song he did this episode. And he nailed it! I shouldn’t even be surprised anymore, but I can’t help it. He’s like a rabbit hole of talent.

Cade Foehner sang Jungle Love by The Time (written by Prince). It was a totally awesome performance, but the only thing missing was him doing the dance from the film. I tried finding a clip of the scene, but only found the music video and it’s not the same. But even without the dance, I absolutely loved it. Sheila E., who was with Prince through most of his career, is there as drummer on all of these performances and they ask her opinion after each one. This time she had this awesome drum solo. It’s nice having her there.

For her Prince song, Gabby Barrett sang How Come U Don’t Don’t Call Me Anymore. This one was definitely better than her other performance. Massive improvement!

From 1999, Jurnee sang Back At One by Brian McKnight. Instead of copying the original, which would have been easy to do, she made it her own. It honestly felt like a new song, even though I knew all of the words to it.

For her final song, Catie Turner sang Manic Monday by The Bangles, which I just found out a few seconds ago was written by Prince. You learn something new every day… I will discuss this performance down below.

Next is Maddie Poppe singing If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow from 1997. Once again, her version is better than the original. I don’t know what else to say about it.

The final performance of the episode is Caleb Lee Hutchinson singing When Doves Cry by Prince. He somehow made it slower and darker than the original, which I didn’t think was possible.

Which means now it’s time for the elimination.

The first person to make it into the Top 5 is Caleb.

Maddie is second

Cade is third

Gabby is fourth. And the final person to make it into the Top 5 is Michael.

Which means we lost Jurnee and Catie.

After the episode, Twitter exploded in outrage. I always check Twitter after an episode airs and it never trends, which I always found weird. But last night it was #2 trending. Pretty much all of the tweets were people outraged that Catie Turner was eliminated.

But Catie is amazing and a couple hours after the episode aired, she uploaded a video to Twitter of her laughing and eating pizza, saying that she’s happy to have even made it this far.

As for the Manic Monday performance;

Within seconds of starting, she forgot to lyrics and stopped singing for a few seconds, then tried picking it back up. But you can tell throughout the rest of the song that she’s seriously doubting herself, half-mumbling lyrics and making up new ones. But like the judges said afterward, it happens to everyone eventually and she has nothing to be ashamed of.

Shortly before I sat down to watch the episode, she uploaded another video to Twitter. She, Maddie, Cade, and Caleb made a mock reality show, and it is hilarious!

Finally, people started saying some awful things about the Top 5, out of anger of Catie being eliminated. So she tweeted this…