There's a fairly fantastic memory of last Wednesday, where Ryan tosses a jacked-up coin with Carrie and Bo's faces on it into the air, only to drop it so it slips through the cracks of the stage grate like Nadia almost did (she's slender). After some Hulk action trying to pry up the grate, Ryan goes all Butterfly McQueen and sprints off-stage. It's awesome, and then Carrie wins the toss, electing to go second. In hindsight, none of this actually matters.
Behind the judges -- in the order they were eliminated, which is pointless and weird -- sit the Top Twelve, and they're all playing to type: Jessica looks a little wasted, Lindsey's barely there, Mikalah is dressed in jungle chic, Scott has a towel, and A-Fed's watching Carrie very, very closely. Constantine cannot peel his fucking face off the camera except when he turns to address the screaming crowd -- yeah, babe, they're all screaming for you -- and Anwar proves once again that if you trade hair with BjÃ¶rk, you deserve what you get, which is to become Lenny Kravitz.
Bo sings "The Long Long Road," a truly terrible song. He was supposedly ill tonight, which I didn't really believe. Until he started singing. It doesn't affect his marvelous voice much, but he does seem tired and blue. There was this whole thing all day where Bo had a head cold, which moved into his throat, and then Carrie had a sinus infection that turned into an ear infection, and the Bo and Carrie camps escalated madly as is their wont, until now they both have Ebola and West Nile Virus and a hammertoe. But they're still performing! It doesn't matter what the judges said here, because the song sucks so bad, so talking about how bad it sucks is pointless, and there's nothing else to really say, because it was awesome nonetheless.
Carrie sings the original song that will be Bo's coronation song tomorrow night, "Inside Your Heaven," which is not only worse -- maybe one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my entire life, and pornographic to boot -- but also sung terribly off-pitch and off-tempo. The judges are way harsh, but not without reason. I start to get a funny feeling about her chancesâ¦oh wait, I had these feelings weeks ago.
Bo sings "Vehicle," and it's a very solid, magnetic performance, but a little torpid. Not that it really matters, because it doesn't -- he's totally great. It's at least as mesmerizing as the first time he sang it. (It's the one that's all, "Got to have you, child! Great God in heaven, I think I looooove you," which, not for nothing, but we're two for three with the God and heaven references at this point.) The judges get all crazy and, even though it was a wonderful performance, still lie on top of it and talk about how it was the best song ever performed on any stage.
Carrie goes back to "Independence Day," where Simon and I agree she should have sung a song she's done better things with, like "Crying," or "Alone." Given her fetishization of Martina, though, it's no surprise that she would go back to doing what she's most comfortable with. The judges are pretty whatever about it, but sweeter than average. However, she's still flat, so there's only so far that can take you. I think I believe the talk of her otorhinolaryngological meltdown, given that her technical flawlessness is usually the only living thing on that stage when she's singing. Apparently her Ebola is real, even if she is not. ("Let the white dove singâ¦roll the stone away"; we're three for four.)
Bo then rocks the horrible "Inside Your Heaven" (four for five) song, and this is where I think he wins the title. Rough of them to mix up the song order like this, but it does give the night overall some sense of closure. I'm glad they didn't sing it one after the other, though. Less emotionless screaming and more passionate romance -- all the better to distract you from how dirty it is -- is what makes this one work 100% more.
Carrie sings "Angels Brought Me Here" (five for six; I'm just saying), which apparently some other contestant sang on some other show in the Idol franchise, and it's so boring I had to sit here for a second to even remember the name. The awesomest part of this song is the horrible, horrible last note, where she hiccups like she's drunk. Like little bubbles should be coming out of her mouth and floating up into the sky. Which sucks, because she was having a great time, and then sucks harder, because she shows the first emotion ever, immediately after this horrible note, and that emotion is the bitter smile of: "Well, I sure fucked that one, buddy."
Then there's a really, really well edited montage of the season -- although I'm sure it's nothing compared to the crap I'll be recapping tomorrow night for the six-hour amazing finale -- that gets me kind of misty. Plus, it includes Adam Pratt, which gets me Tom Cruise levels of whooping and jumping on the couch.
In the final analysis, however, I still think this is Bo's. A lot of the praise for Carrie was subtle, if not downright backhanded, as it was last week, and you know, he was justâ¦better. Either way will make for good TV, though, because if she wins, the internet will go insane, which will make my life simply fabulous for a week or two, and if Bo wins, the screaming of Sigma houses across the country will probably bring down bats and other stuff that navigates with sonar, which will be weird and cool and kinda Biblical, like Magnolia or something, as befits the most Mel Gibson-adjacent finale ever.
The recaps will be split between the singing and the resulting, this week, so watch out for the results show recap in a couple of days. In the meantime, on with the singing. We open on Ryan, rampant on a field of black, speaking in hushed tones of the Kodak Theatre, and what will transpire there. Photographs? Dare I say, photo…opportunities? Yes, and so much more. Just when we're lulled into a false sense of comfort, that it's just us and Ryan on the vacation from this show that you, and I, and poor little enervated Ryan so desperately need, in the sweet, cool darkness…BOOM! Three thousand screaming people! And they're all screaming at you! They were there the whole time! Imagine a nice, like, tea. With just Ryan. Nice, huh? See him, avant le déluge: proportionally gayer, as every year, than he started, and yet no less exhausted for it. It's pretty cool to see them all appear, like something out of Harry Potter, but kind of a shock. How'd they keep them all quiet?
There are credits, in case we're watching this by accident, and then the FANT ASIA screen splits apart and Ryan comes out of it again, even though we already saw him. He's again wearing that black corduroy jacket that is made of my couch, and thus earns a whistle. Roseanne Barr-Arnold-Barr-Thomas is in the audience. I bet she likes Bo. Ben Stiller and Christine were there on Wednesday, and they said they voted for Bo like 500 times. The thing that kills me with this is how all the proud "blue state" people decided they'd vote for Bo, and talked about how it was such a shame that (SPOILER!) he lost, another red-state victory, but like, he's from Alabama? Which state makes Oklahoma look positively magenta? So what are you actually saying, for real?
So Ryan asks who is going to be the next American Idol, and it seems like everybody screams "Bo!" Then Ryan says it's "just as he thought," that it's split right down the middle. So, like, either he's lying, or else -- and this has come to mind before, with the whole "Ruuuuuuuuben" thing -- maybe the sound of noise just bears a resemblance to people screaming "Bo." You know? Although I'm inclined to believe that in fact everyone was screaming for Bo, because he's better.
Here's a thing, and I'm not sure how to approach it, because I don't want to come off like a dick, but I was emailed this week, Wednesday noon actually, by CNN to appear and talk about the finale. It happens to recappers sometimes, even baby ones, and sometimes we're kind of shy about it, even though it is awesome. And the thing is, it fell through -- fucking Michael Jackson and his fucking defense resting when there's AI commentary to be done! -- but I had this really fun, great talk with the entertainment producer over there, and she asked me about Bo and about Carrie, one after the other (this was before the finale). And so she asked about Bo, and I said the usual: "He's a consummate performer, a passionate artist, who has the experience to turn disadvantages to his use," and she asked me about Carrie, and I said the usual: "She is a savant, a real prodigy, somebody who innately understands perfection in tone and pitch, and I'm immensely proud that someone with a gift like that has discovered her path in life." And Andrea, on the phone, was quiet for a second, and then breathed, "You really like both of them, don't you?"
And I thought about it for a second, and had to agree. I certainly do. Nobody's more shocked than me, but yeah. It was weird, and kind of cool. I had all these ideas about how this show was fluff, and akin to professional wrestling, and I'm not saying that's not true, I just…they're both of them really, really good at what they do. Not that there isn't room for improvement, but, like, Bono has shitloads of improving to do on his horrible ass, not that I'm going to be letting him know, and he's a successful rock star, so whatever. I'm rooting for both of them, no matter what happens in this recap. For what this is, which is a marketability contest just like America's Next Top Model, or The Apprentice, to be honest: I like both of them. Almost exactly equally, as it turns out. But we'll talk about that later.